ITV is down to zero comedies on the main channel. Both Birds Of A Feather and the Jack Dee comedy Bad Move have been cancelled by the commercial broadcaster. An ITV spokesperson confirmed there are “currently no plans” for future seasons of either show.
Birds Of A Feather was revived by ITV back in 2014, the better part of two decades after it wrapped its run on the BBC. Three seasons and two Christmas specials – all featuring original stars Pauline Quirke, Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph – aired between 2014 and 2017. The series was produced by Retort and QuirkyMedia Stuff.
Created by Jack Dee and Pete Sinclair, Bad Move follows Steve and Nicky, a married couple who are both on their second marriages and have decided that moving to the countryside from the city is the answer to all their dreams. The comedy series is produced by Open Mike Productions and stars Jack Dee, Kerry Godliman, Miles Jupp, Manjinder Virk, Seann Walsh, Philip Jackson, Sue Vincent, George Somner and Thelma Ruby. Two seasons and a Christmas special aired between 2017 and 2018.
In the past few years, ITV had been trying to re-establish a comedy presence on the main channel, but thus far those efforts have born little fruit.Earlier attempts included the Derek Jacobi and Ian McKellen comedy Vicious, which wrapped its run in 2016. Birds Of A Feather was the most successful comedy and the decision not to re-commission it, following the recent cancellation of Benidorm, leaves the main channel with no comedy footprint whatsoever.
In comments made last night, ITV Director of Television Kevin Lygo said that the future of comedy on the channel was “quite bleak” and he suggested viewers turn to Coronation Street for their comedy fix. “We had success with Birds Of A Feather. That was our most successful sitcom in years, but it’s come to a sort of natural end”, he said. “We had two series of the Jack Dee sitcom, but I don’t think we’re continuing with it now. It’s just very, very hard”.