'The Smoke' Not Returning for a Second Series - Jamie Bamber News
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'The Smoke' Not Returning for a Second Series
Well, that's that then.  One day after the cast's contracts were up, this was just posted to Sky's website:

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Pretty unfortunate news considering how warmly received the show seemed to be by most who were able to see it.  And a real letdown for the cast and crew. (I know, we're biased as always, but especially for Jamie who had one of the richest roles he's ever played on television in this.)

Sound off in the comments below; I have some stuff to add, but right now they might just get pushed aside by expletives. :P

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Comments
From: genesgal Date: April 27th, 2014 09:20 am (UTC) (Link Me)
This is such a short sighted , moronic decision. The Smoke performed better than other shows in this time slot. In the UK Thursdays at 9pm there is a great deal of competition for viewers. Not everyone has Sky1. Lots of the freeview or terrestrial channels also have decent programmes on at that time.
I'm so pissed that Sky left it to the very last minute to let the cast know they don't have a job. Even Jamie with all his experience I'd how TV companies work, thought that Sky wouldn't be so cruel as to wait until the last minute to sack them. Bless him, even though it had taken him away from His family, he was so keen to do another series of it.
For me this has been the best Jamie's ever been. A spellbinding, nuanced performance, with such heart. He made me laugh, cry ( lots) and gasp. Can only imagine how wonderful he'd of been showing us Kev's journey. A court case, loss of his job, change of dynamic with Asbo, copious therapy sessions etc.
God I hate Sky at the moment!

It's so bloody annoying to fall for a character then have them "killed" off. Kev was such a lovely bloke. Mega flawed ( not surprising after all he'd gone through) but so interesting and real. The last time I felt this bad was Mal Reynolds and Firefly getting axed ( still bare a grudge over that )

I for one am going to boycott Sky on Thursday at 9pm.

Can't we start a campaign to boycott them unless they renew it!
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 27th, 2014 03:56 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Networks tend not to respond very well to boycott responses when fans are disappointed about stuff like this; if there's some attempt to keep it positive, results can be better. And actually, it's probably Kudos in this case who would be the ones to spearhead finding a way to continue the show now that Sky have dumped it. Problem is, with the cast released from their contracts now it would be that much harder to regroup everyone.

A lot of people on Twitter were citing the rescue of Ripper Street as a recent success story. There are SO many factors that go into decisions like these though, and it's important to point out that Amazon are the ones who really stepped up to ensure that show continued, not the BBC. It would be lovely if Kudos could get an online partner interested in underwriting new episodes of The Smoke, but again there are factors to consider. (Ripper Street also had the advantage of having already been introduced to a U.S. audience via BBC America; The Smoke hasn't been picked up for U.S. distribution yet.)

(p.s. I get that "killed" is in quotation marks, but remember Jamie's characters have a bad habit of actually dying... let's at least celebrate that Kev didn't! ;) )

Edited at 2014-04-27 04:17 pm (UTC)
From: genesgal Date: April 27th, 2014 11:04 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Or indeed see if another TV company like ITV, would take it on. ITV of course broadcast LOUK.. Also made by Kudos.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 27th, 2014 04:11 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I hear what you're saying but if I'm honest the LAST venue I'd want to see pick up the show is ITV. ;) Too many bad memories of scheduling nightmares and lack of information from LOUK's run! I will admit they are in a much different place now having since had big hits like Downton Abbey and Broadchurch and they seem to be committed to better dramas too, but I'd still be interested in other options. (Also though they are fine with some degree of adult situations and language, I feel like they would have to cut back on the stronger content of The Smoke quite a bit if it were picked up by ITV.)

