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Tuesday April 12, 2011 4:47 am

Leonardo On CBBC




Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Action, Prime Time, BBC, News

LeonardoHey, TV Envy fans. Normally, I post over at our sister site, Comix 411, but today I have some TV news to pass along.

If you're anywhere near Great Britain and going to be around what the folks there call a telly on Monday evening, you might want to check out a TV series called Leonardo that's airing on CBBC at 5:15pm (17:15).

The first episode is called "Anything Goes," UK's Telegraph has already given the show a thumbs up, saying it "has its roots in traditional adventure drama. And thoroughly engaging it is too."

Picture Leonardo da Vinci as a teenager lurking in the 15th century streets, alleys, rooftops and underground tunnels of Florence, using his brains and his prototype inventions to expose corruption and fight a conspiracy that threatens to bring down the city.

Leonardo is played by Jonathan Bailey. Elements of the series are fictionalized of course, though historical figures do pop up, including Leonardo's best friend Machiavelli, the Borgias, the Medicis and a whole lot more. It's written in a modern style (hardly a "thee" or a "thou" on display), and you'll even find Radiohead on the series soundtrack.

Another reason to watch, of course, is that I co-created the series. My writing partner, Dan Danko, came up with the idea and we originally drafted it as a book pitch some years ago at the request of an editor we knew. That didn't fly, but we had a producer friend in England we'd worked with before who knew people.

He put the project in front of them and the series bible was assembled. The series was acquired by the BBC in late 2009. The writing took place in the first half of 2010 and shooting was done in South Africa at the end of 2010.

There are 13 episodes in Season One. Each episode stands alone, but there's a thread of conspiracy that runs through the series that leads up to the finale. Hopefully the series will get picked up by BBC America and also get shown worldwide.

If you miss the launch day's broadcast, they repeat it like crazy throughout the week.

[Artwork: The cast of Leonardo, airing Monday on CBBC]

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