David Renwick criticises meddling ITV executives

Wednesday 6th March 2013 @ 3:19pm by Aaron

David Renwick. David Renwick, the prolific comedy writer behind hits including Love Soup, 1990s classic One Foot In The Grave and Jonathan Creek, has slammed the meddling of executives in the TV development process.

Renwick said yesterday that he had "walked off" Ergo, a project commissioned by ITV Studios, when executives at the TV network began meddling with the concept too much, leading to significant "creative differences".

Scripts had been completed for the 6 x 60 minute series with Robert Webb due to star as the male lead, but after Renwick left the project, ITV's Director of Television, Peter Fincham, cancelled the show completely.

"It was about a man who went back to the family home after his father had died and there were interesting possibilities, but ITV came unstuck. They wanted to concentrate more on the old father and the back-story. I believe audiences relate to the characters they see on screen and I didn't want too many flashback elements," Renwick said.

Under his own plans, the series would have seen Webb's character move into the home and live alongside his father's widow - a woman his own age. Co-star of Jonathan Creek and Love Soup, Sheridan Smith, was likely to have taken on that female lead role.

Trade publication Broadcast reports Renwick remarking: "ITV Studios were really keen for this - this was their commission. I felt I would not be doing my job properly if there was not comedy there. It was very frustrating...but I decided to move on."

Following the fall-out over the direction of the series, David Renwick explained that he had offered to sell the scripts for another writer to take over and flesh out more of the show they wanted, but "Peter Fincham pulled the plug altogether. I called their bluff and they just pulled it. It won't be coming back."

He also admitted that it may have been a "mistake" to pursue the project under ITV's drama department, although the broadcaster has almost no comedy unit at present, and expressed relief to be returning to Jonathan Creek as it was an existing, successful format that increasingly "prescriptive" commissioners and executives "can't change".

A spokeswoman for ITV told Broadcast: "ITV were keen to work with David Renwick on Ergo but when it became clear that we had different views on the direction of the series we agreed to part company."

As reported yesterday, the BBC has commissioned a brand new 3-part series of hit comedy mystery series Jonathan Creek, following management approval of a one-off special due to air this Easter. The first series for a decade, it is expected to broadcast early next year.

 

Latest News

Ricky Gervais to write and direct new Hollywood film

Ricky Gervais to write and direct new Hollywood film

Ricky Gervais will write and direct Special Correspondents, a new movie about a war correspondent 'faking it' from the comfort of New York.

New quiz show pilot for Robert Webb

New quiz show pilot for Robert Webb

Robert Webb will host the pilot episode for a new quiz show, it has been announced.

Liam Mullone to present Radio 4 pilot of disappointment

Liam Mullone to present Radio 4 pilot of disappointment

Radio 4 is to pilot a new comedy "tackling the universal theme that sums up all human endeavour... disappointment", hosted by Liam Mullone.

Tom Rosenthal to host new social-media comedy pilot

Tom Rosenthal to host new social-media comedy pilot

Friday Night Dinner star Tom Rosenthal is to host a comedy pilot focusing on social media and our online behaviour.

Jason Manford to star in The Producers tour

Jason Manford to star in The Producers tour

Jason Manford is to star as Leo Bloom in the new UK tour of the hit Broadway musical The Producers.

Miranda Hart confirms an end to her hit sitcom

Miranda Hart confirms an end to her hit sitcom

Miranda Hart has confirmed that the upcoming two Christmas specials of her hit sitcom, Miranda, will be the show's finale.

Get More News

In The Press

In The Press

The latest press clippings from the newspapers and various internet blogs.

Newsletter

Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list to get news and more in your inbox every Monday.

Twitter

Twitter Feed

You can follow us on Twitter too. We post the latest news and gossip every evening.

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Subscribe to our RSS feed to get our headlines in your news reader software.

Battle Of Britain sketch

Battle Of Britain sketch

The Battle Of Britain ended 74 years ago today. Here's outspoken Winston Churchill talking about it. Watch

10 Halloween Puns

10 Halloween Puns

Laugh at the scary. Here's 10 Halloween-based puns from Darren Walsh, the UK's pun champion. Read

The Tartan Special One

The Tartan Special One

Jocky the cult character from The Tartan Special One book offers his thoughts on Scotland having voted no. Read