Tuesday, 23 June 2009


Great news: ITV has recommissioned prestigious detective drama Lewis, known as Inspector Lewis in the US, for a new series (http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/tv/a161616/itv-recommissions-lewis.html). This announcement comes after the justified cancellation of Primeval, whose lame third series kissed the shark (1).

Honestly, the news of a fourth series of Lewis, starring Kevin Whately and Lawrence Fox, is a relief after some interrogation about the show's future regarding its cost and the difficulties of ITV (http://www.brandrepublic.com/News/887661/ITV-cost-cuts-hit-drama-daytime-shows/). To cancel Lewis and renew Primeval would have been a terrible move for both the future of drama in the UK and the future of drama and series in general on ITV. Amongst series to be noticed this summer on ITV: series three of the wonderful Kingdom, starring Mr Stephen Fry, and one of the most hilarious situation comedies of the decade: Mumbai calling.

Created and produced by Allan McKeown, Mumbai calling stars Sanjeev Bhaskar (Goodness Gracious Me, The Kumars at N°42) as Kenny Gubta, a British Indian accountant born in Wembley and sent to Teknobable, a Mumbai call center, by his boss to make it more profitable. Kenny works with Dev Raja (the excellent Nitin Ganatra), who prefers chasing his female staff, and no-nonsense Teri Johnson (Daisy Beaumont), an assessor from London headquarters. The series, shown on ITV two years after the original pilot (2007), is entirely shot in India with a substantial cast of Indian actors.

The fast-paced dialogues and gags are pure joy: each episode opens with a joke around a situation between a client on phone and an employee of Teknobable (comedienne Tracey Ullman, Allan McKeown's wife, is one of the voices on phone), the trio hires a failed British stage actor (the great Richard E. Grant) as a coach but the man is xenophobic, Amar - Dev's assistant - loses self-confidence when his parents want to arrange his marriage, etc... Should ITV not commission another series of this gem they should do a movie from it.

(1) http://tattard2.blogspot.com/2009/06/primeval-walking-with-dinosaurs.html
(2) http://tattard2.blogspot.com/2009/03/tonight-kevin-whately-on-dementia-itv1.html

See also: http://tattard2.blogspot.com/2008/12/itv-winter-spring-season-bbc-or-bust.html

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