Graham Linehan Turns Off The British Sitcom "The IT Crowd"

From Broadcast:
Linehan turns off The IT Crowd

Channel 4 sitcom The IT Crowd will not be returning for a fifth series but will wrap up with an extended special, creator Graham Linehan has confirmed.

Opening a web chat on, Linehan said that the fourth series had ended on a high, creating “a natural time to wind things down”. Series four, he said, contained two of his favourite episodes, Final Countdown and Jen the Frodo, and he hadn’t found a way to top those.

“I just wasn’t looking forward to it the way I used to,” he said. “I felt that the last series was a nice strong point to go out on, and anything further might just be running on the spot. You don’t do your best work when you’re running on the spot.”

The Talkback Thames show has been a banker for Channel 4 and the channel’s longest-running sitcom after Peep Show. It has delivered some of C4’s biggest comedy audiences. An episode from the first series delivered the channel’s biggest audience for a sitcom in the past five years – 3.5m – and it occupies seven of the top 10 sitcom ratings in that period.

Linehan did reveal however that he was working on an extended special for 2012 and would not rule out a film nor future specials from The IT Crowd ‘universe’ such as boss Douglas Renholm’s Scientology wedding.
Broadcast Greenlight

Title: Extended special of IT Crowd
Channel: Channel 4
Producers: Talkback Thames, Delightful Industries
Writer: Graham Linehan
TX [transmission] date: 2012
Commissioner: Darren Smith
But he admitted that the workplace setting and small core cast gave it a limited shelf-life.

“We’re probably reaching that stage where it begins to feel odd that Roy, Jen and Moss are still stuck down in that basement,” he said. “I don’t want to start giving everybody babies to make it feel like they’re moving on with their lives.”

Linehan’s decision marks a u-turn from an initial plan to crowd-source storylines from a team of writers online.

“I had a great gang of people, but in the end we weren’t able to meet often enough to create the proper atmosphere of friendly rivalry and one-upmanship to provide the amount of material I needed,” he said.

“It was always first and foremost an experiment and part of experiment was seeing if it was possible to create a ‘virtual’ writer’s room, and in the end I wasn’t able to.

“The only way we could legally do it was by officially employing the writers for a total of three months. And that’s because the money comes out of my writing fee and I really couldn’t afford any more than that. All of the writers were up for taking the fee and working on past the three months, but that would have made me feel like a sweat-shop owner.”


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