Earlier this year, comedian Katherine Ryan revealed that she was working on a new scripted comedy for Netflix. Now, we’ve got out first details about the series, as the streaming giant officially announces the project.
Called The Duchess, the series follows the powerful and problematic choices of a fashionably disruptive single mom living in London. Her daughter, Olive, is her greatest love, so she debates a second child with her greatest enemy: Olive’s dad. Can two wrongs make another right?
The British-based actress and comedian will write and star in the series, which marks her scripted comedy debut. She will also exec-produce alongside Dave Becky & Josh Lieberman for 3Arts, and Murray Ferguson, Petra Fried, and Ed Macdonald for Clerkenwell Films (The End of the F***ing World).
Netflix has commissioned six half-hour episodes for the show’s first season.
The project is a reunion for Ryan and Netflix, after she recorded a stand-up special (Katherine In Trouble) for the streaming service. Ryan isn’t walking away from the stand-up mic, though: as well as The Duchess, she will also return to Netflix for another special, bringing her sold out 2018 UK tour show Glitter Room to Netflix.
The hour-long special had an unprecedented four-week run at London’s Garrick Theatre in the West End this year, and will be filmed at The Belasco Theater in Los Angeles on 11th December, before launching globally in 2019.
Katherine Ryan working on scripted Netflix comedy
16th January 2018
Katherine Ryan is working a new scripted comedy for Netflix.
The comedian, who will be recognised by many from her frequent appearances on traditional TV, is no stranger to the streaming world, with her special Trouble snapped up by Netflix last year. Now, she is following that up with another work in progress.
“I have a project with Netflix,” she revealed in an interview with Digital Spy. “I’m doing a scripted project for them right now. You never know until you see it on the screen whether or not it’s definitely going to be made or not, but it’s being written.”
Ryan is no stranger to scripted comedy either: she previously wrote and starred in Katherine Ryan in Ireland, a short film for Sky Arts, and said that scripted comedy is “definitely” something she wants to pursue.
“If this one doesn’t end up getting made, I’ll write another one. I really am grateful to have my special streaming on Netflix, and I hope that it goes that way,” she added.
“Comedians just want to tell their story in any way that they can. But who knows? I’m a pretty bad actress when I’m playing anyone but myself.”
Her project comes at a time when Netflix is increasingly investing in comedy – not just scripted series, but also stand-up shows. Ryan added that the current state of the world is perfect for stand-up comedy
“To say something in stand-up comedy, live in a room, really is very freeing. Something happens in the news, and you’re able to get on stage and talk about it that evening. So I think there’s been no better time for stand-up comedy,” she commented.
Katherine Ryan records stand-up special for Netflix
20th January 2017
Katherine Ryan has become the second British comedian to record a stand-up special for Netflix.
The streaming giant is increasingly building its library of exclusive and original stand-up shows. In recent months, the names on its roster have become even more impressive, with new deals for three Dave Chapelle shows, a special from Chris Rock, another from Amy Schumer and even a show from Jerry Seinfeld.
But Netflix is also signing up a growing number of comedians from outside of the US. For Brits, that began with Jimmy Carr, who became the first UK comedian to have a special released worldwide on the site last year. Now, Katherine Ryan is following suit.
Canadian-born comic Ryan, who has been one of the most prominent female comedians on our screens, including appearances on Frankie Boyle’s American Autopsy, announced her new special on Twitter this week.
Chortle reports that the special was shot at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith last summer, as part of her Kathbum tour – although that title has been changed to “In Trouble” for Netflix’s global audience.
The special will be released on 14th February, the same month as when she hosts the pilot of a new BBC Two comedy show, That Thing On Friday Night, alongside Joe Lycett and Romesh Ranganathan.