November 8, 2007

The Sideshow axed

Posted in ABC1 at 4:47 pm by Give Me The Remote

The ABC have decided that ‘The Sideshow’ will not be back in 2008. The program, a sort of cabaret style light entertainment extravaganza hasn’t pulled the numbers required by the ABC. In its original timeslot at 7:30pm on Saturday nights it pulled 615000 nationally and then 410000 at its 8:30 slot (which is not too bad up against Saturday night AFL).

Hosted by the very talented (and sometimes annoying – but that some of his charm) Paul McDermott, ‘The Sideshow’ was basically a collection of comedy bits, circus and burlesque acts, and musical numbers. Regulars on the show included: The Umbilical Brothers, Tripod, Claire Hooper and Flacco.

Claire Hooper and Paul McDermott on The Sideshow

It has been a really fun, quality show that has suffered due to shocking timeslots. Its ideal demographic would definitely have been the younger 18-49 group, probably the section of the public most likely to not be at home watching television on Saturday night. I guess it feels like a Saturday night show (light entertainmenty) but it’s not a kids show and so therefore can’t be chucked in the 7:30 slot. Plus, take a look at the Saturday night lineup – New Tricks (crime/drama), The Bill (crime/drama) then look at Wednesday – Spicks and Specks (music), The Chaser (comedy), The Librarians (comedy) and At the Movies (arts).

The ABC persisted for many years with medium to poor figures for the Chaser until a decent timeslot saw it regularly be the top rating program of the night. Granted Chaser was a much cheaper show to produce, but the lesson is still the same.. give a decent show a decent timeslot.

The Sideshow

I guess I’m just flogging a dead horse now, but it really is a shame because The Sideshow had a lot of great acts. I taped the program most weeks and watched some of the stuff over multiple times. A quick search of ‘The Sideshow’ in YouTube will result in many videos that viewers have deemed fit to put on the net.

There’s 4 episodes left. Make sure you see at least one! Sideshow whooah oooo ooh (thats the theme tune often sung at the end).



  1. Why oh why oh why!!!!!!!!

  2. Carla. said,

    Oh.. That just brings my life down even more..

  3. Laura said,

    I’m totally confused as to why they’d cancel such a great show! sure it’s ratings aren’t the best, but i’m sure they could pick up from word of mouth. Another season and a tonne of extra people would be watching!
    It’s such a shame that their priorities are so wrong!

  4. Gynoid said,

    There’s a petition, set up by LiveJournal sideshow_fans, at

    Sign it if you want ABC to reconsider. Tell your friends.

  5. ozatheist said,

    Very disappointing, I heard this was probably going to happen some while ago, and Paul’s be hinting at it.

    Management had a problem with some of the content, one of the reasons for the later time slot. This put it up against RockWiz, which would have a similar demographic I think? They really weren’t giving it a fair go.

    PS. How good were the Wau Wau tiwns!

  6. Emma said,

    You know why it was axed because all the people NOT watching it are mindless sheep looking for stupid action movie repeats and teen soapie crap. We finally get a variety show that has a multiple set of entertainers and they take it away from us. What a load of bullshit.

  7. helen said,

    Sideshow’s only about the best thing on tv apart from the chasers which looks like its going to be axed as well. The only things worth watching on crappy commercial television are getting the shit heap, one becasue it’s ratings arent high enough and the other with the highest ratings on the channel because its too “controversial” or watever the fuck the government’s problem is.

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