BBC to make new four-part adaptation of Austen’s Emma

Jane Austen’s Emma is to be adapted into a four-part drama for BBC1.

The new television version of Austen’s book, which was first published in 1815, is being written by Sandy Welch, whose previous adaptations include Our Mutual Friend and Jane Eyre.

Kate Harwood, BBC controller of series and serials, said the four-hour serial would allow the BBC to explore the “multi-faceted character” of Emma in detail.

“Emma was Austen’s last novel [published in her lifetime], written when she was at the height of her craft, and we are delighted that such an esteemed writer as Sandy Welch is bringing her vision to this appealing story,” she added.

BBC controller of drama commissioning, Ben Stephenson, added that the BBC is committed to “retelling classic stories for a new generation of viewers” and said the new adaptation was the first serial version of Emma since the seventies.

The production is being made in-house at the BBC and will be filmed in early summer this year. Full casting has yet to be announced.

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