Catastrophe (2015 TV series)

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Catastrophe (2015 TV series) title.png
Created by Rob Delaney
Sharon Horgan
Written by Rob Delaney
Sharon Horgan
Directed by Ben Taylor
Starring Sharon Horgan
Rob Delaney
Opening theme Catastrophe Theme
Composer(s) Oli Julian
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 18 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Sharon Horgan
Rob Delaney
Richard Allen-Turner
Jon Thoday
Kara Baker
Producer(s) Jack Bayles
Running time 25 minutes
Production company(s) Avalon Television, Merman
Original network Channel 4
Original release 19 January 2015 (2015-01-19) – present
External links

Catastrophe is a British 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 get together after she becomes pregnant following a brief affair while he is in the UK on business.[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 on April 28, 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 2016 British Academy Television Awards 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 January 28, 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 December 27, 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 1 (2015)[edit]

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
1 1 "Episode 1" Ben Taylor Rob Delaney & Sharon Horgan 19 January 2015 (2015-01-19) 1.10[12]
Irish school teacher Sharon picks up visiting American Rob for a wild weekend of non-stop sex. He returns to Boston, but when Sharon calls to tell him she is pregnant he returns and suggests they become an item, especially after a doctor has told them the pregnancy needs close monitoring. They go to dinner with Sharon's friends Fran and Chris, who are not the best advertisement for marriage, and Rob ends up arguing with Fran. Nonetheless, on their return home Rob proposes to Sharon.
2 2 "Episode 2" Ben Taylor Rob Delaney & Sharon Horgan 26 January 2015 (2015-01-26) 1.17[12]
Nobody seems to think it a good idea that Rob marries Sharon, certainly not his mother, whom he phones long distance, or Dave, his only friend in London. Fortunately Sharon's brother Fergal is – marginally – more encouraging and helps him choose the cheaper of two engagement rings. So Rob goes down on one knee to Sharon and tries again.
3 3 "Episode 3" Ben Taylor Rob Delaney & Sharon Horgan 2 February 2015 (2015-02-02) 1.17[12]
Sharon keeps waking in the night worrying about her pregnancy, whilst Rob is having problems generating business for the advertising agency and is relieved to run into Chris, who, on a night out, suggests a career change. Sharon is not encouraging. She herself meets up with old flame Owen, who is now married to a best-selling author, which makes Sharon feel like a failure. Fortunately for her Rob is sympathetic.
4 4 "Episode 4" Ben Taylor Rob Delaney & Sharon Horgan 9 February 2015 (2015-02-09) 0.90[12]
Rob meets Sharon's parents, who are delighted about the engagement but less so about the pregnancy. Worse is to come when Sharon is told that, as an older mother, she runs the risk of giving birth to a baby with Down Syndrome . Rob also has to explain to Fran that Chris is out drinking with him and not having an affair, but this too ends in disaster.
5 5 "Episode 5" Ben Taylor Rob Delaney & Sharon Horgan 16 February 2015 (2015-02-16) 0.93[12]
Rob is fired, via Skype, for failing to bring in enough customers, but loose cannon friend Dave gets him an interview – and a job offer – with a chemical firm of dubious reputation. Sharon rings Rob's mother with a wedding invitation and is shocked to hear something Rob never told her – that his former girlfriend Betsy had a miscarriage. However after the pair have celebrated Sharon's birthday with friends and relatives, they have a heart to heart which clears the air – almost.
6 6 "Episode 6" Ben Taylor Rob Delaney & Sharon Horgan 23 February 2015 (2015-02-23) 0.93[12]
Fergal is delighted to act as Rob's best man, but he is also permanently drunk, his wife having left him, whilst Sharon's maid of honour Kate is annoyingly excitable and gets lost on the hen night, having met an eligible man. Rob's stag party, organized by Dave at a pole dancing club, fares no better, as Fergal punches Dave, and Chris cops off with an old flame who is one of the dancers. At least the wedding goes smoothly, but catastrophe strikes on the honeymoon.

Series 2 (2015)[edit]

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
7 1 "Episode 1" Ben Taylor Rob Delaney & Sharon Horgan 27 October 2015 (2015-10-27) 1.43[12]
8 2 "Episode 2" Ben Taylor Rob Delaney & Sharon Horgan 3 November 2015 (2015-11-03) 1.43[12]
9 3 "Episode 3" Ben Taylor Rob Delaney & Sharon Horgan 10 November 2015 (2015-11-10) 1.50[12]
10 4 "Episode 4" Ben Taylor Rob Delaney & Sharon Horgan 17 November 2015 (2015-11-17) 1.23[12]
11 5 "Episode 5" Ben Taylor Rob Delaney & Sharon Horgan 24 November 2015 (2015-11-24) 1.02[12]
12 6 "Episode 6" Ben Taylor Rob Delaney & Sharon Horgan 1 December 2015 (2015-12-01) 1.04[12]

Series 3 (2017)[edit]

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
13 1 "Episode 1" Ben Taylor Rob Delaney & Sharon Horgan 28 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.
14 2 "Episode 2" Ben Taylor Rob Delaney & Sharon Horgan 7 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.
15 3 "Episode 3" Ben Taylor Rob Delaney & Sharon Horgan 14 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.
16 4 "Episode 4" Ben Taylor Rob Delaney & Sharon Horgan 21 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.
17 5 "Episode 5" Ben Taylor Rob Delaney & Sharon Horgan 28 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.
18 6 "Episode 6" Ben Taylor Rob Delaney & Sharon Horgan 4 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 Awards Best Female Comedy Performance Sharon Horgan Nominated [21]
BAFTA Scotland Awards Best Actress in Television Ashley Jensen Nominated [22]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan
(for "Episode 1")
Nominated [23]
Critics' Choice Television Awards Most Bingeworthy Show Catastrophe Nominated [24]
Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Series Rob Delaney Nominated [25]
Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Series Sharon Horgan Nominated
2017 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Carrie Fisher Pending [26]


  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. ^ "BAFTA Television Awards 2016 – winners in full". RadioTimes. May 8, 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2017. 
  22. ^ "British Academy Scotland Awards: Winners in 2016". BAFTA. Retrieved July 20, 2017. 
  23. ^ "Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series - 2016". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved July 20, 2017. 
  24. ^ Lincoln, Ross (November 14, 2016). "Critics’ Choice TV Nominations Unveiled". Retrieved July 20, 2017. 
  25. ^ "THE INTERNATIONAL PRESS ACADEMY ANNOUNCES WINNERS FOR THE 21 ANNUAL SATELLITE AWARDS" (PDF). International Press Academy. December 18, 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2017. 
  26. ^ "Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series - 2017". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved July 20, 2017. 

External links[edit]