Masterpiece is re-teaming with ITV Studios to co-produce Breathless, the upcoming six-part drama about a group of doctors and nurses working in a London hospital in the 1960s. Jack Davenport leads an ensemble cast that includes Game Of Thrones‘ Iain Glen, Downton Abbey‘s Zoe Boyle and Natasha Little (Kidnap And Ransom). The series is set in a busy gynecology unit in 1961, a time when abortion was still illegal, the contraceptive pill only just available to married women and moral codes were shifting. Shooting started in April. No U.S. or UK air date has been set.
Masterpiece is already partnered with ITV Studios on Jeremy Piven-starrer Mr. Selfridge, about to enter its second season. It also co-produces Endeavour and airs Downton Abbey, which ITV commissions in the UK from Carnival Films. Masterpiece exec producer Rebecca Eaton said of Breathless, “Television dramas that tell good stories about women’s lives in the 20th century are endlessly interesting to me… and apparently to lots of other people – look at the appeal of Call The Midwife and Mad Men. We’re all fascinated by the enormous changes that happened just a short time ago.”
Breathless was co-created and written by Paul Unwin (Shameless), who will also direct the first two episodes. Unwin, Eaton and Kate Bartlett are exec producers. The co-production arrangement was brokered by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.