British Comedy Guide

Comedy Central USA buys Taskmaster format

Tuesday 18th April 2017, 4:51pm

Taskmaster. Alex Horne. Copyright: Avalon Television.

Taskmaster, the challenge show involving comedians, is to get a new American version.

Stand-up comedian Reggie Watts, who stars alongside James Corden on The Late Late Show, will act as the judge on the programme, the role held by Greg Davies in the UK format.

The US wing of Comedy Central has ordered a series, with Alex Horne, who devised the format and acts as the adjudication on the UK version, flying over to the States to appear in the new version too.

Producers say: "Reggie Watts will star as the Taskmaster who, with series creator Alex Horne as his loyal assistant, will judge five unwitting comedians as they compete against each other with creativity, cunning and genius in a series of stupefying tasks."

Taskmaster was devised by Horne as a live stage show at the Edinburgh Festival in 2010 before it was brought to TV via UKTV channel Dave in 2015. The programme has provided to be a hit with viewers and critics, and is currently nominated for a BAFTA.

An extended length fourth series is due to start on Dave on Tuesday 25th April, featuring Lolly Adefope, Hugh Dennis, Noel Fielding, Mel Giedroyc and Joe Lycett, and a fifth series has already been ordered.

Taskmaster is already popular internationally with the format having been licensed into five territories - Belgium, Sweden, Germany, The Netherlands and Finland. A Belgian version has already aired on VTM and the Swedish version is currently on air on SVT 1. Meanwhile the original UK show has also been sold to BBC Worldwide Australia and TVNZ's Duke.

The new American version of Taskmaster will be made by Avalon Television, which also makes the version for UKTV. Jon Thoday, Joint Managing Director, says: "It's great to be working with Alex, Reggie and Comedy Central on making this innovative and funny programme for the US."

The new version of Taskmaster will be broadcast in America later this year, but there is no news yet on whether it will be repeated on any channels in Britain.

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