via press release:
THE FAMILY THAT MAKES YOURS SEEM NORMAL
Friday Night Dinner joins BBC AMERICA’s comedy block Ministry of Laughs
Every family has their quirks. The Goodmans, a traditional but not strictly observant Jewish family, prove they are no exception in the new comedy Friday Night Dinner, created by Robert Popper (South Park, Peep Show, Look Around You) and set to premiere this July on BBC AMERICA’s brand new comedy block, Ministry of Laughs. Some things never change and for the Goodmans it’s their weekly dinner, where the brothers act like kids again and Mom and Dad are as embarrassing as they always have been. From creepy neighbors to family meetings in the restroom, there is never a dull moment at the Goodman residence. Friday Night Dinner stars Tamsin Greig (Episodes), Simon Bird (The Inbetweeners), Paul Ritter (Pulling), Mark Heap (Spaced) and newcomer Tom Rosenthal and will debut following the BBC AMERICA premiere of the family comedy Outnumbered. Friday Night Dinner premieres on the Ministry of Laughs Saturday, July 30, 11:30pm ET/PT.
Every Friday night, brothers Adam (Bird) and Jonny (Rosenthal) return to their parents’ home for dinner. They consider the weekly event a necessary annoyance – necessary because they get fed, and annoying because, well, they have to spend the evening with Mom (Greig) and Dad (Ritter). It’s not that Mom and Dad aren’t wonderful. They really are. But Dad slugs ketchup straight from the bottle, Mom is obsessed with Masterchef and even Grandma likes to wear her new bikini around the house. If that wasn’t bad enough, Jim their eccentric neighbor, who’s terrified of his own dog, is constantly making up excuses to stop by with his four-legged friend.
As for the next generation, girlfriends are an issue – Jonny’s girlfriend, Alison, is nothing less than made-up and not even the internet can sort out a “female” for Adam. It doesn’t help that Adam writes jingles for toilet paper commercials and Jonny’s favorite party trick is jumping out of garbage bags onto unsuspecting victims.
Creator Robert Popper says: “I’m so excited Friday Night Dinner is coming to BBC AMERICA. I mean, what could be better? The BBC and America – together. Hoorah!”
Ministry of Laughs hosted by Chris Hardwick premieres a raft of irreverent and inventive award-winning comedies from the UK and launched June 18 with The Graham Norton Show, The Inbetweeners and Come Fly With Me. Joining Friday Night Dinner and Graham Norton this July is the multi-award-winning comedy series Outnumbered, which captures the turbulence of family life in a way not seen before – at its most deliciously chaotic moments. Later this year, the Ministry of Laughs will premiere new seasons of The Thick of It, Free Agents and That Mitchell & Webb Look.
FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER – CAST AND PRODUCTION CREDITS
Mom (Jackie Goodman) Tamsin Greig
Adam Simon Bird
Dad (Martin Goodman) Paul Ritter
Jim Mark Heap
Jonny Tom Rosenthal
Sheila Frances Barber (The Street)
Grandma Frances Cuka (Casualty)
Chris Matthew Holness (Free Agents, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace)
Tanya Tuppence Middleton (Tormented)
Val Tracy-Ann Oberman (Doctor Who, EastEnders)
Written and produced by Robert Popper (South Park, Peep Show, Look Around You)
Executive Producers Kenton Allen (Free Agents, That Mitchell and Webb Look, The Royle
Nira Park (Paul, Scott Pilgram vs. the World, Spaced)
Caroline Leddy (The Inbetweeners, Four Lions, Big Train)
Friday Night Dinner is a Popper Pictures/Big Talk production for Channel 4.
When Adam and Jonny come home to find Dad secretly peering into his underpants with a magnifying glass, they’re desperate to find out what he’s looking at. Meanwhile, Mom is just trying to have a nice Friday night, but Jim – the neighbor who’s terrified of his own dog – keeps interrupting the meal. Dad takes Adam – who’s single – into the restroom to have a private chat about ‘females.’ Soon the whole family is in the restroom quizzing poor Adam. Jonny is loving it. And finally, the secret behind Dad’s pants-peering is revealed.
