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PBS has announced the US premiere date for Funny Woman, a new British dramedy starring Gemma Arterton.

Funny Woman
Gemma Arterton in Funny Woman — Photo © Sky UK Limited

Based on the best-selling novel Funny Girl by Nick Hornby, Funny Woman is a new six-episode dramedy series that stars Gemma Arterton (The King’s Man, Rogue Agent) as Barbara Parker, 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 redefines the prevailing attitude toward funny women while on a mission to reinvent herself.

Across six humorous and touching episodes, Funny Woman charts Barbara Parker’s meteoric rise from small-town beauty queen to pioneering female comic — following her 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 premieres in the US on Sunday, January 7, 2024, at 10 PM ET, on PBS (check your local listings), with streaming available on PBS.org, the PBS App, and the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel.

Funny Woman
Funny Woman: Gemma Arterton as Barbara Parker — Photo credit: Ben Blackhall © Potboiler Productions, © Sky UK Limited

The series costars 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), Alistair Petrie (Sex Education), and Morwenna Banks (Slow Horses), who wrote the first season.

Here’s what we can look forward to. (All episodes are at 10 PM ET; check your local listings.)

  • Episode 1 (January 7, 2024) — 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 (January 14, 2024) — 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 (January 21, 2024) — Barbara’s life, aka Sophie Straw now, changes overnight as the show is a huge hit. Intoxicated by success, she embarks on a romance with co-star Clive (Tom Bateman).
  • Episode 4 (January 28, 2024) — 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 (February 4, 2024) — 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 (February 11, 2024) — 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.

Produced by Potboiler Television and Rebel Park Productions, in association with Sky Studios, Funny Woman is directed by BAFTA nominee Oliver Parker (An Ideal Husband). The executive producers are Nick Hornby, Gemma Arterton, Morwenna Banks, Andrea Calderwood, Gail Egan, Jessica Parker, and Jessica Malik. The series is distributed by NBCUniversal Global Distribution on behalf of Sky Studios.


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Funny Woman: PBS Announces US Premiere Date for New British Dramedy Series
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