From FremantleMedia Enterprises

July 24, 2011






San Diego – It was today announced by FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) that hit television show MERLIN, produced and created by Shine TV, has been commissioned for a fifth season by the BBC.  The news was revealed during a special MERLIN panel at Comic-Con International panel on Sunday, July 24 that featured cast members Anthony Head, Bradley James, Katie McGrath and Colin Morgan, and executive producers and co-creators Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy.


MERLIN airs on Syfy in the United States. Season four will premiere in early 2012.


MERLIN’s success and popularity continues to flourish across the globe, FME, who has invested in the fifth season of MERLIN alongside UK broadcaster BBC One, has now sold MERLIN to over 52 broadcasters in more than 183 countries including Syfy (USA), RTL (Germany), Disney (South America), Canal + (France) and Network 10 (Australia).

David Ellender, Global CEO, 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 on-going 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!”

The fourth season of the fantasy drama, which is currently being filmed in Pierrefonds, France and Cardiff, Wales, will begin airing in Autumn 2011 on BBC One in the UK, and in early 2012 on Syfy in the US. The third season, which was broadcast in winter 2010, pulled in the highest UK ratings for the drama so far, with a weekly average of over 6 million viewers and a total of 24.3% share of the audience.


Launched in 2008, MERLIN tells the story of young Merlin in Camelot as he comes to grips with his powers and destiny. The epic fourth season of MERLIN sees Camelot on the brink of a Golden Age as the familiar blend of magic, mystery and action adventure returns. With Morgana now a dangerous outcast, Merlin must use all his power to ensure that Arthur fulfils his destiny as the Once and Future King. No further details about plot or characters have been revealed yet for the fifth season.


MERLIN stars Colin Morgan as Merlin, Bradley James as Prince Arthur, Anthony Head as King Uther, Katie McGrath as Morgana, Angel Coulby as Gwen, Richard Wilson as Gaius and John Hurt as the voice of the Great Dragon. Seasons three and four have seen a host of high-profile guest-stars including: Emilia Fox, Tom Ellis, Miriam Margoyles, Warwick Davies, Nathaniel Parker and Pauline Collins.


FremantleMedia Enterprises holds the exclusive distribution rights (excluding UK), home entertainment and licensing rights to The Adventures of Merlin. FME has secured licensing rights to produce numerous multi-territory brand extensions including a publishing and figurines range, experiential events and consumer promotions.  


MERLIN is made for BBC Cymru Wales by award-winning executive producers Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy from Shine Television, with Bethan Jones as executive producer for the BBC.

The new 13 episodes of Season 5 will start filming in Wales and Pierrefonds, France in March 2012.

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Arthur’s Arrogance Angers Soothsayers

Shoulda been "Arthur's Arrogance Angers Augurs."

Somebody lost bonus points on that one.

From Fremantle Media

Feb. 5, 2013

Luring Arthur to Impending Doom,

Morgana Abducts Gwen from Camelot in MERLIN


Katie McGrath, Angel Coulby Reunite for Powerful Scenes


Once upon a time … Morgana was ward to the King, and Gwen was her loyal servant. What a difference a few seasons of MERLIN make.


As the series’ lauded fifth season continues, Morgana is now a diabolical sorceress and arch-enemy to Camelot, where Queen Guinevere now sits on the throne that Morgana covets. The two lead female characters go head-to-head in “The Dark Tower,” an all-new episode premiering Friday, Feb. 8, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy.


In the episode, Gwen is snatched from Camelot without warning – and Merlin knows there can be only one person responsible: Morgana.  Arthur is determined to rescue his queen – but it's not going to be easy, for she is locked in the Dark Tower, a place that haunts the dreams of men.


Arthur and his Knights embark on a quest like no other, battling through a landscape riddled with hidden dangers, perilous obstacles and magical beings. As they near their goal, Merlin's sense of dread reaches a breaking point. What twisted game is Morgana playing? And more importantly, just what is the final test that awaits them in the Dark Tower?


The lead actresses in MERLIN – Katie McGrath as Morgana and Angel Coulby as Gwen – shared a great deal of screen time during the series’ initial two seasons. But when Morgana turned villainous, the pair parted. “The Dark Tower” brings McGrath and Coulby happily back together for a not-so-gleeful story arc that keeps them linked in a fascinating turn.


“We’ve always said we wanted to work more together, and finally they’ve given us the chance,” Coulby said. “With the entire change in the dynamics of the Gwen-Morgana relationship now being opposing forces, it’s made working together that much more exciting.”


