Nine is developing two new comedies: a half-hour and a one-hour show.
Andy Ryan, co-head of drama, recently told Fairfax, “Comedy is back on the table in a way that it wasn’t probably five years ago.”
Which is very good news. These appear to be in addition to Stan’s upcoming improvisation comedy, No Activity featuring Patrick Brammall. It feels like a long time since Nine was burnt by Live from Planet Earth, directing much of its comedy into travel shows such as Hamish and Andy’s Gap Year.
Almost all of TV’s locally produced content has been at home on ABC of late, although Foxtel is making much noise with the first of two seasons of Open Slather.
As Ryan notes short run comedies, such as those on ABC, are problematic because “by the time the audience finds the show, it’s finished.”
Open Slather pulled a big audience in its first week, with 243,000 viewers in its debut screening. Last night’s numbers fell to 131,000, but may yet J-Curve in coming weeks.
More than any other genre, Comedy is about throwing a few darts at the target -some will land close to the bull’s eye.
As ABC and Foxtel remind us, it’s imperative to have a few darts in your hand.