'Peaky Blinders,' 'The A Word' Renewed by BBC

Robert Viglasky
'Peaky Blinders'

The U.K. public broadcaster also has unveiled a multi-part adaptation of 'Us' by 'One Day' author David Nicholls.

Peaky Blinders, the hit historical British gangster series fronted by Cillian Murphy and distributed by Netflix in the U.S., is to get a fourth and fifth season.

The Caryn Mandabach Productions/Tiger Aspect Drama co-production, which first aired in 2013 and recently saw the third-season opener attract 3 million consolidated viewers in the U.K., has been renewed by the BBC for its BBC Two channel.

"I am genuinely thrilled at the response to the third series of the show," creator Steven Knight, who is returning to pen all the episodes of the new seasons, said Thursday. "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."

Also unveiled Thursday, The A Word, the first British production from the local outpost of Israeli TV powerhouse Keshet, has been renewed.

The first season of the show — a co-production between Fifty Fathoms and Keshet U.K. — recently concluded on BBC One after a hugely successful run that saw it regularly attract around 6 million consolidated views per episode.

Based on Keshet's Israeli drama Yellow Peppers, The A Word follows the trials and tribulations of a family in rural England coming to terms with their young son's autism. It was picked up by SundanceTV in the U.S. and is set to launch July 13.

"If the first series was about diagnosis and denial, then the second series is about the journey that is undertaken when you ‘go public’ about the fact that your child is different," said writer Peter Bowker, adding that he was "delighted" that the show had resonated with such a wide audience.

"This series is both about being the family with a child that is different in a small community as well as being a part of the wider ‘autism community’ and all that this entails," he added.

The BBC also revealed that it would be dramatizing the novel Us by author David Nicholls, whose 2009 book One Day was a global hit and was turned into a 2011 feature starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess.

The multi-part adaptation by Nick Payne and produced by Drama Republic will tell the story of a husband who attempts to repair his crumbling marriage by going on a grand European tour.

Mesnwhile, BBC Two has ordered an adaptation of Sathnam Sanghera’s memoir The Boy With the Topknot, produced by Parti Productions and Kudos. "Set in Wolverhampton, the series 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," the broadcaster said.

“Following BBC Drama's tremendous start to the year, it is clear audiences are looking for even greater ambition and high quality," said Charlotte Moore, the BBC's controller of TV channels and iPlayer. "So I want to continue to expand our range even further and reaffirm my commitment to commission the very best drama in the U.K."

 

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