Mad as Hell trimmed to 1 season for 2015

10maheShaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell has had its order sliced from 20 episodes in 2014 to 10 episodes in 2015.

The ever-popular Micallef, who has attracted good ratings for two seasons at 8pm Wednesdays, will also be fronting his own sitcom next year, The Ex PM, playing a a former Prime Minister with relevance deprivation. It will also feature longtime colleague Francis Greenslade.

But the Mad as Hell team will return for a single, fifth season.

It’s not clear whether the decision is directly related to funding cuts, but a clue may lay in the 20 episode order for Charlie Pickering’s as-yet-untitled comedy.

The Jon Oliver / Jon Stewart-style show will see Pickering “calling bullshit on newsmakers, special interests, politicians
and other charlatans.”

Set to air on Wednesday nights, it’s yet to be confirmed if the show will air in an 8pm timeslot for half of the 2015 ratings year, potentially leaving Mad as Hell with one quarter of the schedule.

ABC’s Head of Entertainment Jon Casimir, recently spoke about the challenge of finding suitable shows for the Wednesday 8pm timeslot.

“It remains a great challenge for the ABC because it’s easy to make fun, risky, edgy shows at 9 or 9:30 at night,” he said.

“But at 8:00 when you’re in a PG timeslot it’s more of a challenge. So we need shows that are big, bold, easily recognisable and understandable. You’re going to ‘get it’ when you drive past on a bus ad or billboard. It’s broad enough to hit a family, but distinctive and ambitious enough to suit the ABC.”

8 Comments:

  1. If this was Micallef’s decision, then no problem – however, if we’re cutting Shaun to have Charlie Pickering then I think questions need to be asked.

  2. If he’s writing the sitcom that’s not something you just bash out in an afternoon. Plus at least 6 weeks to shoot, plus at least 12 weeks on Mad as Hell.
    It’s wouldn’t surprise me in writing was a month an ep including drafts and rewrites, which would pretty much fill the whole year.

  3. 2015 is not the sixth season,

    He did 10 eps in 2012 (season 1)
    He did 12 eps in 2013 (season 2)
    Depending on how you treat 2014 he did 20 eps (season 3) or 10 eps (season 3) and 10 eps (season 4)

    So this is not such a shock.

    What is disappointing is that ABC is continuing to invest in lightweights like Pickering and Thomas, when proven (funny) performers appear to be cut back

    Or maybe Micallef wants to concentrate on other things

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