When Jesse Armstrong (of Peep Show fame) wrote a TV script about the Murdoch clan squabbling over Grandpa Rupert’s media empire it was filed in the ‘funny but ill-advised’ section of the C4 idea cupboard.
But following the events surrounding the fall of the News of the World and the continuing phone-hacking scandal, bosses at the channel have ordered it to be put into development.
The Murdochs is a single drama set many years into the future at a dinner party at which the power struggles over who takes over Rupert Murdoch’s media empire when he dies is played out, reports MediaGuardian.
The script was vetoed by Kevin Lygo, Channel 4’s former director of TV who is now running ITV Studios, back in 2009 as he felt it was too “media centric” and “involved media people talking to other media people” according to senior Channel 4 sources. However C4’s head of drama Camilla Campbell never lost faith in the script and revealed that it was now in “active development”.
“For me it never really went away but with the stories about hacking I think the time could be right to make this,” said Campbell,” she added.
Described as “Dallas meets Festen”, by Armstrong (above), the script is understood to have been carefully scrutinised by Channel 4’s lawyers and given the OK. The Peep Show creator went on to explain that all the Murdochs will feature, including Rupert’s son James, who as deputy chief operating officer of News Corporation with responsibility for UK businesses BSkyB and News of the World News International, finds himself at the centre of the ongoing scandal.
One stand-out feature of the script is the fictional attempts by Murdoch’s third and current wife, Wendi Deng, to put the two daughters she has had with him at the centre of the succession to his business empire. It’s not known if Rebekah Brooks will feature..