Channel 4 Commissions Objective Fiction Comedy Year of the Rabbit
8 June 2018
Brand new six-part original comedy starring Matt Berry
Channel 4 has commissioned Year of the Rabbit, starring BAFTA award-winning actor Matt Berry (Toast of London, The IT Crowd). The 6 X 30’ series, produced by Objective Fiction with international partners IFC and all3media international, is irreverently and profanely inspired by the unhinged chaos of Victorian-era London.
This brand new series follows Detective Inspector Rabbit (Berry), a hardened booze-hound who’s seen it all, and his new, hapless, by-the-books partner (Freddie Fox – Cucumber, Banana, Patrade’s End, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword). While they’re investigating a local murder, the lewd but insightful adoptive daughter (Susan Wokoma – Chewing Gum, Crazyhead, Porters) 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 will be 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.
Matt Berry says: “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.”
Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy at Channel 4, says: “Imagine The Sweeney in Victorian England and you’re getting close to the heady misguided machismo that runs rife in this series. 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.”
“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.”
Year of the Rabbit is set to begin shooting later this year and is expected to air in 2019.
Ben Farrell and Toby Stevens will executive produce for Objective Fiction, with Hannah Mackay producing. The show was commissioned for Channel 4 by Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy, and Jack Bayles, Commissioning Editor. IFC head of programming Pete Aronson, SVP Christine Lubrano and VP Maura Madden will oversee the series for the channel.