BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. • “Masterpiece” executive producer Rebecca Eaton had so much news for TV critics Monday morning that she had to number the entries.
• “American drama. We are doing American drama,” Eaton said, answering questions from some critics about why “Masterpiece” is so British. In fact, “Little Women” is in production, with the BBC on board. The Louisa May Alcott adaptation will air next year.
• “Masterpiece” is making its first feature film, “The Chaperone,” about actress Louise Brooks. Elizabeth McGovern of “Downton Abbey” found the Laura Moriarty novel and brought it to Fellowes. The movie will air on “Masterpiece” after its limited big-screen run.
• Benedict Cumberbatch will produce (via his new company SunnyMarch) and star in “The Child in Time,” adapted from the Ian McEwan novel. In the story, Cumberbatch’s character takes his 3-year-old daughter to a supermarket, where the child vanishes. The 90-minute drama, set for next year, explores the effect on the couple’s marriage.
• Vanessa Redgrave will star in “Man in an Orange Shirt,” to air next June during Gay Pride Month. The drama from Patrick Gale tells two gay love stories, 60 years apart, with Redgrave as a grandmother.
• With Season 2 of “The Durrels in Corfu” due, “Masterpiece” sponsor Viking River Cruises has added a stop in Corfu. Eaton praised the high-end travel company for its enduring support, which continues next year.
Gail Pennington is attending the TV Critics Association summer press tour. Follow her on Twitter…
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