06 June 2016
Dave, UKTV's leading entertainment channel, continues to expand its UKTV original scripted slate with Zapped! (3x40'), a brand new fantasy comedy from Baby Cow Productions, starring James Buckley (The Inbetweeners), Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones), Sharon Rooney (My Mad Fat Diary), Ken Collard (Cuckoo) and Louis Emerick (Benidorm) plus a guest appearance from Steve Coogan, who will also executive produce the show.
Brian Weaver (James Buckley), an online data marketing assistant (even he doesn't know what that is) finds himself abruptly transported to a parallel world. Fortunately, there's a pub. There he meets the owner, Herman (a former warrior; Louis Emerick) plus a handful of regulars: Barbara (a hopeless soothsayer; Sharon Rooney), Steg (an armchair revolutionary; Ken Collard) and Howell (a brain-fried Wizard; Paul Kaye). Brian is desperate to get home, and his new acquaintances are no help at all. Instead he finds himself being sucked into a world he doesn't understand, full of psychopathic Fairies, Shell Men, seductive Demi-Fins, vicious Throcks and the frighteningly unpredictable side-effects of Howell's magical powers. It's even worse than being an online data marketing assistant.
The series has been created by Black Dog Television and is written by Dan Gaster, Will Ing and Paul Powell. Baby Cow Productions are producing, with comedy legend Steve Coogan as executive producer, Kerry Waddell (Red Dwarf XI & XII) as series producer and Dave Lambert (Undercover and Alan Partridge: Welcome To The Places Of My Life) as director. The series has been ordered by Dave general manager Steve North and UKTV's director of commissioning Richard Watsham. Simon Lupton, UKTV's senior commissioning editor will oversee as executive producer for UKTV.
Steve Coogan says
Zapped! is fantasy, heightened reality and lots of escapism, with one foot firmly in the real world. It has all the requisite elements to take the audience on a journey to this slightly mad world; from wizards and spells to mermaids, psychopathic fairies, smartphones and then back to the boring office job. We have a great cast on board, led by the brilliant James Buckley. We're excited to be working with UKTV on another original comedy series and we feel this is a great example of Baby Cow at its best.
Simon Lupton adds,
Everyone at UKTV is very excited to be working with Baby Cow on Zapped! the latest addition to our growing scripted comedy slate on Dave. It has already been loads of fun collaborating with the writers as they created this fantastical world and array of extraordinary characters. We know that the Dave audience loves their comedy to give them big laughs and offer escapism in a bold, joyful and distinctive way - and we really believe Zapped! will do that. The scripts have a wonderful blend of great storytelling and humour, combined with an extremely high quality cast and director.
Steve North says,
Zapped! combines very funny scripts with an exceptionally talented team making it. The casting is superb and brings a wealth of comedy talent to Dave which is genuinely exciting. We have an ongoing commitment on Dave to developing and launching original scripted comedy - we continue to take risks, developing high concept comedies that broaden our entertainment slate."
Zapped! goes into production in Pinewood in June and will be broadcast on Dave this autumn, launching off the back of the brand new series of Red Dwarf - Red Dwarf XI. It will be internationally distributed by Sky Vision.
Dave has significantly broadened its entertainment slate in 2016, while continuing to invest in original commissions, moving into live sports and establishing new formats such as the critically-acclaimed comedy panel show Taskmaster, back for two new series this year.
Notes to Editors:
- Cast will be available for interview nearer to the time, please send your requests to Gem.Pinkney@uktv.co.uk
For more information please contact:
Sky 111/246, Virgin 128/194, Freeview 12, BT & TalkTalk 12
On demand on Sky, Virgin and UKTV Play
Dave proudly presents a plethora of original commissions; award-winning Crackanory, Ross Noble Freewheeling, Dave Gorman's Modern Life is Goodish, and Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled, all laden with the biggest names in British comedy. Not to mention a brand spanking new original series Hoff the Record, Red Dwarf and Taskmaster.
There's national treasures like QI, Mock the Week and Have I Got News For You, plus the Red Bull trilogy of Cliff Diving, X-Fighters and the Soap Box races. And of course, we still have Top Gear.
Dave is the UK's most watched non-PSB channel broadcasting to over 27 million people per month, featuring hit US shows including the sharp-witted and sharp-suited Suits, critically-acclaimed Parks & Recreation and US series The Last Man on Earth. How can we forget the wonder that is Storage Hunters and now original commission Storage Hunters UK, the gift that keeps on giving.
About Baby Cow Productions
Baby Cow Productions was established in 1999 by Steve Coogan and Henry Normal.
Steve Coogan is a multi-award winning writer, producer and actor and is internationally recognised for his on-screen roles including Alan Partridge, Paul Raymond in the feature film The King of Soho and Martin Sixsmith in the BAFTA award winning and Oscar nominated film Philomena, which Coogan co-wrote with Jeff Pope.
Henry Normal started the company with Steve Coogan having co-written together the BAFTA-winning Paul and Pauline Calf Video Diaries, Coogan's Run, Tony Ferino and the film The Parole Officer. Henry also co-wrote The Mrs Merton Show and co-created The Royle Family. Since its formation Henry has exec-produced all of Baby Cow's output including Gavin and Stacey, The Mighty Boosh, Moone Boy, Uncle and Alan Partridge. He was also a producer on Philomena. Henry left Baby Cow in 2016.
Baby Cow Productions has gained an enviable reputation for nurturing new British comedy talent, whilst teaming up with the best of the UK's established writers, directors and producers.
UKTV is the biggest multichannel broadcaster in the UK.
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 9.31% of the British commercial TV market. The company's most recent financial results showed record-breaking year-end revenue of £319m and EBITDA of £82m. It invested £148m in programming and related launches last year, and is becoming an increasingly significant investor in UK creativity.
UKTV has a truly innovative model, curating brand-defining commissions, high-profile acquisitions and the very best of BBC, alongside programmes originally shown on ITV and Channel 4. The network embraces technology to deliver 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 its 23rd year 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 only British television broadcaster in The Sunday Times top 100 companies list.
About Sky Vision
Sky Vision is the production and distribution arm of Sky. The distribution arm represents around 5,000 hours of quality primetime programming from Sky Originals and independent third party production, across all key primetime genres (drama, entertainment, factual entertainment and factual).
The business also has equity investments in seven production businesses in the UK and US; Love Productions, Blast! Films, Sugar Films and Sky Vision Productions in the UK; and in the US, Jupiter Entertainment, Talos Films and Znak & Jones.
In addition to its equity investments, Sky Vision works extensively with independent producers in the UK and US and has development deals with a number of production companies; including Asylum Entertainment and Peacock Alley in North America; and Avanti Media, back2back productions, Chalkboard, Hungry Bear Media, LittleRock Pictures, Merman Films, Spring Films, and Roughcut TV in the UK.