Showtime has set Saturday, May 12, 9 PM for the premiere of its five-part limited series Patrick Melrose starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and has released a first-look clip. With the date, the premium cabler also is planting its scripted flag on Saturday nights, as it prepares to expand to a new night of original programming. Patrick Melrose will join Saturday’s existing sports and movie offerings.
“As the size of our programming slate continues to grow, it makes sense for Showtime to offer another night of premieres – allowing us the opportunity to eventize series like Patrick Melrose” said David Nevins, President and CEO, Showtime Networks. “Offering original content on Saturdays not only enables us to fully service our subscribers with diverse offerings, it gives viewers enough time to enjoy them all. And a series with the ambition and quality of Patrick Melrose is the perfect place to start.”
Cumberbatch, who also executive produces the series, plays the titular character who struggles to overcome the damage inflicted by a horribly abusive father and the mother who tacitly condoned his behavior. Jennifer Jason Leigh and Hugo Weaving also star as Patrick Melrose’s parents. Anna Madeley, Blythe Danner, Allison Williams, Pip Torrens, Jessica Raine, Prasanna Puwanarajah, Holliday Grainger, Indira Varma and Celia Imrie round out the cast.
Each episode, devoted to one of the five semi-autobiographical novels written by Edward St Aubyn, is written for television by David Nicholls (Far from the Madding Crowd, One Day) and directed by Edward Berger (Deutchland 83, Jack).
Patrick Melrose is a co-production between Showtime and Sky Atlantic.