‘Catastrophe’s Delaney: Stakes Higher in Second Season

Season two of Catastrophe is now available on Amazon, and if there’s one issue with the very funny comedy that critics appear to have, it’s that there aren’t enough episodes per season. The show is produced and initially airs in the U.K., where six-episode seasons are hardly out of the ordinary.  

That length is just fine with Rob Delaney, who shares co-creator and co-star titles with Sharon Horgan. “I love to tour and do standup and I have three [young] kids,” he says. “Changing the recipe for Catastrophe—the idea does not appeal to me. I’m personally cool with the status quo.”

The show is about a couple with the names Rob and Sharon who meet in a bar during his business trip to London, engage in a week of wild sex, and end up with a baby some time later. It offers an extraordinarily authentic, and very funny, look at a couple that shares genuine affection, but that also brings out the worst in each other amidst a crisis. Carrie Fisher, as Rob's prickly mother, does not help matters.

The writers room on Catastrophe could well be a closet. It’s comprised of Delaney, Horgan and, well, that’s it. Yes, two of them.

Delaney, who brings a goofy, Will Ferrell-esque appeal to the screen, has a giant Twitter presence, with 1.25 million followers, so it makes some sense that he met Horgan, an Irishwoman, through that platform. He was a fan of her comedy work in the U.K, saw that she followed him, and invited her to meet for coffee whenever the two were in the same city. After a series of light-hearted meetings, he asked her to pitch in with a pilot script.

And Catastrophe was born. Season one had Sharon pregnant, and season two jumps ahead a bit, when they have not one but two children. Delaney calls the new season “deeper and darker,” with a similar “laugh per minute ratio” as season one, which fired up the quips with a 30 Rock-ish ferocity. “The stakes are higher now,” he says of the children. “They can hurt each other in new ways—it’s a more dangerous game in the second season.”

There’s been no work done on a season three, but Delaney says he’s up for it. “How long we can keep it interesting, I don’t know,” he says. “But I definitely feel like making another.”

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.