BBC axes puppet sitcom Mongrels

Wednesday 18th January 2012 @ 2:59pm by Aaron

Mongrels. Image shows from L to R: Destiny, Kali, Nelson, Marion. Image credit: British Broadcasting Corporation.Mongrels, BBC Three's sitcom about a group of animals living behind a London pub, has been axed by the corporation.

Dan Tetsell, one of the show's writers and the voice of impressionable feline Marion, revealed on Twitter this afternoon that he had hoped that a third series of the sitcom would be ordered, but the BBC had declined. He added "we've all been sacked now".

The programme, which used a host of intricate puppets to portray the central characters, was created by Adam Miller, and positioned itself as a foul-mouthed, animal-centric equivalent to the American cartoon sitcom Family Guy, including cut-away scenes, flashbacks, musical numbers, cameo appearances and often absurd humour.

Miller has posted a message on the internet saying: "Mongrels friends, it is my unbearably sad duty to announce that we will not be returning for a third series on BBC Three, a decision that has been made based on the fact that apparently you need more than two people watching a programme to make it successful. Crazy talk. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at BBC Comedy, BBC Three and BBC Worldwide who have supported us so strongly over the years, and helped us put our silly puppet show on the digital screens of the nation."

He added: "I'd also like to thank, from the bottom of my heart, all the writers, cast, crew and support team who have made a horribly challenging show such an utter joy to make. This news could not be less of a reflection on your brilliant work. Most of all I'd like to thank those of you that loved watching Mongrels as much as we loved making it. It's wonderfully reassuring to think that we weren't mad after all, and that what we find funny, other people do too."

Miller concluded with the message: "I'd like to believe that there's room on television for a little show like ours; one that's not just another sitcom, one that tries to do things a bit differently and that tries to push a few boundaries here and there. Who knows, maybe we'll find a that room in the future. I hope it has a minibar. Thank you for watching. Both of you."

The first series of Mongrels, which was transmitted between June and August 2010, achieved only moderate initial audience figures but was generally well received by critics and soon became more popular with viewers. A second series in November and December of 2011 also achieved respectable ratings, but the series never managed to capture the public's imagination in the way that BBC Three's marketing suggested they hoped it would.

When first launched, Mongrels faced claims of plagiarism from the creative team behind Pets, a 2001 Channel 4 series that also used puppetry to tell the tales of a small group of badly-behaved animals.

Mongrels' cancellation means it joins a long list of comedies to have been axed by channel controller Zai Bennett since taking up the role early in 2011. Other shows to have been cancelled by Bennett, as he strives to commission more new writing talent, include teen sitcom Coming Of Age, How Not To Live Your Life, the long-running ratings winner Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps, and office-based comedy Lunch Monkeys.

Showcasing the programme's trademark black, somewhat distasteful humour, in the following clip a depressed chimp sings about wanting to murder Justin Bieber:


Our Guide to 'Mongrels'

 

Latest News

Still Open All Hours ends with 8 million viewers

Still Open All Hours ends with 8 million viewers

The first series of revived sitcom Still Open All Hours came to a close last night with a peak of over 8 million viewers.

Comedy.co.uk Awards 2014 results announced

Comedy.co.uk Awards 2014 results announced

The results of the ninth annual Comedy.co.uk Awards have been announced, with Cabin Pressure writer John Finnemore the biggest winner of the year.

Reality TV panel show coming to ITV2

Reality TV panel show coming to ITV2

ITV2 has ordered a brand new panel show focussed on the world of reality television, to be hosted by Stephen Mulhern with team captains Emma Willis and Joel Dommett.

BBC announces iPlayer Valentine's comedies

BBC announces iPlayer Valentine's comedies

The BBC has announced a set of 9 new iPlayer comedy programmes to mark Valentine's Day 2015. Contributors include Sara Pascoe, Roy Clarke, Nick Helm, Modern Toss and Bill Bailey.

Sky unveils Moone Boy Series 3 guest stars

Sky unveils Moone Boy Series 3 guest stars

Sky has announced a raft of guest stars for the third series of hit sitcom Moone Boy, which begins in March - including Sir Terry Wogan.

BBC axes new sitcom The Walshes

BBC axes new sitcom The Walshes

The BBC has axed new sitcom The Walshes, prompting writer Graham Linehan to complain they didn't give it any publicity.

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.

(After) Life of Cook & Moore

(After) Life of Cook & Moore

A preview of 'Goodbye - The (After) Life of Cook & Moore', the comic play about Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. Read

Arthur Strong interview

Arthur Strong interview

BCG chats to Count Arthur Strong. Somehow he gets the impression we've booked him for Just A Minute. Read