Getting away with murder
Shaun Micallef is taking a big ratings gamble with not one but two shows clashing with My Kitchen Rules, writes Colin Vickery
and (right) in ZOM COM: Sure, Shaun of the Dead took us into a world where the zombies meet the rom com but what if The Walking Dead walked into the same space? From the people who brought you The Game of Thrones as a Seinfeld episode, here is the 80s sitcom intro to your favourite zombie show reimagined. http://bit.ly/UcMCb5
IS Shaun Micallef going to have a grisly time in the TV ratings tonight? The Aussie comedian has two TV shows starting this evening— and both are up against ratings juggernaut My Kitchen Rules.
Micallef returns with a second series of comic news review Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell on the ABC at 8pm.
An even bigger gamble looms at 8.30pm with Channel 10’s launch of Mr & Mrs Murder, which will be overlapped by the tail end of MKR.
Micallef and Kat Stewart play married crime cleaners and amateur sleuths Charlie and Nicola Buchanan.
The light-hearted mystery series harks back to the days of Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell and Myrna Loy) in the Thin Man films of the 1930s.
A more recent equivalent is ’ 80s TV series Hart to Hart. Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers played Jonathan and Jennifer Hart, a wealthy couple that dabbled in crime solving.
In recent weeks, rumours spread that Channels 9 and 10 were holding back new programs to avoid going head-to-head with My Kitchen Rules.
Seven’s cooking show has been notching up ratings of around 2 million viewers per episode — hurting rival shows including MasterChef: The Professionals.
Nine’s US drama The Following, with Kevin Bacon, looks like being delayed until after Easter. Ten has bitten the bullet — going ahead with its plan to start Mr & Mrs Murder against the final stretch of MKR.
If Micallef is worried about getting hit in the ratings, he isn’t showing it. He sounds positively relaxed as he discusses Mr & Mrs Murder. Maybe that is because Ten was so quick to commission the show, which is produced by long-time mate Jason Stephens (Killing Time, Devil’s Dust).
‘‘ Mid-way through the year before last we had a meeting with Rick Maier (Ten’s head of drama and production),’’ Micallef recalls.
‘‘ Within 30 seconds of us sitting down he said ‘ the good news is we want to do it (Mr & Mrs Murder)’. We had booked an hour to chat to him, so I spent the rest of the time trying not to say anything to ruin it.’’
Mr & Mrs Murder is a bold risk for Micallef, who could have comfortably made comedy panel show Talkin’ ’Bout Your Generation for many years to come.
Instead, Micallef is stepping out of his comfort zone. He didn’t write the Mr & Mrs Murder scripts and he’s not out to get laughs.
Micallef has to act. He needs to convince TV audiences that he really is a cleaner who can solve crimes.
Togetherness: Shaun Micallef
and Kat Stewart in Mr & Mrs Murder,