In 2011, the UK’s Channel 4 ordered a second season of the 4-part drama/thriller “Top Boy,” which starred Ashley Walters, thanks to strong audience response and critical acclaim after the first season aired that year.
Season 2 comprised of 4 episodes, just like season 1, and returned to on August 20th 2013.
There was talk of a third season, but the network decided against the idea, and effectively put “Top Boy” to bed for good, much to the disappointment of the series’ many fans. But it looks like there still may be a chance for a return, although it could be in the USA, with the help of rapper/actor Drake.
According the the star of the British series, Ashley Walters, in a recent interview on the YouTube talk series “Not For The Radio: “Drake thought [Top Boy] was proper. This was via text. I was speaking to Future mainly, Drake’s manager. We were going back and forth. And we were like, ‘Put a deal on the table’.”
Apparently, Drake loved the show so much that he wanted to essentially save it from cancellation, and was willing to put up the cash to fund its production.
Walters added: “Eventually they got in contact and asked, ‘What’s happening with series three?’ I told them Channel 4 had canceled it. They said, ‘That’s sad, but we’re going to do something about it’. Furthermore Drake was like, ‘You need to break America’. He wanted to help.”
“We were going into meetings,” Walters continued, adding, “‘Top Boy’ is the sort of brand we knew would sell to Netflix, Amazon. The numbers speak for themselves. So we had that power and the production company still owned the rights. And Drake made an offer and they turned it down. I don’t know what is going on with it – but I heard they are talking about a ‘Top Boy Chicago.'”
And he left it there.
There’s nothing about any of this online that provides any clues as to whether there’s anything actually in the works. I wouldn’t hold my breath though. But if there’s suddenly an announcement of a “Top Boy: Chicago,” don’t be surprised.
I was reminded of Lena Waithe’s Chicago-set coming-of-age drama series that another rapper is producing, Common, which is set up at Showtime, currently in development. Not that there’s any connection, by the way. I just remembered it. If “Top Boy: Chicago” happens, comparisons to “The Wire” are likely, given its familiar *urban* themes of drugs, gangs and violence (but in a different setting).
Season 1 never did air in the USA, although it’s available on DVD and various VOD platforms. It was streaming on Netflix at one point, but no longer is.
Watch previews of the original series below as a reminder: