‘Magpie Murders’ update: Is Season 2 confirmed or cancelled?

Magpie Murders has been one of our favourite new TV series of 2022!

The “crime drama with a twist” is set in the 1950s and contemporary Britain, and is described as “a murder mystery within a murder mystery … with cast portraying multiple characters in different literary dimensions.”

Adapted by Foyle’s War creator Anthony Horowitz from his own acclaimed 2016 novel, Magpie Murders premiered in the UK on BritBox in February.

Watch the trailer here:

US viewers finally got to see the show last month as part of PBS’s new Masterpiece Mystery season.

Magpie Murders has been airing on Sunday nights alongside Unforgotten star Nicola Walker’s new drama Annika, and returning hit Miss Scarlet and the Duke.

However, while Miss Scarlet and the Duke already has a third season set to air very soon, and a second season of Annika is filming right now, it’s all been rather quiet regarding the future of Magpie Murders.

At the start of the year, executive producer Jill Green discussed the possibility of another season, saying: “We’re just waiting for transmission, for it to go out on BritBox and PBS. They’re both very excited, the financiers, and we’re really hoping [it will get the green light].”

Green also hinted at the big obstacle for a Magpie Murders recommission, however, saying: “We have to wait for Lesley to become free and then yes, hopefully some sometime in 2023 perhaps. I’m hoping…”

Yes, star Lesley Manville, who plays Susan Ryeland, is a very busy lady!

Fresh from her wonderful role in Mrs Harris Goes to Paris this summer, Manville recently made her debut as the new Princess Margaret in The Crown on Netflix.

Watch the Season 5 trailer here:

Manville is currently shooting the sixth and final season of The Crown, which is set to premiere at the end of 2023.

She’s also somehow been simultaneously filming the long-awaited second season of World on Fire for the BBC!

As if that didn’t already sound like a crazy workload, Manville currently has a main role as Genevieve de Merteuil in Starz’s new period drama Dangerous Liaisons, and starred in BBC crime series Sherwood earlier this year.

Oh, did we mention she shot 1930s-set movie The Critic this summer too, alongside Sir Ian McKellen and Gemma Arterton?

We can see why the Magpie Murders team are having trouble finding a gap in her schedule!

Watch the trailer for Mrs Harris Goes to Paris here:

Fortunately, the latest episode of the Masterpiece Studio podcast offers some hope.

Questioned if she’d be up for continuing Susan Ryeland’s story, Lesley Manville answered: “You bet I would. Yeah. No, we’re really hoping to do Moonflower Murders. And I’ve certainly expressed my interest to play her again.”

She joked: “The leather jacket is wrapped up and safe, ready to come out again.”

Moonflower Murders is Anthony Horowitz’s 2020 follow-up to his Magpie Murders novel.

Horowitz himself gave this update when he was asked if he wanted to do another season: “Well, the question you should really be asking is, is Lesley, because if she isn’t, then I can’t do it.”

He added: “But the good news is that Lesley is very, very keen to come back and do Moonflower Murders with us. I’m really looking forward to doing it, and I think it’ll be a terrific piece.”

We don’t expect the series to return before 2024 at the earliest though.

In the meantime, the makers of Magpie Murders are busy working on a new version of Rebus!

Based on Sir Ian Rankin’s series of crime novels, the six-part crime drama starts shooting in Edinburgh next spring.

Anthony Horowitz’s Magpie Murders novel is available on Amazon.