Stath Lets Flats Producer Roughcut TV Bolsters Development Team; Takes Stath Back Out To U.S. Networks

EXCLUSIVE: Stath Lets Flats producer Roughcut TV has hired two development execs to bolster its scripted comedy/drama credentials and is taking the hit Channel 4 comedy back out to U.S. networks.

Roughtcut Managing Director Ash Atalla said Jamie Demetriou’s three-time-BAFTA-winning comedy about a hapless North London-based  Greek Cypriot estate agent will be pitched to the U.S. in the coming months. A single-camera Fox version was initially in development, titled Bren’s Rents, and showrunner Joe Mande, a writer on The Good Place and Parks and Recreation, remains attached.

Atalla told Deadline “being geographically specific” and “placing trust” in Mande as showrunner will be key to Stath Lets Flats’ success in the U.S.

“Maintaining complete control is a fool’s errand,” he said. “We feel such ownership over our own shows but you can’t sell your house and then tell people how to arrange the furniture.”

Stath Lets Flats has run for three series on Channel 4 and was an instant critical hit, winning three BAFTAs last year for its second series including Best Actor and Best Writer for Demetriou.

Roughcut shows including BBC3 double People Just Do Nothing and Cuckoo have been piloted in the U.S. before, with Amazon and NBC ordering respectively, although neither were taken to series.

A film version of People Just Do Nothing titled Big In Japan aired last year and Atalla said conversations are taking place over the potential to adapt other Roughcut TV shows for the big screen.

New hires

He has added to his development team with the hire of Brain in Gear producer Inez Gordon and The Mind of Herbert Clunkerdunk producer Ben Worsfield, both of whom join as development producers. The former has plied her trade for BBC Studios for seven years and the latter worked for Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s Stolen Picture.

Gordon and Worsfield will work across comedy and drama and Atalla, who made a name for himself producing hits such as Ricky Gervais’ The Office, said the move heralds a new era for Roughcut, as barriers between comedy and drama break down.

“There used to be a traditional marker of what a comedy was but the streamers have completely disrupted that,’ he added.

Atalla said the company’s slate now contains scripted projects that have barely any comedic elements in them and predicted broadcasters may soon start merging their comedy and drama departments, although he warned: “The worry here is that traditional comedy would suffer.”

Also coming up for Roughcut is Channel 4 comedy Big Boys from Jack Rooke starring Derry Girls’ Dylan Llewellyn and recently-announced UKTV show Sneakerheads, which features non-scripted talent and grime star Big Zuu in his debut acting role and also stars People Just Do Nothing’s Hugo Chegwin.

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