‘Viewing habits are so fragmented, buyers are always looking for something they can hang their marketing on & Dylan’s track record qualifies’

Distributor Hat Trick International
Producer Hat Trick Productions
Length 5 x 15 minutes
Broadcaster BBC2 (UK)

It’s been a while since comedian Dylan Moran showcased his idiosyncratic skills on TV, where he is probably best known for his early 2000s Channel 4 sitcom Black Books.

Now he is back, as writer of BBC2 sitcom Stuck, in which he also stars as Dan, one half of a couple in a rut. Dan has recently been made redundant, while partner Carla (Morgana Robinson) wonders whether their troubled relationship is all she can expect from life. Add their age gap to the mix, and the reappearance of Carla’s ex-girlfriend Maya, and the scene is set for a dark, sometimes surreal sitcom.

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Series producer Nick Coupe says Moran’s involvement was a key attraction for him. “What Dylan shows in Stuck is a laser-like take on what it means to be in a long-term relationship. There’s a wit to his writing even when the arguments are at their most ferocious.”

Robinson’s star is firmly in the ascendancy following appearances on Taskmaster and in 2021 sitcom Newark, Newark, Coupe says.

“She is really stretching her dramatic muscles now,” he adds. “She is so instinctive and funny and warm - but also capable of delivering the most cutting lines.”

HTI director of sales Sarah Tong says Moran’s involvement will also drive international sales: “Viewing habits are so fragmented now that buyers are always looking for something they can hang their marketing on – and Dylan’s track record qualifies.”

Less helpful is the series’ 5 x 15-minute format. From a creative perspective, Coupe says, the unusual structure “meant we could really focus on the characters rather than having lots of sub-plots weaving through the series”.

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For Tong, it will make Stuck a tougher sell – but she believes “brave buyers” will be rewarded for taking a chance, and points out that many broadcasters now have the flexibility to schedule shows in either a linear or an on-demand environment.

“Stuck could do a really good job in some schedules – it works well either as snackable content or binge viewing,” she says, SBS Australia, a regular supporter of British comedy, has already given Stuck the nod.

No decision has been made yet on a second series, but both Moran and Hat Trick are interested, Coupe says.