18 October 2023

Press Release

Channel 5 Greenlights New Four-Part COMA (Working Title) From Roughcut Television and CBS Studios, Starring Jason Watkins

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Channel 5 Greenlights New Four-Part COMA (Working Title) From Roughcut Television and CBS Studios, Starring Jason Watkins

LONDON, Wednesday 18th October 2023: Channel 5 announced today they have greenlit a new four-part drama Coma (4x60” / w/t), a tense and compelling thriller that will leave audiences on the edge of their seats. The gripping drama, starring Jason Watkins (The Catch, The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, W1A), delves into the consequences of one fateful decision and the unforeseen chaos that ensues. Produced by Roughcut Television and CBS Studios, with Paramount Global Content Distribution handling distribution.   

Coma (w/t) has been ordered for Channel 5 by Paul Testar, Commissioning Editor, Drama, Channel 5 and Paramount+. Written and created by Ben Edwards (Miss Scarlett And The Duke, The Good Karma Hospital, Stella), the executive producers for Roughcut Television are Creative Director Alex Smith, Head of Drama Marianna Abbotts and Chief Executive Ash Atalla. The director is Michael Samuels (Close To Me, Any Human Heart, The Man In The Orange Shirt).   

Roughcut Television, one of the UK’s most prolific comedy producers, bring their scripted expertise to their debut drama for Channel 5. Founded by Ash Atalla – producer of The Office and the IT Crowd – and makers of People Just Do Nothing, Stath Let’s Flats and Big Boys, this is an exciting new chapter in the drama space for Roughcut.   

In Coma (w/t), Simon (Jason Watkins), a devoted family man, finds himself at a breaking point as his neighbourhood falls victim to the terrorising antics of a group of teenagers, led by the menacing 17-year-old Jordan Franklin, played by rising star Joe Barber, and his questionable companions. Simon and his wife, Beth, played by Claire Skinner (Outnumbered, McDonalds & Dodds, Murder they Hope), are desperate to move their young daughter to a safer area away from the threatening atmosphere. When Simon's frustration reaches its peak and he confronts Jordan outside his own home, a split-second decision changes everything.   

Further cast confirmed to feature are David Bradley (After Life, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones) as Simon’s quiet grumpy neighbour Harry, Jonas Armstrong (The Drowning, The Bay, Edge of Tomorrow) as Jordan’s dangerous father Paul, Kayla Meikle (Time 2, Litvinenko, Small Axe) as determined DS Kelly, and David Mumeni (Dead Pixels, Stath Lets Flats, No Return) as Simon’s untrustworthy boss Jimmy.   

Paul Testar, Commissioning Editor, Channel 5 and Paramount+, comments on the upcoming series: "Coma is a provocative thriller that asks the audience: What would I do? It's the story of a good man who does one bad thing that causes his life to spiral out of control. We are excited to be working with Roughcut and CBS Studios to bring this intense and gripping tale to Channel 5 viewers and are thrilled to have the fantastic Jason Watkins leading the cast."   

Jason Watkins also shares his excitement about the series: "I cannot wait to get stuck into playing Simon in Coma, this character faces an agonising situation that will keep viewers questioning their own morals. I’m sure it will be a thrilling and emotionally charged experience.”   

With an explosive plot that challenges the boundaries of right and wrong, Coma explores the price of a single moment's lapse in judgment and the unforeseen repercussions that can cascade into a life-altering nightmare.   

Alex Smith, Executive Producer, Roughcut Television adds: "We’re so excited to launch our new drama slate with Coma, a truly gripping domestic thriller, following Simon - a normal guy next door, swallowed up by the fall-out from one moment of madness.”   

Lindsey Martin, Senior Vice President, International Co-Productions & Development, CBS Studios: “Coma is a propulsive and universal series that will undoubtedly resonate with viewers globally. We are thrilled to collaborate with Channel 5 and Roughcut Television and can’t wait to see Jason Watkins and the brilliant cast bring this riveting story to life on screen.”   

Coma began filming in October and is set to air on Channel 5 in 2024.   


