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'Little Britain' Hopes to Ride Brit TV Wave

7 Feb, 2006 By: Brendan Howard

"Little Britain"

It sold more than “The Office” on DVD in the United Kingdom, with a combined 2.5 million units. Its creators went on a sold-out live tour and introduced Elton John at a concert.

So why aren't the Yanks as keen on “Little Britain”? Well, it took a while for “Monty Python's Flying Circus” to catch on, too.

“Britons have a longer history of embracing sketch comedy on DVD,” said Burton Cromer, VP of consumer products for BBC Worldwide Americas. “These things become catch-phases at the schoolyard.

“This is the ‘Monty Python' of 2006. It's got the same level of anarchy, to-the-limit naughtiness, and the very high camp quotient that ‘Monty Python' had.”

Cromer is optimistic. He said such mainstream magazines as Entertainment Weekly picked up on the BBC comedy “Coupling” when it was already in its second season.

Little Britain: The Complete Second Series (two-DVD set $29.98) streets May 23, just following the airing of series three on BBC America.

The same extras that helped make the series two release in the United Kingdom No. 1 will be included on the U.S. version: commentary; a documentary; deleted scenes; TV appearances; and 2005 “Comic Relief” sketches with Elton John, George Michael, Robbie Williams and “American Idol's” Simon Cowell.

As to the show's future, there are rumors of a Christmas special, but nothing's confirmed, according to Cromer. What is confirmed is the release's importance for BBC Video.

“It will have a large marketing budget, a lot of PR, a lot of online activity,” Cromer said. “We want to work with retailers to make programs to work with this title.”

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