Disney+ to Launch Rivals Series


Rivals, a brand-new eight-part series based on the novel by Jilly Cooper, is set to premiere on Disney+.

Rivals is a part of Cooper’s best-selling Rutshire Chronicles, which center on the affluent elite in 1980s England. Executive produced by Dominic Treadwell-Collins (A Very English Scandal, Holding, EastEnders) and Alexander Lamb (The Bay, We Hunt Together, Ackley Bridge) and written by Treadwell-Collins with Laura Wade (The Riot Club), the original series will premiere on Disney+ in EMEA and the Asia Pacific and Star+ in Latin America.

In Rivals’ fictional upper-class county of Rutshire, there’s a rivalry between Rupert Campbell-Black, an ex-Olympian, Member of Parliament and womanizer, and his Rutshire neighbor Tony Baddingham, controller of the independent TV franchise Corinium Television. As tensions rise and rivalries deepen, secrets are revealed and alliances forged, as those around them are drawn into their battle.

Cooper said: “I am so, so excited. Throughout my childhood, my favorite word was ‘Disney,’ and by a miraculous coincidence, greater-than-ever Disney are joining forces with an utterly brilliant drama company, Happy Prince, to turn my novel into a TV series. I know they will bring the boardroom battles and love triangles of my characters to life—particularly those of my devastatingly handsome hero. I cannot wait to see who will be stepping into his shoes. Let the hunt for our Rupert Campbell-Black commence!”

Lee Mason, director of scripted content for EMEA at Disney+, added: “The combination of Jilly Cooper and Disney+ is delightfully unexpected. We were thrilled when Dominic brought us these iconic books, and we leaped at the chance to bring them to life. We can’t wait to welcome Rupert Campbell-Black and the residents of Rutshire to the platform.”

Treadwell-Collins, executive producer at Happy Prince, commented: “I have been wooing Jilly Cooper since I first started working in television. Jilly’s iconic novels’ razor-sharp observations on class, sex, love and what it means to be British resonate even more today than when Jilly wrote them in the 1980s. I’m so excited to bring Rivals to the screen, entertain fans of the beloved Cooperverse and introduce a whole new generation to the sweeping love stories, social satire and biting wit of Rutshire.”