Fifth season of The IT Crowd not to air

24 Oct 2011

The stars of The IT Crowd (left to right): Richard Ayoade (Moss), Katherine Parkinson (Jen) and Chris O'Dowd (Roy)

Despite being commissioned, it seems the much-anticipated fifth season of Channel 4’s The IT Crowd, created by Irish writer Graham Linehan, who also wrote Black Books and Father Ted, is not going ahead.

Linehan broke the news to fans on popular social news website Reddit as part of its “IAmA …” series of public interviews.

As one of the series’ biggest fans here in the office pointed out, Linehan traditionally never does more than three seasons of any of his shows so it was “out of character” for him to have done a fourth season at all.

The series, written and directed by Linehan, was set in the offices of a fictional British corporation in central London and centred on a three-strong IT support team – Roy Trenneman, Maurice Moss and Jen Barber – in a dingy basement.

The IT Crowd – lines that made us laugh:

Moss: “But it’s an iPhone, Jen! I may be able to get an iPhone without giving any money to Apple! I’ll be living the dream!”

Jen: “If this evening is going to work in any way, you need to pretend to be normal people, yeah? Keep the conversation about things that will interest everybody, you know, nothing about memory or RAM.”

Roy: “No, no there you go, no there you go. I just heard it come on … no, no, that’s the music you heard when it come on … no, that’s the music you hear when … I’m sorry, are you from the past?”

Moss: “I’m a 32-year-old IT man who works in a basement. Yes, I do the whole Lonely Hearts thing!”

Jen: “If you type ‘google’ into Google you can break the internet – so please … no one try it, even for a joke.”

Moss: “JEN? Is Roy off the phone yet? The spider is now upon my person.”

Moss: “My mum’s on Friendface. My mum! I’ve opened up another channel of communication with my mum.”
Jen: “Isn’t that good?”
Moss: “No, it is not good! She has put down her current mood as ‘sensual’!”

King of comedy

Addressing fans on Reddit, Linehan said: “Chief reason was the fact that I just wasn’t looking forward to it the way I used to. I felt that the last series was a nice strong point to go out on, and anything further might just be running on the spot. You don’t do your best work when you’re running on the spot.

“It feels like a natural time to wind things down. Apart from anything else, we’re probably reaching that stage where it begins to feel odd that Roy, Jen and Moss are still stuck down in that basement. I don’t want to start giving everybody babies to make it feel like they’re moving on with their lives.

“My kind of comedy has always been set-piece driven … and maybe that kind of thing has a naturally short life. I did three series of Father Ted, one of Black Books, one of Big Train, so I feel a personal sense of achievement that IT Crowd made it to series 4, especially as it gave me two of my favourite episodes, ‘Jen The Fredo’ and ‘Final Countdown’.

“There just wasn’t much in my idea file that topped those episodes, and I like to go into a series feeling I have some big moments lined up,” Linehan said.

Perhaps the most poignant tribute to Linehan’s popular series came from an IT worker: “I understand your feelings for wanting to change it, but as an IT worker, who is currently sitting in the basement of a large city building, I thank you for it. It’s like watching my own life play out on the screen.”

However, there was some good news for fans of the series. Linehan is considering a final special that could have enough material to be made into a movie. Failing that, he could just turn it off and on again!

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years