‘Reign’ Returns for an ‘Extraordinary Love Story’ Between Mary and Francis

Adelaide Kane in Reign
Sven Frenzel/The CW

Fall TV Preview 2015All hail the queens! Period drama Reign is back for what executive producer Laurie McCarthy calls a “juicier, sexier and really romantic” third season that will focus not only on Mary (Adelaide Kane) but also the early rule of her cousin, England’s Elizabeth I (new series regular Rachel Skarsten). “They’re both young women facing these enormous obstacles, so there should be camaraderie there,” McCarthy says. “But instead there’s skepticism, paranoia and competition as well.”

It certainly doesn’t help that Mary’s troublemaking mother-in-law, Catherine (Megan Follows), has struck up an alliance with Elizabeth in an effort to bring “mutual enemy” Mary down. And while Mary’s mom, Marie de Guise (Amy Brenneman), is set to return for an early episode, the young monarch may find little comfort there. Says McCarthy, “Marie really makes Catherine look like the best mom in the world!”

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At least Mary will have Francis (Toby Regbo) to lean on. After their marriage was seriously tested last year, “we’re really kicking off this season with them united,” McCarthy says. “They’re going to be facing his health problems, but they’re devoted. We’ve written what I think is an extraordinary love story for the two of them, even as we see the rise and threat of Elizabeth.”

Reign, returns Friday, Oct. 9, 8/7c, The CW