Episode one premieres July 30, 11:30p.m. ET/PT
Mom and Dad are having a clear-out, but Dad is reluctant to throw away all his shabby old science magazines, and ropes in Jonny to secretly hide the stash back at his flat. Mom is very excited because it’s the finale of Masterchef – Jonny thinks it’s ‘Mastershit’. Mom is trying to get on with dinner, but their neighbor Jim keeps interrupting to use their toilet as he’s broken his own loo in mysterious circumstances. Meanwhile, Dad has forgotten a man is coming to pick up their old sofabed. Will Mom even get to see her precious Masterchef?
Episode two premieres August 6, 11:30p.m. ET/PT
Mom’s excited about the new curtains, but the boys and Grandma think they’re horrible. Mom is annoyed. Meanwhile, Dad drops Mom’s beef casserole all over the kitchen floor. It looks disgusting. Dad scoops it back into the dish. The boys are not happy about their meal. Later, the argument about the curtains spreads, and Jonny leaves in a huff to go to the pub. Adam joins him. The only cash they have is a £1 from Grandma. That won’t pay for the two pints of beer they ordered. At home, Mom and Grandma are still not talking, so it rests with Adam to resolve the family argument – can he save the day?
Episode three premieres August 13, 11:30p.m. ET/PT
When Mom finds out that Dad didn’t throw away his old boxes of science magazines in their clear-out, she goes mad. So Dad builds a bonfire and promises he’ll burn them all. But Dad is only pretending to burn them, instead squirreling the boxes off to his shed in the garden. Mom is excited as her best friend, Val, is popping around with her new dress for her daughter Karen’s wedding. Adam and Jonny are convinced Karen has a face like a foot. Meanwhile, Jim’s dog goes missing, leaving his owner distraught. Later, Val comes round. She looks just like Mom: similar hair, similar clothes and – according to Dad – ‘similar bottoms.’ She tries on her dress. The men are instantly bored. Will Jim ever find Wilson, and will Mom venture into Dad’s shed to discover the truth behind his ‘pretend bonfire?’
Episode four premieres August 20, 11:30p.m. ET/PT
It’s Adam’s birthday. As he arrives home, a silver Mercedes almost runs him over. Inside is Sheila Bloom – or ‘Bitchface’ as Adam and his family call her. ‘Bitchface’ is famously obsessed with her Mercedes, and after some catty remarks about Adam’s car she speeds off. Dad reveals that he used to have a thing with Bitchface years ago. The boys can’t believe it. Mom’s not happy. Later, the family abandons dinner and goes for Chinese, but Bitchface is there. An awkward chat ensues, and finally Dad reveals exactly what he got up to with her…
Episode five premieres August 27, 11:30p.m. ET/PT
Adam comes home to find the house looking immaculate, with classical music playing in the living room, Mom’s posh bowls on the dinner table, Dad in a smart suit, and – most mysteriously – the table set for five. The doorbell rings and in comes Tanya Green, a girl Mom has been trying to fix up with Adam for months. What follows is possibly the most excruciating family dinner scene of all time. Meanwhile, Jim has been locked out as his dog, Wilson, has swallowed his keys. Inside, the blind date continues, but will Mom’s dream of an Adam and Tanya wedding come true?
Episode six premieres September 3, 11:30p.m. ET/PT
Adam is the older brother. He’s in his mid 20s and trying to forge a career as a musician. At the moment, though, he’s been forced to try his luck as a jingle writer, but he hasn’t had much luck… Adam’s single, and Mom and Dad constantly ask him about his relationship status. Mom regularly tries to pair Adam off with a girl called Tanya Green, while Dad tries to coerce him into looking for “females” on the internet. Adam quite likes going home for dinner on a Friday, but would also be quite happy to leave after about four minutes.
