Chris & Julia’s Sunday Night Takeaway

“This is the most important show since The Mavis Bramston Show,” Mark Gable of The Choirboys joked with Dr. Chris Brown & Julia Morris.

While Brown conceded that most of the audience would have no idea about the show he was referring to, I couldn’t help but think Mavis Bramston was bitingly-scripted and clearly still remembers some 50 years later. In the current climate you’re doing well if you are remembered 50 weeks later.

10’s latest Live TV pitch, Chris & Julia’s Sunday Night Takeaway, is based on Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway which is now 15 seasons old. The UK duo, who are practically a religion in their own right, are ringmasters of pranks, games and variety giveaways. Various international adaptations have been staged, some of which ran for 4 years.

Dr. Chris Brown & Julia Morris, first paired together at a Logie event, host the Aussie version from 10. Fresh from the African jungle, the energy between these two always delivers. Try and stop Julia Morris from a format where she gets to host, do gags and maybe even sing a number or two. The surprise package continues to be the TV vet-turned-comedy-straight-man, whose knack at Live hosting has come a long way in a short space of time.

The opening episode featured guest announcer Shane Warne -a good get even if he is pops all his Ps- and Beau Ryan as a kind of supporting host. Across two hours (it ran 25 minutes overtime) it served up a range of Live studio and pre-recorded segments: Couch Watch, Singalong Live, The Happiest Minute, Win the Ads and more. There were flashes of Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush, Candid Camera, even 1960s daytime game shows such as It Could Be You.  To its credit, big prizes walked out the door on night 1, including a car, holidays, cash and more.

Thanks to behind-the-scenes plans there was a cheeky video involving a viewer in Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor, resulting in a Live marriage proposal. Lucky she said yes.

But a Karaoke singalong with crosses to home viewers was messy, with clunky timing. Beau Ryan handled his segment with all the finesse of a Footy Show segment. The show needs to avoid too much shouting.

With celebrity interviews handled by pint-sized “Chris & Julia” the show is pitching at family audiences -not a bad move when reality shows in the same slot are high on drama and jeopardy.

But there is also a sense of the show wanting to appear loose and spontaneous, framed by a big-budget, shiny floor set. Are the two compatible or has it overshot the mark? I guess 15 seasons in the UK shows what’s possible.

For me that’s the key to this exercise. Having a Live TV alternative, with moments of the unpredictable, has to be welcomed in a landscape where much is constructed and sometimes bordering on abuse. Chris & Julia’s Sunday Night Takeaway needs to be trimmed in length, especially where concepts are especially variations on a theme. The point is, there is not just room for improvement, there is potential.

Mavis Bramston knew it was important to take risks in Television, otherwise we will be perpetually stuck with repeats. 10 is starting out 2019 doing just that.

Chris & Julia’s Sunday Night Takeaway airs 7:30pm Sundays on 10.

35 Comments:

  1. Maev....Sydney

    Missed last week….I am watching now…ads got me in….like Julia’s outfit better’n the first week…
    Loving Ron Moss on the mike… 😀….
    I am suddenly getting shades of It Could Be You / Tommy Hanlon Jr ⁉

  2. This was one of the more promisiing launches of recent times. Sure the hosts have to find their groove — Chris Brown constantly staring past the guest into the middle distance to read his lines being one example of where improvement lies — but this is probably the first such gig for the two hosts so I’m prepared to give them a little latitude in the early days.

    Some have likened it to Hey Hey It’s Saturday and called for it to be moved a night earlier. But Ten has got the timeslot right because its competitors’ upcoming footbal seasons will soon bulldoze anything that gets in its way on a Saturday evening.

    And as for those that dismiss it as being a copy of a UK format… who cares? There’s been many a successful Australian production that is simply a licenced version of a foreign invention (eg: Married at First Sight, Big Brother, Dancing with the Stars, Deal or No…

  3. I thought it was good,and being a Live show always puts everyone under pressure which is a great thing.Then it can be upredictable and potential of anything happening.Harsh comment saying it was a copy of Ant and Dec,well of course it is what do you expect.The longer the show goes i’m sure Channel 10 may come up with some different segments.It’s a great alternative MKR is boring,and MAFS is just all pretend,but people take it so seriously why?At least on Takeaway you know it’s real lol.Well Done Ten

  4. I watched up til the wedding proposal then turned off. Sadly they have literally copied Ant & Dec right down to what they say in certain segments. It felt stale from the start it was loud but slow.

    I don’t who chose Julia’s out fit but it was horrible. The chemistry between Julia and Chris wasn’t there. It all felt forced and unfunny. Julia is a very funny and witty and none of that was coming through.

    The “audience surprise” was literally copied from Ant & Dec even the “sleeping boyfriend on the couch”. Even the “we know differently” catch phrase the whole segment was ripped off from Saturday Night Takeaway with a woman watching her Boyfriend do all sorts of things while she is sitting in the studio with A&D

      • It may not be a rip off, but it was definitely copied. I wish I could find the clip on YouTube to prove that whole wedding proposal was pretty a copy word for word from Ant & Dec.

        They may be the same format which is fine but to be copy exactly what they do and say in the UK version is ridiculous, Julia is a comedian and very very funny but I didn’t see any of the Julia I’ve seen doing live TV in the past.

        Sorry to disagree David, but for me it was a carbon copy of Ant & Dec and it was poorly done.

        • Sorry, it’s not a rip off and not a copy. They have copied minor aspects/segment of the show and used jokes which the UK writers have already written for Ant & Dec, but most of the segments have been changed by our writers and Dr Chris & Lady Julia have added their own creative flair and antics to it. It’s a great show still, although there just needs to be a few minor changes to make it better suited to us.

