PBS officially announced a second-season pickup for ITV’s sitcom Vicious, starring Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi. The pubcaster will debut the six-episode season in the summer as part of a lineup of British programming. The news follows the series’ recommission by the UK broadcaster. Shine International represented Vicious in the PBS deal, holding the international distribution rights. Full episodes will be available for viewing on the PBS Video Portal for 30 days after each national broadcast. PBS aired the first season last summer.
Creator Gary Janetti (Will & Grace, Family Guy) and his stars said at TCA in January that the Britcom is retro in form, contemporary in subject matter and could not have been made on a U.S. network owing to the age of its actors. Freddie (McKellen) and Stuart (Jacobi) are in their 70s and have been together for nearly five decades. While TV critics marveled at the show getting made at all — and PBS’ courage in broadcasting it — McKellen, appearing via satellite, insisted it’s still much easier for actors in their 70s to get work than for actresses. Jacobi, also via satellite, said the public is clamoring for programming about older characters, without elaborating. Back then, Janetti, who is American, said he wanted to do a Britcom because he grew up watching them on PBS.