BBC announces line-up of pilots for 2nd Salford showcase

Wednesday 31st October 2012 @ 1:06pm

The BBC has announced the six sitcom scripts which will be piloted as part of its second Salford Sitcom Showcase.

The live event, which will be held at the BBC's new Manchester base, sees experienced comic actors performing scripts in front of executives, with the aim being to discover potential new studio-based sitcoms for the corporation's TV channels.

Last year's inaugural scheme was deemed a success, and led to two commissions. The first series of Citizen Khan was shown on BBC One earlier in the year, with a second series now ordered. The second of the sitcoms, Hebburn, is currently airing as a six-part series on BBC Two.

BBC North director Peter Salmon says: "The first Salford Sitcom Showcase was so good, we thought we'd do it again. BBC Comedy is the natural home for so many funny performers, writers and entertainers, so this event is our autumn highlight and hopefully will result in some more new commissions."

BBC commissioner Kristian Smith adds: "It's great to be showing six theatrical presentations of great new potential sitcoms to local audiences and industry colleagues in the studios here at MediaCityUK. Putting developments on their feet is always the best way to see what a series might offer, and we are very lucky to have the support of Peter Salmon, Pat Connor and the North team. It's been a fantastic year for comedy made outside of London, and we're hoping to build on that success going into 2013."

The sitcoms that'll be showcased this year are as follows:

1987 (for BBC One)

Improvisation My Dear Mark Watson. Mark Watson. Comedy created by stand-up comic and writer Mark Watson (pictured).

The sitcom is set in 1987 in a South Wales suburb, and observes as the Jones family brace themselves for the arrival of the English in the neighbourhood. The Sandersons appear to have it all: microwave, celebrity connections, beautiful daughter and dimmer switches. The Jones family have a forgetful grandfather, an awkward son and a brand new chandelier. Jones senior wants to watch his all-important rugby match, but his wife has other ideas - as indeed does Jones junior. The Sandersons lay on a buffet as battle commences.

The cast for 1987 has yet to be announced. The pilot will be produced by Hartswood Films, the company behind sitcoms including Coupling and Mr And Mrs Jones.

It Takes A Village (for BBC One)

BBC One. Sitcom adapted from a pilot for American network ABC.

What happens when your dad realises he's gay, your parents divorce, your mum remarries and your dad lives opposite with the new love of his life?

Thirteen-year-old maths genius George is cool with his parents' choices, but two parents are more than enough, surely? Even one would be fine. But now George has four, all trying to negotiate ways to live with each other, as well as bring him up, in the best way possible.

The cast for It Takes A Village has yet to be announced. The script is being adapted by Richard Hurst, a writer who has worked on shows such as Miranda, and co-written forthcoming BBC Three comedy IED.

The Gatekeeper (for BBC Two)

Gavin & Stacey. Pete (Adrian Scarborough). Image credit: Baby Cow Productions.The Gatekepper is a sitcom about a security guard. Simon Watkins is happy. It's surprising, given he's in his forties, divorced and living with his tuba-playing, interfering dad. But Simon has landed the perfect job - working as a security guard in an anonymous office block.

It's a crime-free, disorder-free, paid jolly, and Simon is not going to let anything spoil his newly found idyll. Not even evil boss Roger, scary receptionist Suzy, scatty colleague Polly or unfeasibly beautiful sandwich girl Melanie. Only a meticulously planned, daring heist could disrupt Simon's world, and what are the chances of that happening on the night shift?

Simon will be played by Psychoville and Gavin & Stacey actor Adrian Scarborough (pictured). The comedy has been written by Keiron Self and Giles New, a duo who have previously written for shows including That Mitchell And Webb Look and Sadie J.

Just Us (for BBC Two)

Outnumbered. Auntie Angela (Samantha Bond). Image credit: Hat Trick Productions.Just Us is a sitcom about Jack and Kate Murray, a couple who have just downsized from their family home in London to a smaller place on a quiet housing development in a Brighton suburb. Simultaneously, Jack has traded his job as a small-time journalist to lecture - in journalism. Embittered and grumpy, the irony is not lost on Jack...

Moving house and a change of job - all he needs now is divorce and a death and he's got the 'Big Four' covered and with the unexpected arrival of Chloe, his nemesis of a sister in law, either or both of those could be on the cards!

Jack will be played by Doctor Who and At Home With The Braithwaites actor Peter Davison, with Kate played by Downton Abbey and Outnumbered star Samantha Bond (pictured).

The pilot, overseen by DLT Entertainment, has been created by Tom Anderson, who has previously written for My Family.

Chain Gang (for BBC Three)

Generic Image. Takeaway Coffee. Sitcom set in a fictional coffee chain. At Sunbeans, every macchiato is served with a smile... apart from at one branch in Bristol, where it's more likely to be emptied over your head.

It's run by three of the most lackadaisical lackeys imaginable: Natasha, the 'manager', sees customers as verrucas on the foot of her day; meanwhile her colleagues, Mouse, a smiley harbinger of doom, and Paolo, a camp Brazilian, are as much use as a polystyrene coffee grinder. To rescue this failing outlet, Sunbeans executives send in a trouble-shooter, Alistair. Having come top of his class at the Coffee Academy and been primed for big things, Alistair must first turn round this shop.

Chain Gang has been written by Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil. This writing duo have previously worked on various sketch shows and comedies including Black Books and The Great Outdoors. They are also amongst the writing team working on new Comedy Central sitcom Big Bad World.

Homeboys (for BBC Three)

Boom Town. Homeboys is about two 20-something brothers still living at home, despite their parents' best efforts to get rid of them.

