Catastrophe (2015 TV series)

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Catastrophe (2015 TV series) title.png
Created byRob Delaney
Sharon Horgan
Written byRob Delaney
Sharon Horgan
Directed byBen Taylor
StarringSharon Horgan
Rob Delaney
Opening themeCatastrophe Theme
Composer(s)Oli Julian
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series3
No. of episodes18 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)Sharon Horgan
Rob Delaney
Richard Allen-Turner
Jon Thoday
Kara Baker
Producer(s)Jack Bayles
Running time25 minutes
Production company(s)Avalon Television, Merman
Original networkChannel 4
Original release19 January 2015 (2015-01-19) – present
External links

Catastrophe is a British television sitcom first broadcast on 19 January 2015[1] on Channel 4. It stars Sharon Horgan as Sharon Morris and Rob Delaney as Rob Norris, who become a couple after she unexpectedly becomes pregnant following a fling while he is visiting London on a business trip.[2] Carrie Fisher, Ashley Jensen, and Mark Bonnar play supporting characters in the series.[2]

The show was renewed for a second series in January 2015 and began broadcasting from 27 October 2015, having been brought forward from its original schedule of early 2016. In July 2016, Catastrophe was renewed for a third and fourth series. The third series, which began broadcasting in the UK on 28 February 2017, comprises 6 episodes — which all became available in the United States on28 April 2017, hosted by Amazon. The fourth series of the show is scheduled for 2018.[3]

For her performance in the show, Sharon Horgan was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Female Comedy Performance in 2016. Both Horgan and Delaney won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Writer: Comedy. The show was nominated for a Peabody Award.[4] In July 2016, the show received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Writing For a Comedy Series, going to Horgan and Delaney.


Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan interviewed about Catastrophe in 2015

Main characters[edit]

Guest characters[edit]

Production and broadcast[edit]

The series was officially commissioned by Channel 4 in May 2014 after a successful pilot the previous year.[5] The BBC had previously turned down the series after reading the script.[6]

Catastrophe was named after the quote from the movie Zorba the Greek: "I'm a man, so I married. Wife, children, house, everything. The full catastrophe."[7]

The original theme for the series, "Catastrophe Theme",[8] was composed by Oli Julian.

On 28 January 2015, the show was renewed for a second series, which aired in October 2015.[9] Jay Hunt, Channel 4's chief creative officer, said: "Catastrophe is a real comedy gem. Sharon and Rob have done a magnificent job and we're already looking forward to series two".[10]

Carrie Fisher, who plays Mia, died on 27 December 2016 shortly after filming of series 3 of Catastrophe had concluded. This would turn out to be her final TV role.[11] The final episode of series 3 is dedicated to her, with the simple words "For Carrie" appearing on screen alongside a photograph of Fisher following the credits.

Series 4 was filmed in 2018 and will be its last.


Series 1 (2015)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
11"Episode 1"Ben TaylorRob Delaney & Sharon Horgan19 January 2015 (2015-01-19)1.10[12]
Irish primary school teacher meets American businessman Rob at a bar in London. They have a wild six days together in which they have casual sex every day. He returns to Boston, but when Sharon phones him 32 days later to tell him that she is pregnant, he returns and suggests that they try to establish a permanent relationship. They visit a doctor who tells them the pregnancy needs close monitoring and that Sharon has cervical dysplasia. They accept an invitation to dinner with Sharon's acquaintances at their house. They are an unhappily married Scottish couple called Fran and Chris who have a son. When Chris goes outside to smoke, Rob smokes his first cigarette since he quit ten years ago. Rob argues with Fran after she claims that homeopathy works and that her guru cured his prostate cancer by using walnuts. On their return to Sharon's flat, Rob proposes to her, despite not having an engagement ring.
22"Episode 2"Ben TaylorRob Delaney & Sharon Horgan26 January 2015 (2015-01-26)1.17[12]
Few people think it a good idea that Rob marry Sharon. He phones his mother Mia in the US, who tells him to come home and forget about the pregnancy, because the authorities cannot chase him for child support there. He tells Mia that he is having a son and will raise him. Rob phones Dave, an American man who is his only friend in London; he is puzzled by Rob's intention to marry Sharon. Rob and Sharon visit her brother Fergal, who is accepting and encourages the new couple to marry. Rob and Fergal go to a jeweller, where Fergal helps Rob choose a ring. Rob and Sharon go to a restaurant, where they are interrupted by Dave. Rob and Sharon leave, and Rob proposes to her in the street, with the ring.
33"Episode 3"Ben TaylorRob Delaney & Sharon Horgan2 February 2015 (2015-02-02)1.17[12]

Sharon wakes in the night worrying about her pregnancy, and the state of the world. She is frequently simultaneously horny and depressed. In a bookshop, she bumps into old flame Owen, whom she dumped years ago. She then bumps into Fran in a clothes store. Owen who takes her to dinner at a restaurant. Owen tells her that he is in a long-term relationship with a successful author who is now pregnant by him. His success makes Sharon feel like a failure.

