McKellen, Jacobi to star in gay sitcom

ITV greenlights Janetti's 'Vicious'

LONDON — U.K. free-to-air web ITV is to produce gay sitcom “Vicious,” starring Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi, and written by Gary Janetti, whose credits include “Will & Grace” and “Family Guy.”

The cast also includes Frances De La Tour.

Originally entitled “Vicious Old Queens,” when it was developed for U.K. paybox BSkyB, the laffer tells the story of two ageing partners, Freddie (McKellen) and Stuart (Jacobi), who have lived together in the same small flat in London’s theater district for nearly 50 years.

Freddie was a wannabe star actor and Stuart a barman when they first met, but now their lives consist of reading, walking the dog and bickering.

But their world is turned inside out when a young man, Ash, arrives on the scene as their new upstairs neighbor.

“Vicious” is co-created by Janetti and playwright Mark Ravenhill, and is due to air on ITV next year.

Show is being made by U.K. shingle Brown Eyed Boy in association with Kudos Film and TV.

The helmer is Ed Bye, whose credits include the now axed but once long-running BBC sitcom “My Family.”

Executive producer is Jemma Rodgers.