Joanne Froggatt as Mary Cotton in "Dark Angel" (Photo: Courtesy of ©JustinSleePhotography2015/MASTERPIECE)

Joanne Froggatt’s ‘Dark Angel’ to Air on Masterpiece in 2016

Joanne Froggatt’s next project after Downton Abbey is kind of…against type. Best known for playing the beloved, long-suffering Anna Bates, Froggat will next take on the role of infamous Victorian poisoner Mary Cotton in an upcoming two-part drama entitled Dark Angel.

The series will be aired on ITV in the UK, and will come to America shortly thereafter on PBS stations nationwide as part of PBS’s 2016 Masterpiece slate.

‘Grantchester’ Season 2 US Premiere Date Set for March

James Norton and Robson Green in "Grantchester" Season 2. (Photo: Courtesy of Des Willie/Lovely Day for ITV and MASTERPIECE)

Good news mystery fans – the highly anticipated second season of popular series Grantchester has a US airdate!

Based on a series of novels by James Runcie, Grantchester follows the story of a charismatic clergyman who turns accidental crimefighter when one of his parishioners turns up dead. He joins forces with an overworked police inspector and the pair form an unlikely crime-solving partnership and friendship. 

Shaun Evans and Roger Allam looking all kinds of dapper in "Endeavour" Season 3 Photo: ITV

Take a Look at the Third Season of ‘Morse’ Prequel ‘Endeavour’

Mystery lovers, rejoice: Endeavour is back for a third season!

The new series of the popular Inspector Morse prequel kicked off in the UK this month although those of us in the US will have to wait a few months to see it for ourselves.

Shaun Evans is back as the young detective Endeavour Morse, who was last seen isolated and languishing in prison, after being framed for the murder of Chief Constable Richard Standish. He had discovered corruption at the very heart of the City Force, but his investigation (obviously) took something of a sinister turn.  Meanwhile, when we last saw Endeavour’s partner, DI Fred Thursday (played by Roger Allam), he had just been shot in the chest. So, you know, there’s kind of a lot going on. 

'Downton Abbey' Recap: Season 6, Episode 3

This is the greatest episode. Obviously. (Photo: Courtesy of Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2015 for MASTERPIECE)

Previously on Downton Abbey: Carson and Mrs. Hughes have a disagreement about what kind of wedding (and reception) they’d like to have. Mrs. Drewe continues to have a lot of emotional issues as s result of Edith reclaiming Marigold, and literally everyone on the show basically refuses to acknowledge the wrong that they’ve all done this woman. After Mrs. Drewe basically kidnaps Marigold, the family is basically forced to give up their tenancy on the farm they’ve worked for generations. Thomas starts looking for a new job. The fight over the future of the hospital continues; no one cares.  

If you missed last week’s recap, you still have time to stop by and check it out. As far as this week’s episode goes, I’m still smiling, so that seems like a pretty good sign, yeah?

Remembering Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman in his most famous recent role: "Harry Potter's" Potions Master, Severus Snape. (Photo: Warner Bros.)

Most of you have probably already heard the heart-breaking news that Alan Rickman passed away today at the age of 69. Reports state that the British actor had been battling cancer. He is survived by his partner of 50 years, Rima Horton. The two married in a private ceremony in 2012.

Anyone who watched Mr. Rickman perform knew the depth and power of his talent. He was an accomplished stage and screen actor who was recognized with nominations for his work in theatre, TV and film. His honors included a BAFTA for his villainous role in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and an Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award for portraying the infamous spiritual healer and Russian political advisor in the TV movie Rasputin. For his most recognized role as the misunderstood and ultimately selfless Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise, Alan earned the devotion of a generation and a People’s Choice and MTV Movie award to boot.

The cast of "Gary: Tank Commander" (Photo: BBC)

The Surprising New Place for Scottish Comedy is Netflix!

Or McNetflix, more like. Lately I’ve noticed a flurry of Scottish comedy programs have popped up on the streaming service’s listings and I have to say I’m thrilled. For one thing, I’ve tried to watch some of these series before, but without proper subtitles I was lost in a world of Scots dialects and unfamiliar slang. With the very helpful Netflix subtitles, I now know “pish” from “sannies” and “bam” from “ken.”

A word of warning, these shows don’t resemble Monarch of the Glen or Hamish Macbeth. In fact, I haven’t seen a bagpipe, castle or kilt yet. Most of these series take place in the gloomy, working class environs of Glasgow, not the picturesque lands of lochs and glens. Nevertheless, if you take the time to get used to their unique cadences and what The Guardian journalist Jenny Colgan described as, “the self-deprecating humor of the self-declared underdog”, you’ll be sure to find something you like from this list.

Downton Abbey Recap: Season 6, Episode 2

Carson and Mrs. Hughes NOT arguing over their wedding planning - how cute!  Photo: Courtesy of Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2015 for MASTERPIECE

Previously on Downton Abbey: Lady Mary faced a blackmail threat over her previous dalliance with Tony Gillingham and was saved at the last minute by the intervention of Robert, who decided to believe in his daughter for once. Carson and Mrs. Hughes realize that they are MFEO and finally decide to set a wedding date. A pointless fight is brewing between Violet and Isobel over the future of the village hospital. Daisy did something stupid and irritating. Violet’s ladies’ maid it the worst person on the show. And Anna and Bates are cleared of the various threats of murder charges hanging over them but are still miserable because Anna is now convinced she can’t have children. This show hates them. 

Onward to this week, our last ever Downton Episode 2. 

(Sniff.) 

Get Your First Look at the Final Season of ‘Mr. Selfridge’

Jeremy Piven is going to go one more round as "Mr. Selfridge" (Photo: ITV)

The trailer for the fourth and final season of period drama Mr. Selfridge has arrived, and it looks suitably dramatic and foreboding as the show begins to wind down.

Jeremy Piven stars as the colorful and troubled Harry Gordon Selfridge, and the show’s fourth season will focus on the charismatic entrepreneur’s fall, as he loses hold of both his business empire and the social status he worked so hard to achieve.

‘Call the Midwife’ Renewed for a Sixth Season

Patsy, Barbara and Trixie are all heading into 1962. (Photo: BBC/Neal Street Productions)

It’s official: The BBC has renewed its popular period drama Call the Midwife for a sixth season, before a single episode of the drama’s fifth run has even aired. (They actually renewed it before the drama’s even aired its latest Christmas installment, if you want to be super technical about it.)

Season 6 will be comprised of a holiday special in 2016, and an additional 8 episodes in 2017.  This season will take the nuns and midwives into 1962.

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