Rob is having problems generating business for the advertising agency. In a clothes shop, he notices Fran, so avoids her and is pleased to run into Chris. Chris suggests he change career path to become a vet - which is what he wanted to do before he went into advertising. When Rob asks Sharon what she thinks of his plan to study and become a vet in a zoo, she strongly discourages him him from doing so.
44"Episode 4"Ben TaylorRob Delaney & Sharon Horgan9 February 2015 (2015-02-09)0.90[12]

Rob meets Sharon's parents, who are accepting of the engagement but less so about the pregnancy. Sharon is told that, because she is 41, she has a multiple times higher than average risk of her baby having Down syndrome.

Chris tells Rob that Fran suspected him of having an affair, so Chris told her that he has been spending time with Rob. Fran and Rob meet in the park, during which Fran says that she would like to be friends with him and Sharon. Fran kisses Rob, then he pushes her away and runs off.
55"Episode 5"Ben TaylorRob Delaney & Sharon Horgan16 February 2015 (2015-02-16)0.93[12]

Rob is fired from Boston via Skype, for not landing any clients for his London venture, but Dave gets him an interview—and a job offer—with a chemical firm of dubious reputation. Dave unsuccessfully encourages Rob to join him for a prostate massage at a brothel.

Sharon rings Rob's mother Mia with a wedding invitation and is shocked to hear something Rob never told her—that his former girlfriend Betsy miscarried what would have been their baby. Sharon looks for Betsy online. After the couple celebrate Sharon's birthday with friends and relatives, they have a heart-to-heart conversation which almost clears the air.
66"Episode 6"Ben TaylorRob Delaney & Sharon Horgan23 February 2015 (2015-02-23)0.93[12]
Rob returns from Boston, and Sharon meets him at the airport. Rob asks her brother Fergal to be his best man, which Fergal is delighted to be. Fergal has been drunk for days, his wife Mallandra having left him. Sharon chooses Kate, who was her friend at university and who is now unhappily married, as her maid of honour. Kate is annoyingly excitable and gets drunk and goes missing on the hen night, having met a man who says he has a boat. Rob's stag night, organised by Dave at a pole dancing club, fares no better, as Fergal argues with Dave, and Chris meets an old flame, Lenore, who is one of the dancers there. At the register office, Sharon is angry with Kate for going missing, and Fran takes Kate's place as maid of honour. Fran sings badly during the service. The couple argue in their hotel room during the honeymoon, then Sharon's waters break.

Series 2 (2015)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
71"Episode 1"Ben TaylorRob Delaney & Sharon Horgan27 October 2015 (2015-10-27)1.43[12]

Rob and Sharon argue. They then have sex, during which their son Frankie and their dog Mabel walk in.

Sharon gives birth to a daughter, whom they name Muireann. The couple host a gathering of family and friends, which is marred by an argument between Rob's mother Mia and Sharon, as well as Sharon's father Des leaving the front door open allowing Mabel to run into the road where she is killed by a car.
82"Episode 2"Ben TaylorRob Delaney & Sharon Horgan3 November 2015 (2015-11-03)1.43[12]

Rob is sexually attracted to new young French colleague Olivia Vasseur, who has recently transferred from the company's Paris office. She tells him that she has noticed him looking at her and that she wants to fellate him. He tells his manageress Harita that he is quitting, but Harita convinces him to stay by offering him a large pay increase.

Sharon is unpleasant and unpopular at the mother and baby group that she attends. She is disappointed when she finds out that her only friend there, Samantha, has left and returned to her job. She meets up with Samantha and has a brief conversation with her, but Samantha finds her needy and soon rejects her.
93"Episode 3"Ben TaylorRob Delaney & Sharon Horgan10 November 2015 (2015-11-10)1.50[12]

Chris tells Rob that Fran has taken a lover and that he intends to divorce her. He tells Rob about his own long-standing desire to have sex with "women who have penises". Fran tells Sharon about how Chris's lack of sexual interest in her has led to her having an affair and her decision to divorce him. Chris briefly visits a gay bar.

