Well, this is pretty much the funniest thing we’ve seen all week:
TEN has announced a new live panel chat show, This Week Live featuring Dave Thornton, Tommy Little, Tom Gleeson and Meshel Laurie.
Including special guests, live crosses and sketches, the show will look at the week’s news in front of a live audience in TEN’s Melbourne studios.
Not because it sounds funny, of course. No no no no no. It just sounds like yet another misfire in Australian television’s seemingly never-ending quest to make a show as cheaply as possible by hiring a collection of allegedly “funny” people and getting them to talk shit for as long as they can. No, the funny bit is this:
The show will air Wednesdays at 9:30pm, the same timeslot where TEN had great success The Panel produced by Working Dog.
Guess what else airs at 9.30pm on a Wednesday? Here’s a clue: it’s even more shithouse than we thought.
Ten has been pushing to break the ABC’s ownership of the Wednesday night comedy slot for years now. And why not? It’s not like they have any chance of taking down Seven or Nine. First they pushed Talkin’ ’bout Your Generation to Wednesdays at 8.30, then Offspring, then Shaun Micallef’s Mr & Mrs Murder – at a time when he was on the ABC that night at 8pm too, so they clearly care more about winning the night than pissing off the talent.
Presumably the execs at Ten waited until, oh, maybe five minutes tops into the very first episode of Wednesday Night Fever before thinking “yeah, we can totally do better than this shit” and ringing around to see if anyone had any ideas. And they’re almost certainly right, because six more weeks of what we got on the ABC Wednesday night is six solid weeks where viewers will be looking for something else to watch. Say goodbye to any rusted-on viewers that 9.30pm slot might have had, ABC; whatever you try next is going to have to start from scratch.
Meanwhile, Tom Gleeson is going around saying “ I can say whatever I want, and then a million people hear it.” So he must be expecting a whole lot of rubberneckers coming to gawk at this particular train wreck. But for once, this is a win-win situation for viewers: both shows look awful, so if one beats the other we’re not going to have lost anything. Hurrah!
Oh, unless you’re worried that the more shit Australian comedy we get on our screens, the more likely it is that audiences will turn away from local comedy forever. Then this news – like pretty much all the news when it comes to Australian television comedy in 2013 – is nothing but yet another slice of premium arse.