Reports suggest that one of ITV latest comedy ventures is to be canned after a first series. Great Night Out had previously been recommissioned for a second run, however a member of the cast has stated the show won’t be back.
The series is just one of a number of new ITV comedies commissioned to boost the humour output of the network after years of the broadcaster being stuck in a sitcom wilderness. However Great Night Out has proved to be not such a great night in for viewers.
The six part series was filmed on location in London and Stockport and centered around four mid-thirties pals as they enjoy a weekly boys’ get-together in the process helping each other through romantic, work and family crises.
The series was written and created by Mark Bussell and Justin Sbresni of The Worst Week Of My Life fame with scripts by Jonathan Harvey best known in recent times for his scripting on soap Coronation Street and Steve Turner from Jeopardy.
The show starred in the lead parts William Ash, Stephen Walters, Craig Parkinson and Lee Boardman, with a supporting cast of Naomi Bentley, Rebekah Staton, Christine Bottomley, Susie Blake, Ricky Tomlinson and Isy Suttie.
Transmitted in a post watershed 9pm Friday night slot it peaked at just under four million viewers for its first outing, however fluctuated in the three million for the rest of its run. This partly down to strong programming from BBC One and Channel 4.
“The kind of people it appeals to, of course, would be having a great night out at that time on a Friday” notes our Telly critic Queenie Trout.
Actor Lee Boardman from the series announced the shows demise on a social networking site.
“Dear all, Great Night Out won’t be returning to your screens. It has not recommission. Thank you all for watching. X”. he said on Twitter.
The latest comedy offerings from ITV, Vicious (right) and The Job Lot, which aired on Monday have been met with a mixed response from both viewers and critics. However the ratings for the first outing proved successful for the broadcaster with Vicious, about a elderly gay couple, starring Ian McKellan and Derek Jacobi managing 5.7 million viewers and 23.6% audience share in the 9pm slot.
The Job Lot, headed by popular actor Russell Tovey, gained 4.7 million and a 20.1% audience share.
“Maybe ITV need to revive a Comedy Playhouse strand where they showcase six new ideas in a series and the ones which prove the most successful could take on a full run. Its the way some of our greatest sitcoms started out and may save ITV some face in the failure department and some money too. I know they like to save money.” added Queenie.