Mrs. Brown's Boys

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Mrs. Brown's Boys
Mrs. Brown's Boys.png
GenreComedy
FormatSitcom
Created byBrendan O'Carroll
Written byBrendan O'Carroll
Directed byBen Kellett
StarringBrendan O'Carroll
Jennifer Gibney
Caolan Robinson From Derry
Paddy Houlihan
Fiona O'Carroll
Danny O'Carroll
Eilish O'Carroll
Pat Shields
Amanda Woods
Rory Cowan
Gary Hollywood
Dermot O'Neill
Fiona Gibney
Susie Blake
Theme music composerAndy O'Callaghan
Country of originIreland
United Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series3
No. of episodes23 (List of episodes)
Production
Producer(s)BBC Stephen McCrum, Mark Freeland, James Farrell, Ewan Angus; RTE Justin Healy; BOC-PIX Martin Delaney, Conor Gibney, Fiona Gibney, Mark Sheridan, Gareth Woods, Marian Sheridan, Simon Carty
Editor(s)Mark Lawrence
Location(s)BBC Pacific Quay
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)BBC Scotland
BOC-PIX
RTÉ
Broadcast
Original channelRTÉ One
BBC One
Picture format16:9
576i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original run1 January 2011 (2011-01-01) – present
External links
Mrs. Brown's Boys at the BBC
 
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"Agnes Brown" redirects here. For other uses, see Agnes Brown (disambiguation).
Mrs. Brown's Boys
Mrs. Brown's Boys.png
GenreComedy
FormatSitcom
Created byBrendan O'Carroll
Written byBrendan O'Carroll
Directed byBen Kellett
StarringBrendan O'Carroll
Jennifer Gibney
Caolan Robinson From Derry
Paddy Houlihan
Fiona O'Carroll
Danny O'Carroll
Eilish O'Carroll
Pat Shields
Amanda Woods
Rory Cowan
Gary Hollywood
Dermot O'Neill
Fiona Gibney
Susie Blake
Theme music composerAndy O'Callaghan
Country of originIreland
United Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series3
No. of episodes23 (List of episodes)
Production
Producer(s)BBC Stephen McCrum, Mark Freeland, James Farrell, Ewan Angus; RTE Justin Healy; BOC-PIX Martin Delaney, Conor Gibney, Fiona Gibney, Mark Sheridan, Gareth Woods, Marian Sheridan, Simon Carty
Editor(s)Mark Lawrence
Location(s)BBC Pacific Quay
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)BBC Scotland
BOC-PIX
RTÉ
Broadcast
Original channelRTÉ One
BBC One
Picture format16:9
576i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original run1 January 2011 (2011-01-01) – present
External links
Mrs. Brown's Boys at the BBC

Mrs. Brown's Boys is a television sitcom created by and starring Irish writer and performer Brendan O'Carroll and produced in the United Kingdom by BBC Scotland alongside companies BocPix and RTÉ. The titular character Agnes Brown is played by O'Carroll himself, with several close friends and family members making up the rest of the cast. The show adopts an informal production style where production mistakes and tomfoolery, mostly instigated by O'Carroll, are edited into each episode. After being lambasted by critics, the show has become a ratings success in both Ireland, where it is set, and the United Kingdom, where it is recorded. It is also gaining increasingly higher ratings in Australia and Canada. Subsequently in 2012 it won three television comedy awards.

Mrs. Brown's Boys was developed from O'Carroll's works going back to the early 1990s. The character, Agnes Browne, appeared in stage plays, radio plays, books and straight-to-DVD films. For the sitcom, Agnes' surname was shortened from Browne to Brown. The stage shows have continued, and during February and March 2014, it toured around Australia. Since its first broadcast on RTÉ One, on 1 January 2011, 23 episodes have been produced across three series, including five Christmas specials. Mrs. Brown's Boys D'Movie was released on 27 June 2014.[1]

Background[edit]

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.[2][3] 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.[4] 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[5][6][7] 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.[8] 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.[9] 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,[10][11] 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."[12] 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!"[13] Following two Christmas specials, the third series began on 29 December 2012 on RTÉ One[14] and on 1 January 2013 on BBC One.[15]

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.[16] On 30 January 2013, the BBC announced that two Christmas specials had been commissioned for 2013.[17] In October 2013 The Mrs Brown's Boys Mother of all boxsets was re-released.

Production[edit]

Mrs. Brown's Boys is recorded at the BBC Pacific Quay studios in Glasgow, Scotland[18] 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. However, "Who's a Pretty Mammy" which was not a finale ended with a performance of Auld Lang Syne, complete with bagpipes.

Characters[edit]

Brown Family

McGoogan Family

Others

Notable guest characters[edit]

International broadcasters[edit]

The series is also broadcast in Canada, Australia, Iceland, Sweden and New Zealand.[22] Broadcast on the Seven Network in Australia, the series has secured nearly 1 million viewers.[23]

TVNZ has obtained the New Zealand broadcast rights for the series.[24]

CountryChannelAired
 AustraliaSeven Network2012–
 BelgiumEén2013–
 CanadaBBC Canada2012–
 Iceland[25]RÚV2012–
 New ZealandTV One2012–
 SwedenSVT2014–
 United StatesBBC America2012–

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Although the show has had high viewership, it has received poor reviews from critics and has been dubbed the "worst comedy ever made".[26][27]

"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."[28] The Irish Independent said that Mrs Brown's Boys was the type of TV programme "that makes you vaguely embarrassed to be Irish".[29]

Outside of Ireland, it has received similarly poor reviews. Grace Dent of The Independent remarked: "Once seen, it is rarely forgotten. To love Mrs Brown, one must be thrilled by a man in a hairnet and dinner lady tabard saying the F-word roughly once every ten minutes, egged on by a loyal studio audience so whipped to hysteria by him that one can hear pants being soiled and spleens exploding with mirth."[30] Paul English of the Daily Record blasted the show as "lazy, end-of-pier trash rooted in the 1970s... One half-hour of this actually made me angry. Angry that the BBC seem to be abandoning quality in the pursuit of lowest common denominator ratings."[31] The Metro called it "jaw-droppingly past its sell-by date" and "not even remotely funny", saying that the BBC should "hang its head in shame" for showing "this RTÉ drivel". [32] Noted Irish writer Graham Linehan says he didn't want his new sitcom The Walshes to be compared with Mrs. Brown's Boys.[33]

Television ratings[edit]

Ireland[edit]

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.[34] The 2011 Christmas episode was the most-watched TV show in Ireland over the holiday season, with a 48.6% audience share.[9] 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.[35]

United Kingdom[edit]

Its opening in the UK won 16.4% of the ratings in its Monday night slot and was received well by viewers.[36] Despite the critical reviews, 2.9 million viewers had tuned in by the third episode.[37][38][39] The 2011 Christmas Special achieved 6.61 million viewers, winning in its 10 pm time-slot.[40][41] Consolidated figures revealed that the 2012 Christmas specials were the most watched programmes on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day respectively: "Mammy Christmas" had 11.68 million viewers (41.3%) and "The Virgin Mammy" was watched by 10.72 million (38.7%).[42] The episode "Buckin' Mammy" was the most watched programme in the UK on Christmas Day 2013, with 9.4 million viewers.[43]

Awards[edit]

In 2011 Mrs. Brown's Boys was nominated for a BAFTA award at the British Academy Television Awards.[44] 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.[45] In September 2012, the show won best comedy at the TV Choice Awards.[46] At the 2012 British Academy Scotland Awards, Mrs Brown's Boys won the award for Best Comedy Entertainment Programme.[47] For two consecutive years, in 2013 and 2014, Mrs. Brown's Boys won the award for Best Comedy at the National Television Awards.[48][49] In Spring 2014 the series is up for Best Comedy at the Scottish RTS awards[50][51]

Distribution[edit]

DVD and Blu-ray releases[edit]

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, meaning to own the special, one has to buy the box set.[52]

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[53]} No changes have been made to the Series 2 episodes on their DVD release.[54]} 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.[55]}

On 11 October 2012, Series 2 was released in Region 4[56] 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 episodesDVD releaseBlu-ray release
Region 2Region 4Region B UKRegion B AU
Series One2201163 October 2011[57]1 August 2012[58]3 October 2011[59]1 August 2012[60]
Series Two2201268 October 2012[61]11 October 2012[62]8 October 2012[63]11 October 2012[64][65]
Good Mourning Mrs Brown: Live Tour12012Live show12 November 2012[66]TBA12 November 2012[67]TBA
Series 1, 2 & Christmas Special52012138 October 2012[68]11 October 2012[69]8 October 2012[70]TBA
Series Three22012/1364 March 2013[71]6 June 2013[72]4 March 2013[73]6 June 2013[74]
Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas Crackers12011/201237 October 2013[75]7 November 2013[76]7 October 2013[77]7 November 2013[78]
Mrs Brown's Boys Big Box
Series 1-3 & 3 Christmas Specials
72011-13217 October 2013[79]7 November 2013[80]7 October 2013[81]TBA
Mrs Brown Rides Again: Live Tour12012Live show11 November 2013[82]1 May 201411 November 2013[83]1 May 2014
For The Love Of Mrs Brown: Live Tour12013Live show10 November 2014[84]TBA10 November 2014[85]TBA
Mrs Brown's Boys: More Christmas Crackers1201326 October 2014[86]TBA6 October 2014[87]TBA

