UKTV’s Dave channel has given the green-light to Zapped!, a three part “fantasy-comedy” series which hails from Dan Gaster, Black Dog Television and Steve Coogan’s Baby Cow Productions, TVWise has learned. James Buckley (The Inbetweeners) is attached to star.
Zapped! follows Brian Weaver, an online data marketing assistant, who finds himself abruptly transported to a parallel world. After finding the local pub, he meets the owner, Herman, and a handful of regulars. Brian is desperate to get home, and his new acquaintances are no help at all. Instead he finds himself being sucked into a fantasy world he doesn’t understand.
James Buckley, best known for playing Jay on The Inbetweeners, leads the cast as Brian Weaver. Other cast members include Sharon Rooney (My Mad Fat Diary) as Barbara, a hopeless soothsayer; Paul Kaye (Game Of Thrones) as Howell, a “brain-fried” Wizard; Ken Collard (Cuckoo) as armchair revolutionary Steg and Louis Emerick (Benidorm) as pub owner Herman. Steve Coogan is also set to appear in an as-yet unspecified guest starring role.
The three-part comedy series is being penned by Dan Gaster, Will Ing and Paul Powell and is set up at Black Dog Television and Baby Cow Productions. Kerry Waddell is the series producer, while Alan Partridge helmer Dave Lambert is attached to direct. The executive producers are Steve Coogan and UKTV’s Senior Commissioning Editor Simon Lupton. Production gets underway this month at Pinewood for a late 2016 premiere.
This is the latest series to get a greenlight at UKTV as part of the company’s aggressive push into scripted comedy. At Dave, it joins Red Dwarf, which was picked up by the channel for two additional seasons last year; while there are a number of other scripted projects in development. This commission also reunites UKTV and Baby Cow Productions, after the two previously collaborated on Dave’s first wholly original comedy series Undercover, which aired last year.
“Zapped! combines very funny scripts with an exceptionally talented team making it. The casting is superb and brings a wealth of comedy talent to Dave which is genuinely exciting”, said Dave General Manager Steve North, who commissioned the series alongside UKTV’s Director Of Commissioning Richard Watsham. “We have an ongoing commitment on Dave to developing and launching original scripted comedy – we continue to take risks, developing high concept comedies that broaden our entertainment slate.”
“Zapped! is fantasy, heightened reality and lots of escapism, with one foot firmly in the real world. It has all the requisite elements to take the audience on a journey to this slightly mad world; from wizards and spells to mermaids, psychopathic fairies, smartphones and then back to the boring office job”, added executive producer Steve Coogan. “We have a great cast on board, led by the brilliant James Buckley. We’re excited to be working with UKTV on another original comedy series and we feel this is a great example of Baby Cow at its best”.