Sky1’s ‘Starlings’ Cancelled After Two Seasons

Category : Exclusives, News, UK News
Tags :

Sky1 has cancelled Starlings after airing two seasons of the dramedy series, TVWise has learned.

Created by Matt King and Steve Edge, Starlings follows the lives of the Starlings family, a typical working class brood living in a detached house in Matlock, Derbyshire. The dramedy series is produced by Baby Cow Productions and stars stars Matt King, Brendan Coyle, Lesley Sharp, Alan Williams, Finn Atkins, John Dagleish, Rebecca Night and Ukweli Roach, with Sydney Rae White joining the series for its second season.

The cancellation of Starlings comes shortly after Sky1 cancelled the likes of Parents and Spy. That said, BSkyB remains committed to spending £600 million per year on home grown productions by 2014 and has scripted comedy series Stella and Moone Boy returning for new runs later this year, while recent commissions have included Chickens and The Kumars.

In a statement confirming the cancellation of the series, representatives of Sky1 said: “We would like to confirm that Starlings won’t be returning for a third series. We have to make tough choices around which shows return, as is the case here. We are incredibly proud of Starlings, loved the writing and the fantastic cast who all worked incredibly hard to make a beautiful, truthful comedy drama about family life. We’d like to thank everyone involved – the brilliant cast led by Brendan Coyle and Lesley Sharp, the creators Matt King and Steve Edge, and the production company Baby Cow, who we continue to work with. We look forward to bringing our customers more original homegrown comedy on Sky 1.”

  • Becky

    I think you have made a poor decision here. There was plenty more life in the storylines and the characters.

  • Margaret shaw

    Is starling 2 coming out on DVD

  • Micky

    Could Baby Cow carry on independently making Starlings…….I rate this as one of the top programs of the year….to only give it two seasons is almost criminal….

  • Jane

    Agree this is a poor decision. Am most disappointed there will not be another series. I loved this show

  • Clare

    This was a fantastic programme. Very funny, true to life and thoroughly enjoyable. Would very much like to see it continue.

  • Yank Fanne

    A likeable, quirky & funny show that had heart. Something nice to watch on a Sunday night. Oh well. Business economics, I reckon.

  • Sally

    Loved the show what a shame

  • Julie

    This is a very disappointing decision. Starlings was a wonderful family drama full of humour that was not tainted as with lots of tv these days. Excellent light entertainment with an amazing array of actors, non singled out as being better than the rest. Bring it back!!

  • Joanne

    Can’t BELIEVE this isn’t returning. Just searched to find its’ return only to read it’s been cancelled. Most disappointed. It was light hearted, serious, funny, comforting – everything you want to see on TV in one go. RECONSIDER YOUR DECISION SKY!

  • wendy robson

    Don’t watch much on SKY bur loved this and Stella. If you want to compete with popular drama like call the midwife, last tango in Halifax and get the ratings the BBC do you need to do more customer research, I’m not interested in mass produced American productions following simplistic formulas

  • Lu

    A bad decision Sky

  • norma sampson

    Can´t believe Starlings has been cancelled, loved the show, thought the writing was absolutely beautiful and wonderfully acted…Congratulations to all, except SKY for this awful decision..

  • Michele

    What a travesty, Starlings was the best thing on TV in ages. It made me laugh out loud which no other show had made me do in a long while.It was one of those programmes that you couldn’t wait for the next episode and to find that it has been axed has left me ‘gutted’. To re-iterate previous comments-story lines great, characters great, acting great. What was not to like?

  • Veronica

    I just discovered this show on Hulu. Loved and asked myself how the Brits can produce such deep, warm and truly funny shows as compared to our American shows. Can imagine why this was cancelled.

  • lisa griffiths

    Jusr found out that this great series was being cancelled! Shame on you sky.this made a refreshing change a gentle, well written, well acted clever comedy about a normal, quirky family, all the cast were great .lt is a terrible shame, l expect we will be inundated with trashy american imports that are churned out on a factory production line!!

  • sam hale

    cannot believe starlings has been cancelled i love this programme. please don’t cancel

  • Ant

    It’s such a shame. This programme was superb – a gentle and calm comedy, brilliantly acted by carefully selected cast. This show was generation inclusive and really portrayed great family life. Please bring it back!

  • Starling fan

    Big mistake here by Sky – Starlings was a cracking series and different from the norm. Think sky have missed a trick by this cancellation

  • @rainbowlady

    My 12 and 9 year old and I loved this programme. You have lost a truly family time hour. Bring back the starlings!!!

  • edward downes

    starlings was great show am shocked there not doing more. too much reality rubbish on these days. bad move sky.

