Mrs. Brown's Boys
||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (January 2013)|
|Mrs. Brown's Boys|
|Created by||Brendan O'Carroll|
|Written by||Brendan O'Carroll|
|Directed by||Ben Kellett|
|Theme music composer||Andy O'Callaghan|
|Country of origin||Ireland|
|No. of series||3|
|No. of episodes||21 (List of episodes)|
|Location(s)||BBC Pacific Quay|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original channel||RTÉ One
|Original run||1 January 2011– present|
|Mrs. Brown's Boys at the BBC|
Mrs. Brown's Boys is a British-Irish award winning sitcom created by and starring writer and performer Brendan O'Carroll. The show is based on O'Carroll's stage plays about the character Agnes Browne, which were developed from books and straight-to-DVD films. The sitcom continues the stories of Agnes, now with the shortened surname "Brown", and her family who are played by real life close friends and family of O'Carroll's. After being slated by critics, the show has become a ratings success in both Ireland, where it is set, and the United Kingdom, where it is recorded. On 29 December 2012 the show began its third series. Mrs Brown's Boys is a co-production among BBC Scotland, BocPix and RTÉ.
- 1 Background
- 2 Characters
- 3 Broadcasting
- 4 Reception
- 5 Distribution
- 6 Spin-offs
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Mrs. Brown's Boys appeared first on RTÉ 2fm, an Irish radio station, in 1992 and then in a series of books written by Brendan O'Carroll from the mid-1990s onwards. The books, entitled The Mammy, The Chisellers, The Granny, and The Young Wan, were first published in Ireland, before being made available in the United Kingdom. In 2000, The Mammy was adapted into a film titled Agnes Browne with Anjelica Huston playing the title character. Following the success of the film, O'Carroll wrote a series of stories, adapted from the books, in which he played Mrs. Browne (now spelled 'Brown') and cast the rest of the family — including many of his own relatives as characters. A series of seven, film-like adaptations were made, which went straight to DVD release. During this time, O'Carroll took the show on the road, appearing in a series of Mrs. Brown plays in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
In early 2009, O'Carroll was approached by BBC Scotland producer Stephen McCrum to create a television series based on the stage show. O'Carroll recruited an expanded cast mainly from family members and wrote a pilot, but production was held back a year due to the Jonathan Ross/Russell Brand incident. The unbroadcast pilot was created in November 2009, and within three weeks of the pilot being submitted to the BBC, they commissioned a full series. Subsequently RTÉ One came on board to help produce the series in partnership with the BBC. The first series aired on RTÉ One from 1 January to 5 February 2011. In the United Kingdom, the BBC transmitted the first episode on 21 February 2011.
Following the success of the first series, RTÉ and the BBC commissioned a second, which began with a Christmas special broadcast on 25 December 2011 on RTÉ One, and the next day on BBC One. The latter was the most watched television programme in Ireland over the Christmas season. The second series began on New Year's Eve 2011 in Ireland, and two days later in the United Kingdom.
The BBC commissioned a third series in November 2011 a few weeks before the second series was broadcast, O'Carroll described the commission as "An extraordinary gift and we genuinely don't take it lightly. We're overwhelmed with the support of the audience and hopefully when they see what we've done with the second series they'll see that maybe the BBC is not totally mad." Whilst Cheryl Taylor, Controller, Comedy Commissioning for the BBC has also commented on the commission of a third series, "The new Mrs Brown's episodes are rip-roaring fun and will delight her ever growing army of fans. I am pleased as punch that we are commissioning series three - go Agnes!" Following two Christmas specials, the third series began on 29 December 2012 on RTÉ One and on 1 January 2013 on BBC One.
According to Gary Hollywood, who plays Dino, on a radio interview, a Mrs. Brown's Boys Christmas Special for the year 2013 will be recorded in May 2013, due to a busy schedule of UK touring and the potential of filming the Mrs. Brown film (due for cinematic release in June 2014) from September to November 2013. On 30 January 2013, the BBC announced that two Christmas specials had been commissioned for 2013. In October 2013 The Mrs Browns boys Mother of all boxsets was re-released.
Mrs. Brown's Boys is recorded at the BBC Pacific Quay studios in Glasgow, Scotland and is recorded in front of a live audience, which is seen at the beginning and the end of each show. While a fictional storyline is the basis of each episode, the programme uses a laissez-faire style in which areas beyond the set, including equipment and crew, are sometimes seen and aspects of the show's production are lampooned within the fictional dialogue. The show takes a more irregular concept as bloopers such as characters getting lines wrong, corpsing and set, camera and prop faults are not edited out of the episodes.
