Audiences will have the power to get their favourite Comedy Showroom pilot off the ground in this Australian television first.
In late April, six comedy pilots will air on ABC TV from the likes of Lawrence Mooney, Eddie Perfect, and the Kates (McLennan and McCartney), with the weight of their futures in the hands of viewers.
Through Comedy Showroom, audiences will have the opportunity to click through on ABC iview after the broadcast and say which ones should come back as full series and provide feedback.
For Matt Lovkis from Mad Kids, it’s been the chance to take what began as a web series – The Legend of Gavin Tanner – and make a half hour pilot.
“With iview and online, it’s a very exciting time to be making comedy,” Lovkis, who also wrote and directed ABC iview series DAFUQ?, says.
“There’s a lot of really cool comic talent coming out and finding an audience these days in different ways.”
With so many screens – from mobiles, to television, to computers – vying for people’s attention, he says (particularly online) comedy seems to be breaking new ground.
“There has been a need to be bigger and bolder to compete with everything,” he says.
“Every phone is a TV… so people in the comedy world are pushing the boundaries to engage audiences even more.”
See for yourself when ABC’s Comedy Showroom premieres on April 27 at 9pm. Following the broadcast head to iview to watch all six pilots and give feedback on your favourites.
Here’s a taster of what’s in store:
The six Comedy Showroom series
Created by Sarah Scheller with Alison Bell
Alison Bell plays new mum Audrey, who’s struggling – her first appearance at Mother’s Group was a disaster, as was her attempt to reconnect with her old pre-baby life in a bid not to be defined by her new role. Audrey might need a support team after all.
Ronny Chieng: International Student
Created by Ronny Chieng and Declan Fay.
Ronny Chieng stars as a smart and competitive Malaysian student who moved to Australia to study law – even though he has no aspirations to be a lawyer. With his sharp wit, he soon finds himself torn between his two worlds as he navigates life as an international student.
The Legend of Gavin Tanner
Created by Matt Lovkis
Gavin Tanner (Matt Lovkis) would never know he was the worst weed dealer in Western Australia. Convinced that he’s a total legend, when the new neighbour (Adam Zwar) moves in, he just knows they were meant to be best mates, whether they have anything in common or not.
Created by Kate McLennan and Kate McCartney (The Katering Show)
McLennan stars as the self-obsessed Anna O’Brien, who finds herself with no friends, money, job, house – ok, she loses pretty much everything. And her well-to-do family are no help either. Which is when the unhinged Anna happens upon an Open for Inspection and decides this empty townhouse is just the place to reinvent herself and change her luck.
Created by Scott Taylor
Loosely based on Lawrence Mooney’s life, he stars as a fictional version of himself. His job as a DJ is perfect for his party-hard lifestyle – that is, until his girlfriend drops some massive news on him that will mean this forty-something-year-old might finally need to grow up.
The Future is Expensive
Created by Eddie Perfect
Never sure if the absurdity that is life as a modern middle-class father and husband is actually a surreal joke or not, Eddie Perfect navigates the highs and lows, from dealing with mummy-Nazi’s to DIY challenges at home.