The Jane Austen period drama Sanditon is coming back, after being cancelled by ITV in 2019.
A new deal with Britbox and PBS will bring the series back for two more eight-episode seasons, with the show set to air on Britbox in the U.K. and PBS in the United States. The episodes will also air in the U.K. on ITV after it runs on Britbox.
When ITV canceled Sandilton after its first season, it cited low ratings. A claim disputed by lead writer Andrew Davies, who claimed the network had given up on period dramas.
But the show was enough of a success when it ran on PBS in the U.S. to prompt another look at the series by producer Red Planet Pictures. And ITV (which also owns Britbox) was willing to craft a hybrid streaming/broadcast deal that made the financial numbers work for everyone.
Davies won't be coming back as the show's head writer, due to other conflicts. But he will write several episodes of season two and the new head writer will be Ripper Street head Justin Young, who wrote four Sandilton episodes in season one.
Production is expected to begin the second half of 2021, with Belinda Campbell executive producing for Red Planet, Susanne Simpson for PBS and Chloe Tucker for BritBox/ITV.