David is a cocky damp-proofing salesman who thinks he's it, while his older brother Brian is a nerdy recluse who hasn't left the house since he was 10. When David's not tormenting him, Brian leads a very productive life; he's just built a cocktail bar for his dolls under the kitchen table. Add Janine, their spiteful younger sister to the mix, and their parents' dream of a quiet life alone looks more and more unlikely.

Homeboys has been penned by Pete Jackson, a relatively new writer.

Update, June 2013: Homeboys is now for BBC One. Cast list in the guide to the show.


The six sitcoms will be individually showcased in front of live audiences at MediaCityUK between 21st and 23rd November 2012. After this, the BBC will decide which, if any, to turn into TV series.

The public will be able to apply to be in the audience at the showcases. At the time of writing registration is yet to open, but you can add yourself to the notification list at SRO Audiences

 

Latest News

No third series for Up The Women

No third series for Up The Women

Jessica Hynes's suffragette sitcom Up The Women will not return for a third series, the BBC has confirmed today.

Holly Willoughby to host new ITV panel show

Holly Willoughby to host new ITV panel show

Holly Willoughby has signed up to present Play To The Whistle, a new comedy panel show for ITV focused on the world of sport.

ITV2 to show Keith Lemon's Back To The Future Tribute

ITV2 to show Keith Lemon's Back To The Future Tribute

The character Keith Lemon is to star in a one-off special on ITV2 celebrating the 30th anniversary of the first Back To The Future film.

Comedy Central reveal Russell Howard's new show

Comedy Central reveal Russell Howard's new show

Russell Howard's Stand Up Central, which launches in April, will feature guests including Doc Brown, Katherine Ryan and Joe Wilkinson.

BBC Two orders Charlie Brooker election special

BBC Two orders Charlie Brooker election special

Charlie Brooker will return to BBC Two in the run-up to the May General Election with a new Wipe special focusing on the political campaign.

Filming starts on Series 7 of Doc Martin

Filming starts on Series 7 of Doc Martin

Martin Clunes and the rest of the Doc Martin cast are now in Cornwall to film Series 7 of the hit ITV comedy drama.

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.

'This Made Me Laugh' films

'This Made Me Laugh' films

The Barbican has invited eight stars from the world of comedy to select their favourite classic comedy films. Read

Ray Peacock: taboo comedy

Ray Peacock: taboo comedy

Ray Peacock explains why he has decided to open up about his suicide attempt in his latest stand-up show. Read

Dad's Army only just made

Dad's Army only just made

A speech by TV executive Huw Wheldon revealed that the BBC nearly didn't make the Dad's Army series. Read

Graham Fellows interview

Graham Fellows interview

Graham Fellows will celebrate his 30th year as John Shuttleworth with a big gig - but could it be his last hurrah? Read

Laura Aikman interview

Laura Aikman interview

Laura Aikman talks about joining the cast of Bluestone 42, and how she was 'liquid sweat' filming the show. Read

Nathan Caton interview

Nathan Caton interview

Stand-up comedian Nathan Caton talks to us about various topics, including his ideal comedians football squad. Read

Images from '50 Comics'

Images from '50 Comics'

Check out some striking pictures from photographer Matt Crockett's book of comedian portraits, 50 Comics. View

Milton Jones interview

Milton Jones interview

Milton Jones talks about big hair, bad shirts, Mock The Week, his mammoth 2015 tour and other topics too: Read

Raised By Wolves interview

Raised By Wolves interview

Sisters Caitlin Moran and Caroline Moran talk about creating Raised By Wolves, their Channel 4 sitcom. Interview

Learn improv in London

Learn improv in London

A group of established comedians have set up a new theatre company and school - one devoted entirely to improv. Read

Enter Amused Moose comp

Enter Amused Moose comp

Entry is now open for the 2015 Amused Moose Laugh Off, a stand-up comedy competition for new acts. Read

Phoenix Nights cast

Phoenix Nights cast

We take a look back at what the Phoenix Nights cast have been doing since the sitcom ended in 2002. Read

Lord of the Dance Settee 3

Lord of the Dance Settee 3

A brand new third episode of Richard Herring's latest podcast series, Lord of the Dance Settee. Listen

Paul Whitehouse interview

Paul Whitehouse interview

An interview with Paul Whitehouse and David Cummings, writers of new sitcom Nurse. Read

Sara Pascoe signs book deal

Sara Pascoe signs book deal

Sara Pascoe will write "funny, feminist exploration of the female body", Animal: How a Woman is Made. Read

Matt Lucas interview

Matt Lucas interview

Matt Lucas talks about filming Pompidou, the visual comedy series for the BBC in which he plays an aristocrat. Read

Do you run a funny blog?

Do you run a funny blog?

Do you write a funny blog, curate an amusing website or joke a lot on Twitter? If so, here's a competition: Read

Rare 1980s photo exhibition

Rare 1980s photo exhibition

Rare images of iconic 1980s British comedy stars are to be displayed at the Museum Of Comedy. Read

Tom Little wins competition

Tom Little wins competition

Stand-up comedian Tom Little has won the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2015 competition. Read

I Live With Models interview

I Live With Models interview

The main cast members involved in new Comedy Central sitcom I Live With Models introduce themselves. Read

Getting fit pitfalls

Getting fit pitfalls

Tiffany Stevenson talks us through some of the bad things that occur when you sort out your health and fitness. Read

Idil Sukan photo exhibition

Idil Sukan photo exhibition

Take a look at some of the iconic photos of comedians that feature in photographer Idil Sukan's London exhibition. View