THE POL­I­TICS OF WIL POWER

GRUEN LEADS TV’S ELEC­TION TICKET

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE -

WILL the new sea­son of Gruen Planet be the last? ‘‘I’m not say­ing Gruen is all over, but I am say­ing we’re all be­ing pushed in a lot of dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions now,’’ says host Wil An­der­son.

‘‘It’s get­ting harder and harder to get the gang back to­gether ev­ery year.’’

The gang he refers to is him­self and ad­ver­tis­ing in­dus­try ex­perts Rus­sel Howcroft and Todd Sam­son. The three are the linch­pin around which ev­ery episode of Gruen re­volves.

‘‘Rus­sel, my­self and Todd have made 70 episode of Gruen. If it’s not Rus­sel, my­self and Todd then it’s not Gruen – that’s al­ways been my point of view.’’

An­der­son prefers not to speak for the pair, but both are busy men.

Howcroft is the new boss of Chan­nel 10. Sam­son, mean­while, is in de­mand, with reg­u­lar TV ap­pear­ances on shows such as Chan­nel 10’s The Pro­ject.

An­der­son di­vides his own ca­reer be­tween Aus­tralia and Los An­ge­les.

‘‘About three to four years ago I made a ma­jor de­ci­sion to give up most of my me­dia jobs and con­cen­trate on standup,’’ he says. ‘‘It’s the thing I do that I love the most. It’s my main pas­sion. And how am I sup­posed to do that if I’m do­ing 250 days of ra­dio or 40 weeks of tele­vi­sion ev­ery year.

‘‘It’s not quite my third year there of go­ing and there and back. I sup­pose the re­al­ity is it’s been about 20 months and it’s re­ally start­ing to get busy now.

‘‘This is the first time I’ve come back to do tele­vi­sion here and had to turn work down.

‘‘Say­ing that I’ll never not do standup in Aus­tralia. Melbourne Com­edy Fes­ti­val is the first thing on my cal­en­dar ev­ery year. I’ll al­ways tour.

‘‘I’m not say­ing this is the end of Gruen. I’m not say­ing it will or it won’t be back, just that we may need to look at what hap­pens next.’’

The Gruen Trans­fer, re­fer­ring to the re­sponse to de­signed dis­ori­en­ta­tion cues in re­tail en­vi­ron­ments, had the best de­but of any ABC show in May 2008 and has had four sea­sons on air.

Spinoff se­ries, Gruen Na­tion, aired dur­ing the 2010 Aus­tralian fed­eral elec­tion and is back on air again in the lead up to Aus­tralian fed­eral elec­tion on Septem­ber 7.

‘‘It’s the most pop­u­lar se­ries of Gruen we’ve ever done and I love that we get the chance to have a sec­ond crack at it,’’ says An­der­son.

It will spin into a third sea­son of Gruen Planet, fo­cus­ing on global me­dia strate­gies and pub­lic re­la­tions and it­self a spinoff that re­placed the fourth sea­son of The Gruen Trans­fer in 2011. Gruen Sweat ex­am­ined the brand­ing and mar­ket­ing of the 2012 Lon­don Olympics.

Gruen Na­tion: Wed­nes­days, 8.30pm, ABC1.

Wil An­der­son

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