The four-part series about cancel culture, set in the world of television news, has been written by Steven Moffat.
Written by Steven Moffat and produced by Hartswood Films, Douglas in Cancelled stars Hugh Bonneville, as the respected news presenter, Douglas, and Karen Gillan as his sharper, savvier co-anchor, Madeline. Ben Miles also stars alongside Alex Kingston, Nick Mohammed and Simon Russell Beale.
Douglas Is Cancelled introduces us to middle-aged, and greying, current affairs news anchor, Douglas Bellowes, a respected broadcaster and raconteur who loves the life he’s created with his newspaper editor wife, Sheila.
Whilst an experienced broadcaster for Live At Six, behind the scenes Douglas surprisingly needs constant reassurance from his sharper, younger, tech-savvy, social media-aware co-anchor, Madeline, who appears to be able to wrap him around her little finger.
His life is privileged as he’s regarded as a national treasure and apparently, can do no wrong, until he makes an ill-advised joke at his cousin’s wedding, which is overheard by a fellow guest, who threatens to expose his comments on social media.
Speculation is rife and during the ongoing hysteria and digital storm, Douglas’s alleged indiscretion is dissected, analysed and blown out of all proportion. Everyone appears to have an opinion and Douglas is struggling to escape the controversy. It’s a chaotic and unmanageable situation, but can Douglas count on the support of his agent and colleagues? What will Douglas do next?
Is he a casualty of ‘cancel culture’? With 2 million followers, what is Madeline’s motivation to social post on Douglas’s behalf? Friend or foe? That is the question.
Speaking ahead of the series debuting on ITVX, Steven Moffat said "I just sat down and wrote this - didn’t even tell anyone what I was doing. And now it’s all happening, thanks to the amazing Sue Vertue (renowned tv producer and in a rare moment of weakness, my wife). I can’t quite believe we’ve managed to get the mighty Hugh Bonneville involved as Douglas and that we’ve lured my old friend Karen Gillan back from Hollywood, to play Madeline."
"And like that’s not enough, we’ve got Ben Miles, Alex Kingston, Nick Mohammed and Simon Russell Beale. It’s the kind of cast that makes you terrified about stepping into the room."
Writer Steven Moffat will executive produce the series, produced by Hartswood Films in association with SkyShowtime and BBC Studios Distribution, alongside fellow Executive Producer Sue Vertue on behalf of Hartswood Films. The four-part series will be directed by Ben Palmer and produced by Lawrence Till.
To which ITV's Head of Drama Polly Hill, added "Douglas is Cancelled is a razor sharp, and insightfully witty drama from Steven Moffat, which takes such a clever look at gender politics, social media and being cancelled. I’m really delighted to be working with Steven Moffat and Sue Vertue and the team at Hartswood Films, to bring this wonderfully contemporary story to ITVX. It’s testament to Steven’s brilliant scripts that it has attracted such an incredible cast."
Elsewhere,, Hugh Bonneville said "Working again with a director like Ben, on Steven’s acidly witty script, with an ensemble of this calibre, is as daunting as it is exciting."
To which Karen Gillan added "To torment a man, let alone a man named Douglas, for four episodes - armed with the writing of Steven Moffat - is a great privilege that I’m going to enjoy every minute of."
Douglas is Cancelled will launch in 2024 on ITVX