Circus tent folds on ABC Sideshow

The Sideshow is turning to sawdust with news the ABC will not renew it for 2008.

The Saturday evening comedy show, a revival of The Big Gig, has languished in its two Saturday timeslots of 7:30pm and 9:30pm. It dropped from 615,000 to about 410,000 viewers with the timeslot change. But at 7:30pm the show’s comic edge was hamstrung by classification limitations.

The show is hosted by comedian Paul McDermott produced by GNW TV which had formerly produced The Glass House and Good News Week.

Co-host Claire Hooper commented on the show’s demise saying, “I think it’s just been amazing for the industry for up and coming comics (and) circus and burlesque acts to get their stuff on TV.”

It’s unfortunate the show didn’t get an outing on the ABC’s Wednesday comedy centrepiece.

“We tried two slots for it and the audience wasn’t there. It’s had a good year (but) for next year we’re not having The Sideshow,” said an ABC spokesperson.

The final ep airs December 1.

Source: The Age.

8 Responses

  1. I barely ever watched it for two reasons. Firstly, Paul McDermott grates on me just as much as Daryl Sommers, I just can’t handle him for more than two minutes. The second reason (and it’s been said before) is the target audience isn’t going to be home on a Saturday night! Everyone is out, or having friends around or just generally being social in some capacity. Such a shame, it was a great concept and there is definitely a need for this type of show.

  2. Yes, it’s a big shame this show wont be renewed, I found this show to be quite refreshing and very different to everything else on TV, every other network does the same thing as the other networks, this show is so independent, nothing like it.

  3. Hi David,

    I’m not sure the programmers understood the likely audience, and when they were possibly going to watch television. I’m an ABC regular, and I would like to have seen it, but simply, I’m not home on Saturday night (and if I was, I wouldn’t be watching television). And it never struck me as ‘must see’ that I should record for later.

  4. We were in the audience one Thursday night (it is filmed two days before it airs) for a stark, contrived three hours of re-takes (and dodgy gags c/o McDermott). By the end we were so over it we forgot to tune in on Saturday. But hey you get what you pay for and this was free. It’s still better than The Wedge though – why oh why is that still on?? I’d prefer The Sideshow any day.

  5. I think it shot itself in the foot during it’s first few episodes.

    The jokes fell flatter than Let Loose Live. However I tuned into parts few later episodes and they weren’t too bad.

    But why oh why did they get rid of The Glasshouse??

  6. Paul McDermott basically said as much on last Saturday’s show, too, via the closing song.

    It’s a shame – it actually felt like one of the only fresh things on television this year, despite its obvious debt to The Big Gig (which, I think, it was superior to).

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