All the News that Shits

Press release time! Twice!

ABC announces plan to replace The Chaser’s Media Circus with cat videos

From Thursday 10 September at 8pm on ABC

Tuesday, August 18, 2015 — ABC TV management has confirmed it hopes to replace the second series of The Chaser’s Media Circus with cat videos.

“As soon as we can find enough left wing cats who instinctively hate Australia, they’ll be replaced,” said an ABC representative.

Media Circus – the game show about the news game hosted by Craig Reucassel with Fake Fact Checker Chas Licciardello – returns to ABC on Thursday 10 September at 8pm. It is produced by the creative team behind The Chaser and The Checkout, including Ben Jenkins, Zoë Norton Lodge, Scott Abbot, Andrew Hansen and Julian Morrow.

ABC management confirmed that for the second series the show has been moved out of the news division to allow it to be more biased and have less rigorous vetting of the studio audience.

Filmed in front of a live audience each week shortly before broadcast, The Chaser’s Media Circus brings together journalists and comedians to dissect the week’s news through a time-honoured technique of media criticism: the trivia quiz.

Last year’s guests included George Negus, Senator Nick Xenophon, Lenore Taylor, Chris Kenny, Ellen Fanning, Tracey Spicer, Hugh Riminton, Peter Berner, Dave Hughes and Tom Gleeson, a number of whom have not yet refused to return for Series Two. The new series will also feature Media Circus first timers including Peter Greste and John Safran.

Prime Minister Abbott has confirmed he will allow government front benchers to appear on the show. But the producers are lobbying him to have this decision reversed.

The Chaser’s Media Circus is produced by Giant Dwarf wasting taxpayers’ money.

And slightly less news-ish, this from a day or so ago:

GRUEN: We’re back. Spin Free.

Returns Wednesday September 9 at 8.30pm

Monday, August 17, 2015 — The Rose d’Or winning series returns for its 12th incarnation: Gruen.

Back when we debuted in 2008, Blockbuster and Borders were flourishing and Australia still manufactured cars. Needless to say, stuff has changed.

We’re still the show that analyses what most other shows are there to sell: advertising. But we’re also the show that knows you can’t click on a link without surrendering all your personal data to a corporation trying to sell you shampoo. Gruen will run an X-Ray over advertising, spin, branding, positioning and image control, wherever they are found.

The selling of ideas and products will always amuse, bewilder, and irrationally annoys us – but now it’s more sophisticated, targeted and occasionally downright creepy. Mostly it just understands you better, so we’re here to provide you with the tools to understand it.

Wil Anderson will continue as host, and Australia’s favourite advertising execs – Todd Sampson and Russell Howcroft will remain. But we will be seeking other new panelists from spin doctors and marketing gurus both in Australia and visiting.

Zapruder’s have delivered The Gruen Transfer and Gruen Nation, which broke the mould and enjoyed the dedication of a wide audience that’s thirsty for that creative edge and great entertainment.

Each week we will be dissecting the spin of a topical story that has made headlines either in Australia or overseas. Classic segments will return, such as ‘The Pitch’, where some of Australia’s most creative agencies attempt to complete an impossible brief.

“After the show took a well-earned break in 2014, we’re seriously excited to have Wil and Gruen back, lifting the lid on advertising, spin and marketing, examining how we are sold to, and how we are sold.”
Jon Casimir, ABC TV Head of Entertainment.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be working with the amazing team at CJZ on a new
series of Gruen. And I’m even more grateful they didn’t replace me with Adam Hills.”

Wil Anderson, Host & Executive Producer

We’ll revisit the backbones of branding like beauty and beverages, and spend time in the nervous system of 21st century life, giving online marketing, celebrities, sportspeople, and world leaders the full Gruen treatment.

Gruen: the show that knows nearly as much about advertising as advertisers know about you airs at 8.30pm, September 9th on ABC TV.

Jesus, just when you think you’ve hit peak smug that hits your inbox. “Broke the mould”, they say. “Combined Worlds Funniest Commercials with a panel show and have acted like they fucking cured cancer ever since”, we say.

And then there’s this: “We’re still the show that analyses what most other shows are there to sell: advertising”. Say what? Technically that’s kind of right – you come for the show, stay for the advertising – but who really thinks, say, The Block is “selling” advertising? They’re selling products via advertising on the show… and if we can figure this out but a press release for a show ABOUT ADVERTISING can’t get it right, how shit must the show… oh wait, it’s Gruen, we don’t need to guess how shit it’ll be.

Not that another go round with the half-baked Media Circus seems any more appealing. It’s really not the best sign in the world when your press release is packed with self-deprecation. mostly because it feels just a little bit like you’re trying to get in first before anyone else can point out your flaws. Here’s an alternative: if you know your flaws, why not try to fix them? If your press release points out that news trivia quizzes are kind of lame… maybe don’t make one?

But let’s be honest here: this is all good news for the ABC. Everything new they’ve tried in comedy this year – and it’s only been a handful of shows – has either flopped or stunk. We pretty much expected that from the panel side of things and The Weekly, but what happened to scripted comedy? Remember when the ABC used to make that stuff? Now Please Like Me is bought and paid for by a US cable network and they can’t even get Sammy J and Randy’s show onto a free-to-air channel.

So being able to remind people of that magical time when audiences actually looked forward to the ABC’s comedy output is a big win for them. Not for viewers, mind you: both these series are clapped out beaters dragging themselves around the paddock to give everyone a chance to see what “collecting a paycheck” looks like. But if they can bring back enough of their old fans one more time, the ratings might be enough to stave off disaster in 2015.

2016, on the other hand, is not something any of us should be looking forward to.

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2 Comments

  • yeps says:

    Meanwhile, genuinely original comedy shows that the network could be proud of (and with only a little more support, nurture) – shows like Upper Middle Bogan – get to sit outside and have a long hard think about themselves.

    I want to read one press release that actually calls calls out the network’s unspoken programming policies:

    Hey viewers!

    Like diverse Australian voices communicating their unique comic perspective? Well here’s sixteen hours of Chris Lilley driving one cartoon impersonation into the ground until nothing but ash remains.

    Like Shaun Micallef’s brand of sharp political satire disguised with nonsense? Well here’s some smug weaksauce drivel Charlie Pickering farted out instead.

    Like panel shows hosted by contributors that have natural chemistry? Well too bad, because here’s another stilted, over-edited serving of Will Anderson smarming to camera.

    It’s your ABC.

    You know, if you’re a fucking idiot.

  • EvilCommieDictator says:

    I think I’ve found the problem:

    Australia’s favourite advertising execs