Inside No. 9’s Reece Shearsmith addresses resurgence of anthology TV series

·2-min read

Viewers are turning to anthology TV series because they offer an alternative to the “long commitment” of 20-episode seasons, according to Reece Shearsmith.

The actor and writer, who co-created dark anthology series Inside No. 9, said the format offered fans a “one tiny hit with a very good story”.

Each episode of Inside No. 9 features different settings and different characters, but are linked by the fact each story features the number nine, whether that is a door number, dressing room or shoe size.

Speaking during a BFI At Home event ahead of the sixth series airing, he said: “Maybe it is a reaction to the long commitment you have to have when you watch all the other shows on TV that are 20 episodes a season or whatever it might be.

“To have one tiny hit with a very good story. It is like being told a funny joke. You are in and out, and you have a great ending, and hopefully it has been satisfying.

“There is a lot of storytelling in our episodes and I think you feel like you have been on a bigger journey than you have in 28 minutes.

“That is really good because you have only used half an hour of your life rather than a day if you are having to watch a whole series. Or five years. That’s the feel of it.

Sky Arts Awards
Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith (Ian West/PA)

“We were out of favour at the time and now there are a lot more anthology series and one-off stories. It feels like it is on the rise again.

“People have realised, of course, that it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you are telling good stories people will stick with it.”

Series six of Inside No. 9 begins on Monday May 10 at 9.30pm on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer.

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