This is the key thing we should probably address if we're talking about any theoretical rescue by another channel: The budget. I would bet heavily on the notion that The Smoke's budget - in particular the fire sequences - are why Sky balked, coupled with them possibly having unrealistic expectations about viewing figures. And the scale and intensity of the production's fires is something that was SO heavily touted before and during the show's run, it's probably something that Kudos were hoping to be able to continue if the show moved forward. But honestly? It's about the characters, dammit. The fire sequences WERE dazzling, and the staging of Kev's accident in the first episode in particular was utterly nerve-wracking and spectacular. But if it's a choice between losing the show entirely or finding a way to scale back the infernos? The show was SO SO much more than the production values. I would happily watch The Smoke with more, longer character-driven set pieces and less Blackwall Tunnel explosions. The soul of the show is those characters.

Edited at 2014-04-27 04:53 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 27th, 2014 04:31 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
This makes me really sad, not only because it's not returning (which is really sad in its own right, don't get me wrong) but also because it seems to dampen the chances of a US airing/ DVD release.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 27th, 2014 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
It does seem less likely, though you never know; Hulu have recently picked up a LOT of UK shows for US viewers, even ones that didn't continue past one series.

I do encourage everyone to seek out the UK DVD release, by the way; one no longer really has to have a region-free DVD player to watch it. Most computer and laptop DVD drives can be easily, legally modified to watch pretty much anything, and there is software that can help too. :)
aurora1888 From: aurora1888 Date: April 27th, 2014 05:08 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I'm gutted for the cast and crew, the show had so much potential, whoever made the decision to cancel has some questions to answer, especially when you see what they have already renewed. They've gave a bloody awful show fronted by James Corden another three series and they can't renew a brilliant drama which would in the long run have brought them more viewers and income. Frakwits the lot of them. Seriously the mind boggles.
I don't think one drama they produced last year has been renewed.
Anyway I hope the cast go on to bigger and better things and I hope we hear some casting news for our boy soon.
aurora1888 From: aurora1888 Date: April 27th, 2014 05:10 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
The James Corden series is called a League of their own and it has indeed been renewed for another three years. I think they decide what's being renewed down the pub.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 27th, 2014 08:08 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
That's a panel show though, isn't it? That's the problem; in the grand scheme of things, panel shows cost very little to make. Hence they are more likely to be renewed for many, many series than a drama or even an quality sitcom. :(

(And I like panel shows. Certain ones, anyway; I go out of my way to find new episodes of QI, and I look forward to the Big Fat Quiz of the Year every year. But as with most non-scripted TV, it's gotten a little out of control now...)
aurora1888 From: aurora1888 Date: April 27th, 2014 08:12 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
We should be used to this by now but still it's annoying.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: April 27th, 2014 08:46 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I was out of town this weekend and learned of the news, at 12:30 am, just as I was going to bed. Who the frak releases renewal/cancellation news at 5am on a Sunday morning??? All day Friday I was checking for news. I did not expect it to be released like this.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 27th, 2014 08:54 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Yeah, I'm not sure exactly when that page went up but the Google alert for it landed in my inbox at just before midnight East Coast time, 5am GMT. No tweets, FB posts or other social media duplication of the announcement, just that.

They've also since edited down their statement, which is a little odd. (Was no one available to approve the first edit? Oh, right, it was SUNDAY MORNING!)

It has to be re-iterated that while the show was on the air, Sky did a terrific job of putting it in front of viewers online and trying to engage the audience. Their handling of the cancellation is pretty flimsy though.

Edited at 2014-04-27 08:56 pm (UTC)
From: genesgal Date: April 27th, 2014 09:37 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Curious that Sky changed the wording on their statement.!

I appreciate ITV have played silly buggers with LOUK but at this juncture I don't care which TV company takes the show on as long as the cast an writer(s) remain the same. I totally agree that as riveting as the big set pieces were, the personal, character driven side of the show was what I enjoyed the most. So I really wouldn't care if there was less action. Ell they could even get Kev pensioned off from the LFB, because of his PST, and just concentrate on him and Trish.
Although I loved all the characters for me, Jamie's portrayal of Kev was the reason I got hooked on the show, and this was without realising what had happened in the fire as I'd missed the first five minutes. Kev was real to me by the end of the RTC rescue. Not many characters or show grab my attention so thoroughly. Utterly gutted that we won't get to see more of his life.

