British Comedy Guide

How to name a sitcom? Page 3

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catskillz

  • Tuesday 12th February 2008, 7:41pm [Edited]
  • Merseyside, England
  • 3,396 posts

Well, I must admit, you lot have got me a bit worried now, about having too many characters. The thing is, a lot of them are only appearing for a short time in each episode, and others are only appearing in one episode, so I don't think it'll be as much of a problem as you think.

Anyway, don't forget those successful shows that have similarly large numbers of characters, e.g. Alan Partridge, Scrubs, Arrested Development, and 30 Rock.

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Seefacts

  • Wednesday 13th February 2008, 12:21am [Edited]
  • England
  • 4,203 posts
Quote: Hardcorr @ February 12, 2008, 6:57 AM

I agree, my last rejection was a sitcom parody of a Soap. I called it "Depression street". Needless to say, they didn't even mention the awful name, they said it was because of too many characters.

Production companies have to pay each of the actors, and the crew, and themselves, as well as make the show. So the less expenses, the more feasible it will be to make/cash to go round/likely it will be picked up.

They told me it had good gags and a good pace but I was gutted as I'd been working on it for ages. So I learned for the next time. The next time being this time. Fingers crossed!

DAVID BUSSEL YOUR SITE IS AWESOME. I RECOMMEND IT TO EVERYONE!!!

Unless you're Harry Hill, in which case it gets snapped up.

Which I'm glad about, as HH is brilliant.

Quote: catskillz @ February 12, 2008, 2:41 PM

Well, I must admit, you lot have got me a bit worried now, about having too many characters. The thing is, a lot of them are only appearing for a short time in each episode, and others are only appearing in one episode, so I don't think the number of characters will be as much of a problem as you think.

Anyway, don't forget those successful shows that have large numbers of characters, e.g. Alan Partridge, Scrubs, Arrested Development, and 30 Rock.

The Simpsons is another, but I doubt a sitcom with 35 regular or semi-regular characters will ever happen.

Sitcoms in the states have more cash and more episodes so a show like, I don't, know, Friends, can have mums and dads and cousins in it. But a 6 part UK show, no I doubt it.

Back on topic though - naming sitcoms is very hard, but enjoyable when you get what you think is a good title. I spend DAYS researching obscure slang about the sitcom subject and came up with a brilliant title . . . Then got told to change the location, the title had to change.

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Lee

  • Wednesday 13th February 2008, 5:20pm
  • Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
  • 36,349 posts

The Simpsons started off with the immediate family and then grew.

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Chappers

  • Wednesday 13th February 2008, 5:30pm
  • Surreyish., England
  • 31,274 posts

I reckon GSOH works because most people know what it means and where you'd see it nowadays.

As fot the Street one with flats - how about Upstairs, upstairs?

PS - I'd also christen it with some holy water.

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Lee

  • Wednesday 13th February 2008, 5:44pm
  • Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
  • 36,349 posts

One of my favourite titles is 15 Storeys High.

Scan the classifieds for key words, GSOH is OK, but I think it's been used before?

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David Bussell

  • Wednesday 13th February 2008, 5:45pm
  • London, England
  • 9,943 posts
Quote: Seefacts @ February 12, 2008, 7:21 PM

The Simpsons is another, but I doubt a sitcom with 35 regular or semi-regular characters will ever happen.

As Seefacts points out, The Simpsons doesn't have to pay the bumble bee guy a wage every time he makes a cameo.

Thirty five characters in a sitcom is the stuff of madness. Sorry, but you have some serious rethinking to do, catskillz.

"Prove me wrong, kids."

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Hardcorr

  • Wednesday 13th February 2008, 6:02pm
  • Burton On Trent, England
  • 81 posts

I think over a course of the usual 6 or 7 episodes it could be possible to have that many characters, as most of them would be peripherals/glorified extras who have to do a bit more than stand around.

It sounds like a bit of a comical melting pot to me.

