|The IT Crowd|
|Created by||Graham Linehan|
|Theme music composer||Neil Hannon|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||4|
|No. of episodes||24|
|Running time||24 minutes (special approx 47 minutes)|
|Original network||Channel 4|
|Picture format||576i (16:9 SDTV) (2006-10)|
1080i (HDTV) (2013)
|Original release||3 February 2006 -|
27 September 2013
Set in the offices of the fictional Reynholm Industries, the programme revolves around the three staff members of its IT (information technology) department: coding genius Maurice Moss (Richard Ayoade), work-shy Roy Trenneman (Chris O'Dowd), and Jen Barber (Katherine Parkinson), the department head/relationship manager who knows nothing about IT. The programme also focuses on the bosses of Reynholm Industries: Denholm Reynholm (Chris Morris) and later, his son Douglas (Matt Berry). Goth IT technician Richmond Avenal (Noel Fielding), who resides in the dark server room, also features in a number of episodes.
The comedy premiered on Channel 4 on 3 February 2006, and ran for four series of six episodes each. Although a fifth series was commissioned, it was not produced. The programme was concluded with a special, one-off episode, that aired on 27 September 2013. The programme was critically acclaimed and has become a cult television series.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||6||3 February 2006||3 March 2006|
|2||6||24 August 2007||28 September 2007|
|3||6||21 November 2008||26 December 2008|
|4||6||25 June 2010||30 July 2010|
|Special||26 September 2013|
The IT Crowd is set in the offices of Reynholm Industries, a fictional British corporation in central London, located at 123 Carenden Road. It focuses on the shenanigans of three members of the IT support team located in a dingy, untidy, and unkempt basement - a great contrast to the shining modern architecture and stunning London views enjoyed by the rest of the organisation. The obscurity surrounding what the company does is a running gag throughout the series, and all that is known is that the company bought and sold ITV, and has a chemicals laboratory. However, it is hinted that Reynholm Industries is a communications company, as Denholm Reynholm claims that the company, through buying mobile phone carriers and television stations, had created the largest communications empire in the UK. Douglas Reynholm states his father Denholm, whom he succeeds after Denholm commits suicide, once described the IT department as being run by "a dynamic go-getter, a genius, and a man from Ireland."
Roy and Moss, the two technicians, are socially inept geeks or, in Denholm Reynholm's words, "standard nerds". Despite the company's dependence on their services, they are despised, ignored, and considered losers by the rest of the staff. Roy's exasperation causes his laziness: his support techniques include ignoring the phone, hoping it will stop ringing, and using reel-to-reel tape recordings of stock IT suggestions like, "Have you tried turning it off and on again?" and "Is it definitely plugged in?". He also wears a different T-shirt in each episode. Moss's wide and intricate knowledge of all things technical is reflected in his accurate yet indecipherable suggestions, while he cannot deal with practical problems like extinguishing fires and removing spiders. Moss has trouble speaking to others in a rational manner, often citing bizarre facts about himself or technology, and is occasionally arrogant around others when it comes to computers.
Jen, the newest member of the team, is hopelessly non-technical, despite claiming on her CV that she has "a lot of experience with computers". As Denholm, the company boss, is equally technologically illiterate, he is convinced by Jen's interview bluffing and appoints her head of the IT department. After meeting Roy and Moss, Jen redefines her role as "relationship manager", yet her attempts at bridging the gap between the technicians and the business generally have the opposite effect, landing Jen in situations just as ludicrous as those of her teammates.
Creator Graham Linehan wrote the series. The programme was video-recorded in front of a live studio audience, which at the time was considered by some as risky, with the format thought to have been surpassed by more fly-on-the-wall type presentations. This was a deliberate choice by Linehan, who sought to challenge the current vogue for hailing the "death of the sitcom," stating "I trust my instincts, so I'm going to do it my way and hope people come to me." The first series was recorded in front of a live audience at Teddington Studios and moved to Pinewood Studios for series 2 onward, with some additional location footage. Cinematic-style footage was also recorded before live tapings. The title sequence of the programme was produced by Shynola.
