BBC Studios is recommissioned to produce more series of daytime crime dramas Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators and Father Brown
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.Dan McGolpin
Both drama series will be produced by the BBC Studios Production in Birmingham and were greenlit earlier this year by Dan McGolpin for BBC One daytime. Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators series three (10x45') and Father Brown series eight (10x45') will be broadcast in 2020, with Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators series four and Father Brown series nine (each 10x45') due to air in 2021.
Dan McGolpin, Controller BBC Programming and iPlayer, says: “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. 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.”
Will Trotter, Head of BBC Studios Drama Unit Birmingham, says: “We’re thrilled that BBC One daytime has shown its long term commitment to these two fantastic series. With series eight and nine there will be 100 episodes of Father Brown for viewers to enjoy and with additional series of Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators we can build on the much-loved daytime crime drama genre even further.”
The combination of detective drama shot in idyllic English countryside has proved to be very appealing to worldwide audiences. To date Father Brown has been sold to over 200 territories and Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators to 175 territories. In the UK, Father Brown series seven averaged 1.8m viewers with a 26% share of the audience, winning its timeslot. Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators series two averaged 1.3m and a 22% share of the audience, coming first in its time slot.
Filming for series three of Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators begins this September and will once again see Jo Joyner (Ackley Bridge) and Mark Benton (Waterloo Road) in the title roles as the oddball detective duo Luella Shakespeare and Frank Hathaway who are back on the case in Stratford upon Avon - home to Shakespeare and crammed with cunning criminals. Their adventures on this new series 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. Once again Lu and Frank will be joined by their thespian assistant Sebastian (Patrick Walsh McBride), as well as by new regular character PC Viola Deacon (Yasmin Kaur Barn), a 20-something friend of Sebastian with boundless, puppy-like enthusiasm. Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators was created by Father Brown alumni Paul Matthew Thompson and Jude Tindall. The Executive Producer is Ceri Meyrick and the Producer is Caroline Slater.
Father Brown series eight returns with Mark Williams (Harry Potter) resuming his role as the crime busting charismatic priest in the Cotswolds. Based on the character made famous from GK Chesterton’s short stories, the eighth series 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. Joining Mrs McCarthy (Sorcha Cusack) and Bunty Windermere (Emer Kenny) are regular characters Inspector Mallory (Jack Deam) and Sergeant Goodfellow (John Burton). Returning guest characters include Lady Felicia (Nancy Carroll), Sid Carter (Alex Price), Hercule Flambeau (John Light), Blind ‘Arry (Alan Williams), Chief Inspector Sullivan (Tom Chambers) and for the first time since 2014, Chief Inspector Valentine (Hugo Speer). The Script Producer is Neil Irvine, the Producer is Peter Bullock and the Executive Producer is Will Trotter.