The Chaser boys are hot property. In more ways than one apparently.

With bumper ratings for their War on Everything since kick-off of season two this year, speculation is rife that the gang is being ravenously pursued by those hungry for a little takeover action: commercial TV execs.

Crikey can exclusively reveal that while it would be wrong to suggest that they’re inundated with offers, The Chaser team has had calls from Channels Nine and Seven asking to do lunch. According to our source, they haven’t yet taken up these offers — time is crunched right now, leaving little time to dine at Otto.

Radio station RRR has also asked them if they’d like to do the Sunday morning shift.

Crikey’s Glenn Dyer deflated The Chaser hype bubble somewhat on Friday, saying it was unlikely that they’d go commercial but Mike Carlton was talking up the possibility in The SMH over the weekend:

Ratings success has a thousand friends. From my own, at times tragic, experience, I know exactly how the schmooze will go: David/Eddie thinks you guys are great, fantastic, fabulous, unbelievably talented. Lunch? Dinner? We’ll send a limo. A couple of limos, the chopper. Would the boardroom be OK, or would you prefer to come out on Kerry’s/James’s boat? Krug or Dom Perignon?

The Chaser works because it’s edgy, acrid, clever, genuinely funny television that boldly tramples boundaries. The audience thrills at each new outrage to good taste and decency, and hooray to the ABC for giving it a go.

But not for much longer, perhaps. When you’re toiling in a cramped cell at Ultimo, pleading for studio time, begging for taxi dockets, the megabucks are powerfully seductive.

While open to suggestions from the commercial networks, a switch, at least in the current War on Everything format, is said to be highly unlikely. The land of 20 to 1 and 1 vs. 100 just can’t handle their truth.

But if they ever came up with a lifestyle format or a talent quest show, we have the inside word that they’d be calling Eddie at once.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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