Channel 4 has delivered some bad news about the second season of Year of the Rabbit.
Set in Victorian-era London, the parody of crime dramas like Ripper Street premiered in the UK with a pilot in 2017, with a full season following in June 2019.
It was officially confirmed last spring that Year of the Rabbit had been renewed for a second set of episodes, with stars Matt Berry (The IT Crowd), Freddie Fox (Parade’s End), Susan Wokoma (Chewing Gum), and Keeley Hawes (The Durrells) all set to return.
However, it’s now been announced that the new season has been cancelled!
A spokesperson for British broadcaster Channel 4 explained: “We’re hugely proud of this hilarious and fearless comedy series, but as result of the impact of COVID on our schedules we have made the difficult decision not to enter into a second series with a heavy heart.”
The coronavirus pandemic has forced Channel 4 into making £150m of content cuts.
Matt Berry is kept busy as a regular on FX’s What We Do in the Shadows series, while Keeley Hawes is always in demand with multiple new projects.
Layla Smith, chief executive of the show’s production company Objective Media Group, commented: “Year of the Rabbit is a victim of the devastating effects of COVID. [US distributor] IFC are very committed to the show, but we will need to find another partner – and we’re working on that.”
The six new episodes would have focused on the further adventures of tough booze-hound detective Rabbit (Berry), his hapless partner Strauss (Fox), and the country’s first female police officer Mabel (Wokoma) as they fight crime in London’s east end.
The official synopsis for the planned Season 2 read: “At the end of the first season, Lydia (Keeley Hawes) had pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes, with Strauss thinking they were lovers and Mabel joining Lydia’s secret female society, mistakenly thinking it was a power for good.
“After Rabbit and the gang foiled Lydia’s plot to take down London, saving the day. But, with Lydia still at large and Her Majesty requesting an audience with Rabbit, Strauss and Mabel for a secret job…anything could happen.”
Matt Berry commented last summer: ”I’m looking forward to Inspector Rabbit returning back to our screens to fight crime in the past. This time he’ll deal with all sorts of unearthly forces, including the Royal Family! Victorian London is presently very much where it’s at.”
Sadly, it looks like we’ll never get to see more of Rabbit and co in action.
Year of the Rabbit is available to watch on Amazon Prime.