Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Avalon In America

Variety have announced a wave of US projects for Avalon, the British comedy behemoth that stand astride live shows, the telly, radio and even books.

A few notable TV shows stand out on the crammed slate: an adaptation of Frank Skinner's Shane for CBS - no longer with Skinner in the title role, though he is attached to produce; a sitcom called Blue, set in the offices of a suicide hotline; the high-concept supervillain show Evil Genius, in which the titular baddie finds it hard keeping the trains running on time once he finally attains total world domination.

The company has a stranglehold on UK comedy and has, of course, ired a great many comedians not in their stable as a result. Many argue that Avalon's influence is too all pervasive, that comedy has suffered as a result, be it by homogenisation or simply a lack of opportunity for other producers and promoters to get much of a foothold in a swamped playing field.

As an outsider, looking in, it's easier for me to see, in fact, that Avalon simply represent some of the funniest acts in the country, if not the world.

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