Howards End (TV series)

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Howards End
Series title over characters in silhouette
Based onHowards End
by E. M. Forster
Written byKenneth Lonergan
Directed byHettie MacDonald
ComposerNico Muhly
Country of origin
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes4 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • Sophie Gardiner
  • Scott Huff
  • Joshua D. Maurer
  • Alixandre Witlin
  • David A. Stern
  • Colin Callender
  • Laura Hastings-Smith
CinematographyWojciech Szepel
Running time56–58 minutes
Production companies
  • Playground Television UK
  • City Entertainment
  • KippSter Entertainment
Original network
Picture format1080i HDTV
Original release12 November (2017-11-12) –
3 December 2017 (2017-12-03)

Howards End is a British-American television drama based on the 1910 novel of the same name by E. M. Forster. The series was adapted by Kenneth Lonergan, directed by Hettie MacDonald, and stars Hayley Atwell. The four-part series is a co-production between British network BBC One and American network Starz. It premiered on 12 November 2017 in the United Kingdom and 8 April 2018 in the United States.


Howards End examines "the changing landscape of social and class divisions in turn-of-the-century England through the prism of three families: the intellectual and idealistic Schlegels, the wealthy Wilcoxes from the world of business and the working-class Basts."[1]

Cast and characters[edit]



  • Donna Banya as Annie
  • Yolanda Kettle as Dolly Wilcox
  • Sandra Voe as Miss Avery
  • Gavin Brocker as Crane
  • Miles Jupp as Percy Cahill
  • William Belchambers as Burton
  • Hannah Traylen as Nancy



No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release dateUS release dateUK viewers
(millions) [2]
US viewers
1"Episode 1"Hettie MacDonaldKenneth Lonergan12 November 2017 (2017-11-12)8 April 20188.300.217[3]
After meeting the Wilcoxes on the Continent, Helen Schlegel visits them at Howards End. There, an unfortunate engagement between Helen and Paul Wilcox is quickly ended. The wealthy Wilcoxes decide that the Schlegels—Helen, her older sister Margaret, and brother Tibby—are of the unreliable, idealistic sort. The Schlegels meet and become interested in Leonard Bast, a lower class clerk. While the rest of the Wilcox family are away, Margaret and Mrs. Wilcox meet and become close friends.
2"Episode 2"Hettie MacDonaldKenneth Lonergan19 November 2017 (2017-11-19)15 April 20185.680.276[4]
Mrs. Wilcox dies. After the funeral, the family discovers that Mrs. Wilcox, knowing the Schlegels must soon leave their home, has written a note bequeathing Howards End to Margaret. Henry Wilcox assumes his wife was not of sound mind and the children believe that the Schlegels maneuvered to obtain an inheritance. They destroy the note. Helen becomes more interested in helping Leonard Bast. Mr. Wilcox becomes interested in Margaret and she him.
3"Episode 3"Hettie MacDonaldKenneth Lonergan26 November 2017 (2017-11-26)22 April 20185.420.207[5]
Henry and Margaret plan their wedding to the dismay of the Wilcox children, especially the eldest son, Charles. Helen dislikes Henry and his business activities and strongly disapproves of the wedding. Based on advice Henry gave to Margaret and Helen, Leonard has left his job and then loses his new job. He and his wife are now destitute, something Helen strives to rectify.
4"Episode 4"Hettie MacDonaldKenneth Lonergan3 December 2017 (2017-12-03)29 April 20185.060.275[6]
Helen has mysteriously left for Germany and for months avoids contact with Margaret. She returns because their aunt's illness and the mystery of her departure is revealed. A confrontation at Howards End with Leonard, Henry's son Charles, and the Schlegel sisters ends in tragedy. Margaret nobly resolves the ensuing conflict.



On 28 November 2012 it was announced that Playground Entertainment, in association with City Entertainment and KippSter Entertainment, had acquired the screen rights to E.M. Forster's novel Howards End with the intention of adapting it into a television drama for BBC Two. Executive producers for the production were set to include Colin Callender, Joshua D. Maurer, Alixandre Witlin, and David A. Stern.[7] On 11 October 2013 it was announced that Kenneth Lonergan had been chosen to adapt the novel. The production had yet to be greenlit by the BBC but it was reportedly expected to consist of four episodes. It was additionally announced that Polly Hill would be executive producing for the BBC.[8] On 28 December 2015 it was announced that BBC One had officially greenlit the production.[9] On 7 June 2016 it was announced that Hettie MacDonald would direct all four episodes of the serial.[10] On 15 February 2017 it was announced that Starz was joining the production as a co-producer.[1]


