Television

TV Critic’s Corner

Big Nurse coming to small screen

Louise Fletcher (with Brad Dourif) as Nurse Ratched in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
Fantasy Films
Louise Fletcher (with Brad Dourif) as Nurse Ratched in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

I shouldn’t be surprised about this news, since A&E has already built a series around the Hitchcock character Norman Bates from “Bates Motel.”

TV honcho Ryan Murphy, the guy behind “Feud,” “American Crime Story,” and “American Horror Story,” has just sold a series based on the life of Nurse Ratched. She’s the immortal heavy from the 1962 novel and the 1975 movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

That’s right, Mildred Ratched, also known as Big Nurse in the Ken Kesey novel. She’s tyrannical and authoritarian, and ultimately she has the hero of the story, Randle McMurphy, lobotomized. But perhaps she wasn’t always that way? The Murphy series will look at how Ratched became Ratched, beginning in 1947 and tracking her journey from nurse to monster.

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The series will be called “Ratched,” and it will be on Netflix, which has already committed to two seasons. It will be Murphy’s first show on a streaming service.

In the movie starring Jack Nicholson, Ratched was played brilliantly by Louise Fletcher, who won an Oscar for the performance. In the Murphy project, she’ll be played by Murphy regular Sarah Paulson, who won an Emmy for her turn as Marcia Clark in “American Crime Story.”

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.