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New Period Drama Alert: Announcing The Hardacres – A Saga About Love and Family

From the makers of All Creatures Great and Small, a new Yorkshire period drama is coming based on The Hardacre Saga by C.L. Skelton. Here is everything we know so far!

Good news, fellow period drama enthusiasts! The makers of All Creatures Great and Small are about to whisk us away to the Victorian Era with a brand-new series, The Hardacres.

hardacre book cover

Playground, the production company that charmed us with the Yorkshire Dales, has exciting news. Get ready for The Hardacres. It’s a brand-new TV series set in 1890s Yorkshire based on the best-selling rags-to-riches novels by C.L. Skelton!


Hardacre book cover with pinkish tan color behind it

Hardacre is the sweeping rags to riches story of the Hardacre family. This dramatic family saga follows generations of the Hardacres from Victorian times to the 1950s. Set against the backdrop of major historical events, Hardacre traces the family’s humble beginnings to their position of great wealth.

Sam Hardacre makes a tough yet honest living as a fish gutter. But he has ambitions for a life far removed from the harsh existence on the quays of the north English coast. Through drive and determination he builds a business empire and amasses a fortune. His wife, Mary, once a poor street urchin, must learn to adapt to her new role as mistress of a grand house in Yorkshire.

Sam’s sons, Joe and Harry, inherit some but not all of their father’s qualities. Their opposing personalities lead them to make very different choices about their futures. Meanwhile, their younger sister, Jane, is born into a life of privilege and has no experience of her family’s early struggles.

The three siblings and their offspring will know love, hate, passion and tragedy, as they live through the dramatic events of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The lives of the Hardacres are shaped by the extraordinary events of the Boer War, the Great War, the Wall Street Crash, the Second World War, Hitler’s Germany and the London Blitz.


It will be intriguing to see how these historical fiction novels adapt to the small screen. But the producers have revealed some clues to the Yorkshire Post about the story.

Playground aptly describes The Hardacres as “a bold, gutsy ensemble family drama full of heart.” They’re placing “an ordinary family in an extraordinary position and tackling the age-old question – can money ever buy true happiness?”

The official Playground website gives a brief description of the show:

“Based on the best-selling novels by CL Skelton, a returning series chronicling the rags to riches story of a working-class family who strike it rich and move into a large Yorkshire estate. Written by Amy Roberts & Loren McLaughlan.”


All Creatures Great and Small Season 3 cast photo
All Creatures Great and Small period drama. James Herriot (Nicholas Ralph), Helen Alderson (Rachel Shenton), Tristan Farnon (Callum Woodhouse). Top Line: Siegfried Farnon (Samuel West), Mrs Hall (Anna Madeley). Credit: Courtesy of (C) Playground Entertainment.

Amy Roberts and Loren McLaughlan, writers from The Winter King and Call the Midwife, are leading the charge as executive producers and lead writers for the series. They’re joined by talented writers Emma Reeves, known for The Worst Witch, and Liz Lake, known for her work on Waterloo Road. Rachel Carey is set to direct the show.

And the list of exciting talent doesn’t end there! Playground is joining forces with Screen Ireland, Red Berry Productions, and Newgrange Pictures to make this ambitious project a reality. Global partners Banijay Rights will manage international distribution, ensuring The Hardacres reaches a worldwide audience.

Based on the production team, The Hardacres will likely air on Paramount+ or PBS in the United States.

Banijay revealed the producers behind the upcoming series:

“The series, commissioned by Deputy Chief Content Officer, Paramount UK, Sebastian Cardwell, alongside Paul Testar, Commissioning Editor, Drama, Channel 5 and Paramount+, will be produced by Alex Jones (Witness Number 3, Penance) and co-produced by Jackie Larkin (Strike, Mrs Wilson); Executive Producers are Sir Colin Callender CBE (All Creatures Great and Small, The Undeclared War) and David Stern (Howards End, The Last Tycoon) for Playground, Lesley McKimm (My Name is Emily, Sunlight) for Red Berry Productions, Cathy Payne and Simon Cox for Banijay Rights and Andrew Byrne for Screen Ireland.”

Paramount UK’s Deputy Chief Content Officer, Sebastian Cardwell, explains his excitement for the period drama:

“Playground have a stellar reputation for bringing wonderful stories to life on Channel 5 and we are sure that The Hardacres will continue that success. Our viewers will love being transported back to 1890s Yorkshire, for this gutsy, heartwarming tale following the family through stories of love, ambition and the quest for happiness.”


Unlike its predecessor, All Creatures Great and Small, which graced us with the picturesque landscapes of Yorkshire, The Hardacres will be filmed in the gorgeous setting of Ireland.

So, while it won’t be filmed in Yorkshire, it’s still taking place there, and we’re sure to be in for another visually stunning treat.


If you’re wondering who will portray these compelling characters, the casting news will be unveiled in the coming weeks! We can’t wait…


hardacre book cover

As we anticipate this epic-sounding family saga, let’s take a moment to remember the talented Clement Lister Skelton, the author behind the source material.

Born in Northumberland in 1919, he had a close connection to the Royal Family (Queen Mary even wanted him to take Princess Margaret out on a date) and lived an exciting life.

Clem joined the RAF during the War, was a theater actor, was obsessed with the Loch Ness monster, tried to capture it on film, and published many novels (some with his wife, Alison).

All in all, he’s a fascinating figure known for his talent as a storyteller.

The Hardacres is the first adaptation of his works.


Executive Producer David Stern wrapped up what this show will be all about: “The Hardacres is a life affirming rags to riches story about a family overcoming all odds, but in their quest for financial success they rediscover that community, friendship and family are the most precious things in life.”

Sounds good to us! Stay tuned for further updates, and let’s prepare to embrace what sounds like an unforgettable new period drama.

Are you excited for The Hardacres? What do you think about this upcoming new period drama? Cast wishes? Let us know in the comments. 

New Period Drama Alert Announcing The Hardacres – A Saga About Love and Family; pinterest image


By on July 31st, 2023

About Amber Topping

Amber works as a writer and digital publisher full-time and fell in love with stories and imagination at an early age. She has a Humanities and Film Degree from BYU, co-created The Silver Petticoat Review, contributed as a writer to various magazines, and has an MS in Publishing from Pace University, where she received the Publishing Award of Excellence and wrote her thesis on transmedia, Jane Austen, and the romance genre. Her ultimate dreams are publishing books, writing and producing movies, traveling around the world, and forming a creative village of talented storytellers trying to change the world through art.

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