Alongside the announcement that Starz was joining the production, it was confirmed that Hayley Atwell, Matthew Macfadyen, and Tracey Ullman would star in the series.[1] A few days later, it was announced that Julia Ormond, Philippa Coulthard, Joseph Quinn, Rosalind Eleazar, and Alex Lawther had also joined the main cast.[11]


Principal photography for the drama began during the summer of 2016.[9] The house used for Howards End is Vann House, near Hambledon; dating from 1542 but remodelled by WD Caröe after 1907 with gardens designed by Gertrude Jekyll. Scenes were filmed at Waverley Abbey, West Wycombe Park, Ballard Down, Swanage Pier and Harry Warren House on Studland Bay. London locations included Myddelton Square in Clerkenwell, Great Russell Street, Chancery Lane, the British Museum, Australia House and Simpsons in the Strand.[12][13][14]



On 4 May 2017 the first image from the series was released.[15] On 7 December 2017 Starz released the first trailer for American audiences.[16]


On 1 November 2017 the series held its official British premiere in London at the BFI Southbank.[17] On 4 April 2018 the series held its official American premiere in New York City at the Whitby Hotel.[18]


Howards End is broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom, ABC TV in Australia[19] and Starz in the United States.[1] The series premiered in the United States on 8 April 2018 on Starz.[20]


Critical response[edit]

The series was met with a positive response from critics. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an 88% approval rating with an average rating of 7.73 out of 10 based on 34 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Hayley Atwell shines in Howards End, a beautiful, if borderline superficial, adaptation of a much-revered book."[21] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the season a score of 86 out of 100 based on 15 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[22]


  1. ^ a b c d Andreeva, Nellie (15 February 2017). "Starz Boards 'Howards End' BBC Limited Series; Hayley Atwell, Matthew Macfadyen & Tracey Ullman To Star". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Weekly top 30 programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 10 April 2018. (User must select "BBC1" in the Channel field and then select the appropriate year, month and week to retrieve the figure for each episode)
  3. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (10 April 2018). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 4.8.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on 10 April 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  4. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (17 April 2018). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 4.15.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on 17 April 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  5. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (24 April 2018). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 4.22.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on 24 April 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  6. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (1 May 2018). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 4.29.2018". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on 1 May 2018. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  7. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Tartaglione, Nancy (28 November 2012). "BBC Two Preps 'Howards End' Miniseries Produced By Colin Callender". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  8. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (11 October 2013). "Kenneth Lonergan To Script 'Howards End' Miniseries Project For BBC, Playground". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  9. ^ a b Tartaglione, Nancy (28 December 2015). "'Howards End' Drama Greenlit By BBC One With Kenneth Lonergan Scripting". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  10. ^ Jaafar, Ali (7 June 2016). "Hettie Macdonald To Direct 'Howards End' Adaptation For BBC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  11. ^ Petski, Denise (17 February 2017). "'Howards End': Julia Ormond, Philippa Coulthard, Joseph Quinn, More Join Starz/BBC Miniseries". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  12. ^ Lacey, Stephen (30 April 2014). "Edwardian spirit: Vann garden in Surrey". The Telegraph. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  13. ^ "Where is BBC drama Howards End filmed?". Radio Times. 28 March 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  14. ^ Deehan, Tom (10 November 2017). "London and Surrey locations bring new Howards End adaptation to life » The Location Guide". The Location Guide. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  15. ^ Petski, Denise (4 May 2017). "'Howards End': Hayley Atwell & Matthew Macfadyen In First Image From Starz Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  16. ^ Evans, Greg (7 December 2017). "'Howards End': Trailer, Premiere Set For Starz Limited Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  17. ^ Mohr, Ian (4 November 2017). "'Manchester by the Sea' screenwriter debuts latest project". Page Six. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  18. ^ Funmbi (5 April 2018). "'Howards End' Cast & Creators Attend NYC Premiere - We So Nerdy". We So Nerdy. Archived from the original on 8 April 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  19. ^ "Howards End: Series 1 Ep 1". ABC TV. March 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  20. ^ Pedersen, Erik (12 January 2018). "Starz Sets Premiere Dates For Rookie Dramas 'Howards End', 'Vida' & Sweetbitter' – TCA". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  21. ^ "Howards End - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  22. ^ "Howards End". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 September 2018.

External links[edit]