Forget Waterloo Road, Ackley Bridge has proved itself the best education-based drama in the teaching block.
“We’re over the moon that Ackley Bridge has connected so well with the audience, and our writing team is already brimming with stories for 12 more punchy, funny, surprising episodes.” – George Ormond, Executive Producer
Channel 4 has confirmed that lessons will once again resume for the students and teachers of Ackley Bridge, with twelve new hour long episodes commissioned from The Forge for a screening in 2018.
The first, six-part critically acclaimed series is currently halfway through its run, and has triumphantly marked the channel’s return to 8pm week-night drama, being its first for 13 years. It is attracting an average consolidated audience of 2.2 million viewers per episode and an 11% share, significantly out-performing Channel 4’s slot average.
Ackley Bridge is also Channel 4’s highest rating commission for 10-15 year olds this year, performing particularly well among young viewers with an 18.5% share of 16-34 year olds and an even bigger 22.3% share of 10-15 year olds, which is up a massive +484% compared to the slot average.
The school drama is set in the fictional Yorkshire mill-town of Ackley Bridge, which is home to a largely divided white and Asian population. Like the communities, the school systems had previously become segregated, but that all changes when two formerly isolated comprehensives are merged into the brand new academy, Ackley Bridge College.
Acting talent in the first series includes Jo Joyner, Paul Nicholls, Sunetra Sarker, Liz White, Adil Ray, Arsher Ali, Poppy Lee-Friar and Amy Leigh-Hickman.
“Roll on the next term at Ackley Bridge! Channel 4 is so thrilled to be working again with the brilliant producing and writing team at The Forge and the super talented cast on this funny, thoughtful, incredibly special show. I’m bagging a seat at the front of the class” – Beth Willis, Head of Channel 4 Drama