ITV announce new sitcom pilot with Russell Tovey
STORY UPDATE: The Job Lot has been commissioned for a full series. Story Guide
ITV1 has announced its first sitcom pilot commission since 2008, a comedy starring Russell Tovey as a Jobcentre worker.
Trade publication Broadcast reports that a non-broadcast pilot of The Job Lot will be produced by Big Talk Productions, the company behind BBC Three's Him & Her, in which Tovey also stars (as Steve, pictured).
Emma Rigby, best known for a role in Hollyoaks will also appear in the pilot, alongside Miranda and Horrible Histories star Sarah Hadland.
The Job Lot has been created and written by Claire Downes, Ian Jarvis and Stuart Lane, collectively known as Arkatim. It is the Birmingham trio's first commission, and is being produced by Hannah Pescod (Rev) and directed by Richard Laxton, who also heads Him & Her.
Its employment-search setting was previously explored by ITV in the highly successful Charlie Drake sitcom The Worker, which began in 1965 and lasted 13 years.
ITV was in past decades a comedy powerhouse to rival the dominance of the BBC, but has in recent years struggled to find the mildest success story. Its only current narrative comedy is Benidorm, which will return to screens on Friday for a fifth series, and its most recent other sitcoms, Teenage Kicks and Moving Wallpaper, both of which began a year after Benidorm in 2008, were cancelled by channel bosses after just one and two series, respectively.
However, ITV's Director of Television is former BBC One and TalkBack Thames boss Peter Fincham, who has executive produced series such as Green Wing, I'm Alan Partridge, The Day Today and Big Train, as well as commissioning many more. At the Edinburgh International Television Festival in August 2011 he admitted that ITV had "lost its nerve" for comedy, and hinted that the network - ITV1 in particular - would look to rectify this in coming months.
Richard Osman is to host Time Machine, a new quiz/panel show format for Channel 4 about pop culture in recent years.
BBC Three has ordered two new series of mockumentary series People Just Do Nothing.
Boy Meets Girl is set to return for a second series on BBC Two, according to reports.
Comedians will line up again for a new series of Let's Play Darts, this time in aid of 2016's Sport Relief campaign.
Joel Dommett has been announced as the final regular team member for Sky1's new panel show about music, Bring The Noise.
Inside No. 9, the comedy anthology series created by and starring Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton, is to return to BBC Two for a third series.
Doc Martin, ITV's popular comedy drama series starring Martin Clunes, is currently on TV. We've DVDs to win. Read
The politically correct stand-up Bernard Righton talks to BCG about his new highlights show for channel Gold. Read
An interview with political comedian Matt Forde. He has the weirdest career in comedy. Time for Forde to focus? Read
Artists are being invited to produce a piece of art inspired by the new novel by Dawn French. The prize includes £1500. Read