The A Word (BBC1, 9pm)

SUCH has been the positive response to this drama bout an autistic little boy, that the cast are awaiting the green light for series two.

Lee Ingleby, who has high hopes that he can return as John Bacchus in the North-East-set cop series Inspector George Gently, told TV Times that he's delighted to be in a family story when the TV schedules are awash with crime dramas.

"To read a script about matters of the heart is a gift. Nobody gets killed, it's just about people. I also like that there's humour in it. It's not dark. It would be good to come back when Hose is two years older, when his mum and dad hav got used to the diagnosis and he's finding his path in the world. That would be really interesting," says Ingleby.

He plays Joe's dad, Paul, who has clashed consistently with domineering wife Alison's (Morven Christie) because of her attempts to bully health experts into finding a way of "fixing" Joe. When the little boy seemed to be improving, Alison went along with Paul's idea of having another child, only to have second thoughts later.

"It's the moment whey they need each other most, but they can't quite work it out. On the surface, Paul has a very optimistic outlook on life, but actually he can;t really deal with what's happening, either as a father or a husband. He likes to paper over the cracks, but the diagnosis is a strain. I can only imaging how difficult it must be for parents, especially if you have kids on the more extreme end of the spectrum than Joe."

Ingleby reveals that people have been stopping him the street to discuss the drama series and written letters.

"I've had some come up to me and mention the scene in the first episode where Joe doesn't get invited to a birthday party. Many said they've had that experience because other parents didn't want to invited an 'oddball'. But, of course, children on the autistic spectrum aren't odd, they're just different, and it's opened my eyes."

Ingleby is mulling over the idea of getting involved with autistic charities because he feels that more light should be shed on the subject. Although six-year-old Max Vento, who plays Joe, isn't on the spectrum, he has made a great job of portraying an autistic youngster.

Ingleby said he and Morven Christie did everything they could to make Max feel at home during filming.

"The set can be a daunting place, with lot of people milling about. During rehearsals, we'd go bowling together or go out to get some food. Sometimes Max couldn't get his head around why we had to keep repeating ourselves when we were filming, but he's a quick learner."

The Tiny Tots Talent Agency (Channel 4, 8pm)

THE Bizzykidz studio is transformed into a home for the walking dead with almost 40 kids vying for a role in a zombie film. They include ten-year-old Bronte, who has already starred in numerous ads, while her older sister Oriana is still waiting for her big break. Cameras also follow sisters Lydia and Aggie, two of the busiest siblings on the agency's books, and seven-year-old Lydia who has made it to the final auditions for a national tour of The Sound of Music. Will the hills be alive to the sound of her success story?

Fierce (ITV, 8pm)

STEVE Backshall travels to Guyana, home to gigantic anaconda, piranha, jaguar and other lethal predators. His adventure begins by flying 340-miles south-west from the capital Georgetown to the remote Central Rupununi rainforest. He also visits a remote stretch of the rainforest on the Mapari River, and searches for an electric eel. Aside from tracking down the bullet ant, so named because one sting feels like being shot, Steve also holds a bird-eating tarantula, and gets a rare sighting of the endangered giant river otter.

Viv Hardwick