Life of Riley (TV series)

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Not to be confused with The Life of Riley, a 1940s–1950s radio show or 1950s American television series which starred William Bendix as Chester A. Riley.
Life of Riley
Life of Riley (TV series).jpg
Life of Riley titles for Series 1
Genre Sitcom
Created by Georgia Pritchett
Written by Georgia Pritchett
Directed by Martin Dennis
Starring Caroline Quentin
Neil Dudgeon
Opening theme "The Life of Riley"
Composer(s) Willie Dowling - Jackdaw 4
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 20 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Alan Tyler
Rosemary MaGowan
Producer(s) Catherine Bailey
Editor(s) Fergus MacKinnon
Location(s) Pacific Quay Studios,
Glasgow, Scotland and 75/73 park avenue south
Cinematography John Record
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Catherine Bailey Productions Limited
BBC Scotland
Distributor Outright Distribution Ltd.
Broadcast
Original channel BBC One/BBC HD
Picture format 16:9 (HDTV)
Original run 8 January 2009 – 1 June 2011

Life of Riley is a British comedy television series, shown on BBC One and BBC HD. The show stars Caroline Quentin and Neil Dudgeon, who are recently married, and is set around their dysfunctional family. The show also features the couple's four children, Danny (Taylor Fawcett), Katy (Lucinda Dryzek), Ted (Patrick Nolan), and Rosie (Ava and Neve Lamb). After three series it was confirmed that the show had been cancelled.[1]

Airing[edit]

The first episode aired on 8 January 2009, and was shown on Thursdays at 8:00pm on BBC One. Each episode of Life of Riley also aired in high-definition on BBC HD. Series 2 was shown on Wednesdays at 7:30pm from 17 March 2010. Series 3 was shown on Wednesdays at 8:30pm from 13 April 2011.[2]

Development[edit]

The six episode series was commissioned by Lucy Lumsden, BBC Controller, Comedy Commissioning. The show is produced by Catherine Bailey Productions Limited for BBC Scotland, and is distributed by Outright Distribution Ltd. The show is written by Georgia Pritchett, and it is filmed at Pacific Quay Studios in Glasgow, Scotland[3] and on location. Also briefly filmed on 75 park avenue south.

The theme music is a cover version of The Lightning Seeds' song, "The Life of Riley".

Plot[edit]

Jim (Dudgeon) and Maddy Riley are newly-weds, Jim has two children from a previous relationship, teenagers Katy and Danny, whilst Maddy also has a child of her own—primary schooler Ted from her previous marriage—and baby Rosie with Jim. Jim and Maddy also try to compete with their next-door neighbours, the Weavers; this basic plot is in most episodes and usually makes the Rileys look like The Addams Family. As well as the Riley family, the Weavers also play principal characters in the sitcom.

Series 1 was released on DVD on 29 March 2010. Series 2 was released on DVD on 18 April 2011 along with the transmission of the new series.

Cast[edit]

Characters[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Reviews for the first series were almost universally negative. The Herald described it as "a palpable flop" and "unfunny in any age".[4] The Daily Telegraph noted that it was "another half-hour firmly on Planet Sitcom: that strange world where people behave not like anybody in real life, but merely like people in other sitcoms".[5] The Daily Record called it a "lazy insult of a comedy".[6] The Northern Echo observed that "there was something missing for a comedy – jokes";[7] The Daily Mirror comments that there are "some witty moments but these are drowned out by more regular unfunny happenings, so unimaginative and staid it's embarrassing".[8] The Independent headlined its review of the opening episode by calling it "a marital comedy divorced from wit".[9] Most vehemently the Sunday Mail called the show "about as funny as inflamed piles".[10]

The second series of the show has been well received by audiences, with viewing figures reaching nearly 6 million, a much higher proportion of the viewing public than the BBC usually receives in this time slot.[11] However, it has again received regular negative reviews from critics. The Sun called it bland and dull, whilst The Herald declared that 'it lacked any of the basic ingredients of good sitcom'.[12] The Guardian described the show as a "tired effort"[13] The Scotsman reviewed it by noting that it "feels like a parody, this time of the kind of bland, mechanical, family sitcom they supposedly don't make anymore".[14]

Series overview[edit]

Series Episodes Original broadcast
Series premiere Series finale
Series 1 6 8 January 2009 12 February 2009
Series 2 6 17 March 2010 21 April 2010
Series 3 8 13 April 2011 1 June 2011

Episodes[edit]

Series 1 (2009)[edit]

Life of Riley's first series comprises six episodes, each of which are thirty minutes long.

No. # Title Directed by Written by Original airdate
1 1 "In the Family Way" Georgia Pritchett Georgia Pritchett 8 January 2009 (2009-01-08)
2 2 "New Beginnings" Georgia Pritchett Georgia Pritchett 15 January 2009 (2009-01-15)
3 3 "The Ex Factor" Georgia Pritchett Georgia Pritchett 22 January 2009 (2009-01-22)
4 4 "Beating the Bully" Georgia Pritchett Georgia Pritchett 29 January 2009 (2009-01-29)
5 5 "The Little White Lie" Georgia Pritchett Georgia Pritchett 5 February 2009 (2009-02-05)
6 6 "The Worst Best Man" Georgia Pritchett Georgia Pritchett 12 February 2009 (2009-02-12)

Series 2 (2010)[edit]

In May 2009, it was confirmed that the Life of Riley & The Old Guys will have a second series. It began airing on 17 March 2010 and The Old Guys returned on 9 July 2010.

