C4 unveils its Comedy Showcases

Six new broadcast pilots

Channel 4 has revealed more details of its Comedy Showcase season of one-off pilots – including a semi-improvised comedy script edited by Ricky Gervais.

Brief details of five of the six half-hour shows had been previously announced, while the final slot will go to a sitcom about a down-on-his-luck magician.

The Amazing Dermot will follow Dermot Flint as he attempts to get his career back on track after is wife leaves him, his TV show is cancelled, he moves into rehab and there’s an ‘unfortunate incident involving two brothers and some French kissing under hypnosis’.

The show will be made by The Office’s producer Ash Atalla, pictured, and filmed this summer.

Channel 4’s 2007 Comedy Showcases led to full series of Plus One, The Kevin Bishop Show and Free Agents.

Confirming details of the new season, Channel 4’s head of comedy Andrew Newman said: ‘It is great to be able to invest another raft of exciting new ideas from some of Britain's top comedy producers. This year's line-up features a fantastic range of both fresh talent and established stars.

‘The Comedy Showcase season will be putting new and innovative ideas and scripts into the heart of the Channel 4 schedule.’

The other programmes in the run are:

  • PhoneShop: A semi-improvised sitcom to be script edited by Ricky Gervais. Written, produced and directed Phil Bowker, who previously produced Pulling, 15 Storeys High and Time Gentlemen, Please, the show features Andrew Brooke, Javone Prince, Emma Fryer, Tom Bennett and Martin Trenaman.

  • The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, starring David Cross as an American businessman out of his depth when he is mistakenly sent to run his company’s UK arm. Written by Cross and former stand-up Shaun Pye, the show will also feature Cross’s Arrested Development co-star Will Arnett as his boss, and Free Agents’ Sharon Horgan as his love interest.

  • Guantanamo Phil: Starring Phoenix Nights actor Steve Edge as a Woolworths assistant manager who was wrongly imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay after being captured by US Marines while he was on a birdwatching holiday in Pakistan. The show, written by Worst Week of My Life creators Mark Bussell and Justin Sbresni, sees him return home to Stoke-on-Trent after a campaign by his girlfriend (played by Pulling’s Rebekah Staton) to release him.

  • Campus: A university-set comedy being developed by the producer of Green Wing and Smack the Pony, Victoria Pile, and former Channel 4 commissioner Caroline Leddy.

  • Pete vs Life: Rafe Spall – who recently appeared as Frankie Howerd’s lover Dennis Heymer in the BBC Four biopic starring David Walliams – plays a man whose every move is remarked upon by sports commentators. The writers are Bert Tyler Moore and George Jeffries, who previously worked on Star Stories

Published: 7 Jul 2009

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