As the 2011 TV season kicked off, Channel 9 proudly boasted that they are the Home of Comedy and Laughter. You may recall these home of laughter advertisements with Ben Eltons face peering out from bus shelters, on buses, at train stations, and across billboards as far as the eye could see. And if you’re one of the few that saw it, you may also remember Ben Elton Live From Planet Earth.
Four months into the year and the slogan has mostly disappeared. Much like comedy across the Channel 9 schedule generally. As a TV viewer who does enjoy some chuckles from the screen, I thought it might be time to see where comedy sits on the schedule this week on Nine.
This weeks schedule offers the following:
Nine is now certainly the home of stripping The Big Bang Theory five nights a week. What they do have is 12.75 hours a week of comedy including two stripped sitcoms, a failed sports comedy panel show, a repeat of said failed sports somedy panel show, an hour long home videos clip show, a 30 minute UK sketch show, two movies, and Gilligans Island.
I’ve also opted not to include the UK medical hilarity of “Embarrassing Bodies” into the list.
Channel 9 came out of the gates strongly on being a Home To Laughter in 2011. Yet, just four months later comedy is all but non-existent on their schedule. They seem almost reluctant to nurture and develop comedy programming on the network. While their commercial counterparts are just as guilty of this, they also don’t seem to be fighting for the sense of brand identity that Nine crave. The “Home Of…” branding was a great idea and I’d love to see them carve an identity for comedy on the network.
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Four months after the Home of Laughter declaration, the home appears abandoned.