Showtime has set May 12 as the premiere date for Benedict Cumberbatch’s new five-part limited series, “Patrick Melrose.”
And oh yeah, that’s a Saturday, which makes this Showtime’s first Saturday scripted series since 2000. The premium TV channel normally programs sports and movies that evening.
“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 Inc. “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.”
Based on the Patrick Melrose series of semi-autobiographical novels written by Edward St. Aubyn, “Patrick Melrose” is an acerbic and fearless look at the protagonist’s harrowing odyssey from a deeply traumatic childhood to his remarkable survival as an adult, per Showtime’s description. Cumberbatch, who also executive produces the miniseries, plays the titular character who struggles to overcome the damage inflicted by a horribly abusive father and the mother who tacitly condoned his behavior.
In addition to the “Doctor Strange” star, the cast is rounded out by Anna Madeley, Blythe Danner, Allison Williams, Pip Torrens, Jessica Raine, Prasanna Puwanarajah, Holliday Grainger, Indira Varma and Celia Imrie.
Each episode, devoted to one of the five novels, is written for television David Nicholls and directed by Edward Berger.
“Patrick Melrose” is a co-production between Showtime and Sky Atlantic. Michael Jackson of Two Cities Television and Rachael Horovitz are also executive producers, as are Adam Ackland and Helent Flint.
Watch a sneak peek scene from “Patrick Melrose” above.
“Patrick Melrose” will premiere May 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime, and play out over the next four consecutive Saturdays.