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Viaplay takes on Hapless Season 2

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Viaplay the fast-expanding premium Nordic streaming service has acquired the Nordic, Baltic, Dutch and Polish rights to Gary Sinyor’s 6 part sitcom Hapless in a deal that also encompasses series 2. Netflix acquired UK and Eire rights and it has been streaming there since November.

Blue Penguin the TV production arm of James Spring’s Fred Films has also joined forces with Sinyor’s Magnet Films for the second season which is set to shoot from February 2022.

The series revolves around Paul (Tim Downie) an obsessive and not hugely successful journalist for a fictitious Jewish newspaper.

Described by the UK’s Metro as ‘bang on the cringe zeitgeist’ the sitcom has been garnering rave reviews and audience response since its Netflix UK launch.

Season 2 comprises 8 episodes and also stars Lucy Montgomery as Paul’s super sweary sister, Mike Fenton Stevens as their impish Dad and Josh Howie as Paul’s highly neurotic friend.

“I’m delighted to be working with Viaplay who immediately responded enthusiastically to the kind of comedy we’ve already made and will continue to make” said Sinyor. “We’re not only ready for series 2 but we’re plotting series 3 and beyond. I’m not short of comically satirical situations to put these slightly bonkers characters into.”

“Viaplay’s acquisition shows that Gary’s comedy vision does indeed cross boundaries.” said Spring. “Our aim is to make a long-running sitcom that will work globally over and above of its success here in the UK”.

The series was originally called The Jewish Enquirer after the newspaper Paul works for. Sinyor changed the title after Channel 5 Head Honcho Ben Frow said it sounded like a David Baddiel documentary. “Yeah, that was a mistake. I changed it on the spot.” said Sinyor.

Sinyor’s career launched with the cult hit Leon The Pig Farmer and this is his return to accessible mainstream comedy with a Jewish angle, described in Hapless as a Jangle.

Talks are ongoing with Broadcasters and Streamers about other rights for both series.