BBC Three announces assisted-suicide sitcom
BBC Three has now officially announced Way To Go, a black comedy series about three ordinary guys who find themselves forced by an extraordinary set of circumstances into setting up an assisted-suicide business.
The six-part sitcom will feature The Inbetweeners star Blake Harrison, Marc Wootton (La La Land, Nativity) and newcomer Ben Heathcote.
The comedy is based around brothers Scott (Harrison) and Joey (Heathcote) and their friend Cozzo (Wootton). After Scott is moved by a terminally ill neighbour's request to die - and at the same time faced with a predatory female employer, a split from his girlfriend, and a desperate life or death need for cash to pay off his brother Joey's gambling debts - he and his best mate Cozzo stumble towards what they think is their only solution: an assisted-suicide machine. A deeply illegal situation about which they will have to keep very, very quiet.
Along the way, the 20-something mates find love in the strangest ways, fall out with each other and are touched by some of the people they come across. But it's their own inadequacies and personal circumstances that most often lead to comedy in the darkest of situations.
The series will also star Laura Aikman (Lemon La Vida Loca, Teenage Kicks) and Hannah Job (Coming Of Age, Pixelface) as potential love interests for Scott and Joey, and Sinéad Matthews (Ideal, Vera Drake) as Cozzo's policewoman wife Debbie. Guest actors include Warren Clarke, Tom Georgeson and Derek Griffiths.
Way To Go has been in development for some time, with Mathew Horne playing the role of Scott in a non-broadcast pilot filmed earlier this year.
The show has been created by US-based comedy writer Bob Kushell whose CV includes work on popular sitcoms including The Simpsons, 3rd Rock From The Sun and Anger Management.
Kushell says: "As someone who was weaned on great British comedy, including Monty Python, Blackadder and Fawlty Towers, there has been no bigger thrill in my life than to have a show on the BBC (narrowly edging out the birth of my son and trouncing my wedding day by a landslide). In over 20 years of writing comedy, I've never worked with a better cast and crew."
Although created by Kushell, the show will be team-written like many American sitcoms, with British writer Brian Dooley (The Smoking Room) and US writers Russell Arch (Anytime with Bob Kushell) and Jeff Greenstein (Desperate Housewives, Will & Grace) also working on scripts.
The show will be produced in-house by the BBC, with Justin Davies - the producer behind shows including Psychovile and new BBC Three sitcom Some Girls - overseeing the project. Ab Fab and Twenty Twelve Executive Producer Jon Plowman is also attached.
Jon Plowman says: "Way To Go is a show about a current and difficult issue but it treats its serious subject in the same way that Arsenic And Old Lace dealt with old lady poisoners or Kind Hearts And Coronets dealt with aristocratic murders. Working with a really great US creator and a transatlantic writing team also brings us just a whiff of the way in which their shows find a different tone for mixing comedy, drama and death."
BBC Three channel controller Zai Bennett adds: "Bob Kushell's scripts are in turn dark, poignant, absurd, moving and brilliant. But mostly they are very, very funny. I'm thrilled that Way To Go is coming to BBC Three."
The six episodes will be shot on location and at Pinewood Studios, for broadcast on BBC Three in 2013.
Jonathan Ross is to present a food-themed comedy panel show pilot. The format is described as a 'mouth watering, light-hearted celebration of food in all its forms'.
John Bishop will present a new eight-part comedy and entertainment variety show on BBC One on Saturday nights from later this spring.
Channel 5 is to start broadcasting British comedy again. A deal with Comedy Central will see it broadcast series such as Impractical Jokers.
Funz And Gamez, Fishbowl and Barbara Nice are amongst the comedy that will be showcased across BBC events in Salford on the 12th and 13th May.
BBC Two boss Kim Shillinglaw has announced that Jim Howick will star in Stag, a comedy-thriller from The Wrong Mans director Jim Field Smith.
BBC Two has commissioned Mum, a new sitcom from the writer and producers of hit BBC Three sitcom Him & Her.
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