BBC Three cancels White Van Man

Sunday 29th April 2012 @ 3:15pm by Aaron

White Van Man. Image shows from L to R: Liz (Naomi Bentley), Ollie (Will Mellor), Tony (Clive Mantle), Darren (Joel Fry). Image credit: ITV Studios.White Van Man, the BBC Three sitcom about a Manchester handyman, has been cancelled after two series as the channel appears to be attempting to realign its comedy output.

Starring Will Mellor as reluctant handyman Ollie, forced to forgo his restaurateur dreams and take up the family business, the ITV Studios-produced series was created and written by stand-up comedian Adrian Poynton.

The first series of White Van Man was commissioned by Danny Cohen, but broadcast from March 2011, shortly after Zai Bennett took over running BBC Three. The six-part run achieved an average audience figure of 750,000 - a healthy number for the digital station, and was swiftly recommissioned.

Speaking to The British Comedy Guide, writer Adrian Poynton said: "It's a strange place to find ourselves really. We honestly believe we made a second series bigger, bolder and stronger than Series 1 and audience reaction seemed to back that up. The final episode of the series is a great way to end the show, although I did have a few more stories I wanted to tell... and a few final things to wrap up for the regular viewers. Sadly, it seems BBC Three wants to take its comedy output in another direction."

Meanwhile, American national network broadcaster ABC is currently producing a pilot for a White Van Man remake, starring Kyle Bornheimer in the role established by Will Mellor, and written by My Name Is Earl alumnus Bobby Bowman.

White Van Man was one of only four comedy programmes - alongside Mongrels, Him & Her and Russell Howard's Good News - that were not immediately axed upon Bennett's arrival at the channel, as series including How Not To Live Your Life and long-running hit Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps were brought to a close. Mongrels has also since been axed.

White Van Man. Image shows from L to R: Darren (Joel Fry), Liz (Naomi Bentley), Ollie (Will Mellor), Emma (Georgia Moffett), Tony (Clive Mantle). Image credit: ITV Studios.However, the second series, broadcast during February and March this year, struggled to attain the same ratings after being moved to a different day and timeslot. Neither White Van Man nor the first series of new channel favourite Pramface, which it was broadcast back-to-back with, performed as expected, with White Van Man achieving an average audience of 403,300 viewers. Repeats, particularly those in the competitive Friday night line-up, had consistently higher figures, but it would appear not enough to save the show from cancellation. Pramface, meanwhile, had been recommissioned before it had begun broadcasting.

The news of White Van Man's cancellation comes as BBC Three struggles to realign its comedy output under Bennett's control. Flagship commission World Series Of Dating, a hybrid comedy-reality series in which humour is derived from commentating on dating encounters as if they are a sport, has flopped after opening with an audience of just 320,000 viewers: the final two episodes of the 8-part run have been tucked away as a double-bill from midnight on the morning of Tuesday 8th May.

Meanwhile, the channel has ordered an unscripted sketch show pilot called Boom Town, another comedy-reality hybrid that will see real people from across the UK filmed for the apparent comedic value in their real lives and natural behaviour. The footage will then be edited and broadcast such that it appears they all reside in the same town.


Our Guide to 'White Van Man'

 

Latest News

BBC Wales sitcom High Hopes to return in 2015

BBC Wales sitcom High Hopes to return in 2015

High Hopes, the BBC Wales sitcom which ran for six series between 1999 and 2008, is to return for a new special.

Lost Voice Guy wins BBC New Comedy Award 2014

Lost Voice Guy wins BBC New Comedy Award 2014

Lee Ridley, a stand-up comedian with cerebral palsy, has won the BBC New Comedy Award 2014.

British Comedy Awards 2014 results

British Comedy Awards 2014 results

The full results of The British Comedy Awards 2014 are here. Click through to find out who won the King or Queen category, and more.

Channel 4 commission sci-fi sitcom pilot Space Ark

Channel 4 commission sci-fi sitcom pilot Space Ark

Channel 4 has commissioned Space Ark, a sitcom pilot about life on board a spaceship that escapes Earth before the planet is destroyed.

Boomers and Citizen Khan get another series

Boomers and Citizen Khan get another series

It has been confirmed that BBC One sitcoms Boomers and Citizen Khan will both return for another series, as the BBC outlines its plans for comedy in 2015.

Olivia Colman to star in Channel 4 sitcom Flowers

Olivia Colman to star in Channel 4 sitcom Flowers

Olivia Colman and Julian Barrett are to star in Flowers, a new sitcom pilot about "the ultimate dysfunctional family".

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.

Leicester Festival trip

Leicester Festival trip

Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival is organising a trip for Londoners featuring a packed day of comedy. Read

New Acts Of The Year 2015

New Acts Of The Year 2015

The finalists for the NATYS contest have been announced, but the organisers warn of problems with the circuit. Read

2015 British comedy survey

2015 British comedy survey

A comedy survey has been launched, aiming to collect the thoughts of comedy fans across the UK. Details

20 festive comedy videos

20 festive comedy videos

The internet has been busy creating lots of funny festive video sketches. Here's 20 of the best from 2014. Watch

Christmas Puns

Christmas Puns

UK Pun Champion Darren Walsh has written us some festive jokes. There's a couple of drawings too. Read