15 February, 2008

"Studio comedy in demand from BBC"


The BBC is calling for more traditional studio-based sitcoms and wants to run around four a year on BBC2.

BBC comedy commissioning controller Lucy Lumsden revealed that of the 280 ideas for comedy shows she received from indies and in-house writers last year, just 18 were written for a studio audience.

Lumsden told a Writers' Guild of Great Britain panel event that while slots are limited for audience sitcoms, "they're something we attach enormous importance to and there's a great appetite for them."

Lumsden said she was encouraged by the recent broadcast of a live edition of Two Pints of Lager on BBC3 and that the signing of a three-year deal with its creator Susan Dickson was a sign of this appetite.

BBC1 also recently recommissioned sitcoms After You've Gone and Not Going Out.
She said she was looking for "familiarity but also [shows that were] saying something new."

My Family writer Dave Cohen said many aspiring writers have preconceptions that audience sitcoms are expensive and that as very few appear to be made, tend not to bother pitching them.

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