Good news, everyone! Spicks and Specks is back! In fact, it seems to be on every night of the week at 7pm on ABC2 and… oh wait, that’s the old version. Sorry. Easy mistake to make.
This was going to be a regular old “Vale Spicks and Specks” until we realised that when you’re trying to launch a new version of a much-loved classic, you should maybe stop showing the classic version five nights a week. One of the big challenges the revamped Spicks and Specks had to deal with was getting audiences to accept it as something new… so the ABC kept showing the old version on high rotation? Seems odd.
And while we’re raising an eyebrow quizzically, where were all the repeats? When Randling was struggling the ABC was repeating episodes twice a week; earlier this year Mad as Hell was being repeated weekly both on ABC1 and ABC2. But Spicks and Specks? Nothing. Not even the traditional comedy repeat slot of Friday night just before Rage. In fact, until recently the ABC was repeating episodes of proven dud and total ratings zero Randling there rather than giving Spicks and Specks a second swing at pushing its ratings up. And then they replaced it with Dirty Laundry Live, which is fine with us, but still.
Considering how important the success of the revamped Spicks and Specks was supposed to be to the ABC, and considering how happy they’ve been in the past to game the system when they want to try and create a success – what, no mention of the “massive” viewing figures on iView? Guess only Chris Lilley gets that treatment – it just seems a little odd that it, of all the comedy shows the ABC put to air in 2014, was the one told to sink or swim.
It’s hard to even see who profits from not giving it every possible chance. Is Adam Hills so beloved inside the ABC that sinister forces worked to ensure his legacy wasn’t eclipsed by a Hills-free Spicks and Specks? Was the fact it was an in-house production mean that various ABC minions wanted it dead as a sign of goodwill towards the independent television producers they hope to move on to? Did someone think “hey, maybe we could better spend this money on new and exciting comedy rather than just a moderately well-done panel show that no-one was ever passionate about either way?”
Ok, now we’re really off in fantasy land.