There I was watching a pilot for an improvisation show Spontaneous Saturday on SBS 2 when suddenly comedians Toby Truslove and Cal Wilson were sliding down a floor that had been filmed from an angle for comic effect.
But wait a minute. “Aren’t Toby and Cal doing SlideShow for Seven,” I thought to myself?
They sure are, along with a few other faces from Spontaneous Saturday. So was I watching an idea that Seven pinched? SBS rejected? Or something else entirely…..?
After a bit of digging, here’s what I have come up with.
Last year SBS threw a little (emphasis on little) bit of money to some new entertainment pilots and Freehand produced two pilots of Spontaneous Saturday for a Saturday night timeslot on SBS ONE. Hosted by actor Geoff Paine, the show consists mostly of theatresport-type games.
SlideShow is currently being filmed by Shine Australia for Seven and is based on a long-running French format. It’s not clear if there was a casting consultant common to both formats, but the pool of renowned improvisational performers is fairly limited.
SBS is yet to decide if it will commission Spontaneous Saturday to a series, but it has arguably lost some of the talent now, so it’s unlikely.
As TV Tonight has noted this week, two of the other pilots Vive Cool City and The Trevor Ashley Show also aired on SBS 2 this week.
Caterina de Nave SBS Commissioning Editor for Drama, Comedy and Entertainment said, “The idea was to spread a little bit of money around to see what Entertainment ideas were about, to see what talent lay out there we might not know about, or not know enough about.
“We felt better to TX the pilots than not TX. See the pilots in the context of a channel.”
If you want to check out Spontaneous Saturday, one more pilot will screen at 8:40pm next Monday on SBS 2. That’s Monday, not Saturday.