UKTV is continuing their aggressive push into originals, this time with a new comedy chat show fronted by Alan Davies for Dave – the UK’s number one non-PSB channel.
The commercial network has handed a five episode order to the as-yet untitled project, which will see long-time Qi panelist Davies and four other top comedians sit around a table and talk about anything. The new series promises to recreate the relaxed atmosphere found amongst bantering comics backstage and elicits anecdotes and interaction that you simply won’t get anywhere else.
The untitled series – which is scheduled to air on Dave this Summer – will be shot in front of a live audience and feature a mix of A-list and up-and-coming talent. Phil McIntyre Television is producing in association with Grand Scheme. The executive producers are Lucy Ansbro and Graham Smith.
“This is an exciting and audacious format that completely fits with Dave’s promise to provide contemporary entertainment starring the finest comedy talent”, said Steve North, General Manager of Dave. “The channel has just enjoyed its most successful 12 months to date, and I’m incredibly excited about the next 12 because we’ve got some cracking new commissions coming to viewers’ screens soon.”
While Alan Davies added: “I’m looking forward to sharing what makes comedians tick and bring some of the banter from long car journeys, gigs or backstage in the dressing room to Dave’s viewers.”
This new unscripted chat show is the latest original commission for Dave. The channel, which reaches some 27 million viewers every month, has previously ordered a number of original programmes including Crackanory, Spending Dave’s Money, Kia’s Road To Rio and Ross Noble’s Freewheeling, which is set to get a US adaptation at the Turner owned cable network TBS. The original commissions – which propelled Dave to its highest rated year in 2013 – are part of a company wide push by UKTV to offer more exclusive content. To that end, the company has set aside a budget of £110 million and in addition to unscripted is also pursuing scripted projects such as Legion, UKTV’s first original drama project which is set up at flagship entertainment channel Watch.