‘Veep’ Co-Writer Simon Blackwell Pens Comedy ‘Back’ for Channel 4

Screenwriter shared an Emmy for 'Veep' with Tony Roche and Armando Iannucci

Screenwriter Simon Blackwell, who won an Emmy for co-writing “Veep” and was Oscar nominated for “In the Loop,” is to pen comedy series “Back” for the U.K.’s Channel 4. The six-part series will star BAFTA winners David Mitchell and Robert Webb, with whom Blackwell worked on “Peep Show.”

The series centers on Stephen, played by Mitchell. When his father, a pub landlord and local legend, dies, Stephen takes his place behind the bar. “Mum Ellen and sister Cass have no interest in the family business — they’re ‘creative,’ with weed to buy and energy-centers to rebalance,” according to a statement.

“It’s now Stephen’s chance to shine — his only achievements so far have been marriage (followed by divorce) and a slightly disappointing pub refurb. But when the charming Andrew (Webb) turns up out of the blue at his dad’s funeral, Stephen’s plans go awry.”

Andrew had been fostered by Stephen’s parents as a 15-year-old and “remembers every single detail and sees that time as the most important of his life.” Andrew is keen to revisit the closest thing he’s ever had to a family.

Everyone loves Andrew, except Stephen, who “thinks he’s a glib, dangerous sociopath who’s about to steal his family, his business and his life.”

Blackwell, whose other credits include political satire “The Thick of It” and terrorism comedy “Four Lions,” said: “I always jump at the chance of writing for Robert and David. They are brilliant comic actors — funny and real. I can’t wait for us to start making this.”

“Simon Blackwell’s writing is deep, dark, warm and funny — like a hot tub brimming with laughing gravy,” Mitchell said.

As well as “Peep Show,” Mitchell and Webb are best known for “That Mitchell and Webb Look,” another BAFTA-winning comedy series.

“Back” was commissioned for Channel 4 by Phil Clarke, acting head of drama and head of comedy, and commissioning editor for comedy, Fiona McDermott. It is produced by That Mitchell & Webb Company and ITV-owned Big Talk Productions. Kenton Allen, Mitchell, Webb and Blackwell are executive producers. BBC Worldwide is handling international sales.

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