For as upset as we all are, we have to remember that to us it was eight hrs of TV. To Jamie and everyone involved it was 6months (or more) of their lives. From Jamie and Kerry's tweets, they were expecting a 2nd series, and even talking about the whole family coming to the UK. It shows how badly things were handled that even with his experience of TV decisions, Evan Jamie was side swiped by the answer. Feel so badly for all involved in the show apart from the exec who canned it at te 11th hr!it.... I cannot even express what I'd like to do to them but it wouldn't be pleasant!
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 28th, 2014 06:58 am (UTC) (Link Me)

Americanization of British TV programming

This sort of decision is sadly a reflection of how British television is increasingly copying the US. All Sky cares about is ratings and numbers. Even the BBC--which is publicly funded--has fallen victim to this. Remember Outcast? Worried about viewing number is the antithesis of the 'quality' Sky and the BBC harp on about. Truly depressing.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: April 29th, 2014 03:06 am (UTC) (Link Me)

Re: Americanization of British TV programming

You can correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Sky rely on ad revenue? Because then they are going to be concerned about ratings since ratings determine, in large part, what they can charge for ads. From what I gathered, 'The Smoke' was doing well for Sky in that time slot compared to what aired at the same time previously. But maybe what they were making in ad revenue wasn't enough to support the cost of the show. I don't know. And I'm in no way defending Sky's decision to cancel the show, but, as much as we all hate commercials, right now, they are a necessary in evil in that, without them, many shows wouldn't be on the air.
aurora1888 From: aurora1888 Date: April 28th, 2014 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Maybe they couldn't sell the rights to other countries? I'm just guessing here or it could have been that it was slightly ahead of it's time in terms of Kev's injuries and people are just not ready to see that yet.
Sky's loss though
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 29th, 2014 02:36 am (UTC) (Link Me)
It's true, grievous crotch injury isn't something you see depicted all that often, let alone more than once over the course of a series. I'd still argue that with context brought into play, much MUCH worse stuff gets depicted on TV over here. (A lot of the torture Theon went through on Game of Thrones last season, for example; and Kev's injuries in The Smoke at least had a crucial role in the plot. Most of those Theon scenes were dragged out and didn't advance his storyline at all.)

This underlines a certain point though, which is that for American networks, virtually anything depicting "the downstairs area" as it were (particularly for men) is restricted to premium channels like HBO and Showtime. Which don't pick up foreign series much if ever, they're more interested in developing their own programming. Some basic cable nets have stretched a lot of boundaries, but not that far, and I can't see how you'd air The Smoke and edit out THAT shot in the first episode. It's the lynchpin of Kev's entire character arc. That leaves streaming options, which is what I was rooting for all along. Netflix aired The Fall without any cuts last year, and there's some very extreme content in that, difficult to watch but crucial to the plot and the tone of the show.
ayajedi From: ayajedi Date: April 28th, 2014 09:00 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
unfortunate
From: genesgal Date: April 30th, 2014 08:51 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I can't believe all mention of The Smoke has disappeared. Fans got Ripper street taken on by another company when it was cancelled. Surely it's a possibility for the same to happen with The Smoke?
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 30th, 2014 03:35 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Well, to be fair its been less than a week since the news was dropped. And on a Sunday morning no less. based on the Twitter reactions a lot of people are still finding out and many viewers still might not know.

