‘Inspector Morse’ Prequel ‘Endeavour’ Has Already Been Renewed for a Fourth Season

Roger Allam and Shaun Evans back in "Endeavour" Season 2. (Photo: Courtesy of (C) ITV for MASTERPIECE)

Huzzah for mystery fans – Inspector Morse prequel series Endeavour has been officially renewed for a fourth season!

Shaun Evans and Roger Allam will once again return as young Endeavour Morse and his partner Detective Inspector Fred Thursday. The new fourth season will be set in 1967 and is due into go into production on location in Oxford in late Spring 2016. Endeavour creator and Morse writer Russell Lewis will once again be writing the scripts. 

‘Downton Abbey’ Recap: Season 6, Episode 8

Oh, Mary. (Photo: Courtesy of Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2015 for MASTERPIECE)

Previously on Downton Abbey: Mary’s boyfriend Henry Talbot invites the whole Crawley clan and their various hangers on down to the Brooklands race track to watch him and his friend Charlie Rogers drive. They all go and make a day of it, but, sadly, there’s a terrible accident during the race, a car catches fire and Charlie is killed. Henry is devastated, and somehow this is enough of an emotional catalyst to convince Mary that the two of them have to break up, because their lives are too different or some dumb reason. Tom, who has apparently been spending most of his free time writing Henry/Mary fanfiction, is pretty upset about this, and repeatedly attempts to mansplain to Mary that she’s making a terrible choice with her dumb female emotions that are blinding her to Henry’s perfection. (Shut up, Tom. We all know he’s right about Henry, but he could stand to not be such a jerk about it.) In happier news, Molesley passes his special exam, and is offered a job as a teacher at the village school (YAY!), Bertie Pelham proposes to Edith (even though she hasn’t technically said yes yet) and Mrs. Hughes teaches Carson a lesson about his constant complaining regarding her cooking. Oh, and ROBERT GOT A NEW PUPPY OMG.

(If you need a more in-depth refresher, last week's recap is right this way.)

Patricia Routledge as Hyacinth in "Keeping Up Appearances". (Photo: BBC)

Nostalgia Telly – Vintage BBC Sitcoms Are Making a Comeback

For those who follow British entertainment, you will have noticed a decided trend towards reviving TV shows of bygone days. And no wonder, the fondness for and popularity of such classic series remain fairly constant. For example, Dad’s Army, a UK comedy institution from the 60’s and 70’s, was recently adapted for the big screen and featured a star-studded ensemble as members of the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard.

In fact, it was recently revealed that Keeping Up Appearances is still the most-bought BBC program by international broadcasters. (Apparently middle class snobbery is universally and cross-generationally amusing!) So beloved is Mrs. Bucket and her crew, The Telegraph has reported that a “new version of Keeping Up Appearances has the working title Young Hyacinth, and follows the character as a 19-year-old. The classic sitcom is being resurrected as part of a celebration of the corporation’s most popular comedies that is due to air this year.”

Stephen Fry's comments about Jenny Beavan caused BAFTA controversy. (Photo: British Academy Film Awards)

BAFTA Film Awards 2016 – Winners and Highlights

Another British Academy Film Awards ceremony is in the books. From frigid conditions on the Red Carpet to the able and familiar hosting skills of Stephen Fry, by all accounts the star-studded presentation of golden masks went off pretty much as usual.

Right now is the time I should probably admit that I did not, in fact, watch the actual broadcast. (One of the few reasons I regret giving up my BBC America subscription.) However, I feel confident that my scanning of social media and YouTube has given me enough to go on to write this recap of Sunday night’s  events at London’s Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

‘Downton Abbey’ Recap: Season 6, Episode 7

Racetrack chic looks super great on Lady Mary. (Photo:  Courtesy of Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2015 for MASTERPIECE)

Previously on Downton Abbey: The Board of Governors decides to turn the village hospital over to the larger institution in York, and proceeds to nominate Cora to replace Violet as President of the local board. Violet is furious and feels betrayed, and everyone around her decides that the best plan of action is just to act like she’s a doddering idiot. Daisy, who is jealous of the attention Mr. Mason’s paying Mrs. Patmore, decides to continue her new role as The Ultimate Worst, by acting out towards both of them and sabotaging their friendship. Carson is something of a disappointment as a husband, Mary and Henry Talbot finally kiss and Robert decides that it’s time to finally start cutting the staff, so Thomas is basically fired. Thomas cries about this, because somehow the writers think that we feel bad for him, despite them doing nothing to show us how the character has changed or grown in the past three years. And the Crawleys open Downton Abbey to the public for a day to raise money for the hospital, and are quite surprised to learn that a lot of people are super (grossly) curious about how the other half lives.  

(If you need a more in-depth refresher, last week's recap is right this way.)

‘Ballykissangel’: Where Are They Now?

The cat of "Ballykissangel" in Season 2 Photo: BBC)

Twenty years ago this week, the BBC aired the first episode of the popular dramedy Ballykissangel. Set in a picturesque yet quirky Irish village, the show began with the arrival of Father Peter Clifford, a new Catholic priest sent by the diocese to Ireland from Manchester. Through his eyes we get acquainted with all the characters of the town, the first one being the strong-willed landlady of the local pub, Assumpta Fitzgerald.

Ballykissangel carried on for six series. Through it actors like James Nesbitt who played Assumpta’s husband Leo and Colin Farrell who joined the cast in series four to play Dublin bad boy (and farmer Eamon’s nephew) Danny Byrne were introduced to a larger audience. The program was picked up by a large number of PBS affiliates and, as far as I know, reruns are still being aired in the US to this day. However, significant turnover in cast members over the years eventually led to lower ratings and the show was finally canceled in 2001.

‘White Queen’ Sequel ‘The White Princess’ is Really Happening in 2017

Rebecca Ferguson as the original "White Queen". Who will star in the sequel series? (Photo: BBC/Starz)

Finally! After nearly three years of rumors, waffling and vague executive statements at press and promotional events, the sequel to The White Queen is actually happening!

Premium cable network Starz has officially commissioned The White Princess, based on best-selling author Philippa Gregory’s novel of the same name. The novel follows the story of Princess Elizabeth of York, daughter of White Queen Elizabeth Woodville, and focuses on her marriage to Henry Tudor (King Henry VII), which included the birth of multiple children, several rebellions and various other dramatic incidents.

Final Season of ‘Mr. Selfridge’ to Begin in March on PBS Masterpiece

Mr. Selfridge will suit up for one last season. (Photo: Courtesy of © ITV Studios Limited 2016 for MASTERPIECE)

Selfridges Department Store will open in America one last time this March.  The fourth and final season of popular period drama Mr. Selfridge will premiere on Masterpiece beginning Sunday, March 27 and will run through May 22.

The final season of Mr. Selfridge follows the unpredictable arc of flamboyant American entrepreneur Harry Gordon Selfridge’s career to its thrilling climax, charting the fate of the showman with the big heart, shaky morals, and dogged belief that the dice roll will save him – and the store – every time.

‘Downton Abbey’ Recap: Season 6, Episode 6

So Lady Mary and Henry Talbot are kind of adorable together, yeah? (Photo: Courtesy of Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2015 for MASTERPIECE)

Previously on Downton Abbey: The Dowager Countess manages to invite the Minister of Health to dinner at Downton, ostensibly to get him to crush the hospital takeover plan by means of government interference. Unfortunately before Violet can make her case, Robert’s ulcer bursts and he spews blood all over the table and guests in a violent and disgusting fashion vaguely reminiscent of that creature bursting out of people’s chests in Alien. It’s nasty. Robert survives, but the entire Crawley clan is shaken.

In other news, Mary goes to watch Henry Talbot try out racing cars, and Tom comes along, because he has a mancrush on Henry and turns into a huge cheerleader for his relationship with Mary. Edith goes on a date with Bertie Pelham while she’ s in London, and they kiss and it’s all very sweet, particularly because he actually seems to like her and doesn’t have any deep dark secrets (that we are aware of, anyway.) Oh and Thomas promises to help Andy learn to read, because he’s suddenly decided he wants to be a pig farmer for some reason, and they both need storylines for the series’ final four episodes.

 (If you need a more in-depth refresher, last week's recap is right this way.)