International co-production The Medici will be set against a backdrop of Renaissance Florence

Italian Pay TV broadcaster Sky Italia, has teamed up with the BBC and Kudos Film and TV to develop international co-production The Medici.

The project, an eight part historical drama created by UK production company Kudos, (part of Liz Murdoch’s Shine Group) is being co-developed with Italian production company start-up WildSide, with the backing of the BBC.

The Medici, originally created by Frank Deasy, is based on the true story of famous Italian family The Medicis, who dominated Florence during the Renaissance against a backdrop of conspiracy, sexual intrigue and murder.

The first series, written by Frank Deasy and Adrian Hodges, will focus on Cosimo Medici and his grandson Lorenzo, whilst further series will explore the impact of characters such as Machiavelli, Michelangelo and Galileo.

Jane Featherstone and Derek Wax are executive producing for Kudos.

“This deal marks our first step in the development of an international co-production project”, says Nils Hartmann, Sky Italia Entertainment & Cinema director. “We believe The Medici is a series that has solid roots in Italian history and culture but appeals to a global audience. It’s the perfect project to confirm Sky’s commitment to invest in local productions with an innovative twist”.