It's only been a couple of weeks since the end of Call the Midwife Season 10 and the tenth-year retrospective episode that followed here in the U.S. The fall timeslot was not the show's usual spot; since it became a hit stateside, PBS has been airing it in the spring, just a few weeks after it finishes its late winter run on the BBC. The show has largely functioned as the lead-in to whatever Masterpiece runs during the April and May months.
But the U.K. lockdowns upended all that. Filming for Season 10 didn't finish until January of 2021, and the BBC airing didn't come until April and May over there, driving the premiere in the U.S. back to the fall. But with the dust settled, fans are wondering about the schedule for next year. Couple that with the news Netflix had taken possession of Longcross Studios, producer Neal Street Productions' long time home where the new season is currently filming, and there is concern Season 11 might be late or that Season 12 might be delayed as well.
The good news is that, at least on the U.K. side of the pond, Season 11 is functioning as expected. Filming for Call The Midwife usually concludes right around the beginning of November, which it did, with the BBC premiering the series somewhere around six to eight weeks later in mid-to-late January. Since Call The Midwife didn't air all that much later in the U.K. than usual, shifting back to the regular January slot won't be much of an issue. Though the BBC has not confirmed when the show will return, fans should expect a premiere date to come not long after the Christmas special airs in December.
There's also good news on the Season 12 front. Call The Midwife (currently commissioned through Season 14) isn't just a significant series for the BBC; it's also a hit on Netflix outside the U.K., where the streaming service has second-run rights that begin 90 days after the show's conclusion on PBS. It was in everyone's interests to find Neal Street Productions a spot to keep on filming with as little disruption as possible, and that's precisely what happened. Netflix has reportedly configured the layout so that there's still space within Longcross for the production. Neal Street Productions will reportedly move the sets to the new location as soon as possible to prevent delays in returning to work on Season 12.
As for Call The Midwife's fate here in the States, that's a different kettle of fish. PBS has not yet revealed the spring schedule, so it is still up in the air if the series will return to its usual spot on the calendar. On the one hand, with the series expected to premiere in January overseas, nothing is stopping the show from returning in March, as is tradition. But with Season 10 having aired so late, it will feel a bit like a double dose of baby madness, with barely six months between seasons. Whether or not PBS decides to push Call the Midwife Season 11 back to give the new episodes a little more breathing room remains to be seen.
The Call The Midwife 2021 Holiday Special will air day and date on PBS on Christmas Day. Call the Midwife Season 10 is available on PBS Passport until Dec. 21, 2021, when it will take its leave in preparation to move to Netflix in January, where Seasons 1-9 are streaming.