Thursday 26th April 2018
Award-winning network UKTV has commissioned the return of two of its hugely popular UKTV Original scripted comedies for its leading entertainment channel Dave, with Zapped returning for a third series, and Porters being commissioned for a full series (both 6x40').
Zapped sees James Buckley once again star as Brian Weaver, the simple office worker transported to the fantastical land of Munty. Series two ended in a cliffhanger with Brian in chains and Paul Kaye's wizard Howell sent to Earth by mistake - the third series promises to be the most inventive and imaginative yet. Also starring Sharon Rooney, Kenneth Collard and Louis Emerick, Zapped is created by Black Dog Television and written by Dan Gaster, Will Ing and Paul Powell. It's directed by Dave Lambert and produced by Candida Julian-Jones for Baby Cow Productions.
It's amusing in that old-fashioned way where the characters actually say and do funny things - Sunday Times Culture
Delightfully odd comedy - Daily Mail
Porters returns for a full run, after last year's three-part pilot series saw daydreaming wannabe doctor Simon (Ed Easton) beset on all sides by the eccentric staff and patients at St Etheldreda's hospital. Viewers followed Simon trying to survive his first few months grafting in the subterranean basement world of the porters alongside Susan Wokoma's Frankie, Claudia Jessie's Nurse Lucy, Rutger Hauer's Tillman, Jo Joyner's Dr. Kelly and Sanjeev Bhaskar's Mr. Pradeep, with the premiere episode also including special appearances from Mat Horne and Kelsey Grammer. Porters is written by Dan Sefton (Trust Me, Delicious, The Good Karma Hospital) and produced by Dancing Ledge Productions.
Macabre and left-field ... darkly funny ... the blackest of comedy" - Radio Times
Extraordinary cast ... Sefton has a keen grasp of the mechanics of farce" - Daily Telegraph
Zapped and Porters are ordered for Dave by Richard Watsham, UKTV's director of commissioning, and Steve North, genre general manager, entertainment and comedy. Both series are commissioned by UKTV senior commissioning editor Pete Thornton. Full cast details for both returning series will be revealed in the coming weeks.
Pete Thornton said, "Zapped has now established itself as one of Dave's most popular programmes, and I'm absolutely delighted to be returning to Munty for another series of dazzling comic invention, care of the creative heavyweights at Black Dog and Baby Cow, complimented by our incredibly talented cast. At the same time it's really exciting to be able to confirm the return of Porters for a full series. The first three episodes set out the show's credentials as a highly original comic creation and we're very much looking forward to witnessing the cast's further adventures via the fertile imagination of one of the UK's most successful and prolific writers of recent years."
Luke Hales, Dave general manager, said, "The characters and worlds of both Zapped and Porters have established themselves as rich, distinct and very funny. It's a pleasure to welcome them back for further adventures and I cannot wait to see what they will be getting up to. They're a fantastic addition to the channel as part of Dave's continued dedication to commissioning original comic content."
Steve Coogan, Zapped executive producer, said, "I can't wait to pull up a chair in The Jug And The Other Jug, pour myself a Ginger Steamer and maybe risk a slice of Herman's legendary fish pie as I rejoin my favourite Muntyites."
Christine Langan, CEO of Baby Cow Productions, said, "We love working with UKTV. Their continued commitment to original comedy means fans can enjoy a third series of magic and madness with Zapped."
Laurence Bowen, Dancing Ledge Productions, said, "We're delighted that Porters is coming back for a second shift and look forward to sharing another round of stories from the comedy basement of St Etheldreda's hospital. Dan Sefton's gift for hilarious tales of medical mishap is second to none."
Zapped and Porters join an ever-increasing raft of UKTV Originals on Dave in the coming months, such as series six and seven of the BAFTA-nominated Taskmaster, brand new commissions Jon Richardson: Ultimate Worrier and Judge Romesh, and special one-offs The Horne Section and Football's 47 Best Worst Songs.
Zapped series three and Porters series two will air on Dave later in 2018.
#Zapped | #Porters | @davechannel
Notes to editors
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On demand on Sky, Virgin and UKTV Play
Since bursting onto TV sets in 2007, Dave has been putting in hours at the gym and is now a beefed-up powerhouse of brand new and original commissions from some of the biggest stars and production companies in entertainment. Romesh Ranganthan, Jon Richardson and YouTube sensation Yianni Charalambous are just some of the latest additions to the channel's ever-increasing slate.
Whether it's innovative comedy entertainment like the BAFTA and Emmy-nominated Taskmaster, Unspun with Matt Forde, and Dara o Briain's Go 8 Bit or scripted sitcoms including the worldwide hit Red Dwarf, Zapped, and Porters, Dave's guaranteed to work your funny bone like never before.
Dave's also committed to bringing live sport back to free-to-air and has an ongoing deal to show fights from David Haye's Hayemaker Ringstar venture. There's also Red Bull Soapbox, Cop Car Workshop, Sin City Motors and a whole host of much loved programming, all shot with Dave's unique personality that's led to the channel reaching 20million adults a month.
UKTV is a commercial broadcaster reaching over 40m viewers every month.
The award-winning independent has eleven imaginative brands - UKTV Play, Dave, W, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food. These include the two most popular non-PSB channels in the UK and account for nearly 10% of the British commercial TV market. The network delivers inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat, Amazon Fire and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories. Now celebrating over 20 years at the forefront of digital television, UKTV - an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) - is proud to be the first British television broadcaster in The Sunday Times top 100 companies list.
About Baby Cow Productions
Baby Cow Productions is a leading independent production company co-founded by double Oscar-nominee and four-time BAFTA Award-winning actor, writer and producer Steve Coogan with industry veteran Christine Langan at the helm as CEO.
Baby Cow develops and produces bold, high-quality scripted entertainment across all genres including comedy and drama and across all mediums including television, film and radio. The company aims to be a creative hub for talent and a place for cross-fertilisation, seeking the best narrative form for the material. Established in 1999, the company has delivered its signature brand of comedy to audiences worldwide for almost twenty years with iconic characters and beloved series including Alan Partridge, The Mighty Boosh, Red Dwarf, Nighty Night, Gavin & Stacey, Zapped! and The Trip. The latest instalment of the series, The Trip to Spain, co-starring Coogan and celebrated comedian Rob Brydon, is currently airing on Sky Atlantic. Baby Cow's recent acquisition of Zadie Smith's novel, "Swing Time," about friendship and music spanning London to West Africa, exemplifies the company's drive to expand its television offering and deliver strong programming regardless of genre.
In film, Stephen Frears' Philomena, co-written by Jeff Pope and Coogan who starred opposite Judi Dench, achieved critical and commercial success, receiving four Oscar nominations including Best Picture and won the BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Baby Cow's recent and upcoming releases include Sergei Polunin documentary directed by Steven Cantor, Mindhorn, co-written by and starring Julian Barratt to be released in May via STUDIOCANAL and Stan and Ollie, currently in production. The company has several television series and feature films in development. BBC Worldwide became majority shareholders in the company in 2008.
About Black Dog Television
Black Dog Television is the independent production company behind hit BBC2 panel show Insert Name Here (starring Sue Perkins, Richard Osman and Josh Widdicombe). They also created, wrote and executive-produced Alexander Armstrong's Big Ask for Dave.
Dan Gaster, Will Ing and Paul Powell have worked together for over 25 years. Their extensive writing/producing credits include The Last Leg, 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Miranda, The Graham Norton Show, Matt Forde's Unspun and Have I Got News For You.