U.S. cable network IFC and British broadcaster Channel 4 have ordered Year of the Rabbit, a six-part comedy starring Toast of London’s Matt Berry. The two broadcasters have commissioned the show from All3Media-backed Objective Fiction after it was piloted by C4 last year.
The news was announced today at the ATX Television Festival in Austin.
The series follows a group of Victorian detectives; Berry, who stars in Jim Hosking’s An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn and Matt Groening’s Netflix animation Disenchantment, plays Detective Inspector Rabbitt, a hardened booze-hound who’s seen it all, and his new, hapless, by-the-books partner, played by Parade End’s Freddie Fox. While investigating a local murder, the chief of police’s lewd but insightful adoptive daughter, played by Chewing Gum’s Susan Wokoma, becomes the country’s first female officer. Together, the trio must fight crime while rubbing shoulders with street gangs, crooked politicians, Bulgarian princes, spiritualists, music hall stars and the Elephant Man.
Year of the Rabbit will be directed by Catastrophe’s Ben Taylor and written by Veep writers Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil (Veep), as well as Berry, who is represented by CAA and Troika Talent. All3Media International will distribute.
Berry says he’s looking forward to working with C4 and IFC. “I’m equally looking forward to stepping back in time to fight crime in the same significant year which bought us Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, The Elephant Man and of course Jack The Ripper,” he adds.
C4 Head of Comedy Fiona McDermott called it The Sweeney set in Victorian England with a “misguided machismo”. “It’s an amazing vehicle for Matt’s talents and together with Susan and Freddie and the wealth of talent off-camera, we are thrilled to have it on the channel,” she added.
The show was unveiled at a Channel 4 comedy event in London lead by McDermott, where she also announced it has picked up family comedy Home for a full series. The comedy, which stars W1A’s Rufus Jones, was originally produced as a short comedy Blap and will now be turned into a six-episode run.
Jones plays Peter, who along with his wife Katy and son John, go on their first family holiday to France and bring home a Syrian refugee. Home is produced by Detectorists producer Channel X and Jantaculum, run by The League of Gentleman producer Adam Tandy. Alan Marke and Jim Reid exec produce.
Elsewhere, the British broadcaster has ordered a second series of Roisin Conaty’s comedy Gameface. The series, which follows Marcella, a 30-something aspiring actress with a chaotic life, has been picked up for a second run, produced by Objective Fiction. Hulu, which came on board the first season, will air the second season.