BBC Two has renewed the Upstart Crow TV show for a second season. Set in the 1590s, the comedy follows William Shakespeare (David Mitchell), early in his career. Upstart Crow features Shakespeare’s life, both personal and professional, including the backstory for some of his stories.
During its first season, the Upstart Crow TV series cast also included: Harry Enfield, Paula Wilcox, Liza Tarbuck, Helen Monks, Gemma Whelan, Mark Heap, Steve Speirs, Tim Downie, Dominic Coleman, Spencer Jones, and Rob Rouse. BBC Two has commissioned Upstart Crow, series two, for six 30-minute episodes, plus a Christmas special; casting to be confirmed.
The “Upstart Crow” nickname is a veiled criticism of Shakespeare. It probably originated from his contemporary, Robert Greene. It is taken to imply plagiarism on Shakespeare’s part.
David Mitchell says, “I’m thrilled that we’ll be making a second series of Upstart Crow, but sad that my favourite part of the creative process – the quote for the press release – is now over.”
BBC Two says:
Ben Elton’s Upstart Crow set to return for second series on BBC Two
Date: 14.06.2016 Last updated: 14.06.2016 at 10.00
Category: BBC Two; Comedy; Commissioning
Shane Allen, Controller of Comedy Commissioning, has today announced that popular BBC Two sitcom Upstart Crow is set to return for a second series.
BBC Two has commissioned six further 30-minute episodes plus a Christmas special for 2017.
Upstart Crow launched in May 2016 on BBC Two. It was commissioned as one of the highlights of the BBC’s Shakespeare Festival 2016 to mark the 400th anniversary of the writer’s death. Series one episodes consolidated with over two million viewers.
Shane Allen says: “What with the brilliant response to Ben’s re-imagination of Will Shakespeare’s world and the uniquely entertaining cast, it would be madness not to bring Upstart Crow back for a second series.”
Ben Elton says: “Making a sitcom for the BBC is the holy grail of British comedy writing. I am absolutely thrilled that Upstart Crow has earned a second series and am sorry for some of the things I thought about the Bard while studying for my English Lit O Level.”
David Mitchell says: “I’m thrilled that we’ll be making a second series of Upstart Crow, but sad that my favourite part of the creative process – the quote for the press release – is now over.”
Upstart Crow is written by Ben Elton, and follows the life and times of Will Shakespeare as he starts to make a name for himself in London while trying to balance life as a husband, father and son for his family in Stratford-upon-Avon. Beyond his wife Anne, daughter Susannah and mother and father, other characters include his servant Bottom, his friends Kate and Marlowe, his theatrical troupe and his rival Robert Greene.
Upstart Crow explores Shakespeare’s world and uncovers the surprising stories of where many of his ideas came from. Series two is set to continue in this vein as Ben draws inspiration from characters like Othello and Falstaff, and plays like Henry V and The Taming Of The Shrew. Marlowe takes a spy trip to meet Two Gentlemen In Verona, and Will and Anne’s lodger turns out to be a Jesuit assassin with his sights set on the Queen.
Cast members for series two will be confirmed in due course.
What do you think? Are you a fan of the Upstart Crow TV program? Will you watch the second season on BBC Two?