The Merlin panel at San Diego's 2011 Comic-Con International
This past weekend at the San Diego 2011 Comic-Con International, FremantleMedia Enterprises announced that the hit fantasy TV series Merlin, produced and created by Shine TV, has been renewed for a fifth season by the BBC. The news was revealed during the Merlin panel on Sunday, July 24th that featured cast members Anthony Head (King Uther Pendragon), Bradley James (Prince Arthur Pendragon), Katie McGrath (Morgana) and Colin Morgan (Merlin) as well as series executive producers/co-creators Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy.
David Ellender, Global CEO, FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) commented: “With Merlin now in 183 countries and both a fourth and fifth season underway, it is a truly global brand. Consistent audience figures in each territory, a strong international fan base and a fantastic cast further cement its cross generational appeal. We are continuing to work with the best broadcasters, producers and licensing partners on this brand and look forward to its ongoing success.”
Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy, executive producers for Shine TV, said: “We are both delighted to have a fifth season commissioned and thrilled with the worldwide success of Merlin. We have some fantastic ideas in mind for the next stage of the journey and relish the chance to take the program to the next level."
In Merlin’s third season finale “The Coming of Arthur, Part 2,” the young warlock Merlin and Prince Arthur along with a small group of loyal warriors managed to defeat an immortal army and retake Camelot from Morgana, who overthrew her father King Uther and had herself crowned as the kingdom’s new queen.
The show’s fourth season, which is currently shooting in Pierrefonds, France and Cardiff, Wales, will premiere on UK’s BBC One this fall, and in early 2012 on Syfy in the US. Although Morgana is now an outcast from Camelot, she is just as dangerous, and in season four Merlin must remain ever vigilant and continue to use his wits as well as magic to ensure that Arthur fulfills his destiny as the Once and Future King.
Along with Morgan, James, Head and McGrath, Merlin’s regular cast includes Angel Coulby (Gwen) and Richard Wilson (Gaius) while John Hurt is the voice behind the Great Dragon. Production on the show’s 13-episode fifth season will begin in March 2012 and once again take place in Wales and Pierrefonds, France. No further news as of yet about what viewers can expect to see as far as characters and storylines in season five.