ITV Studios and PBS/WGBH Masterpiece will team up to produce “Breathless,” a 1961-set London medical drama starring Jack Davenport.
The show will feature on the professional and personal lives of a group of doctors and nurses working at a local hospital. Davenport (“Smash”) will play a surgeon who believes he can make a difference in womens’ lives. “Downton Abbey” vets Zoe Boyle and Iain Glen will also join the cast, along with Natasha Little (“Any Human Heart”)
Co-creator Paul Unwin is writing the series and will direct the first two episodes. Kate Bartlett of ITV Studios will be among the exec producers.
” Television dramas that tell good stories about womens’ lives in the 20th century are endlessly interesting to me,” said PBS Masterpiece exec producer Rebecca Eaton, “and apparently to lots of other people — look at the appeal of ‘Call the Midwife’ (also on PBS Masterpiece) and ‘Mad Men.’ We’re all fascinated by the enormous changes that happened just a short time ago. ‘Breathless’ is a sharp, visually-rich portrait of a group of people on the cusp of change.”
Said Tobias de Graaff, global television distribution director of ITV Studios Global Entertainment, which brokered the deal: “ ‘Breathless’ has all the characteristics of a drama with strong global appeal: a captivating story, a charismatic and talented cast, including the internationally renowned Jack Davenport, and sumptuous production values. We’re delighted to be working with Masterpiece, and we
look forward to huge interest from international clients.”