New series starring Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi as partners to debut this summer on PBS


British show “Vicious” is coming to the United States this summer via PBS. The six-part program, which features actor Ian McKellen along with Derek Jacobi, focuses on a long-term relationship between a pair of senior citizens living in Covent Garden, London.

The show revolves around openly gay Freddie Thornhill (McKellen) and Stuart Bixby (Jacobi) and their nearly fifty-year relationship. “Vicious’ will air on the PBS network after being acquired from Shine International in October. PBS announced that the show will be part of its summer schedule at the annual Television Critics Association Conference.

The series’ IMDB page summarizes, “Freddie and Stuart are an old gay couple who have been together for nearly 50 years. Their lives now revolve around entertaining their frequent guests and hurling insults at each other at every opportunity.”

“Vicious,” which is filmed in front of a studio audience, began airing in the United Kingdom in April 2013. The series debuted with mixed reviews, although it has been picked up for a second season to air in its home country later during the year.

This is the first time McKellen and Jacobi have appeared together on screen; however, the pair both attended Cambridge University and were part of the school’s Marlowe Society in their younger years. The veteran actors also performed alongside one another in a production of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, during which McKellen reportedly developed a crush for his costar.

The show will debut in the US on July 6 at 10:30 standard time.

“We thought it was a great series,” said PBS chief Paula Kerger, who announced that the series is an experiment for the network. “We’re looking at trying lots of new things and this looked like such a strong series on its own.”


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