What is going on with ITV comedies?

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Paul Wimsett

  • Friday 8th February 2019, 8:43pm
  • Folkestone, United Kingdom
  • 3,095 posts

Benidorm - CANCELLED.

Doc Martin - CANCELLED.

Birds of a Feather - CANCELLED.

Bad Move - CANCELLED.

It seems that ITV can't keep a comedy drama, let alone a sitcom. Plebs is left though, isn't it?

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lofthouse

  • Friday 8th February 2019, 9:16pm
  • Nowhere, England
  • 8,938 posts

1 good sitcom on ITV ever

Rising Damp

That's it

End of

One

No! Don't say oh well what about...bla blaAA

NOPE

just the one

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G180e

  • Friday 8th February 2019, 9:16pm
  • Wolverhampton, England
  • 3,297 posts

Doc Martin is actually returning for a ninth series later this year but that would fall into comedy-drama category rather than sitcom. Both Benidorm and Birds of A Feather had their day! Bad Move was just awful. Plebs is returning but that's on ITV2 rather than ITV.

It is a pity though that ITV aren't attempting to seek new sitcoms.

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Paul Wimsett

  • Friday 8th February 2019, 9:34pm
  • Folkestone, United Kingdom
  • 3,095 posts
Quote: lofthouse @ 8th February 2019, 9:16 PM

1 good sitcom on ITV ever

Rising Damp

That's it

End of

One

No! Don't say oh well what about...bla blaAA

NOPE

just the one

Mr Bean? At least the early stuff. Erm.

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Rood Eye

  • Friday 8th February 2019, 10:54pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 2,112 posts
Quote: lofthouse @ 8th February 2019, 9:16 PM

1 good sitcom on ITV ever:

Rising Damp

A bold statement indeed but, even if it's not literally true, I see where Lofthouse is coming from.

However, I must remind BCG members of what I think is a truly iconic British sitcom: "The Army Game" (1957-1961).

Four series of thirty-nine episodes per series had audiences falling off their chairs with laughter at the exploits of a group of soldiers doing National Service in post-war Britain.

At the time the series was broadcast, almost every family in Britain knew (either from direct experience or anecdotal evidence) what army life was like for both keen-as-mustard professional soldiers and those who were there very much against their will.

Such was its popularity, that its stars were called upon to perform a scene at the Royal Variety Performance in 1959.

Even today, it remains funny but in its own day it was absolutely sensational.

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Friday 8th February 2019, 11:41pm
  • Aldershot, England
  • 5,731 posts

Yeah and Rag Trade, Bless This House, Love Thy Neighbour, Man About The House, G&M, Only When I Laugh and quite a few others. Rising Damp is a lone classic so it overshadows ITV's many other decent sitcoms. Unfortunately many Beeb watching snobs just don't like adverts and have maligned some great and popular ITV sitcoms deserving of greater repute. Angy

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Hercules Grytpype Thynne

  • Saturday 9th February 2019, 12:00am
  • England
  • 15,376 posts
Quote: Rood Eye @ 8th February 2019, 10:54 PM

A bold statement indeed but, even if it's not literally true, I see where Lofthouse is coming from.

However, I must remind BCG members of what I think is a truly iconic British sitcom: "The Army Game" (1957-1961).

Just bought the box set cheap on eBay Cool

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Teddy Paddalack

  • Saturday 9th February 2019, 12:00am [Edited]
  • Everton, England
  • 2,790 posts

Rising Damp is ITV's Fawlty Towers a rare jewel indeed. While that was the best there were some that were also good if not great. Early Minder and early Watching spring to mind. Watching had some great lines but that could be because I'm a Scouser and it was set here. As for George Cole I doubt anyone who watched TV in the 70s & 80s wouldn't see him as Arthur Daley.

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Kenneth

  • Saturday 9th February 2019, 6:31am
  • Australia
  • 5,208 posts
Quote: Alfred J Kipper @ 8th February 2019, 11:41 PM

YUnfortunately many Beeb watching snobs just don't like adverts and have maligned some great and popular ITV sitcoms deserving of greater repute. Angy

How lucky I was then, to grow up in Australia, where just about every ITV (and Southern and Granada) classic sitcom was bought by the commercial-free Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), so we were spared the ads. Minder was a definite highlight. Would hate it to be punctuated by idiots trying to sell crap.

