ITV2 orders ancient Roman sitcom Plebs
ITV2 has ordered a new sitcom series set in ancient Rome.
As previously reported, a pilot episode Plebs was filmed in Bulgaria earlier this year. The trial was deemed to be a success, and ITV2 have now ordered a six-part series.
Plebs is described by the network as "a thoroughly modern comedy in an ancient setting". The programme will is to star Tom Rosenthal (Friday Night Dinner), Joel Fry (White Van Man) and Ryan Sampson (After You've Gone).
The trio will play three 'desperate young men' who 'try to get laid, hold down jobs and climb the social ladder in the big city - a city that happens to be Ancient Rome'.
Rome is traditionally imagined as the home of emperors and senators, generals and gladiators, a dignified theatre of pomp and ceremony. But what about the little guys, the wasters - new to the big city, stuck in office jobs, unable to get the girls? Unlikely to be immortalised in the annals or memorialised in a frieze, Marcus, Stylax and their lazy slave with an attitude problem, Grumio, are 'essentially just a bunch of plebs'.
The show will also star Smack The Pony's Doon Mackichan as the boys' ruthless boss. Flavia is an expert manipulator with a private life that's the stuff of legend.
Plebs is being written by Sam Leifer and Tom Basden. Leifer's previous credits include directing How Not To Live Your Life, and script editing the BBC university-set series Off The Hook, whilst Basden's CV includes Fresh Meat and hit Radio 4 sitcom Party.
ITV commissioner Angela Jain says: "From the moment I read the script and met the writers Sam and Tom, I felt if they could pull off the pilot we could be on to something very special. The team have delivered the most wonderful, unique and funny pilot so it was a no-brainer to go to series. It has been a joy working with such a wealth of talent on and off screen and it will be a privilege to share this with the ITV2 audience."
Sam Leifer and producer Teddy Leifer add: "We've assembled a fantastic team to make Plebs and ITV's support for the show has been unswerving. Most importantly, the cast look delightful in skimpy tunics and we can't wait to show the world."
The ancient setting is of course nothing new to sitcom, with a very similar ancient Italian setting having been utilised for smash-hit 1970s Frankie Howerd vehicle Up Pompeii! and its feature-film spin-off. Here is the pilot episode of Up Pompeii!:
Radio 4 has ordered a second series of Trodd En Bratt Say 'Well Done You', the sketch show written by and starring Lucy Trodd and Ruth Bratt.
Harry Hill is to star in Professor Branestawm, a BBC One family comedy drama adapted by Charlie Higson from Norman Hunter's classic children's books.
Comedy Central UK is to pilot a British re-make of hit American comedy format Drunk History. Jimmy Carr will provide the voice over.
ITV is developing Good Vibrations, a TV comedy based on the autobiography by Ann Summers boss Jacqueline Gold.
Comedian Jason Manford is to host a new ITV comedy game show in which couples will fight to win a holiday.
Hit BBC Three satirical prank show The Revolution Will Be Televised returns to screens in October, and has now taken on the American establishment.
Angela Barnes talks about the comedy career ladder, Mock The Week, and having her GP on speed dial. Read
Michael McIntyre, Jimmy Carr and Peter Kay are top of a list of the UK's best known stand-ups. Read
Bernadette Byrne and Victor Victoria - aka EastEnd Cabaret - answer questions about each other. Read
The Women in Comedy Festival - 80+ shows across 16 Manchester venues - is on 11th to 26th October. Read
Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival have launched their 2015 Silver Comedy stand-up competition. Read
The political panel show podcast. Featuring guests including Paul Sinha, Suzi Ruffell and Mitch Benn. Listen