Sky’s head of comedy Jon Mountague says he would like to commission another series each of Steve Coogan comedies The Trip and Mid-Morning Matters with Alan Partridge.
Mountague told RadioTimes.com there were no immediate plans to bring back either show – but he is keen for them to return at some point.
Sky Atlantic comedy The Trip – which sees versions of Coogan and Rob Brydon engage in an impression-filled restaurant tour – aired earlier this year with The Trip to Spain. This followed the BBC series The Trip and The Trip to Italy.
The Trip to Spain ended with – spoilers! – a cliffhanger in which Brydon returned home to the UK and a stranded Coogan was about to be set upon by a convoy of what looked like ISIS-style terrorists. However this dramatic end does not mean the end of the show, which Mountague hinted could next travel to Brydon’s home nation of Wales.
“The beauty of it is that it could go anywhere,” said Mountague. “They could travel anywhere or it could be as local as Wales. [Director] Michael Winterbottom and I talk all the time and I would like there to be a fourth series.”
He said of the final episode’s climactic moment: “I don’t want to speak for Michael [Winterbottom] but Steve’s character won’t be killed by jihadis.”
Mountague added that Coogan also had no immediate plan to bring back Alan Partridge show Mid Morning Matters which has run for two series on Sky, the latter finishing in March last year, but that he is hopeful of more.
“Steve is very busy – he is shooting movies at the moment. But I would like to do more. But it will be a while.”
Coogan recently won a Bafta for best comedy performance for Alan Partridge’s Scissored Isle.
Sky1 is kick-starting a brand-new comedy drive with a new 9pm comedy drama called Living the Dream about a couple who relocate from Yorkshire to Florida.
The six-part show stars Philip Glenister and Lesley Sharp as the pair, who decide to up sticks and start a business renting caravans in the so-called Sunshine State.
Mountague said he was excited by the show which he said has a “post-Trumpian” feeling about US citizens who are “suspicious of aliens”.
“I have just been to a read-through and it’s in terrific shape. It’s comic and dramatic – which is quite a tricky thing to pull off.
“At Sky we talk about shows being internationally British and this is a British show shot in America. A show like Stella” – which he added could “run and run forever” – “is of course set in Wales but it has that local stamp we aren’t afraid of, as well as a universality.”
Asked if he was worried about the broadcaster’s failure to cut through with large ratings for its comedy he said: “We look at other metrics… we are pay TV. Ratings have a long tail and Barb [traditional viewing] figures can be quite knee jerky.”
The executive has said that his strategy will be to air more family oriented shows across the Sky portfolio at 9pm with 10pm comedy being “comedy with a capital ‘c’” and “edgier and more grown up”.
Upcoming shows at 10pm include Bliss, in which Stephen Mangan plays a likable bigamist in Bristol juggling his two wives played by Heather Graham and Jo Hartley. This is expected to air on Sky Atlantic early next year.
Another is Bounty Hunters, an action adventure comedy starring Jack Whitehall (Fresh Meat, Bad Education) and Oscar nominee Rosie Perez (Do the Right Thing, White Men Can’t Jump) which is scheduled for a Sky1 broadcast this autumn.
Whitehall plays posh, uptight Brit Barnaby Walker sorting out his family’s cash-strapped antiques business after his father is hospitalised following a mysterious accident. However, when he unwittingly buys an antiquity looted from the war-torn Middle East he ends up meeting tough New Yorker and bounty hunter Rita Morales (Perez) and his troubles really begin.