BBC Worldwide and PBS Sign Deal to Bring Critically Acclaimed 'Call the Midwife' to the U.S.

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

May 15th, 2012

via press release:

– Highest-Rated New Drama Launch in BBC History

Strengthens PBS as a Destination for Drama on Sunday Nights Leading Into

MASTERPIECE CLASSIC “Upstairs Downstairs” –

ARLINGTON, VA – May 15, 2012 --BBC Worldwide America Sales & Distribution and PBS announced today the sale of the first season of the critically acclaimed British drama, CALL THE MIDWIFE to PBS.


The series will premiere on September 30, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. leading into MASTERPIECE CLASSIC “Upstairs Downstairs,” transforming Sunday nights into a destination for drama on PBS.

Written by Heidi Thomas (“Cranford,” “Upstairs Downstairs”) and directed by Philippa Lowthorpe (“Five Daughters”) and Jamie Payne (“The Hour”), CALL THE MIDWIFE completed its first season in the UK on BBC ONE in February 2012. Attracting 10.7 million viewers for its peak episode, CALL THE MIDWIFE was the highest-rated BBC new drama launch on record. A second season has been commissioned and will air in the UK in 2013. CALL THE MIDWIFE is a Neal Street production for BBC. Executive Produced by Pippa Harris (Revolutionary Road, “The Hollow Crown”) and Heidi Thomas.  The series is produced by Hugh Warren (“Survivors”).


Matt Forde, EVP Sales and Co-productions, BBC Worldwide America said, “CALL THE MIDWIFE has been a phenomenal hit in the UK and we expect that its appeal will successfully cross the pond.” He continued, “Public television has historically set the standard for quality programming. We look forward to bringing unique content to PBS and continuing our long and mutually beneficial relationship.”


“CALL THE MIDWIFE is a riveting new series that strengthens PBS as a destination for drama on Sunday nights,” said Paula Kerger, PBS President and CEO. “We look forward to working with our BBC partners to introduce the story and the characters that were so beloved in Britain to the American audience.”

  • Tess

    I don’t get why BBC Worldwide wouldn’t rather put this on their own affiliated network, BBC America. I mean, if they had a few more new shows to air, they wouldn’t have to show repeats of Star Trek and other American shows that are tenuously linked to Britain. I guess PBS is raking in enough money from “viewers like you” that they can pay more for the rights to air it than BBCA can…?

  • UK-International

    I don’t think it will be a big hit in the 18-49 demo for BBC America to make it worth while. BBC America need to pick up Spooks and Hustle they have now finished in the UK.

  • create

    News from across the pond: Call the Midwife is not that great. Spooks, Downton Abbey, even The Hour, were must see TV. You were hooked from the first episode.

  • groove365

    Thanks for the heads up create.

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures