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ABC TV gets a Reality Check instead of Gruen

Tom Ballard - Reality Check ABC - web res

Comedian Tom Ballard will host Reality Check

Gruen and Go Back To Where You Came from producers CJZ will be passing its forensic eye over the reality TV genre in a new series for ABCTV, Reality Check.

To be hosted by comedian Tom Ballard, the series aims to lift the lid on the most watched TV genre in Australia – and the world.

Joining Ballard each week will be three industry experts who will give viewers an insiders take on the genre. From producers to ex-contestants and judges, the panellists will give us their war stories and reveal what happens behind the camera.

“Reality is TV’s 800 pound gorilla,” says ABC head of Entertainment, Jon Casimir. “It’s the most successful cultural force of the last decade. It’s the ABC’s job to examine the world we live in. We hope Reality Check will give ‘Reality TV’ its due, acknowledging its drawing power and asking why it works and what that says about us.”

The commission is Casimir’s first since moving from CJZ to take on his new role at the national broadcaster. He has stayed close to home with the panel show format to follow the hugely succesful Gruen format, of which he was executive producer.

The 8 x half hour series will air in the third quarter of this year, most likely filling the slot left vacant by the Gruen franchise, which won’t return to screens this year.

“Reality is dramatic, funny, poignant, and in many ways, reflects our community more accurately than any other genre. This series examines how it works and asks the question: if Stephen Spielberg is a genius for making audiences cry, why shouldn’t reality producers be lauded for doing the same thing?” added Nick Murray, managing director CJZ.

ABC TV executive producer for Reality Check is Sophia Zachariou. CJZ Executive Producers are Nick Murray and Jo Wathen.

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