Danny Cohen, Controller of BBC One, confirmed today that Upstairs Downstairs has been recommissioned and will return with a 6 x 60-minute series in 2012.
Danny Cohen says: “The return of Upstairs Downstairs was fantastically well-received but what drove us to recommission was the wonderfully imaginative and distinctive plans the team have to take the drama forward.”
The hugely anticipated revival of the legendary Upstairs Downstairs starring Dame Eileen Atkins and Jean Marsh was a smash hit with audiences old and new on BBC One this Christmas, attracting an average of 8.4 million viewers across the three episodes.
Writer Heidi Thomas says: “For me, going back to Eaton Place feels like opening a jewel box – the house is packed with gems. The Holland family and their servants are set for an extraordinary year, and I am thrilled to be their guardian during this momentous chapter.”
The six episodes will return next year and chart a period of social change in Britain in which class structures and relationships between master and servant are tested to their limits. The new series will portray a society in its endgame.
Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, says : “Upstairs Downstairs is the BBC’s biggest drama series launch, alongside Sherlock, since Doctor Who in 2005.
“When it returns in the first half of next year viewers will find everything they loved at Christmas, but with bold new stories that shed a fascinating light on a changing society. A huge shock will ensure events at 165 Eaton Place are never the same again.”
Upstairs Downstairs was recommissioned by Danny Cohen, Controller, BBC One and Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning.
Made by BBC Cymru Wales Drama, the executive producers are Piers Wenger, Heidi Thomas and Kate Harwood. Upstairs Downstairs is a co-production with Masterpiece on PBS. Originally co-created by Jean Marsh, Dame Eileen Atkins and Sagitta Productions.