Here’s some good news for people who like bad news. Wildly popular ABC franchise Gruen will not return in 2014, and looks unlikely to return next year, if at all. Commence angry letter writing.
Sources close to the show insist that plans for the show to return in 2015 are well underway, though at this stage nothing appears to be finalised. The reason for this is, primarily, due to the hosts extensive other commitments. Wil Anderson continues to build his stand up comedy career in the United States, while Todd Samson has joined the board at Fairfax Media – all the while filming a new documentary series for the ABC and Discovery Network – and Russell Howcroft is the general manager of Channel Ten.
The move would be bitterly disappointing for the ABC, given that Gruen and its various incarnations are consistently the network’s highest rated shows, pulling in somewhere in the vicinity of 1.2 million viewers regularly. Understandably, they are rather keen to air it again in 2015, though its understood that the final decision on if a new season goes ahead will come down to a purely creative choice. The show’s co-creator Jon Casimir to the Head of ABC’s Entertainment department also creates issues for any potential return for the show, couple with the fact that there are no significant sporting or political events coming up that would provide the impetus for a specialised short-run series like Gruen Nation or Gruen Sweat to go into production.
So whilst the ABC would dearly like to have the Gruen team back in their schedule, the show’s creators are wary of fraying the rope too thin; indeed, better to burn out than to fade away.