Gay Comedy Series Starring Ian McKellen to Air on PBS

The British sitcom Vicious, which will soon air in the U.S., focuses on the nearly 50-year relationship between two gay men and stars out actors Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi.

BY Patrick Yacco

January 21 2014 6:45 PM ET

Following the success of British imports Sherlock and Downton Abbey, PBS will air Vicious, a sitcom focusing on the long-term relationship of two gay senior citizens, according to reports from Deadline Hollywood. The program stars out actors Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi and will run for six episodes starting Sunday, July 6. The network announced show as part of its summer schedule at this week's annual Television Critics Association conference.

Vicious began airing in the United Kingdom last April. While reviews for the program were mixed, it has already been renewed for a second season, set to air in its home country later this year. In addition to being one of the few sitcoms currently being broadcast that focuses on a gay couple, it was filmed in front of a studio audience.

While Vicious marks the first time McKellen and Jacobi have appeared together on-screen, the two were both students at Cambridge University and part of the school's Marlowe Society. The duo performed alongside each other in a production of Shakespeare's Henry IV, during which McKellen reportedly developed a crush on Jacobi, which he described as "a passion that was undeclared and unrequited."

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