Channel 4 Reverses Decision To Renew IFC Co-Produced Matt Berry Comedy ‘Year Of The Rabbit’

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EXCLUSIVE: Channel 4 has back-tracked on its decision to commission a second season of Victorian-era comedy crime caper Year Of The Rabbit after the coronavirus pandemic forced the British broadcaster into £150M ($205M) of content cuts.

Channel 4 renewed Matt Berry’s Year Of The Rabbit in February last year, funding the Objective Media Group (OMG) show alongside AMC-owned U.S. cable network IFC. But now, OMG is on the hunt for a new partner for the comedy.

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Year Of The Rabbit is a victim of the devastating effects of Covid,” OMG chief executive Layla Smith told Deadline. “IFC are very committed to the show, but we will need to find another partner — and we’re working on that.”

The show stars Berry as a detective in Victorian London, who fights crime alongside his hapless partner, played by Freddie Fox, and the country’s first female police officer, performed by Susan Wokoma. Recommissioned by Channel 4 in February last year, it was written by Berry and Emmy-winners Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil (Veep).

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: “We’re hugely proud of this hilarious and fearless comedy series, but as result of the impact of Covid on our schedules we have made the difficult decision not to enter into a second series with a heavy heart.”

Year Of The Rabbit is the second OMG show Channel 4 has withdrawn from. The broadcaster tapped out of the second season of Mae Martin’s Feel Good and Netflix is going it alone after the streamer co-produced Season 1.

In other news, Smith confirmed to Deadline that Berry is working on a new series of his BAFTA-winning comedy Toast Of London. Arthur Mathews, who co-writes the series with Berry, has previously suggested that the fourth season could follow eccentric actor Toast as he works in the U.S.

“The best thing I can imagine is Toast in his black suit, completely unchanged, in the midst of America,” said Smith.

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