We've had enough middle-class sitcoms | BBC comedy boss outlines his plans

We've had enough middle-class sitcoms

BBC comedy boss outlines his plans

The BBC is turning its back on middle-class sitcoms, fearing that they lead to an ‘homogenous’ output.

Corporation comedy boss Shane Allen has outlined his wish list for new shows – seeking more sketch shows, big projects for BBC One and topical one-offs for BBC Four.

And he says that comest on BBC Two is going through a ‘reinvention’, saying: ‘We want to get away from menopause comedy – those kind of middle-class, midlife crisis pieces that are individually brilliant, but collectively homogenous.’

In an interview with trade magazine Broadcast today, Allen also:

• Confirmed a new series from comedy actress Emma Kennedy for BBC One. The Kennedys is inspired by her memoirs The Tent, The Bucket and Me, about her time living on a Stevenage housing estate in the 1970s. The IT Crowd’s Katherine Parkinson is expected to star.

• Admitted it would be ‘hard’ to get another series of Mrs Brown’s Boys from creator Brendan O’Carroll, although he expected it to return for Christmas specials.

• Announced that Citizen Khan has been recommissioned for a fourth series.

• Said his budget for BBC Three comedies will be in the ‘double figure millions’ after the channel moves online, close to what it is now, He is seeking around eight long-form shows a year for the channel.

• Said that a new batch of nine online comedy shorts will be released in February under a Funny Valentine’s banner.

• Confirmed a new series of six Comedy Playhouse pilots, but not the details of what has been commissioned.

• Confirmed that the BBC was piloting sketch shows from Morgana Robinson and Javone Prince in an effort to revive the genre

• Said he wanted to make a studio sitcom with Gavin & Stacey co-creator Ruth Jones.

Published: 11 Dec 2014

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