Channel 4 is to show the other side of Shameless after announcing a new drama series which follows a group of police officers trying to enforce the law in a chaotic Manchester community.
No Offence is written by Paul Abbott, the dramatist behind Shameless, the series set on the fictional Chatsworth estate, which turned the work-shy Frank Gallagher into an anti-hero.
With Shameless coming to an end after 11 series, Abbott is hoping to repeat its success with No Offence, a comedy-drama set in a “crumbling Victorian cop shop on the wrong side of Manchester.”
Described as “a new and completely original take on the world of the police procedural”, Channel 4 said the new eight-part series will “shock, move and invite audiences to laugh themselves silly by turns.”
Keeping the streets clean is a “Herculean task” which is “enough to demoralise the keenest rookie”. The bobbies on the front line question “what they did to end up here, in this force, on this side of town”.
Frequently the target of the Chatsworth estate’s riotous residents, in No Offence the police have to demonstrate “they have what it takes to crack crime and to expose the addled, the skanky, the pimps, the petty and the really proper nasty bastards for the sewer rats they are.”
The “rabble” from the local estate are dealt with by a frontline team of Inspector Vivienne Deering, the station’s “hard as they come boss”, DC Dinah Kowalski, a smart but impetuous single mother and the “buttoned-up” DC Joy Freers.
Abbott, who previously wrote the political conspiracy thriller State Of Play, said: “I’m a big fan of well-told cop shows and jet-black social comedy, and I wanted to see how explosively we could bang two genres’ heads together. No Offence is a tilted, hardcore blend of cop drama, family saga and social mayhem.”
Channel 4 hopes No Offence will be a returning series like the Bafta-winning Shameless, which became an international success, spawning a US remake on the Showtime channel.
The commission was announced as Channel 4 published its annual report for 2012, which said that its spend on original content last year reached a high of £434 million, up from £419 million in 2011.
However Channel 4 paid increased bonuses to its bosses last year despite the state-owned broadcaster going £27 million into the red.
David Abraham, Chief Executive, received a £100,000 bonus on top of his £515,000 salary as his total package jumped to £744,000 against £701,000 a year earlier.
Jay Hunt, Chief Creative Officer, collected two bonuses worth £116,000 on top of her £390,000 salary, taking her total package to £542,000 compared to £487,000 during 2011.
The main channel’s audience share fell to 6.6 per cent of all viewing and the portfolio of channels, which includes E4 and More4, dipped slightly to 11.5 per cent.
The broadcaster said it had anticipated making a loss as part of a strategy of extra investment in content including its award-winning London 2012 Paralympics coverage.
Channel 4 was able to to afford to dip into its reserves after “strong surpluses” in 2010 and 2011 when the corporation made £74 million in profits after tax.