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Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by HO HO HO I'M JMC, Oct 27, 2010.
I'm still confident. It is the commissioning window for Dave, they've recommissioned Argumental so I guess this meeting is for a "Yes" or "No" on Red Dwarf. If Dave say "No" then plenty more broadcasters are in the sea. BBC might want it again, Sky might slap it up, Channel 4 might want it. After the ratings BTE got then I'd be amazed if nobody is interested.
From those tweets I got very worried; like they were reneging a deal they had already seemingly confirmed.
I still can't believe they would only commision one series!
Sure Red Dwarf has been out-of-the-loop for a decade...but the way the specials were done must instill confidence in any execs commsioning another series, especially as it must have got DAVE alot of publicity and good viewing figures for original output.
The only things I can think of as someone outside of tv production that any commisioning bods would feel 'if-fy' about are maybe the consistency of Naylor's writing and the cost of making Red Dwarf. But I hope the same commisioning bods read this post and know that for me the Red Dwarf 'comeback'-'specials' were way beyond what I had hoped for after what I personally thought was a comedically poor series VIII and a subsequent 10 year gap. Only for Naylor to helm a Red Dwarf comeback on a a tight budget, shot on RED camera which is abit pioneering so I've heard (Hunter Prey was also shot on it which I watched recently) and the specials really looked great and filmic. Plus it helps when Naylor is on form 'again', cause for me that script for Back to Earth was genial.
I think any commisioning execs or whatever would be stupid to dismiss Red Dwarf again, same as the twits that thought sci fi-drama wouldnt do well in the mid-80s (even though one of the most popular sci fi series on the BBC and longest running has been doctor who).
A bit disappointed as I was, considering Craig Charles earlier mention of two series, I wasn't too bothered by this. Most of the series were created that way after all. In most given series (with the possible exception of 1 where I think 2 was commissioned very quickly) the creators and cast didn't know if the current would be their last.
And even with the great viewing figures of BtE, a new series is still a bit of a risk for them let alone 2. Especially as the reception seemed a bit 50/50. (I'm referring to people's feedback and reviews here not the viewing figures which were, as I said, great. I largely liked them by the way.) I think Dave would be more concerned with the viewing figures though.
Doug Naylor's tweets are a bit worrying though, but at least they want to see him tomorrow. (Or today when I write this.) There's still a good chance they'll work something out, albeit it looks like we will have to wait longer.
Actually, didn't it used to be they would often commission two series (not just Dwarf here, but a lot of other stuff)? Maybe just if they knew the team behind it and had faith in them, but keep the show going and learn from its mistakes in the first season to allow it to go on, etc.
On the Dwarfy note toward this, it was actually that Happy Families was commissioned for two but only ran for one, so Dwarf was given their second season slot, as it were. I will admit it has been a while since I watched the many Dwarf documentaries or perused the website over these details, so my memory may be off, but I believe that was a factor in how Dwarf finally made it.
The second series was also in the works when the first aired, and was one of the things that managed to keep it going after the first season which didn't rake up the sort of viewing figures hoped for on its initial run.
Again, I may be thinking of some other show with that one.
Anyhow, back to the initial point, they used to commission two at a time. Obviously though, that was a couple of decades back!
what are the usual roles of commissioners for those of us who aren't knowledgeable of how TV shows get made?
From Doug - "Big Thursday - here we go"
Ooh, no no no. This is slightly wrong.
Happy Families had its series, finished, and the Beeb went to Paul Jackson about making a second. It being the BBC of the 80s, with more of a 'regular slots for good people' attitude, that money was kinda earmarked as 'Paul Jackson's next series'. Which is how he was able to turn it into Red Dwarf.
But a second series of Happy Families was never commissioned. Money was put aside for it, internally, on vague assumption that it would return - but that's very different from contacting the makers and telling them they have a second series. (It's also, honestly, the kind of thing that would never happen now.)
And as for RD series II, it wasn't commissioned until the first series was made. That's an important distinction to make: they didn't commission two series, that wasn't a standard thing to do and never has been. But it did get granted a second series before broadcast of the first.
The reasons? Well, mostly timing, I think - who's in the job and who's moving on. It seems to have been one of the last actions of the outgoing incumbent, a final "Yeah, that might work, let's keep that going" before leaving office. (Again, not something that would happen today. The second-series pick-up was likely in 1988, for any show that seemed interesting or promising; these days it would be unthinkable not to wait and see the ratings and reaction.)
These days it's fantastically rare to commission more than a single series of anything. The recent deal that ITV have done for three more years of X-Factor and britain's Got Talent are the exception. It comes up a lot as an idea - "Hey, we'll make two series back to back, it'll save us money in the long run" - but in the end it frightens too many commissioners to do it. It's too much commitment, too much money. What if the first series flops? Then they're the people who paid for extra six episodes of a show nobody wants.
People protect their careers when this stuff goes on. Red Dwarf is as slam-dunk an opportunity as can be in TV - the ratings were just beyond extraordinary - so if a two-series commission can happen anywhere, it can happen with Dwarf. But it's still a long-shot. Nobody should expect it.
Well we are all wishing everyone involved all the best for certain!
long live red dwarf
i pray we get another 2 series somehow
I look forward to hearing the news soon then. Fingers crossed that it's good news.
I would offer to picket...but, there is a logistical issue with getting there in time.
From Doug - "Progress on Big Thursday. 4 Weeks then contracting cast can begin I'm told. Time will tell."
Just saw that on twitter. Looks promising at least!
Sounds like good news, at least it's a step in the right direction.
promising, naylor still sounds on guard though lol
Yeah why did he add the 'time will tell'? That sounds fairly encouraging...
Just because they can start contracting doesn't mean it will definitely go ahead. Look at just how far they got with the film, before it fell through!
I'm not saying that to be pessimistic though. It certainly is a step in the right direction and I think the chance this will happen at some point is fairly good.
It seems all has gone quiet after Doug was informed that contracts could be put into place in 4 weeks. Now it must be about 7 weeks since this news and no info regarding anything. Has it gone quiet because nothing is happening or could it just be that the wheels are in motion but things like contracts etc are really none of our business and private matters.
If things do go ahead, one thing I would like to happen is the format of opening credits changed. Like so many new programs (erm at least last 10 years) I dislike spoilers in the opening credits, it's like they put all the best bits in the credits and although there out of context with whats happening it does spoil the suprise a bit.