Jonny is the younger brother. He’s in his early 20s and works as a realtor. Compared to his “failed musician” brother, Jonny has “a proper job.” When he’s not teasing Adam about his lack of a “female,” he’s jumping out at him from inside a garbage bag. Jonny has a girlfriend called Alison. However, no one in the family has ever met her. Alison seems to spend a lot of time with her friend, Simon, or as Adam describes him, “Alison’s boyfriend.” Jonny is definitely cooler than Adam… but that’s not saying much.
A grown up lady with a teenage sense of humor, Jackie Goodman is funny, fiery and occasionally a bit saucy. She’s always the first to enthuse about something, and always the first to get annoyed. Mom loves Masterchef, men with nice bums and having a chat with her best friend, Val (who has the same hair) – but most of all she loves her family. Mom would love her eldest son, Adam, to hurry up and find a girlfriend, telling him: “Why don’t you go on the internet and have a little look with Dad?” Mom adores her boys and fusses over them. In fact, she still cuts Jonny’s toenails.
Martin Goodman is a little bit odd. Fond of going shirtless inside and out, Dad is a true one-off. He enjoys drinking ketchup straight from the bottle and snaffling the odd piece of toast straight from the garbage. Dad is hard-of-hearing and wears a hearing aid, often using his deafness to get out of scrapes with Mom.
Jim is the Goodman’s neighbor, and quite possibly the only man in the world who’s terrified of his own dog. The dog’s name is Wilson, and Jim is never seen anywhere without him. Jim always manages to interrupt Friday night dinner. Deep down he’d love to be invited in for some grub, but somewhere even deeper down he’s got a huge crush on Jackie.
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.
Big Talk is one of the UK’s leading film and television production companies. Launched by Nira Park in 1995, it has an impeccable track record in developing talent such as Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright whose cult television series Spaced paved the way for Big Talk’s first hit films Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Matthew Justice (Managing Director) and Kenton Allen (Chief Executive) joined the team, and last year two new six-part comedies were broadcast to record audiences and critical acclaim: the BAFTA-winning Rev. (BBC Two), starring Tom Hollander, and Him & Her (BBC Three). Friday Night Dinner is Big Talk’s first co-production with Popper Pictures, broadcast in the UK this year by Channel 4, who immediately commissioned a second series. Current productions include second series of Rev. and Him & Her, and new commissions The Pranker (with Running Bare Films for BBC Three), Chickens (Channel 4) and Threesome (Comedy Central UK). Big Talk is now also the home of entertainment formats Show Me The Funny: Stand-Up Showdown (ITV) a nationwide contest for stand-up comedians culminating in a live final, and King Of … (Channel 4) a comedy chat show. This year NBC has commissioned a series based on their Channel 4 show Free Agents. Starring Hank Azaria, it will be broadcast in the US from September. In film, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, starring Michael Cera and directed by Edgar Wright, has been hailed as a ‘modern masterpiece’. Paul, written by and starring Simon Pegg & Nick Frost and directed by Greg Mottola has been a huge hit worldwide. Attack the Block, written and directed by Joe Cornish, has been released in the UK to stellar reviews and will open in the US this summer.
KIDS:3 PARENTS:2 – LET THE GAMES BEGIN
Outnumbered makes BBC AMERICA premiere on Ministry of Laughs
The multi-award-winning comedy series, Outnumbered, captures the turbulence of family life in a way not seen before – at its most deliciously chaotic moments. Two parents, played by Hugh Dennis and Claire Skinner, and their three children are locked in an unequal battle. Using elements of improvisation, Outnumbered sees the world as much from the children’s as the adults’ point of view. The parents constantly try to keep their children under control, but completely fail to do so. Eleven-year-old Jake worries about everything from starting at his new school to the world being sucked into a black hole, seven-year-old Ben constantly lies to his parents and always wants to watch Little Britain, and five-year-old Karen seems to have a limitless number of questions. Outnumbered premieres on the Ministry of Laughs Saturday, July 30, 11:00pm ET/PT.