At the beginning of each episode Agnes Brown breaks the fourth wall, with an introductory monologue. Each episode ends with Agnes again breaking the fourth wall to say goodbye. As the credits roll, the camera pulls out to see the audience and the cast of the entire episode lining up to take a bow. The finale of every series so far has ended with a music performance by the cast.
- Agnes Brown (Brendan O'Carroll) - A loud, foul-mouthed Irish matriarch who is always looking out for her family after the death of husband Redser. Agnes is a very nosy woman, who is interested in other people's lives. Agnes works at a fruit and veg stall at Dublin market. She takes great pleasure in making a fool of her neighbour and best friend Winnie, and her father-in-law. Agnes has a catch phrase; "That's nice". It is jokingly explained that she was taught to say this in place of "Feck off" while taking elocution lessons.
- Cathy Brown (Jennifer Gibney) - Cathy is Agnes's fourth child and only daughter. She is a lonely middle-aged woman who is on the look-out for a man - but is put off by her mother, and what her mother usually has to say about her boyfriends. In series one, it is revealed that Cathy has already been married once in a London register office, and the man she married was beating her. It is also shown that Cathy is not divorced yet. Cathy is played by O'Carroll's real-life wife, Jennifer Gibney.
- Grandad Brown (Dermot O'Neill) - Grandad is Agnes's father-in-law, who she always makes a fool of. He is lazy and is always complaining, which makes Agnes angry.
- Mark Brown (Pat "Pepsi" Shields) - Mark is the eldest of Agnes's sons, who lives with his wife Betty and their son, Bono. Mark never learned to read and write at the school, for which Agnes took the blame, until Cathy told her it was the teachers' fault, owing to the fact he'd been at school for eight years and not missed a single day.
- Betty Brown (Amanda Woods) - Betty is Agnes's daughter-in-law, and is married to Mark. She and Mark have a son, Bono. Betty is very strong-minded and is not afraid to put Agnes in her place when needs be. Betty is played by the wife of O'Carroll's son, Danny, Amanda Woods.
- Bono Brown (Jamie O'Carroll) - Bono is Agnes's grandson. He lives with his dad Mark and mum Betty, and often visits and stays over at Agnes's house. Bono is played by O'Carroll's real life grandson, Jamie.
- Rory Brown (Rory Cowan) - Rory is Agnes's second son and her only homosexual son, who is scared of telling his mum that he is gay because he thinks that she will be ashamed. When she finally finds out, she says, "I know about your illness."
- Dino Doyle (Gary Hollywood) - Dino is Rory's Scottish newlywed husband. He and Rory manage the hair salon that they work in together. Dino is also a chef, and cooked for Hilary and Agnes when they had dinner together.
- Dermot Brown (Paddy Houlihan) - Dermot is Agnes's youngest son, who is commonly seen in giant costumes, which he wears as part of his job in mascot advertising. Dermot has found himself in trouble with the law after burgling with his friend Buster Brady. Dermot is played by the best friend of O'Carroll's son Danny, Paddy Houlihan.
- Maria Brown (Fiona O'Carroll) - Maria is Agnes' daughter-in-law, who is married to Dermot. She is a nurse from a wealthy family, who always seems to be quiet. She and Dermot have triplets, all boys, named after three of The Beatles: John, George and Ringo. Maria is played by O'Carroll's real life daughter, Fiona.
- Trevor Brown (Martin Delany) - Trevor is another of Agnes's sons and is a priest in the Roman Catholic Church. He does not appear in the first series, but returns in the Christmas special after his term with the missionaries ends. Trevor is played by Martin Delany, O'Carroll's son-in-law, married to his real-life daughter, Fiona.
- Winnie McGoogan (Eilish O'Carroll) - Winnie is Agnes's next door neighbour and best friend. She is always seen either in Foley's Bar or at the kitchen table with Agnes. She is a quiet, harmless soul and is made a fool of by Agnes. She is married to Jacko McGoogan who is an unseen character who is usually ill or accident prone. Winnie is played by O'Carroll's real-life sister, Eilish.
- Sharon McGoogan (Marion O'Dwyer)(Original series and pilot)/(Fiona Gibney) - Sharon is Winnie and Jacko's daughter. In the original series, Sharon was played by Marion O'Dwyer. In the later series, Sharon is played by O'Carroll's sister-in-law, Fiona, sister of his wife, Jennifer.
