Viaplay Picks Up UK Comedy Series ‘Hapless’; Blue Penguin Boards Season 2 Ahead Of Shoot


EXCLUSIVE: European streamer Viaplay has picked up Nordic, Baltic, Dutch and Polish rights to UK comedy Hapless, which was also picked up by Netflix in the UK last year.

The series, which heralds from veteran Brit director Gary Sinyor, revolves around an obsessive and gaffe-prone journalist for a fictitious Jewish newspaper. Brit comedy actor Tim Downie (Toast Of London) stars.

Blue Penguin, the TV production arm of James Spring’s Fred Films (Finding Your Feet), has joined forces with Sinyor’s Magnet Films for the second season which is set to begin filming next month.

The Viaplay deal also includes season two of the “cringe” comedy, which has been described as similar in its approach to U.S. hit Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Season two will comprises eight episodes and also stars Lucy Montgomery as Paul’s sweary sister, Mike Fenton Stevens as their impish dad and Josh Howie as Paul’s highly neurotic friend.

Talks are ongoing with broadcasters and streamers about other rights for both series.

“I’m delighted to be working with Viaplay who immediately responded enthusiastically to the kind of comedy we’ve already made and will continue to make,” said Sinyor. “We’re not only ready for series two but we’re plotting series three and beyond. I’m not short of comically satirical situations to put these slightly bonkers characters into.”

“Viaplay’s acquisition shows that Gary’s comedy vision does indeed cross boundaries,” said Spring. “Our aim is to make a long-running sitcom that will work globally over and above of its success here in the UK”.

Sinyor is best known for directing movies including 1992 Venice title Leon The Pig Farmer and 1999 Chris O’Donnell-Renee Zellweger rom-com The Bachelor.

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