Britain’s Carnival Films, the production company behind hits such as Downton Abbey and Agatha Christie’s Poirot is gearing up for a second season of Grantchester, to air on PBS Masterpiece in 2016, according to Deadline Hollywood.
Based on the short stories by James Runcie, the first season drew from the collection Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death (Bloomsbury; Movie-tie in ed.; OverDrive Sample). The new season appears to be based on Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night (Macmillan/Bloomsbury; OverDrive Sample; the publisher tells EarlyWord that a movie tie-in is likely, but has not yet been announced).
If you missed the first season, Grantchester features a dishy village vicar who solves crimes around his tiny hamlet outside of Cambridge, England and ventures further afield as well. Full of jazz music, anguished flashbacks to WWII, and frustrated romance, the sprightly paced 1950s set whodunits showcase well-drawn characters, a fabulous setting, and a not quite cozy tone.
Reviews were generally positive on both sides of the ocean when season one debuted. The Telegraph wrote “Stop it, I’m hooked. Sign me up. I’ll give you my cat and house to see what happens next.”
The LA Times called the show “guilelessly entertaining” and said that while it “lulls more than it grabs [like a] good sermon, you may think you’re only barely listening until you realize you’re fully immersed.”
The New York Times had a different view, however, claiming that Grantchester will be “breezy fun for fans of the form, though the more discerning will be put off by how rudimentary the actual murder mysteries are after being squeezed into 50 minutes (half the norm for this type of show). Others are liable to find it faintly ridiculous, more of a haiku than an actual drama.”
The show created demand for the book and holds spiked at some locations beyond a 3:1 ratio.