The programme is broadcast internationally. In Australia the programme has been broadcast on ABC1 and UKTV. In Bulgaria, GTV began airing the programme in July 2008, while Comedy Central Germany started airing the first series in September 2009. ETV has aired the programme in Estonia. In Poland it has been shown on Comedy Central Poland and TVP2. In the Czech Republic the programme was broadcast on ?eská televize and HBO. TV 2 Zulu has aired the programme in Denmark, as has Comedy Central in the Netherlands. Canal+ runs the programme in Spain. In New Zealand, the programme was aired on TVNZ. The programme airs sporadically in the Republic of Ireland on RTÉ2 and on the RTÉ Player.
In the United States, episodes have been shown on IFC; all 4 series and the special are also available on Netflix, Tubi TV, and Hulu, and for purchase in the iTunes Store. Canadian channel G4 ran the programme during their Adult Digital Distraction block in July 2007. Reruns of the programme also aired on BiteTV in Canada until it relaunched as "Makeful" in August 2015. In Brazil, Argentina and Chile the programme has been broadcast on I.Sat. In Mexico the programme has aired on Canal 11 since 2010. It was also broadcast in Spain on Canal 3xl during 2011.
A fifth series was commissioned by Channel 4, for release in 2011. Initially, series creator Graham Linehan had begun pre-production on the new series. For this series, he worked with a team of writers. Linehan stated it would be the programme's last series, as a "goodbye to the characters". The team were unable to meet regularly, so instead created a virtual writers room using Basecamp allowing the team to communicate online and co-develop plotlines, scenes, dialogue, with Linehan putting together the script itself. Linehan reflected that the service was a hindrance, as it was such a "stuffy, businesslike service that I think it actually ended up making everyone self-conscious"; however, there was no suitable alternative. Despite this, the writers did formulate ideas for stories, with Linehan believing that it could work out. Ultimately due to Linehan's schedule and budget the fifth series was shelved. Ideas for the fifth series included a Die Hard episode.
After eventually scrapping a fifth series, Linehan began working on a special episode. Due to the actors' schedules and Linehan being busy with his TV adaptation of Count Arthur Strong, as well as working on The Walshes, it was not until June 2013 that they were able to film the episode.
Linehan has stated that there are certain characters he would like to explore in future spin-off style specials, particularly Matt Berry's character, Douglas. In an interview in 2014, expanding upon revisiting Douglas, Linehan stated he has a half-formed idea, but with Matt Berry busy with his series Toast of London, Linehan will "pounce when he's taking a rest". Linehan has also expressed reprising Benedict Wong's character Prime from the episode "Final Countdown". Wong has also said that he would be "thrilled" if Prime got his own series, joking it would be called Prime Time.
|Series||Episodes||DVD release date[a][b]|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|1||6||31 March 2009||13 October 2006||6 December 2006|
|2||6||30 June 2009||1 October 2007||19 March 2009|
|3||6||15 September 2009||16 March 2009||1 April 2010|
|4||6||14 December 2010||27 September 2010||2 December 2010|
|Special (2013)||1||17 January 2017||23 November 2015||18 December 2013|
The first series was released in the UK as The IT Crowd - Version 1.0 on 13 November 2006 by 2 Entertain Video Ltd. The DVD start-up sequence and subsequent menus are designed to resemble a ZX Spectrum. The DVD also included a short film written and directed by Linehan called Hello Friend, his directorial debut, and a tongue in cheek behind-the-scenes documentary presented by Ken Korda, a film maker created and portrayed by comedian Adam Buxton (of Adam and Joe). The IT Crowd - Version 2.0 DVD was released in the UK on 1 October 2007, together with a box set containing both the first and second series. Retail chain HMV sold an exclusive limited edition version featuring a set of four postcards in the style of popular viral photos such as Ceiling Cat -- here replicated as Ceiling Goth. While the first series DVD menus parodied 8-bit games, the Series 2 DVD menus parody 16-bit games and make reference to Zero Wing (all your base meme), Mortal Kombat, Tetris and Lemmings. There are also several 'hidden' extras encoded into the subtitles. These are done in much the same way as the base64 subtitles from Series 1, and include three JPG images and a text adventure game file. Episode 4 has a BBC BASIC listing, and Episode 6 has light bars in the corner of the screen which can be decoded using a barcode reader. Series 3 was released on 16 March 2009, the DVD menus are based on such internet games as GROW CUBE, Doeo and flow. The DVD for series 4 was released in the UK on 26 September 2010, also under the 2|entertain label. A box-set containing all four series was also released on the same day, which includes an IT Crowd-themed board game. The series 4 DVD includes a documentary feature on the computer games which served as inspiration for the menus on each of the series' DVDs, culminating in the game Windosill, the basis for the series 4 DVD. The Internet Is Coming was released in Australia 18 December 2013, but had yet to be released elsewhere until it was announced in November 2015 that a Region 2 DVD version would be released in the United Kingdom and throughout Region 2 on 23 November 2015. All episodes of the programme are available to stream in the United Kingdom on All 4.
