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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2005, 15:07 GMT
Three Jane Austen dramas for ITV
Jane Austen
Austen's novels were published in the early 19th Century
Plans for a Jane Austen season on ITV, which will adapt three of the author's novels, have been announced.

The broadcaster promises "the absolute cream of British acting talent" for the adaptations of Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.

Andrew Davies, who adapted the 1995 BBC series of Pride And Prejudice, is among the writers working on the season, which is scheduled for next autumn.

The plans follow the BBC's announcement of a Sense and Sensibility adaptation.

ITV network drama commissioner Nick Elliott said the season was "an exciting prospect".

"Viewers love Jane Austen," he said.

Keira Knightley in Pride and Prejudice
Keira Knightley starred in a recent film version of Pride and Prejudice

"Her stories always make great TV drama and our Jane Austen season will feature the absolute cream of British acting talent."

The channel will also show a repeat of its 1997 film of romantic comedy Emma, which starred Kate Beckinsale and Samantha Morton and was originally seen by 12 million ITV viewers.

Writer Davies, who adapted the current BBC series Bleak House from the Charles Dickens novel, is also writing Sense and Sensibility.

The BBC is due to show its adaptation in 2007.

Austen's book regularly top readers' polls. Pride and Prejudice was voted the most romantic novel of all time in February.

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