All Creatures Great and Small has been a big hit for Channel 5. The first season picked up praise from fans and critics alike, as well as pulling in excellent viewing figures – and now everyone will be wondering if the show will be back for more.
Based on the novels by James Herriot (aka Alf Wight), which were previously adapted as a movie and as a much-loved BBC television series, this new version of All Creatures Great and Small stars Nicholas Ralph, Samuel West, Anna Madeley, Rachel Shenton, and Callum Woodhouse.
The drama follows newly-trained Glaswegian veterinary assistant and ‘fish out of water’ James Herriot (Ralph), who lands a job at a rural Yorkshire veterinary practice with eccentric boss Siegfried Farnon (West).
It was originally commissioned for a six-part series and a Christmas special, but here’s what we know about the future of All Creatures Great and Small:
When will All Creatures Great and Small be back on TV?
A Christmas special has already been filmed, so we can confirm that All Creatures Great and Small will return to Channel 5 in December 2020.
The first series aired in the UK on Channel 5 in September and October 2020, and it’s set to go out in the US on Masterpiece PBS from 10th January 2021.
Will there be a second season of All Creatures Great and Small?
Hopefully! It’s not yet been officially confirmed, but everyone wants a second series – including Channel 5.
And after the series finale aired, the show’s Twitter account teased “some exciting announcements” in the coming weeks…
For now, it’s goodbye from #ACGAS on your UK TV screens. But no need to be sad! In the coming weeks, we have lots of behind-the-scenes content from the show, and some exciting announcements, that we just know will happily tide you over ???????????????? pic.twitter.com/emFhmuebku
— All Creatures Great and Small (@AllCreaturesTV) October 6, 2020
The team had also already begun working on season two before the first season even aired.
Speaking about the impact of coronavirus, executive producer Colin Callender said: “There is a bizarre, slightly odd silver lining for us, because we are using this time to commission Ben Vanstone [the writer] and the writing team to work on season two, with the hope of getting back into production in the New Year on the second season. And so we’re able to use this lockdown period to work on the development and script development.”
He added: “Ben [Frow, head of Channel 5] has already said he wants a second season; Masterpiece who are playing this in America in the New Year, they want a second season; all3media, who are our financial partners, they want a second season. So we all hope this will become a regular part of the Channel 5 schedule, and we’re using this time to develop the next season.”
Throwing Channel 5’s weight behind the idea of a second season, Frow told press: “I was the first one to go, ‘oh we should be doing this again – we should definitely be doing this.’ We will find a way to do it again. Look, whatever happens we’re going to do it again.”
The cast are also on board. “Where your character can go next is a really exciting conversation to have,” Callum Woodhouse said, while Samuel West mused: “It’s odd actually how little you get the chance as an actor to play a character for a while. And when they’re as important as these ones, the possibility of doing it for more than one would just be wonderful.”
Anna Madeley added: “We’ve got fingers crossed that we get to play these characters again.”
How many seasons of All Creatures will there be?
Channel 5 boss Ben Frow also raised the prospect of multiple future series, even beyond the point where the material from the original books runs out (as it has with Call the Midwife).
“We will definitely do a second series,” he said. “And a third! And wouldn’t it be nice if we could do a fourth and a fifth and just – how many series of Downton Abbey were there? Quite a lot. And we just keep going, we can go into the ’40s and then we can go to the ’50s and then we start making it up, a bit like Call the Midwife.”
All Creatures Great and Small will return with a Christmas special in December 2020 on Channel 5. Check out what else is on with our TV Guide, or take a look at our new TV shows 2020 page to find out what’s airing this autumn and beyond.