It comes nine months after the project, which is a co-production between Lionsgate, BBC Studios’ L.A. production arm, Fox Entertainment and Feigco Entertainment, was the network’s first comedy greenlight of this year’s cycle. It was written by Sex and the City’s Bicks and directed by Bridesmaids’ Feig.
One day’s worth of footage was filmed before production was halted by COVID-19 back in March, and the series commitment was made on the strength of that material and subsequent scripts, rather than a traditional full pilot.
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Described by the network as a “docu-com,” This Country follows cousins Kelly (newcomer Chelsea Holmes) and Shrub Mallet (Sam Straley, who starred in ABC sitcom The Kids Are Alright). Trailed by a documentary crew, it follows the pair as they go about their daily lives in idiosyncratic surroundings.
The half-hour series also stars Seann William Scott (Lethal Weapon) and Aya Cash (The Boys, You’re the Worst) as well as Taylor Ortega (Kim Possible), Justin Linville (What We Do in the Shadows) and YouTuber Krystal Smith.
It is based on the eponymous BBC Three series, which ran on the British public broadcaster’s youth-skewing network for three seasons between 2017-20. The BAFTA-winning series, which was written by and starred Daisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper, was set in the Cotswolds in rural England.
The Fox series is exec produced by Bicks, Feig, the Coopers and BBC Studios’ Angie Stephenson with Feigco’s Dan Magnante as co-executive producer and Cathy Mason and Rachel Mason as producers. The project comes under Bicks and Feig’s overall deals with Lionsgate Television, and the BBC Studios Los Angeles production arm and Lionsgate co-production partnership.
“Fueled by Jenny and Paul’s imaginative wit and distinct comedic voices, we knew This Country was a special project from the moment we heard their pitch,” said Michael Thorn, Fox Entertainment’s President of Entertainment. “As we curate Fox’s comedy brand, it is important to align ourselves with pedigree talent and dynamic partners with proven track records. In Jenny, Paul, Lionsgate and BBC Studios, we have the perfect team to help us do just that.”
Sadi Feig: “Jenny and I are so excited to bring this amazing series to the American public. We have assembled a cast of comedic superstars who have taken the hilarious groundwork laid by Daisy and Charlie Cooper and made it their own. We can’t thank Charlie Collier, Michael Thorn and Julia Franz enough for making this comedy dream come true.”
Added Matt Forde, BBC Studios Managing Director of International Production & Formats, and Lionsgate Television Group Chairman Kevin Beggs: “We’re proud to continue to see the fruits of our powerful collaboration,” This Country has all the ingredients to be Fox’s next hit premium docu-comedy – an incredible director in Paul, a very talented writer in Jenny and an amazing cast. We can’t wait to bring the adaptation of this BBC hit to U.S. audiences and continue the strong momentum of our partnership.”
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