Rob is disappointed with having too little sex for his liking. He and Sharon take a trip to Paris in order to improve their relationship whilst Fergal and Mallandra babysit Frankie and Muireann. Fergal asks Rob for a loan of £10,000. Rob and Sharon encounter a series of mishaps after Sharon leaves her breast pump at home. Rob and Sharon have a couples' massage; Sharon is annoyed when the masseur massages her breasts. Rob and Sharon have sex.
104"Episode 4"Ben TaylorRob Delaney & Sharon Horgan17 November 2015 (2015-11-17)1.23[12]

Fran and Chris have separated. He visits a transgender sex worker, whom he pays £120 for a half-hour session. Fran goes on an uncomfortable first date with a middle-aged man, Patrick. He tries to propose in a restaurant - until she stops him. Later, Chris phones Fran and tries to persuade her to reunite.

Rob and Sharon tell each other that they have never cheated on each other. They hire a babysitter before attempting to enjoy their third anniversary at the same restaurant just after they bumped into Fran and Patrick leaving. Rob tells Sharon how difficult he has found transitioning from being a single man living in Boston to being a married father living in London.

Dave is a recovering alcoholic and has cirrhosis. He is pleased with his new girlfriend Catherine, but reluctant to meet some of her friends. When he does, she is angry with him at finding out that he has only been sober for five months, rather than the year that he claimed.
115"Episode 5"Ben TaylorRob Delaney & Sharon Horgan24 November 2015 (2015-11-24)1.02[12]
126"Episode 6"Ben TaylorRob Delaney & Sharon Horgan1 December 2015 (2015-12-01)1.04[12]

Series 3 (2017)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
131"Episode 1"Ben TaylorRob Delaney & Sharon Horgan28 February 2017 (2017-02-28)1.48[13]
Rob confronts Sharon about the morning after pill and becomes suspicious. Sharon goes to a bar with Melissa to see the student and find out what happened the night they were together. Sharon finds out that while she apparently kissed him and touched his penis, they did not have sex. Rob is offered his old job back but refuses.
142"Episode 2"Ben TaylorRob Delaney & Sharon Horgan7 March 2017 (2017-03-07)1.23[13]
Rob and Sharon's relationship continues to suffer as they attempt to sort out childcare arrangements following Sharon's return to teaching. Rob searches for a new job whilst attempting to deal with playground politics. Fergal announces that he and his wife will be moving to Spain. Sharon is promoted at her school due to a fellow teacher killing himself.
153"Episode 3"Ben TaylorRob Delaney & Sharon Horgan14 March 2017 (2017-03-14)1.19[13]
Financial difficulties continue to put stress on Rob and Sharon, so they consider selling their current home, and downsizing to a smaller one. Rob struggles with weight and joins a gym. Fran deals with vanity issues and considers plastic surgery as a way to kick-start a new life.
164"Episode 4"Ben TaylorRob Delaney & Sharon Horgan21 March 2017 (2017-03-21)1.25[13]
Rob and Sharon have a weird dinner experience with estranged couple Fran and Chris. Catherine confronts Dave with the shocking revelation that she is pregnant. Sharon's parents visit and Fergal is back from Spain. Rob returns to his old job while Sharon gets some unexpected news from the doctor.
175"Episode 5"Ben TaylorRob Delaney & Sharon Horgan28 March 2017 (2017-03-28)1.11[13]
Rob officially returns to work and has some awkward encounters with his co-workers. Des has a stroke, prompting Sharon and Fergal to travel back to Ireland where family tensions intensify. Rob is left alone to look after the kids. Chris confronts and threatens Fran's new boyfriend.
186"Episode 6"Ben TaylorRob Delaney & Sharon Horgan4 April 2017 (2017-04-04)1.07[13]
Everyone gathers for Des's funeral. Mia arrives from America and develops an odd friendship with Carol before taking up residence at Rob and Sharon's, greatly annoying both of them. After Chris's threats, Fran gets dumped by her boyfriend, and she gets very upset, and knocks on Chris's door, and punches him in the nose. Rob picks up a drunken Sharon from a bar, and they head home. However, Sharon decides she wants to order some pizza, so Rob drops her off. While Rob looks for a place to park, his car gets hit by another car. Although bleeding, he is still conscious, and confesses to Sharon that he has been drinking again, and will fail the breathalyzer test that the police will give him, due to the accident.


