Spy thriller The Night Manager capped off a terrific run on BBC One in the UK last night, three weeks ahead of its April 19 Stateside debut on AMC. Ratings have been strong for the John Le Carré adaptation across the six parts, averaging 6.3M overnight viewers. Sunday’s finale took 6.61M for the mini’s best overnight score, and a 28 share. Live+7s roundly added about 2M viewers to each of the first four episodes.
As far as new UK series go, this one ranks up there with the first seasons of shows like Broadchurch and Happy Valley in terms of how it grabbed British viewers and kept them hooked through to an explosive finale. The lush $30M series has drawn comparisons to a James Bond movie — with star Tom Hiddleston’s performance equated to an audition for the next 007. It also has begged the question of whether or not there will be a second season.
Starring along with Hiddleston are Hugh Laurie, Olivia Colman, Tom Hollander and Elizabeth Debicki. After last night’s finale, Colman, who was very pregnant during filming, has also drawn her fair share of Twitter-clamor to be the first female super spy.
Reviews have been robust for the first television adaptation of a Le Carré novel in more than 20 years. The story follows former British soldier Jonathan Pine (Hiddleston), who is recruited by intelligence operative Burr (Colman) to navigate an unholy alliance between the intelligence community and the secret arms trade. To infiltrate the inner circle of lethal arms dealer Richard Onslow Roper (Laurie), Pine must himself become a criminal.
There is no follow-up book to Le Carré’s 1993 bestseller, although [SPOILER] the ending to the TV adaptation was altered from the original novel. An executive producer on the series, Le Carré beamed at the world premiere in Berlin in February, praising the series for which he said he “took a real backseat.” His sons Simon and Stephen Cornwell are exec producers for The Ink Factory, and there’s been chatter about discussions to extend the story. Stephen Garrett is also executive producer. The series was adapted by David Farr and is directed by Oscar-winner Susanne Bier.
I’m told there is nothing concrete at this point concerning a second season. When reached for comment on the speculation in mid-March, The Ink Factory said, “While we would love to continue the story of The Night Manager, there is currently no deal in place.” That was re-iterated today by a rep. While folks cross fingers, awards buzz is huge.
As for BBC One, it’s got six-part thriller Undercover coming next Sunday in the Night Manager slot. Starring Sophie Okonedo and Adrian Lester, it’s written by Peter Moffatt.
Here’s Laurie’s tweet today thanking Night Manager fans, and others:
Thank you to all who had kind words for #TheNightManager. Thank you to others who had unkind words but kept shtum.
— Hugh Laurie (@hughlaurie) March 28, 2016
And here’s the AMC Global official trailer ahead of the April 19 U.S. debut: