School is back in session for live-action teen drama Waterloo Road, which the Beeb has revived for two new seasons to follow an upcoming one (eight x 60 minutes) that will drop on BBC One and iPlayer next year.
Manchester-based prodcos Rope Ladder Fiction and Wall to Wall North produce the YA series, which got a new lease on life thanks to the strong engagement it forged with streaming audiences during the pandemic.
Waterloo Road follows the lives of students and teachers at the same-name British high school. It addresses topics such as the cost-of-living crisis, teen homelessness, racism, bulimia, LGBTQ, mental health and academia. With three new seasons on the way, the public broadcaster is showing a lot of confidence in the series, which originally ran on the BBC from 2006 to 2015.
Despite being off the air for half a decade, Waterloo Road found a second life on the BBC’s iPlayer service during COVID-19 lockdowns. According to the Beeb, it still consistently ranks among the top-five most-watched shows for teen/YA audiences on the platform.
This strong performance paved the way for a revival of the series, which the BBC announced in 2021. The first two seasons of the revival (which are the 11th and 12th seasons of the series) launched in January and May this year.
As part of the show’s production process, Rope Ladder and Wall to Wall will also continue to run six-month training placements in various departments like camera, sound, costume and post-production. Eight more trainees will join the series for the two newly greenlit seasons, which start filming this fall.