Channel 4 has confirmed a second series order of 10 O’Clock Live, the satirical take on the week’s news featuring Jimmy Carr and David Mitchell, but has tweaked the show’s format and cut its running time to 45 minutes.
The live programme, which airs on a Thursday night and aims to lure younger viewers turned off by Newsnight and Question Time, retains its four original presenters, with Charlie Brooker and Lauren Laverne again joining Carr and Mitchell. It will return to Channel 4 in early 2012.
The first series of 10 O’Clock Live, which began in January and ran for 15 episodes, launched with 1.9 million viewers to a generally positive critical reaction.
It featured interviews with politicians and cultural commentators, as well as debates and sketches. But by the end of the run its average audience had dropped to 1 million, as the show’s writers struggled to keep producing engaging new material to fill an hour of airtime.
To combat that, the next series will run for 10 episodes of 45 minutes, which Channel 4 said would “still allow for an in-depth look at the news stories but will mean we’re less dependent on the news cycle”.
Darren Smith, the channel’s commissioning editor for entertainment, said: “After learning from the first series, we’re keen to cover the same kinds of stories, with a similarly acerbic angle but will be making efforts to make the running order a little more flexible.
"That means we will have regular items but you perhaps won’t see them every single week. It’s a slightly more bespoke approach to the news agenda that gives the show room to breathe, and hopefully room to be even funnier.
"We’re thrilled to be back in this territory again, especially with such an enormously talented lineup. I don’t think a show like this could exist anywhere else but C4."
10 O’Clock Live will again be produced by Endemol UK subsidiary Zeppotron. Ruth Phillips, head of comedy at the production company, said: “We’re delighted to be back with our exceptional cast delivering weekly live satirical comedy alongside an in depth look at current affairs. We’re also grateful that we’ll be on air just in time for the collapse of the entire western world.”
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