BBC Three Lines Up Fresh Comedy And Diverse Factual Slate

From C21 Media:
BBC3 lines up fresh comedy

BBC3 has unveiled a raft of new comedy, including three new series, two recommissions and six online pilots.

The new series for the youth-skewing UK diginet include Bad Education (6x30'), a Tiger Aspect production that stars comedian Jack Whitehall (Channel 4's Fresh Meat).

The other new commissions are: The Revolution will not be Televised (6x30'), a Hat Trick production dubbed by BBC3 controller Zai Bennett as "Newsnight meets Trigger Happy TV"; and Some Girls (6x30'), another Hat Trick show, this time about a group of teenage girls in an inner city London comprehensive school.

Returning to the channel is Big Talk-produced comedy Him & Her (6x30'), which has been commissioned for a third series. Pramface (6x30'), a BBC-Little Comet copro, has also been recommissioned for a second season, ahead of its first season run this winter.

The channel also confirmed that it has struck a new three-season deal for another existing BBC3 comedy, Russell Howard's Good News.

Discussing the new commissions at a Broadcasting Press Guild meeting, Bennett said BBC3 had "cleared the decks of our comedy slate so we can commission a variety of brand new shows to ensure the channel is taking risks and has a clear range of comedy for young adults."

"Looking at comedy, BBC3 is the channel that gave Birth to Little Britain, Gavin and Stacey, and the Mighty Boosh. Sky may claim they are the home of comedy, but that's not something we can really see in their viewing figures, whereas BBC3 has the track record and we're going to strive to live up to that reputation," he said.

Bennett added that BBC3 had "absolutely prioritised" the 21.00 and 22.30 slots to focus its budgets to make the most impact, after the channel previously announced it would no longer commission pre-watershed programming. BBC3 is preparing for a 15% cut to its budget after 2013/14, as part of a broader cost-cutting exercise at the BBC.

Among the six new half-hour online comedy pilots announced were Impractical Jokers, a hidden camera comedy-entertainment show produced by Shed-owned Yalli Productions, and People Just Do Nothing, a Rough Cut mokumentary based around a pirate radio station.

Andrew McDonald
30 Nov 2011
© C21 Media 2011
Also, from Broadcast:
BBC3 reveals diverse factual slate

BBC3 is to challenge young fathers to deliver their partners’ babies, while Radio 1 DJ Reggie Yates will go inside Britain’s gangs as part of a major crime season.
Also, from Digital Spy:
'Him & Her', new show 'Pramface' renewed by BBC Three

Him & Her has been handed a third series by BBC Three.

The comedy, which stars Russell Tovey and Sarah Solemani as couple Steve and Becky, will return for six more episodes.

BBC Three also announced that it has ordered a second series of Pramface before the first run has even been broadcast.

The show features Scarlett Alice Johnson and Sean Verey as a couple coming to terms with becoming parents after a drunken night together.

Him & Her and Pramface were joined by Russell Howard's Good News, which has been handed a new multi-series deal by BBC Three.

BBC Three's controller Zai Bennett claimed that he runs "the channel that breaks new comedy in the UK", adding that the broadcaster will invest in comedy pilots to air online in a project called The Comedy Kitchen.

Among the six pilots that have been commissioned for the web are a project from The Boy With Tape On His Face - who previously won the 'Best Newcomer' award at Edinburgh - and a spoof news show from lookalike expert Alison Jackson.

Bennett said: "[Our] investment in The Comedy Kitchen and further online investment not only gives new talent and writers the time to grow and develop, but also ensures there is a clear nursery slope for them on to the channel, where we back series like Pramface with two series orders up front."

Johnny Vegas recently criticised Bennett for axing his comedy Ideal.
Also from Digital Spy:
Jack Whitehall to star in new BBC Three comedy 'Bad Education'

Jack Whitehall will write and star in a brand new comedy on BBC Three.

Bad Education sees Whitehall playing Alfie, who is described as "the worst teacher ever to grace the British education system".

Whitehall has recently been praised for his role in the Channel 4 comedy drama Fresh Meat, which has already been renewed for a second series.

BBC Three controller Zai Bennett also revealed that he has commissioned two other comedies.

The Revolution Will Be Televised, which has been described as "Newsnight meets Trigger Happy TV", will see Heydon Prowse and Jolyon Rubinstein taking on politicians, celebrities and other public figures.

Meanwhile, Some Girls focuses on a group of teenage girls attending an inner-city school in London. The comedy has been penned by Bernadette Davis, who previously wrote Game On.

The news came as Bennett renewed Him & Her and brand new comedy Pramface.

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