ITVX has ordered a new four-part comedy drama, ‘Douglas Is Cancelled‘, from Primetime Emmy and BAFTA-winning screenwriter, Steven Moffat, starring Hugh Bonneville and Karen Gillan.
‘Douglas Is Cancelled’ introduces us to middle-aged, and greying, current affairs news anchor, Douglas Bellowes, a respected broadcaster and raconteur who loves the life he’s created with his newspaper editor wife, Sheila.
Whilst an experienced broadcaster for Live At Six, behind the scenes Douglas surprisingly needs constant reassurance from his sharper, younger, tech-savvy, social media-aware co-anchor, Madeline, who appears to be able to wrap him around her little finger.
His life is privileged as he’s regarded as a national treasure and apparently, can do no wrong, until he makes an ill-advised joke at his cousin’s wedding, which is overheard by a fellow guest, who threatens to expose his comments on social media.
Speculation is rife and during the ongoing hysteria and digital storm, Douglas’s alleged indiscretion is dissected, analysed and blown out of all proportion. Everyone appears to have an opinion and Douglas is struggling to escape the controversy. It’s a chaotic and unmanageable situation, but can Douglas count on the support of his agent and colleagues? What will Douglas do next?
Is he a casualty of ‘cancel culture’? With 2 million followers, what is Madeline’s motivation to social post on Douglas’s behalf? Friend or foe? That is the question.
Written by globally renowned Screenwriter and Executive Producer Steven Moffat (Doctor Who, Dracula, Sherlock), Douglas Is Cancelled is produced by leading independent production company Hartswood Films (Sherlock, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Dracula, Coupling) in association with SkyShowtime and BBC Studios Distribution.
“Douglas is Cancelled is a razor-sharp, and insightfully witty drama from Steven Moffat, which takes such a clever look at gender politics, social media and being cancelled,” said Polly Hill, ITV’s Head of Drama. “I’m really delighted to be working with Steven Moffat and Sue Vertue and the team at Hartswood Films, to bring this wonderfully contemporary story to ITVX. It’s testament to Steven’s brilliant scripts that it has attracted such an incredible cast.”
The series stars Hugh Bonneville (Twenty Twelve, W1A, Downton Abbey) as the respected news presenter, Douglas, and Karen Gillan (Doctor Who, MCU’s Nebula) as his sharper, savvier co-anchor, Madeline. Ben Miles (Hijack, Tetris, The Crown) also stars alongside Alex Kingston (A Discovery of Witches, Dodger, Treason, Doctor Who), Nick Mohammed (Ted Lasso, Intelligence, The Martian) and Simon Russell Beale (Firebrand, Thor: Love and Thunder, The Outfit).
“I just sat down and wrote this – didn’t even tell anyone what I was doing,” said Steven Moffat. “And now it’s all happening, thanks to the amazing Sue Vertue (renowned tv producer and in a rare moment of weakness, my wife). I can’t quite believe we’ve managed to get the mighty Hugh Bonneville involved as Douglas and that we’ve lured my old friend Karen Gillan back from Hollywood, to play Madeline. And like that’s not enough, we’ve got Ben Miles, Alex Kingston, Nick Mohammed and Simon Russell Beale. It’s the kind of cast that makes you terrified about stepping into the room.”
Steven will executive produce the series alongside fellow Executive Producer Sue Vertue (The Devil’s Hour, Inside Man, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Sherlock) on behalf of Hartswood Films. Ben Palmer (Urban Myths, Breeders, The Inbetweeners) is directing the series which is produced by Lawrence Till (Silent Witness, The Young Offenders, Shameless). The drama will be distributed internationally by BBC Studios and co-produced by SkyShowtime.
‘Douglas Is Cancelled‘ does not yet have a premiere date, but begins filming in London soon, and will air on ITVX in the UK. If you want to keep track of this or any other shows, you can add them via our Never Miss system, and you’ll be notified when they get a UK premiere date.