IFC TO CO-PRODUCE "YEAR OF THE RABBIT" WITH UK'S CHANNEL 4
NEW ORIGINAL COMEDY SERIES TO DEBUT IN 2019
NEW YORK AND LONDON - JUNE 7, 2018 - IFC and UK's Channel 4 announced today the greenlight of a new original comedy series Year of the Rabbit, starring BAFTA award-winning actor Matt Berry (Toast of London, The IT Crowd). The series, produced by Objective Fiction and distributed internationally by all3media, will consist of six half-hour episodes irreverently and profanely inspired by the world of legendary detective Sherlock Holmes in Victorian era London. Year of the Rabbit is set to begin shooting this fall and is expected to air in 2019.
The new series follows Detective Inspector Rabbit (Berry), a hardened booze-hound who's seen it all, and his hapless, new, by-the-books partner Strauss (Freddie Fox; Cucumber, Banana). While they're investigating a local murder, the lewd but insightful adoptive daughter (Susan Wokoma; Chewing Gum, Crazyhead) of the chief of police joins them, becoming the country's first female officer. Together, the trio must fight crime while rubbing shoulders with street gangs, crooked politicians, Bulgarian princes, spiritualists, music hall stars and the Elephant Man.
Year of the Rabbit is directed by BAFTA nominated Ben Taylor (Catastrophe) and written by Emmy and WGA Award winners Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil (Veep), with additional material from Matt Berry. Ben Farrell and Toby Stevens will executive produce for Objective Fiction, with Hannah Mackay producing. The show was commissioned by Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy, and Jack Bayles, Commissioning Editor, for Channel 4. IFC Head of Programming Pete Aronson, SVP Christine Lubrano and VP Maura Madden will oversee the series for the channel.
Said star Matt Berry: "I'm very much looking forward to working with Channel 4 again, and IFC for the first time, as I'm equally looking forward to stepping back in time to fight crime in the same significant year which bought us Van Gogh's Sunflowers, The Elephant Man and of course Jack The Ripper."
"Like everyone else in comedy, we have been trying to develop a Victorian era procedural cop show for years so between that and stalking Matt Berry since he was a guest star on Portlandia, we could not be more thrilled to partner with Channel 4 on this brilliantly funny period piece," said Lubrano. "The concept, the writing and the cast are simply perfect for IFC's 'slightly off' comedy brand."
"Imagine The Sweeney in Victorian England and you're getting close to the heady misguided machismo that runs rife in this series," said McDermott. "It's an amazing vehicle for Matt's talents and together with Susan and Freddie and the wealth of talent off-camera, we are thrilled to have it on the channel."
IFC is the home of offbeat, unexpected comedies. Series Brockmire, Stan Against Evil, Baroness von Sketch Show and Documentary Now! air alongside fan-favorite movies and comedic cult TV shows. IFC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc., and available across multiple platforms. IFC is Always On, Slightly Off.
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