Broadcast Magazine has today revealed the comedies that are shortlisted for its Broadcast Awards 2008. The trade magazine runs the awards annually to 'recognise excellence and innovation in programme making and broadcasting' - they're one of the more anticipated events in the UK TV industry's awards season as over 1,200 of television's most influential individuals attend each year.
In contention for the comedy award this year are:
The Thick of It: The Rise of the Nutters: This sitcom (pictured), dubbed as the modern day Yes, Minister, has built up a loyal fan base since it first appeared back in 2005. The hour long 'Rise of the Nutters' special, for which this comedy has been nominated, was shown on BBC4 last January. Our Guide
Benidorm: The Tiger Aspect produced holiday sitcom starring the likes of Johnny Vegas. Broadcast on ITV1 in February, the first series attracted good enough ratings to see it return for a second series in 2008. Our Guide
Gavin and Stacey: Winner of a British Comedy Award last week for Best New Comedy, this sitcom from Steve Coogan's Baby Cow production company got critics very excited when it made its debut on BBC3 in May. Back for another series next year. Our Guide
Outnumbered: The semi-improvised family based sitcom was a surprise hit for BBC1 in August. Produced by Hat Trick Productions, the show was written by Guy Jenkin and Andy Hamilton and broadcast over consecutive nights to very impressive ratings. It too has a second season coming much to the delight of fans. Our Guide
Ruddy Hell! It's Harry and Paul: of all the shortlisted comedies this is the one most likely to raise some surprised eyebrows. Tiger Aspect's sketch show, which reunited Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse, was considered by many to be way below par.
The judging panel will be looking for evidence of originality, creativity, quality, integrity and of course results - both in terms of ratings, critical success - when it comes to choosing a winner.
Surprise exceptions from the short list include Not Going Out, Channel 4's Star Stories and of course Peep Show, the winner of the Best Comedy award as this year's British Comedy Awards. These and other omissions may perhaps be explained by the fact that production companies must submit their programmes to the judges with an entry fee, and thus not every comedy is put forward.
The comedies nominated in other categories this year are Never Mind the Buzzcocks, QI and Top Gear (in the Best Entertainment Programme category); and Fonejacker and Gavin and Stacey, which are in both the Best New Programme and Best Multichannel Programme categories.
The winner of this year's award will be announced at a black-tie ceremony which takes place at Park Lane's Grosvenor House on the 23rd January. Last year the Best Comedy Programme award went to Ricky Gervais' Extras.