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March 16, 2018 at 4:37 pm #1202514631
SHOWTIME has announced that its new, five-part limited series PATRICK MELROSE starring Oscar(R) nominee and Emmy(R) winner Benedict Cumberbatch will premiere on Saturday, May 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Based on the acclaimed 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. In scheduling PATRICK MELROSE for five consecutive Saturdays, SHOWTIME is laying the groundwork to expand to a new night of original programming, joining the network’s existing sports and movie offerings on Saturday nights. For an early look at a clip from the first episode, go to
“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.”
In a tour de force role, Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game, Sherlock), who also executive produces the new 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. Academy Award(R) nominee Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight) and Screen Actors Guild(R) winner Hugo Weaving (The Matrix trilogy) also star as Patrick Melrose’s parents. Rounding out this accomplished cast are Anna Madeley (The Crown), Blythe Danner (Meet the Fockers), Allison Williams (Get Out), Pip Torrens (The Crown), Jessica Raine (Call the Midwife), Prasanna Puwanarajah (Doctor Foster), Holliday Grainger (THE BORGIAS, Bonnie & Clyde), Indira Varma (Game of Thrones) and Celia Imrie (Bridget Jones’s Baby). Each episode, devoted to one of the five novels, is written for television by BAFTA Award(R) nominee David Nicholls (Far from the Madding Crowd, One Day) and directed by celebrated film director Edward Berger (Deutchland 83, Jack). A co-production between SHOWTIME and Sky Atlantic, this gripping and humorous saga encompasses the South of France in the 1960s, New York in the 1980s and Britain in the early 2000s.
PATRICK MELROSE is executive produced by Michael Jackson and Oscar nominee and Emmy and Golden Globe(R) winning producer Rachael Horovitz (Moneyball, Grey Gardens). Jackson, the former Channel Four and IAC executive, recently formed the drama banner Two Cities Television. It is the company’s first production. Cumberbatch executive produces along with Adam Ackland for SunnyMarch, and Helen Flint serves as executive producer for Little Island Productions.March 16, 2018 at 4:49 pm #1202514642
Do you think Showtime will prioritize this more than Twin Peaks w/r/t Emmy campaigns?March 16, 2018 at 5:25 pm #1202514655
I would assume so. I am concerned though for a few reasons. Showtime’s spring miniseries last year Guerrilla was a big flop, with shutouts from the Emmys, guilds, Globes and Critics’ Choice, as well as a 0.0 Nielsen rating. And they are airing this one on Saturdays? I am also unsure of the decision to air it as late as possible without being disqualified. Genius had hanging episodes last year, but that limited series was twice as long, so it was able to premiere in April. In fact, by the time that Genius premiered, voters had already received their FYC DVD package from Showtime. Finally, I have much less confidence in Benedict Cumberbatch’s production company after watching their first project: BBC/PBS movie The Child in Time.March 16, 2018 at 5:50 pm #1202514660
If it starts airing one episode a week from 12 May, it won’t finish until 9 June – would this not automatically disqualify it if the deadline is 31 May? Or could it still (hypothetically) get nominated on the strength of the first three episodes that will have aired before the deadline?
Also, I’m sure Cumberbatch has a juicy showcase role, but are many people predicting Jennifer Jason Leigh for Supporting Actress in a Limited Series? From the books it’s based on, her role could be pretty baity too (abused, pill-popping mother).March 16, 2018 at 6:43 pm #1202514668
Shows can have a few episodes bleed over past the “deadline”. It just could not have premiered on May 19 because then the majority would be airing in the next eligibility period. Cumberbatch seems to be doing his usual socially-inept-genius shtick.March 17, 2018 at 4:46 am #1202514759
Also, I’m sure Cumberbatch has a juicy showcase role, but are many people predicting Jennifer Jason Leigh for Supporting Actress in a Limited Series? From the books it’s based on, her role could be pretty baity too (abused, pill-popping mother).
