UK Original 'Free Agents' Premieres In October On BBC AMERICA

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August 29th, 2011

via press release:

UK ORIGINAL Free Agents PREMIERES IN OCTOBER ON BBC AMERICA

Aug 29, 2011 | BBC America

From the team behind The InbetweenersSpaced and this summer’s acclaimed film Attack The Block

Free Agents, the hit romantic comedy set in The Office of a London talent agency starring Anthony Head (Buffy, Little Britain), Stephen Mangan (Episodes) and Sharon Horgan (The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret), joins BBC AMERICA’s new Saturday night comedy block, the Ministry of Laughs, with back-to-back episodes premiering in October.  The award-winning team behind this U.S. premiere series includes producer Nira Park (Attack the BlockPaul) and executive producers Matthew Justice (Attack the BlackRev.) and Iain Morris (The Inbetweeners).  Free Agents premieres Saturday, October 8, 11:00pm and 11:30pm ET/PT as part of the Ministry of Laughs.  A U.S. version of Free Agents, also starring Anthony Head, who reprises his role as Stephen, premieres in September on NBC.

Stephen (Head) is the brash, sex obsessed, go-find-me-more-clients boss who encourages open discussion of everyone’s sex life.  He’s quick to offer advice and sarcasm to Alex (Mangan) who’s suffering the fallout of a divorce and wondering if he can ever date again.  Meantime Alex has a one night stand with his colleague Helen (Horgan) who’s suffering through her own misery with the death of her fiancé.   They are perfect for each other, according to Alex.  According to Helen, he has got to be joking. There is no way she is having sex with Alex.  Again.  Not after the last two times they had sex. Absolutely not.   The on-but-mostly-off romance between them might just have a future if they can ever shake off their pasts.

Free Agents joins the Ministry of Laughs,hosted by Chris Hardwick, which premieres a raft of irreverent and inventive award-winning comedies from the UK. The block begins each week with the UK’s biggest talk show, The Graham Norton Show, and has featured hit series The InbetweenersCome Fly With MeFriday Night Dinner and Outnumbered.

Free Agents is a Big Talk (Friday Night Dinner) and Bwark (The Inbetweeners) production for Channel 4 and distributed by BBC Worldwide.

CAST AND PRODUCTION CREDITS

Alex Taylor                         Stephen Mangan (EpisodesGreen Wing)

Helen Ryan                      Sharon Horgan (The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, Pulling)

Stephen Caudwell          Anthony Head (Buffy, Little Britain)

Dan Mackey                     Matthew Holness (Friday Night DinnerThe Office)

 

Written by                          Chris Niel

Producer                           Nira Park (Attack the BlockPaulSpaced)

Director                             James Griffiths (Up All NightEpisodes)

Executive Producers      Matthew Justice(Attack the BlockHim & HerRev.)

Iain Morris (The InbetweenersMeet Ricky Gervais)

 

Episode 1

Alex and Helen, two emotionally traumatized talent agents, cope with the aftermath of their drunken one-night stand.

Talent agent Alex, going through a painful divorce, and his colleague Helen, recently bereaved after the death of her fiancé, have a one-night stand that ends in tears. His tears, not hers. Alex views this unfortunate experience as a perfectly good basis for a long-term relationship. Helen doesn’t. Next morning they go to work at the successful and glamorous talent agency CMA, a kind of emotional emergency department where everyone (especially Stephen, their charismatic sex-pest of a boss) is as screwed up as Alex and Helen. As their working day progresses, Alex doggedly stalks Helen around Soho in London, trying to get her to be his girlfriend.  Alex, homeless, returns to CMA to spend another night on his office sofa, while Helen heads off to pick up supplies for the evening’s binge-drinking. So by the time Alex shows up uninvited on her doorstep, her Cabernet Sauvignon goggles are firmly on, and their one-night-stand quickly becomes a two-night-stand, maybe even more. That is until Alex, missing his kids, repeats his crying-after-sex trick and once again all bets are off.  Premieres Saturday, October 8, 11:00pm ET/PT.

Episode 2

Stephen makes Alex and Helen attend an agent’s funeral in order to steal his old friend and late colleague’s clients.

Alex is still homeless. Helen finds him sleeping in his car one morning.  And at work Alex’s day gets even worse. Stephen tells them his old friend and rival agent, Charlie Renfrew, has died.  He wants all CMA agents to attend the funeral as a mark of respect and to steal Renfrew’s clients.  Alex is deeply depressed that he’s about to become a professional grave-robber.  Helen, however, enjoys buying a new hat for the funeral, on expenses, until Alex reminds her this will be the first funeral she’s been to since Pete, her fiancé, died.  Helen heads for the nearest liquor store.  That evening Helen is still drunk as she has dinner with Pete’s sister Sophie and her husband Malcolm.  Sophie is a control-freak and competitive griever who has never liked Helen, but in an attempt to force a connection with her dead brother’s fiancée, she asks Helen to be godmother to her baby daughter whom she has named Peta (or ‘Pete’ for short).  At Charlie Renfrew’s funeral, Alex accidentally finds himself chatting up a successful young actor, then immediately antagonizes him, while Helen drunkenly confronts the vicar about the ethics of being a godmother if you don’t actually believe in God. They both make a run for it…  Premieres Saturday, October 8, 11:30pm ET/PT.

Episode 3

Alex meets an old flame when Helen posts his details on a dating website called boyfrlendswlthbaggage.com.