You don't have to be a snob to hate stupid adverts.

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Saturday 9th February 2019, 8:04am
  • Aldershot, England
  • 5,731 posts

Apart from the breaks in concentrating on your favourite shows our adverts especially back then were very high quality and many deemed classics in their own right. I came to like the adverts but yes it's the break itself which so many don't like and partly why the BBC has this reputation for better sitcoms and shows in general. I wish the half hour shows could be left alone and just have an extended ad break at the end like football matches are at half time but I suppose it's how they make their money so they go for the max.

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Aaron

  • Saturday 9th February 2019, 11:11am
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,252 posts

ITV2 also has the excellent Timewasters.

It's true though: the network's bosses have forgotten about the power and possibilities of comedy.

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Monday 6th May 2019, 10:32am
  • Aldershot, England
  • 5,731 posts
Quote: Paul Wimsett @ 8th February 2019, 8:43 PM

Benidorm - CANCELLED.

Doc Martin - CANCELLED.

Birds of a Feather - CANCELLED.

Bad Move - CANCELLED.

It seems that ITV can't keep a comedy drama, let alone a sitcom. Plebs is left though, isn't it?

Vicious is another recent one which hasn't returned.

Quote: G180e @ 8th February 2019, 9:16 PM

Both Benidorm and Birds of A Feather had their day! Bad Move was just awful.

I agree. So was Vicious. No point in putting rubbish on just to have a sitcom going, it gives them an even worse reputation for comedy.

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Monday 6th May 2019, 10:41am [Edited]
  • Aldershot, England
  • 5,731 posts
Quote: Aaron @ 9th February 2019, 11:11 AM

ITV2 also has the excellent Timewasters.

It's true though: the network's bosses have forgotten about the power and possibilities of comedy.

Well no, they haven't because they started putting sitcoms on again after a long break. Evidently the feedback is they weren't very good. What the ITV bod is saying is the quality of current shows available isn't good enough to take a punt on anymore. It shows they have some standards and the current crop of known scriptwriters and standups turned scriptwriters just aren't delivering. So search for unused talent then!

Maybe another reason is ITV have invested a lot of money in a theme park apparently, with rides based on ITV shows! I'd like to go on the Rising Damp ride, bound to be a big dipper of some sort, hopefully with Rigsby's face on the cars. Oh Miss Jones...splash...aaargh.

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Lazzard

  • Monday 6th May 2019, 1:58pm
  • Ludlow, England
  • 4,410 posts

Interesting quote re why ITV is a bit shit at sitcoms....

"Blame may lie with the need for commercial break, making a "half hour" ITV sitcom several minutes shorter than a BBC one, and the success of Rising Damp, probably ITV's best sitcom, has been partially attributed to the speed of Leonard Rossiter's delivery: the programme's scripts had to be longer in order to fill the runtime, meaning more happens, with more jokes per minute."

It would also explain why those wisecracking yanks manage to pull it off in the time-slot.

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Rood Eye

  • Monday 6th May 2019, 2:44pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 2,112 posts
Quote: Lazzard @ 6th May 2019, 1:58 PM

Interesting quote re why ITV is a bit shit at sitcoms....

"Blame may lie with the need for commercial break, making a "half hour" ITV sitcom several minutes shorter than a BBC one, and the success of Rising Damp, probably ITV's best sitcom, has been partially attributed to the speed of Leonard Rossiter's delivery: the programme's scripts had to be longer in order to fill the runtime, meaning more happens, with more jokes per minute."

It would also explain why those wisecracking yanks manage to pull it off in the time-slot.

I don't think it's got much to do with running time.

There's no reason why any particular number of minutes should be better or worse for a sitcom than any similar number, is there?

Indeed, a great episode of a brilliant sitcom (no matter how quickly or slowly paced) will appear to go by in a flash whereas a particularly bad episode of a crap sitcom appears to go on forever.

I think the fact of the matter is that the BBC has historically produced sitcoms of wonderful quality while ITV has concentrated on producing dross for viewers who wouldn't recognise a quality sitcom if it jumped up and bit them on the arse.