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Old 02-16-2016, 05:49 PM   #1
icecream
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Default Why did Fawlty Towers only last 12 episodes?

Fawlty Towers has become my favorite Britcom since my PBS affiliate started airing it this year. The sad part is it only has 2 short seasons of 6 episodes each, so soon I'll run out of new episodes to watch.
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Old 02-16-2016, 09:23 PM   #2
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I remember hearing that John Cleese didn't think that they could keep on going and keep the quality as high as it was. After all, the premise was very limiting. In retrospect it's probably just as well it ended with everyone wanting more.
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Old 02-16-2016, 11:08 PM   #3
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There was a gap of 4 years between series one and series 2.
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Old 04-13-2016, 10:12 AM   #4
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This is one of my favorite Britcoms.

The comedy is outrageous!

The divorce probably explains why there wasn't a season three.
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Old 04-15-2016, 01:08 AM   #5
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I think it would have started losing fans - from laughing too hard.
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Old 04-27-2016, 06:06 AM   #6
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I discovered Fawlty Towers overseas. I never heard of the show and was amazed at it the first time I saw it, with John Cleese as my favorite Python and he is brilliant here. My favorite is the Kipper and the Corpse. Watched that one numerous times. I had two DVDs of the show and basically broke one and wore out the other.

Maybe somebody could say if this is true, but I have read that John Cleese had an anger problem as a younger man, who would go into fits of rage, screaming and going nuts. Some very comedic scenes are done in anger. Supposedly, he went to a psychiatrist who helped him from his problems, but he has had, what three or four wives now, and they all leave him. Say what you will, but Basil stayed married.

I do not much about British TV, but it seems that they did not put out as many episodes of a TV show per year (if a TV season is a series in the UK, what do English call an American series?)

America has failed several times try to do a similar Fawlty Towers series. On YouTube, you can watch Bea Arthur in Amanda's (which could have been good but wasn't) and the horrible John Larroquette (and I usually love him) show Payne. Just painful.
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Old 09-08-2016, 01:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babalu
I remember hearing that John Cleese didn't think that they could keep on going and keep the quality as high as it was. After all, the premise was very limiting. In retrospect it's probably just as well it ended with everyone wanting more.
A tradition carried on by Ricky Gervais.
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:50 PM   #8
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Not many episodes, but each one a gem!
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Old 09-19-2016, 11:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by visaman666
There was a gap of 4 years between series one and series 2.
I've always wondered if there was any explanation for that four-year gap...
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Old 09-21-2016, 10:23 PM   #10
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Ever seen the multiple pilots for the proposed US version? A good thing they were never picked up!
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Old 12-20-2020, 03:55 AM   #11
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What I'm about to post applies to British sitcoms in general regarding why so few episodes are made when compared to American sitcoms:
  • Risk management. Drama series are expensive and first seasons are usually shorter to not spend large portions of the commissioning budget into one project that then might underperform. You see the same logic in US cable.
  • availability of key talent, also UK projects are mostly written by one or two writers. Not only for artistic and voice of writer reason, mainly because writers rooms are expensive and UK budgets are smaller. This goes for the rest of the world in general.
  • more variety and diversity in programming. One time slot can host up two 8 different series over a year. Which is important for BBC and C4 since they are publicly funded via TV fees and have certain commissioning guidelines fostering creativity, diversity in programming and suppliers. US studios are vertically integrated and most programming fare on networks come from their own studios with their own production labels, writers, show runners even talent.
  • different industry economics. The UK has no domestic syndication market like the US, so cost recoupment in first exploitation windows is more important.
  • smaller global footprint than US. Arguably the UK is the second biggest exporter when it comes to quality and quantity but there is a big gap between UK and US.
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