×

Sharon Horgan on Her Female-Dominated Company and ‘Catastrophe’s’ Ambiguous End

From unemployed actress to now a hot commodity, Sharon Horgan is riding a wave of creative success that includes the recently concluded hit show “Catastrophe,” a deal with Amazon Studios and a busy production company, Merman, that’s female-dominated and gets “more interesting stories because of it.”

“It was completely deliberate,” Horgan said of the choice to be a women-centric company. “And weirdly, we were worried we were being slightly too…female [a] company.” But the decision has been rewarded story-wise.

The proudly Irish Horgan, speaking to reporter Stewart Clarke at Variety’s European TV Summit on Thursday, laughed about how much of her time Merman is occupying, which she had no idea would be the case when she founded the company with Clelia Mountford. ““Honest to God, I don’t know what I was thinking,” she said.

Horgan’s breakout hit with Rob Delaney, “Catastrophe,” wrapped after its fourth season a few months ago. She said she and comedian Delaney felt that the series had come to a natural end, that “it would be good to go out on a high and control how we ended it….And it was getting harder” to say “fresh things” about a married couple with two kids.

The show’s ending is ambiguous, leaving viewers to imagine for themselves what happens to Horgan and Delaney’s characters, who are reminded of their strong feelings for each other while they’re swimming together in a choppy sea, far from shore. The two leads differed themselves over their characters’ fates.

“Mine’s the optimistic one,” whereas Delaney’s “wasn’t really a happy ending,” Horgan said. Ultimately, “it was truthful….We just wanted to end with something beautiful and even possibly ominous.”

Her character, who is also named Sharon, is often an unpleasant person, which has led viewers to think that’s how Horgan is for real. “I don’t really mind they think I’m Sharon,” she said, adding: “I am her,” to a certain extent.

In January 2018, Horgan signed a two-year deal with Amazon Studios. Working with Hollywood has been a new experience. “There’s always enough money but, weirdly, there’s never enough money,” she said.

Next, she will exec produce Aisling Bea’s Channel 4 drama “This Way Up” and Sarah Kendall’s Sky U.K. and ABC Australia series “Frayed.” She will also be behind the camera for her feature directorial debut, “The New World,” for Focus Features. “I love it. It’s scary because there’s nowhere to hide,” Horgan said about directing. “You have to trust your decision-making process.”

More TV

  • ‘Big Brother’ Set for German Comeback

    ‘Big Brother’ Set for German Comeback on Sat.1

    “Big Brother” is returning to German screens after a five-year break. Sat.1 will air the German version of the show, which will coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Endemol format that paved the way for a raft of other unscripted shows around the world. Sat.1 said it would also run a celebrity version of [...]

  • ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ Gets

    ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ Gets Reboot by PBS, Viacom’s Channel 5

    A new adaptation of “All Creatures Great and Small” is in the works for Viacom’s Channel 5 in the U.K. and Masterpiece on PBS in the U.S. The source books by James Herriot, about country veterinarians in 1930s rural England, were made into a much-loved 1978-90 British series that ran to 90 episodes, which also [...]

  • THE F WORD WITH GORDON RAMSAY:

    Viacom Adds Pluto TV Drama, Food, and Movies to Channel 5’s On-Demand Service

    Viacom is adding a trio of channels from its recently-acquired Pluto TV to My5, the on-demand service of Channel 5, the U.K. free-to-air broadcaster it also owns. Ad-supported OTT service Pluto TV is already available in the U.K., but the My5 deal widens its distribution. It also bulks up My5 at a time when traditional [...]

  • Whoopi Goldberg addresses the crowd while

    Inside World Pride's Opening Ceremony: An LGBTQ Celebration With a Tinge of Politics

    World Pride officially kicked off on Wednesday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. About 8,000 people packed into the arena for a three-hour show that began with Cyndi Lauper singing her hit “True Colors.” The performance ended with a gaggle of dancing drag queens who pranced alongside Lauper as she turned the train of [...]

  • Democratic presidential candidate Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth

    The Messy NBC Democratic Debate Proves the Need for a Tier System (Column)

    The opening night of the first debates of the 2020 Democratic Party primaries brought — even by the standards of such way-far-out confrontations between candidates for whom the election remains a far-off dream — vastly more empty drama than new information. But then, that may have been by design. NBC News’s organization of the debates, [...]

  • Max Wright Dead

    'Alf' Actor Max Wright Dies at 75

    Max Wright, best known for playing patriarch Willie Tanner on the sitcom “Alf,” died Wednesday. He was 75. Wright’s family confirmed his death to TMZ. The actor died in his home in Hermosa Beach, Calif., after years of battling cancer. Wright was diagnosed with Lymphona in 1995. Wright is most famous for his role as [...]

  • Greyson Chance -Gabby Barrett Alejandro Aranda

    Greyson Chance, 'Idol' Alums Gabby Barrett and Alejandro Aranda Sign Major Label Deals

    Two “American Idol” alumni — Gabby Barrett and Alejandro Aranda — as well as viral star Greyson Chance all announced new major label recording contracts this week. Barrett, who finished in third place of the first season of the rebooted ABC version of “Idol,” has joined the roster of Warner Music Nashville. The singer had [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content