The premiere of the programme on Channel 4 was watched by 1.8m viewers, described as "disappointing" by BBC News; however, Linehan stated he was "playing the long game" and reflected how the first series of Father Ted also "went pretty unnoticed" but went on to gain viewers and awards. The series 4 finale on 30 July 2010 saw the programme reach its current ratings peak of 2.17 million and was highly successful in its time slot.
The programme has won awards from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTAs), the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (the International Emmys), the Rose d'Or television entertainment awards, and also from the fan voted Comedy.co.uk Awards organized by the British Comedy Guide. Individual awards have also come in the British Comedy Awards and Irish Film and Television Awards.
In 2006, the series was voted Best New British Sitcom at the 2006 Comedy.co.uk Awards out of seventeen nominees. In 2007, the series was voted Comedy of The Year at the 2007 Comedy.co.uk Awards, out of over 100 nominees. Nominated in the 2007 BAFTAs for Best Situation Comedy alongside Green Wing and Pulling, it lost out to eventual winner The Royle Family. In 2008, the series was awarded the International Emmy Award for Comedy and the 2008 Rose d'Or for Best Sitcom. Nominated in the 2008 BAFTAs for Best Situation Comedy alongside The Thick of It and Benidorm, it lost out to eventual winner Peep Show. In 2009, the series won the Best Situation Comedy award at the 2009 BAFTAs. Also in 2009, Graham Linehan won best television script at the 6th Irish Film and Television Awards for the programme, while Katherine Parkinson won the Best Comedy Actress award at the 2009 British Comedy Awards.
In 2014, Katherine Parkinson won in the 2014 BAFTAs for Female Performance in a Comedy Programme for her role as Jen in the 2013 special episode. On the same night, Richard Ayoade won the BAFTA for Male Performance in a Comedy Programme for his role as Moss; Chris O'Dowd was nominated in the same category that year.
An American version of The IT Crowd was almost aired by NBC in 2007-08. It starred Richard Ayoade reprising his role as Moss, with Joel McHale as Roy, Jessica St. Clair as Jen and Rocky Carroll as Denholm. The programme was produced by FremantleMedia for Universal Media Studios with Steve Tao as executive producer. Linehan is also credited as executive producer, but states he had no involvement. There were four writers involved--David Guarascio, Moses Port, Joe Port and Joe Wiseman. A pilot was filmed in January 2007, and a full series was ordered, advertised by NBC to be aired in 2007-08.
According to a report in The Hollywood Reporter in September 2007, the programme had not gone into production and was to be cancelled, despite that a number of scripts had already been written, stating the series "didn't quite spark" with new NBC chairman Ben Silverman. In 2012 the pilot was leaked online.
A German version of the programme was in production starting June 2007, starring Sky du Mont, Sebastian Münster, Stefan Puntigam and Britta Horn. Originally titled Das iTeam - Die Jungs mit der Maus (The iTeam - The Boys with the Mouse), the title was changed to Das iTeam - Die Jungs an der Maus (The iTeam - The Boys at the Mouse) at the last minute. The first episode was aired on 4 January 2008 on Sat.1 and received a mainly negative reception. It was criticised for the poor translation of the original stories and jokes, poor direction, poor timing, and the poor performance of the actors, mainly Stefan Puntigam as Gabriel (the German version of Moss). Manuel Weis of Quotenmeter.de heavily panned the programme, commenting: "It could indeed be possible that the boys of the class 10a from the secondary school of Brunsbüttel made the series. In short: In this form 'The iTeam' should never have come onto the screen. The look is strongly reminiscent of cheap crime documentaries in the afternoon and the actors are reminiscent of lousy Daytime formats. The climax of these catastrophes is [...] Stefan Puntigam, who embodies the role of the computer geek Gabriel. [...] his role seems artificial, exaggerated and in any case badly acted."The IT Crowd creator Graham Linehan noted in his blog that the first gag already does not work due to being wrongly executed. The programme was cancelled after only two episodes due to low ratings. All episodes were later screened on Sat.1 Comedy.