The writers were adamant that their script for a television version would have to be produced by the BBC, since a commercial channel would reduce the amount of screen time available from 28 to 22 minutes. After trying to convince various people to accept their script, Peter Ridsdale-Scott read and commissioned the show for BBC North, who had budget for a sitcom because "Happy Families" would not be returning for a second season.
The BBC broadcast the first 8 series made by Grant Naylor Productions on their channel BBC2. It was the channel's most popular and best rated sitcom ever. They also played the audio versions of the Red Dwarf novels on Radio 4. When Red Dwarf was 10 years old, BBC2 showed a whole night of programs made to commemorate the anniversary.
The BBC declined to make more series of Red Dwarf after Series VIII, so the producers were commissioned eventually to create Series IX for the digital channel Dave instead, which had been showing repeats of Red Dwarf for some time.