Channel 4 has confirmed a second series of the critically-acclaimed sitcom Back from Emmy-award winning Simon Blackwell (Veep, In The Loop, Peep Show), starring the inimitable and award-winning David Mitchell and Robert Webb (Peep Show, That Mitchell and Webb Look). The series follows Stephen (Mitchell) as he tries to follow in his recently deceased father’s footsteps and take over the family business, but his plans are foiled by the unexpected return of his estranged foster brother, Andrew (Webb). Supporting cast include Penny Downie, Louise Brealey, Olivia Poulet, Geoffrey McGivern, Jessica Gunning, John MacMillan, Matthew Holness and Oliver Maltman.
Critics called the series “a triumph and explosively funny too” (The Observer), “establishing a comic style of our era…with clips that will be replayed when this decade is summed up” (The Sunday Times), “deliciously wicked humour to enjoy” (The Times) “…just as funny and heart-warming as [Mitchell & Webb] ever was” (Daily Telegraph), “impossible not to laugh at” (Daily Mirror), “A glorious mix of fun and filth” (The Guardian) and “Back is on splendid comedy form” (Radio Times).
The second, six-part (6 x 30) series will go into production next summer.
The first series of Back attracted an average consolidated audience of 1 million viewers per episode. The series outperformed Channel 4’s slot average for share of its key demographics of 16-34 year olds (+28%) and ABC1s (+21%). The launch episode was the most successful Channel 4 comedy debut in over a year and the series is the best performing new comedy on All 4 in 5 years.
David Mitchell said: “I’m so pleased Channel 4 have given their backing to bringing Back back for a second series. I look back on Back series one with tremendous pride and can’t wait to be back working with the whole Back pack when we’re all back together making Back.”
Robert Webb added: “We’re all delighted that Back is where it belongs: back.”
Writer Simon Blackwell said: “I’m enormously happy that Channel 4 have asked us to hang around for a lock-in at the John Barleycorn.”
Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy at Channel 4, said: “Writers of Simon’s calibre don’t just turn up unannounced, at a graveside, claiming to be your foster brother, so it was easy to seize the opportunity to work with him, David, Robert and Big Talk again on this brilliantly funny show.”
Kenton Allen, CEO Big Talk Productions added: “We’re thrilled that C4 have moved so swiftly to recommission a second series. They have been fantastic supporters of Big Talk, Simon, David and Robert over the years so we’re delighted to be working with the C4 Comedy Connoisseurs on another instalment of the twisted lives of the regulars at The John Barleycorn Public House.”
Back has been recommissioned for Channel 4 by Head of Comedy Fiona McDermott and Commissioning Editor Jack Bayles. The series is produced by That Mitchell & Webb Company in association Big Talk Productions. Blackwell, Mitchell and Webb will once more serve as executive producers, along with Kenton Allen and Matthew Justice. International Distribution is with BBC Worldwide. Big Talk is a part of ITV Studios.