  5. Was a good first show effort. It can only get better as cast and crew relax into the format. It did seem like some of the segments dragged on a bit too long. I guessed there would be a marriage proposal about 5 minutes into the segment. Beau Ryan didn’t offer much. Richard Reid ran rings around him and I think he would be better suited to the fun of the show. Liked the crosses to people’s houses but Skype should never be used on broadcast TV. It’s always clunky and unreliable. Spend the money and do it properly. It ruined the Karaoke segment. Needed to start the show with a bang like a production number with dancers etc. Would be a good way to end also…leave the audience wanting more. Start giving away prizes earlier. Got sick of coming up promos trying to keep you watching for prize giveaways. Get a follow spot light. Will let the hosts not be glued to rehearsed parts of the set…

    • I’ve just finished watching on Tenplay and yes the first half was hit and miss, but I felt it picked up and was pretty good for a first outing of a show slavishly copied. But why the hell is it, and DWTS, buried like that? Shame Ten, Shame!

      Now surely the Aussie version can evolve and create its own content?

    • Absolutely Richard Reid would liven it up, a bit like how Russell Gilbert used to float around the set on Hey Hey and Trevor Marmalade to an extent. There used to be a younger guy as well think his first name was James (or Jamie) hosted a show with Livinia Nixion for a bit as well, he did more of the on-location live crosses and outside the studio stuff (in the parking lot etc), often stunt like ones with people on BMX’s or skateboards.

      A third person in that vein kind of interrupting every now and then would lift it and again Richard Reid is a good choice.

  6. Gave it a chance, not awful but noted the following – brutally slow pace, no sense of momentum – woman picked out to see her husband do silly things looked near comatose – three minute in-program promo for Dancing with the Stars before first commercial break – in program promo for The Bachelor – interview with Grant Denyer to promote Dancing again – Dave Hughes on camera segment to promote his program – extended advertorials for the prizes – just a little too low on content overall with vast numbers of in-program adverts for programs.

  7. Not sure why they chose to open the show with a weird 20 minute proposal. That was the only thing I didn’t like. It got better from that point on. I hope more people watch next week.

  8. The problem with trying to launch a family show at the moment is that the mums (and maybe dads) are watching MAFS and MKR, while the kids are most likely watching Netflix or Foxtel in another room.

  9. Unfortunately, the appearance of Shane Warne very early made me change the channel, and somehow I never came back. As someone has mentioned, Julia was not relaxed which was a bit hard to watch.

    Somehow, Ch10 don’t seem to be able to hit the mark with presenters and guests. A few good ones get way overused, they pull out controversial guests so that half the audience immediately turns off, and they don’t seem to be able to identify fresh talent. They need to look at News Breakfast (Nate, Neve, Del Irani etc), for ways to bring in new blood and make them part of a great team.

    • Overused hosts all around, everywhere you look on TEN, there’s Grant, Amanda, Hughesy, Julia and Chris (why is he always referred to as Dr Chris, his “vetting” days seem to be over). Everything on TEN is cross promoted in every other program to the point of nausea.

      The screaming audience in this left me cold – I lasted 10 minutes.

  10. I’m not a fan of live television marriage proposals. It can be seen as using guilt to coerce someone into saying yes because of the spotlight. It’s not the best way to propose marriage. However, the couple seemed nice and I wish them the best.

  11. It’s a shame they chose the wrong day to launch a live show. Saturday night 700-830 like the old Hey Hey It’s Saturday slot would be perfect for this kind of family entertainment . I’m glad I recorded it as I fast forwarded through a lot of silly segments but ended up watching the last 30 mins live as it ran way over time .

  12. Sunday Night Takeout, nice and light and a good way to finish the weekend reality free. My only concern with the show was the 37 minute over run. I can accept non scripted live shows running over, but for a scripted live show which had no obvious delays, to over run 37 minutes is very average. Surely they must have known the run time…

  13. It was okay, but some segments dragged (the audience suprise – the woman didn’t seem engaged at all and barely said 2 words which made the segment seem to go on forever; the “win the ads” recap of the prizes twice, which took up 5 minutes of airtime). Julia didn’t seem quite herself either, probably first night nerves but Chris was excellent.

    I’ll watch again, but they need to tighten things up and keep things moving along. There also seemed to be a lot of talking and explaining things. A few musical performances throughout the show might freshen it up too and break up the monotony. Definite room for improvement, let’s hope CBS/10 stick with it and don’t pull it if it doesn’t rate spectacularly.

  14. This frolic had its great highs with cheeky new ideas, to parts that will take a bit of rendering.
    What they do have is Julia, who, when you see her in a tux , rolling around the floor chasing an escaped bingo ball, brings you to laugh and realise, that is the point, a bit of fun. Give it time.

  15. Yep it was mainly all good but needs a few tweaks, like you say the karaoke was flawed mainly because you couldn’t hear the home viewers. Nerves were on show a few times, I think if I took a shot every time Warnie adjusted a part of his clothing I’d be pretty drunk at the end of the 2 hours, but yeah nerves. Also the last segment was good though I had my doubts the chilli was hot for Julia and Chris, Chris tried his best to make it seem it was but not so much Julia who admitted she never eats it normally. Production was on point except for that karaoke segment and not sure if it was productions fault or Beau Ryan’s, however he was either looking at the wrong camera a lot or they used the wrong one.

    In the end I’ll tune in again as I remember a once nervous Daryl Somers in a shaky voice once saying, I’m Daryl Somers and welcome to Cartoon Corner, this show has potential and was…

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