No. # Title Directed by Written by Original airdate
7 1 "Just The Two of Us" Richard Boden Georgia Pritchett, Paul Alexander 17 March 2010 (2010-03-17)
8 2 "Crowded House" Richard Boden Georgia Pritchett 24 March 2010 (2010-03-24)
9 3 "Nine to Five" Richard Boden Georgia Pritchett 31 March 2010 (2010-03-31)
10 4 "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" Richard Boden Georgia Pritchett, Dan Caster, Paul Howell 7 April 2010 (2010-04-07)
11 5 "School's Out" Richard Boden Georgia Pritchett 14 April 2010 (2010-04-14)
12 6 "Crazy" Richard Boden Georgia Pritchett 21 April 2010 (2010-04-21)

Series 3 (2011)[edit]

A third series had been in production from October 2010; it began airing on 13 April 2011.[2]

No. # Title Directed by Written by Original airdate
13 1 "The Boyfriend" Richard Boden Georgia Pritchett 13 April 2011 (2011-04-13)
14 2 "Letter of the Law" Richard Boden Georgia Pritchett 20 April 2011 (2011-04-20)
15 3 "Interference" Richard Boden Georgia Pritchett 27 April 2011 (2011-04-27)
16 4 "Snake" Richard Boden Georgia Pritchett 4 May 2011 (2011-05-04)
17 5 "Lost in Translation" Richard Boden Georgia Pritchett 11 May 2011 (2011-05-11)
18 6 "Absent Friends" Richard Boden Georgia Pritchett 18 May 2011 (2011-05-18)
19 7 "The Bug" Richard Boden Georgia Pritchett 25 May 2011 (2011-05-25)
20 8 "The Good Mother" Richard Boden Georgia Pritchett 1 June 2011 (2011-06-01)

Ratings[edit]

Episode No. Airdate Total Viewers BBC Weekly Rank
1.1 8 January 2009 5,320,000 16
1.2 15 January 2009 4,930,000 26
1.3 22 January 2009 Under 4,650,000 N/A
1.4 29 January 2009 Under 4,780,000 N/A
1.5 5 February 2009 Under 5,160,000 N/A
1.6 12 February 2009 Under 4,620,000 N/A
Episode No. Airdate Total Viewers BBC Weekly Rank
2.1 17 March 2010 5,930,000 8
2.2 24 March 2010 5,140,000 15
2.3 31 March 2010 5.010,000 15
2.4 7 April 2010 4,790,000 20
2.5 14 April 2010 4,580,000 19
2.6 21 April 2010 5,060,000 16
Episode No. Airdate Total Viewers BBC Weekly Rank
3.1 13 April 2011 4,730,000 16
3.2 20 April 2011 3,010,000[15] N/A
3.3 27 April 2011 3,890,000[16] N/A
3.4 4 May 2011 3,280,000[17] N/A
3.5 11 May 2011 3,700,000[18] N/A
3.6 18 May 2011 3,010,000[15] N/A
3.7 25 May 2011 3,430,000[19] N/A
3.8 1 June 2011 Under 3,320,000 N/A

International broadcast[edit]

The series is currently airing on RTÉ One on Sundays in an early morning time slot.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Caroline Quentin's Life Of Riley will not return for fourth series". British Comedy Guide. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "In Production". Catherine Bailey Ltd. July 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2010. 
  3. ^ "Two brand new sitcoms from BBC Scotland - Life Of Riley and The Old Guys". BBC Press Office. 19 March 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2009. 
  4. ^ Belcher, David (16 January 2009). "Life of Riley: unfunny in any age". The Herald. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  5. ^ Walton, James (8 January 2009). "Last night on television: Victorian Farm (BBC2) - Life of Riley (BBC1)". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "Paul English". The Daily Record. 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  7. ^ "Riley tedious". The Northern Echo. 15 January 2010. Retrieved 15 April 2010. [dead link]
  8. ^ Simon, Jane (8 January 2009). "We love sitcoms: The Life Of Riley BBC1, 8pm". The Daily Mirror. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  9. ^ Hanks, Robert (9 January 2009). "Last Night's Television: A marital comedy divorced from wit". London: The Independent. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  10. ^ "Scotland's Best Read Sunday Newspaper". Sunday Mail. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  11. ^ Parker, Robin (18 March 2010). "BBC1 enjoys Life of Riley with 5.8m". Broadcast Now (Emap Ltd.). Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  12. ^ Smith, Mark (22 March 2010). "The living-room comedy is dead". The Herald. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  13. ^ Groskop, Viv (18 March 2010). "Life of Riley: why are most family sitcoms so unfunny?". The Guardian (London). 
  14. ^ Whitelaw, Paul (2 April 2010). "TV review: Laughter Shock/Life of Riley/Burnistoun". The Scotsman (Edinburgh). 
  15. ^ a b Television-Ratings.INFO (2011-04-20). "UK Overnight Daily TV BARB Ratings – Wednesday, April 20, 2011". Television-Ratings.INFO. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  16. ^ Television-Ratings.INFO (2011-04-27). "UK Overnight Daily TV BARB Ratings – Wednesday, April 27, 2011". Television-Ratings.INFO. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  17. ^ Published Thursday, 5 May 2011, 10:41 BST (2011-05-05). "'The Only Way Is Essex' finale fetches 1.4m - The Only Way Is Essex News - Reality TV". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  18. ^ Television-Ratings.INFO (2011-05-11). "UK Overnight Daily TV BARB Ratings – Wednesday, May 11, 2011". Television-Ratings.INFO. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  19. ^ Published Thursday, 26 May 2011, 10:02 BST (2011-05-26). "Frosty 'Apprentice' firing seen by 7.5m - The Apprentice News - Reality TV". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 

External links[edit]