The series was first broadcast in the UK on Channel 4 from January 2015. In the USA, the series is shown exclusively on Amazon Prime Instant Video, with the first series added in June 2015. It will be made available to subscribers in the United Kingdom later in the year. Amazon Studios vice president Roy Price said: "Rob and Sharon have created an engaging, contemporary, funny and moving story. We are excited to bring 'Catastrophe' exclusively to our Amazon Prime customers, and can't wait to hear what they think of the series."[14] The show has also been sold to numerous other countries.[15] In Australia it is shown on Australian Broadcasting Corporation,[16] in Canada it ran on Shomi until the video on demand service ceased operation,[15] and in New Zealand on SoHo.[15][17]


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2015 Writers' Guild of Great Britain Awards Best TV Situation Comedy Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan Nominated [18]
BAFTA Scotland Awards Best Actor in Television Mark Bonnar Nominated [19]
2016 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Comedy Series Catastrophe Nominated [20]
BAFTA TV Craft Awards Best Writer: Comedy Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan Won [21]
BAFTA TV Awards Best Female Comedy Performance Sharon Horgan Nominated [22]
BAFTA Scotland Awards Best Actress in Television Ashley Jensen Nominated [23]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan
(for "Episode 1")
Nominated [24]
Critics' Choice Television Awards Most Bingeworthy Show Catastrophe Nominated [25]
Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Series Rob Delaney Nominated [26]
Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Series Sharon Horgan Nominated
2017 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Carrie Fisher Nominated [27]
2018 BAFTA TV Awards Best Female Comedy Performance Sharon Horgan Nominated [28]
Best Scripted Comedy Catastrophe Nominated
BAFTA TV Craft Awards Best Writer: Comedy Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan Nominated [29]


  1. ^ "Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney on sex, parenthood and Catastrophe". The Guardian. 2015. Retrieved 2015-01-15.
  2. ^ a b "Star Wars' Carrie Fisher in new Sharon Horgan comedy Catastrophe – first look". Radio Times. 2015. Retrieved 2015-01-15.
  3. ^ "'Catastrophe' renewed for seasons 3 and 4". Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  4. ^ "The 60 Peabody Finalists". Peabody Award. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Rob Delaney, Sharon Horgan for new Channel 4 sitcom Catastrophe". Digital Spy. 29 May 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  6. ^ "Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan on Catastrophe: 'We want people to laugh'". Digital Spy. 19 January 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  7. ^ Horn, John; Lanz, Michelle; Kell, Cameron (12 April 2016). "'Catastrophe' creators embrace raunchy language but think nudity is too distracting". KPCC - The Frame. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  8. ^ "Catastrophe Theme". SoundCloud. Oli Julian. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  9. ^ "Catastrophe series 2 brought forward to October as Channel 4 lines up autumn comedy bonanza". Radio Times. 9 June 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  10. ^ "Catastrophe to return for second series on Channel 4". Digital Spy. 28 January 2015. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  11. ^ Nemetz, Dave; Nemetz, Dave (27 December 2016). "Carrie Fisher: Behind the Scenes of What Would Be Her Final TV Role".
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Weekly top 30 programmes". BARB. 2015. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
  13. ^ a b c d e f "Weekly top 30 programmes". BARB. 2017. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
  14. ^ "Catastrophe to be added to Amazon Prime Instant Video". Digital Spy. 2015. Retrieved 2015-01-29.
  15. ^ a b c "A global Catastrophe". Chortle. 19 June 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  16. ^ "Catastrophe". Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  17. ^ "Catastrophe: Far-flung fling with sting". The New Zealand Herald. 12 April 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  18. ^ "Writers' Guild Awards nominees". December 7, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  19. ^ "Scottish Bafta nominations announced". BBC News. October 13, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  20. ^ Guglielmi, Jodi (December 14, 2015). "Critics' Choice Awards Mad About Mad Max: Fury Road as Nominations Are Announced". People. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  21. ^ "Sharon Horgan". BAFTA Awards Search. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  22. ^ "BAFTA Television Awards 2016 – winners in full". RadioTimes. May 8, 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  23. ^ "British Academy Scotland Awards: Winners in 2016". BAFTA. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  24. ^ "Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series - 2016". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  25. ^ Lincoln, Ross (November 14, 2016). "Critics' Choice TV Nominations Unveiled". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  26. ^ "THE INTERNATIONAL PRESS ACADEMY ANNOUNCES WINNERS FOR THE 21 ANNUAL SATELLITE AWARDS" (PDF). International Press Academy. December 18, 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  27. ^ "Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series - 2017". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  28. ^ "Bafta TV Awards: The nominees and winners". 4 April 2018 – via
  29. ^ "Nominations Announced for the British Academy Television Craft Awards in 2018".

External links[edit]