Viewers blast ITV for “turning its back on comedy” as it axes Birds Of A Feather and Bad Move

The ITV channel no longer has any sitcoms, say upset viewers

ITV has been accused of abandoning comedy, after it announced it has dropped two of its primetime sitcoms.

Viewers were shocked and disappointed yesterday (Tuesday 5 February) when producers announced that they’ve cancelled two of their hit comedy shows, including Birds Of A Feather starring Pauline Quirke, Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph.

The series, which was originally a hit on BBC1 in the 90s and followed two friends whose husbands were in jail and their nymphomaniac neighbour, was revived by ITV in 2014 and ran for three new series, as well as two Christmas specials.

birds of a feather
ITV revived Birds Of A Feather in 2014, but have now cancelled it (Credit: ITV)

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Executive Producer Kevin Lygo told The Mirror: “We had success with Birds Of A Feather, that was our most successful sitcom in years, but it’s come to a sort of natural end.”

Kevin also revealed that Jack Dee comedy Bad Move, which only started in 2017, has also been scrapped.

He told the newspaper: “We had two series of the Jack Dee sitcom but I don’t think we’re continuing with it now. It’s just very, very hard.”

Bad Move
Bad Move starred Jack Dee and Kerry Godliman (Credit: ITV)

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The series, which also starred comedian Seann Walsh, followed married couple Steve and Nicky after they relocated from the city to the countryside, only to find themselves quickly regretting their choice.

He went on to say that the future of scripted comedy on ITV looked “quite bleak”, suggesting that viewers should instead turn to the channel’s soaps, Coronation Street and Emmerdale, to get their daily dose of comedy.

He said: “Audiences can get their fix of character-based comedy from Corrie,” saying he believed characters such as Tracy and Steve Barlow were similar to those in sitcoms.

Corrie’s Roy had soap fans in stitches when he played detective to catch dodgy clairvoyant Rosemary (Credit: ITV)

Comedy fans licked their wounds on Twitter, with one saying: “TV have axed #BirdsOfAFeather and #BadMove following the cancellation of #Benidorm last year.

“That now leaves the main channel with not a single comedy. And with Kevin Lygo asking comedy fans to watch Corrie instead, it seems like the sitcom door for ITV has been bolted shut.”

Another said: “Is it just sitcoms or is all comedy on ITV coming to an end? That’s all Harry Hill’s stuff in the bin then!”

In fact, Harry DOES have a new comedy show coming up soon, but it will air on Channel 4 not ITV.

A third disgruntled fan added: “Struggling to think of a decent ITV comedy in last decade. They seem to think ‘it’s hard to produce a good sitcom so we won’t risk investing in one’.

“Stick instead with dismal celeb / talent shows that generate easy profit. Great comedies on other channels, willing to take risks.”

“Why has #BirdsOfAFeather been axed?!” asked another. “Hilarious laugh out loud show still! I am shocked and gutted at this decision. Why does ITV not contribute to invest in comedy legacies instead of focusing on short term reality TV shows?”

Some fans begged C5 to pick up Birds Of A Feather, while others were quick to remind us that comedy drama Cold Feet is still flying the flag for comedy on ITV.

Will you miss Birds Of A Feather and Bad Move? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think!