CHANNEL 10 is giving out new TV shows like Oprah gives away new cars.
The TV network will air eight new programs in the next six days as part of its Pilot Week Experiment.
The shows are basically auditioning for a permanent spot on our screens and Channel 10 says it will use “audience reaction, social media buzz and ratings” to determine which of the eight shows are popular enough to be given a full run on air next year.
Only the most dedicated of couch potatoes will watch all eight shows, so I’m here to help you decide which ones you simply must tune in for.
Let me stress I got only a very short sneak peek at each show, like two minutes worth, but some left a far more lasting impression than others.
Here are the shows you should definitely check out in the coming days:
Show: Trial By Kyle
When: Thursday, August 23, 8.30pm
Synopsis: The toughest cases, biggest celebrities and genuine disputes can be settled by only one man, radio shock jock Kyle Sandilands. As Kyle carefully unravels each case, former Bachelor star and criminal lawyer Anna Heinrich is on hand to assist in forensically analysing the evidence.
Review: I’m well aware that Kyle Sandilands isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but there’s a reason he’s the highest paid man on FM radio: he knows how to entertain, and in this show he proves he’s just as good on TV as he is on radio.
Trial By Kyle is a blatant Judge Judy rip-off but it’s not quite as serious. For example, in the sneak peek I saw, former Big Brother contestant Skye Wheatley was suing a company that arranged for her to have a free boob job.
Kyle holds court on the show but most of the humour comes from the hilarious characters making a tit of themselves as they argue their cases.
I know it sounds a bit dodgy, but seriously, this show is funny.
When: Tuesday, August 21, 9pm
Synopsis: Taboo has broken audience records in its country of origin, Belgium. The premise is as confronting as it is simple. The very funny Harley Breen spends five days and nights with members of a disadvantaged group in society and uses the experience to perform a stand-up routine about them — with the subjects sitting in the front row.
Review: Harley Breen is one of this country’s best stand-up comedians and on this program he also shows his soft side as he interviews disadvantaged people.
In the sneak peek I saw, Breen was chatting to a woman who lives life in a wheelchair after being involved in two car crashes within two hours (someone crashed into the ambulance, if you can believe that).
The chat was heavy, but Taboo is the definition of light and shade and Breen alleviates the tension later in the episode when he delivers a series of jokes about the interviewees in front of them and their family and friends. Very entertaining stuff.
Show: Drunk History
When: Monday, August 20, 9.30pm
Synopsis: Rhys Darby and Stephen Curry pour themselves a drink in the international hit comedy format that takes Australia’s rich, and often surprising history and retells it through the words of our most loved comedians and entertainers.
Review: There’s a reason the US version of this show has recently been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series. It is bloody funny.
In the short preview I saw, Stephen Curry was the drunk narrator who told the tale of legendary racehorse, Phar Lap, who was hilariously played by Ryan “Fitzy” Fitzgerald.
If you’re a fan of True Story with Hamish and Andy, you’ll love this show too.
Show: Skit Happens
When: Tonight at 8pm
Synopsis: Nothing is safe from a Skit Happens parody, when the nations up-and-coming comedians join forces for Network Ten’s first sketch comedy in 12 years.
Review: Sketch shows can be hit and miss but this one looks the goods. In the snippet I saw, there was a hilarious sketch about a group of people at a dinner party talking about dating. There were gasps around the table when one couple proudly revealed they met in real life and not on an app. What happened next was bloody funny.
THE OTHER SHOWS
The shows I’ve mentioned above are my picks of the bunch, but there are four more shows that Channel 10 is airing as part of Pilot Week. One of them is Rove’s return to live TV and it was the only show I didn’t get a look at (because it’s live), so who knows, it could be a cracker.
Here are the other shows.
When: Tonight at 8.30pm
Synopsis: The world is full of disgrace and outrage. Shunned politician Sam Dastyari and the team behind Gruen and The Chaser manage the latest outbreak of outrage in a half-hour of opinion, insight and laughs.
When: Friday, August 24, 8.30pm
Synopsis: Funny-man Dave O’Neil opens the doors to his crazy life in a half-hour narrative comedy. Expect laughter, tears and the appreciation of not being Dave.
Show: Bring Back … Saturday Night
When: Saturday, August 25, 7.30pm
Synopsis: Rove McManus is on a mission to bring back Saturday night entertainment. Young performers will bring back the best of the past and performers of the past are challenged with reinvention. Sketches, guests, music and nothing but feel-good moments — join Rove’s quest to reunite Australia’s greatest acts, bands, and television faces in a generation-bending live TV show.
Show: Kinne Tonight
When: Wednesday, August 22, 9pm
Synopsis: Comedian Troy Kinne ditches the stress of modern life, bringing hardworking Australians a fast-paced half-hour of laughter.
When it comes to movies, Randy is the best man to ask (he probably already watched it). He’s a sucker for good movies and is also a good critic, always know what’s up.