Renewed: Tractor Monkeys …. but rebooted Spicks & Specks delayed

2013-04-12_1557The ABC has confirmed a second season for panel show Tractor Monkeys, but set back a rebooted Spicks and Specks until 2014.

Tractor Monkeys has just gone into pre-production and will see the return of Merrick Watts, Dave O’Neil and Monty Dimond as the team captains.

Jennifer Collins, head of ABC Entertainment has told Mumbrella, “It’s an exciting way to launch next year. Casting for the new team will begin later this year. We plan to welcome back some of your favourites as well as testing the musical knowledge of some new and surprising guests.”

A new-look Spicks and Specks was originally announced for 2013.

It’s a surprising move by ABC Entertainment given Tractor Monkeys numbers were sometimes dropping below 400,000. Instead of reviving the ABC’s preferred panel format this year, it is returning to one that mimicked it too closely.

The decision sounds like talent availability for Spicks may have precluded its return.


  1. Awful show. No play along. No place for comedy to go. Feel sorry for Dave O’Neill who is the only one punching above his weight (sorry). What’s going on in ABC comedy and ent? More flops than Celebrity Splash!

  2. Secret Squirrel, yes I’m looking forward to their thrill-a-minute gameplay and champagne comedy. In the meantime, you won’t find me on Nurse Jackie stories hating on that try hard rubbish. It’s pointless & a waste of time… Hating on it & watching it.

  3. Secret Squirrel

    @Stan – I think you’ll find that I’m not alone in being unimpressed by TM but I’m sure that you and the other 400k will enjoy the thrill-a-minute gameplay and champagne comedy.

  4. Tractor Monkeys = fresh, funny & fast concept.
    Spicks & Specks = stale, shit & slow concept.

    I like TM & watched all of last season, but I hope it still makes it to air. They might be too cut up after learning Secret Squirrel won’t be watching & halt production.

  5. Tractor Monkeys is dead and Spicks and Specks can’t be revived.

    They need to innovate not just try to drudge up successes of the past.

    Sad aunty has come to this.

  6. I didn’t think Tractor Monkeys was a bad show. It was just that it was, like Randling, cloyingly bland (in a “we’re just going through the motions” sort of way).

    I don’t know if you can ever repeat the Hills-Warhurst-Brough synergy that made Spicks And Specks to great.

  7. @victor – How was “Randling” a “debacle”? It was a show that got commissioned and then not many people watched it. It was actually a decent show, if crippled by multiple weak spots early on. Almost all panel shows start out as wobbly, including “Spicks and Specks” and TAYG.

    I liked “Tractor Monkeys,” it entertained me, and I am happy to see it continue. I watched it on iView, as I was watching “Mr and Mrs Murder” live.

  8. Renewing this show is beyond belief. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate for Mark Scott to be roasting the ABC management for commissioning it in the first place and asking the programmer and commissioner to explain themselves, particularly after the Randling debacle. If it was a commercial network the executives would be nervous about their jobs but not it seems at the ABC. I hope the new head of TV at the ABC makes some changes.

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