Sky renews Breeders for fourth series with Martin Freeman and Daisy Haggard

The third series is currently underway and winning plaudits, starring Daisy Haggard and Martin Freeman as the titular breeders: a modern day mother and father at their wits’ end.

The story is set just days after series two ended, as the Worsley family reels from troubled teen Luke (Alex Eastwood) hitting his dad, Paul (Freeman).

Paul has moved out to go and stay at his mother-in-law Leah’s (Stella Gonet) house, and although his life should be lonely, the peace and quiet does have its appeal. Sooner or later, however, he must make peace with Luke.

Martin Freeman and Daisy Haggard return for a third series of comedy Breeders

(credit: Sky)

Once again exploring the challenges of modern parenting, the third series of Breeders picks up days after season two ended, with the Worsley family reeling from teenager Luke (Alex Eastwood) punching his dad, Paul (Freeman).

Paul has moved out to his mother-in-law Leah’s (Stella Gonet) house, and while he should be feeling put out by the loneliness, the simpler life is proving to be more appealing. Eventually, though, the father and son must make amends.

Feel-good is back in fashion

Friends: The Reunion (Credit: HBO Max)

Almost exactly two years ago, I was invited by this magazine to muse on what was then a wave of “sad-coms” or “dramedies”, those shows playing not quite for laughs but more for wry, sympathetic chuckles at the vicissitudes of life. The success of Detectorists, Back to Life, Don’t Forget the Driver, Ricky Gervais’s After Life, Mum and This Country served to prove that small-screen gags would, from now on, be accompanied by gulps in the throat. 

Exploring a parenting nightmare in Sky comedy Breeders

(credit: Sky)

I opened the door and f****** exploded.” Dreams can be wild – stories that our minds involuntarily create as we sleep. While most of us forget them the next morning, Martin Freeman had one five or six years ago that became the inspiration for a TV series.  

“I knew I had gone through this many times in real life… I was going up the stairs to go and shout at my children,” he recalled. “With each step, I was talking myself down: ‘You know you’re better than this, and they won’t respond positively.’  

How a parenting nightmare inspired Sky One’s Breeders

The dream occurred five or six years ago. “I knew I’d gone through this many times in real life. I was going up the stairs to shout at my children,” he recalls.     

“With each step I was talking myself down ‘You know you’re better than this and they won’t respond positively.’  

“I thought I’d got the better of my temper before I opened the children’s bedroom door, but I opened the door and exploded.”  

Sky announces new parenting comedy Breeders with Martin Freeman

Created by Peep Show writer Simon Blackwell, comedian Chris Addison and Martin Freeman (Sherlock), Breeders will explore the complex feelings of parenting and the paradox of the love and hatred parents feel towards their children.

Co-creator Freeman (Sherlock) will also star in the sitcom as a doting father who discovers he is not the man he thought he was.