BBC One has handed out an early second season renewal to their Suranne Jones fronted drama Gentleman Jack. The renewal comes after only a single episode of the series has aired in its Sunday night slot. Premium cable network HBO, who co-produce for the US market, are on-board for season two. Eight episodes have been ordered for the show’s second season.
Gentleman Jack broke records to become the most successful launch for a new BBC drama this year. It won it’s 9pm time-slot with an average overnight audience of 5.1 million viewers, and a peak of 5.6 million. “Gentleman Jack exudes sass and originality, and has been a huge hit with our BBC One audience”, said the BBC’s Controller of Drama Piers Wenger. “We look forward to continuing Anne Lister’s journey with Sally, Suranne and the rest of the team.”
Gentleman Jack tells the story of Anne Lister, who, after years of exotic travel, returns to Halifax, determined to transform the fate of her family and their faded ancestral home Shibden Hall – and to find herself a wife. The drama will explore Anne Lister’s relationships at home with her family, her servants, her tenants and her industrial rivals, who will use any dirty tricks they can to bring her down. At its heart is her relationship with her would-be wife, the wealthy heiress Ann Walker. It has all the warmth, wit, humour and complexity that audiences have come to associate with Sally Wainwright’s writing.
The drama series, which hails from Happy Valley scribe Sally Wainwright and is based on the diaries of Anne Lister, is produced by Lookout Point and stars Suranne Jones, Sophie Rundle, Gemma Whelan, Timothy West, Gemma Jones, Stephanie Cole, Peter Davison, Amelia Bullmore, Katherine Kelly, Sofie Gråbøl, Vincent Franklin, Shaun Dooley, Joe Armstrong, Thomas Howes and Lydia Leonard. The executive producers are Sally Wainwright, Faith Penhale and Laura Lankester for Lookout Point, Ben Irving for BBC One, and Francesca Orsi and Kathleen McCaffrey for HBO.
“It’s so exciting that so many people have had such a positive response to Suranne’s exuberant performance as the brilliant, life-affirming Anne Lister and to Sophie’s beautiful performance as her courageous partner, Ann Walker”, series creator and executive producer Sally Wainwright said in a statement. “I’m utterly delighted that we’ve been recommissioned, because there are so many more big, bold stories to tell about Anne Lister and Ann Walker. A massive thank you to the BBC and HBO and to everyone at Lookout Point.”
While Suranne Jones added: “I’m so thrilled that I will be joining Sally Wainwright on the second part of Anne’s journey. We always dreamed there would be more and now we get to play it all out. A huge thank you to the BBC, HBO and Lookout Point for giving us our second series. It’s such amazing and positive news. I love working with the brilliant and talented Sophie Rundle and can’t wait to create some more Lister and Walker moments with her too.”