MTV has decided not to pick up a second season of The Inbetweeners, a remake of the award-winning British series. “While we won’t be moving forward with another season of The Inbetweeners, we enjoyed working with the show’s creators and such a talented, funny cast,” MTV spokesperson said.
The writing was on the wall for the comedy, which had soft ratings and recently saw its biggest supporters — head of programming David Janollari and co-head of scripted Clay Spencer — depart in an executive shake-up at the cable network that had Susanne Daniels taking over as new programming chief. Besides Teen Wolf — which had big-name recognition and even bigger marketing muscle behind it, including a premiere behind the MTV Movie Awards — and comedy Awkward, MTV has not been able to make a scripted series stick. Shows like Inbetweeners and I Just Want My Pants Back received critical praise but didn’t get enough promotion and were often stuck with incompatible lead-ins, resulting in low ratings and swift cancellations after one season. That will also likely be the fate for Craig Wright’s freshman Underemployed as new topper Daniels seems to be clearing the decks in order to make her mark at the network.
Brad Copeland wrote the Inbetweeners adaptation and served as showrunner on the series, which he executive produced with Iain Morris and Damon Beesley, creators of the original series, and Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment. The show revolved around four high school boys (Joey Pollari, Bubba Lewis, Zack Pearlman, Mark L. Young) who belong to the “inbetweeners” social class — teens who are not the most cool and popular but not geeky enough to be branded uncool. Alex Frnka co-starred in the series, whose pilot was directed by Taika Waititi.
The Inbetweeners co-creator Iain Morris has defended the show’s US remake.
A trailer for MTV’s revamp of the E4 comedy recently debuted online, provoking a hostile reaction from some fans of the original.
Writing on his Twitter account, Morris explained: “I’m not going to comment on the American Inbetweeners a lot because I have to use Twitter for more interesting things like complaining, but the pilot director, Taika Waititi, has made consistently funny TV shows and one of my favourite films of all time in [2010 comedy-drama] Boy.
“Brad [Copeland], the showrunner, is a very funny man who has worked on Arrested Development and My Name is Earl, two shows I love. Damon [Beesley] and I didn’t have a lot to do with it because we wanted it to be different and American, and it is, I think in a positive way.”
Morris urged fans of the UK Inbetweeners not to “pre-judge” MTV’s version.
“You might like it, you might hate it, but don’t pre-judge it,” he wrote. “And the original will always exist. Always. Never going away.”
He concluded: “Lastly, I know people are only angry about the US Inbetweeners cos they love the UK one, which is amazing really, and honestly appreciated.”
The Inbetweeners will debut on MTV in the US on August 20.