Twittersphere goes crazy for ‘Skit Happens’ and ‘Disgrace!’

20 August, 2018 by Don Groves


Social media lit up with the Sunday night premieres of CJZ’s Skit Happens and Disgrace! on Network Ten, kicking off the network’s innovative Pilot Week initiative.


Sketch comedy Skit Happens was deemed offensive by many on Facebook and Twitter while, paradoxically, just as many said the show wasn’t edgy enough.

The responses overall were positive for Disgrace!, the talk show hosted by former Labor Senator Sam Dastyari.

CJZ MD Nick Murray was not surprised by the storm of criticism of Skit Happens, which lampooned The Good Doctor (renamed The Good Hospital, where everyone has autism), Married at First Sight and My Kitchen Rules and featured a fat jockey in one skit.

“I don’t think any comedy has been well received by social media in the last 10 years,” Murray tells IF. Also Murray points to Artist Services’ Fast Forward, which rated poorly in his first season on the Seven Network in 1989. Seven stuck with the show and it drew big audiences.

Directed by Kacie Anning and Nikos Andronicos, Skit Happens starred Jenna Owen, Heath Franklin, Vita Carbone, Stuart Daulman, Janis McGavin, Josh Glanc and Neel Kolhatkar.

The show drew 482,000 viewers nationally and peaked at 791,000. There appeared to be a big turn-off after Russell Coight’s All Aussie Adventures, which averaged 958,000 viewers.

But according to Murray, 250,000-300,000 viewers switched off during the full-screen closing credits of the Working Dog show before the sketch comedy started at 8.05 pm. He said there was a similar drop-off two weeks ago just before Ten launched CJZ’s Street Smart. Murray said he had complained about the credits to Working Dog but in vain.

Working Dog’s Michael Hirsh tells IF: “The credits have embedded jokes: they are part of the program.”

On Disgrace! Dastyari and the panel comprising comedian Becky Lucas, former Olympian Stephanie Rice, PR consultant Greg Baxter and radio show producer Peter Deppeler averaged 303,000 viewers nationally, peaking at 436,000.

The topics included the Tweets which had director James Gunn fired from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, Deppeler’ s embarrassing question at Steve Smith’s media conference and the Brisbane “poo jogger.”

On Twitter both shows trended #4 in Australia while Disgrace! trended #1 in Sydney. The Skit Happens promoted-post had a 105,255 reach and 43,535 video views on Facebook while Dastyari’s post had a 110,949 reach and 44,858 video views.

Last week Network Ten’s chief content officer Beverley McGarvey told Mumbrella it wouldn’t be fair to make ratings comparisons between the Pilot Week shows, adding the overnight data was just one of many ways to measure the success of each show.

“We don’t have any preconceived ideas about what things will rate, because if you look across the week we are doing shows on seven nights, we have very different ratings on seven nights, all of these shows will have different lead ins, so just to look at the overnights would be incredibly unfair,” she said.

Murray applauds the Pilot Week initiative as a great way to get new ideas and new faces on screen, observing, “Hopefully audiences will be the winners in the long-term. Creatively we’re really happy with both shows.”