C4 sets up “The Undateables”

UK terrestrial Channel 4 has commissioned The Undateables (working title), a series following people who struggle to form relationships because of conditions such as Tourette's, Asperger's and narcolepsy.
July 22, 2011

UK terrestrial Channel 4 (C4) has commissioned The Undateables (working title, 4 x 60 minutes), a series following people who struggle to form relationships because of conditions such as Tourette’s, Asperger’s and narcolepsy.

The broadcaster’s factual entertainment division has commissioned UK indie Betty to make the series, which will feature a personal introductions agency whose “unique method of pro-actively searching for perfect matches” promises to give everyone the best chance of finding a suitable partner, including people with disabilities.

C4′s deputy head of factual entertainment Liam Humphreys said: “We want to challenge people’s perceptions about what is considered to be ‘normal,’ but ultimately this isn’t going to be a program about disability. It’s about a universal desire to find love.”

The network’s disability director Alison Walsh added: “Channel 4 pioneered the normalization of disability through natural inclusion of disabled people across reality and factual entertainment shows.

“Betty played a major role in this with programs such as Truly Madly Deeply, Find Me a Family and Beauty and the Beast. So I know they’ll bring their honesty, wit, warmth and a light touch to this portrayal of people who face more than the usual difficulties in pursuing that very normal part of everyone’s life – the search for love.”

The series was commissioned by Humphreys and will be executive produced by Vicky Hamburger and series produced by Lucy Leveugle. It will air next year.

Betty CEO Liz Warner said: “This series will be full of warmth and humor and will follow the stories of people who will hopefully discover that, in the end, love conquers all.”

In related news, C4 has greenlit a 14-episode third season of BAFTA-winning doc series One Born Every Minute, from independent producer Dragonfly. The 12-episode second season, which aired on the channel earlier this year, averaged 3.6 million viewers.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.