BBC Two commissions a second series of ‘Defending The Guilty’ from Big Talk

BBC Two has recommissioned the comedy from Big Talk Productions.

BBC Two has commissioned a second series of Defending The Guilty. The series concluded tonight on BBC Two with the whole series available on BBC iPlayer.

The show is produced by Big Talk (Rev., Mum, Cold Feet, Friday Night Dinner), and written by Kieron Quirke (Cuckoo), based on the book Defending The Guilty: Truth And Lies In The Criminal Courtroom by Alex McBride. Big Talk is part of ITV Studios.

The series follows Will Sharpe (Giri/Haji, Flowers) as Will Packham, an idealistic pupil barrister being shown the ropes by his cynical, worldly-wise pupil-master Caroline, played by BAFTA Award winner Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd, Humans). Initially believing his role is to serve justice, Will is regularly disillusioned as he learns to manipulate a tricky and underfunded system that refuses to fit his moral assumptions. At the same time, he’s dealing with his fellow pupils – each of them after the same single job and happy to stab each other in the back to get it.

Additional cast includes Mark Bonnar (Catastrophe) as Miles, Gwyneth Keyworth (Black Mirror) as Danielle, Prasanna Puwanarajah (Doctor Foster, Patrick Melrose) as Ashley, Hanako Footman as Pia and Hugh Coles as Liam.

The first episode has consolidated (28 day) to an audience of 1.5m / 9.2% share, an increase of +31% on its Tuesday night slot average.

The new 6 x 30’ series has been commissioned by Shane Allen, Controller Comedy Commissioning and Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two. The BBC Comedy Commissioning Editor is Kate Daughton.

Kieron Quirke said: “I’m overjoyed to be diving back into the world of 60 Bedford Row – peopled by one of the best ensemble casts on TV. Having superlative actors and the backing of the classiest production team in TV comedy really does make script-writing a tolerable thing.”

Kate Daughton, Head of BBC Comedy says: “The BBC Two audience have loved this brilliant first series. We can’t wait to get lost again with Will, Caroline and the gang in the moral maze that is Britain’s Criminal Justice System.”

Saurabh Kakkar, executive producer for Big Talk, added: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the response to the series and are thrilled that the BBC are allowing us to spend more time with our talented gang as Kieron expertly ties their moral fibre in knots.”

Defending The Guilty is a Big Talk production created by Kieron Quirke and Alex McBride; executive producers are Kenton Allen, Saurabh Kakkar, and Kieron Quirke for Big Talk, and Kate Daughton for the BBC. Jim Field Smith is co-executive producer.

BBC Studios are the international distributors.

The first series is currently available to watch on BBC iPlayer.