Avenue 5
Genre
Created byArmando Iannucci
Starring
Music byAdem Ilhan
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes9 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
ProducerSteve Clark-Hall
CinematographyEben Bolter
EditorGary Dollner
Running time28–29 minutes
Production companyDundee Productions
Release
Original network
Original releaseJanuary 19, 2020 (2020-01-19) –
present (present)
External links
Website

Avenue 5 is a science fiction comedy television series created by Armando Iannucci that premiered on HBO in the United States on January 19, 2020. It stars Hugh Laurie and Josh Gad in lead roles as captain and owner of a fictional interplanetary cruise ship Avenue 5.

The series was produced by HBO in the United States and Sky UK in the United Kingdom. In February 2020, the series was renewed for a second season.[1]

Premise

Avenue 5 has been described as "set in the future, mostly in space."[2] On board the interplanetary cruise ship, the Avenue 5, a momentary loss of artificial gravity and accidental death of its Chief Engineer sends the titular vessel a few degrees off course.[3] It's estimated it will take the ship three years to return to Earth, and with only enough supplies to sustain her many passengers for the intended eight-week long cruise, the crew of the Avenue 5 must struggle to maintain order and return the craft safely.[3]

Cast and characters

Main cast

Recurring cast

Episodes

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date [4]U.S viewers
(millions)
1"I Was Flying"Armando IannucciTeleplay by : Armando Iannucci, Simon Blackwell, and Tony Roche
Story by : Armando Iannucci
January 19, 2020 (2020-01-19)0.571[5]
Avenue 5 is the luxurious passenger ship owned by eccentric billionaire Herman Judd, which is heading back to Earth. A malfunction on the ship causes it to go off course, and it will now take three years to get home. After the main engineer is killed, captain Ryan Clark is called on to fix the situation, but he was originally hired only to reassure passengers and not to actually captain the automated ship, a fact he initially hides. Meanwhile, passenger service employee Matt Spencer attempts to calm the passengers who have discovered that they will not get home for three years.
2"And Then He's Gonna Shoot Off..."Natalie BaileyTeleplay by : Georgia Pritchett and Will Smith
Story by : Armando Iannucci, Georgia Pritchett, and Will Smith
January 26, 2020 (2020-01-26)0.500[6]
Cyrus runs some numbers and may be able to cut the trip down to six months. On Earth, Judd meets with NASA. Joe's coffin goes into orbit. Another gravity mishap interrupts a funeral for three passengers who died when the gravity was altered temporarily. The four coffins begin to orbit the ship.
3"I'm a Hand Model"Natalie BaileyTeleplay by : Peter Fellows and Ian Martin
Story by : Armando Iannucci, Peter Fellows, and Ian Martin
February 2, 2020 (2020-02-02)[a]0.297[8]
The crew struggles to adjust to their new reality and a new arrival time of 3.5 years. Meanwhile, Clark discovers that the crew and the bridge, much like his position as Captain, are not real; the crew are just actors and models, and the bridge is no more than a stage. Billie reveals to him the existence of two crews, one for the passengers and one to actually pilot the ship 'backstage', created due to Judd's unrealistic ambitions for his ship to be crewed by the brightest and most attractive.
4"Wait a Minute, Then Who Was That on the Ladder?"Natalie BaileyTeleplay by : Peter Fellows and Ian Martin
Story by : Armando Iannucci, Peter Fellows, and Ian Martin
February 9, 2020 (2020-02-09)0.275[9]
Realizing that he might have to keep up the charade of being a captain for longer than he thought, Clark begins to contemplate studying up on the spacecraft and interacting with the real engineers. He has Billie make introductions and while the bonding session with the crew seemingly goes well it distracts them from their real duties with disastrous consequences.
5"He's Only There to Stop His Skeleton from Falling Over"Annie GriffinTeleplay by : Peter Baynham
Story by : Armando Iannucci and Peter Baynham
February 16, 2020 (2020-02-16)0.386[10]
Thanks to Billie's efforts the ship is saved but Clark is declared the hero much to Billie's annoyance, although Clark's perceived recklessness results in the breakdown of his trilateral marriage. Blame for the initial accident is placed on Frank who is distracted from the increasing anger towards him by his fellow passengers by suspicions that the captain is trying to seduce his wife. Meanwhile, the rest of the passengers and crew gather to celebrate what should have been the voyage's half-way point.
6"Was It Your Ears?"Peter FellowsTeleplay by : Jon Brown
Story by : Armando Iannucci and Jon Brown
February 23, 2020 (2020-02-23)0.371[11]
A woman goes into labour on board the ship and her baby causes Judd to have an identity crisis. Meanwhile, Billie and Clark try to track down the source of a mysterious beeping which they come to realize might be a sign that the ship is leaking oxygen. On Earth, Rav tries to use the goodwill incurred by Clark's daring heroics in order to secure government funds for a rescue mission.
7"Are You a Spider, Matt?"Becky MartinTeleplay by : Charlie Cooper and Daisy Cooper
Story by : Armando Iannucci, Charlie Cooper and Daisy Cooper
March 1, 2020 (2020-03-01)0.400[12]