OUTNUMBERED – CAST AND PRODUCTION CREDITS
Dad (Pete) Hugh Dennis (Mock The Week, My Hero)
Mom (Sue) Claire Skinner (Sense and Sensibility, Life Begins)
Jake Tyger Drew-Honey (The Armstrong and Miller Show)
Ben Daniel Roche (Just William)
Karen Ramona Marquez (The King’s Speech)
Auntie Angela Samantha Bond (Die Another Day, Downton Abbey)
Grandad David Ryall (The League of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse)
Jane Hattie Morahan (Sense & Sensibility, The Golden Compass)
Written, directed Andy Hamilton (Drop The Dead Donkey, Trevor’s World of Sport, Bedtime)
and produced by Guy Jenkin (Drop The Dead Donkey, Crossing The Floor, Jeffrey Archer – The Truth)
Outnumbered is a Hat Trick Production for BBC One.
It’s a typically unpredictable day in the rollercoaster of life with small children. Three small children in fact – a regal five-year-old girl with a talent for interrogation and an interest in nits, a seven-year-old boy who could out-fib Jeffrey Archer, and an eleven-year-old who is gearing up for his scary first day at secondary school. Mom and Dad go on as they always do – attempting to raise their kids with the minimum amount of emotional damage for all concerned. Episode one premieres July 30, 11:00p.m. ET/PT
The celebration of parental incompetence continues, with the problems piling up for Mom and Dad. Their little girl is outwitting them in the endless negotiations about what she will condescend to eat, and seven-year-old Ben is further developing his extraordinary talent for lying. In addition, Dad has strayed into a job-threatening controversy at school, while Mom is starting a turf war with her sister. Samantha Bond joins the cast as Auntie Angela. Episode two premieres August 6, 11:00p.m. ET/PT
Stuck on the A3 highway, Mom tries to keep the peace in a car containing a new-age Auntie, a bewildered Grandfather, three fractious kids and several full bladders. Meanwhile, Dad is waiting outside the Headmaster’s office, after an ill-judged joke involving obesity and Ramadan. Later at the urban Farm, discussions about death, heaven, racism, bird flu and granddad lead to raised tempers, which boil over in the living hell that is a gift shop. As a hectic day draws to an end, Mom and Dad look fondly at their sleeping kids in the back of the car and have a brief moment of contentment – until they notice that Ben’s acquired a new friend. Episode three premieres August 13, 11:00p.m. ET/PT
Ben’s fibbing goes to a whole new level as parents at a school soccer match begin to compliment Dad on his friendship with Gordon Brown and his SAS training. A romantic night in for Mom and Dad doesn’t quite go to plan, as Karen has a little friend round – whose mom is over an hour late picking her up. When she does finally arrive, she insists on pouring her heart out over a very long cup of tea. As their romantic evening recedes into the distance, Jake raises fears about his friend’s parents’ divorce and calls from his form teacher bring more alarming news. Episode four premieres August 20, 11:00p.m. ET/PT
Ben’s on the case again – this time he’s got a mystery illness and is far too ill to go to school, he says. Auntie Angela’s been dumped by her boyfriend, so the family rally round to cheer her up in the best way they know how, sparking off a jolly discussion about Nazis and rat bags… Meanwhile, Dad’s little problem at the school is becoming public knowledge and he begins to wonder if he might be out of a job. But Mom of course, is safe in her job. Or is she? Episode five premieres August 27, 11:00p.m. ET/PT
Five-year-old Karen decides she’s had enough of mom’s nagging and announces that she’s leaving home, for Spain, or possibly Greenland. Preparations are in full swing for a dinner party, and Dad agrees to let Ben crack some eggs – which is a mistake. As the guests arrive, Ben gets his first taste of gin and Mom gets some unwelcome news from Angela. The drink loosens tongues. Things get said that can never be unsaid. The dinner party becomes a disaster zone – and this time the parents can’t blame any of it on the kids. Episode six premieres September 3, 11:00p.m. ET/PT