December 9, 2007

Chaser, Thank God You’re Here expected to take a break

Posted in ABC1, Network Ten at 5:31 pm by Give Me The Remote

Recent mail from the Working Dog and Chaser camps says that they are both considering resting their shows next year.

The Chasers War on Everything averaged 1.45 million viewers an episode in 2007, forming the core of the ABC’s extremely successful Wednesday light entertainment/comedy night. Mostly remembered for its more controversial skits – who could forget the fake APEC motorcade or that Eulogy song that everybody seemed to take offence to – the show did not have the substance this year that it was present last year. There were definitely highlights and many of them, but there were also countless skits that missed the mark by a country mile and appeared to be nothing more than filler.

The Chaser

Channels 7 and 9 attemped to cash in on the Chasers success and seemed to broadcast a ‘Chaser’ story on ACA and TT every week or two – many negative, but also quite a lot positive. This pretty much equated to Chaser, Chaser, Chaser. As they continued to make the news the exposure grew and grew and the boys were just everywhere.

I believe that it has been an incredibly thoughtful move to take a break from television and focus on other things – a nationwide stageshow tour titled ‘The Chaser’s Age of Terror Variety Hour’. I dare say that this tour will be a great deal less politically correct than the show they are forced to air every week across the nation.

If/when they come back, I suggest another format change. Perhaps try the news panel style satire that they had been churning out for years in graveyard slots when nobody was watching. It really was quite good – and a change from the whole house/clubroom theme. CNNNN again?

Then there’s Thank God You’re Here. Michael Hirsh from Working Dog recently told The Sunday Telegraph that “We haven’t made a decision if we’re doing Thank God or not; we’re undecided.”

Thank God You’re Here
Hamish Blake and Angus Sampson watch the Veronicas on Thank God You’re Here

The Working Dog team have always said that they didn’t want to overdo the format. I would be surprised if the show doesn’t come back – but a few months off won’t hurt the ratings when the show returns. I think this show needs some new stars. How about some oversees names trying to plug television programs/movies? Boost the stars up from B-list Aussies to A-list American/UK stars. Would they be up for it? Most – probably not. But I’m sure some would really great – Stephen K. Amos, Jason Byrne are names that spring to mind. Some really crazy guys who would just run amok.

So, the production teams of The Chasers War on Everything and Thank God You’re Here are smart enough to understand over-exposure and do their best to avoid it. With smart people behind these programs, is it any wonder that have been two of the most popular shows of 2007?

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1 Comment »

  1. Vic said,

    I think both shows deserve a break, however it would be a great shame to have them gone forever. I sincerely hope both teams come back to television in some form or another, especially the Chaser’s team, though not forgetting the brilliance of the TGYH team.

    I think there should be an Aussie import of the show Whose Line Is It Anyway?

    I also don’t think that TGYH needs American/UK comedians/improvists to vamp it up, just a greater variety of the more widely known Aussie Comedians. Perhaps the occasional overseas guest would work, but not so much as to make it all about the guest stars.


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