British Comedy Guide

BBC axes That Puppet Game Show and I Love My Country

Friday 25th October 2013, 7:34pm

That Puppet Game Show. Copyright: BBC.The BBC has confirmed it has no plans to recommission its recent Saturday night comedy entertainment formats, That Puppet Game Show and I Love My Country.

The corporation had hoped both shows would become long-running series, establishing themselves as hit family-friendly entertainment strands and a staple of BBC One's early evening Saturday night schedule. However, both programmes attracted largely negative press reviews and struggled in the ratings.

That Puppet Game Show, created by the BBC in conjunction with The Jim Henson Company, the creators of The Muppets, involved celebrities playing studio-based challenges, with a behind-the-scenes sitcom element reminiscent of The Muppet Show.

Meanwhile I Love My Country was a panel show based on a Dutch format. The show saw teams lead by Frank Skinner and Micky Flanagan answer questions based around general knowledge of the British Isles and British culture. The show was hosted by Gabby Logan, with Jamelia as the show's resident singer.

I Love My Country. Image shows from L to R: Frank Skinner, Gabby Logan, Jamelia, Micky Flanagan. Copyright: Avalon Television / Talpa.Both series launched in August, with That Puppet Game Show at 6:45pm and I Love My Country at 7:30pm. However, both struggled to attract audiences higher than the average for their respective timeslots.

The final episode of the eight-part I Love My Country series was moved to 5:30pm. Meanwhile only six of seven episodes of That Puppet Game Show have been transmitted.

According to Broadcast, I Love My Country averaged audiences of 2.8 million, whilst That Puppet Game Show attracted an average of 1.6 million viewers.

The BBC told the trade magazine that it was "proud of both shows and grateful to the teams involved", however confirmed the shows "didn't find the audience we hoped for. We have to make choices to bring new shows through."

Here is the trailer the BBC used to promote That Puppet Game Show:

And here is a clip from I Love My Country in which the teams play a game of pass the parcel:

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