The Letdown

Press release time!

Friday, December 1, 2017 — The ABC today revealed a diverse and unmissable line up for the first half of 2018, including a variety of new programming across all genres, Australian premieres and the return of audience favourites. This complements the impressive Comedy, Entertainment, Indigenous, Arts and Children’s 2018 programming already announced.

[…a bunch of stuff not relevant here…]

By popular demand, Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery and You Can’t Ask That are back on screens in 2018, delivering more unscripted, personal and bold moments for ABC audiences.  Comedy favourites, Gruen, Mad as Hell and Hard Quiz are back to inform and challenge audiences again in 2018. And, 2018 sees lifestyle favourite Gardening Australia blossom into a new, hour long format on Friday nights, kicking off on January 26th – giving Australians more of what they love.

Well, that was pretty gosh darn disappointing. Seriously, we expected at least a couple of new comedy titles to be part of this announcement – especially as the “already announced” comedy* barely seemed enough to keep the all-new ABC Comedy channel from falling off the dial.

(calling Hard Quiz a “comedy favourite” is definitely stretching things more than a little too)

While the ABC usually sits on a few titles that are due later in the year, off the top of our heads there’s not a lot of decent stuff that really could be coming up. The Chaser seem to have given up on comedy entirely (at least on the ABC), while most of the decent sitcoms (Utopia, The Ex-PM) have run their course and won’t be back. Get Krack!n should be returning, but it’d have been nice to have that confirmed.

Oh yeah, there’s also this:

Paul McDermott returns to ABC to host new quiz show Think Tank

Friday, December 1, 2017 — What do tram drivers know about Ancient History?

What do medieval scholars know about Pop Trivia?

What do educational psychologists know about the Animal Kingdom?

Welcome to Think Tank…Hosted by grandmaster Paul McDermott, Think Tank is an exciting new nightly quiz show at 6pm on ABC TV.  Each episode sees three contestants go head to head, pitting their general knowledge and their general luck against each other.  To win the game, they need to pass five, challenging rounds. Helping or maybe hindering them in their pursuit of game show glory, is the Think Tank.

The Think Tank features eight relatively ordinary Australians with an extra-ordinary love of trivia and general knowledge. The eight form a ‘repository of wisdom’ from which our contestants on Think Tank can draw.

But be warned…Our Think Tankers – like Australia itself – are made up of a diverse mob of people plucked from all walks of life.  They are there to help but sometimes they get it wrong.

What happens then?  Do you trust your instincts or trust the masses?  Do you tag along with popular opinion or strike out on your own?  The excitement, drama and brain-twisting fun of Think Tank comes in these moments of interaction between our contestants and the Think Tankers.

The ringmaster for this cavalcade of mind-expanding madness will be the shy, self-effacing Paul McDermott.

“Australia is about to meet eight wonderfully funny, warm and intelligent people,” McDermott remarks.  “Oh, and I’ll be there too, The Marvellous Mr Me!  How could anyone resist?”

This is game show with a difference, one the whole family can enjoy.  Join us for the battle of brains, the thrill of victory, the hilarity of defeat.  Come for the competition, witness the wonder, meet the Think Tankers and who knows – you might just learn a thing or two.

“[It’s a] game show with a difference, one the whole family can enjoy”. Unlike all those adults-only after-dark game shows clogging up our airwaves, of course.

(ok, it’ll probably be a passable time-filler in a timeslot where quiz show fans can find it and everyone else can pretend it’s not on. If only we could do the same for “comedy favourite” Hard Quiz)

 

*this list consists of Squinters, Sando, and Back in Very Small Business. It remains unclear whether they’ll air on the main ABC channel or ABC Comedy

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