'Happy Valley's Final Season Sets a Premiere Date on Acorn TV/AMC+/BBCA
AMC Networks hasn't had the easiest time of the 2020 streaming wars. The company chose to go a different direction than most other production studios with many little niche-marketed streamers rather than a giant conglomerate. It was a decision made by default and necessity, and while it may yet pay off in the long run, currently, the company is reorganizing in hopes of staving off collapse. One fortunate decision, though, was to grab the rights to help produce the final season of Happy Valley when the going was still good, locking in the rights to the entire series. AMCN is taking full advantage with a simulcast premiere across three brands to amass the largest audience possible.
Like many British shows that hit in the states in the 2010s, Happy Valley was an accident of Netflix timing, arriving during the era when the subscription streaming service had an audience all to itself and could turn any good show into a hit by surfacing it properly in the algorithm. The Sally Wainwright police procedural also had a stellar cast American audiences recognized: James Norton from Grantchester, Siobhan Finneran from Downton Abbey, and Sarah Lancashire from Last Tango in Halifax, with a guest star turn by Harry Potter's Matthew Lewis in Season 2.
While those days of Netflix dominance are long gone, Happy Valley's return to wrap up the story will resonate with fans of the series, many of whom have moved on from Netflix. AMC Networks is hoping to reel them in by putting the third season on Aocrn TV, well known to Anglophiles, its flagship streaming service AMC+, which is still hoping to get a foothold of success with its Anne Rice offerings, and on BBC America, which desperately needs British content as shows like Doctor Who and Luther exit for larger-scale brands. The series is a must-see if the trailer is anything to go by.
Here’s the final season’s logline.
In the epic and unmissable final season, Sergeant Catherine Cawood discovers the remains of a gangland murder victim, sparking a chain of events that unwittingly leads her straight back to murderer and rapist Tommy Lee Royce. Catherine’s grandson Ryan is now sixteen and has ideas of his own about what kind of relationship he wants to have with Tommy, the man Catherine still refuses to acknowledge as his father. Still battling the seemingly never-ending problem of drugs in the valley and those who supply them, Catherine is on the cusp of retirement. Will she solve this final case?
The final season brings back Lancashire, Norton, and Finneran for one last ride, along with Rhys Connah (The Runaways), who played Ryan as a child actor and has grown into adulthood since the series last filmed. Also returning: Charlie Murphy (Peaky Blinders) as Catherine’s protege, Ann Gallagher, George Costigan (Line of Duty), Derek Riddell (The Missing), Joe Armstrong (The Village), Shane Zaza (Press), Karl Davies (The Bay), Vincent Franklin (Bodyguard), Susan Lynch (Unforgotten), Con O’Neill (Our Flag Means Death), and Rick Warden (Indian Summers). Wainwright wrote all six episodes and directed four, with Guilt’s Patrick Harkins helming the other two.
Happy Valley Seasons 1 and 2 are currently available to stream on AMC+, With Season 2 joining Season 1 on Acorn TV starting April 3. BBC America will also marathon the series (the first time it has played on linear broadcast in the states) beginning May 8. Season 3 will debut on AMC+ and Acorn TV starting Monday, May 22, and air on BBC America at 10 p.m. ET that evening. The series will follow a one-episode-a-week release schedule on all three platforms every Monday through June 26, 2023.