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

Christopher Lloyd joins Crackanory Series 3

Christopher Lloyd joins Crackanory Series 3

Dave has confirmed the commissioning of Crackanory Series 3, with readers set to include Back To The Future star Christopher Lloyd, Sarah Millican and Greg Davies.

Robert Lindsay to star in antiques shop sitcom Bull

Robert Lindsay to star in antiques shop sitcom Bull

Robert Lindsay and Maureen Lipman will head up the cast of Bull, a TV sitcom set in an antiques shop.

Henry Winkler to return in third series of Hank Zipzer

Henry Winkler to return in third series of Hank Zipzer

Happy Days star Henry Winkler is to return to CBBC for a third series of his comedy drama, Hank Zipzer.

You're Back In The Room recommissioned

You're Back In The Room recommissioned

Phillip Schofield will return to ITV with four new episodes of comedy game show You're Back In The Room, in which contestants compete for cash whilst under hypnosis.

Spitting Image to return?

Spitting Image to return?

Spitting Image producer John Lloyd says he wants to bring back the satirical puppet format, possibly as an online show.

Bluestone 42 ends

Bluestone 42 ends

The writers of the army-based BBC Three comedy Bluestone 42 have confirmed that there will be no further series of the popular sitcom.

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.

Taskmaster interviews

Taskmaster interviews

The comedians involved in new channel Dave show Taskmaster talk about taking part in the bizarre challenges. Read

Kunt And The Gang interview

Kunt And The Gang interview

Kunt And The Gang - the musical comedy act delivers 'songs of questionable taste' - talks about his career. Read

The Naked Stand-Up

The Naked Stand-Up

Glory Pearl explains why she will be performing her Edinburgh Fringe shows totally naked. Read

Reading & Leeds preview

Reading & Leeds preview

Milton Jones, Katherine Ryan and Seann Walsh, amongst the many comedians at Reading and Leeds festivals. Read

Who has the best poster?

Who has the best poster?

You can vote for which of this year's Edinburgh shows has the best poster. The winning show will get cash. Read