Mike Bassett: Manager
Mike Bassett: Manager was a TV series spin off of the feature film for ITV. It ran for six episodes - averaged 3 million viewers per episode and received some great reviews (particularly for an ITV sitcom).
I exec produced the series with my writing partner John Smith - and wrote it with John and a couple of other excellent writers: Mark Burton and Pete Sinclair.
It was directed by my good friend Martin Dennis who directed Men Behaving Badly, Black Books and Coupling - amongst dozens of other shows.
It was commissioned by Sioned Wiliam who is one of the best execs I've ever worked with (she produced the wonderful Father Ted and Big Train). She trusted us to deliver the show and was brilliantly supportive throughout. We were lined up to do a second series - when there was sudden change at the top in ITV. Head of comedy (Sioned), head of programmes and the head of ITV himself - all of them big supporters of the show - left within three weeks. Though we'd been promised a second series (the reviews had been great and the viewing figures were the best ITV had for a half hour comedy in years) the new guys decided to cancel the show. Really disappointing moment - but still very proud of the series and Ricky was brilliant as ever.
"This is a very rare thing indeed in the TV world - an ITV sitcom that is actually Premier League funny....Pick of the Week." News of The World. "
It's genius." Daily Mail.
"The effortlessly gobby Tomlinson's in his element with a script that rattles along with dry one liners." The Sunday Telegraph.
"Mike Bassett: Manager is an extremely funny spin off series." The Times.