PBS Picks Up U.S. Rights To ‘Call The Midwife’ Season 2, Christmas Special Set For December 30th

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PBS has closed a deal with BBC Worldwide America Sales & Distribution to pick up the exclusive US broadcast rights to the eight episode second season of the British period drama series Call The Midwife. The second season of Call The Midwife is set to receive its US premiere on PBS on March 31st 2013 at 8/7c, while the 90 minute Christmas special will air on PBS this December 30th at 7:30/6:30c.

Call The Midwife is based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, who was a district midwife in London’s east end during the 1950′s and stars Jessica Raine, Jenny Agutter, Pam Ferris, Miranda Hart, Judy Parfitt, Helen George, Bryony Hannah, Laura Main and Cliff Paris. The show’s second season sees the return of all its well-loved characters, as well as some new faces. Nonnatus House opens its doors to warmly welcome the audience back into 1950s East End London and continues to follow Poplar’s community of exceptional midwives and nursing nuns. The new season stays true to its roots — viewers can expect to see more births, babies and bicycling, plus blossoming romance from an unexpected quarter.

PBS’ decision to pick up the second season of Call The Midwife comes after the series, across its six episode first season, drew an average household audience rating of 2.1, translating into 3.0 million viewers, some 50 percent above PBS’ primetime average for the 2011-12 season. The public broadcaster will be using the second season of Call The Midwife to serve as a lead-in to it’s newest orginal series Mr Selfridge, which is a co-production with ITV.

Speaking of PBS’ acqusition of Call The Midwife season 2, Matt Forde, Executive Vice President of Sales and Co-Productions for BBC Worldwide Americas said: “Call The Midwife has now proven itself a hit show on both sides of the Atlantic, attracting record audiences in the UK and taking huge rating strides in the U.S. in its first season. The show is a great complement to PBS’ popular line-up of powerful dramas and we are certain the show’s second season will continue to captivate and inspire.”

While John F. Wilson, PBS’ Senior Vice President & Chief TV Programming Executive, commented “We were so pleased with the overwhelming response we received to Call The Midwife that we, along with our fans, can’t wait until the second season premiere,” said .  “It’s exactly the kind of inventive, quality programming people expect from PBS, and it has helped us strengthen our Sunday night programming block into a true destination for drama fans.”