SBS has delayed its launch of upcoming Paul McDermott chat show, Room 101.
The series sees McDermott’s return to television chatting to celebrities such as Ray Martin, Julia Zemiro, HG Nelson, Julia Morris, Matt Preston, Noni Hazlehurst, about their pet hates.
Originally due to premiere next Monday at 9:30pm, it has been held by SBS pending an earlier timeslot later in the year. SBS will replace it with a repeat of Gourmet Farmer Afloat.
Replaced by repeats of Gourmet Farmer Afloat. Is there a grimmer fate in Australian comedy? Oh wait, watching it sounds pretty grim too. “Ray Martin, Julia Zemiro, HG Nelson, Julia Morris, Matt Preston, and Noni Hazlehurst” are “celebrities” now? You don’t say. And by that we mean “don’t say that, you’re scaring the children”.
But isn’t this a case of holding it over for a better timeslot? Isn’t that a vote of confidence in the end product? Well, that depends: if it’s shown five nights a week at 6pm, that’s not so good. In fact, if it’s broadcast in an earlier timeslot that people don’t know to check for comedy, that’s not so good either. So ideally you’d want to show it in a timeslot that people already know as a home for SBS comedy… oh, wait:
SBS Programmer Peter Andrews was recently asked by TV Tonight if the 9:30 Monday slot was a big ask for a new entertainment show.
“Yes, but we’ll do everything to make some noise so the audience know that Room 101 is there. There’s no soft timeslot as you know in television − not at all − so it’s about, we’ve established 9:30 on a Monday night as where we’re, you know, a little bit of entertainment and comedy, so we want to keep that going,” he said.
It could always be worse, mind you: the ABC’s literature show The Book Club – AKA your monthly reminder that Marieke Hardy was not forced into hiding after Laid 2 – has been shifted to the “sexy new time” of 6pm Sundays. There are probably worse timeslots, but good luck getting Question Time to give them up.