Fifth Season of CALL THE MIDWIFE to Premiere Sunday, April 3 on PBS
– Neal Street Productions’ Hit British Series Continues to Solidify
PBS as the Destination for Drama –
ARLINGTON, VA; March 8, 2016 – The critically-acclaimed British drama CALL THE MIDWIFE returns to PBS for a fifth season on April 3, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. ET. The Sunday night lineup on PBS also includes “Grantchester, Season 2” on MASTERPIECE at 9 p.m. and the fourth and final season of “Mr. Selfridge” on MASTERPIECE, starring Jeremy Piven, at 10 p.m.
Season 5 opens in the year 1961, and Poplar is beginning to feel the winds of social change with the improvements in housing, sanitation and healthcare. But for the midwives and nuns of Nonnatus House, it’s business as usual, as they continue to care for the sick and bring new life into the world. The personal and professional lives of the nurses remain entwined, as events in their work impact on their personal choices.
Throughout the season, the midwives encounter complex and challenging medical cases, ranging from an outbreak of typhoid to the increase in lung cancer, a teenage pregnancy and a mother who vanishes. But all are rocked when two babies with severe deformities are born under their care, several months apart from one another. As they struggle to understand why, they must find ways to deal with the resulting medical and emotional fallout.
Season 4 of CALL THE MIDWIFE averaged a 2.32 household rating with an average audience of 3.3 million viewers (P2+), and the series has seen an overall growth of 9% since its Season 1 debut.
“CALL THE MIDWIFE is wildly popular in the UK and continues to delight PBS viewers with exhilarating storylines and its charming and enthralling characters.” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming, PBS. “We are looking forward to a remarkable Season 5 of CALL THE MIDWIFE and continuing our relationship with our BBC and Neal Street partners.”
“We are thrilled to be returning to PBS with our fifth season of CALL THE MIDWIFE, which I firmly believe is our strongest yet,” said Dame Pippa Harris, executive producer for Neal Street Productions. “Our continued popularity in the U.S. and UK demonstrates how keen audiences are to watch character driven, emotionally engaging medical drama. It's a testament to the skill of Heidi Thomas's terrific scripts and the brilliance of our ensemble cast.”
CALL THE MIDWIFE stars Jenny Agutter (“The Railway Children,” “Spooks”) as Sister Julienne, Linda Bassett (“East Is East,” “Lark Rise To Candleford”) as Nurse Phyllis Crane, Pam Ferris (“Little Dorrit,” “Darling Buds of May”) as Sister Evangelina, Judy Parfitt (“Little Dorrit,” Girl With a Pearl Earring), who was nominated for a 2013 Satellite Award for her work as Sister Monica Joan, Helen George (“Hollyoaks,” “Doctors”) as Trixie Franklin, Bryony Hannah (Cemetery Junction) as Sister Mary Cynthia, Laura Main (“Monarch of the Glen”) as Shelagh Turner, Emerald Fennell (The Danish Girl, Pan) as Patsy Mount, Charlotte Ritchie (“Life Of Riley,” “Fresh Meat”) as Nurse Barbara Gilbert, Victoria Yeates (“Holby City”) as Sister Winifred, Ben Caplan (“The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies,” “Band of Brothers”) as Sergeant Peter Noakes, Stephen McGann (“Emmerdale”) as Dr. Patrick Turner, Cliff Parisi (“EastEnders”) as Fred, Jack Ashton (“Endeavour,” “Of Mary”) as Tom Hereward, Annabelle Apsion (“Shameless”) as Violet Buckle, Kate Lamb as Nurse Delia Busby, and Vanessa Redgrave provides the voice of the mature Jennifer Worth.
CALL THE MIDWIFE is created and written by Heidi Thomas; Executive Producers are Pippa Harris and Heidi Thomas. The series is a Neal Street Production for BBC/PBS and is distributed by BBC Worldwide North America.
CALL THE MIDWIFE (Season 5) full episodes will be available for viewing on the PBS Video Portal for a limited time after each national broadcast.
CALL THE MIDWIFE contains mature content that may not be suitable for all audiences. Viewer discretion is advised. Rated TV-14.
CALL THE MIDWIFE (Season 5) will arrive in 2016 to DVD & Blu-ray. Seasons 1-4 are now available on DVD and Blu-ray on shopPBS.org. Additional items, including Jennifer Worth’s memoirs, published by Penguin Books, and The Life and Times of Call the Midwife, published by Harper Collins, are also available.
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About Neal Street Productions
Neal Street Productions was formed in 2003 by Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris and Caro Newling, and Nicolas Brown joined in 2013 to work across the film and TV portfolio. The company has been successful in film, theatre and television with hit movies including Revolutionary Road, Jarhead and Starter for 10. Their diverse television slate includes the award-winning “Stuart A Life Backwards,” with Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch, and the hugely successful “Call the Midwife.” The show’s fourth series has averaged over 11 million viewers, and is the UK’s most watched TV programme. A third series of Neal Street’s “Penny Dreadful” written by John Logan, is currently shooting starring Josh Hartnett, Eva Green, Timothy Dalton and Rory Kinnear and will air on Showtime in the US and Sky Atlantic in the UK in 2016. Neal Street also produced the critically acclaimed and award-winning “The Hollow Crown” - a series of Shakespeare films for the BBC/PBS - starring Ben Whishaw, Tom Hiddleston and Jeremy Irons. A second series of “The Hollow Crown,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, Hugh Bonneville, Keeley Hawes and Sophie Okonedo is due to air in Spring 2016. On the theatre side, they have produced The Bridge Project, Shrek the Musical and the West End musical of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, directed by Sam Mendes.
About BBC Worldwide North America Sales and Co-ProductionsBBC
Worldwide North America is the main commercial arm and wholly-owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) operating in the U.S. and Canada. The company exists to maximize the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the UK license payer and invests in public service programing in return for rights. The company operates four businesses in the territory – linear and digital content sales and co-productions, consumer products, BBC.com, and two production divisions – BBC Worldwide Productions, responsible for the smash hit Dancing with the Stars and the U.S. version of Top Gear; and Adjacent Productions, producers of Da Vinci’s Demons, Life Below Zero, and Ladies of London, among others. The company also owns a 50.1% share in cable channel BBC AMERICA through a joint venture with AMC Networks.
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