Rainmaker Newsroom


C21 FEATURE: UK comedy carries on abroad

LONDON SCREENINGS: The ability of streamers to break down geographical borders means UK comedies both old and new are finding audiences abroad, but how is this changing what’s on offer back home?


While the latest report on UK export figures by producers association Pact showed scripted drama remains the key driver of international exports for UK companies, exports of UK comedy programming tripled in 2020/21 compared with the year before, accounting for 9% of revenue.

The arrival of streaming newcomers Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock and Paramount+ alongside Netflix and Amazon Prime Video has helped to keep UK exports healthy during the pandemic.

But what does this mean for the traditional half-hour comedies that the country is so famous for producing on linear TV? Despite the decent export figures, things ain’t what they used to be and the format is undergoing a steady evolution.


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[Subscription editorial, C21Media]

“The international partners have been drawn to the talent of David and Michael, along with the guest stars,” says Karen Wise, head of sales at the show’s distributor, Rainmaker Content. “There’s an authenticity to the show that’s also captured audiences, and the relatability of Staged is something people have found funny and appealing at a time when people needed to laugh.”