The series hilariously skewers the upper class as it tracks the protagonist's harrowing odyssey from a deeply traumatic childhood through adult substance abuse and, ultimately, toward recovery. In a tour de force role, Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Benedict Cumberbatch ("The Imitation Game," "Sherlock") will play Melrose, an aristocratic and outrageously funny playboy who struggles to overcome the damage inflicted by a horribly abusive father and the mother who tacitly condoned the behavior. Asked in 2013 if he could play any literary character ever, Cumberbatch shared in a Reddit Q&A that it would be Patrick Melrose. The limited series will be a true television saga, both gripping and humorous from Nicholls' adaptation, with a dramatic sweep that encompasses the South of France in the 1960s, New York in the 1980s and Britain in the early 2000's. The series will devote one hour to each of the five novels, with each episode set over the course of a few intense days in the life of the protagonist.
"Melrose" is a co-production between Showtime and Sky Atlantic. BAFTA Award nominee David Nicholls ("Far From the Madding Crowd," "One Day") is writing all five episodes of the television adaptation. Michael Jackson and Oscar nominee and Emmy and Golden Globe-winning producer Rachael Horovitz ("Moneyball," "Grey Gardens") also serve as executive producers. Jackson, the former Channel Four and IAC executive, recently formed the drama banner Two Cities Television. Melrose will be the company's first production. Along with Cumberbatch, Adam Ackland will executive produce for SunnyMarch.