For McGrath, their time together tops anything that’s come before. “These new scenes have been our best scenes of the whole five years,” says McGrath. “We’re no longer ward to the king and her maid, we’re no longer the friends we were – there’s an adversarial aspect to it all now. That’s made for some real, meaty scenes for us. It’s great.”


MERLIN fans will witness the unsettling reunion of Morgana and Gwen when “The Dark Tower” debuts Friday, February 8, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, only on Syfy.


All four previous seasons of MERLIN are now available on DVD, on iTunes and on Netflix. Be sure to follow the latest news on MERLIN at the Official Merlin page on Facebook.


(Note to editors: Photos and a clip from this week’s episode of MERLIN are available for media use at Artwork and images for MERLIN Season 5 can be found at


Photo Credit: © Shine Ltd. & FremantleMedia Enterprises.

With Gwen Under Morgana’s Control, Danger Lurks
from Within Camelot for King Arthur on MERLIN


Angel Coulby continues her dark turn
in all-new episode Feb. 15 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy


 Murder and deception reign supreme in King Arthur’s court when Queen Guinevere falls completely under Morgana’s mystical control in “A Lesson in Vengeance,” an all-new episode of  MERLIN premiering this Friday, Feb. 15, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy.


In the episode, darkness steals into the very heart of Camelot as Morgana (Katie McGrath) and her puppet queen hatch a sinister plan to murder King Arthur. But stable hand Tyr Seward becomes caught in the crossfire and threatens to ruin everything. As the plot reaches its deadly climax, a suspicious Merlin seeks to unravel the truth before it’s too late.


In the role of Tyr Seward is John Bradley, the latest member of the “Game of Thrones” cast to make an appearance in the fifth and final season of MERLIN.


Even as a deceptively evil queen, Angel Coulby continues to bring new levels of regality to her portrayal of Gwen.


“I think everything that has happened to Gwen has been working toward this point,” Coulby says. “People warned me, ‘You’re going to be quite different in this season.’ But actually, given her level of confidence, I think it matches me a bit more. I’ve always been more confident than Gwen, so it comes quite naturally for me to play Gwen this way.”


McGrath feels Gwen might just be better suited for the throne than Arthur. “Gwen is willing to make the tougher decisions,” says McGrath. “I think Arthur is a softer character – it’s ended up that he is good and kind and all of those things, but, ironically, Gwen would make the better ruler. She uses her wits to solve situations, sometimes tricking her prey. Arthur would probably never be that cunning.”


MERLIN fans get another round of Morgana’s puppetry over Gwen when “A Lesson in Vengeance” debuts Friday, February 15, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, only on Syfy.


All four previous seasons of MERLIN are now available on DVD, on iTunes and on Netflix. Be sure to follow the latest news on MERLIN at the Official Merlin page on Facebook.


(Note to editors: Clips from this week’s episode of MERLIN are available for media use at Artwork and images for MERLIN Season 5 can be found at


Photo Credit: © Shine Ltd. & FremantleMedia Enterprises.

With Merlin Lured Away From Camelot,

Arthur is an Assassin’s Target


Gwen continues her Morgana-directed attack on the King
in an all-new MERLIN episode Feb. 22 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy


Morgana’s plans to kill King Arthur grow more intense when Guinevere makes a secret pact with a visiting ruler to complete the task – and Merlin is nowhere to be found during  “The Hollow Queen,” an all-new episode of MERLIN premiering Friday, Feb. 22, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy.


(Click for larger image)

Merlin agrees to help a young Druid boy who begs for assistance, and at first his absence is barely noticed as Camelot prepares for a visit by another nearby king, fearsome Sarrum of Amata (John Shrapnel).


But as the sky darkens, so do Merlin's suspicions. Is there more to the Druid than meets the eye? And can a man as ruthless as the Sarrum ever really be trusted? Before long, the young warlock realizes he's made a terrible mistake.


John Shrapnel, a veteran film actor with credits ranging from epic films like Gladiator and Troy to the lighter Notting Hill and 101 Dalmatians, guest stars this week on MERLIN as the deceitful Sarrum, who falls into the web of deceit spun by Morgana and the traitorous Gwen.


“The Hollow Queen” also offers very physical scenes of swordplay as Arthur and his men duel with Sarrum’s forces. The spotlight falls squarely on Bradley James, who has come a long way since first picking up a broadsword five years ago to play Arthur.


“I wouldn’t know how I would stand up in an actual sword fight, and I wouldn’t want to find out, either, but I’m better than the average bear,” James says with a knowing laugh. “It’s been a huge bonus of the job to do all the sword fighting, and there’s some stuff in Season Five that I’m very excited to see.


