HBO and Sky are gearing up to launch the four-part limited series “Catherine the Great,” which is now scheduled to premiere on October 21st. The network made the confirmation on Wednesday morning, so history buffs will want to set a reminder to catch the series later this fall.

“Catherine the Great” stars Academy-award winner Helen Mirren (“The Queen”, “Gosford Park”, “The Last Station”) and Jason Clarke (“First Man”, “Zero Dark Thirty”, “Mudbound”). The four-part drama is set against the politically tumultuous and sexually charged court of Russian empress Catherine the Great (Mirren) who wielded supreme power throughout Russia for nearly half of the 18th century.

HBO stated that the story follows Catherine towards the end of her reign during her passionate affair with Grigory Potemkin (Clarke). The network added, “Amid scandal, intrigue and immense conflict, they develop a unique and devoted relationship, overcoming their adversaries and together serving as the architects of modern-day Russia through a series of liberalizing reforms.”

Philip Martin directed “Catherine the Great,” which was written by Nigel Williams. Helen Mirren, Philip Martin, Nigel Williams, David Thompson, Charlie Pattinson and Christine Healy serve as executive producers on the project. According to the network, the limited series will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and partners’ streaming platforms.

Earlier this week HBO confirmed that the network renewed the sketch comedy series “A Black Lady Sketch Show” for a second season. The show presents sketches performed by a core cast of black women, including creator Robin Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, Gabrielle Dennis and Quinta Brunson. Thede executive produces, writes and stars and Issa Rae (Emmy and Golden Globe nominee for HBO’s “Insecure”) executive produces. The network says that the show “touches on such culturally relevant themes as social norms, anxiety, religion, sex, dating and relationships. Each episode consists of five to six sketches, showcasing the comedic talents of Robin, Quinta, Ashley and Gabrielle portraying an array of dynamic and varied characters, as well as hyper versions of themselves in interstitials featuring four friends stuck in a house during an end-of-the-world event.”

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