Bad news for NEWStopia

By David Knox on March 12, 2009 / Filed Under News 22

newstopia-0231How to break this gently? Sorry, it can’t be done…

Don’t expect to see NEWStopia back on television.

When TEN announced Shaun Micallef would front its new panel show (now entitled) Talkin ‘Bout Your Generation everyone had expected he could continue with SBS’ NEWStopia. The show had enjoyed three series on SBS, becoming a cult favourite and generating good reviews.

TEN’s official press release even promised, “Micallef will continue his work on SBS series NEWStopia” -a nice nod from one network to current obligations.

Behind the scenes the fallout has been less cheerful.

SBS confirmed to TV Tonight yesterday that its series has not been re-commissioned. Axed? Technically no, just not recommissioned. The network instead nodded to three new series that are instead moving forward.

There is no guarantee it will ever be re-commissioned.

TV Tonight understands that NEWStopia has become a victim of production clashes.

Micallef will be seen on TEN’s new show alongside Amanda Keller, Charlie Pickering and Josh Thomas, produced by Granada, while the lingering memory of FremantleMedia’s comedy with Kat Stewart and Nicholas Bell may well prove to be its 2008 finale featuring “Inspektor Herring.”


  1. Alex May 5, 2009 at 8:16 pm -

    Nooooo! The best show on TV, oh… Australians don’t appreciate this humour. Perhaps Micallef should get signed to the BBC :S

  2. michael May 2, 2009 at 7:06 pm -

    which moron sociologist thought up the name generation Y? im so sick of that tag, its bland and unoriginal. I guess the kids of today will be generaion Z and then what? we go back A?

  3. David Knox March 13, 2009 at 12:05 pm -

    Click link for the other formats.

  4. Richard H March 13, 2009 at 11:49 am -

    sorry i think it was dumb humor not funny at all. He has no chance on axe wielding comercial tv, if the ratings fall a half point they’ll axe him!

  5. what_tha March 13, 2009 at 11:38 am -

    That’s a big shame!!! I loved NEWStopia! I’m a big fan of Shaun Micallef, and have been for many years. I will definitely be watching the new show on channel 10, once it comes along.

    Is it known what formats are for the “three new shows” SBS has given the nod to?

    Hopefully they’re “interesting” at best

  6. Benny March 12, 2009 at 11:01 pm -

    The Micallef Programme/Program/Pogram was one of the best Australian comedies ever made IMO. I don’t know how his humour will go on commerical TV. Then again, he was successful on Full Frontal all those years ago, so who knows?

  7. byron March 12, 2009 at 10:05 pm -

    SBS likes the show! It’s stupid channel ten.

    Shaun has been burnt by commercial tv before and this new show sounds very average and i can see it only lasting a few eps.

    i hope SBS will welcome him back with open arms.

  8. Barrie March 12, 2009 at 10:04 pm -

    so am i the only one who thinks newstopia was the unfunniest show ever and shaun michellef is not funny?

  9. Ryan March 12, 2009 at 7:43 pm -

    It doesn’t help that the new series that SBS has sound horrendous. And this new Micallef panel show will be terrible and will probably last a month tops.

  10. Earthquake March 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm -

    As a fan of Shaun, while I would prefer that Newstopia be on (this is with new show sight unseen), we shouldn’t be wishing the worst on him.

    He is obviously a willing and happy participant in the Ten show and wanting it to go well and perform decently in the ratings.

    David, can you confirm whether Shaun is the creator of the Ten show or whether he is just the host? I thought he had some part in creating it.

    We should be happy for Shaun being on tv at all, even if it’s not in the show that some of us would prefer he partake in.

  11. R March 12, 2009 at 5:51 pm -

    damn :( i watched newstopia since day one and it was brilliant. i hope it comes back someday.

  12. retter2critical March 12, 2009 at 2:57 pm -

    Newstopia was great Micalef is excelent. I have faith that even with Newstopia gone and the possability of this risky venture in commercial TV failing, again, Sean will come back with something. The guy is a stand out tallent. He is Tony Jones from Mars. Who knows how his new CH 10 show will go, sounds like a format that would not neccessarily gel with Sean. He needs creative control. Perhaps he is getting paid a packet for this and will then fund something far more personal. I will miss Herring….

  13. Patrick March 12, 2009 at 1:48 pm -

    Shocking news!

    Never mind I loved the show anyway and I wish good luck to Mr Micallef for his new show. His previous shows have all been great to watch and I have high hopes for his new effort.

    SBS gave it a good run and also gave it a chance where the other networks probably would have axed it straight away.

    There’s nothing to suggest that the show won’t return though, either on SBS or the ABC, so here’s hoping.

  14. Andrew K March 12, 2009 at 1:16 pm -

    Goes to show SBS can’t hang on to its talent…why don’t they offer people more than pennies to do shows on their networks? Of course Shaun’s ‘Network Ten’ commitments were going to mean he couldn’t do a show on SBS. Why would you work for SBS when you get 5 times more a week on commercial networks. SBS, if you want ratings, if you want to attract talent, you need to pay. Don’t want to push the point but you recently seemed to have lost Wilfred’s Adam Zwar and Jason Gann and Rebel Wilson who did Bogan Pride. Shame, you had good things going on there.

  15. Burt March 12, 2009 at 12:49 pm -

    Newstopia was good, but always fairly poorly for SBS. Depending on whether Shaun owns the concept, hopefully he can take it to Ten.

  16. Liam K March 12, 2009 at 12:05 pm -

    Nooooo….. that sucks…

    Newstopia was a fricken brilliant show. I hope they find a way to bring it back one day.

  17. David Knox March 12, 2009 at 11:14 am -

    I wouldn’t be pointing fingers at SBS guys. They were very supportive of the show. I think they are unhappy it won’t be back.

  18. Neon Kitten March 12, 2009 at 10:15 am -

    Just another commercially-motivated burst of stupidity from the please-can-we-put-it-out-of-its-misery carcass of SBS.

    Nice job Shaun Brown. Did the ad parodies offend you that much?

  19. Sillygostly March 12, 2009 at 9:18 am -

    Grrr!!!! Worst!!!! News!!!!! Ever!!!!! >:(

    Newstopia was one of very few shows that actually kept me watching FTA TV on a week-by-week basis, and now there’s a chance that it’ll be gone forever. :(

    No more excuses. This show simply must be released on DVD in its entirety.

  20. Ianblair23 March 12, 2009 at 9:14 am -

    I was afraid that this might happen. It is such a shame because you just know that this new panel won’t be anywhere near as good as Newstopia.

  21. mikey March 12, 2009 at 7:54 am -

    Oh this really sux SBS! I would rather see NEWStopia than this Ch10 program anyday. The 10 program will probably last 1 season only, especially given Shaun’s non-mainstream humour track record on commercial TV.
    I guess we’ll have to settle for NEWStopia DVD’s…

  22. KMJvet March 12, 2009 at 7:03 am -

    Gutted. Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid SBS.

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