The recently-axed comedy program Tonightly has won an ARIA award for one of its musical segments. The satirical song, “Sex Pest“, inspired by the Me Too movement, ran in one of the program’s last episodes after the ABC had announced it would not be renewed.
In accepting the award for Best Comedy Release on Thursday — filmed by Junkee‘s Jules LeFevre — co-writer Wyatt Nixon-Lloyd wasn’t shy in his reminder that the show had been cancelled. “We wrote it for Tonightly, which is no longer with us. Big shout-out to ABC management for supporting us,” he said.
The award was handed out as part of a small ceremony ahead of the main ARIA awards to be held next month.
The ABC’s official social media profiles for its Comedy channel — of which Tonightly was once the headline act — were excitedly posting about the win. ABC television music video program Rage also tweeted about the win — it will make its Rage debut on Friday night.
There hasn’t been a peep yet, though, from the ABC’s publicity arm. Unlike other awards and nominations for ABC programs (including an International Emmy nomination for David Stratton’s Australian film documentary, the ABC’s Logie winners, two Prix Jeunesse awards).
The ABC announced in August that the show wouldn’t be renewed after its second season, less than a year after its premiere on the freshly-rebranded ABC Comedy channel (previously ABC2).
The broadcaster explained its decision by saying it was time for a “fresh approach” in attracting young audiences. “We are proud of the program and its role in supporting some of Australia’s best emerging comedy talent,” the statement at the time said.
Tonightly had been the source of a few headaches for ABC management before it was dumped, with Communications Minister Mitch Fifield and others complaining to the regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority about a sketch that called Australian Conservative candidate Kevin Bailey a “cunt” (which was cleared).