simon-cowell-downton-abbey-syco-TV.jpgSimon Cowell — yes, the former “American Idol” judge — is apparently dipping his fingers into the “Downton Abbey” pie.

Cowell has a production company called Syco TV that, according to the U.K.’s Mirror, is going to produce for the BBC a “Downton Abbey”-style period drama set in Broadmoor psychiatric hospital during the Victorian age.

The show will reportedly be based on real-life stories which became public in England for the first time just two years ago when the asylum’s records archive were made available. The show will work with Mark Stevens’ book “Broadmoor Revealed: Victorian Crime And The Lunatic Asylum.”

It is Cowell’s first foray into scripted drama. His production has heretofore only produced talent competition shows, game shows and talk show “Piers Morgan’s Life Stories.” However, Syco TV will partner in the endeavor with Mammoth Screen, the company behind the BBC’s hit drama “Parade’s End.”

Managing director at Mammoth Damien Timmer says, “The stories of the staff and inmates are engrossing and often deeply moving, and they are shot through with a very English eccentricity and dark sense of humour.”

Frankly, this sounds a bit more like “American Horror Story: Asylum” than “Downton Abbey,” though “Downton’s” second season got a little asylum-y at times.

Either way, what do you think, fans?

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."