Good luck with it Catskillz. Keep the faith. Maybe send it to a script reading service who will give you good feedback. You have to pay a fee, so you should do a little research into it, but that's something I am considering.

Luckily I have some friends who were interested in reading my sitcom and have given me fantastic feedback. I guess the point is to know that when the producers you target pick up the scripts you worked so hard-on, you won't give them a reason to say no!

Take it easy Catskillz, and all my other comical brothers and sisters.

I love you!

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Seefacts

  • Wednesday 13th February 2008, 6:05pm
  • England
  • 4,203 posts

I can almost guarantee a producer won't be interested in a sitcom with that many characters.

No matter how funny, it just sounds like a mess.

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Lee

  • Wednesday 13th February 2008, 6:13pm [Edited]
  • Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
  • 36,349 posts

You could sell it with the average amount of characters and then "introduce" all your new characters gradually.

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Lee Henman

  • Wednesday 13th February 2008, 6:25pm
  • England
  • 5,183 posts

You can have lots of supporting characters as long as they're not all involved in one story at the same time. In Fools And Horses we got to meet Delboy, Rodney, Grandad, Uncle Albert, Trigger, Boycie, Raquel, Cassandra, Marlene, Denzil, Mike, Mickey Pearce, Damien, Sid, Alan Parry, with guest characters Reginald "Reg" Trotter, DCI Slater, Jumbo Mills, Renee Turpin, The Driscoll Brothers...

...but obviously the series revolves and evolves around Del and Rodders. I've just read a script with about 8 or 9 characters in the story and it's bloody tough going.

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Hardcorr

  • Wednesday 13th February 2008, 7:05pm
  • Burton On Trent, England
  • 81 posts

I once wrote 9 series of a 32 episode sitcom with 45 main characters and it got made. No sweat. In fact, it starred several big name stars that grace our screens today. Brad Pitt, Kirstey Alley, Jerry Seinfeld, Ray Winstone (and his daughter), John Gielgud and Dot from Eastenders. It was a major success and DVD sales today are going through the roof after all this time.

So don't tell me there's no chance for sitcoms with lots of characters. Hell, I invented the sitcom. I invented Hollywood, the TV, popcorn and the thigh-master.

And the best thing of all is, I have sex all the time! God bless Valentines Day. I love my life!

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Lee

  • Wednesday 13th February 2008, 7:07pm
  • Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
  • 36,349 posts

Now that's Hardcorr!!

Cool

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catskillz

  • Wednesday 13th February 2008, 7:11pm [Edited]
  • Merseyside, England
  • 3,396 posts
Quote: Perry Nium @ February 13, 2008, 1:25 PM

You can have lots of supporting characters as long as they're not all involved in one story at the same time. In Fools And Horses we got to meet Delboy, Rodney, Grandad, Uncle Albert, Trigger, Boycie, Raquel, Cassandra, Marlene, Denzil, Mike, Mickey Pearce, Damien, Sid, Alan Parry, with guest characters Reginald "Reg" Trotter, DCI Slater, Jumbo Mills, Renee Turpin, The Driscoll Brothers...

...but obviously the series revolves and evolves around Del and Rodders. I've just read a script with about 8 or 9 characters in the story and it's bloody tough going.

This is really what it's like. At the very, very centre of the story is a bloke in his late 20s, who finds out his girlfriend is cheating on him, and loses his job, who moves into a flat on his own. Next, there's the 5 other people who live in the other flats that are above and below him. Then, there's the neighbours in the houses that are on either side of the main house (4 on one side, and 1 on the other). These 11 characters are really the only ones that appear in every episode, and sometimes, some of them only have a few lines.

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Lee

  • Wednesday 13th February 2008, 7:23pm
  • Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
  • 36,349 posts

Ah, you've just developed the supporting characters. It was sounding a bit like Big Brother with everyone talking at once.

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Chappers

  • Wednesday 13th February 2008, 7:23pm
  • Surreyish., England
  • 31,274 posts

Sounds like Crapston Villas.