New Seasons of Grantchester, Mr. Selfridge and Call the Midwife for Spring

Many of you have told us you feel a certain void in your Sunday nights now that Downton Abbey on Masterpiece has concluded. Don’t despair, with spring comes rebirth, renewal and the return of three of your favorite dramas: Grantchester and Mr. Selfridge (March 27) and Call the Midwife (April 3).

Grantchester is back for a second season on Masterpiece with James Norton as “red-hot ginger” vicar Sidney Chambers and Robson Green as Inspector Geordie Keating. These two came from different spheres (Sidney is a graduate of nearby Cambridge, while working-class Geordie grew up in rougher environs), but bonded over backgammon, ale and their military experiences during the Second World War.

As Season 2 begins, Geordie is determined to help Sidney find romance, but along with the amusing string of first dates, there are also dark themes as the unlikely team tackle a haunted stable, Cold War fears and an apparent suicide while solving this season’s homicides.

Grantchester airs Sundays at 8 p.m., March 27 through May 1.

The fourth season of Mr. Selfridge on Masterpiece is also its final season and should provide as much spectacle and intrigue as we’ve come to expect. In these episodes, American-born Harry Gordon Selfridge (Jeremy Piven) continues to battle his demons, rivals and often his staff while trying to keep his trend-setting department store at the top of its game. If you’ve seen Secrets of Selfridges – which airs on NPT Sunday, March 27, at 7 p.m. – or are otherwise familiar with Selfridge’s life, you know how the real story ended; tune in to see how things work out in this fictionalized version.

Mr. Selfridge airs Sundays at 9 p.m., March 27 through May 22.

Finally, NPT viewer-favorite Call the Midwife returns Sunday, April 3, and once again we’ll have Michelle Collins and Bethany Domzal Sanders of Vanderbilt University School of Nursing writing a weekly guest blog about each episode.

It’s 1961 as the fifth season begins and the community of Poplar now has better housing, sanitation and access to healthcare. There also new challenges and ideas for the nuns and midwives of Nonnatus House: This season’s episodes explore thalidomide, a then-newly available drug prescribed to pregnant women; the advent of baby formula; and developments in women’s healthcare, including the pill.

Call the Midwife airs Sundays at 7 p.m., April 3 through May 22. Look for a new Call the Midwife blog post Mondays, April 4 through May 23.

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Hi, Donna: Season 3 has been commissioned; earliest it might appear on NPT and other U.S. public television stations is 2017.

Hi, Donna: Unfortunately some of our viewers are not receiving our broadcast signal while our tower undergoes maintenance and it looks like you might be one of them. We will broadcast the entire Downton Abbey series in December; until then, you may want to check your local library for the Season 3 DVD(s).

I really miss Mercy Street (MS), and it is appalling more of our viewers missed this well-written series. Alas, no funding for MS, and no conclusion to the characters we grew to know. Like Home Fires, another one bites the dust.

You’re right, those were both great series. Don’t give up hope: Mercy Street may return at some point.

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