Press release time!
The Home of Australian Comedy gets some Fresh Blood this December
Screening from Thursday 8th December on ABC2 and iview
Monday, November 14, 2016 — The graduates of the inaugural Fresh Blood, will premiere on ABC iview and ABC2 this December following the three-year Screen Australia and ABC development initiative. The two, six-part sketch comedy series, Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am and Fancy Boy will premiere on 8th December with all episodes available on iview as part of Binge on the Best of Australian Comedy and airing weekly on ABC2 at 9.30pm and 10pm respectively.
Created in 2013, Fresh Blood aims to kick-start the careers of young comedy writers, performers and directors. From the initial 494 submissions received, 24 teams were selected to make a series of shorts for iview. Five of the teams were then selected to produce a half-hour comedy pilot and then two pilots progressed to a full series commission.
Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am is an outrageous comedy from the all-woman Skit Box team, the creators of viral sensation ‘Activewear’. The show is a fun and twisted cavalcade of sketch, music video and narrative comedy. Join a world of yoga mums and superheroes, travel back to a 70’s swingers party, and meet our all-female police force and the world’s biggest pop band – The Sheetles.
Fancy Boy’s predominately male cast delivers laughs that are moody, manic and downright dark. Each episode is an interwoven narrative following warped characters like the couple whose communication breakdown leads to a kidnapping or the artist who loses everything because of his obsession with finding the perfect fart sound.
Both series will be available to watch in their entirety as part of iview’s Binge on the Best of Australian Comedy, which returns on December 8th bigger and better than ever. With over 60 hours of great Australian comedy to watch, iview will keep Australia laughing throughout summer.
So, uh, now you know.
Oddly, this particular press release seems to have left off the part where “This 6×30 minute sketch series has been commissioned thanks to a partnership between ABC TV, Screen Australia and NBCUniversal’s ad-free comedy streaming channel Seeso.” Didn’t take long for Trump’s America to fall out of favour with those leftie pinko commies at the ABC, did it?
Anyway, we’ve known this was coming for a long time now, and while we didn’t exactly love their respective Fresh Blood efforts (see here and also here) at least it’s better than the ABC giving up entirely on the idea of nurturing fresh talent. Of course, this fresh talent has currently nowhere to go in this country – with The Ex-PM and Utopia both coming back to the ABC in 2017, that’s pretty much all of the scripted comedy slots taken unless you can find overseas funding – but hey, at least they’re giving them a chance to impress the overseas investors.
And impress local audiences too, of course – well, the ones still watching the ABC’s neglected digital channel during the out-of-ratings period. But when you’re aiming to “kick-start the careers of young comedy writers, performers and directors”, then clearly being part of a self-described binge at “the home of Australian comedy” is as good as it gets.