“The challenge for us this season was to give the audience something to catch their eye. As opposed to just a generic sword fight, we’ve had to go that next step. Season Four really kicked the action of the series into gear, so we knew in this final season we had to really take it up another notch.”


After this week, MERLIN will take a one-week break before returning to Syfy for its final five episodes. However, MERLIN fans can savor all the swordplay and treachery of “The Hollow Queen” this Friday, February 22, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, only on Syfy.

Also of note: MERLIN today was nominated for a Saturn Award as Best Youth Oriented Series on Television!


All four previous seasons of MERLIN are now available on DVD, on iTunes and on Netflix. Be sure to follow the latest news on MERLIN at the Official Merlin page on Facebook.

As you may have seen yesterday, Syfy has announced a schedule change for the popular fantasy-drama MERLIN, which has been enjoying a successful fifth and final season.
Syfy will air all five of the unforgettable final episodes of MERLIN on successive Fridays in May, which includes the May sweeps period.
Beginning May 3, new episodes of MERLIN will air Fridays at 10 p.m.ET/PT, including "With All My Heart," the episode originally scheduled to air this week.
As tens of millions of fans in more than 180 countries worldwide know, MERLIN is one of the most magical series on TV.  The five final episodes of MERLIN bring to an amazing close the story of the young warlock whose destiny is to protect the king and help lead the legendary Camelot to greatness.  The final two-part episode, "The Diamond of the Day," will air Friday, May 24, and Friday, May 31.

Arthur Must Break Morgana’s Spell Over Gwen Before All is Lost

When MERLIN Returns to Syfy This Friday


Impassioned Love, Timely Magic Take Center Stage as

the Final Five Episodes of MERLIN Begin Airing

Friday, May 3, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy


Time is running short and only Arthur’s impassioned love and Merlin’s timely magic can stop Morgana’s spell from dooming Gwen to an eternity of evil in “With All My Heart,” the first of the final five episodes of MERLIN, which airs Friday, May 3, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy.


The series lauded by Entertainment Weekly as “an utterly charming mini-epic” barrels toward its stunning conclusion in five episodes fraught with tension, revelation – and, of course, filled with magic.

The first of the five episodes is this week’s “With All My Heart.”  In it, Merlin must act fast before Morgana’s twisted power over Gwen takes control of the queen forever. But Gaius warns him that only the most powerful magic can save Gwen – a task that will not be easy, even for Merlin


As Morgana tightens her grip on Camelot, one thing is clear: She will not give up her puppet without a fight … and both Merlin and Arthur will need to risk everything to save Gwen.


In her fifth and final season playing Gwen, Angel Coulby said she was overjoyed when presented with the storyline, and was very excited to take her character in new, wicked directions.


“It gave me a chance to do something different with a character I'd been playing for a long time – and it’s just so much fun being bad,” Coulby explains. “I'm not quite sure what this says about me, but I think there's something liberating about playing a villain. Plus, I got to try to kill Bradley – um, I mean Arthur.”


While Coulby and Katie McGrath (who portrays Morgana) have both said they’ll miss their long-running characters when MERLIN ends, neither will be sorry they needn’t ever again return to Trefil, the South Wales village where the climactic scenes of “With All My Heart” were filmed. Over the series’ five-year run, numerous episodes have featured the renowned limestone quarries of the South Wales village. Neither actress has many pleasant memories of the location.


“No matter what the weather is like anywhere else in the world, it’s always raining in Trefil,” Coulby recalls. “It’s always raining and cold, or it’s way too hot, and it’s very exposed.”  Still, she says, “It looks fantastic on screen.”


McGrath concurs: “We were in Trefil a lot during the first seasons, then we stopped filming there – and the producers realized the high production quality of this unused quarry on the side of a mountain, so we returned. Sure, they’re sitting in an office in London with their tea, and we’re there on buses in minus-4 temperatures and hawks overhead waiting for us to die so they can feast on our bones. It was always a trial to film in Trefil.”


MERLIN fans needn’t travel anywhere but Syfy this Friday, May 3, when “With All My Heart” debuts at 10 p.m. ET/PT, kicking off the final five episodes ever of the most magical series on TV.


All four previous seasons of MERLIN are now available on DVD, on iTunes and on Netflix. Be sure to follow the latest news on MERLIN at the Official Merlin page on Facebook.


(Note to editors: Photos, including behind-the-scenes images, from this week’s episode of MERLIN are available for media use at Artwork and images for MERLIN Season 5 can be found at


Photo Credit: © Shine Ltd. & FremantleMedia Enterprises.

