The Emmy-winning actor will star in and executive-produce Showtime’s five-part limited series Melrose, the network announced Tuesday. Based on the bestselling Edward St. Aubyn novels, Melrose casts Cumberbatch as Patrick Melrose, “an aristocratic and outrageously funny playboy” who turns to substance abuse to erase bad childhood memories of his abusive father.
David Nicholls, who penned the 2011 Anne Hathaway romance One Day, will write the scripts for all five episodes. Each episode will take place over a few days in Melrose’s life, from the South of France in the ’60s to New York City in the ’80s to early-2000s Great Britain. No premiere date has been set, but shooting is expected to start this August.
As for Cumberbatch’s most famous role: PBS’ Sherlock just wrapped up its fourth season last month, with no indication on when it might return — or whether it will at all. Cumberbatch has alluded to the show possibly being finished in interviews, and this new miniseries, along with his booming film career, would seem to make a fifth season of Sherlock even less likely. (He also just signed on to star in a BBC One TV movie based on Ian McEwan’s The Child in Time.)
“We are delighted to be part of this incredible series,” Cumberbatch said in a statement with fellow EP Adam Ackland. “We have been huge fans of these books for many years, and David Nicholls adaptations are extraordinary.”
Will you tune in to see Cumberbatch as a wisecracking playboy? Or do you just want more Sherlock? Drop your thoughts in a comment below.