Showtime has picked up the Australian drama series Wakefield, starring British actor Rudi Dharmalingam (The Split, In the Shadow of the Moon). The series will premiere on Monday, October 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.
Consisting of eight episodes, Wakefield is a psychological drama that shines a comedic light on what happens when the sanest individual working in a psych ward begins to lose his grip.
A Jungle Entertainment production, Wakefield is executive produced by showrunners Kristen Dunphy and Sam Meikle. The series is directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse (The Dressmaker, How to Make an American Quilt) and Kim Mordaunt (The Rocket).
The announcement was made today by Gary Levine and Jana Winograde, Presidents of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc.
The series, which aired earlier this year on Australian Broadcasting Corporation and is inspired by show creator Dunphy’s personal experiences, follows Nik Katira (Dharmalingam) who after years working as psych nurse at Wakefield, is exceptionally good at his job.
With a gift for soothing the afflicted and reaching the unreachable, he’s the most stable person in what tends to be a pretty crazy place. But right now, as his own sanity is slipping, the question is … why?
Tackling the complexity of mental illness with humor and heart, Wakefield explores the fine line between sanity and madness, powered by an intriguing psychological mystery.
“Wakefield is a fascinating journey into the mind of a man tasked with worrying about everyone else’s minds,” said Winograde.
She added: “We are excited to bring Rudi Dharmalingam, who gives such an engaging and heartbreaking performance, and his wonderful co-stars to Showtime viewers. With humor, tenderness and suspense, Wakefield travels right to the heart of what it means to be alive – truly alive – in this complicated and extraordinary world.”
In addition to his screen roles, Dharmalingam was cast in the original production of The History Boys in 2004 and played the role of Crowther on Broadway in the same production that also starred James Corden.
Dharmalingam also performed as Guilderstern in Hamlet at the Barbican alongside Benedict Cumberbatch.
Wakefield also stars Geraldine Hakewill (Wanted, Miss Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries) and Mandy McElhinney (House of Hancock, Bad Mothers).
Wakefield is a Jungle Entertainment production in partnership with BBC Studios for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, together financing the series with major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen NSW.
The series is executive produced by Kristen Dunphy, Sam Meikle, Chloe Rickard and Jason Burrows along with executive producer Sally Riley from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. BBC Studios is distributing internationally.