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ADDITIONAL NOTES: series finale aired on 1/5/07
DESCRIPTION: (from BBC America's web site) The Montreux and BAFTA award-winning sitcom Black Books, set in the bookshop of the same name, returns for a third series, starring creator and writer Dylan Moran alongside Bill Bailey and Tamsin Greig. Black Books concerns the musings, doings, and time-frittering techniques of raddled proprietor Bernard Black (Dylan Moran); his shy, multi-challenged assistant Manny Bianco (Bill Bailey); and their under-achieving friend Fran Katzenjammer (Tamsin Greig). This dubious trio form a family of sorts to protect each other from the realities of modern London, but nothing can protect them from each other. Bernard is a new and used bookshop owner who is very, very grumpy. He loves his books and hates his customers, a combination unlikely to earn him a businessman of the year award. He doesn't understand the ordinary world or ordinary people and has created his own safe haven within the grubby confines of his shop. Driven by his own alcohol-fueled logic, anyone attempting to buy anything from Black Books is quite likely to meet with the full force of Bernard's morning-after temper. Consequently, the shop isn't doing well. Strangely, a very hairy man with an anxiety disorder pops into Black Books and Bernard's life and shop are changed. Manny, played by Bill Bailey, manages to breathe life and light into Bernard's environment with his fabulous hair and mostly easy-going way with customers. Manny is accommodating and considerate while Bernard is selfish and embittered. Although Bernard would never admit it, he really loves Manny. But the only person who can keep Bernard on the straight and narrow is his friend and fellow shop owner Fran, played by Tamsin Greig of Shaun of the Dead and Green Wing. Fran is just as selfish, sardonic, and attracted to afternoon wine breaks as Bernard, but her periods of negativity are frequently penetrated by bouts of effervescence and hysteria. Whereas Bernard's are just punctuated by drunkenness. Thanks to Manny and Fran, Bernard is able to sell some books, despite a lot of grumbling along the way. The third series is co-written by Moran, Kevin Cecil, and Andy Riley, and features guest performances from: Keith Allen (Martin Chuzzlewit, Born To Run, Shallow Grave), Annette Crosbie (One Foot in the Grave), Olivia Colman (Peep Show, Green Wing), Lucy Davis (The Office, Shaun of the Dead), Sam Kelly ('Allo 'Allo, Martin Chuzzlewit, All or Nothing), Simon Pegg (Spaced, Shaun of the Dead), and Julian Rhind-Tutt (Hippies, Notting Hill, Clocking Off).