EXCLUSIVE, UPDATED: Is there a new Essex set series headed to television? I’ve learned that the recently launched independent production company Only Moo! Productions is moving ahead with a pilot for a potential new comedy series about an Essex hair salon titled Tease. I hear that the pilot is being independently produced, with no UK broadcasters currently attached to the project. Though, I hear that once they have a final cut of Tease they will be taking the project out to buyers (one source specifically mentioned Channel 4’s diginet E4 as a possibility).
The pilot, which hails from Only Moo’s Daryl Hopkins and Michael Hopkins, has been described to me as being a “mockumentary” which follows the exploits of the staff at a hair salon in Essex. As one would expect with an independently produced pilot, I hear that the producers assembled a cast of unknowns, such as Scott Mullins (pictured), Sarah Alexandra Marks, Jessica Jay, Matthew Bunn, Chris Linnat, Simon Walton and Mike Aherne for the main cast, which consists of 8 roles. Daryl Hopkins is serving as the producer, with Michael Hopkins serving as the director.
This is the latest independent comedy pilot to go into production in recent months. Others include Jobseekers, which was written by Lee Dilley, Paul J Farrell and Beth Foster-Hunter; and Team Panache, which hailed from Brian Belo and featured a cast consisting of Belo and Colin Salmon (I hear that Belo and Ben Shillito have since written a further 7 episodes of Team Panache and are still looking to place the pilot with a UK broadcaster). The chances of independently produced pilots making it to air on TV are slim, as most broadcasters prefer to stick to the traditional development/pilot/series model. That said, the rise of online distribution in recent years has given independent productions more options.