As a format, Good News World could have worked. Make that should have worked: topical comedy (or at least claiming to be a local version of The Daily Show) is a success around the world. So it seems the blame should rest entirely with the on-air talent, who after fifteen years spent making the exact same jokes clearly couldn’t sell even the slightest change in format. Or perhaps changing the format was enough to break the spell around the talent, who suddenly looked like what they are: people who haven’t done anything fresh or new this century.
Balls of Steel Australia took a used up UK format, stuck a member of the Chaser out the front, and… well, that seems to have been it. Pranks involving hot chicks can’t miss, can they?
Thinking about it, Live From Planet Earth is the kind of title that screams “crap”. Remember the not-at-all-missed Hard Rock Café in Melbourne and its hilarious “No Nuclear Weapons Allowed” sign over the door? Yeah, it’s that kind of dad joke. Ha.
Perhaps Ben Elton simply didn’t realise that Australia doesn’t have any currently viable tradition of live television. In its early weeks, AKA the only weeks it had, Live From Planet Earth felt like the kind of show that might have found its way to competence if it’d had a rusted-on audience that didn’t know any better, let alone how to change the channel. You know, like the way even rubbish reality series keep on going week in week out. Unfortunately for all involved, there is no goodwill or slack in the system for a live sketch comedy show, and the second it became clear that it wasn’t going to be what it needed to be to survive – the funniest thing on commercial Australian television in twenty years – it was gone.
THE RESULTS OF THE NEXT CATEGORY, WORST SITCOM OR DRAMEDY, WILL BE ANNOUNCED AT 12:00PM EDT.