Frank thinks he sees an image of Pope John Paul II in the debris orbiting the ship. Harrison, a trillionaire on board the ship, threatens to sue Judd into oblivion, compromising a potential rescue.

Back on Earth, the public becomes aware that Rav's negotiation for government rescue funds has potentially put lives on the line.
8"This is Physically Hurting Me"David SchneiderTeleplay by : Georgia Pritchett and Will Smith
Story by : Armando Iannucci, Georgia Pritchett and Will Smith
March 8, 2020 (2020-03-08)0.384[13]
An argument between Judd and Ryan leads to Ryan being de-captained. After Ryan accidentally reveals to the passengers that he isn't American and is wearing a toupee they begin questioning whether their situation is real or whether they are part of a prank reality show. Seven people, including Sarah (bridge crew) and Harrison, shoot themselves out of the airlock, falsely believing that if they leave the ship through there they will end up back on Earth. Meanwhile, Rav realizes that her rash decision to board a vessel bound for Avenue 5 is likely to have unhappy consequences.
9"Eight Arms But No Hands"William Stefan SmithTeleplay by : Ian Martin, Peter Fellows, and Sean Gray
Story by : Armando Iannucci, Sean Gray, Ian Martin, and Peter Fellow
March 15, 2020 (2020-03-15)0.415[14]
Guilt-ridden due to his role in the deaths of the seven people who ejected themselves out of the airlock, Matt decides to go into hiding for the next three-and-a-half years, and changes the codes to access the airlocks. The crew go looking for him in order to enact a plan to shorten the journey time to six months by jettisoning unnecessary objects totalling the equivalent weight of 500 non-essential personnel. After being found at the vending machines, Matt reveals to the crew that the code is 0005, believing that it would have been easy for anyone thinking clearly to guess it but impossible for anyone panicking. However, due to a misunderstanding on Karen's part, the excess weight is jettisoned out of the portside airlocks rather than those at the rear as intended, resulting in Avenue 5's journey time being extended from three-and-a-half years to eight. And, after squabbling over the supply shuttle's only other seat, Iris is accidentally sent back to Earth early, leaving Rav aboard.
  1. ^ The episode was first made available on January 31, 2020, through HBO's digital platform.[7]

Production

Development

On September 25, 2017, it was announced that HBO had given a pilot order to a new comedy series created by Armando Iannucci, who was also set to serve as writer and executive producer. In addition to the pilot order, the network also reportedly ordered backup scripts.[2] In April 2019, a series pickup was commissioned by HBO.[15] On February 13, 2020, the series was renewed for a second season.[1]

Casting

In August 2018, it was announced that Hugh Laurie and Suzy Nakamura had been cast in the pilot's lead roles.[16][17] On November 7, 2018, it was reported that Rebecca Front had joined the pilot's cast in another leading role.[18] In February 2019, Zach Woods, Josh Gad, Nikki Amuka-Bird and Lenora Crichlow were cast as series regulars.[19][20][21][22] Himesh Patel was added in June.[23]

Filming

Principal photography for the pilot took place in 2018 in London, England.[2] While filming was taking place at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden in July 2019, a fire damaged one of the show's sets.[24]

Release

The series premiered on January 19, 2020.[25] In New Zealand, the series is distributed by Sky satellite television provider's SOHO2 channel and Neon streaming service.[26]

Reception

Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has an approval rating of 67% based on 51 reviews, with an average rating of 6.34/10. The website's critical consensus states, "If Avenue 5's maiden voyage isn't as smooth as its creative clout implies, it's still a hilarious step in a completely new—while still enjoyably caustic—direction for creator Armando Iannucci."[27] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 64 out of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[28]

