EXCLUSIVE: My5, the streaming service run by ViacomCBS’s UK network Channel 5, has acquired British comedy series Hapless, which first started life as a self-released project on Amazon Prime Video.
The six-part series was created, written, and produced by Gary Sinyor and stars Outlander and Paddington actor Tim Downie as Paul Green, a journalist on the UK’s fourth most successful Jewish newspaper.
The series first launched on Amazon last year under the title The Jewish Enquirer, but with industry production slowing down during the coronavirus pandemic, Sinyor saw an opportunity to pitch the show to a broadcaster. It goes live on My5 in March
Hapless co-stars Geoffrey McGivern (Little Dorrit) and Lucy Montgomery (Tracey Ullman’s Show) as Green’s father and sister, while Josh Howie (Call Me Alvy) features as the journalist’s best friend. Sinyor himself provides the voice of Green’s narrow-minded editor.
Here’s the logline: Obsessed with his own view of truth and fairness, Paul aspires to bigger things – but his enquiring nature causes chaos and offense in a society where offense is easily taken. With a sweary sister always on his case, a neurotic and desperately single best friend getting in the way, and a teasing father behaving like a big brother, a day of calamity is only ever just around the corner.
Sinyor said: “Hapless’ was inspired by U.S. shows like Seinfeld and UK sitcoms like Rising Damp and Hancock. When I learnt that broadcasters were on the lookout for fresh, completed content, I got in touch in the hope that someone would see its potential.”
Sinyor directed Renee Zellweger’s 1999 film The Bachelor, while in 2017, he wrote, directed, and produced psychological thriller The Unseen.
Check out the Hapless trailer below: