Another Glass of Summer Wine?

Spin-off series proposed; crowdfunding sought.
October 17, 2014
 
Alan J.W. Bell and Ken Kitson pose with WILL staffers David Thiel and Danda Beard.

Bell (right) and Kitson (in costume) during WILL-TV's 2011 England tour. That's me on the left, and Danda Beard in the middle.

Photo: David Thiel

Could Last of the Summer Wine make a comeback? This British comedy favorite (which airs weeknights at 10:00 pm on WILL-TV) ran for a record-breaking 37 years before its 2010 cancellation. And if producer Alan J.W. Bell can convince fans around the world to chip in, there may be more misadventures to come.

The UK publication Daily Express reported that Bell, along with Summer Wine actors Ken Kitson and Louis Emerick, are attempting to launch a spin-off series based on police officers Cooper and Walsh. According to the article, they intend to finance it through crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding—the practice of calling on thousands of individual donors to provide seed money for a project—has been all the rage as of late. One of its most notable success stories was the campaign to revive the cult TV detective series Veronica Mars as a big-screen film. More than 91,000 fans backed it to the tune of $5.7 million. That the resulting movie made a mere $3.4 million during its theatrical run was somewhat beside the point, as the production budget had already been covered.

So, there’s precedent for this sort of thing. Time will tell if Summer Wine fans can muster the necessary financial resources.

Bell and Kitson both have had a relationship with WILL-TV. Alan has visited the station several times, and has conducted tours of Summer Wine locations in Holmfirth, England, where WILL members had the chance to meet Kitson in person.

I went on the 2011 England tour, and I remember Alan being very excited about the possibility of a Cooper and Walsh spin-off. It sounds as if he’s making every effort to keep the project alive, and I wish him all the best!

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