The critically acclaimed British drama CALL THE MIDWIFE returns for a second season, debuting March 31, 2013, at 8:00 p.m. ET on PBS. The series leads into MASTERPIECE CLASSIC’s new offering, “Mr. Selfridge” at 9:00 p.m.
Written by Heidi Thomas (“Cranford,” “Upstairs Downstairs”) and directed by Philippa Lowthorpe (“Five Daughters”) and Jamie Payne (“The Hour”), CALL THE MIDWIFE completed its first season in the U.S. in early November, drawing an average household audience rating of 2.1, translating into 3 million viewers — 50 percent above PBS’ primetime average for the 2011-12 season. In its UK debut, the series attracted 11.4 million viewers for its peak episode, making it the highest-rated BBC new drama launch on record.
“CALL THE MIDWIFE is a wonderful program and we are thrilled to bring it to PBS for a second season,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming, PBS. “PBS has truly become a destination for drama on Sunday nights and we are pleased to continue this tradition with our BBC and Neal Street partners.”
CALL THE MIDWIFE, based on the best-selling memoirs of the late Jennifer Worth, is a highlight of PBS’ spring season. Extended to eight episodes, BBC One’s most successful new drama since ratings began 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 the Poplar neighborhood’s 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.
The second season opens with a Poplar woman in a dangerous relationship with the father of her unborn child and Trixie facing a difficult birth on board a Swedish trawler. Chummy makes a big decision that
may mean major changes at Nonnatus House and Jenny Lee’s run-in with her old friend Jimmy brings out some feelings from her past she’d rather forget. Cynthia has her confidence shaken and doubts her ability as a midwife, while Jenny’s skills are tested in a setting that’s a far cry from the clinic and homes of Poplar. Sister Bernadette and Doctor Turner oversee an emotionally and technically challenging situation involving two sisters whose outdated views on childbirth put mother and child at risk.
“PBS has been the perfect home for our show,” said executive producer Pippa Harris, “and we are all thrilled that American audiences have embraced the midwives and nuns of London’s East End so warmly. It’s a testament to the enduring appeal of Jennifer Worth’s books, the skill of screen writer Heidi Thomas and the huge talent of our cast and crew.”
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