The intermittently active Twitter account of much mourned ABC consumer affairs show The Checkout raised a few eyebrows this week when it tweeted out a claim that the “hiatus” the show was subject to had evolved into an out-and-out ban against those who worked on it.
Crikey asked the ABC if this was a fair representation of what’s going on, and a spokesman told us:
As the ABC has said previously, we are looking to develop a consumer affairs program that offers something new to our audiences, showcasing fresh ideas and diverse Australian talent. We have not commenced development of any program and discussions with other parties are preliminary only. While we don’t comment on such confidential negotiations, the claims to which you refer are misleading.
Added to the mix is the fallout between former Checkout co-producers The Checkout Pty Ltd (owned by the Julian Morrow-directed company Giant Dwarf) and Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder (CJZ) — a fallout which has now landed in the NSW Supreme Court.
Morrow also runs the The Checkout‘s Twitter account. CJZ told TV Tonight, “We are bewildered by the recent activity about The Checkout on social media. The ABC has made it clear that it will not commission The Checkout while there is a dispute between CJZ and Giant Dwarf about the show.”
And while investigating whether Aunty was implementing a ban on Checkout staff, we did note that, as far as we could see, none of the other high-profile former cast members jumped aboard this particular thread. Zoe Norton-Lodge and Crikey‘s own Kirsten Drysdale can be seen on the ABC’s upcoming Reputation Rehab, while Craig Reucassel will appear on the ABC’s Big Weather (and how to survive it) and the ABC’s Democracy Project.
Maybe they were just too busy to check Twitter.