  • Kate Phillips

    Have to agree with all the above. Poor decision. At last a family drama that’s believable you can imagine them being your neighbours, friends or relations.
    ‘Soap opera’ has become a by word for the unbelievable (bordering on Hollywood blockbuster) with thoroughly dislikeable characters and the occasional moments of tear jerking sadness. ‘Drama’ has become formulaic; cop/spy/agent/doctor gone bad, underhanded politician plotting to bring down the prime minister, twisted murderer, coroner who should have been a cop themes by the bucket load.
    It was a joy and a pleasure to watch such a beautifully scripted, well acted programme; heart felt without being soppy, funny without being self conscious or over ‘planned’. Thankfully it was written with the loose ends seemingly dealt with but a huge scope to open up more stories too.
    Dreadful shame, but the writers, cast and crew should be immensely proud of what they created. If only another broadcaster would pick it up – ITV you have a chance to play a blinder!

  • Julie

    I am sorely disappointed, a truly quality show that like other commenters, I believe still had a great deal of life. Alot better than most of the crap they produce here in America. Spy was another one that was vastly amusing and they chose to cancel.

  • ashley walker

    Poor decision SKY, focus too much on sport and not believable drama, the question is was there not enough guns death and police inspectors.

  • jennie

    Just searched to see when starlings is going to be on this year and am so annoyed to hear its been cancelled. We don’t have enough of these gentle lighthearted home grown programmes on tv as it is, without cancelling one of the best! it was so nice for a change to be able to sit down as a family and watch something without feeling like you’ve been whacked over the head with violence and smut. Please bring it back!

  • Mary Grimes

    I have just seen that Starlings is not coming back for third season. I was just checking to see update on its return this year. I can’t believe it and agree thoroughly with all of previous comments. I loved the series its charm, quirkiness lovely subtle intelligent acting and beautifully written. What is wrong with people in broadcasting in general and in particular Sky in this case do they think we all want to watch reality dribble, such poor television in my view with exception of I’m a Celebrity that is entertaining but the rest of it rubbish. Even the Soaps are depressing. The Heads of tv land seem to think we all want to be miserable of an evening watching heavy going tv. It all has its place I agree, but so does tv that any age can sit and watch and enjoy and we can smile the following day when we remember some of the funny moments of such good shows as “Starlings”. I enjoy Stella but such shows as Starlings have their place too and shouldn’t be sacrificed. When I come home from work I like to chill and be entertained with emphasis on entertainment not a dose of reality which we get on the news every night or newspapers. It is a sign of times when we need to watch Gold or such like to see shows made years ago to enjoy quality comedy. I wish to say to Sky would you please listed to the viewers and reconsider. We all pay for the privilege of viewing tv so please listen.

  • Chris

    I am so disappointed to see this show has been cancelled. I just watched series 1 and 2, and I loved it. I hope this decision will be reconsidered. The writing here was especially warm. This show could have gone the distance.

  • Lesley

    I also was just checking to see when the 3rd series would be returning to our screens, only to find out it wont!
    VERY disappointed!! All our family loved this show. Everything was wonderful about it!
    This show had so much ‘feel good factor’, what a shame not to get a 3rd series.

  • Trisha

    I am also very disappointed to see there will not be a third series of this brilliant show. Starlings is very enjoyable, scenery lovely, and no swearing whatsoever, which is such a refreshing change and so very very welcome! The family are brilliant, you feel like you know them well and would love to share a meal with them around that dining room table. Bad move on your part SKY, very bad move, as this show appeals to all ages. Have a re-think on this, dump some of the sport if you have to, but keep this lovely show going!

  • Dianne

    Omg. Why dont you ask the public what they want. This was a fantastic programe
    . Big mistake.

  • Helen

    Agree with all the above. Such a shame that it has been cancelled – we’ll never know about the lovely Gravy now :(

    Can’t believe Sky 1 cancel shows like this and The Cafe and yet commission another Chickens – do they do any viewer research?

  • lisa

    What a shame, loved it
    Please reconsider sky

  • Claudia

    I have been crying. I love this show, my whole family loves this show Starlings! One of the best shows we’ve seen in years we didn’t want the show to end. How can they be so blind!
    I hope that another channel or network picks it up. Starlings is TV Magic!!

  • Jo Pickering

    Devastated, one of the best original, clever and believable comedy programmes for sometime. It was great to see Derbyshire actually appearing as a place where people live, as opposed to a walkers paradise for once. I love Stella for exactly the same reasons, real family comedies, funny, not offensive, rare indeed, a sad loss.