Morgana’s Manhunt for a Powerful Warlock Threatens
to Ensnare Emrys and Topple Camelot on MERLIN


Billy Elliot star Gary Lewis adds to series’ celebrity guest list as he reprises role

in new episode May 10 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy


Morgana realizes the path to Emrys and the throne of Camelot might just be quickest going through the powerful wizard Alator in “The Kindness of Strangers,” an all-new episode of MERLIN that premieres Friday, May 10, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy.


In the tenth episode of the final season of MERLIN, Morgana leads a terrifying manhunt in pursuit of her old foe Alator of the Catha, for she knows without doubt that he can tell her exactly where to find Emrys. Merlin’s life has never been in more danger, so when the mysterious Finna (Sorcha Cusack) offers to help him, is he right to trust her? Or will he find himself cornered with nowhere to run?

In reprising the role of Alator, Gary Lewis continues the MERLIN tradition of notable guest stars appearing throughout the series’ five seasons. The Scottish actor is best known to American audiences for his international breakthrough role as the father in Billy Elliot, and for memorable appearances in Gangs of New York, Eragon and Goal! The Dream Begins.

“Throughout the production, we’ve had some very particular actors in mind for many of these weighty roles, and we’ve been very lucky to almost always get the first actor we wanted,” says co-creator and executive producer Johnny Capps. “Sometimes even before we wrote the scripts, we contacted actors with just the storylines, and got positive reactions. So to be able to move forward knowing we had interest from James Callis or Charles Dance or Janet Montgomery has been quite a blessing.”


Over the series’ 65 episodes, there have been guest roles filled by such noteworthy actors as Callis (Battlestar Galactica), Montgomery (Entourage), Pauline Collins (Shirley Valentine), Frank Finlay (The Pianist, The Three Musketeers), Santiago Cabrera (Heroes), Colin Salmon (three James Bond films, Dr. Who), Clive Russell (Sherlock Holmes, Ripper Street), Josette Simon (Cry Freedom, Milk and Honey), Adam Godley (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Terence Maynard (Reign of Fire), Sarah Parish (Dr. Who), Robert Maillet (Sherlock Holmes, 300), James Greene (Empire of the Sun), James Fox (The Remains of the Day), Donald Sumpter (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Melanie Hill (Stardust), David Schofield (Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean films), and John Shrapnel (Notting Hill).


Fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones have no doubt recognized several faces from MERLIN, including Charles Dance, Joe Dempsie, John Bradley and Liam Cunningham. And a number of Harry Potter alums have populated Camelot over the course of MERLIN’s five seasons, running the gamut from Harry Melling, Mark Williams and Warwick Davis to Gemma Jones, Miriam Margolyes, Ian Peck and Andy Linden.


“From the start, we had a huge list of actors we knew we’d love to work with,” adds Capps, “and we’ve had the privilege now to work with many of them. The guest cast has provided some extraordinary, truly brilliant performances that have helped elevate MERLIN to another level.”


The star-studded sorcery of MERLIN continues when “The Kindness of Strangers” debuts Friday, May 10, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, only on Syfy.


All four previous seasons of MERLIN are now available on DVD, on iTunes and on Netflix. Be sure to follow the latest news on MERLIN at the Official Merlin page on Facebook.



(Note to editors: Images and a video clip from this week’s episode of MERLIN are available for media use at Artwork and images for MERLIN Season 5 can be found at


Photo Credit: © Shine Ltd. & FremantleMedia Enterprises.

Press Release


The End Begins on Friday as Five Seasons of
Magic and Adventure Draw to a Close for MERLIN


In First of Two-Part Series Finale, Morgana Strips Merlin
of His Magic, Leaving Arthur and Camelot Indefensible


All-new MERLIN episode ‘The Diamond of the Day, Part 1’

debuts Friday, May 24, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy


Morgana removes her final obstacle to the throne of Camelot – Merlin and his magic – and sets about her ultimate siege of the kingdom in “The Diamond of the Day, Part 1,” which airs Friday, May 24, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy.

The opening stanza to the two-part MERLIN series finale strikes some ominous chords.


In the episode, Morgana discovers a method of stripping Merlin of his powers. With her arch-nemesis out of the way, and vengeful Mordred at her side, Morgana leads her massive army against King Arthur and his Knights.


Merlin feels the weight of his destiny like never before as the ancient prophecies play out with terrifying accuracy. But before he can save his beloved Camelot, he must save himself. For it is not just the kingdom Morgana wishes to destroy – it is also Emrys.


Many members of the cast cited the final two episodes as their favorites of the epic, five-year, 65-episode series. Katie McGrath (Morgana) and Bradley James (Arthur) were particularly vocal in praising the two-part finale for its action, humor and emotional impact – all traits that made the series extremely popular in more than 180 countries around the world.


