The Shelby clan is set to return for two more seasons with Peaky Blinders receiving a double order from BBC Two. Season 3 is currently running in the UK with the epic crime saga created by Steven Knight and starring Cillian Murphy due to bow Stateside on Netflix on May 31. There’s currently no word on Netflix’s role in Seasons 4 and 5, although it wouldn’t be surprising to see it follow suit on picking up the popular drama.
Each new season will be six episodes, all written by Knight. The Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect Drama series has a rabid worldwide fanbase, having sold in 163 countries via Endemol Shine International. It’s distributed by The Weinstein Co in the U.S.
The current season sees Murphy’s Tommy Shelby having become a wealthy man in the Roaring Twenties. It opens on his wedding day as he is also approached by a secret organization, placing him at the center of an international arms deal that could change the course of history. His relatives, meanwhile, have become increasingly difficult to handle, and threaten to blow the Shelby family apart.
Tom Hardy, Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson, Sophie Rundle and Joe and Finn Cole are among the returning cast for Season 3 which also adds Paddy Considine.
Exec producer Caryn Mandabach calls the renewals “a fantastic vote of confidence in the show and Steven Knight’s writing… We’re both proud of, and grateful for, the BBC’s continued support of the show.”
Knight adds, “I am genuinely thrilled at the response to the third series of the show. The prospect of writing series four and five is truly exciting. This is a real passion project for me and I look forward to telling more stories of the Shelby family.”
Murphy calls Tommy Shelby “one of the most intense, challenging characters I’ve had the opportunity to play. I’m particularly grateful that Steven’s original, dynamic writing and the long form series allow me to explore Tommy in depth. I very much look forward to Tommy’s evolution over the next two chapters.”
The two-season order for Peaky is part of a raft of commisions and renewals the BBC announced this morning. Also due to return is BBC One’s The A Word, Peter Bowker’s story of the Hughes family which has Joe, a boy with autism, at its heart. The A Word is a Fifty Fathoms and Keshet UK co-production for BBC One.
New series include a multi-part adaptation by Nick Payne of David Nicholls’ novel Us. Produced by Drama Republic, Us tells the story of Douglas and Connie Peterson, a couple whose marriage is on the rocks. When they go on a family grand tour of European cities, Douglas sees it as a last bid to win back the love of his wife, and repair his troubled relationship with his son.
Babs, a 90-minute special about the life of EastEnders star Barbara Windsor will be written by Tony Jordan and air next year. Nearing 80, Windsor this month exited the long-running soap when her matriarch character Peggy Mitchell was killed off at her request. BBC Studios is producing in association with Red Planet Pictures. Life On Mars creator Jordan previously worked with Windsor on EastEnders.
BBC Two will bring to screen Sathnam Sanghera’s memoir of love, secrets and lies, The Boy With The Topknot, produced by Parti Productions and Kudos. Set in Wolverhampton, the 90-minute film will tell the humorous, touching and emotional story of a second-generation Indian growing up in Britain and how he juggles his family, love life and career.
BBC Acting Director of Television, Charlotte Moore, says, “Following BBC Drama’s tremendous start to the year, it is clear audiences are looking for even greater ambition and high quality. So I want to continue to expand our range even further and reaffirm my commitment to commission the very best drama in the UK.”
BBC Drama has scored record ratings so far in 2016 for both BBC One and BBC Two. Call The Midwife was this year’s most-watched drama episode with overnight figures of 9.2M; and Line Of Duty Season 3 was the highest-rated BBC Two drama series ever, with a consolidated average of 5.1M.