Bleak outlook for Hungry Beast

Exclusive: The edgy current affairs show has just landed its second Walkley Awards nomination -but the ABC has no plans to return Hungry Beast.

EXCLUSIVE: Hungry Beast, ABC’s ambitious series which trained journalists, producers, researchers and web producers, is languishing without any sign of a future on the public broadcaster.

After three seasons, the most recent ending mid-year, the show has no guarantee of a return.

TV Tonight understands a fourth series has been raised by Zapruder’s Other Films with ABC without success.

Yesterday an ABC Spokesperson confirmed, “There are no plans for a 4th season at present.”

This is despite the edgy current affairs show landing a Walkley Award nomination this week.

Monique Schafter has been nominated for Television Current Affairs Reporting (less than 20 minutes) alongside more seasoned performers from Dateline and Sunday Night. She even eclipsed 60 Minutes for a nomination.

During the second season reporters Ali Russell and Kirk Docker were also nominated for a Walkley Award for Coverage of Indigenous Affairs.

The show has previously been nominated for an AFI Award as Best Light Entertainment and an ATOM Award in the Best Multimedia category.

Last year Director of Television Kim Dalton, also acknowledged its achievements.

Hungry Beast has been a big adventure for all concerned – the 19 young people that pulled this show together from scratch are to be congratulated. We’ve had some controversy, hilarity, and some revealing and moving stories,” he said.

While there was room for improvement in its early season, this year the show found form by presenting “themed” shows, with stories linked by a common subject.

But on its official website, the show’s About page is written in the past tense: “Hungry Beast was a weekly, half-hour, TV show on ABC television combining journalism, comedy and the reportage of weird. It asked questions others didn’t, covered stories others wouldn’t and brought them to your screen in ways that only this unique team of broadcasters could do.”

Yesterday an insider source told TV Tonight,  “I understand that it’s an expensive show to produce but it’s also a thoroughly unique one that did resonate with its particular audience. In the last season HB was actually doing relatively well within the demographic that we were told ABC1 was trying to aim for…

“Most of the team would happily do a fourth series. We never had any shortage of ideas.”

But while there is disappointment at the lack of enthusiasm, there was also gratitude for the kickstart the show had provided.

“The team were very, very grateful to have the airtime that we did. And its always gratifying to see new audiences from around the globe discovering the show on YouTube like the 6 million or so that have watched this Avatar 2 sketch or any of the other stories on our channel,” said a source.

Another insider simply added, “Without Hungry Beast who will the ABC rely on for it’s Walkley Nominations?”

27 Responses

  1. It was a strong 3rd series. But it should never have gotten there with the wonky quality and poor audiences of the first two series. The Denton factor was clearly in operation. And it was surprising the smugness was not reined in very early – always unpleasant; particularly unseemly given the cast was entirely unknown (which was the whole point of the show).

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