Gurinder Chadha's 'Beecham House' Finds Home With PBS

Credit: Fremantle
Gurinder Chadha on the set of 'Beecham House'

The six-part period epic comes from the acclaimed filmmaker behind Sundance hit 'Blinded by the Light.'

Downton Abbey star Lesley Nicol is heading back to Masterpiece in the U.S., with PBS having picked up the six-part drama Beecham House following a deal with Fremantle. 

Created by Gurinder Chadha — the director of films including Bend It Like Beckham and Viceroy's House, and whose latest film Blinded by the Light was one of the hottest projects out of Sundance — the series is a period epic set on the cusp of the 19th century in Delhi before the British ruled in that region.

Coming from Chadha's own Bend It TV banner, part of the Fremantle group, Beecham House stars Nicol alongside Tom Bateman (Vanity Fair), Gregory Fitoussi (Mr. Selfridge), Adil Ray (Citizen Khan), Pallavi Sharda (Lion), Dakota Blue Richards (Endeavour), Leo Suter (Clique), Bessie Carter (Howards End), Viveik Kalra (Blinded by the Light) and Marc Warren (Safe).

The drama depicts the fortunes of the residents of an imposing mansion surrounded by acres of exotic woods and pristine lawns. Bateman plays enigmatic, soulful John Beecham, a handsome former soldier who has purchased the magnificent mansion, Beecham House, to begin a new life with his family.

"I haven’t seen a series as visually sumptuous as Beecham House in a long time," said Masterpiece exec producer Rebecca Eaton. "This is a new time and place for our audience...India in 1795, before the Raj. There is love and passion, too, and a storyline full of deepening mystery."

Beecham House is created and written by Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges (Viceroy’s House) and Shahrukh Husain (In Custody). Victor Levin (Mad Men) also serves as writer on the series. Beecham House was originally commissioned by ITV for the U.K. by head of drama Polly Hill, who oversees production for the broadcaster. Eaton will serve as executive producer for Masterpiece.