US Airdates for UK Period Dramas

Parade’s End

– Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Rebecca Hall, and Adelaide Clemens, this adaptation of Ford Madox Ford’s tetraology about an Edwardian gentleman’s destructive marriage with a cruel socialite. This aired on the BBC last autumn but was unfortunately buried away on Friday nights! The first episode is a little slow, but overall it is glorious and moving. The first episode premieres on HBO February 26, 2013 at 9 PM, with the second and third episodes airing on consecutive evenings.

Mr. Selfridge

– Currently airing on ITV, this eight-part Edwardian period drama starring Jeremy Piven, following the life of department store magnate Harry Gordon Selfridge, debuts on PBS on March 31, 2013 at 9 PM. I’ve seen the first three episodes and it’s beautifully shot, lavish, and full of drama and great acting. Luckily for us, it has also been recommissioned for a second series!

The Paradise

– Another period drama series about a department store, this time set in the North of England during the 1870s. A very, very loose BBC adaptation of Au Bonheur des Dames by Émile Zola. I must admit that I had difficulty getting into the first episode because I adore the Zola novel and the writers ripped out its heart to create this very sweet and comforting series. However, I will probably come around eventually, especially as it to has been recommissioned for a second series. Air date to be determined, but it will be on PBS.

Dancing on the Edge

– Currently airing on the BBC, this five part drama is written and directed by Stephen Poliakoff and is set in the early 1930s, following a black jazz band in London at a time of extraordinary change. Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthew Goode, John Goodman, Anthony Stewart Head, and Jacqueline Bisset. I highly, highly recommend this! Encore is in talks to pick this up for a future US airdate.

Call the Midwife

– Season two of this acclaimed BBC drama will debut on PBS on March 31, 2013 at 8 PM.

Bomb Girls

– Technically, this is a Canadian production, but Canada is a Commonwealth realm so it counts in my eyes! Currently on its second season, you can catch this delightful and realistic period drama about female munitions workers during WWII on Global TV and Reelz Channel.

The Scapegoat

– An adaptation of a Daphne Du Maurier novel that aired on ITV last autumn starring Matthew Rhys. Set in Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation year, it is a doppelganger story with a fatal twist. Airing on the Ovation TV network.

The Bletchley Circle

– a three-part thriller starring Anna Maxwell Martin as a former Bletchley Park codebreaker who, in the post war period, finds her skills necessary to catch a serial killer whose seemingly random murders have gone undetected. Coming to PBS on April 21, 2013. I’ve also heard on Twitter that this too has been recommissioned for a second series.

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About Evangeline Holland

Author of Edwardian/WWI historicals. Likes cooking, the smell and collecting of old books, various artsy hobbies, travel, classic cinema, period dramas, the fusty areas of history, and all things French (though is terrible with maintaining fluency in the language). Read more about her novels and non-fiction here

11 Thoughts on “US Airdates for UK Period Dramas

  1. Cynthia on February 9, 2013 at 8:24 AM said:

    Thank you! such a hopeful feeling I have, and looking forward to television this spring!

  2. Charleybrown on February 9, 2013 at 8:30 AM said:

    Thanks for this post!
    I had mixed feelings about The Paradise as well, not sure if I’ll be keen for season 2 but probably won’t stay away. There are too many dramas for me to find time to watch these days but my interest is piqued for Scapegoat so might try to fit that one in!

  3. Thank you for posting these so I have something to look forward to. I’m not familiar with a lot of those channel names but hopefully can find out where they are. I was able to watch 3 episodes of The Paradise online before it was taken down and am really looking forward to seeing the rest. Why didn’t anyone ever consider that this might be a girl’s dream tv program?

  4. Heidenkind on February 9, 2013 at 9:03 AM said:

    Don’t forget about The Spies Of Warsaw, which starts in April on BBC America.

  5. Being in England, I’ve been lucky enough to see all of these as they aired. It must be awful for you Americans having to wait. My faves out of this list are Parade’s End, Call The Midwife and The Bletchley Circle; which I’m so pleased has got a 2nd series. I couldn’t get into The Paradise at all and ditched it. What I am thoroughly looking forward to landing in England is Julian Fellowes’ The Gilded Age.

  6. Mary Paquettemarypaquette on February 9, 2013 at 11:17 AM said:

    I am looking forward to all these new Uk Series, Does any one remember “FLAMBARDS” 1980′ and. “TENKO” 1980. , they are on DVD now and are worth viewing.

  7. I LOVE Ripper St! They’ve done a good job on it so far.
    And Mary, I remember watching Flambards and really enjoyed it. I keep hoping they might show it somewhere. I guess I’ll have to buy it instead.

  8. Thank you so much for putting this together! So helpful and I haven’t even heard of most of these. I agree with the Lady Caroline on the Gilded Age – will be a wonderful show I hope! Thanks again!

  9. Dancing on the Edge isn’t familiar because I haven’t seen it analysed or previewed yet, in Australia. But I will!

    The Edwardian era, right up to WW1, produces great drama and manificent architecture/costumes. It will be interesting to see if a series set in the inter-war period can be less luscious but more gritty.

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