iTunes releases[edit]

The first series of Mrs. Brown's Boys has been available on iTunes since 31 October 2011, available in High Definition.[88] The two 2012 specials were released 11 November 2013.[89] Additionally the Mrs. Brown's Boys Live Tour: Good Mourning Mrs Brown was also released 12 November 2012. Also, Mrs Brown's Boys Live Tour: Mrs Brown Rides Again was released on 11 November 2013. [90]

Original Series DVD releases[edit]

The original location films, starring the same cast except Amanda Woods.

Title# of disc(s)Year# of episodes
Region 2Region 4
Mrs Brown's Boys 1 - Mrs. Browns Boys1201012010[91]-
Mrs Brown's Boys 2 - The Last Wedding12010111 May 2006[92][93]-
Mrs Brown's Boys 3 - Believe it or not1201012010[94]-
Mrs Brown's Boys 4 - Good Mourning Mrs. Brown1201012010[95]-
Mrs Brown's Boys 5 - Triple Trouble1201012010[96]-
Mrs Brown's Boys 6 - How Now Mrs. Brown1201012010[97]-
Mrs Brown's Boys 7 - The Seven Year Itch1201012010[98]-
Mrs Brown's Bloomers (out takes)12010N/A18 October 2010[99]-
Mrs Brown's Boys - The Original Series (Complete Series)72010719 November 2010[99]-

Spin-offs[edit]

Film[edit]

A film adaption of the series entitled Mrs. Brown's Boys D'Movie was released in cinemas on 27 June 2014.[1] BBC Films is acting as its sales agent.

Tours[edit]

Mrs. Brown's Boys began as a theatre show in 1999 performing across venues in Ireland, Scotland and the North of England. O'Carroll wrote three stage plays entitled Mrs Brown's Last Wedding, Good Mourning Mrs Brown and Mrs Brown Rides Again. These three stage shows formed part of the Mrs Brown Trilogy and was toured for several years. After playing to acceptable sized audiences across Ireland and the North of England, O'Caroll decided to write a fourth stage play entitled For The Love of Mrs Brown in 2007 he then recorded the live show and made it available onto DVD via his own website in a bid to increase the popualrity of the stage show. In 2009, O'Carroll then decided to write a fifth stage play entitled How Now Mrs Brown Cow which later toured in 2010. When the show was picked up by the BBC in 2011 as a TV series, O'Carroll has decided to re-tour all these shows across the UK. In March and April 2014, the live stage show Mrs. Brown Rides Again was performed in theatres across Australia.[100] Brendan O'Carroll announced at the end of each performance of Mrs Brown Rides Again that the cast would be returning to Australia and New Zealand in January 2016 for various performances of the live stage show Good Mourning Mrs. Brown. On 30 June 2014, it was announced that How Now Mrs Brown Cow would tour UK arenas starting in March 2015. Tickets for the shows went on sale on 4 July 2014.[101]

Television[edit]

In 2012, O'Carroll confirmed that a game show starring Mrs Brown was in development with production company 12 Yard called Mrs. Brown's Celebrities. A non-broadcast pilot was recorded in late 2012,[102] A full series was due to be broadcast in 2013 but O'Carroll turned it down, stating that he didn’t need to water down the Mrs. Brown brand.[103][104] The format was brought up again in 2014 this time entitled The Guess List with Rob Brydon now hosting the full series.[105] O'Carroll has also confirmed that an animated version of the show is in development.[106][107] 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.[108][109]

In June 2014 it was announced that there would be a Mrs. Brown's Boys spin-off film entitled Wash and Blow, set in the salon where Rory and Dino work. O'Carroll will write the film but rather than playing Mrs. Brown, he will star as the salon's owner, Mario.[110][111]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]