Bad Sugar in America

Abandoned Channel 4 comedy pilot Bad Sugar has been picked up by American TV network Fox, with Sharon Horgan on board as a producer.

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© Phil Fisk

Back in 2012, Channel 4 aired Bad Sugar – a comedy pilot spoofing telenova-style melodramas. It centred around a wealthy, highly dysfunctional family, squabbling and scheming to get hold of the patriarch’s fortune.

In the pilot, Sharon Horgan, Julia Davis and Olivia Colman starred as the three sisters of the family, along with Reece Shearsmith, David Bradley, Kayvan Novak and Pete Serafinowicz. It was written by Peep Show creators Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong, and produced by Tiger Aspect, the production company behind Murder In Successville and lots more of our favourites.

With so much talent involved, you might wonder why Bad Sugar never went beyond a single pilot episode… Well, it was this talent that actually proved to be the show’s downfall, as cast availability issues meant that a full series would be very difficult to organise.

Around a year after the pilot aired, Channel 4’s head of comedy Phil Clarke admitted: “In the end, it proved impossible to bring all the talent – writing and performing – together at the same time for a series.”

Fox has now signed up Patty Breen, who has recently been working with Sharon Horgan on Divorce, to write a script for an American remake of the Bad Sugar pilot. Horgan herself will be on board as a producer, and her production company Merman will make the show alongside Tiger Aspect.

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