Jennifer Jason Leigh has been quietly doing a lot of TV this year with Netflix’s Atypical, Twin Peaks, and Patrick Melrose. It’s interesting that she has two Showtime projects, but of course her Twin Peaks role is rather small and was overshadowed by Naomi Watts and Laura Dern, so Patrick Melrose will be her main priority.
It would be nice to see her get a nomination for this if the performance is substantial and worthy.
As for Cumberbatch, I’m not really looking forward to him doing the same old thing again. I still find it weird that he randomly won that Emmy in that year when everyone thought Ruffalo or the Fargo guys would win.March 17, 2018 at 3:25 pm #1202514957
Trailer really surprised me. Never heard of this before until the trailer aired during “Homeland,” and now I’m greatly looking forward to it. Cumberbatch is so in for this unless it’s a total critical did, and with the dearth in lead actor right now, it might not matter.March 21, 2018 at 4:16 am #1202516793
A poster says “Volume 1”. Prepare for another limited series turned actual series. I’m excited though, hopefully both Weaving and Jason Leigh receive supporting actor and actress (respectively) nods.March 21, 2018 at 6:17 am #1202516828
Link? At least this is only five episodes, so even if they called it a drama and renewed it right now, limited is still the only place that it qualifies this year.March 21, 2018 at 7:32 am #1202516838
Link? At least this is only five episodes, so even if they called it a drama and renewed it right now, limited is still the only place that it qualifies this year.
lmao, my mistake, sorry; there’s another picture as well saying “Volume 2” meaning the pictures itself, like the 1st promo pic and here’s the 2nd, something like thatApril 21, 2018 at 5:10 am #1202533328
It’ll be such a big fail if Hugo Weaving and Jennifer Jason Leigh are unable to submit. Why cast them in the first place, if they’re to play sort-of minor characters? IMDb isn’t reliable, but it has them appearing only in the premiere.April 23, 2018 at 11:02 pm #1202534848
I have seen the first two episodes and have taken Jennifer Jason Leigh out of my predictions. Indira Varma might have had more to do in these first two. The main cast is Benedict Cumberbatch, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Hugo Weaving and everyone else is a guest star, so those three should be the only hopes for acting nominations, although I question whether Leigh and Weaving will be more than fleeting presences in the last three episodes.
The premiere is all about Cumberbatch. He is mostly alone, talking to himself—either high or in withdrawal. It is basically an annoying acting exercise (sure to generate many GIFs). I can see its craziness (think Danny Boyle directing crazy Carrie) turning people off, which is unfortunate because the second episode suggests that this miniseries has much more to offer. For example, pretty much the only defining character trait of Patrick in the first episode is that he is a drug addict.
The miniseries is based on a book series, with each episode adapting a different book. The first book is about Patrick’s childhood, so they swapped the order of the first two for the show, to ensure that audiences get Cumberbatch up front. He is used merely as a framing device in the second episode, which is Hugo Weaving’s submission. Weaving has much more bait as the bad father than Leigh as the weak mother. Hard to say if they made the right choice swapping the order. That drug-fuelled premiere is a lot to handle. I hope that Showtime provides more episodes for review because it is hard to tell what the show is from the first two. It seems like these first two episodes are all setup for the actual show, which will take place over the third to fifth episodes. That might take it out of the running for writing and directing nominations and I do not see this upsetting American Crime Story.
Cinematography is not consistently beautiful, but there are some great shots. The Melroses are rich and the first episode takes place in 1982 New York, the second is 1967 southern France and I see that the third book is set in 1991 England, so a production design nomination might be in order. If you do the math, Cumberbatch is playing twenty-four in the first episode, ha.May 1, 2018 at 11:58 am #1202538753
So we are not getting more than two episodes? This is going to be messy. But I did not expect Tim Goodman’s rave:
Again, two of five episodes is not ideal to judge where the miniseries ends up, but there’s absolutely no denying that the writing, directing and especially Cumberbatch will make you want to return each week.
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