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Steve Williams2,744 posts since 1 Aug 2008
Days Like These. *shudders*

Wasn't there a contract in place with Fox that halted That 70's Show from airing in the UK?


There was indeed, after the failure of shows like Brighton Belles and Loved By You, the idea was that they suffered from endless comparisons to the originals (quite rightly, in the case of Brighton Belles), so there was a clause in the contract which said That 70s Show would never be shown in the UK, and indeed the cast weren't shown any episodes, so as far as everyone was concerned it was a brand new show. Turns out that didn't help it at all, and That 70s Show was shown on Channel 5 eighteen months later. Indeed if anything they made no attempt to make it look like a new British show as they even left in the little sketches that the US version had going in and out of the ad breaks, which made no sense on the UK version as they didn't go into ad breaks.

The bizarre thing about Days Like These is that ITV ran it at the same time as The Grimleys so they had two seventies-set sitcoms running concurrently, which seems the most appalling bit of scheduling. The writers who adapted That 70s Show for ITV were Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain, now very successful writers of course who have written many acclaimed series like Peep Show. David Mitchell makes reference to Days Like These in his book, saying that when Peep Show began it was a bit of a last chance for Mitchell and Webb, and for Bain and Armstrong, as both their careers had derailed a bit (in Mitchell and Webb's case they'd written and starred in a sitcom pilot for C4 which didn't go to a series). Mitchell says he assumes Bain and Armstrong's obvious comedic talents were blunted "by interfering executives from both sides of the Atlantic".

The Married With Children adaptation sounds like it should have been the most successful because it always sounded like it was the nearest thing to a British sitcom with the main character being a loser and lots of rude jokes, and it was certainly brash enough to work on ITV. But they adapted it incredibly badly.

Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro did a lot of sitcom type stuff for CITV as above Spatz and Mike & Angelo, they also did the T-Bag series which I suppose isn't a sitcom as such though it probably felt like one to an extent.


Always switched off when the names of Pressman and Cathro came on screen, surely the Glen A Larson of kids TV with their weird transatlantic mish-mash.

Vicious was wonderful but the PC lot get grumpy.


"The PC lot" didn't get grumpy about it, it got an absolute free pass from all the critics, and it was doing nothing in terms of sexual explicitness that Gimme Gimme Gimme wasn't doing on BBC1 a decade earlier. But Gimme Gimme Gimme was umpteen times funnier.

Vicious got a succession of brilliant slots, like straight after Corrie, and the press absolutely lapped it up, but the audience never took to it. About 99% of the excitement seemed to come from the idea of Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi doing jokes about dildos.
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UKnews and Revolution gave kudos
robertclark1251,404 posts since 13 Jan 2009
STV Central Reporting Scotland
There have been a few sitcoms on ITV, which lasted only one series, and were perhaps in a setting that wasn't appropriate for their time then, but which may well be now. High Street Blues is a good example. It was set in a street, and the small independent traders were faced with a dilemma; sell out to a developer, who was going to knock the parade down and build a supermarket, or stay put, and struggle to make ends meet.

Nowadays, if you were to try High Street Blues, you could set it around the struggles of the high street, and have the traders try desparate measures each week, to get folk through the doors spending money. High Street Blues may be forgotten by ITV, but perhaps revisit the concept.
Neil Jones5,312 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
And then of course there are sitcoms that didn't even last a series - Hardwicke House for example. Two episodes aired and it was never seen again. Mind you airing it in the 8pm hour was the first major mistake and then getting cocky and planning a second series before the first had even aired was the second so the cast benefited well financially from it as Roy Kinnear got everybody to sign on the dotted line to ensure payment even if it was pulled, which it was so it cost Central a fortune.

To be honest the content of the two aired Hardwicke House episodes isn't particularly shocking by today's standards so I suppose it was just well ahead of its time.
james-20014,937 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
To be honest the content of the two aired Hardwicke House episodes isn't particularly shocking by today's standards so I suppose it was just well ahead of its time.


To be honest, I'm not sure it was particularly shocking by 1987 standards, certainly if you to compare it to some of the Comic Strip Presents, for example. It was putting it on pre-watershed and promoting it inappropriately that cased the problems.

Anyone remember Hardware? Used to be on before 2DTV


I mentioned it on the previous page!
gottago2,823 posts since 26 Aug 2004
London London


Vicious was wonderful but the PC lot get grumpy.


"The PC lot" didn't get grumpy about it, it got an absolute free pass from all the critics, and it was doing nothing in terms of sexual explicitness that Gimme Gimme Gimme wasn't doing on BBC1 a decade earlier. But Gimme Gimme Gimme was umpteen times funnier.

Vicious got a succession of brilliant slots, like straight after Corrie, and the press absolutely lapped it up, but the audience never took to it. About 99% of the excitement seemed to come from the idea of Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi doing jokes about dildos.

It didn't help that the script for Vicious was pitifully unfunny.
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Brekkie and davidhorman gave kudos
Steve Williams2,744 posts since 1 Aug 2008
To be honest, I'm not sure it was particularly shocking by 1987 standards, certainly if you to compare it to some of the Comic Strip Presents, for example. It was putting it on pre-watershed and promoting it inappropriately that cased the problems.


Well, indeed, as this fascinating article points out - http://www.offthetelly.co.uk/oldott/www.offthetelly.co.uk/index0dd6.html?page_id=330

As it mentions, Nick Wilton was totally baffled by the scheduling and said it should have gone out post-watershed, where everyone assumed it would be.
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Woodpecker gave kudos
james-20014,937 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
As it mentions, Nick Wilton was totally baffled by the scheduling and said it should have gone out post-watershed, where everyone assumed it would be.


And if it had done, it would probably have been one of those cult shows.

Bit unfortunate that ITV still refuse to repeat the show or allow it for DVD release, even when Network wanted to release it. I doubt anyone would be shocked by it these days.
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Woodpecker gave kudos