‘Welcome To Flatch’: Fox Comedy Will Stream First Seven Episodes At Linear Launch As ‘The Office’s Paul Feig Talks Adapting Another UK Mockumentary
Fox’s new comedy Welcome to Flatch will stream its first seven episodes on-demand on the same day of its linear launch.
The linear network will premiere the comedy, which is based on British mockumentary This Country, on Thursday March 17 at 9:30pm. The show, which comes from Jenny Bicks and Paul Feig, will roll out its first seven episodes via Hulu as well as Fox Now.
It marks the first time that Fox has done this.
Michael Thorn, president of entertainment at Fox, said, “It’s obvious right now that it’s incredibly hard to launch any TV show in this marketplace and we want to do everything we can to set the show up for success. What we wanted to do was take advantage of our own air and give it the impactful launch that we give to all of our shows but also try something different and as out of the box as this television show is and try something unique with our SVOD partners so people could watch it at their own time and fall in love with these characters.”
Thorn, speaking at the show’s virtual TCA panel, added that the hope is that by the time episode eight airs on the linear network, the move has “given it an awareness and advantage that we’re all striving for in this crazy marketplace”.
The series, which was handed a 14-episode order in October 2020, follows a documentary crew that sets out to explore the lives of residents in the small American town of Flatch.
It follows cousins and best friends Kelly Mallet, played by Chelsea Holmes and Lloyd ‘Shrub’ Mallett, played by Sam Straley, who let the documentary crew in on their lives and local current events. Seann William Scott plays Father Joe, a local minister, who moved to the town with his ex-girlfriend, played by Aya Cash.
Other Flatch residents include Mickey St. Jean, played by Justin Linville, who relentlessly attempts to become Shrub’s best friend, Kelly’s frenemy, Nadine Garcia-Parney, played by Taylor Ortega, who runs the Flatch Historical Society; and Mandy Matthews, played by Krystal Smith), a magnetic force of nature who lives life on her own terms.
It is based on the 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.
Paul Feig, who worked on NBC’s adaptation of another British mockumentary, The Office, directs and exec produces and also wrote two episodes.
He told Deadline that there’s similarities with adapting both shows. “On The Office, the first six episodes [NBC] did, they really leaned in to the Ricky Gervais-style of the British Office. Ricky’s character was kind of mean but American audiences weren’t sure if they wanted to get behind a lead character that was mean. It was really that second season that we realized that he needs to be well meaning. That’s the same thing [with Welcome to Flatch] because This Country, they’re very challenging characters. We didn’t want to take that away from them but we also wanted them to be loveable and fun, like the British one, but maybe give them a little more humanity.”
Welcome to Flatch is produced by Lionsgate, BBC Studios’ Los Angeles production arm and Fox Entertainment. It is executive produced by Perkins Street Productions’ Bicks, Feigco Entertainment’s Feig, BBC Studios’ Angie Stephenson and Charlie Cooper and Daisy May Cooper, who created the original BBC series.