14th February – Breeders, a new Sky Original comedy starring Martin Freeman (Fargo, Sherlock, Black Panther) and Daisy Haggard (Back To Life, Episodes, Black Mirror), explores the paradox that every parent knows but never admits: you would willingly die for your children, but quite often you also want to kill them. The 10 x 30 series premieres in the UK and Ireland on 12th March at 10pm on Sky One and streaming service NOWTV.
Martin Freeman stars as “Paul,” a caring father discovering he’s not quite the man he thought he was. His partner in this impossibly steep parental climb is “Ally” (Daisy Haggard), who runs a recording studio, makes Paul laugh and has the ability to read a story to their children while she’s technically asleep.
In this honest and uncompromising comedy Paul and Ally are juggling full-time careers, aging parents, a mortgage, upheavals in their relationship and the unenviable curveballs of parenting their young children, “Luke” (George Wakeman) and “Ava” (Jayda Eyles). When Ally’s estranged father “Michael” (Michael McKean) appears on their doorstep, the family essentially takes on a third child but this one comes with baggage and opinions. Paul’s own parents, “Jackie” (Joanna Bacon) and “Jim” (Alun Armstrong), are on hand to help out, but their generation does parenting a little differently…
The 10-episode season is produced by Avalon and FX Productions for FX Networks and Sky Originals. Academy Award®-nominee and double Emmy® Award-winner Simon Blackwell (Veep, Back, Peep Show) is showrunner. Breeders is created by Blackwell, double Emmy® Award and Directors Guild of America Award winner Chris Addison (Veep, The Thick of It, The Hustle), who also directed episodes 6-10, and Emmy and BAFTA®-winning Martin Freeman, who also stars alongside Daisy Haggard. Executive producers are Blackwell, Addison, Freeman, Richard Allen-Turner, Rob Aslett, David Martin, Jon Thoday and Michael Wiggs. Ben Palmer (Man Up, The Inbetweeners Movie, Back) is co-executive producer and also directed episodes 1-5, whilst Toby Welch (Catastrophe, The Tunnel, Skins) produces.
The children won’t sleep – Paul (Martin Freeman) and Ally (Daisy Haggard) thought these nights were over. Paul spends the night fighting his own anger and his children’s inability to go the f**k to sleep.
Luke’s parents evening and the surprise arrival of Ally’s estranged father (Michael McKean) cause Paul and Ally to examine their hopes and dreams for Luke and Ava and discover how far they are willing to go for the sake of their children.
Ally attempts to acclimatise to Michael’s continued presence while Paul, suspected of intentionally hurting his mum, begins to question if his accident-prone son’s frequent injuries might actually be his fault.
Michael thrives in his new role as dad and granddad, but Paul and Ally can’t adapt to his presence as easily as the children can. Luke’s hunt for proof that Santa doesn’t exist puts Paul’s claim that he never lies to the test.
Paul and Ally are thrilled that Sprout the family gerbil has finally died, but explaining loss to Luke and Ava is more difficult than they thought as grief manifests itself in mysterious ways and throws the family off course.
In the wake of Michael’s death, the family stay with Darren (Patrick Baladi) at his country house, but Paul’s attempt to give Ally space by taking on kid duties and Darren’s fixation on work doesn’t help Ally find a chance to say goodbye.
Its half term and Luke is responsible for taking Lenny the class bear on an adventure. Lenny has been to Italy, Peru and beyond, but Paul can’t even manage to get the family and the godforsaken bear out of the house to the local park.
Paul attempts to focus on his upcoming wedding but is constantly thwarted by his family; Ally is distracted by work, Luke is misbehaving at school and Leah (Stella Gonet) doesn’t understand why they are even bothering to get married.
Family life is thrown off kilter as Ally spends her weekdays in Berlin and weekends in London. Paul, Luke and Ava try to muddle through without her, but the children aren’t sleeping again and it takes its toll on Paul.
Luke’s condition worsens and he is admitted to a specialist paediatric unit. As Paul, Ally and their parents desperately wait for news, stress and fear cause cracks to form within the family.
With 24 million customers across seven countries, Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of the Comcast group. Our 31,000 employees help connect our customers with the very best of Sports, News, the arts and to our own local, original content. Following the success of Sky originals like Chernobyl, Patrick Melrose, Das Boot and Gommorah we launched Sky Studios and now plan to more than double our investment in original drama and comedy over the next five years.
Our technology allows customers to watch what they want, when they want, how they want, and as we connect millions of families to content they love, it is our responsibility to do it safely – that’s why we offer services like Sky Broadband Buddy and the Sky Kids app. And our online streaming service, NOW TV, brings viewers all the enjoyment of Sky with the flexibility of a contract-free service.
We also believe that a company of our scale has a responsibility that goes beyond our business, and into the community. Our Sky Ocean Rescue campaign has reached millions across Europe, we’re on track to be free of single-use plastic by 2020, we’re investing £25million over five years in ocean-saving tech and we’re a proud employer – recognised by The Times and Stonewall for our approach to inclusivity.
Avalon is a multi-award-winning talent management, television production and live promotion group with offices in London, Los Angeles and New York.
The Company represents a prolific roster of artists including comedians, actors, presenters, writers and directors and produces numerous ground-breaking television shows. Series currently in production include: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO); Not Going Out (BBC); Taskmaster (Channel 4); The Russell Howard Hour (Sky); Starstruck, a new sitcom from the 2018 Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Rose Matafeo (HBO Max/BBC); Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, from creator Josh Thomas (Freeform); Breeders, a new sitcom starring Martin Freeman and Daisy Haggard (FX/Sky); The Iliza Shlesinger Sketch Show (Netflix); and multiple comedy specials for Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max and Netflix. Other iconic Avalon shows include Catastrophe (Amazon Prime Video/Channel 4), Fantasy Football League (BBC/ITV), TV Burp (ITV), and seven seasons of Workaholics (Comedy Central USA). Avalon also distributes its catalogue of programmes to over 150 countries worldwide.
As a leading promoter of live comedy, Avalon produced Newman and Baddiel: Live at Wembley, the UK’s first arena comedy show; Jerry Springer: The Opera, the first West End show to win all four UK ‘Best New Musical’ awards; and has continued to produce and promote live shows globally, as well as promoting more winners and nominees of the prestigious Edinburgh Comedy Award than any other company.