- Buster Brady (Danny O'Carroll) - Buster, a troublemaker looking for an easy way to make money, is Dermot's best friend and is not well liked by Agnes. He was the best man at Dermot and Maria's wedding. He has a thing for Cathy. Buster is played by O'Carroll's real life son, Danny.
- Hilary Nicholson (Sorcha Cusack/Susie Blake) - Hilary is Maria's mother. Hilary is very wary of Agnes, and does not approve of Maria marrying into the Brown family. In the first series, Hilary was portrayed by Sorcha Cusack.
- Mr Foley (Mike Nolan) - The landlord of the local pub, Foley's. In the first and second series, Mr Foley was portrayed by Smug Roberts.
- Father Quinn (Gary Lilburn) - Father Quinn is the local priest. He helped Trevor when he wanted to go on the missions. He believes he is losing his faith in Mammys Miracle. The Brown's convince him to remain in the priesthood by leading him to believe he performed a miracle (raising Grandad from the dead). Pat "Pepsi" Shields, who plays Mark Brown in the series, has also played Father Quinn on stage.
- Mick (Mark Dymond) - Michael "Mick" O'Leary is a former boyfriend of Cathy Brown. Mick is a police detective in his 30s who dated Cathy for a few weeks. He made his first appearance in Mammy's Merchandise. He appeared in the first two episodes of Series Two before Cathy broke off their relationship in Mammy's Coming after Maria revealed he's married. Mick is not seen again until Series Three's Mammy? where he turns up at the Brown household and reveals to Cathy he is divorced, and they agree to give their relationship another go. In the original series he was played by Keith Duffy and on stage he has been played by Martin Delaney.
Notable guest characters
- Simon Lavine (Derek Mooney) - an Irish hypnotist who performs at Foley's in the episode "Mammy's Spell". He hypnotises both Agnes and Winnie. If Agnes hears the word "Triplets" she becomes a dog, if she hears "Baptism" she becomes a stripper. He later appears near the end in the Browns' living room as they try to break the spells, where he checks his watch claiming he has to go soon.
- Jimmy Gennochhi (Joe Duffy) - The Psychic who appears in the episode "Mammy's Break". He uses his crystal ball to communicate with Redser, Agnes' late husband.
|United Kingdom||BBC One
|New Zealand||TV One||2012–|
|United States||BBC America||2012-|
||This section may be unbalanced towards certain viewpoints. (September 2012)|
Although the show has had high viewership, it has received poor reviews from critics. From the start critics hated it; "The whole thing is entirely predicated on viewers finding a man dressed as a foul-mouthed elderly woman intrinsically funny", noted Bernice Harrison, TV reviewer with The Irish Times. "If you do, you're away in a hack, and the viewing figures are astronomical, but if you don't, and you think that died out with Les Dawson and Dick Emery, then it's a long half-hour." The Irish Independent said that Mrs Brown's Boys was the type of TV programme "that makes you vaguely embarrassed to be Irish".
Mrs. Brown's Boys was a ratings success upon its initial broadcast in Ireland. Every episode aired won its timeslot for RTÉ, with an average viewership of 753,500 in January 2011. One episode's rating beat that of RTÉ's own ratings giant The Late Late Show, with 856,000 viewers tuning in to watch. The 2011 Christmas episode was the most-watched TV show in Ireland over the holiday season, with a 48.6% audience share. A year later the show again topped the Christmas ratings with "The Virgin Mammy" gaining an average of 972,000 viewers and a 47% share, and "Mammy Christmas" gaining an average of 851,000 viewers and a 51% share.
Its opening in the UK won 16.4% of the ratings in its Monday night slot and was received well by viewers. Despite the critical reviews, 2.9 million viewers had tuned in by the third episode. The 2011 Christmas Special achieved 6.61 million viewers, winning in its 10 pm time-slot. Consolidated figures revealed the 2012 Christmas specials were the most watched programmes on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day respectively. "Mammy Christmas" gained 11.68m (41.3%) and "The Virgin Mammy" gained 10.72m (38.7%). The first airing of the show usually averages around 10 million viewers with an additional 5 million viewing on the following Saturday repeat, adding up to almost 15 million views per episode.
In 2011 Mrs. Brown's Boys was nominated for a BAFTA award at the British Academy Television Awards. In February 2012, it won an IFTA for Best Entertainment Programme. At the 2012 BAFTA Television Awards, Mrs. Brown's Boys won the award for Best Situation Comedy, and Brendan O'Carroll was nominated for the BAFTA for Best Male Performance in a Comedy Programme but lost to Darren Boyd for his role in the Sky1 comedy series, Spy. In September 2012, the show won best comedy at the TV Choice Awards. In January 2013, Mrs. Brown's Boys won the National Television Award for Best Situation Comedy. At the 2012 British Academy Scotland Awards, Mrs Brown's Boys won the award for Best Comedy Entertainment Programme.
