Hotel, Borgia, Pharaoh, Versailles Come To TV

Sam Mendes (“Revolutionary Road,” “American Beauty”), BBC Worldwide and Canal Plus will team to produce the eight-episode TV drama series “Grand Hotel” says Variety.

The story revolves around the guests and staff of a ritzy international hotel in Paris who are suddenly taken hostage. Held captive in the lap of luxury, they try to find out why they’re being held prisoner, and plan to escape.

Richard McBrien (“Wallander, “Spooks”) and Virginie Brac (“Spiral”) are penning the scripts. Mendes will produce but not direct.

Canal Plus is also behind three big international series, each twelve episodes long, currently in the works. One is the $35 million “Borgia” which Tom Fontana (“Oz,” “The Philanthropist”) is show running while Oliver Hirschbiegel (“Downfall”) directs the first four episodes. Despite the title, it is not to be confused with the upcoming Showtime series “The Borgias”.

Also in production is the ancient Egypt epic “Pharaoh” from “Rome” creator John Milius, and “Versailles” which is set at the court of French monarch Louis XIV and boasts a script by “Mad Men” scribe-producers Andre and Maria Jacquemetton.