Benedict Cumberbatch Drama “Patrick Melrose” Will Launch Showtime’s Saturday Originals

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has announced the series debut date for ’s new drama , which will kick off the premium cable network’s Saturday Originals on May 12 at 9pm.

Saturday night has not been known as the best night for a show because people often go out with friends or on date night on Saturday, but President David Nevins explained the decision in a statement:

“As the size of our programming slate continues to grow, it makes sense for to offer another night of premieres — allowing us the opportunity to eventize series like Patrick Melrose, Offering original content on Saturdays not only enables us to fully service our subscribers with diverse offerings, it gives viewers enough time to enjoy them all. And a series with the ambition and quality of Patrick Melrose is the perfect place to start.”

Other scripted originals will remain on Sunday night with Billions returning on Sunday, March 25, Season 2 of I’m Dying Up Here returning on Sunday, May 6, and The Affair coming back Sunday, June 17.

normally will air championship fights on Saturday night but with the amount of scripted originals topping the 500 mark this year, the landscape is getting very crowded with Saturday nights still being fairly wide open.

Besides the four series mentioned above, already has Shameless, Homeland, The Chi, Ray Donovan and SMILF on their roster, while Escape at Dannemora, Kidding, Your Honor, Purity and The President Is Missing  are all being developed or filmed.  The network also has pilots for Don Cheadle’s comedy Ball Street and Kevin Bacon-Aldis Hodge drama City on a Hill in along with Lin Manuel-Miranda’s The Kingkiller Chronicles.

Other networks spreading their line-up onto Saturday includes CBS with Season 2 of Ransom coming up, OWN has its comedy Love They Neighbor, AMC used Saturday nights for The Son, while HBO has used it for movies like The Wizard of Lies. Also, Lifetime airs original movies on Saturday nights, so there’s a growing number of options for those who want to stay in. Last year, Starz moved its own originals from Saturday to the very crowded Sunday night market.

  | East Coast Editor
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