As expected, the BBC were not bluffing when they announced their intention to offer selected new content online for an exclusive period in a new trial structure, as a new comedy series has today been announced as the first series to take on the format.
Starring Peter Kay (Britain’s Got the Pop Factor…and Possibly a New Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly on Ice!), new BBC One show Car Share will make its debut on the BBC iPlayer online catch-up service. The comedy sees Kay star as ‘a supermarket worker’ forced to take his daily commute alongside a colleague in a company car-pooling scheme, with the comedy expected to come from the conversations that occur during the journeys.
It will also be notable as the first time that the stand-up, who is also currently working on Secret Millionaire spoof Malckay’s Millions for Channel 4, will have a show running on the lead BBC channel, having had most of his content aired with the commercial rival.
Each episode of Car Hire will run for half-hour (all 6 of which have been directed by Kay), and will officially launch the new BBC trial scheme in which full episodes of shows are premiered online (as opposed to small previews or trailers), with this sitcom set to offer up 3 of the planned 40 hours of content allocated for the purpose in 2013.
Kay noted of his upcoming series, which does not yet have a premiere date: “To be finally working with the BBC on a new comedy is a great opportunity. And the idea of two people car sharing to work each day really appealed to me, as it highlights the comedy in the minutiae of the daily trek and allows the spiralling conversations of life to unwind in all of their glory.”
Danny Cohen, the channel controller of BBC One, added of the significance of Car Share to the iPlayer premiere initiative: “It is hugely exciting that Peter Kay is coming to BBC One with his new series – even more so with the innovative plan we have to launch the show online.”
With a chance to make history at least within the BBC’s internal records, Car Hire will at least begin life as the most-watched BBC online-exclusive series, but will it be able to leave a lasting legacy in the minds of viewers. If anyone can break down barriers and better the previous bests, it is Peter Kay, comedian and competitive marathon couch rider: