The BBC is making a full series of the Middle Class Mum comedy Motherland.
The comedy will be made into new six-part series for BBC2 following the successful half-hour pilot starring Anna Maxwell Martin as harassed Julia and Diane Morgan (AKA Philomena Cunk) as the slatternly Liz. The part of the ghastly Queen Bee mum Amanda was played by Lucy Punch.
All three are expected to return to these roles in the show, which will once again be written by Graham Linehan, Sharon Horgan, Helen Linehan and Holly Walsh.
The comedy attracted 2m viewers and plaudits for its painfully realistic portrayal of the trials and traumas of motherhood, as well as the competitive and unromantic sides of parenting.
Horgan, who is also co-star and co-writer of the hit Channel 4 comedy Catastrophe, said: “I am thrilled and relieved to have finally found a good use for my thirteen years of mothering. Apologies in advance to the brave women and men of the school run.”
Graham Linehan added: “I’m delighted to be working with such a gifted team. This is a world that seems to be brimming with comic possibilities and yet somehow under-explored, and I can’t think of better people, behind the cameras and in front of them, to be doing it with.”
Patrick Holland, Channel Editor at BBC2 said: “How wonderful that Motherland is coming to BBC2 as a series. The pilot found a unique, confident voice that made for truly memorable comedy. It is savagely accurate writing brilliantly brought to life by Anna Maxwell Martin and Diane Morgan. I can’t wait.”
The pilot episode aired as part of this year’s BBC Landmark Sitcom Season, which celebrated 60 years of the sitcom on the BBC and featured 17 programmes.
Also getting a commission from the season is a Porridge remake, which saw Kevin Bishop play the grandson of Ronnie Barker’s legendary inmate Fletch in the pilot episode. This will have a six-part BBC1 series.
Shane Allen, Controller of Comedy Commissioning said: “The Landmark Sitcom Season was a big, celebratory moment for BBC comedy and signalled our unrivalled commitment to the art form.
“With Porridge we have two writing legends putting a modern spin on their masterpiece, proving that their fingers are very much still on the comedy pulse. In Motherland we have the wish list writing powerhouse giving us a painfully accurate yet fresh take on the relentless emotional carnage of child-rearing.”
Ben has worked as a professional journalist specialising in TV and the arts for nearly twenty years. After a two year stint on local newspapers in the mid 1990s, he spent more than 5 years as the broadcast reporter at the Stage newspaper. Following that he enjoyed staff reporting positions at the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times breaking stories and writing features before settling as a full time freelance writing for an array of newspapers and magazines - but mainly for the Guardian, Evening Standard, Broadcast, Independent and the New Statesman where he wrote a column.