It comes as the Lookout Point-produce drama is still on the air. The series debuted on HBO on April 22 in its new Monday night slot and on the BBC on May 19. It became the BBC’s biggest new drama launch of the year with an average overnight audience of 5.1 million viewers.
Written by Happy Valley creator Wainwright, it tells the story of Anne Lister, played by Jones, who had a passion for life and a mind for business, and bucked society’s expectations at every turn.
Gentleman Jack focuses on Regency landowner Lister in the period drama, which is set in 1832 Halifax, West Yorkshire. She is determined to transform the fate of her faded ancestral home, Shibden Hall, by reopening the coal mines and marrying well. The story examines Anne’s relationships at home with her family, servants, tenants and industrial rivals and, most importantly, would-be wife. Based in historical fact, the real-life Anne Lister’s story was recorded in her diaries, and the most intimate details of her life, once hidden in a secret code, are now decoded and revealed for the series.
The Killing‘s Sofie Gråbøl and Happy Valley‘s Katherine Kelly also star.
Elsewhere, Bodyguard’s Sophie Rundle plays Ann Walker, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’s Derek Riddell plays Elizabeth’s husband Captain Sutherland and Hurt By Paradise’s Veronica Clifford stars as mother-in-law Mrs Sutherland. Sylvia Syms (Rev) stars as the Elderly Mrs Rawson, Brendan Patricks (Downton Abbey) is clergyman Thomas Ainsworth, Caspar Phillipson (Mission: Impossible – Fallout) is Mr De Hagemann, Polly Maberly (Shakespeare & Hathaway) is Lady De Hagemann, Lucy Black (Jericho) is Mary Sowden, Stephanie Hyam (Bodyguard) is Sophie Ferrall, Dino Fetscher (Humans) is Thomas Beech, Rupert Vansittart (Game of Thrones) is Charles Lawton and Michael Xavier (Into The Woods) is Dr. Steph Belcombe. They join Gemma Whelan, Timothy West, Gemma Jones, Stephanie Cole, Peter Davison, Amelia Bullmore, Vincent Franklin, Shaun Dooley, Joe Armstrong and Rosie Cavaliero.
The first series was exec produced by Wainwright, Faith Penhale and Laura Lankester for Lookout Point, and Ben Irving for BBC One, it was directed by Wainwright, Sarah Harding and Jennifer Perrott and produced by Phil Collinson.
Wainwright said, “It’s so exciting that so many people have had such a positive response to Suranne’s exuberant performance as the brilliant, life-affirming Anne Lister and to Sophie’s beautiful performance as her courageous partner, Ann Walker. I’m utterly delighted that we’ve been recommissioned, because there are so many more big, bold stories to tell about Anne Lister and Ann Walker. A massive thank you to the BBC and HBO and to everyone at Lookout Point.”
Jones added, “I’m so thrilled that I will be joining Sally Wainwright on the second part of Anne’s journey. We always dreamed there would be more and now we get to play it all out. A huge thank you to the BBC, HBO and Lookout Point for giving us our second series. It’s such amazing and positive news. I love working with the brilliant and talented Sophie Rundle and can’t wait to create some more Lister and Walker moments with her too.”
Francesca Orsi, executive vice president, HBO Drama Programming said, “We’re thrilled that Anne Lister’s story has resonated so powerfully with audiences in the U.S. and abroad, and we’re grateful to Sally Wainwright and the entire Gentleman Jack family for bringing her story to life.”
Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, said, “Gentleman Jack exudes sass and originality, and has been a huge hit with our BBC One audience. We look forward to continuing Anne Lister’s journey with Sally, Suranne and the rest of the team.”
Penhale, executive producer for Lookout Point, added, “I’m thrilled that viewers have embraced Anne Lister with the passion and positivity that she deserves. Sally and Suranne’s achievement in bringing this remarkable and inspirational figure back to life has been quite incredible and we can’t wait to create the next chapter in Anne’s story.”