Paramount Plus adapts Beth O'Leary's The Flatshare as first UK comedy

ExclusiveTuesday 18th January 2022, 5:23pm by Jay Richardson

Beth O'Leary

Streaming service Paramount Plus has commissioned its first UK comedy series, Flatshare, directed by The Full Monty's Peter Cattaneo and based on Beth O'Leary's bestselling novel, British Comedy Guide can exclusively reveal.

A television version of the rom-com has been in the works since The Flatshare's publication in 2019 and follows a Radio 4 adaptation in April, which starred Sinead MacInnes and Will Kirk.

To date, O'Leary's debut novel has sold more than half a million copies.

It focuses on broke and broken-hearted Tiffy, who needs a cheap flat, fast. Meanwhile, Leon works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they're crazy but the pair contrive a solution for their respective problems: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy's at work during the day and she has the run of the place at night.

However, obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding work clients, wrongly imprisoned brothers and the fact that they haven't actually met, contrives to complicate their ideas of the perfect home.

Cast details for the six-part Bristol-based television production have yet to emerge. But the writers' room has been led by playwright and comedy cabaret performer Rose Lewenstein, whose screen credits include writing for the upcoming British heist comedy series Culprits from J Blakeson (I Care A Lot) for rival streaming giant Disney+.

Cattaneo's credits also include the BBC's clerical sitcom Rev and the 2019 film Military Wives starring Sharon Horgan and Kristin Scott Thomas. Flatshare's producer is Rhonda Smith (Fresh Meat, The Pursuit Of Love).

Owned by ViacomCBS Networks International, Paramount Plus streams television series and films in the US, Australia, Middle East and Nordic countries and will soon be available in the UK to Sky subscribers.

Original programming on the video-on-demand service includes the forthcoming Frasier reboot and South Park, with creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone signing a deal last year that would take them up to a 30th season by 2027, as well as producing 14 new films of the animated comedy exclusively for the streamer.

O'Leary's fourth novel for adults, The No-Show, is published on April 28th by Darley Anderson. Her second, The Switch, is being adapted by stand-up, writer and actor Bekka Bowling (Lovesick, Episodes) for Steven Spielberg's Amblin Pictures and is set to star The Marvelous Mrs Maisel's Rachel Brosnahan.

The comedy drama focuses on a 29-year-old consultant and her 79-year-old grandmother, who decide to swap lives, including cell phones, for two months, after a series of personal setbacks. The younger woman moves to a tiny Yorkshire village to tackle the responsibilities of dog walking and neighbourhood watch and the older woman finds herself in a tiny London flat, navigating dating apps and starting up a social club for lonely Londoners.

"I am thrilled to be partnering with Amblin to bring Beth O'Leary's beautiful book to life" Brosnahan said in May last year, shortly after The Switch was published. "I was utterly charmed and deeply moved from the first page to the last and can't wait to share Leena and Eileen's story with everyone."

A spokesperson for Paramount Plus declined to comment on Flatshare.

Share this page