The ten-part series is produced by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Catastrophe producer Avalon Television, and exposes the paradox of parenting where it is possible, in the same moment, to love your child, while being apoplectically angry at them. Freeman stars as a caring father discovering he’s not quite the man he thought he was.
It emerged in March that Freeman was piloting the show, which was created by The Office star and Veep’s Simon Blackwell and Chris Addison, before Sky picked it up in the UK with the U.S. cable network. The show will air in 2020. The Inbetweeners director Ben Palmer directed the pilot, is an exec producer and is also directing five episodes.
Executive producers include Blackwell, Addison, Freeman, Michael Wiggs, David Martin, Richard Allen-Turner, Rob Aslett and Jon Thoday. Nick Grad and Eric Schrier, Presidents of Original Programming commissioned the series for FX Networks and FX Productions, while Zai Bennett, Sky’s director of programmes, and Jon Mountague, head of comedy, ordered the series for the UK pay-TV firm, with Josh Cole set to be the commissioning editor.
Freeman said, “I’m excited to be making Breeders with a team that can make me laugh while we look at some of the less-discussed truths and challenges of being a parent. I really love this project and am delighted to be working with FX and Sky.”
“I am very excited about making Breeders, to the point of being told to go to bed and stop showing off,” said Blackwell.
Addison added, “It’s a treat to be cooking up stuff with my old comrade Simon Blackwell and the peerless Martin Freeman. We’re very excited that FX and Sky have agreed to finance what is effectively us working through some of our own issues in the form of ten half-hour sitcom episodes. Usually you have to pay for your own therapy.”
“Martin Freeman is an incredibly versatile artist who is perfectly paired with the wonderfully talented Daisy Haggard in Breeders,” said FX’s Grad. “We enjoyed working with Martin on the first installment of Fargo and are delighted that he is executive producing along with Simon Blackwell and Chris Addison. We also appreciate the chance to partner with Avalon Television and Sky Original Productions to bring this new comedy series to audiences worldwide.”
Sky’s Mountague added, “Imagine a parent gazing lovingly into the eyes of their newborn – that’s how proud we at Sky are with Breeders. Brilliant scripts which see parenting through such an authentic and hilarious lens. Martin, Chris and Simon are an unstoppable comic force, but I can’t vouch for them as parents. Together they’re bringing the kind of premium quality comedy our customers have come to expect. We can’t wait to show the world our new baby.”