May 07, 2020

MAY 27


Based on Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel,
the 12-part BBC/Hulu series stars Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal

Directed by Lenny Abrahamson (Room) and Hetti McDonald (Howard’s End) 


“It’s a triumph in every way, from acting and direction to script, and if we see a better drama – certainly about adolescence, one which takes it seriously without treating it indulgently – this year, I’d be very surprised. It’s a beautiful, hugely beautiful thing.” - The Guardian 


“Moving and emotionally wrecking in the best way.” - New York Times


“Uncannily smart, sophisticated and seductively melancholy.” - Wall Street Journal


“Normal People is not only a worthy retelling of a great book; it’s a remarkable love story, both epic and intimate.” - IndieWire 


May 8, 2020 – CBC today announced the exclusive Canadian premiere of coming-of-age drama NORMAL PEOPLE (12x30, an Element Pictures production for BBC and Hulu), based on Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel and starring Daisy Edgar-Jones (War of the Worlds, Cold Feet) and newcomer Paul Mescal. Recently launched in the UK and U.S. and touted as one of the best book-to-series adaptations in recent years, the 12-part story of young love and heartbreak will launch on the free CBC Gem streaming service Wednesday, May 27, with two new episodes premiering each Wednesday.


CBC Gem offers more than 5000 hours of Canadian programming and a curated selection of best-in-class content from around the world. In March 2020, unique visitors/viewers to CBC Gem increased by 43 percent compared to the previous month, resulting in the highest number of unique visitors/viewers to the streaming service in the past 12 months.* CBC Gem also experienced its highest-ever number of video views in March since the launch of the service.**


NORMAL PEOPLE tracks the complicated relationship of Marianne (Edgar-Jones) and Connell (Mescal) from the end of their school days in a small-town west of Ireland to their undergraduate years at Trinity College. At school, he’s well-liked and popular, while she’s lonely, proud and intimidating. But when Connell comes to pick up his mother from her cleaning job at Marianne’s house, an indelible connection grows between them – one they are determined to conceal. A year later, they’re both studying in Dublin and Marianne has found her feet in a new social world but Connell hangs at the side lines, shy and uncertain. The pair weaves in and out of each other’s lives as they explore the complicated worlds of intimacy and young love. 


Adapted by Sally Rooney alongside writers Alice Birch and Mark O’Rowe, NORMAL PEOPLE is an Element Pictures production (The Favourite, The Lobster, Room) for Hulu and BBC Three. Lenny Abrahamson (Room, The Little Stranger, Frank) directed the first six episodes, with Hettie Macdonald (Howard’s End, Beautiful Thing, Fortitude) helming the final six. The series is executive produced by Ed Guiney (The Favourite, Room, The Lobster, Dublin Murders), Andrew Lowe (The Favourite, Room, The Lobster), Emma Norton (Rosie, A Date for Mad Mary), and Anna Ferguson (No Offense, Prisoners’ Wives) for Element Pictures. Rooney and Abrahamson also serve as executive producers. Endeavor Content is handling international sales. 


*Source: Comscore MMX® Multi-Platform, Total Audience (desktop 2+, mobile 18+), Unique Visitors/Viewers, March 2020 vs February 2020, Canada; Past 12 months = April 2019 - March 2020

**Source: Adobe Analytics, Video Views = Content Starts




About CBC Gem

CBC Gem is Canada’s streaming service, offering more than 5000 hours of live and on-demand Canadian programming and a curated selection of acclaimed, best-in-class content from around the world, including more than 750 documentaries, 300 hours of ad-free content for kids and tweens, and a collection of over 120 Canadian feature films. CBC Gem is available free as an App for iOS and Android devices and online at, and on TV screens via Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV. 


About CBC/Radio-Canada

CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster. Through our mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain, we play a central role in strengthening Canadian culture. As Canada’s trusted news source, we offer a uniquely Canadian perspective on news, current affairs and world affairs. Our distinctively homegrown entertainment programming draws audiences from across the country. Deeply rooted in communities, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also deliver content in Spanish, Arabic and Chinese, as well as both official languages, through Radio Canada International (RCI). We are leading the transformation to meet the needs of Canadians in a digital world.


About Element Pictures

Element Pictures is run by Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe. With offices in Dublin, London and Belfast, Element’s activities encompass production, distribution, and exhibition. Recent productions include Yorgos Lanthimos’ Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA winning THE FAVOURITE and Lenny Abrahamson's Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA winning ROOM. Previous productions include all of Lenny Abrahamson’s films, most recently THE LITTLE STRANGER and Yorgos Lanthimos’ English language films THE LOBSTER (Jury Prize, Cannes) and THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER as well as Sebastián Lelio’s DISOBEDIENCE. Current productions include Phyllida Lloyd’s HERSELF, Sean Durkin’s THE NEST starring Jude Law and Carrie Coon for BBC Films/FilmNation, THE DUBLIN MURDERS, an 8-part series for BBC and Starz and NORMAL PEOPLE, the 12x30 mins series for BBC based on Sally Rooney’s acclaimed novel which is directed by Lenny Abrahamson. Element also runs a distribution company in Ireland as well as the Light House Cinema in Dublin and Pálás Cinema in Galway. Element Pictures announced a first look production deal with Fox Searchlight in September 2018.


About Endeavor Content

Endeavor Content is a global leader in the development, financing and sales of premium film, television, theater and audio content. Endeavor Content seeks to facilitate more ownership and creative freedom for artists, creators and production companies in an ever-evolving media landscape. Endeavor Content is a division of Endeavor, a global entertainment, sports and content company.


For more information including series synopses, press releases, hi-res images, video clips and bios, please visit the CBC Media Centre at Follow CBC's publicity team on Twitter @CBC_Publicity.



For more information, please contact: 


Elizabeth Reid

Publicist, CBC