“It’s such a privilege to tell the ending of a story,” McGrath explains. “A lot of times a series gets cancelled before it can finish, or it keeps going beyond where it should. Our producers/creators, Johnny (Capps) and Julian (Jones), always had a five-year plan, and we’re grateful to have been allowed them to tell the full story.”


McGrath continues, “It’s been such a pleasure playing Morgana from the beginning to end – it’s rare that you get to put a proper full stop on a character. Such great characters, such good stories. I know the fans will miss MERLIN – I shall miss it, too”


James says his best memories of production were also on these episodes. “I think my best week on Merlin was filming the big battle for the finale,” he says. “We knew it had to be huge and great, and everyone stepped up their game. The attention to detail was a little bit higher in the way it was shot, and we got to spend an entire week concentrating on the battle.”

It was also a last chance for glory with the Knights of the Round Table, he adds. “It was fun to fight alongside the guys one last time – a lot of it was myself and Rupert (Young) fighting side-by-side, and that was great. It was important to put an emphasis on such an important, prominent part of this story within the series.”


Although the final moments of the series raised eyebrows among some fans when it aired in the U.K., James says MERLIN has always been an unexpected retelling of the legend of a “once and future king.”


“I’m happy with the way it ends,” James says. “And I think it will live in people’s memories. Things haven’t fallen the way things you’d expect them to, and that applies to the end of the series, as well.”


The beginning of the end for MERLIN starts this Friday, May 24 at 10 p.m. ET/PT when “The Diamond of the Day, Part 1” debuts only on Syfy.


All four previous seasons of MERLIN are now available on DVD, on iTunes and on Netflix. Be sure to follow the latest news on MERLIN at the Official Merlin page on Facebook.

Press Release

Once and Future Finally Meet

in Series Finale of MERLIN


‘The Diamond of the Day, Part 2’ debuts Friday, May 31, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy,

capping five seasons of popular adventure series


‘Merlin is hope,’ says actor Colin Morgan


Magic is forever … but MERLIN comes to an enthralling end after five triumphant seasons when its final episode, “The Diamond of the Day, Part 2,” premieres this Friday, May 31, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy.

As “The Diamond of the Day” begins, a great battle rages on Camlann's mighty plain. Merlin must face his moment of destiny: Can he find the strength to save the man he made a King, the Camelot they fought to build, and the brotherhood they shared?


Just as fantasy formed the basis of all 65 episodes, Colin Morgan has been the series’ constant heart as its titular warlock. (Despite many erroneous reports, Merlin is actually not a wizard.)

From his initial days as a naïve apprentice striving to understand and master his powers to the full-fledge greatest warlock to ever live, Merlin has grown before viewers’ eyes – as has Morgan in bringing the character to life.


“It’s been a great adventure, and I’ve learned so much,” Morgan says. “When we started, everything was new. It was my first real role, so everything seemed like a new experience: new lessons, new friends, new adventures. It wasn’t just Merlin coming into his own; I was growing up in front of the camera, too.”


There are a lot of parallels for the character and the show. As Merlin matured, so did the storylines. The darker, more adult stories went hand-in-hand with Merlin’s life lessons. No matter the peril, Merlin was the optimistic compass for the series.


“Merlin is hope,” says Morgan. “He’s the optimist in the story, the believer that there is a positive destiny for Arthur and Camelot. He knows it in his heart, and nothing will change that belief. He knows they can overcome the impossible, and Merlin faces a lot of impossible situations. That stays true to the very end.”


And the end is what viewers around the globe have been discussing. The final scene of the series was met with great intrigue in its initial airing in the U.K., staying faithful to the MERLIN tradition of unconventional telling in regard to the “once and future king” legend.


“There were surprises along the way” admits Morgan. “Our producers took a well-known, loved legend and told the story as they wanted to tell it, right down to the final shot of the final episode. They surprised me with that script – in a good way. It’s exactly the way it should be. I think the fans will treasure the ending.”


As producers/creators Johnny Capps and Julian Jones have stated, five was always the magic number of seasons for MERLIN.


“I really believe the show progressed quite naturally through its five years and really grew to a point where the fifth season was our best,” Morgan says. “It’s a very strong ending: powerful, emotional, fulfilling. I think fans will be very satisfied.”


Bid farewell to five wonderful seasons of MERLIN this Friday, May 31 at 10 p.m. ET/PT when “The Diamond of the Day, Part 2” debuts only on Syfy.


All five seasons of MERLIN are now available on DVD, Blu-ray and on iTunes, and seasons 1 through 4 are available on Netflix. Be sure to follow the latest news on MERLIN at the Official Merlin page on Facebook.


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