4:40pm PT by Kate Stanhope
'Web Therapy' British Remake a Go From 'Episodes' Star
Lisa Kudrow's former Showtime comedy Web Therapy is making a comeback of sorts.
Stephen Mangan (Episodes) is set to co-write and star in a half-hour adaptation for Channel 4 in the U.K., it was announced Tuesday.
The new version, titled Hang Ups, centers on Dr. Richard Pitt (Mangan), an unconventional therapist with a checkered professional career who finds himself at a crossroads in life when he suddenly realizes his life is falling apart.
Richard is no longer able to conduct traditional 50-minute therapy sessions after his previous group therapy practice collapses. So instead, he has developed a new form of therapy — weekly quick-fire sessions with his patients which take place through a webcam. His small list of patients present a hilarious and outrageous catalogue of neuroses, phobias, anxieties and other issues. Not helping matters are the daily interruptions from his demanding extended family, errant teenagers and his own trouble-filled past that all push his patience to the edge.
“People are complex and complicated and they lead messy, knotty lives," Mangan said. "We’ve tried to put some of that all-too-familiar turmoil onscreen and the result, I think, is chaotic, glorious and disturbing.”
Robert Delamere will direct and also co-write the project with Mangan, who will also executive produce with Kevin Loader. Louise Delamere will produce. Slam Films will produce the series, which has received a six-episode order. Production is set to begin later this year for a 2018 debut. (Like Web Therapy, Hang Ups will be heavily improvised.)
The series is commissioned by Fiona McDermott, head of comedy at Channel 4, with Rachel Springett set as commissioning editor for Channel 4. Fremantle Media International will handle international distribution.
“Stephen Mangan and Robert Delamere have achieved the almost impossible task of creating a brilliantly farcical show that is at heart a family sitcom," McDermott said. "An ambitious, modern comedy, Hang Ups is a timely, inventive and very funny exploration of the ridiculous pile-up of challenges we call modern life.”
Web Therapy, which Kudrow starred in and co-created with Dan Bucatinsky and Don Roos, launched as a web series in 2008. The series then moved to Showtime in 2011 before going off the air in 2014. The half-hour show ultimately ran four seasons and 67 episodes.
Web Therapy won five Webby awards and was nominated for an Emmy in 2012, in addition to nabbing A-list guest stars like Meryl Streep and many of Kudrow's former Friends co-stars.
The Showtime connection is a coincidence given Mangan is currently starring on the fifth and final season of the pay cabler's Episodes (which centers on the American adaptation of a beloved British series gone horribly awry).