ITV is getting into business with Gurinder Chadha. The commercial broadcaster has given the green-light to Beecham House – a six episode drama series from the writer, director and producer behind Bend It Like Beckham.
Beecham House is set on the cusp of the 19th century in Delhi and depicts the fortunes of the residents of Beecham House, an imposing mansion surrounded by acres of exotic woods and pristine lawns. Handsome and soulful, former soldier, John Beecham, has acquired the house to start a new life for his family and a business as a trader.
“I am delighted to commission this epic and ambitious new drama from the brilliant Gurinder Chadha. Beecham House is set in Delhi before the British ruled India in that region, which is exciting by being less familiar to audiences”, said ITV’s Head of Drama Poly Hill, who commissioned the series. “Gurinder brings a fresh take to period drama, but at its heart are wonderful characters and a compelling story that will make this a treat in the ITV schedule next year.”
The series is set up at Gurinder’s production company Bend It TV, in which FremantleMedia took a 25% stake last year. Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham), Paul Mayeda Berges (Viceroy’s House), Shahrukh Husain (In Custody) and Victor Levin (Mad Men) will pen the scripts. Caroline Levy is the series producer. Production is set to get underway in India later this year for a 2019 premiere. FremantleMedia International will handle global sales. ITV said that casting details and key production posts would be announced at a later date.
“Beecham House is a passion project that is driven by my commitment to telling diverse, emotionally engaging stories for mainstream international audiences”, Gurinder Chadha added. “I am thrilled to be working with Polly Hill and ITV Drama who share my belief that period drama can be entertaining, ambitious and relevant to key issues of today. I am assembling a vibrant cast of British and Indian actors to play original characters that will appeal to global audiences hungry to see stories from a unique point of view.”