Autumn 2011 on E4. It’s TOTES ‘MAZE. Fact.

by Lynn Connolly

So nice telly people. As you all know, E4 is pretty darned great. And that’s not just us who happens to think so. Be warned, E4 OFFICIAL STAT ALERT!

We’re eight months into our bestest year, like totes ever. E4 is now officially the biggest digital channel for 16 – 34-year-olds with ratings up 12% year on year, and we’ve even overtaken Channel 5 and BBC2 in terms of young viewers, so we reckon that makes us pretty damn cool.

Plus we’ve garnered a slew of awards including Broadcast Channel of the Year with plenty of programme awards in between like the posh Baftas for Skins, The Inbetweeners and Misfits to name but a few. It’s pretty clear, we’re the dog’s nads. The next few months on E4 is a veritable smorgasbord of hot new talent and familiar faces doing some rather exciting new stuff. We’ve got loads to pack into your telly box. Just take a look at this lot…

Comedy on E4

Noel Fielding, the co-creator of The Mighty Boosh is back and this time he’s taking things to another level, bringing his own distinctive brand of psychedelic comedy to E4 in Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, A character based comedy, the show is half filmed and half animated, with music provided by Kasabian‘s Sergio Pizzorno.

The brilliant Chris Addison presents Show & Tell from September which sees him joined each week by three up and coming comics, who will each bring some things to “show” and “tell” the audience about. In each show the comedians tell the audience about a personal item from home as well an item they have brought in as their homework challenge. The items – whether they relate to something topical, personal or completely random – are the launch pad for them to each perform a mini solo stand-up routine, ‘telling’ the audience about their chosen item, and ‘showing’ why it’s rich comedy pickings.

Already an online phenomenon, with over 38 million views of their comedy songs to date, The Midnight Beast arrive on E4 early next year. This spanking new TV sitcom features band members Stefan Abingdon, Dru Wakely and Ashley Horne as struggling musicians, alongside a host of comedic guest stars. Each episode sees them “stapling their songs and stupid real-life experiences together” as the boys cope with day to day challenges like sharing a flat and trying to impress girls when they’ve got no money and one of them sleeps in the kitchen.

Cardinal Burns is a new comedy sketch show written and performed by Seb Cardinal and Dustin Demri-Burns. Sketches range from silly and cartoonish to smart, contemporary concepts; re-occurring characters include Office Flirt, New Guy; Phil and Terry the Cockney Midgets.

Comedy Labs, the comedy strand that launched the careers of Peter Kay, Russell Brand and Jimmy Carr, as well as uncovering such gems as Modern Toss and Fonejacker, is also back for new run. Six brand new half hour commissions starting this September, include Anna and Katy which sees acclaimed sketch double act Anna Crilly and Katy Wix bring their brand of character comedy to the channel and Totally Tom, a unique and sometimes macabre scripted comedy/sketch show, written and performed by Tom Palmer and Tom Stourton.

Over on High Street UK the priority is to ‘shift units, make money, smash targets…’ and no one knows that better than the staff of PhoneShop. Lance and his sales team are back for a second series this November and things are more competitive than ever. Everyone is feeling the pinch and with star salesman Little Gary Patel still detained at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, the Sutton Branch of PhoneShop needs to take action. Look out for another jaw-dropping cameo appearance from Kayvan Novak (Fonejacker, Four Lions).

Entertainment on E4

Say hello to The Dirty Digest in November: a wickedly funny headlong dive into the world of fame and celebrity as host Michelle de Swarte (Party People for Comic Relief 2011; The Fashion Show, ITV2) and her panel of bright young things pick apart and pour over a week in the lives of the stars. They’ll be examining the latest celeb trends, revelling in bad superstar behaviour, laughing at the funniest clips from around the world, gasping over the latest gossip, and generally celebrating all things celebrity.

E4 is also getting its pom poms ready to cheer the arrival of Sorority Girls this Autumn. Five all-American Sorority ‘sisters’ will be giving girls at Leeds University the opportunity to be part of the UK’s first ever Sorority Chapter. This exclusive all-female club is shrouded in secrecy and potential new members must endure weeks of full on challenges and initiation rituals while remaining beautiful and perfectly turned out every single day.

