Lee Mack to re-make Everybody Loves Raymond
The BBC are working on a remake of hit US sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, with Lee Mack (pictured) overseeing the writing.
The British version is being piloted under the title of The Smiths and will be recorded in front of a studio audience at the end of the month.
The pilot for BBC One will star Lee Mack and Catherine Tate as a married couple, with the premise following that of the hit American show. Mack will play a successful sports journalist who lives across the street from his overbearing parents and older brother.
Created by Phil Rosenthal, Everybody Loves Raymond is one of America's most successful sitcoms. Starring Ray Romano and Patricia Heaton, the CBS comedy ran for over 200 episodes between 1996 and 2005, winning multiple awards in the process, including 15 Emmys.
The British version, which will see the action moved from New York state to Cheshire, is being produced by Silver River. The production company is mainly known for factual entertainment shows like Inside Gatwick but has previously produced some comedy programmes including BBC Three sitcom Pulling.
The Smiths will be a reunion for Mack and Tate. The duo previously appeared together in a live sketch show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1999, before both going on to become big comedy stars individually. The Catherine Tate Show made its eponymous creator a household name, whilst Mack became one of the most well-known stand-up comedians in the country.
Tate also starred alongside Mack in the 2005 non-broadcast pilot episode of the latter's sitcom, Not Going Out. However, Megan Dodds took over the role when the programme was commissioned.
A sixth series of Not Going Out is currently airing on BBC One on Friday nights, with another series and a Christmas special expected next year. Meanwhile, Catherine Tate has joined the cast for Big School, a new sitcom for the BBC written by David Walliams.
The pilot episode of The Smiths will be recorded in front of a live audience on Saturday 25th May at Elstree Studios. Tickets are not yet available.
The pilot is unlikely to be broadcast on television, with BBC executives deciding whether to order a series after viewing the episode.
Below is a clip from Everyone Loves Raymond:
And here is a clip from this Friday's Not Going Out, in which Lee Mack is on a date at a posh restaurant:
This story was edited on 9th May to correct the recording date and indicate the show is being recorded at Elstree Studios.
Hit sitcom Birds Of A Feather is to return for a landmark eleventh series, its second since being revived by ITV.
Sky Living has ordered a fourth series of Mount Pleasant, the comedy drama starring Sally Lindsay and Daniel Ryan.
Dawn French is to perform a special Thought For The Day on Radio 4 in character as Geraldine Granger from the hit BBC sitcom The Vicar Of Dibley.
The original cast of Douglas Adams's comic sci-fi radio sitcom The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy are to reunite for a new recording.
The hit BBC sketch show Goodness Gracious Me is to be resurrected for a special one off edition to celebrate 50 years of BBC Two.
Tim Vine is to a new comedy quiz show called You Can't Say That!. The format, which involves contestants spotting trick questions, will be piloted later this month.
Jenny Eclair doesn't hold back. She's frank and funny in this podcast interview with Richard Herring. Listen
In this big interview, Frank Skinner talks about life, sitcoms, his changing comedy and art, and more. Read
An introduction to the characters who will appear in W1A, the spin-off from hit sitcom Twenty Twelve. Read
BBC Scotland has launched a new comedy writing scheme to sign up between 10-20 comedy writers. Read
Football fan and stand-up comic Marlon Davis lists a fantasy team comprising of comedians. Read
A look at six shows worth watching this weeek, including Inside No. 9 and the last episode of Outnumbered. Read
It's the new chart topping podcast series from Richard Herring, based around life's big questions. Listen
Donald MacLeod, a financial actuary, is going to attempt to beat the most jokes in an hour world record. Read
Brainbox Candy is running a caption competition to design a new birthday card. Find out how to enter: Read
Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast is back. In this new episode he chats to Adam Buxton. Listen