BBC One is sticking with two of its daytime dramas. The BBC’s flagship channel has renewed Father Brown and Shakespeare & Hathaway – Private Investigators for an additional two seasons. Father Brown will return for an eighth and ninth season, while Shakespeare & Hathaway – Private Investigators will be back for a third and fourth season. Said seasons will each consist of ten episodes.
“Fans can now look forward to another 20 episodes of Father Brown over the next two years and the same again for Shakespeare & Hathaway – Private Investigators”, said Dan McGolpin, Controller BBC Programming and iPlayer. “These comic crime series are much loved by viewers in the daytime on BBC One and by others at any time on BBC iPlayer. They are masterfully produced by the team at BBC Studios, with a hugely talented cast on each series.”
The renewals comes after both series have continued to be top ratings performs for BBC One in the daytime drama slot. The seventh season of Father Brown averaged 1.8 million viewers and a 26% audience share, while the second season of Shakespeare & Hathaway – Private Investigators averaged 1.3 million viewers and a 22% share. Both shows have also been good sellers for international distributor BBC Studios. Father Brown has been sold to over 200 territories, while Shakespeare & Hathaway – Private Investigators has been licensed to 175 territories.
Based on the works of G.K. Chesterton, Father Brown is set in the 1950s and follows the eponymous Roman Catholic priest as he solves crimes in the Cotswold village of Kembleford. The drama series is produced by BBC Studios Daytime Drama Unit and stars Mark Williams, Sorcha Cusack, Emer Kenny, Jack Deam and John Burton. Peter Bullock is the series producer, while the Head of BBC Drama Unit Birmingham Will Trotter is the executive producer.
Season eight sees Father Brown investigate the murder of an eccentric beekeeper, step in when Mrs McCarthy’s family reunion is threatened by a fortune-teller’s predictions and race against time to save Bunty from the hangman’s noose when she is tried for murder. Returning guest stars include John Light as Hercule Flambeau, Alan Williams as Blind ‘Arry and Tom Chambers as Chief Inspector Sullivan.
Shakespeare & Hathaway – Private Investigators follows Frank Hathaway, a hardboiled private investigator, and his rookie sidekick Lu Shakespeare form the unlikeliest of partnerships as they investigate the secrets of rural Warwickshire’s residents. The drama series is produced by BBC Studios and stars Jo Joyner and Mark Benton. Season three, which begins filming this month, sees them dealing with an ageing heavy metal star with a pact with the devil, a Shakespeare museum full of deadly secrets and a King Lear story set in a carpet warehouse, amongst others.