Australian Tumbleweed Awards 2011 – Worst Game or Panel Show

Australian Tumbleweed Awards 2011 - Worst Game or Panel Show. Nominations: Can of Worms (10), Good News Week (10), The Trophy Room (ABC).

Panel shows in which kinda known people from breakfast radio, the stand-up scene and, increasingly, other panel shows improvise funny answers to questions have all but replaced scripted offerings such as sketch and variety shows. You can see the appeal to producers – sketch and variety is expensive and often risky. The problem is that by avoiding the risk of not being funny, they just end up with bland.

Can of Worms promised to delve into the complexities of our attitudes to various social issues, but succeeded in doing little more than skim over the surface of all of them. Good News Week did exactly the same, but to such an extent that even its makers realised it need a re-think – unfortunately that re-think didn’t involve axing the team entirely.

Before it aired The Trophy Room seemed to have it all – Australians love sport and panel shows, right? So putting them together would definitely work? Um, no. Even ABC audiences are prepared to call time on a show which looks poor in comparison to the ageing repeats and dud imports that litter the commercial networks over summer.

Australian Tumbleweeds Awards 2011 - Winner - Worst Game or Panel Show: Can of Worms (10) - 38.20%. Runners-up: Good News Week (10) - 35.30%, The Trophy Room (ABC) - 26.50%. Voter Quotes: "This would be funny if it were on in a later time slot so you could actually say what you want without having to dumb it down or censor it." "Thanks to Channel 10, we can find out what Ian 'Dicko' Dickson thinks about teenagers dressing sexy, without having to wait for the posthumous publication of his manuscripts and journals." "I feel heretical putting this ahead of Good News Week, but Can of Worms was such a grossly transparent attempt to make water-cooler TV. The show seemed to exist purely to make 'shocking!' promos. Someone's gotta say no to Denton VERY soon and that precedent could save Australian TV." Last Year's Winner: The 7PM Project (10).The problem with Can of Worms wasn’t so much that it took a number of existing ideas, changed them a bit and put them to air – that’s basically all television ever does – it was more that it took a series of “bound to shock” attitudes, coaxed them into being expressed by some B-list celebrities and then assumed this would be enough to entertain us.


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