Not to be upstaged by anyone, the glittering Made in Chelsea crew keep things seasonally up to date as some more of South-West London’s young elite join the line-up in September. Has Spencer moved on from Caggie? Is Hugo still smitten by Millie? Expect all the dramas, awkward pauses and priceless quotes from series one plus even more incredible parties, holidays and country retreats as the champagne swilling socialites take us behind the gilded doors lining the Royal Borough of Chelsea.

And speaking of style, the very stylish Rick Edwards continues to provide his own unique brand of relationship counselling in Tool Academy 2 from November. This year’s students need more help than ever to cure them of their Toolish ways. The guys think they are competing for the coveted title of ‘King of Men’, enjoying arousing back rubs from sexy masseurs and sucking lemons from the mouths of giggling tequila girls. Little do they know, their long-suffering girlfriends are watching every move. And they are not pleased. Expect more tears, more tats, more tension – and more Tools.

Drama on E4

The trend for trend setting continues in October with Bafta winning Misfits. This series sees Joe Gilgun (star of This Is England ’86) enrolling for community service as new guy Rudy. He zips up the infamous orange jumpsuit alongside resident delinquents Bafta winner Lauren Socha, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Antonia Thomas and Iwan Rheon in the super-sized series which sees its run extended to eight episodes.

And if more episodes weren’t enough, those clever online people have gone even further this time. In amongst all the super cool social media activity, fans can witness the departure of series regular Robbie Sheehan in an exclusive film for E4.com called Misfits Online: Vegas Baby!

Following on from the end of series two, Nathan heads to Vegas with Marnie, little Nathan Jnr and his new super power. His target? The casinos. Premiering online in September, the short film has been written by series creator Howard Overman and is a fittingly outrageous send off for motor-mouth Nathan. To watch the episode from Thurs Sept 15th, head to e4.com/misfits

Hollyoaks Later returns with some after dark scandal later this month well and truly turning up the heat as the ‘Oaks’ finest hit the bars and beaches of notorious party island Ibiza as Mercedes and Riley celebrate their stag and hen parties.

And back in Hollyoaks village, the new terms sees Hollyoaks sixth form college open for business and a new intake of Freshers are welcomed to the local university HCC. And if the excitement of a wild Fresher’s Week isn’t enough, following their wild stag and hens in Ibiza, Mercedes and Riley get set to tie the knot in a lavish wag wedding. But will Mercy get to be a footballer’s wife, or is her secret affair with Riley’s Dad Carl about to be revealed? And then there’s the small matter of Silas, the serial killer, who is still on the loose and ramping up his campaign of terror. It’s all happening in the world’s most eventful village!

You’ve got say, that’s some pretty hot UK talent. And if THAT’S not enough, we’ve also got the best the US has to offer, as E4 welcomes some very fresh faces from across the pond exclusively to the channel.

US Acquisitions

New Girl sees indie film golden-girl Zooey Deschanel take the central role of Jess Day, a quirky, adorable woman in her late 20s, who following a bad breakup with her boyfriend, moves in with three single guys. This single-camera comedy from Liz Meriwether (No Strings Attached) features a young ensemble cast which takes a fresh and outrageous look at modern male/female relationships; Elisha Cuthbert heads up a brilliant ensemble cast in Happy Endings which asks the question, who gets to keep the friends when a couple split.

And from Emmy® Award winner Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City) and white-hot stand-up comedian Whitney Cummings, 2 Broke Girls comes to E4 later in the year. Two girls from opposite ends of the social spectrum wind up as waitresses in the same colourful Brooklyn diner. On paper they are poles apart, but the two strike up an unlikely friendship that could lead to a successful business venture. All they need to do is come up with $250,000 in start-up expenses. While Max and Caroline can barely make their rent, these two girls prove that life can be fun, even if you’re flat broke.

Further down the East Coast, Charlie’s Angels zip up their ass kicking boots to bring some hot Miami action to the new look line up. And proving that geek chic really is in fashion, everyone’s favourite science nerd Shelton returns in the US’s No1 comedy, the Emmy award winning Big Bang Theory which, with an average of 1.15 million per episode is consistently one of the top rating of any of E4’s shows.

So there you have it. We’re loud, we’re proud, we’re purple. And we’re on your telly. Brilliant.

© Channel 4 & E4

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.