ITV has commissioned three-part relationship drama, Maryland, created by Suranne Jones and screenwriter Anne- Marie O’Connor, about two sisters who have grown apart over the years, but through tragic events learn to love and respect one another all over again.
Maryland focuses upon the relationship between the sisters, who have been driven apart by complex family dynamics, becoming estranged and wrapped up in their own lives.
Monumental Television will produce the drama in association with ITV Studios, which will also star Suranne Jones as down-to-earth, Manchester born, Becca. Suranne will also executive produce the drama which is a co-production with her company, Teamakers Productions.
In Maryland, Anne-Marie introduces us to the characters of Becca and her sister, Rosaline, who have forged ahead with family lives and careers, growing distant through time and circumstance. But when the body of an older woman is discovered at sunrise on Laxey Beach in the Isle of Man, it brings devastating news for the sisters.
Each sister flies out to the Isle of Man to discover and repatriate the body of their mother, Mary, who they learn has been living a double life, leaving their father Richard at home in Manchester, whilst creating another world for herself….. Maryland. Confined on the island with each other, the sisters can’t escape the ripple effect of their mother’s secrets and lies.
Suranne Jones said: "I’m so excited to be working with Anne Marie on this project. We both immediately knew how we wanted this story to unfold and to have the support from ITV and Monumental Television to let us tell it in our own way has been a breath of fresh air. Maryland delves into family dynamics and the way in which we ‘label’ each other, sometimes never letting ourselves or our siblings break free from those roles...
"We look at how we grow apart from one another and how sometimes we don’t really know anything about the people we call our own. I love how complex sibling relationships can be and I’m thrilled we get to do it over 3 wonderful hours and not as a ‘side story’. Maryland is an uncomfortable, funny and sometimes difficult story with two sisters at its heart and we can’t wait to take our audience along for the ride."
Screenwriter Anne-Marie O’Connor said: "I’m thrilled to be working with Suranne and Monumental on Maryland and for ITV to have given us the opportunity to write a character-led show, at the heart of which is a love story about two sisters. From the start, Suranne and I have wanted to tell a story about the roles that are ascribed to us in families - especially as women - and to look at the legacy of a woman who decided to step away from the traditional role but wasn't honest about her decision."
Filming will begin later this year with further details on casting and the appointment of key executives released closer to filming commencing.