A Touch of Cloth, Charlie Brooker’s brilliant comedy spoof of virtually every police procedural drama ever written, will return for more brilliance on SkyOne in 2012. The second set of programs, starring John Hannah as DCI Jack Cloth, a maverick, heavy drinking loner who has thrown himself into his work following the mysterious death of his wife and Suranne Jones, his no-nonsense sidekick DC Anne Oldman. While no time frame has been set yet for the premiere of the second installment of brilliance, the producers are already teasing us with clips from the second set under the guise of ‘tiding us over’ until it premieres….
The series, which was commissioned by Lucy Lumsden, head of comedy for Sky Entertainment, is another in a long line of recent successes for Sky1 including Moone Boy with Chris O’Dowd, Trollied starring Jane Horrocks, Spy with Darren Boyd, Stella starring Ruth Jones and The Cafe.
Brooker’s A Touch of Cloth, while in a class by itself, does have a brilliant American counterpart from the 80’s that starred Leslie Nielsen as Sergeant Frank Drebin. Sadly, Police Squad never quite took off on the small screen like their big screen cousins, Airplane and Naked Gun.
Police Squad actually cancelled because ABC said viewers had to pay attention
Cancelled after only six episodes, then-ABC entertainment president Tony Thomopoulos defended his decision by saying “…the viewer had to watch it in order to appreciate it.” He went on to say that what he meant was that the viewer had to actually pay close attention to the show in order to get much of the humor, while most other TV shows did not demand as much effort from the viewer. Has to do down as one of the worst cancellation defenses since television was invented.
Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, has said about the series, “If Police Squad! had been made twenty years later, it would have been a smash. It was before its time. In 1982 your average viewer was unable to cope with its pace, its quick-fire jokes. But these days they’d have no problems keeping up, I think we’ve proved that.” I guess after over 500 episodes of The Simpsons, Groening does has a point.