For UK press enquiries please contact: 

Kate Killgour | Kate.Killgour@paramount.com

Amanda Browne | Amanda.Browne@paramount.com

For US press enquiries please contact: 

Kristen Hall | Kristen.Hall@paramount.com


About Channel 5: 

Channel 5 is a public service broadcaster and the UK’s third largest commercial TV station. Launched in March 1997, Channel 5 has been part of Paramount Global (formerly ViacomCBS) since its acquisition in September 2014.   

Channel 5 and its digital brands – 5STAR, 5USA, 5SELECT, 5ACTION and the on-demand service My5 – offer a diverse range of issue-led documentaries & popular factual celebrating the British countryside and drawing talent to the channel, accessible history, premium drama and critically-acclaimed children’s, news and current affairs programming. Through its agenda-driving commissions, Channel 5 leads on societal issues from inequality to homelessness and mental health, aiming to tell the story of modern Britain by reflecting the lives of people across the nation.    

In 2018, Channel 5 won its first BAFTA for Cruising with Jane McDonald. The following year, Raped: My Story won best Single Documentary at RTS. In 2020, it won crowned Channel of the Year at the Broadcast Awards and by the RTS. In addition that year, it secured its first ever Grierson award win in the ‘Best Single Documentary – Domestic’ category with Suicidal: In Our Own Words. In 2021, it won best factual entertainment at the Broadcast Awards for Springtime on the Farm. It also won best drama at Voice of the Listener & Viewer for All Creatures Great and Small the same year.   

About Paramount Global: 

Paramount Global (NASDAQ: PARA, PARAA) is a leading global media and entertainment company that creates premium content and experiences for audiences worldwide. Driven by iconic studios, networks and streaming services, its portfolio of consumer brands includes CBS, Showtime Networks, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount+ and Pluto TV, among others. The company delivers the largest share of the U.S. television audience and boasts one of the industry’s most important and extensive libraries of TV and film titles. In addition to offering innovative streaming services and digital video products, Paramount Global provides powerful capabilities in production, distribution and advertising solutions.   

About Roughcut Television: 

Established in 2010 by Golden Globe winning producer of The Office ASH ATALLA, Roughcut TV is one of the UK’s fastest growing independent production companies and has quickly grown a reputation at home and across the Atlantic as a major scripted producer. The company has been leading the comedy space with multi award-winning productions that include; three-time BAFTA award-winning STATH LETS FLATS (Channel 4), two-time BAFTA winning PEOPLE JUST DO NOTHING, BAFTA nominated BIG BOYS (Channel 4), JERK (BBC3), BLOODS (SKY), CUCKOO (BBC3) and TROLLIED (SKY1). Roughcut’s first feature - PEOPLE JUST DO NOTHING: BIG IN JAPAN was released in UK cinemas nationwide in summer 2021. Roughcut have also announced three new comedy commissions - comedy drama WE MIGHT REGRET THIS (BBC & VILLAGE ROADSHOW), rom-com SMOTHERED (Sky) and talent led comedy - THINGS YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE (BBC).    

In 2019, Roughcut expanded into drama and had their first drama greenlit earlier this year. COMA, a 4 part thriller for Channel 5 starring Jason Watkins starts filming in October and the company also has another drama greenlight for a 6 part thriller for a major streamer which will be announced soon. Roughcut’s drama slate takes the same creative approach to development, with the company’s reputation attracting the hottest new writers to a place where their ideas are never tamed, restricted or stifled, but instead nurtured and pushed to be the best they can be. Roughcut’s commercial success is surpassed only by its critical acclaim, with unique thoroughly modern and groundbreaking shows making it one of the UK’s most enviable brands in TV.   

About CBS Studios: 

CBS Studios is one of the world’s leading suppliers of entertainment programming with development and production for broadcast, cable networks, streaming services, and other emerging platforms. The Studio’s expansive portfolio spans a diverse slate of commercially successful and critically acclaimed scripted programming, which includes genre-defining franchises such as NCIS, CSI and the ever-growing Star Trek universe, award-winning late night and daytime talk shows, as well as an extensive library of iconic intellectual property. The Studio also develops and produces local language and international content originating outside of the US for viewers around the world.

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