Channel 4 has renewed high school drama Ackley Bridge for another season. Eight episodes have been ordered for the show’s third season, which is set to premiere in 2019. That is up from the six episodes that comprised season one, but down slightly from the twelve episode order for season two. The renewal comes on the heels of last night’s season two finale.
Ackley Bridge is set in a Yorkshire mill town which is home to largely divided white and Asian populations. Like the communities, the school systems have also become segregated. However as two formerly isolated comprehensives are merged into a brand new academy, Ackley Bridge College, the lives and cultures of each are set to collide. The series is produced by The Forge and stars Jo Joyner, Paul Nicholls, Sunetra Sarker, Liz White, Adil Ray, Arsher Ali, Poppy Lee-Friar, Amy Leigh-Hickman and Sam Bottomley.
The series was created by Ayub Khan Din, Kevin Erlis (Shameless) and Malcolm Campbell and was specifically developed and commissioned for the mid-week 8pm time-slot under former Channel 4 programming boss Jay Hunt. Alexander Lamb is the series producer. The executive producers are George Ormond, George Faber, Ayub Khan Din and Hugo Heppell. Production on season three gets underway next year.
“We’re thrilled that our beloved Ackley gang are returning to Channel 4 next year for what is sure to be another joyful, outrageous and unmissable series”, said Channel 4 Commissioning Editor Manpreet Dosanjh, who commissioned the third season alongside Channel 4’s Jonny Richards. “This bold and ballsy show reflects modern Britain in all its diverse glory and does so with wit, grit and its heart firmly in the right place.”
“Making Ackley Bridge gives us the chance to tell stories about a part of multicultural Britain that doesn’t get seen on TV very often, and do it with humour, guts and a big heart”, commented executive producer George Ormond. “We’re particularly proud to have given six writers their first hour of television drama in the first two series, five of whom are from diverse backgrounds.”
While fellow executive producer Ayub Khan Din added, “I’m so pleased to be given continued support by Channel 4. The Ackley Bridge curriculum gives you the three “R’s” Race! Religion! and Rioting! Like a good Chicken Tikka Massala it has all the best ingredients with just the right amount of spice!”
This renewal marks the second commission at Channel 4 for The Forge in the past week. On Monday they got a formal green-light from the PSB for The Light, the final entry in the trilogy of dramas from Harry Potter & The Cursed Child scribe Jack Thorne that started with National Treasure in 2016.