EXCLUSIVE: UKTV’s Dave Channel Hands Series Order To Daniel Rigby Fronted Comedy ‘Undercover’

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Undercover (FT)

Big School and From There To Here alum Daniel Rigby is to topline a new comedy series for UKTV’s Dave channel.

The channel, which currently ranks as the UK’s number one non-PSB, has handed a six episode order to Undercover, a comedy series about an undercover police officer infiltrating an Armenian crime family which is being fronted by Rigby, TVWise has learned exclusively.

Undercover tells the story of Chris, an undercover police officer who finds himself hopelessly out of his depth when he infiltrates an Armenian crime family, the Sarkissians. A former traffic cop, Chris only got the assignment because of his Greek ethnicity and to complicate matters even further, he’s attracted to both his police handler Zoe and Lara, the femme fatale of the Sarkissian crime family.

BAFTA winner Daniel Rigby leads the cast as Chris, the out of his depth undercover cop at the center of the series. Sarah Alexander (Coupling) has been cast as Zoe, Chris’ police handler; Yasmine Akram (Sherlock) as Lara; and co-creator Sacha Alexander as Ara, the head of the Sarkissian crime family. Keith Allen (The Comic Strip Presents…), Ryan Sampson (Plebs), Brett Goldstein (Uncle) and Michael Socha (Being Human) also star.

The six episode series was created by Andy Milligan and Sacha Alexander and is being produced by Bonafide Films and Steve Coogan’s production company Baby Cow Productions. The executive producers are Henry Normal and Margery Bone, while Dave Lambert is attached to direct. Mark Staheli also serves as a writer on Undercover, which is now in production in Newcastle and is expected to air on Dave in 2015.

“Baby Cow and Bonafide Films have developed a brilliant set of scripts, dark and funny with an almost frenetic pace to the action”, said UKTV’s Director of Commissioning Richard Watsham, who commissioned the series alongside Dave General Manager Steve North. “We’ve made a commitment to extending our original scripted content across the network and this is one of the first exciting steps making good on that promise. Expect much more from us soon.”

It’s been a long road to get Undercover into production. The project has been in development for the better part of four years, with Bonafide Films securing funding from Northern Film & Media to develop the series in early 2011. The following year, in 2012, UKTV entered the picture when, as TVWise exclusively reported at the time, they handed a pilot order to the project. That pilot, starring Rigby and directed by Tom Marshall, was completed in late 2012/early 2013, and the project was further developed by Bonafide, Baby Cow and UKTV, leading to the recent series order.

Undercover is the latest original comedy to get a greenlight at Dave since UKTV started commissioning originals a couple of years ago. They started down that road with the ratings hit Red Dwarf X in 2012, which in turn led to such commissions as Dave Gorman Modern Life is Goodish, Ross Noble Freewheeling, Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled, Crackanory and, more recently, the David Hasselhoff fronted Hoff The Record.

“We are excited to be extending our comedy remit on Dave by continuing to grow our breadth of original commissions and welcoming some of Britain’s best comedy actors and writing talent to the channel”, added Steve North, General Manager of Dave,