ABC gives Reality TV the Gruen treatment

Tom Ballard will host a new panel discussion on Reality TV, joined by experts, producers & former participants.

2014-07-14_1058ABC will give Reality TV the Gruen treatment -sort-of- in a new 8 part panel series, Reality Check, co-produced by CJZ and ABC TV.

Host Tom Ballard will joined by three industry experts, from producers to ex-contestants and judges, revealing what really happens behind the camera.

“I couldn’t be happier that CJZ and the ABC TV accidentally came across my audition tape for Australia’s Next Top Model and decided to give me this job,” said Ballard. “I’m looking forward to celebrating and laughing at the inner workings of this cultural phenomenon. I’m also excited to be able to finally count live-tweeting The Voice: Kids as ‘work’ and to claim all my Justice Crew merch on tax.”

“Reality is TV’s 800 pound gorilla,” says ABC Head of Entertainment Jon Casimir. “It’s the most successful cultural force of the last decade. It’s the ABC’s job to examine the world we live in. We hope Reality Check will give ‘Reality TV’ its due, acknowledging its drawing power and asking why it works and what that says about us.”

Nick Murray, Managing Director of CJZ added, “Reality is dramatic, funny, poignant, and in many ways, reflects our community more accurately than any other genre. This series examines how it works and asks the question: if Stephen Spielberg is a genius for making audiences cry, why shouldn’t reality producers be lauded for doing the same thing?”

While CJZ (and its various incarnations) have never produced a big reality franchise it has dabbled in Reality hybrids and factual offshoots including Go Back to Where You Came From, Dumb Drunk & Racist, Recruits, Hardliners, AFP: Australian Federal Police and Country Town Rescue. ABC has previously aired a number of Reality shows on both ABC1 and ABC2.

It will air in coming months on ABC.

7 Responses

  1. I think this is a good idea, and I think Tom Ballard is a great talent. I just hope that if this show works and does well, that ABC don’t give it another season. Because I don’t think it would need more than 8 episodes to dissect reality TV.

  2. Go Tom! I’ve really missed him on Triple J breakfast, I’m really glad he’ll be around again!

    I think this show sounds really good, I love Gruen, so if they can keep that same sort of tone and transfer the context it’ll be great.

  3. Anderson, Sampson and Howcroft realise that the Gruen brand is getting tired and it was time for rest. The ABC can only panic because it has no Gruen and try to come up with a second rate knock off likely to kill the format off for good.

    Contest shows and docudramas are the ultimate in 15 minutes of fame. There is no point in attempting analysis even 16 minutes later.

    They will get zero help and footage from the commercial networks so they will continually be fighting over what is fair use under copyright laws or talking about footage that the viewers won’t have seen.

  4. How about a new show that deconstructs ABC / CJZ panel shows…’Panel Beaters’. Will the audience of said ‘reality shows’ tune in to watch their favourite programs being deconstructed? No. It’s just another show for a shrinking ABC audience. At least it will be something different to the endless episodes of QI.

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