Returning: Gruen Nation. Airdate: The Hamster Decides.

By David Knox on July 24, 2013 / Filed Under Programming 11

2012-09-24_2257ABC sent a number of newsrooms into meltdown with a Press Release announcing the return of Gruen Nation and the arrival of The Hamster Decides.

Many were thrown by the email subject: “RUDD NAMES ELECTION DATE.”

Don’t they know these boys love to play with our heads?

Apparently most thought it was hilarious, but a few branded it “irresponsible.” Naturally!

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has moved decisively to end speculation about the date of the next federal election.

“The Australian people deserve certainty about who scrutinises and satirises the contest to become Prime Minister,” said Mr Rudd, taking time out from Twitter to confront the issue. “When I heard that the lack of a definitive election date was making it difficult for ABC1 to schedule the return of election specials Gruen Nation and The Hamster Decides by the Chaser, I asked the Governor General to set an election date immediately, and one that suits the national broadcaster.

“The election will now be held on Saturday, September 14, 2013. We can now ensure that Gruen Nation and The Hamster Decides are able to do four pre-election specials each, a double act starting on Wednesday, August 21 at 8.30pm.

“When the election is over, The Hamster Decides will contribute a post-vote wrap-up, mostly to cover the next Labor leadership spill. Gruen Nation will continue its tragic identity crisis and become Gruen Planet for the following eight weeks.”

Gruen Nation host Wil Anderson welcomed the Prime Minister’s move. “Not knowing the election date was very inconvenient for us,” he admitted. “And after all we’ve done for this government, I was a bit surprised they didn’t sort it out a little faster.”

Anderson dismissed speculation that the election might not be held on September 14, a date chosen by Mr Rudd’s predecessor: “I can’t imagine Prime Minister Rudd would want to compromise Julia Gillard’s legacy by doing something like that. He’s always struck me as the kind of man who lets the past stay in the past.”

Executive Producer of The Hamster Decides, Julian Morrow, confirmed both programs will proceed if the election happens earlier. “If there’s an early election,” he explained, “we’ll just reduce the quality of our shows.”

The new Director of ABC Television, Richard Finlayson, said, “There’s no f#*king way I’m letting them use my name in a fake quote.”

“That’s fine, they can use mine,” said ABC Managing Director, Mark Scott.

Gruen Nation (4×45’), followed by Gruen Planet (8×35’), premieres Wednesday, August 21 at 8:30pm on ABC1.
The Hamster Decides (5×30’) premieres Wednesday, August 21 at 9:15pm on ABC1.


  1. Secret Squirrel July 25, 2013 at 9:58 pm -

    @mason – after having now watched the first ep of This Week Live, I would suggest that there is no dilemma. Hamster beats ham-fisted comedy.

  2. mason July 25, 2013 at 9:31 am -

    A dilemma now. Same time as This Week Live.

  3. Secret Squirrel July 24, 2013 at 11:15 pm -


    The difference between ABC TV media releases and most of those from the commercial networks is that they presume that I have intelligence, rather than insulting it.

    Oh, and they’re not full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.

  4. Kirk July 24, 2013 at 8:29 pm -

    Thank goodness. Been waiting for the return of these shows for ages. And more Gruen Planet after the election? Even better

  5. loppy July 24, 2013 at 8:11 pm -

    This looks good. Will watch on ABC iview.

  6. nik c July 24, 2013 at 6:24 pm -

    Glad they’re back! I too loved the Press Release!

  7. Ronnie July 24, 2013 at 6:07 pm -


  8. Dr_Rudi July 24, 2013 at 6:01 pm -


  9. cnrmlj July 24, 2013 at 5:59 pm -

    Good stuff. Two of the best australian shows on tv.

  10. Qubec July 24, 2013 at 5:05 pm -

    Such a staggering difference between the ABC and free to air. The ABC respect their viewed and actually lets them know far in advance when a show is going to air. The other networks are too busy looking at what the others are doing and too scared to announce a date until the day before

  11. Jake S July 24, 2013 at 4:18 pm -

    Was laughing all the way through that ‘official ABC press release’ … great stuff!

Leave A Response »

You must be logged in to post a comment.