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and Alex has decided it’s time for him to start dating again.  Or rather Helen has decided for him.  She posts his details on a dating website, while opting out of Valentines herself by arranging something as unromantic as possible: having dinner with her elderly accountant.  Alex says no to online dating, but one night’s lodging with Stephen is enough to convince him he had better find a girlfriend to move in with ASAP.  He rings Helen for his password (she is secretly logged into his account having a snoop but quickly logs off) and he discovers a drunken video-message from Sarah Stephens, an old girlfriend.  Meanwhile, Stephen has fallen in love, and asks Helen’s advice on how to give up his lecherous ways.  But on Valentine’s Night, Stephen quickly becomes aroused as a side effect of being emotionally open, prompting him to ask his beloved to do something disgusting.  Helen’s night doesn’t turn out as planned when her accountant sends Raz (his very good-looking, but gay, deputy) instead.  And Sarah turns out to be funny and attractive; Alex is seeing her again next week. Premieres Saturday, October 15, 11:00pm ET/PT.

Episode 4

Helen ropes in Alex as a childcare-expert and diaper-changer when she is forced to babysit her goddaughter for the day.

It’s Friday night and Alex is at his latest temporary home, a one-bedroom rented flat of Stephen’s that he is having redecorated.  Alex is webchatting with his kids when they accidentally reveal that their mom has a new boyfriend.  When Helen shows up the next morning with her baby god-daughter, begging Alex to be chief baby-sitter for the day, he unexpectedly agrees, suggesting they all go to the park – the park which, as Helen discovers, is where Alex’s ex-wife and kids (and therefore new boyfriend) are likely to be found. When his plan to spy on his kids’ new stepfather is rumbled, Alex relaxes and takes charge of Peta, and Helen sees a new side to him – the responsible grown-up. Their day of pretending to be co-parents is interrupted by a summons from Stephen to an emergency board meeting. It turns out to be a party he has arranged because he is feeling lonely. Driving home, Helen asks Alex to move in to her spare room. He would love that. In fact, if Helen is out tomorrow, could he cook lunch at her flat for Sarah and his kids? he asks. “There’s only so many times you can go to the zoo!” At the zoo with Sarah, Alex’s kids ask him why their friend’s mom saw him hiding behind a tree spying on them with his girlfriend and a baby. Premieres Saturday, October 15, 11:30pm ET/PT.

Episode 5

Alex organizes a surprise birthday party for Helen. Alex is in a meeting with Raz, the accountant that Helen accidentally had dinner with on Valentine’s Day.

Raz is supposed to be sorting out Alex’s debts, but he fancies himself as a life-coach. Pushed into thinking about what he would like his life to be in 10 years’ time, Alex realizes that he is imagining himself to be with Helen. He arranges a surprise party for her birthday. Or rather control-freak Sophie, Pete’s sister, arranges it. On the night of the party, while Sophie is getting the flat ready, Alex finds a way to keep Helen busy. He claims Doctor Two Scenes (CMA’s nickname for Alex’s client Roger Comerford, who only ever has two scenes in every episode of the BBC hospital drama-soap Holby City) has written a script he would like to talk to Helen about, and arranges for them to have a drink on the night of her birthday.  But the evening falls apart later when Alex confides in a deranged Sophie about his feelings for Helen, her dead brother’s fiancée, and Sophie punches him in the face. And Helen is so drunk that she completely misunderstands Alex’s declaration of love and goes off to have sex with Doctor Two Scenes “because he may be a very unsuccessful actor, but he’s a great salsa-dancer.” Premieres Saturday, October 22, 11:00pm ET/PT.

Episode 6

Alex and Helen’s relationship issues come to a head at Stephen’s latest wedding. Alex is sulking about Helen having sex with Doctor Two Scenes.

After a late-night argument, a defensive, drunken Helen storms off to the historic town of Colchester to have sex with the Doctor again, while Alex is dragged off by Stephen to an upmarket brothel, where he introduces Alex to Wendy, the glamorous madam, whom he is marrying on Saturday, with Alex as his Best Man. Alex discovers that Helen didn’t go to Colchester, but did go to Ruislip Crematorium to try to visit Pete’s headstone – at 3 am. Her drinking and life are out of control. She decides to sell her flat and leave CMA. While Alex bumps into Sarah Stephens (whom he has been avoiding), Helen attends an interview to train as a therapist and comes to the realization that actually she just needs to be in therapy. She’s not leaving CMA and doesn’t want Alex to move out of her flat. In fact, she… But Alex interrupts. He has already arranged to move in to Sarah Stephens’ spare room. And a week later, at Stephen’s wedding, Alex admits he has moved into Sarah’s bed. Twice. It looks as though it is definitely not going to happen for Alex and Helen. Until Helen makes an emotional declaration to Alex. They kiss. And kiss. And then realize that everyone, including Sarah and Alex’s kids, are staring at them… Premieres Saturday, October 22, 11:30pm ET/PT.

 

Twitter:@BBCAMERICA Hashtag: #FreeAgents

BBC AMERICA delivers U.S. audiences high-quality, innovative and intelligent programming. Established in 1998, it has been the launch pad for talent embraced by American mainstream pop culture, including Ricky Gervais, Gordon Ramsay, Graham Norton, and successful programming formats including ground-breaking non-scripted television like Top Gear and top-rated science-fiction like Doctor Who. Owned by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, BBC AMERICA has attracted both critical acclaim and major awards including an Emmy, four Golden Globes and ten Peabody Awards. The channel attracts one of cable’s most affluent and educated audiences and is available on digital cable and satellite TV in more than 68 million homes. It broadcasts in both standard and high-definition, with content available On Demand across all major digital platforms. Online, www.bbcamerica.com is the place to go to dig deeper into pop culture with a British twist.

 
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