Channel 4 orders Christmas special of Man Down
Channel 4 is showing strong commitment to new sitcom Man Down by ordering a Christmas special before the first episode has been broadcast.
Man Down is written by and stars Greg Davies, the comedian and actor perhaps best known for playing Mr Gilbert in The Inbetweeners.
The comedy, which has been described by the channel as "laugh out loud funny", is due to air in the autumn. It follows the story of school teacher Dan, played by Greg Davies. The character is described as a childish idiot trapped in an adult's life, and the sitcom is said to be semi-autobiographical. Davies was a teacher in real life before moving into a career in comedy.
Dan is described as having "crushing character flaws, a uniquely dysfunctional set of friends, a teaching job he loathes, and a wilfully insane father conspiring to keep this man down."
As announced previously, The Young Ones and Bottom star Rik Mayall will play Dan's father in the comedy.
BroadcastNow reports that Channel 4's head of comedy Phil Clark has now ordered a 30-minute festive edition of the comedy from production company Avalon Television to complement the six episodes already filmed.
Greg Davies has joked in the past that he looks like "a fat, taller version of Rik Mayall". Following a screening of the opening two Man Down episodes at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Davies told the audience: "As we developed it, we joked, 'we'll just get Rik Mayall to play my Dad.' He said yes, I couldn't fucking believe it. He was surprisingly professional. He learned his lines and wanted to talk about motivation. I had to bullshit him."
Man Down starts on Channel 4 next month. Greg Davies is also set to star in a second series of BBC Three sitcom Cuckoo, which has been recommissioned for 2014.
Stand-up comedian Russell Kane will appear alongside Joe Thomas in a new British rom-com film, marking his first screen acting role.
ITV will return to the London Palladium in 2015 for a second revived series of the comic variety format.
Prolific British comedy writing team The Dawson Brothers are working on The Spencer Tapes, a sitcom for NBC in America.
A second attempt is to be made to re-work Channel 4 sitcom The IT Crowd for American audiences. Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence is working on a NBC pilot.
Moone Boy, the Sky sitcom created by Chris O'Dowd, is to be re-made by the US television network ABC.
Channel 4 has confirmed that its topical comedy show 10 O'Clock Live starring Charlie Brooker, Jimmy Carr, David Mitchell and Lauren Laverne will not return.