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"Last Tango in Halifax" returns June 29; "Vicious" with Jacobi, Ian McKellen arriving

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 4, 2014

The official word: BBC Worldwide North America Sales & Distribution and PBS announced today that the critically acclaimed British drama LAST TANGO IN HALIFAX will return for a second season in the U.S., debuting June 29 2014, at 8:00 p.m. ET on PBS. New sitcom VICIOUS, also starring TANGO lead Derek Jacobi, will join the lineup on Sunday, June 29 at 10:30 p.m. ET.

 

Written by Sally Wainwright (“Scott and Bailey,” “Unforgiven,” “At Home With the Braithwaites”) and directed by Euros Lyn (“Black Mirror,” “Sherlock”) and Jill Robertson (Law & Order: UK), LAST TANGO IN HALIFAX tells the story of love struck septuagenarians Alan (Jacobi) and Celia (Anne Reid) who rediscover their love for each other later in life — 60 years, in fact, after they first met. The heart-warming series, which was named one of the “Best TV shows of 2013” by Variety, was the BBC’s highest rating new mid-week drama of 2012, regularly attracting more than seven million viewers with its captivating mix of effervescent humor and moving drama. Made by Red Production Company for the BBC, LAST TANGO IN HALIFAX is produced by Karen Lewis with Nicola Shindler, Sally Wainwright and Matthew Read as the executive producers.

 

The six-part series returns as Alan and Celia continue to negotiate family baggage to plan a life together. Having come so close to losing each other forever thanks to Alan’s near fatal heart attack, he and Celia decide to have a romantic secret wedding as soon as possible. But how will their respective daughters react? The uptight Caroline and rebellious Gillian are discovering they actually quite like each other, however Gillian’s need to own up to her night with Caroline’s ex-husband John could jeopardize the soon-to-be stepsisters’ fledgling friendship. As secrets from the past come tumbling out and family members adjust to changing relationships, can Alan and Celia find the long-awaited happiness they deserve?

 

“LAST TANGO IN HALIFAX captured the hearts of millions of viewers,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming, PBS. “We are excited to continue the love story between Alan and Celia and work with Red Production and the BBC on an exciting second season. We’re also thrilled that we’ll be giving the acclaimed Derek Jacobi an additional opportunity to shine later in the evening with VICIOUS.”

 

In addition to Jacobi (The King’s Speech, “The Borgias,” My Week With Marilyn) and Reid (“Upstairs, Downstairs,” “Marchlands”), LAST TANGO IN HALIFAX features Sarah Lancashire (“Five Daughters,” “Wuthering Heights,” “Inspector George Gently”) as Caroline, Nicola Walker (“Inside Men,” “Spooks,” “Being Human”) as Gillian, Tony Gardner (“Fresh Meat,” “My Parents Are Aliens”) as John, Dean Andrews (“Life On Mars,” “Ashes To Ashes,” “Marchlands”) as Robbie, Nina Sosanya (“Silk,” “Five Days,” “Hustle”) as Kate, Ronni Ancona (“Skins,” “Big Impression”) as Judith and Josh Bolt (“Shameless,” Nowhere Boy) as Raff. ...

Following a rich tradition of British sitcoms known for their broad, boisterous humor, VICIOUS tells the story of partners Freddie (McKellen) and Stuart (Jacobi), who have lived together in a small central London flat for nearly 50 years. Constantly picking each other apart and holding on to petty slights for decades, Freddie and Stuart are always at each other’s throats, cracking snide remarks aimed at the other’s age, appearance and flaws. However, underneath their vicious, co-dependent fighting, they have a deep love for one another. Freddie and Stuart are often joined by feisty best friend Violet (Frances de la Tour, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) and Ash, (Iwan Rheon, “Game of Thrones”) their young, upstairs neighbor.

 

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