Hit sketch show’s door still open to fresh comedy talent
SHANE Bourne would love to see Thank God You’re Here back on television. So would Channel 7.
Bourne, who has just replaced Daniel MacPherson as host of Dancing with the Stars, has given the first insight into why the popular improvised comedy program hasn’t been on air since 2009.
Bourne believes it’s because producers Working Dog – Rob Sitch, Tom Gleisner, Jane Kennedy, Santo Cilauro, and Michael Hirsh – have been waiting for a fresh crop of Aussie comedy talent to take part.
Bourne reckons now would be the perfect time to bring the show back, and he wants to host it.
“Thank God You’re Here is the one that people ask me about,” Bourne says. “If it got the green light, and if I could, I’d have to ( host it) because it’s in my DNA.”
Thank God You’re Here was a ratings phenomenon as soon as it started on Channel 10 in 2006, often getting upwards of 1.7 million viewers per episode across the five capital cities.
Seven poached the show in late 2008, paying a reported $ 1 million- plus an episode for the 10 episodes it screened the following year.
Things have been quiet ever since – but Bourne thinks the time might be right for it to return to the small screen.
“They ( Working Dog) used to talk about the fact that ( when Thank God You’re Here first aired) there was a really good pool of established, semiestablished, and unknown comedians.
“I remember talking to them a couple of years ago and them saying, ‘ It is just a bit thin on the ground on the unknowns.’ I think there is a bit of a groundswell ( of new talent) now.”
Seven program chief Angus Ross is just as keen as Bourne to have the show back on air. “Thank God You’re Here is a great format,” Ross says. “We’d always be ready for another burn around!”
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