The Chaser and a network of fake news

Here’s something interesting we saw the other day:

The Chaser working to launch Fake News Network

August 8, 2017

DeciderTV has learned that the team behind The Chaser are currently shopping around a TV project to Australian broadcasters with the working title “Fake News Network”.

Fresh off the back of delivering Radio Chaser on Triple M Sydney, featuring both Chaser and non-Chaser talent, it is understood Charles Firth is the driving force behind this project. Radio Chaser featured Firth, Dom Knight, Chris Taylor & Andrew Hansen, with frequent inclusions Rhys Muldoon and The Feed’s Mark Humphries.

It is unclear if any of the team involved in Radio Chaser will be involved in the new project, though given the available pool they draw from it’s highly likely. Other Chaser members Craig Reucassel & Julian Morrow have just wrapped another season of The Checkout for the ABC, & Chas Licciardello continues to deliver weekly episodes of Planet America with John Barron for ABC News.

DeciderTV understands there has been some interest from a couple of networks. Those that have seen the pitch episode report it’s “Not just about news satire”, and say it’s “Much broader than they were expecting from The Chaser”.

The Chaser have been responsible for a number of satirical shows featured on ABC television, including CNNNN and The Chaser’s War on Everything. Firth also was executive producer on ABC2’s The Roast, where he formed the connection with writer/performer Humphries.

Firth was also reportedly working on an untitled project with Channel Ten earlier this year before the network went into receivership.

When approached for comment Firth declined, noting “It sounds like Fake News”.

Of course, what with all this fake news about it’s often worth waiting to see if any other websites pick up a story before you know it’s the real deal…

Fake News Network: The Chaser pitching new TV project after hit radio show

August 10, 2017

The team behind The Chaser are currently shopping around a TV project to Australian broadcasters with the working title “Fake News Network”.

News of the new TV project comes after the successful Radio Chaser on Southern Cross Austereo’s Triple M Sydney, a show that featured both Chaser and non-Chaser talent.

Radio Chaser featured Charles Firth, Dom Knight, Chris Taylor and Andrew Hansen, with guests Rhys Muldoon and The Feed’s Mark Humphries.

Other Chaser members Craig Reucassel and Julian Morrow have just wrapped another season of The Checkout for the ABC, while Chas Licciardello continues to deliver weekly episodes of Planet America with John Barron for ABC News.

Reucassel also hosted one of ABC TV’s biggest hits of the year so far – War On Waste.

Firth also was executive producer on ABC2’s The Roast, where he formed the connection with writer/performer Humphries.

There is believed to have been interest from a couple of networks. Those that have seen the pitch episode have commented it’s not just about news satire and is much broader than they were expecting from The Chaser.

With their previous TV shows attracting more than a million viewers in TV’s glory days, an episode of The Chaser could be attractive to any TV Network.

Firth was also reportedly working on an untitled project with Channel Ten earlier this year before the network went into receivership.

When approached for comment Firth declined, telling Mediaweek: “It sounds like fake news.”

So maybe this is real news. Oh, wait, the original link to the second story doesn’t work anymore and if you want to see it you have to look at the cached version. What the hell is going on here? And why haven’t any other sites picked this up? Normally a story about a new Chaser project would appear on sites like TV Tonight and Mumbrella too.

Sounds to us like if it is real – and it does sound like the kind of show The Chaser would be pitching in August 2017 – someone doesn’t want us to know about it quite yet.

More worryingly, it also sounds like a re-hash of The Roast (the largely awful news satire show from 2012-2014 that we slagged off endlessly because it really was a massive pile of crap) re-tooled for the Trump era. Joy.

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