After successfully adapting Drunk History, Comedy Central UK has set their sights on adapting another American format.
The Viacom International Media Networks backed broadcaster has green-lit production on a pilot for a UK version of Impractical Jokers, the hidden camera series devised by best friends Brian Quinn, James Murray, Joseph Gatto and Salvatore Vulcano for the Turner owned cable network TruTV, TVWise has learned.
The original US series sees the four friends challenge each other to outrageous dares and uproarious stunts on unsuspecting members of the public, all of which are captured on a hidden camera. During each prank, the joker must do whatever daring deeds his three friends tell him via a secret earpiece and if he refuses, he loses.
TruTV’s Impractical Jokers has aired four seasons since it launched in 2011 and has been broadcast in the UK by Comedy Central UK, who are understood to have made the decision to move forward with this UK adaptation based largely on the strong audience figures for the original series, which currently ranks as their most popular show.
Impractical Jokers UK will retain the format of the US series and will also feature a group of comedian friends: Lee Griffiths, Matt Ralph, Paul Biggin and David Moon – all four of whom have previously appeared together in the award-winning sketch group ‘Late Night Gimp Fight. The quartet will also serve as writers on the project alongside Robert Gray, George Sawyer and Gina Lyons. Yalli Productions is producing, with Jill Offman and Lourdes Diaz serving as executive producers.
“Impractical Jokers taps into the mischievous child inside many of us and we hope this new UK pilot brings our audience as many laugh out loud moments as developing the pilot brought us”, said Lourdes Diaz, Executive Producers and Vice-President and Head of Global Production & Development for Comedy Central International. “We’re very pleased to be in production on the new UK pilot for this hugely popular and very funny show.”
This is not the first time that the Impractical Jokers format has been adapted for the UK market. The Warner Bros. Television Production UK production company Yalli Productions previously produced a UK take on the format for BBC Three. That series, featuring Joel Dommett, Roisin Conaty, Paul McCaffrey and Marek Larwood, aired two seasons between 2012 and 2014, but is understood to be a casualty of BBC Three’s online move.