ITV turns its back on comedy | No sitcoms left as it cancels Bad Move and Birds Of A Feather

ITV turns its back on comedy

No sitcoms left as it cancels Bad Move and Birds Of A Feather

Britain’s largest commercial channel now has NO sitcoms in its schedules, after ITV scrapped Birds of a Feather and Jack Dee’s sitcom Bad Move.

The broadcaster’s boss, Kevin Lygo, announced the news last night, admitting the future of scripted comedy looked ‘quite bleak’ for his flagship channel.

'ITV was never quite the home of sitcom,' he said. 

Birds of a Feather, starring Linda Robson, Pauline Quirke and Lesley Joseph, was revived five years ago after a 16-year absence.

The opening attracted almost eight million viewers, giving ITV its highest-rated comedy launch in more than a decade.  But by the 2017 Christmas episode, the audience was 4.83million

Lygo said the show  had ‘come to a sort of natural end’.

Bad Move, which also starred Kerry Godliman, Seann Walsh and Miles Jupp, began in 2017.  The second series, which went out in September and October in an 8pm slot, averaged 3.4 million viewers.

'We had two series of the Jack Dee sitcom but I don’t think we’re continuing with it now,' Lygo said. 'It’s just very, very hard.' 

Last night’s news follows the cancellation of Benidorm last year, giving the flagship channel no scripted comedy shows,

Lygo suggested viewers get their laughs from soaps like Coronation Street instead.

He also suggested ITV was 'unashamedly just trying to lighten the mood a bit' - but not with comedy, but with 'joyously warm-bath television' like the detective series Vera and Endeavour, both of which feature a new murder every episode.

Published: 6 Feb 2019

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