Monday, January 6, 2020

Amazon and the BBC Team on Hourlong Comedy 'The Offenders' Created by and Starring Stephen Merchant

Amazon and the BBC have partnered on the original hourlong comedy series The Offenders created by and starring Stephen Merchant (Hello Ladies, The Office). The first season will feature six episodes.

The series will follow seven strangers from different walks of life forced together to complete a community payback sentence. At first, they seem like archetypes we can easily pigeonhole but gradually we see behind their facades, understand their hidden depths and what made them the people they are today. We are reminded that no one is all good or all bad and that everyone has a story. The show is part crime thriller, character study and a state-of-the-nation commentary, but with humor and heart.

Merchant co-created the series with Elgin James (Mayans MC). They will executive produce with Luke Alkin, Kenton Allen and Matthew Justice. Big Talk Productions and Four Eyes Productions will produce in association with Amazon and the BBC. Merchant will also direct several episodes from the first season.

"The Offenders is a long-standing passion project for me," said Merchant. "My parents used to work in the Community Service world and I was always intrigued that the many and varied people they dealth with only had one thing in common: they'd committed a crime. Ever since The Office, I love finding ways to bring unlikely groups of people together and watch the sparks fly. As a writer I always include humor but with The Offenders, I also get to add drama, pathos, crime genre thrills and say something optimistic about the common humanity that unites us all, whatever our background."