The A Word, Season 4: Cancelled or Renewed?
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If you enjoyed the British TV series The A Word, you've probably been hoping for news about a possible season 4. Unfortunately, at time of writing, there's been no confirmation of a new season OR official cancellation.
What's The A Word About?
The A Word is a BBC series based on the 2010 Israeli series Yellow Peppers, and it follows a young boy and his family as they deal with the challenges of autism spectrum disorder (or more simply, “autism”).
Set in England's stunning Lake District, it stars Lee Ingleby and Morven Christie as parents to an autistic kid named Joe (played by the enormously talented young Max Vento). Doctor Who fans will also be quick to notice Christopher Eccelston playing the role of Joe's grandfather.
The series begins when parents Alison and Paul are dealing with a five-year-old child, Joe, who's often uncooperative and withdrawn. He knows a great deal about his favourite songs, but he likes to isolate himself from his family by constantly listening while wearing giant headphones.
Eventually, Joe is referred to an autism specialist and he receives a diagnosis. From there, the story follows both Joe and his family and the different ways they cope with the challenges of autism and the different ways it affects each member of the family.
Series 1 aired in 2016, followed quickly by a second season in 2017 and a third season in 2020.
Where Can I Watch The A Word?
Sadly, The A Word was recently removed from Sundance Now, so there's no legal way to stream it in the US at the moment. If you have a region-free DVD player, you CAN purchase the DVD from the UK:
In the UK, The A Word is available to stream on BBC iPlayer (at time of writing) or Acorn TV.
If you're not familiar with the series, you can check out the trailer below:
Where Can I View Other TV Shows About Autism?
If you're autistic or you have friends/family who are autistic, you may be interesting in other British TV shows about autism – or starring autistic actors and presenters. To help, we've compiled a list of mostly British shows featuring autistic characters, autistic-coded characters, autistic actors, and autistic presenters.
We've also included a couple European shows because they were simply too good NOT to include.
Check it out HERE: Autism in British TV
Will There Be a Season 4 of The A Word?
It's been a couple years now since the last season of The A Word, and while that certainly doesn't rule out another season (especially not with British TV), it does make it seem a bit less likely – especially since season 3 received the lowest average viewing numbers of the three.
All the same, there's been no official announcement either way. If we hear more or see details of a casting call for a new season or special, we'll return to update this post.
What Could We Expect from a Season 4 of The A Word?
Warning: Possible spoilers for season 3 in this section
By the beginning of season 3, Joe was 10 and dealing with not only his autism, but his parents' separation and possible divorce. His family is now spread out across two locations 100 miles apart – the peaceful, rural Lake District and the bustling city of Manchester. His grandfather is helping to keep everything together, but on the whole, it's a bit of a mess.
Based on that, we'd expect a fourth season to be about hope, rebuilding, and moving forward. It's hard to say where they'd pick back up, given that little Joe would now be several years older. It's entirely possible we could see him entering his teen years and beginning to deal with all the awkwardness and social problems that entails.
We would expect to see the return of Max Vento as Joe, Lee Ingleby as Paul, Morven Christie as Alison, and Christopher Eccleston as grandpa Maurice – but of course, you can never be sure about these things until there's an official announcement.
It's worth mentioning that the Israeli series, Yellow Peppers, lasted for two seasons and a total of 26 episodes (compared to the British version's three seasons and 18 episodes). We've not seen the Israeli version, however, so we can't say whether there's more runway left in the original source material or whether they'd need to come up with entirely new storylines.
An American version is currently in the works at NBC.