Catherine the Great
Written byNigel Williams
Directed byPhilip Martin
ComposerRupert Gregson-Williams
Country of origin
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes4 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
ProducerJules Hussey
Production locations
  • Lithuania
  • Latvia
  • Russia
CinematographyStuart Howell
  • Stuart Gazzard
  • Selina MacArthur
Running time60 minutes
Production companies
  • New Pictures
  • Origin Pictures
  • Sky Studios
DistributorSky Vision
Original network
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Original release3 October 2019 (2019-10-03)

Catherine the Great is a British-American miniseries in four parts written by Nigel Williams and directed by Philip Martin for Sky Atlantic and HBO Miniseries. It stars Helen Mirren as the titular Catherine the Great.[1][2]

The miniseries premiered in its entirety on 3 October 2019 on Sky Atlantic in the United Kingdom.[3] It debuted on 21 October 2019 on HBO in the United States.[4] The show was also distributed worldwide by Sky Vision.[5]


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (April 2021)

The miniseries depicts Empress Catherine II of Russia's reign, from 1764, two years after taking power, until her death in 1796.

Cast and characters




Filming locations

The majority of filming took place in Lithuania, due to scenery of the country and favourable film tax incentives[7][8][9] - Vilnius, Pažaislis monastery and Trakai Island Castle. A large part of filming, in particular the episodes happening in the throne room, many corridor episodes, the cross-dressing ball at the end of Episode 1, and the scenes that take place on the stairs outside the palace, were filmed in Rundāle Palace in Latvia. Other scenes were filmed in St Petersburg, Peterhof Palace, and Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo Russia.[10]


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.K./U.S. viewers
(millions) [11]
1"Episode 1"Phillip MartinNigel Williams3 October 2019 (2019-10-03)0.345 and 0.332[12]
2"Episode 2"Phillip MartinNigel Williams3 October 2019 (2019-10-03)0.345 and 0.232[13]
3"Episode 3"Phillip MartinNigel Williams3 October 2019 (2019-10-03)0.345 and 0.311[14]
4"Episode 4"Phillip MartinNigel Williams3 October 2019 (2019-10-03)0.345 and 0.237[15]


The four-part miniseries premiered in its entirety on Sky Atlantic, On Demand and Now TV in the United Kingdom on 3 October 2019.[3] It debuted in its entirety on HBO Go and HBO Now in the United States on 21 October 2019,[4] while HBO broadcast one part per week until 11 November 2019.[16] Catherine the Great premiered on Fox Showcase in Australia on 3 November 2019.[17]


The Guardian, while praising Helen Mirren's (Helen Mirronoff, daughter of a Russian émigré) performance, found the work, overall, lacking.[18]


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2020 British Academy Television Awards Best Make Up & Hair Design Kirstin Chalmers Nominated [19]
Best Titles & Graphic Identity Elastic Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Limited Series or Television Film Helen Mirren Nominated [20]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Sound Editing for a Limited Series, Movie or Special Jim Goddard, Craig Butters, Duncan Price, Matthew Mewett, Andrew Glen, Anna Wright and Catherine Thomas (for "Episode 4") Nominated [21]
Satellite Awards Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Film Helen Mirren Nominated [22]


  1. ^ "HBO News - Helen Mirren to Star in Miniseries Catherine the Great". HBO.
  2. ^ "First Look: Helen Mirren as Catherine the Great in HBO, Sky Miniseries". The Hollywood Reporter.
  3. ^ a b Knight, Lewis (30 September 2019). "Catherine the Great UK start date, cast, plot, trailer for Helen Mirren series". Mirror. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Helen Mirren and Jason Clarke Star in the Four-Part HBO/Sky Limited Series "Catherine the Great," Debuting October 21". The Futon Critic. 28 August 2019. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  5. ^ "Sky l Vision – Sky's production and distribution arm". Retrieved 22 February 2020.
  6. ^ "First look at Dame Helen Mirren in Sky and HBO's Catherine the Great - news from Sky Media". Archived from the original on 7 January 2019. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Film Tax Incentive". Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Behind The Scenes of New HBO's Historic Epic Catherine the Great Filming in Vilnius". Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  9. ^ "Where Was 'Catherine The Great' Filmed? The Series Takes Place Across 3 Countries". Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  10. ^ L, Mila. "Walking In the Footsteps of Catherine the Great". Experience Russia Tours. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  11. ^ Four-screen dashboard, Period: 30 Sep 2019 – 6 Oct 2019, Channel: Sky Atlantic Total, Consolidation: 7 Days, Device type: TV set Broadcasters' Audience Research Board
  12. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (22 October 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 10.21.2019". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on 22 October 2019. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  13. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (29 October 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 10.28.2019". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on 29 October 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  14. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (5 November 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 11.4.2019". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on 5 November 2019. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  15. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (12 November 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 11.11.2019". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on 12 November 2019. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  16. ^ "Catherine the Great (HBO) – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  17. ^ Knox, David (3 October 2019). "Airdate: Catherine the Great". TV Tonight. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  18. ^ Mangan 2019.
  19. ^ "BAFTA TV 2020: Nominations for the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards and British Academy TV Craft Awards". BAFTA. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  20. ^ "Golden Globes: Full List of Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. 9 December 2019. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  21. ^ "2020 Primetime Emmy" (PDF) (Press release). Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. 28 July 2020. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  22. ^ 24th Satellite Awards Announce Nominations, ‘Ford v Ferrari’ Leads the Way