Ratings

Viewership and ratings per episode of Avenue 5
No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "I Was Flying" January 19, 2020 0.2 0.571[5] N/A 0.296 N/A 0.867[29]
2 "And Then He's Gonna Shoot Off..." January 26, 2020 0.1 0.500[6] 0.1 0.385 0.2 0.885[30]
3 "I'm a Hand Model" February 2, 2020 0.1 0.297[8] 0.1 0.358 0.2 0.655[31]
4 "Wait a Minute, Then Who Was That on the Ladder?" February 9, 2020 0.1 0.275[9] 0.1 0.347 0.2 0.622[32]
5 "He's Only There to Stop His Skeleton from Falling Over" February 16, 2020 0.1 0.386[10] 0.1 0.292 0.2 0.678[33]
6 "Was It Your Ears?" February 23, 2020 0.1 0.371[11] 0.1 0.302 0.2 0.673[34]
7 "Are You a Spider, Matt?" March 1, 2020 0.1 0.400[12] 0.1 0.336 0.2 0.736[35]
8 "This is Physically Hurting Me" March 8, 2020 0.1 0.384[13] N/A N/A N/A N/A
9 "Eight Arms But No Hands" March 15, 2020 0.1 0.415[14] 0.1 0.236 0.2 0.651[36]

References

  1. ^ a b Petski, Denise (February 13, 2020). "'Avenue 5' Renewed For Season 2 By HBO". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Andreeva, Nellie (September 25, 2017). "'Veep' Creator Armando Iannucci Gets HBO Pilot Order For Space Comedy". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 30, 2018. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Kleinman, Jake. "'Avenue 5' review: Iannucci's sci-fi sitcom is the funniest thing on HBO". Inverse. Archived from the original on 2020-01-03. Retrieved 2020-01-03.
  4. ^ "Avenue 5 – Listings". The Futon Critic. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (January 22, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 1.19.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on January 24, 2020. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (January 28, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 1.26.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on January 28, 2020. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  7. ^ Young, Alex (January 31, 2020). "HBO releases new episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Outsider, and Avenue 5 early". Consequence of Sound. Archived from the original on February 2, 2020. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  8. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (February 4, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.2.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on February 4, 2020. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
  9. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (February 11, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.9.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  10. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (February 19, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.16.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on September 10, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  11. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (February 25, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.23.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on February 25, 2020. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  12. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (March 3, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.1.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on March 3, 2020. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  13. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (March 10, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.8.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on March 11, 2020. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  14. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (March 17, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.15.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on March 17, 2020. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  15. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (April 22, 2019). "Armando Iannucci's 'Avenue 5' Space Comedy Gets Series Order At HBO". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 22, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  16. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (August 22, 2018). "Hugh Laurie To Star In Armando Iannucci's HBO Comedy Pilot 'Avenue 5'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 23, 2018. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  17. ^ Petski, Denise (August 24, 2018). "Suzy Nakamura Joins Hugh Laurie In Armando Iannucci's HBO Comedy Pilot 'Avenue 5'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 24, 2018. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  18. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (November 7, 2018). "'Avenue 5': Rebecca Front To Star In Armando Iannucci's HBO Comedy Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 16, 2018. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  19. ^ Ausiello, Michael (February 20, 2019). "Silicon Valley's Zach Woods Joins Veep Creator Armando Iannucci's Sci-Fi Comedy Pilot Avenue 5 at HBO". TVLine. Archived from the original on May 7, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  20. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (February 21, 2019). "'Avenue 5': Josh Gad To Star In Armando Iannucci's HBO Comedy Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 22, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  21. ^ Petski, Denise (February 25, 2019). "'Avenue 5': Niki Amuka-Bird To Star In Armando Iannucci's HBO Comedy Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on June 9, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  22. ^ Hipes, Patrick (February 26, 2019). "Lenora Crichlow Joins Cast Of HBO's 'Avenue 5' Pilot From Armando Iannucci". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 22, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  23. ^ Petski, Denise (June 18, 2019). "'Avenue 5': Himesh Patel Joins Armando Iannucci's HBO Space Comedy Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 26, 2019. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  24. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (July 11, 2019). "HBO's 'Avenue 5' Set Damaged In Fire At Warner Bros' Leavesden Studios In UK – Update". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on September 29, 2019. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  25. ^ Schwartz, Ryan (December 8, 2019). "Avenue 5: Hugh Laurie Space Comedy Gets January Premiere Date at HBO". TVLine. Archived from the original on December 27, 2019. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  26. ^ Brooks, Sam (January 23, 2020). "Space satire Avenue 5 is brilliant, even as it meanders off course". The Spinoff. Archived from the original on January 27, 2020. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
  27. ^ "Avenue 5: Season 1 (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  28. ^ "Avenue 5: Season 1". Metacritic. Archived from the original on February 1, 2020. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
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