Open Slather drawing to a close

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It’s been an ambitious, big-budget attempt to revive a weekly sketch show, but Open Slather is about to end its season.

As some viewers have noticed, current episodes have been trimmed from 60 minutes to 30 minutes.

A Foxtel spokesperson recently confirmed to TV Tonight, “We’re finishing this season of Open Slather with five new half hour specials 7.30pm Sundays on The Comedy Channel.”

But there is also talk of more from the show in 2016, albeit in a different form. News Corp hints that Ben Gerrard may feature in a spin off project. Gerrard is one of several young actors the show has helped discover.

That will help ease the pain of the ratings drop by the show, which launched strongly but went into a steady decline. Harsh reviews also show just how tough it can be for comedy to hit its target.

The final episode airs on Comedy at 7:30pm Sunday November 8.

14 Comments:

  1. If it wasn’t for Mesmerised & The Verdict, this show would win flop of the year. It started with an audience of 250k but is now down to about 25k – a true reflection of its appeal.

  2. George Xanthis and Ben Gerrard are two brilliant comic discoveries, yet are badly under-utilised. They are pushed to the background in favour of unfunny sketches from the older comedians. Enough with the two catholic priests (wasn’t funny the first time, but they keep bringing them back week after week) and if you are going to do sketches about TV shows (Downton Abbey is a good example) they need to be funny for people who haven’t seen the show, not just fans.

  3. As someone who grew up watching the Comedy Company and Fast Forward I was excited to see a return of sketch comedy with some talented well-known actors, but most of Open Slather was really lame and delivered few laughs. There were some genuinely funny moments like Glenn Robbins doing random drug checks on motorists but unfortunately they were few and far between.

    • The comments here, mine included are proof positive of the subjectivity of appreciation of comedy. What appears as funny to one is often not to the next. I didn’t find the Glenn Robbins testing sketches funny at all. I found them obvious and once they were established, it was the same joke; so you can never keep all the people happy all of the time with comedy. When do you hear people say that a drama was not dramatic enough? But comedy is scrutinised thoroughly.

  4. IMO, Open Slather tried to be ‘Fast Forward’ but with ‘The Comedy Company’s’ very basic humour. It just didn’t work – most of it was painful to watch.

    • Hmm… are you sure you didn’t get that the wrong way around?

      (Based on the very little I saw of it, I’d argue it relied way too much on mimicry rather than parody – a fault shared with FF.)

  5. daveinprogress

    Thanks for the update, David. I am sad to hear that this show is being faded away via its shorter eps. I have stuck with it right through and admit it is uneven; every sketch comedy show i’ve ever seen is; but clearly it has not found its audience. What numbers on Foxtel are deemed a success? Are Wentworth and A Place to Call Home successful enough to justify their existence? I expect so. Shame, as Open Slather has had much to recommend. George Xanthis, Ben Gerrard, Hannah Bath, Holly Austin, Dave Eastgate…et al; I’ve enjoyed watching these newer faces find their groove. It has been wonderful to have Gina and Magda and Marg especially back on the screen. Let’s see what’s next!

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