Upfront and Downhill

It’s that thrilling time of year when the networks start to talk up their big plans for the year to come. Well, “thrilling” if you’re a big fan of self-funded reality programming; the days when Australia’s commercial networks provided anything more than a series of shabby game shows with a news service attached are firmly in the rear view mirror. As for comedy? Don’t make us laugh.

Seven got in first a few weeks ago with a thrilling 2022 line-up that promised a whole four hours worth of non Home and Away scripted television across the entire year, so fuck those guys.

But doesn’t Seven also have a surprisingly strong line-up on their secondary channels, by which we mean they actually create local programming for them? Good point mysterious stranger. Sadly, two of the series they’ve announced are by Paul “I’m cheap and I deliver” Fenech’s house of shouting:

Housos: The Thong Warrior
From the suburbs to the outback, the cast of Housos are back in a brand-new comedy. Franky is on a mission to stalk and thong slap all forms of authority, with Shazza in hot pursuit (Antichocko Productions).

Local Council
The new comedy from Pauly Fenech of Housos, Fat Pizza and Bogan Hunters fame is set in a dodgy council, with dodgy council workers, a dodgy mayor, dodgy developers and dodgy council officials (Antichocko Productions).

So expect more of exactly the same there, up to and possibly including footage he’s already used in previous series. On the upside, there’s also this:

Watch Dogs
A new comedy about two dysfunctional security officers trying to catch a serial offender who is attacking the locals in a beachside suburb (Oldboy Productions).

Well, maybe “upside” isn’t quite the right word, but you know… it could pan out. At least it’s a “new comedy”, and that’s probably the last time we’ll get to put those two words together because it’s time to check out the 2022 upfronts from Ten / Paramount+. Remember how just a few years ago they were all in on local comedy? Now they don’t even have the decency to let us know if Kinne‘s coming back.

As far as established shows go, both Have You Been Paying Attention? and The Cheap Seats have been renewed, so good news for us and people who think like us there. Even better news: the “axe has fallen” on Hughsey We Have a Problem, possibly because Hughsey himself is currently a bit of a problem. No word yet on How to Stay Married, but having seen the fairly final final episode we’re going to guess that’s because nobody in management remembers they made it.

In new programming, we can “look forward to”:

A local version of Would I Lie to You? with team captains Chris Taylor and Frank Woodley.

That sounds like it could possibly go either way so maybe it’s not oh wait we forgot to read the start of the sentence:

Chrissie Swan will host

Yeah, that’s not going to be great.

As for their secondary channels, the streaming only Paramount+ has a reasonable range of programming in 2022 unless you’re a fan of local comedy, in which case you’re, to quote the current Pope, “shit outta luck”.

Slightly more promising news is buried deep in the press release for 10 Shake – yes, an actual network – where the mission statement is “sitcoms, romcoms, stand-up comedy and everything in between” despite the fact that there is literally nothing in between those things. Anyway, we’re told they’re going to be showing:

a heap of Aussie stand up specials [that] will have grown-ups laughing like lunatics.

No idea whether these will be new specials or just more of those Just For Laughs repeats they’re constantly putting on after HYBPA?, but the whole “laughing like lunatics” has us wondering if it’s going to involve some fiendish scheme by The Joker.

Hey, at least that guy knows how to make people laugh.

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1 Comment

  • EvilCommieDictator says:

    Frank Woodley is a perfect host for that show, just ding everything entirely sincere and silly straight, but fuck me, the one from The Chaser who hasn’t bothered to do much else and a Big Brother runner up are the best we* can do as other hosts?