Mary & George: cast, plot and all about the true historical drama

Mary & George on Sky Atlantic features Oscar winner Julianne Moore.
Mary & George on Sky Atlantic features Oscar winner Julianne Moore. (Image credit: Alamy)

Mary & George is a historical drama with Julianne Moore as its lead and is based on the true story of a scheming mother and son who clawed their way from humble beginnings to the heart of the British monarchy in the 17th century. 

Inspired by Benjamin Woolley’s non-fiction book (opens in new tab)The King’s Assassin: The Plot to Murder King James I (opens in new tab), the series shows how Mary Villiers, played by Julianne Moore, groomed her son to seduce King James 1 and as a result, they became one of the richest, most titled and important mother and son partnerships England had ever seen. “Mary Villiers was a woman who through her own actions rose to become a powerful and influential figure in Jacobean London,” says Julianne Moore. “It’s a daunting but exhilarating challenge to bring her to life on screen.” Here’s everything you need to know about the series…  

A portrait of King James I.

A portrait of King James I. (Image credit: Alamy)

Mary & George release date

Mary & George is an eight-part series will launch on Sky Atlantic later on in 2023. It will also be available to watch on NOW. 

In the US it's likely to come to either HBO or PBS Masterpiece, but we can update on all here in due course. 

Is there a trailer for Mary & George?

As filming has yet to start there's no trailer yet for Mary & George. But when one becomes available we’ll post it on here.

Mary & George plot 

Mary Villiers was the penniless second wife of George Villiers, who on his death became the Countess of Buckingham. She very quickly realised her beautiful second son George had the ability to become an influential political figure. 

She scraped together the money to send him to the French court and then to the English court where he became the favorite of King James 1. 

As he rose through the ranks, so too did Mary and her family, and she then engineered his marriage to Katherine, Baroness de Ros, who was said to be the richest woman in England. Mary was disliked but used her incredible intellect to get where she wanted to be, despite being a woman in a man’s world. 

Mary & George cast — Julianne Moore as Mary Villiers

In Mary & George, Julianne Moore is taking on the role of greedy, ambitious Mary Villiers. She won an Oscar for her role in Still Alice, about a professor who has early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. She’s also starred in Hannibal, A Single Man, The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Boogie Nights, The Big Lebowski, The Hunger Games and The Woman in the Window.

Julianne Moore's Oscar-winning performance in Still Alice.

Julianne Moore's Oscar-winning performance in Still Alice. (Image credit: Alamy)

Who else is starring in Mary & George? 

Further casting for Mary & George has yet to be announced. No other names have been released yet but keep an eye on this page and we’ll keep you updated. 

* Check out guides to other top Sky dramas below...

* A Town Called Malice
Funny Woman
* Django
The Midwich Cuckoos
The Fear Index
The Gilded Age

Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.