  • Carol

    Gutted can’t believe it. Fab show who makes these decisions! Itv get in there.

  • chris

    theres not many shows on tv that make you smile,this was one of them. there wasnt any aliens or super heroes,there was no special effects or far fetched story lines. i might be old fashioned but perhaps this is want people want???? bad move i think, #letdown

  • sharon spencer

    Just googled when next show is starting to see its been axed I am gutted . Absolutly loved yhis programme best show ever yo be shown .please reconsider .

  • Anne O’Shea

    Well I have to agree with most of the comments. It took Starlings, Stella and Moone Boy to bring Sky to a wider and more varied audience and now a decision has been made to axe Starlings, and what in it’s place? doubtless more chewing for the brain in the way of American tv and reality shows.
    Sky has just let go of a very watchable series written with wit and insight with a cracking cast, lead by two of the most prominent actors in tv drama.
    Perhaps you’ll reconsider your decision as we would like to see more drama, across all the channels, with a little less coming from the States.
    Think again!

  • kath straff

    Can’t understand why Sky1 has axed Starlings. It was a fab enjoyable show. Great storylines and fabulous actors (credit to the writers and all envolved really). Will be missed.

  • ANDY

    Sky what are you thinking of? Starlings was happy, sad, funny and poignant. Well written with a cast to match. Please reconsider

  • Jenni Shaw

    So sad to hear that Sky have cancelled two of my favourite shows, Starlings and The Cafe! I agree with all of the above comments. I and my husband used to really look forward to watching these ‘chill-out’ programmes. They will be sadly missed!!!

  • Ann

    Just found out Starlings has been cancelled for a third series, very disappointing, one of the best things on TV, especially as I live in Derbyshire. Shame on your Sky 1!!!!!!

  • Helen

    Shame on SKY. Coming from Derbyshire I really enjoyed the programme. Obviously some bad descisions being made by sky executives.

  • Clare Bell

    Just found out Starlings has been cancelled. My husband and I are gutted. We loved this programme. Totally agree with all comments on here. Fabulous writing, acting and scenery. Definitely a good opportunity for ITV or the BBC to take this baby under their belts and nurture it back to life. BRING BACK STARLINGS!!!!!

  • Jo

    Really, really gutted to read that ‘Starlings’ has been cancelled – I absolutely loved this programme. It was well-written, well-acted and just a joy to watch. What a shame. I hope someone else picks it up.

  • Lorraine

    I just looked to see when the next series would be starting. Gutted at this decision. Just to reiterate what everyone else has already said I feel really disappointed. Bad move Sky :(

  • Kevin

    Only said to my wife tonight when is starlings returning,looked on-line and discovered series cancelled,very very disappointed and sad.

  • Terri

    I like many others have been checking to see when Starlings returns and am very upset to discover that this and ‘The Café’ have been cancelled. These are wonderful series , the humour and the angst reflect normal peoples life to a tee. Perhaps they were a bit deep for the lovers of reality tv,
    please try and reconsider this decision.

  • Teresa Mann

    Ffs sky, what are you thinking???? Idiots who have no idea what people are enjoying….. I hope another, better channel takes starlings on

  • jean

    Absolutely gutted. How can you cancel such a brilliant series and yet keep showing the same garbage? It just doesn’t make sense!

  • Norma

    Bad decision – it was a great programme.

  • Mo. Rushton

    What more could you want for a perfect evening on TV? Brilliant cast and acting, stories to warm your heart, great humour, all the gamut of emotions you can think of. Since the end of the last series, I’ve been impatiently waiting for the next one to start,only to find that Sky1 have axed the best, most wonderful programme on TV today, STARLINGS!!! It’s got all of the above and more potential than anything else on TV. Come on ITV, pick it up and see your ratings rise. Steve Edge and Matt King are brilliant writers and can take it to wider audiences who prefer to be entertained, not subjected to smut, swearing and violence. Starlings is a programme all the family can sit down and enjoy together. Please, please bring it back!!!

  • Our Family’s point of view…

    There are times in life when one can truly feel that television has finally become better instead of worse… watching Starlings gave us the feeling that Sky was ahead of others… finally a television program that made our entire family feel happier.
    What great role models the characters were, in a world where good mentors and positive role models are few and far between!
    Together, as a family we felt that television had at last got it right! AND THEN… you go and completely mess up and cancel one of the few decent family viewing shows! We feel like saying, “What were you thinking?” But that’s just not a valid question is it? Because you didn’t “think, did you?”
    The world was a better place because of Starlings… a much, much better place.
    Remember the uproar and horror when BBC decided to not finish the series Larkrise to Candleford?
    Well… you just did it all over again.

