Six-part BBC One crime drama Happy Valley hails from Sally Wainwright, the prolific UK TV writer and BAFTA-winning creator of Last Tango In Halifax. The series that has had Britain all abuzz over the past month and a half came to its climactic concludsion Tuesday night and drew 6.18M viewers for a 28% share. The finale, which should rise a fair bit when delayed viewings are included, was the second-highest rated of the run after the April 29 debut episode attracted 7.64M viewers. Over the series, it averaged about 6.9M and consistently won its slot. The contemporary show is being called the best drama of the year and Wainwright has said there is potential for a second season. There is no deal for the first season to air in the U.S. as yet, but it’s easily the kind that could turn up on BBC America or PBS. It could even be remade à la Broadchurch, the last new drama to have such an effect in Britain. It’s also been compared to Breaking Bad, and there’s already awards talk for next year. (See the trailer below.)
Sarah Lancashire (Last Tango In Halifax, The Paradise), Downton Abbey’s Siobhan Finneran, James Norton (Rush, Death Comes To Pemberley), Charlie Murphy (Philomena), George Costigan, Joe Armstrong and Steve Pemberton star. The story centers on Catherine Cawood, a strong-willed police sergeant in the Yorkshire valleys who is raising her grandson while still coming to terms with the suicide of her daughter. When a botched kidnapping unfolds, followed by a murder, the valley is rocked. And, when Catherine spots Tommy Lee Royce, the man she believes responsible for the events that drove her daughter to take her own life, she becomes obsessed with finding him, unaware that he is involved in the kidnapping. Euros Lyn, whose credits include Sherlock and Broadchurch, helmed three episodes, and Tim Fywell (Dracula) directed two. Wainwright, who writes and executive produces the series, got behind the camera for one episode. Red Productions made Happy Valley for BBC One. The show has came under some fire for its violent content, but Wainwright recently told Radio Times, “People who criticize Happy Valley for being gratuitous are naive because I think we did it very responsibly.” Check out the trailer:
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