I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a cold mid-November day back in 2016 when Christmas came early as news came out of London that the critically acclaimed BBC/PBS drama series, Call the Midwife, had been renewed for an additional three seasons.
At the time, this would ensure that one of the most popular dramas in the history of BBC One dramas would remain part of the telly line-up through 2020. In 2016, 2020 seemed light years away. But now that we are all-too-quickly making our way through 2019, 2020 seems dangerously close to imagine life without the bicycle riding midwives from Nonnatus House.
Looks like it might be time for us to take up residence in Poplar because, just like that, it was confirmed on Sunday evening that the BBC’s most popular drama had been renewed for two more seasons, keeping it coming into our collective homes through 2022!
This is welcome news as American audiences are getting ready to settle in for season 8, which premieres on PBS beginning Sunday, March 31. It was probably even more welcome in the UK, where audiences have just viewed the final episode in season 8 and now must await season 9, which begins filming shortly.
No doubt the decision to re-commission was probably an easy one as season 8 became the BBC’s highest-rated returning drama of 2019, with an average of around 9 million viewers per episode.
“Even after all these years, it still feels as though Call the Midwife has more truth to tell, more tears to cry, more life to celebrate, and more love to give,” creator/writer Heidi Thomas said in a statement. “We are blessed with the best cast, crew, and audience a show could wish for, and I could not be more excited about our future.”
Equally as excited, executive producer Pippa Harris said, “We are delighted and humbled by the continued warmth of the audience response to Call the Midwife. It’s a testament to the extraordinary creativity of Heidi Thomas, who pours her heart and soul into every episode.
“We are thrilled that the BBC have put such faith in the show by commissioning two more series and can’t wait to watch our wonderful cast and crew tackling all the social and medical changes which the swinging sixties will bring.”
Once again, as UK audiences are all to familiar with, the newest season explored several highly-emotional issues across both social and medical history, from a harrowing illegal abortion storyline to the introduction of the first smear tests in Britain, as well as mixed-race marriages, adoptions, sickle cell disease and more.
According to the BBC, seasons 10 and 11 will each contain eight episodes, with the usual Christmas Day episode bringing the total number of episodes to an unbelievably brilliant and virtually unheard of 96(!) for the series that quietly launched back in 2012.
Call the Midwife S8 premieres Sunday, March 31 at 8 p.m. Eastern / 7 p.m. Central on PBS.