  • Gareth

    Please please reconsider this! Great British family tv!

  • Susan

    This was one of the best things on TV. A proper family drama for all the family. The characters were likable and funny, the writing was wonderful. Instead this will be replaced with repeats of the same old rubbish, some people actually want to watch something that makes them smile with no violence, misery, shouting, swearing and sex. Happy endings bring in viewers too.
    Viewers are surely tired of watching the misery of shows such as Eastenders and the other soaps?

  • Pat

    Finding out there’s to be no series 3 has just ruined my day. This was one of the few feel good programmes on tv. So fed up with all the dark, violent stuff. I do watch some of that as well but this was such a wonderful contrast and uplift. The characters were well drawn and lovable, the script spot on and the storylines believable. Sky subscription is expensive and this series took some of the pain out of that big monthly payment. GUTTED!!

  • Amanda jones

    I have just finished watching , series 1 on sky box set , and loved watching it all over again . So decided to check when series 3 was out. I can’t believe sky won’t be doing another series? Big mistake!! Was one off the best family programmes on tv !! Hope sky come to there senses or another channel picks it up?? Was so nice to have a good British family comedy drama , rather than usual American imports . Very disappointing.

  • susan green

    I am totally gutted, I just checked to see when it was returning. Bad bad decision. Someone please pick it up.

  • Helen

    Just checked to see when series 3 of The Starlings is starting and am so sad to find out it’s been cancelled. My husband and I absolutely love this show and we were really looking forward to new story lines for all the endearing characters. Starlings and Stella are the only series with watching on sky.
    It was a gentle, humorous yet sometimes moving comedy drama-one that we never missed and I am really really disappointed it will not be returning. Sky-listen to your viewers!

  • V

    I watched the first series on Hulu and loved it. Ordered the second series and now, looking for information about the third series, I find it is cancelled. This was my favorite show, full of good humor, heart, the real problems of real people, and love. I believe it is as loved in America as in the UK. All of my friends and family loved it. Please put it back on the air. It’s a crime to take it off.

  • jo

    I am very disappointed at the news Starlings is not returning to our screens. One of the best series aired for a very long time. The real feel good factor. Great storyline and characters to care for. I feel bereft with no good TV to look forward to. Please reconsider this decision

  • susan

    very disappointed that starlings has been cancelled a very bad decision

  • yasmin

    I was just checking to see when starlings was coming back and I am gutted to see it has been cancelled. I agree with all of the previous comments. Please bring it back.

  • Linda

    Gutted! Rare to find great British programming on sky.

  • Karen

    Just like everyone else I was just checking when Starlings was coming back to discover…. It isn’t! Such a shame. My daughter and I loved it. It was honest, simply entertaining and funny. Wonderful characters. Down to earth. SKY, please bring it back – we want less ‘reality TV’ and more ‘real programmes’ like this one.

  • Shealagh

    So sad! Canadian living in the US and lapping up the great British programs on Hulu. Shame on Sky for cancelling such a wonderful program. A truly feel good family series with wonderful cast. Bad move.

  • Patricia Curran

    Just checking to see if Starlings was coming back and am saddened to see it’s not. My husband and I only watch programs like Starlings and Stella, although we are partial to Mrs Brown’s Boys. If it wasn’t for our love of Rugby League we would give up TV altogether as the programmes we really enjoy are increasingly being taken off the screen.

  • Susan

    One of my favorite TV shows EVER. I’m very disappointed in Sky for canceling such a lovely, well-written and brilliantly-acted show about a family I’ve bonded with and fallen in love with. Two seasons? Sky execs: you’ve cut Starlings down in its prime. Please rethink your decision and bring it back!

  • Emma

    Can’t believe Starlings has been cancelled! One of the warmest, funniest, most enjoyable programmes I have seen in a long time with a fantastic cast and brilliant, skilful writing. One of the few original series I watched on sky. Very disappointed it won’t be returning.

  • http://Google Lyn

    Just checking when Starling was due to return to find it’s been cancelled SHAME ON YOU SKY what a BRILLIANT Program and Cast a real good family viewing Why oh Why don’t you listen to your Paying customers. Sky Reconsider and BRING IT BACK or come on ITV/ BBC get in there !

  • Paul M

    For goodness sake SKY,, if your going to axe something, axe the bl**dy programme controllers. Listen to the people who pay your wages for a change and reverse your decision NOW! Bring back Starlings AND The Cafe.


