The Checkout‘s Ben Jenkins, Zoë Norton Lodge and Scott Abbot will join with journalists and comedians as they dissect the week’s news and media through parlour games.
“The Media Circus format is kind of like The Hamster Wheel… of Fortune,” said host Craig Reucassel. “It combines the Chaser team’s take on the week’s news and current affairs with the satirical comedy and media analysis of The Hamster Wheel and chucks it all together in the form of games. For the Chaser team, news really is a game now.”
“We’re hoping it will be a new low in the decline of news into entertainment,” said executive producer Julian Morrow. “We can’t destroy news, but degrading seems achievable.”
Filmed in front of a live studio audience each week shortly before broadcast, The Chaser’s Media Circus sees a mix of journalists, comedians and members of the program’s team (including writer/performers from The Checkout Ben Jenkins, Zoë Norton Lodge and Scott Abbot) dissect the week’s news and media through games like:
● Out of Order: Where teams have to organise news stories in the order they appeared in a TV news bulletin. Which is deemed most important – Syria’s civil war, the AFL results, or a neighbourly dispute over a garage roller door?
● Press Pack: Where a team member plays the part of a public figure at a press conference defending an embarrassing gaffe. Or whatever Jacqui Lambie said that particular week.
● Evil Mastermind: A fun game for the whole family where you have to decide whether a quote about “evil” is by Tony Abbott or a cartoon super-villain.
Each episode of Media Circus will also feature Chas Licciardello in the role of a one-man media brains trust, a sort of cross between Dickie Knee and Rain Man.
“It’s a shame that all the ABC’s good work for Mental Health Week (5-12 October) will be immediately cancelled out by the return of the Chaser team,” said ABC Director of Television Richard Finlayson.
The Chaser’s Media Circus is a Giant Dwarf production for ABC TV. The Executive Producers are Julian Morrow and Martin Robertson. ABC Executive Producer Sophia Zachariou.
Wednesday 15 October at 8.30pm