Funny Woman has only aired the first episode of Season 1 on most PBS stations, but over in the U.K., Sky Max is gearing up to start filming Season 2. Along with the start of production in Liverpool, the production studio also announced new casting for the new season, slated to air in the U.K. sometime in 2024. As expected, Gemma Arterton returns as the title character, Barbara Parker, who will become known to the British public as Sophie Straw as her rising fame eclipses that of the men around her. But she won't be the only comic Gemma on set for the second season, as Gemma Whelan is slated to join the cast for Season 2.
Ironically, Whelan is mainly known in America for dramatic roles, considering that her career started in comedy. Between Upstart Crow and Horrible Histories, the British public has experienced her comic talents first and foremost. But Americans were introduced to her via Game of Thrones. Though her role in Killing Eve was semi-comic, most of what's come over here and hit big are roles like Marian Lister in Gentleman Jack, a one-episode guest star turn in The Crown, DS Sarah Collins in The Tower, and DCI Kerry Henderson in D.I. Ray.
Whelan joining the cast of Funny Woman is another chance for American audiences to be reminded how funny she can be, especially in roles that require her to wear period costumes. Moreover, with Gemma Arterton's Sophie spreading her career wings and experimenting with parlaying her small-screen success to the big screen big time, Season 2 has a whole new world to explore.
Whelan isn't the only new face joining the cast. Other actors boarding the show's second season include Marcus Rutherford (The Wheel of Time), Tim Key (The Irregulars), Roisin Conaty (After Life), and American actor Steve Zissis (Togetherness).
Here's the synopsis for Season 2:
Series two finds Sophie on a high. She is the nation’s favorite TV comedy star; she’s got a group of good friends, and her romance with Dennis is full of promise. But trouble is just around the corner: Dennis's divorce will take three years; Sophie’s new sitcom flops, and she uncovers a devastating family secret. Sophie escapes the turmoil by taking a leading role in a film opposite a glamorous French movie heart-throb. The film is a hit, and Sophie’s slick new US agent offers her a fresh start in Hollywood… But Sophie returns to London, determined to get the gang back together and to create a new show that reflects her real life, challenges outdated cultural conventions, and proves that she and her mates are Funny Women!
Season 2 also brings back Arsher Ali as Dennis Mohindra, David Threlfall as George Parker, Rosie Cavaliero as Aunt Marie Parker, Alexa Davies as Marj Harrison, Matthew Beard as Bill Gardiner, Leo Bill as Tony, Clare-Hope Ashitey as Diane, and Alistair Petrie as Ted Sargeant. Season 2 will only run four episodes, which are penned by Morwenna Banks and Veep's Kevin Cecil and Andy Riley. Director Oliver Parker returns to helm all episodes. The new series is executive produced by author Nick Hornby, plus Banks, Arterton, Andrea Calderwood, Gail Egan, Jessica Parker, and Jessica Malik, with Ross Williams as series producer.
Funny Woman Season 2 does not yet have a release date on Sky Max but is expected to debut before the end of 2024. It is also expected to return to PBS, though no date has been set as yet. Season 1 continues on most PBS stations, airing on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET through mid-February 2024, or stream all six episodes on PBS Passport.