BBC Two has renewed their period gangster drama Peaky Blinders for an additional two seasons, TVWise has learned.
Peaky Blinders is set in Birmingham in the early 1920s and follows the extended Shelby criminal family whose many brothers, sisters, cousins and uncles make up the fiercest gang of post-war Birmingham: the ‘Peaky Blinders. The series stars Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson, Sophie Rundle, Joe Cole and Finn Cole.
Series creator Steven Knight is on-board to pen all the episodes for the upcoming fourth and fifth seasons. Caryn Mandabach Productions & Tiger Aspect Productions are producing, with Steven Knight, Caryn Mandabach, Will Gould, Jamie Glazebrook, Frith Tiplady, Cillian Murphy and Matthew Read serving as the executive producers. Endemol Shine International is handling global distribution for the show. Netflix continues to hold rights to Peaky Blinders in the United States.
The two-season pick up, which is a big sign of confidence from the BBC and is reserved for hit series such as Line Of Duty, comes as the third season of Peaky Blinders is currently airing on BBC Two. The season premiere drew a consolidated audience of 2.95 million viewers, which was up considerably from the season two average and ranks as the second highest rated episode, behind only the series premiere.
“It’s a fantastic vote of confidence in the show and Steven Knight’s writing that the BBC has ordered two more series following the first episode overnight figures”, said Caryn Mandabach, Executive Producer for Caryn Mandabach Productions. “We’re both proud of, and grateful for, the BBC’s continued support of the show.”
Elsewhere, BBC Two has also given the green-light to The Boy With The Topknot, an adaptation of the memoir of the same name by Sathnam Sanghera.
The Boy With The Topknot tells the true story of Sanghera’s upbringing in the 1980s in Wolverhampton. Like the book, the one-off drama will also see Sanghera facing up to painful family secrets and truths in his twenties – not least that his father and sister had suffered from schizophrenia – and that he was going to defy expectations of an arranged marriage.
Mick Ford, who has previously written for such TV drams as Inspector George Gently and The Five, is penning the adaptation, which is set up at the Endemol Shine owned indie Kudos and Parti Productions. Diederick Santer, Lucy Richer and Nisha Parti will executive produce.
“I’m delighted that The Boy With The Topknot is being adapted for screen. Delighted and of course a little trepidatious. The latter because the book is obviously a personal exposition of my childhood and family, and delighted because it’s a story I want people to know about and understand”, said Sathnam Sanghera. “I feel absolutely confident that the BBC and Parti along with Kudos will handle the themes explored in the book with great warmth and sensitivity, and because ultimately, my family’s story is one of hope.”
While executive producer Nisha Parti added: “I am so thrilled that the BBC have commissioned this drama. Growing up, I never had the opportunity to watch these kinds of stories being told on TV and have worked hard with the BBC and Kudos to bring that story to life for the screen. Very much looking forward to producing my first film for the BBC on a project that I feel so passionately about.”