‘Casual Vacancy’ premiere receives 6.6 million viewers, praised by critics

Michael Gambon as Howard Mollison in the television adaption of J.K. Rowling's novel, The Causal Vacancy.

Michael Gambon as Howard Mollison in the television adaption of J.K. Rowling’s novel, The Causal Vacancy. Courtesy of BBC.

The television adaption of The Casual Vacancy premiered yesterday on BBC One to an average of 6.6 million viewers, the highest-rated program in the time slot.

Peaking at a total viewership of 7.3 million, The Casual Vacancy came out on top for its time slot with higher ratings than ITV’s Mr. Selfridge (3.2 million viewers) and Channel 4’s Indian Summers (2.5 million), a colonial drama starring Julie Walters, who starred in the Harry Potter films as Molly Weasley.

In addition to the high ratings, the program received primarily favorable reviews from critics, who praised it as a fine adaption of a not-so-stellar book. The Telegraph writes in their review, “…The performances are uniformly good, the direction is inventive, and there’s an undeniable topicality and panache to this adaptation that convinces you that just around the corner something will pull it all together and make it succeed.

The Causal Vacancy returns next Sunday, February 22 at 9pm.

Did you tune into The Casual Vacancy? What did you think? Comment below!


Cast announced for teenage characters of ‘Casual Vacancy’ miniseries

The teenage characters of the The Casual Vacancy miniseries have been cast, the ScreenTerrier reports.

Newcomers including Abigail Lawrie, Simona Brown,Ria Choony, Brian Vernel and Joe Hurst will be joining veteran actors like Michael Gambon and Keeley Hawes in the upcoming miniseries based off of J.K. Rowling’s 2012 novel, currently being filmed in Stroud, Gloucestershire, U.K.

Related: Partial cast list announced for ‘Casual Vacancy’ miniseries 

18 year old actress Abigail Lawrie will portray the book’s main character, Krystal Weedon. Simona Brown, whose been in a number of British television shows, will play Gaia Bawden, and 16 year old Ria Choony will play  Gaia’s best friend, Sukhvinder Jawanda. Stage performer Brain Vernel and 15 year old Welsh actor Joe Hurst are set to play Stuart “Fats” Wall and Andrew ‘Arf’ Price, respectively. Pictures of the actors are below.

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The Casual Vacancy is set to air later this year on BBC and HBO. It will be directed by Jonny Campbell

Find out more about the miniseries by visiting our page for The Casual Vacancy here.

The Casual Vacancy miniseries to air in three episodes on HBO

TCV Book coverHBO confirmed this week that it will be airing the miniseries adaption of J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy in America.

According to The Wrap, the miniseries will be three, one-hour episodes, with filming taking place this summer in South West England.

HBO and BBC are co-producing the series, and the miniseries will air on BBC One in the UK. Considering HBO is co-producing, we expect the two networks will air the episodes simultaneously. HBO is also in charge of global distribution rights.

The miniseries is being produced by Bronte Film and Television, the independent production company run by J.K. Rowling and her agent, Neil Blair, who is executive producing with Paul Trijbits and Rick Senat. The script is written by Sarah Phelps (who wrote the BBC’s Great Expectations, and The Crimson Field), which we confirmed last month, and directed by Jonny Campbell (In the Flesh, Eric & Ernie).

Earlier this month we reported a casting call for the series that was looking for actors to play the teenage characters in the novel, but no cast members have been announced.

No air date for the miniseries has been announced, but the Wired UK wrote in their report that the series will air later in 2014, the first timeframe for an air date that we have heard.

Released in 2012, The Casual Vacancy is Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s first novel aimed at an adult readership. The novel takes up in the seemingly idyllic English town, Pagford. Behind the pretty facade is a town in conflict between rich and poor, teenagers and parents, husbands and wives, and students and teachers. You can read more about The Casual Vacancy here at our page dedicated to the book.

We’ll keep you up with the latest regarding The Casual Vacancy miniseries, so stick with us at Pottermore News.

BBC to adapt J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy for television

J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults will be adapted for television

J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults will be adapted for television

The BBC announced today they would be adapting J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy for television as a mini-series.

In a press release issued today, BBC announced that the series is expected to air on BBC One in 2014, with the number and length of episodes to be decided “once the adaptation process has begun.” The series will be produced for BBC One by an independent production company operated by Neil Blair on behalf of The Blair Partnership, the agency that represents Rowling, and Rick Senat of the BBC will act as executive producer.

J.K. Rowling was also quoted to be “thrilled” that the novel will be adapted. It is reported that she will be very involved with the project, much like she was with the Harry Potter films. She is quoted below:

“I always felt that, if it were to be adapted, this novel was best suited to television and I think the BBC is the perfect home.”

The novel was published in late September and has received mixed reviews from critics. The book is centered around a parish council election in the small, seemingly idyll, English town of Pagford, following the death of council member Barry Fairbrother. Though not a critical success, the book has done very well commercially, selling 1 million copies in three weeks.

BBC has adapted a number of books into miniseries before, including Jane Eyre, Middlemarch, Vanity Fair, Pride and Prejudice, Bleak House, and many more. It would be surprising if they it isn’t a success, and it’s rather unlikely because Rowling will be so involved with it. Let’s hope for the best!

Are you excited about The Casual Vacancy miniseries? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Roundup of J.K. Rowling’s ‘Casual Vacancy’ Interviews

J.K. Rowling has done a number of interviews over the past week in promotion of The Casual Vacancy. She’s done so many interviews that it’s been hard to keep up! Because we didn’t want you to miss any of it, we’ve compiled a list of all the interviews Rowling has done for the new book. You can view the list below. We’ve also included some highlights from the interview.

Print Media:

The Guardian (UK) – Talks Fifty Shades of Grey, meeting Barack Obama, and the political fairytale she spoke of a few years ago

USA Today (US) – Discusses the possibility of a film adaptation of ‘The Casual Vacancy’, Pottermore, and appearing at the Olympics

The New Yorker (US) – The working title for The Casual Vacancy and Jo’s writing process for the novel is revealed


“Writing For Grown-Ups: A Culture Show Special” (UK) – Reads from the novel, discusses its theme

“Life After Harry Potter” (AUSTRALIA) Talks about Harry Potter (and life after finishing it), her children, more about the new novel

Second part of Good Morning America’s interview (US) – Reads the from the novel, more

BBC Breakfast Interview (UK) – Discusses feeling tempted to do a “director’s cut” of the Harry Potter books, the possibility of a sequel for ‘The Casual Vacancy’, and more

ABC News (1) (US) – Talks about finishing up the Harry Potter novels and failure

ABC News (2) (US) – Continuation of the other ABC interviews and dealing with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Interview with Jennifer Byrne – aired on Australia’s ABC1

Highlights from Southbank Centre event in London (UK) – Highlights from J.K. Rowling’s publication event

Radio interview with NPR (US) – Talks about the themes of the book, writing the novel, her daughter’s reaction to the novel

Thanks to MuggleNet and Snitch Seeker for the links

OwlTV Daily News Show #1!

You can download the first-ever OwlTV Daily News Show right here our Kiwi6 page. In this (VERY) quick episode, we talk about Deathly Hallows- Part 2′s BAFTA nominations.

‘Daily News’ editions of OwlTV will be the place where you can hear all the breaking and latest news in the ‘Potter’ realm without having to wait for the regular shows. They will be short and quick, and will not discuss all stories, only a most important. 

Please take note that these shows are not actually daily, and will only be recorded when important news happens.