Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019: Best Television Comedy

• The series has been a ratings success since it launched toward the end of 2013

Have You Been Paying Attention? has gone from missing out on the top three last year to winning the Mediaweek Industry Award for Best Television series by a comfortable margin.

The series has been a ratings success since it launched toward the end of 2013 with just eight 30-minute episodes with subsequent years delivering close to 30 episodes a year with season seven airing in 2019 where it was the most watched non-news program several times and regularly out rating shows in the coveted 7:30 pm slot.

Hosted by Tom Gleisner and joined by regular contributors such as Sam Pang, Ed Kavalee, Marty Sheargold, Mick Molloy, Urzila Carlson, and Kitty Flanagan. The show has become a key component of 10’s programming often enjoying a lead-in by shows such as The Masked Singer Australia, The Bachelor, and The Bachelorette. 

Working Dog Productions produces the show and is in the running for its own Mediaweek Industry Award, being nominated for the award for Best Television Production Company.

Another  Working Dog Productions entry leaves with the silver medal but this time its one of their scripted offerings in Utopia. The workplace comedy released its fourth season in August this year on the ABC premiering to over 700,000 viewers.

According to Mediaweek columnist Andrew Mercado, one of the reasons for the show’s success is that it is rooted in reality.

“Utopia is still a great reflection of modern bureaucracy and we are even more cynical about such institutions than when the show first began in 2014. 

“The Office is the most popular show on Netflix, with twice as many viewers re-watching it as any of their original fare. Clearly many, many viewers relate to workplace humour and they never tire of it.”

We have a tie for third place with Hamish and Andy’s Perfect Holiday and last year’s winner for Best Comedy Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell unable to be separated once voting closed.

Last year Hamish and Andy left with second place but with a different format in True Story. 2019 saw the pair go back to their most successful format in travel.

It’s been five years since Hamish Blake and Andy Lee finished Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year. Their latest adventures took them from the depths of the Canadian wilderness to the peaks of the Colorado Rockies, where they met a variety of unique and interesting people along the way.

Executive producer Tim Bartley, told Mediaweek earlier this year, “The show will be an evolution of Gap Year, but still harnessing all the high jinks and fun and stupidity that makes that show fun to make and fun to watch. The most fun we had filming was when we genuinely surprised the guys on the road with the research we had done, and all the characters we found.”

The inaugural winner of Best TV Comedy Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell  finishes in third place this year

Made for the ABC by ITV Studios, Shaun’s Micallef’s Mad As Hell this year wrapped up its tenth season with the show now airing well over 100 episodes. 

The Melbourne-based comedian has a long list of comedy shows on his CV with five of them using his name. None of them, or any of his other projects, have been quite as successful or enjoyed as long a run as this series.

At the 2020 ABC Upfront, it was announced that the show will be returning next year with another shot at reclaiming its Mediaweek Industry Award.

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