DVD and Blu-ray releases
More than one million copies of the first series of Mrs. Brown's Boys were sold on DVD in Ireland and the UK between October 2011 and February 2012. A complete series 1 and 2 box set was also released on 8 October 2012, containing the 2011 Christmas special as a content exclusive, therefore meaning if one wishes to own the special, they would have to buy the box set.
Some of the episodes on the Series 1 DVD differ from their original broadcasts. Due to copyright issues, scenes where casts perform songs were edited out. These edits included a scene where Mrs Brown sings Happy Birthday, the entire cast singing The Proclaimers song, "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" in episode 3, and a scene in episode 6 where Buster sings the theme tune to Mission Impossible} No changes have been made to the Series 2 episodes on their DVD release.} A joke was made about being sued for singing a copyrighted song featured during the stage show Mrs Brown's Boys Live: Good Mourning Mrs Brown.}
On 11 October 2012, series 2 was released in Region 4 in both standard form and a limited edition. The limited edition version contained the Christmas special. The Complete Collection was also released at the same time, containing all 13 episodes as well.
|Title||# of disc(s)||Year||# of episodes||DVD release||Blu-ray release|
|Region 2||Region 4||Region B UK||Region B AU|
|Series One||2||2011||6||3 October 2011||1 August 2012||3 October 2011||1 August 2012|
|Series Two||2||2012||6||8 October 2012||11 October 2012||8 October 2012||11 October 2012|
|Live Tour – Good Mourning Mrs. Brown||1||2012||Live show||12 November 2012||TBA||12 November 2012||TBA|
|Series 1, 2 & Christmas Special||5||2012||13||8 October 2012||11 October 2012||8 October 2012||TBA|
|Series Three||2||2012/13||6||4 March 2013||6 June 2013||4 March 2013||6 June 2013|
|Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas Crackers||1||2011/2012||3||7 October 2013||TBA||7 October 2013||TBA|
|Mrs Brown's Boys Big Box
Series 1-3 & 3 Christmas Specials
|7||2011-13||21||7 October 2013||TBA||7 October 2013||TBA|
|Mrs Brown's Boys Live Tour Rides Again||1||2012||Live show||11 November 2013||TBA||11 November 2013||TBA|
Original Series DVD releases
The original theatre shows, starring the same cast.
|Title||# of disc(s)||Year||# of episodes|
|Region 2||Region 4|
|Mrs Brown's Boys 1 - Mrs. Browns Boys||1||2010||1||2010||-|
|Mrs Brown's Boys 2 - The Last Wedding||1||2010||1||11 May 2006||-|
|Mrs Brown's Boys 3 - Believe it or not||1||2010||1||2010||-|
|Mrs Brown's Boys 4 - Good Mourning Mrs. Brown||1||2010||1||2010||-|
|Mrs Brown's Boys 5 - Triple Trouble||1||2010||1||2010||-|
|Mrs Brown's Boys 6 - How Now Mrs. Brown||1||2010||1||2010||-|
|Mrs Brown's Boys 7 - The Seven Year Itch||1||2010||1||2010||-|
|Mrs Brown's Bloomers (out takes)||1||2010||N/A||18 October 2010||-|
|Mrs Brown's Boys - The Original Series (Complete Series)||7||2010||7||19 November 2010||-|
There have been reports that an estimated £3.6m deal is in place with Universal Studios to start production on the film version of the series. A spokesman for O'Carroll has also confirmed that the film will have a distinctly Dublin flavour, "It's Dublin humour so you're going to need Dublin actors and technicians to get it right for the big screen." Despite funding being secured, O'Carroll confirmed that the script has not been written. "I haven't written it yet. That's what success does, they give you money and say 'Whatever you think'. So I've taken the money!". At the 2013 National Television Awards O'Carroll confirmed the film had been written and will begin shooting the following autumn.
O'Carroll has also confirmed that a game show starring Mrs Brown is in development with production company 12 Yard. A non-broadcast pilot is expected to be recorded in late 2012. A full series was due to be broadcast in 2013.
It's announced that the show will do a live appearance in Australia in 2014.
In the Spring of 2012, O'Carroll turned down an offer to create a one-off special for HBO with the option of a full series if the show was well received as he wished to spend his time with family, not move to the US.
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