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New British Drama Series FUNNY WOMAN Starring Gemma Arterton Premieres January 7 on WPBS

WATERTOWN, NY; January 4, 2024 – FUNNY WOMAN, a new must-see comedy/drama series starring Gemma Arterton (The King’s Man), will premiere Sunday, January 7, 2024, at 10:00 pm. on WPBS-TV and stream on wpbstv.org, PBS.org, the free PBS App, and the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel. The six-part series is written by Morwenna Banks (Slow Horses). Co-starring alongside Arterton are Rupert Everett (My Best Friend’s Wedding), David Threlfall (Shameless), Tom Bateman (Based on a True Story), Clare-Hope Ashitey (Top Boy), Arsher Ali (Avenue 5), Alexa Davies (White House Farm), Emily Bevan (Temple), Leo Bill (Becoming Elizabeth), Matthew Beard (Vienna Blood), Olivia Williams (The Crown), Rosie Cavaliero (Code 404) and Alistair Petrie (Sex Education).

FUNNY WOMAN is based on Nick Hornby’s best-selling novel, “Funny Girl,” and follows Barbara Parker (played by Arterton), a small-town beauty queen who decides to swap her pageant life for comedy television in 1960s London. After landing a TV show audition, Barbara finds that being a woman in a largely male environment has its own challenges. As she ‘finds her funny’ voice, Barbara re-defines the prevailing attitude toward funny women while on a mission to reinvent herself.

“PBS is thrilled to bring FUNNY WOMAN to American audiences,” says Maria L. Bruno Ruiz, Vice President, Program Content Strategy and Scheduling PBS. “Gemma Arterton gives a nuanced performance as Barbara Parker, finding her voice and owning her female empowerment in London 1960’s. Rupert Everett is a tour-de-force and is almost unrecognizable in his portrayal of Brian Debenham, her talent agent seeking his own ambition. This series will join the ranks of other critically acclaimed PBS favorites recognized for our commitment to bring the gold standard of content to our viewers.”

FUNNY WOMAN is backed by a phenomenal ensemble,” says Germaine Sweet, Managing Director Content Acquisitions, PBS Distribution. “FUNNY WOMAN captures all the glitz and excitement of 1960s London. The esteemed creative talent and hilarious insight into challenging the comedy boys’ club will attract and delight audiences seeking the best of drama.”

Across six hilarious and touching episodes, FUNNY WOMAN charts Barbara Parker’s meteoric rise from small-town beauty queen to pioneering female comic. Viewers will follow Barbara’s journey as she tries to find fame and purpose in the city while facing dispiriting setbacks along the way to stardom. As the lone woman making her way in comedy, Barbara battles attitudes about gender while forging her own comedic voice and unique brand. In the end, Barbara redefines assumptions about female comics and achieves hard-won professional and personal growth. FUNNY WOMAN perfectly lands the laughs, love, and life lessons she discovers along the way.

FUNNY WOMAN is produced by Potboiler Television and Rebel Park Productions, in association with Sky Studios. Nick Hornby, Gemma Arterton, Morwenna Banks, Andrea Calderwood, Gail Egan, Jessica Parker and Jessica Malik serve as executive producers. The series is written by multi-award-winning writer Morwenna Banks and directed by BAFTA nominee Oliver Parker. FUNNY WOMAN is distributed by NBCUniversal Global Distribution on behalf of Sky Studios.

EPISODE DESCRIPTIONS

“Episode 1” Premieres January 7, 2024, 10 pm

It’s 1964, and Blackpool beauty queen Barbara Parker sets off for London to embark on her haphazard dream of working in show business.

“Episode 2” Premieres January 14, 2024, 10 pm

Barbara lands a lead role in a new TV sitcom, but just as she’s about to realize her dream, news from home threatens to derail her plans. Will she return to Blackpool or seize her moment in London?

“Episode 3” Premieres January 21, 2024, 10 pm

Barbara’s life (aka Sophie Straw) changes overnight as the show is a huge hit. Intoxicated by success, she embarks on a romance with co-star Clive.

“Episode 4” Premieres January 28, 2024, 10 pm

Barbara and Clive’s off-screen romance is the talk of the town, but she makes a discovery that threatens to bring down the whole show.

“Episode 5” Premieres February 4, 2024, 10 pm

Barbara is banished to Blackpool to await her fate and wonders if her career is over. A remorseful Clive decides to win her back. Will Barbara forgive him?

“Episode 6” Premieres February 11, 2024, 10 pm

The team reunites to record the last show. It is a triumph, but there are a few surprises still in store for Barbara as the series reaches its finale.


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