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.”