Comedy Channel returns to local comedy

A 20 episode sketch / variety and an adult animation -Comedy tickles its own funny bone once more.

2014-11-02_0004One announcement by Foxtel at their Upfronts last week was almost overshadowed, and deserves a little more attention: the Comedy Channel is finally returning to producing some local comedy.

Executive Director of Television Brian Walsh told guests at the event on Thursday night, it’s a question everybody had been asking.

“‘What has happened to Australian Comedy and why is no-one taking any risks?’ I hear it all the time. ‘Where are all the great comedic talents and why aren’t we seeing more of them on Australian television?’ Well next year you will,” he promised.

“Tonight I am proud to announce a major new comedy project, which combines the extraordinary talent of two of Australia’s most coveted producers of television comedy: Rick McKenna and Laura Waters.

McKenna’s credits include Full Frontal, Fast Forward, Kath and Kim while Laura Waters’ credits include
Ja’mie: Private School Girl, We Can Be Heroes, Angry Boys, Summer Heights High, Jonah from Tonga, John Safran’s Race Relations, Outland and It’s a Date.

“Rick and Laura will unite, with Foxtel, with what promises to be the most anticipated local comedy production in 2015. The biggest names in Australian comedy, will join some of the brightest new names on the comedy circuit, and come together under one banner for a weekly comedy series, filmed Live in front of a studio audience. It will be a no-holds barred send-up of Australian culture, identities, celebrities, and of course our politicians.

“Yes there will be parodies, there will be pisstakes, send-ups and moments which will no-doubt test the resolve of our share-holders -and I know some of them are here tonight- but above all it will be unique and it will be Australian.

The untitled new series will comprise 20 x 1 hr episodes to be filmed in Melbourne.

Comedy Channel is also developing a new adult animated series, Pacific Heat from Working Dog (NB: it isn’t clear if it will be airing in 2015).

“Animation is rich on our platform and there are many great success stories from US television. But it’s largely uncharted waters here in Australia. So we are developing what will be Australia’s first primetime adult animation.”

Earlier this month the Logies announced it was restoring the Comedy category to its Outstanding categories.

6 Responses

  1. Andrew I don’t think all of those prdn. cos are at risk of overwhelming us. High Wire for instance has done the now defunct Lowdown, plus Agony series and 4 eps of Littleton. Jungleboys have done Moodys and Elegant Men. Gristmill: UMB, Librarians and Very Small Business. Over 5 years these are not exorbitant. ABC has partnered with quite a few other prdn cos.

    Oh and should we mention “What has happened to Australian Comedy and why is no-one taking any risks?’” It’s on ABC.

    But great to see Comedy returning to scripted.

  2. Can someone please tell network and cable television there are more production companies producing comedy than Princess Pictures, Working Dog, Gristmill, High Wire Films & Jungleboys. Which all keep getting shows. thats not a risk

  3. They also did two series Balls of Steel Australia which is where the Nazeem Hussain / Endemol relationship came from. but yes very little in recent years.

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