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Canal+ - Maison Close will not have a third season ; Starz eyes US broadcast for Versailles

When the key sets to where your show is filmed are taken down after lackluster ratings throughout the season, it often means only one thing : cancellation. After two seasons (16 episodes), Maison Close will close its doors for good. Starting in September 2010 with the most watched series premiere in Canal+'s history, the ratings fell throughout season 1, but not enough to prevent a second season from happening... 27 months later.

Indeed, before going back to Le Paradis, the show has been through some retooling due to criticism. Season 2 garnered more positive reviews, acknowledging the effort to give a quicker pace and higher stakes to the series... but still, it wasn't widespread acclaim like Spiral season 4, Rebound season 1 and also Borgia season 2, which concluded two weeks ago (by the way, most people say season 2 is even better than season 1). All three of these shows will of course return for another season, but not Maison Close.

It is the second series Canal+ cancels this year after XIII — there hasn't been any official announcement, and there probably won't be one for Maison Close, but if XIII goes on to a 3rd season, it'll be because of Showcase.

But as a historical series ends, another begins : apparently, Starz should be airing the new Canal+ historical series Versailles, which is expected to start filming in September 2013 for a mid-to-late 2014 premiere.

A while ago, the first info on the 12-episode first season of this show created by André and Maria Jacquemetton (Mad Men) was that the central set of characters would feature not only French people but also a British aristocrat. But I'm assuming if it airs on a US channel, even cable like Starz, it will have to be mostly in English. I don't see how this show could, though : it's a French production for a French channel about French history from a French-born writer, it'd be pretty weird to do it in English.

Here's the synopsis :

1666, the Queen is dying. Louis XIV, wanting to reign by himself, wants to build a castle symbolizing his glory, Versailles. The biggest construction in the world is thus set in motion, on which the people come to give their strength, even their life, or fight with unimaginable means to climb to the top of the social ladder.

Will Starz become the first ever US network to air a mostly foreign-speaking scripted series (except Spanish-language networks like Univision, obviously) ? I'd like to think so, but I fear greedy producers might think they'll get more money by co-producing Versailles in English (which they would, I guess). They'll lose at least one viewer though (maybe not, but I'd be a disappointed one).

Another intriguing detail is that André and Marie Jacquemetton, attached to the development of Versailles for at least two years, have recently signed an exclusive deal with Warner Bros, they're leaving Mad Men but they'll have to develop shows only for WB. Does that include Versailles ? Will it prevent them from working on this show (because it could get produced by Warner Bros. France) ? It's not clear yet.

Source #1 and source #2.

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