If someone starts a petition, I am sure us related fan sites and maybe even some cast members might signal boost! But for some reasons I already outlined plus others, Ripper Street is a tough comparison. That show had two full series' run, with a fan base on both sides of the pond who had a strong network to mobilize. The Smoke hasn't been picked up anywhere else yet so its online presence is smaller. Plus, if you read the details of the Amazon deal, that Tiger Aspect (who produce Ripper Street) were in discussion with them came out a week after the cancellation news landed. I would be very surprised if that doesn't mean that they were already trying to find someone to pick up the show before they were officially cancelled.
From: genesgal Date: May 1st, 2014 08:25 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I wondered if you might set one up especially as you're followed by Kerry on Twitter. Maybe DM her and ask if Jamie thinks it might be worth a try. If we all spread the word. I could certainly tweet everyone who posted on any of The Smoke related pages etc. I feel time is of the essence if it's to have a chance.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: May 1st, 2014 02:34 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
The big and likely insurmountable problem with any fan campaign is, unlike other shows that have been saved, the contracts of all the cast, crew and writers have expired. People are already looking to their next project and it would be extremely difficult to reunite everyone. And with pilots still being cast in the states, my guess is Jamie has already been looking for his next gig. As much as he loved working on 'The Smoke', the reality of the industry is when your contract is up you immediately start looking to see what else is available to you. I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't land a regular series role this season, we see him popping up in guest starring roles soonish.
From: genesgal Date: May 1st, 2014 08:10 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I've emailed Kudos, telling them about the fan base for the show and that we'd do whatever we could it there was a chance of a series 2.

Poor Jamie doesn't have much luck. I can see why he wanted to do 17th Precinct. The prospect of working with Ron and some of his BSG troop must of been such a huge draw, such a shame it didn't even get broadcast let alone get picked up. Money Mornings getting cancelled and now The Smoke, the first show he's been the lead in and boy did he lead.
It's going to be horrid seeing him just as a guest in established show. None of them give him the chance to do the kind of work he showed he can do in The Smoke. Such a waste of his talent and o annoying that because of Sky being so cruel in their last minute cancellation , he has missed out on pilot season.
If Kudos come back with a big fat no then there's nothing we can do, I just feel we owe it to the show and it's wonderful cast, to at least try.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: May 1st, 2014 09:12 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Follow up with Kudos on Twitter if you don't get an email response; can't hurt. If they don't reply, though, they likely don't have any viable options.

He hasn't missed out on pilot season, as Asta indicated above; it's well underway, but there are a lot of shows still casting at the moment. Plus so many shows are launching at various points throughout the year these days, opportunities might still be available for a while yet. (Marvel has *four* series launching on Netflix over the next couple of years that all remain to be cast. I would give pretty much anything for them to cast Jamie as Daredevil, though I'm not betting the farm on it or anything. Heh.)

Of course, ideally I think as fans we'd all love to see him in a lead role that offered as rich a challenge for him as The Smoke did, but we probably shouldn't dismiss guest roles as "horrid", either. It would depend entirely on the role and the show; plenty of shows could offer juicy guest arcs that could run a few episodes or even a whole season. He's definitely done some guest shots in the past that weren't all that challenging to what he's capable of as an actor (He was delightful in Body of Proof, but mostly that required him to be beautiful and charming. Which he can do in his sleep, blindfolded ;) ). But he's done some really interesting ones too.
From: genesgal Date: May 2nd, 2014 12:28 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I don't think guest roles will be 'horrid' just they won't give him the depth of part he's either interested in or excels at. I agree the few minutes we had of Aiden in BOP were lovely, but it went nowhere. He deserves a lead role but I doubt he's going to get offered anything as challenging or rewarding as Kev. At the end of the day he's a jobbing actor. He's got a wife and three girls to support and depending on how astute he is with his money, He'll need to get some money moving in whatever the job. I don't think he's worked for six months and like us was reasonably sure that The Smoke would get a second series. I wonder what the 1.6 hr audition he did back in February was for, I assume he didn't get it or couldn't take it because of being tied to The Smoke!
Re your suggestion to tweet Kudos.. Can everyone do that please..
I watched the last episode again tonight , my own protest to Sky.. It just upset and made me angry that Sky would throw away such a good how. All the storyline potential was there or the second series, different dynamics for the same relationships. Asbo possible having the upper hand or t the very least, way less respect for Kev. Trish being pregnant with Mal's child. Kev having proper therapy sessions. Little Al and Tina, Ziggy and her young family. Nick getting his comeuppance for his ineptness .. So many place for the show to go..... Oh for a massive lottery win.. I'd pay or the show to be made myself!.

Edited at 2014-05-02 08:29 am (UTC)
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