    As like most on this thread,I’ve looked to see when Starlings is to return to find its been got rid of!! Absolute Disgrace!!! It was one of the best shows on TV! Of course SKY has made a very big mistake.Its the only show I watched on SKY1 anyway so I guess I won’t be watching anything on yr channel now.Your loss!! Come on other channels snap this fantastic show up.Just do not understand ‘the powers that be’ decisions.Clearly they are Idiots!!!

  • Lyn

    I have just discovered Starlings and Stella, both excellent shows, so glad Stella is coming back, even though there is so long between series. What is up with TV execs in UK, Starlings is one of the best series in a long time and of course they will cancel that and keep the dross like the Kumars. For goodness sake wake up and give the people what they want, remember they tried to cancel Star Trek after 1 season also many other series that went on to become some of the longest running series on TV but the people spoke and were listened to.

  • Ellie

    Just started using hulu+ hoping to find some television I might really enjoy and luckily discovered Starlings.It’s sad to have to search so hard to find something as likeable as Starlings on tv, then to discover it has been cancelled after two seasons.

  • Louise

    Do Sky even care about what the viewers think obviously not one bit I absolutely adored this programme. Sky you have made a very poor decision. You should take note of these messages o hold on you probably dont even read them. Just bring it back in the name of Del Boy ” you know it makes sense”

  • Jan

    Another unhappy viewer here after checking out when starlings series 3 would start. I loved this programme as did my 10 year old twins, it was such a treat to be able to sit down and watch such a good drama with them without having to worry about them hearing bad language or smut. Like others I hope another Chanel picks it up.
    Love Stella too but can’t watch that with my kids!!

  • Anne

    Truly devastated this series was fantastic !!!

  • mrs c.

    The writers of this beautiful series created something very special, no doubt the pressure of ratings tempted King and Edge to “push the boat out” for the second series, Jan and Terry didn’t need the dramatic storylines they were in a league of their own ( like Ma and Pop Larkin ) this special family conducted their every day lives in an extraordinary way that was the essence of the Starling family – Thank you for an exceptional show.

  • Andy G

    That has to be one of the worst decissions that anyone at Sky has made in a long time, whichever brianless corporate drone came up with this idea needs to be removed from their job and forcibly ejected from whichever building they presently occupy and never allowed back ever again. Seriously, what are you thinking? If you cancel one of the most popular, well written, acted, directed and produced programmes on TV at the moment what hope is there for you? What’s next, Stella and Mount Pleasant? Just as you really start to compete properly with the established channels you do this, the edge that you built up over your competition in the last few years has just been seriously dulled. Ridiculous and manifestly egregious decission.

  • Betty L

    This is a fantastic series. What a totally disappointing decision not to have a third season! This show is quality programming. There are so many story lines left to explore. Each character is still left with an untold story. Poor, poor decision to not continue for all involved!!

  • Donna

    Can’t believe starlings won’t be back , my family and myself are very disappointed we loved watching it , fantastic actors and great story lines , such a shame sky have made a big mistake , very disappointed !

  • Davina

    Very disappointed SKY just checked to see when Starlings would be returning to find out its cancelled. Was looking forward to finding out if Gravy went to America after the love of his life……. Hope another channel snaps it up.

  • Peter

    Gutted to hear that Starlings won’t be returning. Most of it is filmed a few miles from where I live and apart from the local interest it was a heartwarming family story with a great cast. Please reconsider SKY and do another series!!

  • Mick

    Someone should start a bring back Starlings campaign.. Too much crap across the whole of TV. We need more of the type of comedy drama series to cheer us up over the long dark nights.. Gutted!!!

  • tim

    Just searched for when starlings was back on. Can’t believe tv companies make these decisions without any thought to fans of the show. So disappointed. If you are going to cancel a show don’t cancel a good one. It happens so many times and the fans suffer. Can we have a bring back starlings campaign. Tbe bbc did this with ripper street and because of the outcry from fans its being made by amazon prime now. Bring back starlings.

  • Peter

    Why oh why cancell a great series !! Bring it back pleaseeeeeeeeee

  • Russ

    Just checked to see when series 3 is out and find that it is cancelled. Why oh why, this was one of our favourite dramedies… This along with Stella are what we look forward to each year. A very poor decision .

  • Richard

    Very disappointed to see Starlings has been cancelled. It was one of the best new series on any channel in recent years, and one of the (very) few that we watched on Sky1. One less reason to renew our subscription, I guess.

  • Simon

    Just checked to see when new series of Starlings was going to start , only to find Sky have cancelled it.
    Gutted as there is not much me and the wife watch together but this show was so easy to watch and enjoy. The characters were engaging and charming. The show was well written and ranked up there with Stella as one of the best shows on Sky. Shame another channel couldn’t take it on. Poor decision from Sky