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TV Critic’s Corner

Benedict Cumberbatch to star in Showtime’s ‘Patrick Melrose’

Benedict Cumberbatch (shown in PBS’s “Sherlock”) will play the title character in “Patrick Melrose,” a five-part series coproduced by Showtime and Sky Atlantic.
BBC/Hartswood Films for MASTERPIECE
Benedict Cumberbatch (shown in PBS’s “Sherlock”) will play the title character in “Patrick Melrose,” a five-part series coproduced by Showtime and Sky Atlantic.

It’s a little early for holiday presents, but I’m gonna lay this one on you anyway — assuming you’re a Cumberbaby, or a Cumbercookie, or a Cumberbatch Kid, or whatever Benedict Cumberbatch’s fans are going by these days.

Cumby, also doing business as PBS’s Sherlock, is going to star in a five-part series coproduced by Showtime and Sky Atlantic. Called “Patrick Melrose,” it’s based on the “Patrick Melrose” novel series by Edward St. Aubyn, which is based on the author’s traumatic childhood in a dysfunctional upper-class family. There’s alcoholism, heroin, and death, and the locales will include the south of France in the 1960s, New York in the 1980s, and England in the early 2000s.

The supporting cast includes Hugo Weaving as Melrose’s father, Jennifer Jason Leigh as his mother, Anna Madeley as his wife, Allison Williams as a friend, and Blythe Danner as a wealthy aunt. No airdate announced yet.

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