J.K. Rowling's Casual Vacancy Trailer Is Emotional And Angsty

For everyone thinking that Downton Abbey would be the only place to find densely packed British ensemble casts on TV this year, you’re in luck. The BBC One has unveiled the first trailer for the drama The Casual Vacancy, based on the first adult novel from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. Check it out below.

First impressions are good, although there’s not a whole lot happening that clues potential audiences in on what’s supposed to be going on. This trailer is more about creating off-center vibes and offering up clear implications that not everything in the village of Pagford is as idyllic as one would first assume. In fact, maybe nothing is.


The Casual Vacancy kicks its story off with the death of the parish councilor, whose funeral is presumably the one seen above. His death presents certain people with opportunities to get involved with town-related matters that the councilman was against. Once the search for a replacement gets underway, all hell breaks loose as Pagford implodes beneath the weight of the heinous secrets and slander shared on the Parish Council online forum. Hell hath no fury like the person who saw you fuck up that one time.

While everything may look hunky dory from the outside, the inner workings of Pagford are fraught with struggles between the rich and poor, between the young and old, between the women and men, and between the teachers and students. So it’s pretty much like every community that’s ever existed, only with British accents.


Directed by Jonny Campbell (In the Flesh) from a script written by Sarah Phelps (EastEnders), The Casual Vacancy boasts a stacked cast, including old Dumbledore himself, Michael Gambon. It also stars Rory Kinnear (Penny Dreadful), Julia McKenzie (Agatha Christie’s Marple), Simona Brown (Wizards vs. Aliens), Emily Bevan (In the Flesh), Lolita Chakrabarti (The Bill), Monica Dolan (The Escape Artist) and many more.

The Casual Vacancy is set to premiere in the U.K. on February 15, and it will debut on HBO as a two-night premiere on Wednesday, April 29, and Thursday, April 30. Both airings will start at 8 p.m. ET.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.