The news has been announced after just one episode of the sitcom’s first series has been broadcast. Episode 2 will be shown at 10pm tonight (Thursday 11th January).
Using local slang, the channel announced today: “Channel 4 is ‘lurred’ to announce that, following the ‘class’ reaction to the first episode of Derry Girls, which premiered on Thursday 4th January at 10pm, a second series has been commissioned.”
The corporation said it was “buzzing” at the response to the first episode, which has so far attracted over 2.5 million viewers, making it Channel 4‘s biggest comedy series launch in almost 5 years, and on-demand platform All 4‘s biggest comedy launch since 2012.
Set in early 1990s Northern Ireland amidst the republican-unionist ‘Troubles’, the comedy follows a group of local girls – and an English boy – attending a local school.
Creator and writer Lisa McGee says: “I’m absolutely delighted. Derry Girls is such a special project for me and it means so much that the audience have taken to Erin and the gang so warmly. I can’t wait to start writing Series 2.”
McGee mined her own experiences to create a “candid, one-of-a-kind, family-centred comedy” set against the backdrop of the Troubles. The series follows Erin (Saoirse Monica Jackson), her cousin Orla (Louisa Harland) and friends Clare (Nicola Coughlan), Michelle (Jamie-Lee O’Donnell) and Michelle’s tag along English cousin, aka The Wee English Fella, James (Dylan Llewellyn), as they navigate their teens.
Producers Hat Trick explain: “The gang are used to seeing their country on the nightly news and speaking in acronyms (The IRA, The UDA, The RUC). It’s a time of armed police in armoured Land Rovers and British Army checkpoints. But it’s also the time of Murder She Wrote, The Cranberries, MJ and Lisa Marie, Doc Martens, bomber jackets, The X Files, Nirvana and Wayne’s World. Warm, funny and honest, Derry Girls takes a warm and hilarious look at the everyday lives of ordinary people living in extraordinary times.”
Ian Katz, Director of Programmes at Channel 4, says: “Derry Girls is a blast of fresh air. It’s everything we want from Channel 4 comedy: young, warm, brimming with new talent and rooted in an underrepresented part of the country. And a hit to boot. I’m delighted that we’ve commissioned a second series and can’t wait to see what Lisa does next.”
Fiona McDermott, the broadcaster’s Head of Comedy, says: “It’s a real thrill, and a testament to all involved, when a new comedy lands so well with such a broad audience. At the heart of Derry Girls are brilliant comedy characters that feel universal, mischievous and funny so it’s wonderful to be able to back it with a second outing so quickly and confidently.”
Jimmy Mulville, Managing Director of Hat Trick Productions, says: “We love this show and to be given the go-ahead for a second season after only one episode is a fantastic vote of confidence from the channel. Other broadcasters could take note!”
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