ITV is getting back into business with Mike Bartlett.
The commercial broadcaster has given the green-light to a The Man, a new three-part drama exploring the corrosive effects of bullying from the writer behind such shows as Trauma and Doctor Foster. Ken Nwosu (Christopher Robin, Killing Eve) is attached to star.
The Man is set in a business park in Reading and follows the personal and professional life of Thomas Benson; a hard-working father and husband. Reliant on bonuses and winning pitches, Benson often finds himself leading the team when trying to win new business.
When he freezes during a pitch the fall out is monumental. Determined to win back the client Thomas goes to increasingly desperate lengths to remain successful. But as he does, he begins to feel undermined, under attack and out of control. Has he lost his confidence and just feeling paranoid or is his own team, and maybe the wider world, now out to get him?
Bartlett is penning the scripts for the series and will also serve as an executive producer alongside Catherine
Oldfield. “Having written about bullying in the workplace previously for the stage, it feels fantastic to tell a new story that explores the potential cruelty of commercial competition, and the effect that has on our psychology, and humanity”, he said.
Tall Story Pictures are producing, with Colin Wratten serving as the series producer. Safe helmer Julia Ford is directing. Production is set to get underway next month. ITV Studios Global Entertainment is the international distributor. The Man marks the second Mike Bartlett ITV production for Tall Story Pictures after this year’s three-parter Trauma, starring Adrian Lester and John Simm
“The Man is another gripping story by Mike, that explores the complex subject of workplace bullying. It brilliantly moves between being very funny to very painful, and will have viewers hooked”, said ITV’s Head of Drama Poly Hill, who commissioned the series. “I am also delighted that the very talented Ken Nwosu is playing Thomas and that Julia Ford is directing. Together with Tall Story, this is a fantastic team that promises to make an unmissable drama.”
While executive producer Catherine Oldfield added: “After the success of Trauma, I’m delighted to be reunited with Mike to work on The Man for ITV. Mike’s created a fantastically taut, contemporary thriller about bullying. Given the current climate, it feels exactly the right time to explore something that affects so many people, all with Mike’s brilliant ability to mix dark humour with intense paranoia to dramatic effect. I can’t wait to see the hugely talented Ken bring Thomas to life.”