BBC Announces New Comedy 'Only Child,' Renews Fan Favorites 'The Cleaner,' 'Dreaming Whilst Black'

Adjani Salmon will return as Kwabena in Dreaming Whilst Black Season 2 while Greg Davies and Zita Sattar reteam as Wicky & Ruth in The Cleaner Season 3

Adjani Salmon will return as Kwabena in 'Dreaming Whilst Black' Season 2, while Greg Davies and Zita Sattar reteam as Wicky & Ruth in 'The Cleaner' Season 3


There's good news for BBC comedy fans, as renewals and new series have been greenlit for the British Broadcaster for 2024. While American networks were trotting out their best series for Spring at the Television Critics Association Winter press tour, the BBC Director of Comedy, Jon Petrie, announced six series would be heading behind the camera with planned broadcasts before the end of the year over there (if not over here), including new seasons of hits Dreaming Whilst Black and The Cleaner.

Dreaming Whilst Black, co-created and co-written by series star Adjani Salmon (Chivalry), is a comedic look at the Black experience of U.K. life when one dreams of being an artist. The series features Kwabena (Salmon), as an aspiring filmmaker who finds himself balancing finances, love, family, and his own sanity. It was a massive hit in the UK, garnering critical praise and The Royal Television Society's 2022 Breakthrough Award win for Salmon. 

The show was picked up in its first season by Showtime and streamed on Paramount+, and despite not getting much marketing from either, it became a sleeper hit in America, partially due to Paramount+ also being the home of BET programming. Deadline has confirmed Showtime is all in on Season 2, boarding from the outset this time as co-producer, with plans to stream Season 2 as close to its BBC airing as possible.

Diane Morgan as the bewildered Philomena Cunk in Cunks Quest For Meaning

Diane Morgan as the bewildered Philomena Cunk in 'Cunk's Quest For Meaning'


Also arriving with an American home already set, there's Cunk’s Quest for Meaning, the follow-up to 2023's Cunk on Earth, which streamed on Netflix in the U.S. Featuring Diane Morgan as her ongoing character, the hapless pioneering documentary-maker Philomena Cunk, the new mockumentary special takes Cink on her most ambitious 30-minute special quest to date; venturing right up the universe and everything, to find the definitive answer to the ultimate question – the meaning of life. 

In a statement, Cunk said, "To be honest, I thought we could cover the meaning of life in a 30-minute episode, but the producers said we might need a bit longer and that I could probably go to America if we did a special. I’m very excited to be going to America for free." The standalone is actually 75 minutes and will stream on Netflix after debuting on BBC Two and Player.

Then there's The Cleaner, a comedic spoof on "unlikely crime-solving teams," which has been a runaway hit in the U.K. since its debut two years ago. Starring series creator Greg Davies as crime scene cleaner Paul ‘Wicky’ Wickstead, Wicky finds himself solving crimes along with the only person who realizes he's their best secret weapon, PC Ruth Edwards (Zita Sattar). Davies' secret weapon for the series is his ability to get A-list British guest stars every week to play a variety of loony-toon characters he encounters while cleaning up after the murders, none of whom behave the way one would expect grieving relatives to act.

Steve Coogan as the hapless Alan Partridge in And Did Those Feet with Alan Partridge

Steve Coogan as the hapless Alan Partridge in 'And Did Those Feet ....with Alan Partridge'


BritBox picked up The Cleaner from the jump in Season 1 as the exact sort of show an Anglophilic audience would glom onto and streamed Season 2 as soon as its run ended in the U.K. in 2023. With a third season just now officially in the works, BritBox has not confirmed if it will be streaming it or not as yet. However, it seems a good bet that that’s where the series will end up.

In the same vein, PBS Masterpiece went all in on with BBC Scotland and Happy Tramp North on Guilt, the third and final season of which will air on most PBS later this spring. However, there’s no word yet if the anthology series will pick up the team’s new series, Only Child. Starring Greg McHugh (The A Word) as budding author Richard, the series is about Richard’s trials as the only child of the family, forced to move home to North East Scotland to become caregiver to his aging, wilful dad Ken (Gregor Fisher), as he slips into ever more eccentric, erratic behavior.

And finally, two shows without any American distribution homes, at least for now. Steve Coogan’s Alan Partridge character is far more well known than Diane Morgan’s Cunk among Anglophiles, so his return in the mockumentary, And Did Those Feet… with Alan Partridge, in which he painfully attempts to examine his own mental health by diving an inch deep into his own soul will almost certainly land somewhere. However, Guz Khan’s Man Like Mobeen, now renewed for a fifth season, has struggled to find footing in the U.S. Seasons 1-3 are on Netflix, but Season 4 never made it, and it’s unclear if Season 5 will either. Fingers crossed?

Dreaming Whilst Black Season 2 will debut on Showtime & Paramount+ in 2024, Cunk’s Quest for Meaning will also debut here in 2024 on Netflix, and The Cleaner Season 3 will likely come to BritBox in 2024. Man Like Mobeen Season 5, And Did Those Feet..., and Only Child are currently awaiting deals.


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

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