Disney+ reveals Rivals teaser

By Michael Pickard
June 26, 2024

Trailer park

TRAILER: Disney+ has released the first teaser trailer for Rivals, its upcoming adaptation of Jilly Cooper’s novel of the same name starring Alex Hassell, Bella Maclean, Katherine Parkinson, David Tennant, Aidan Turner and Nafessa Williams.

Produced by Happy Prince, the story is set against the backdrop of the drama, excess and shocking antics of the power-grabbing social elite of 1980s England and delves headfirst into the ruthless world of independent television in 1986.

The series is set to debut on Hulu in the US and on Disney+ in other countries later this year.

Oliver Chris as James and Emily Atack as Sarah

Hassell plays the dashing ex-Olympian, Member of Parliament, incorrigible rake and dangerously charismatic Rupert Campbell-Black. Tennant features as Lord Tony Baddingham, controller of Corinium Television and Rupert’s single-mindedly ambitious and egotistical adversary. Turner is journalist and TV presenter Declan O’Hara, who becomes caught in the crossfire of the long-simmering feud between Rupert and Tony.

Williams plays Cameron Cook, a ferociously talented American TV executive who is brought to England by Tony to produce Declan’s new prime-time talk show. Parkinson is Lizzie Vereker, a romantic novelist suffering from a distinct lack of romance in her life and Maclean is Taggie O’Hara, Declan’s tender-hearted yet strong-willed eldest daughter and unexpected temptation for Rupert.

Danny Dyer as Freddie and Lisa McGrillis as Valerie.

Other characters include Sarah Stratton (Emily Atack), Caitlin O’Hara (Catriona Chandler), James Vereker (Oliver Chris), Freddie Jones (Danny Dyer), Paul Stratton (Rufus Jones), Valerie Jones (Lisa McGrillis), Bas Baddingham (Luke Pasqualino), Lady Monica Baddingham (Claire Rushbrook) and Maud O’Hara (Victoria Smurfit).

Rivals is executive produced by Dominic Treadwell-Collins (A Very English Scandal), Alexander Lamb (Ackley Bridge), Felicity Blunt, Laura Wade (The Riot Club), Jilly Cooper and Lee Mason.

The series is written by Treadwell-Collins and Wade alongside the series episodic writers room that includes Sophie Goodhart, Marek Horn, Mimi Hare & Clare Naylor, Dare Aiyegbayo and Kefi Chadwick. Tray Agyeman is a shadow writer on episode six, and Sorcha Kurien Walsh is staff writer in the room. The casting director is Kelly Valentine Hendry (Bridgerton).

The lead director is Elliot Hegarty (Ted Lasso), who is also an executive producer on episodes 1-4. Eliza Mellor (The Midwich Cuckoos) is series producer. Dee Koppang O’Leary (The Crown) and Alexandra Brodski (Somewhere Boy) also direct episodes.

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