×

Marilyn Monroe Drama Series in the Works at BBC Studios (EXCLUSIVE)

The final months of Marilyn Monroe’s life are set to be dramatized in a new series from BBC Studios that will explore her relationship with Hollywood studios and with public figures such as JFK and Bobby Kennedy.

BBC Studios, the BBC’s production and commercial arm, has teamed up with Dan Sefton and Simon Lupton’s U.K. indie producer Seven Seas Films to develop the new show. It has the working tile “The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe” and will be based on parts of Keith Badman’s book “The Final Years of Marilyn Monroe: The Shocking True Story.”

Monroe, who died in 1962 at age 36, remains the subject of enduring fascination. The producers said the series would cover a period in which her behavior became increasingly erratic as her dependence on alcohol and medication caused her glittering film career to plunge.

Sefton – whose credits include Jodie Whittaker series “Trust Me,” ITV drama “The Good Karma Hospital,” and Sky comedy “Delicious” – will pen the series. “Marilyn’s desire to be taken seriously as an actress and her battle with the powerful men who control the studio system is sadly as relevant today as it ever was,” Sefton said.

Badman’s book tells Monroe’s story from various perspectives. The series will adopt a similar approach, detailing her romantic involvement with American baseball great Joe DiMaggio, John and Bobby Kennedy, and Rat Pack member Peter Lawford. The show will also explore the delays in reporting her overdose on the night of her death.

BBC Studios executive producer Anne Pivcevic said the series would tackle “big themes such as power, love, loyalty and politics.” She added: “In the last few months of her life, Marilyn was sincerely loved, callously betrayed, cynically filled with hope and ultimately cruelly abandoned. Her death changed the lives of everyone in her orbit and cemented her status as a legend.”

No broadcaster or platform is attached to the project, but the writing and producing team, and proven source material about an enduring icon, make for a strong package, with U.S. and international appeal.

More TV

  • Allison Brightman CBS

    Allison Brightman Named CBS TV Studios' Head of Business Affairs and Operations

    Veteran CBS Television Studios business affairs executive Allison Brightman has been elevated to executive vice president of business affairs and operations at the studio. She succeeds Dan Kupetz, who is joining 20th Century Fox Television to lead its business affairs unit following the retirement of Fox’s Howard Kurtzman. “Allison’s skill sets are extraordinary,” said Deborah [...]

  • Rosario Dawson CFDA Fashion Awards, Arrivals,

    Rosario Dawson Cast in HBO Max Ava DuVernay Pilot 'DMZ'

    Rosario Dawson has been cast as the lead in the upcoming HBO Max pilot “DMZ,” which has Ava DuVernay on board as a director and Roberto Patino in place as writer-showrunner. The prospective series, which is based on the DC comic books of the same name, is described a futuristic drama set in an American civil [...]

  • 'Impeachment: American Crime Story' Casts Billy

    'Impeachment: American Crime Story' Casts Billy Eichner as Matt Drudge

    Billy Eichner has joined the growing cast of “Impeachment: American Crime Story” at FX. Variety has confirmed that Eichner has been cast in the role of Matt Drudge, who first broke the news of what would become the Monica Lewinsky scandal on his site, The Drudge Report. Drudge learned that Newsweek was sitting on a [...]

  • Ryan Tracey

    CAA Hires TV Agent Ryan Tracey (EXCLUSIVE)

    Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has hired Ryan Tracey as an agent in the television department, Variety has learned exclusively. Tracey comes to CAA from UTA, where he had most recently served as head of TV Production. He has represented an numerous television producers during his career, including Aida Rodgers, Kathy Ciric, Anna Dokoza, Ellen Kuras, Mark Winemaker, [...]

  • TV Ratings: 'This Is Us' Sterling

    TV Ratings: 'This Is Us' Sterling K. Brown-Focused Episode Wins Tuesday

    “This Is Us” lost a little ground in the TV ratings on Tuesday night, however, it still managed to lead NBC to a narrow victory on the night. The acclaimed drama scored a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 and drew 6.5 million viewers, down fractionally on last week’s 1.5 rating and 6.7 million viewers. The [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content