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Gruen Planet return tipped for 2015 not 2014

Gruen's return now looks later rather than sooner for the ABC.

Gruen.PlanetMore speculation about the likely return of Gruen Planet today suggests the show is unlikely to be back on air in 2014.

As we reach the halfway mark of the year (in TV terms it’s actually the end of next week) nobody is giving firm answers, which is usually indicative that a show will be later rather than sooner.

A spokeswoman for the ABC has told Guardian Australia plans were “already under way for the next series but there is no air date yet”. She said: “I’ve been told that we are not commenting any further.”

Gruen was announced as part of ABC’s 2014 highlights last November, and in January Channel Controller Brendan Dahill told TV Tonight it would resume in the second half of the year.

But by February Executive Producer Jon Casimir from Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder was appointed  as ABC TV’s head of entertainment. Host Wil Anderson has also tweeted about his focus on live comedy this year. Russel Howcroft, now a TEN exec, is also to appear on Recipe to Riches. There are no ‘big ticket’ events this year around which to hang a variation on the show, such as Gruen Nation.

A spokesperson from CJZ told TV Tonight in April, “Yes (Wil Anderson) will be taking time off to concentrate on his stand up and yes the show will return. We are in discussions with everyone about dates.”

Nick Murray told Guardian: “We fully expect Gruen will be back next year. As Wil has already said publicly, he is living and working in the US this year – other than the odd live show here in Australia.

“We have a team in place which includes many of the original production crew. The key crew are on staff here already, and Jon will be overseeing the show at the ABC end, so there will be virtually no change of personnel.”

Without Spicks and Specks and Gruen (possibly second half of 2015) ABC will really need a dynamic new entertainment show to step up to the plate very soon.

7 Responses

  1. @David How does going on, smoking on and answering pot-related questions a show that showcases using marijuana recreationally not give the idea that he doesn’t just see marijuana as a medicinal treatment. Silly remark.

    1. Rather silly remark, given marijuana is decriminalised for medical purposes in the State in which is was consumed by Anderson. He says he started smoking the drug for medical reasons in order to combat the physical pain from chronic osteoarthritis, which he has in both his hips.

  2. Wil has talked in his Podcast (TOFOP) about how he’s planning to stay in the US for the rest of the year. So I really don’t think it’ll be this year at all.

    I feel like The Checkout has done a good job of filling the Gruen gap this year. It’s getting better with every Ep.

  3. The assault on the ABC from a hostile government is a huge distraction for senior management. Endless efficiency reviews and budget cuts are draining the creative life force from the organisation. News and Current Affairs are withstanding this assault but the television division is clearly struggling with fear and a lack of vision and leadership. Mark Scott is the most outstanding MD the ABC has ever had but at some point he will either walk away or be pushed out. Having worked at the ABC in the 80 and 90s I’ve seen the demoralising effect of the death of 1000 cuts before. Perhaps Mark Scott should go out fighting and re-energise the TV Division by making some key strategic hires of people who want to fight back with brave programming choices – just like the News/Caff division. In the so-called golden age of television reheats of S&S and recommissioning of drama that only…

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