Ben Eltons wants sitcom, pony, Jupiter, etc.: An education in Australian TV

Source: Getty

Ben Elton has already been floating ideas for an “all-Aussie sitcom” in the Herald Sun, even before the first episode of his “live sketch comedy show” goes to air.

Talk about getting ahead of yourself… or counting your chickens before they’re hatched… or something. Either way, Elton isn’t quite well-versed in the way of Australian TV yet. Here’s a quick rundown.

If you want to have any chance of pitching a show, you need to become an established success, a proven ratings winner. You can do this one of two ways; the Shaun Micallef approach.

Pretty much the only person on commercial TV at the moment who could pitch a sitcom would be Shaun Micallef. However, this has been after years of hard work on smaller projects, such as Newstopia, Welcher and Welcher, the Micallef P(r)ogram(me), etc. You even have to endure slight ratings failures such as Micallef Tonight. However, he can lay claim to having something called “integrity”. Now, he has shown that he can produce a show that rates in Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation. He is now the most powerful man on TV.

Him and Charlie Sheen.


Yes, this is the other approach you can take. But hey, that’s Australian TV, you’ve got to accept the good with the bad and the bad and the bad.

I am almost certain that if CBS wanted to send some sort of vague message by canning Charlie Sheen/Two and a Half Men that he could fly to Australia and produce a miniseries in which Sheen just lies on the ground, a là Hasslehoff’s hamburger-eating stylings. Just Call it “One Man”.

If you add in another line like “One Man: It’s Like Underbelly”, and feature strobe-like flashing of breasts, it’s already got another million viewers before you can say “Matthew Newton”. Oh, and don’t forget celebrity guests, or “friends”, as Shane Warne likes to call them. For that matter, Shane Warne would be the perfect guest.

He would almost certainly give them their first exclusive by showing some choice videos off his mobile that he has filmed with Elizabeth Hurley.

So, if he wants to go talking up the next big sitcom, I suggest first making sure his current show Live From Planet Earth is a hit.

And just one thing, I’d suggest not to start posing with schoolgirls (or actors dressed as them). Sometimes context is important.


Posted on February 6, 2011, in TV and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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