SYDNEY — Forget “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” Auds Down Under are measuring themselves against baby boomers, Gen X-ers and Gen Y-ers in a surprise hit comedy quizzer.
“Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation,” produced by Granada, goes out on commercial Network Ten at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays.
It pits three celebrity teams representing the fifty- and sixtysomething boomers, X-ers in their 30s and 40s, and the twentysomething Gen Y crowd, against each other in a light-hearted family format.
The hourlong skein, hosted by comic Shaun Micallef, bowed to an aud of 1.6 million on May 5, drawing a 50 share in the 18-49 demo targeted by Ten, making it the most-watched show that night and giving the net one of its best results of the year. It maintained these high figures with its second show.
As with many panel shows — such as National Public Radio’s “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” and “Says You” Stateside or BBC1’s “Have I Got News for You” in Blighty — the questions are secondary to the comedy with the well-picked cast bickering like a good-humored extended family.
In “Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation” teams of age- appropriate guest celebrities are led by “GENerals” Amanda Keller (for the boomers, a little young at age 47), Charlie Pickering (Gen X, 31) and Josh Thomas (Gen Y, 22).
Keller and Pickering are vet comedians while Thomas is a relative newcomer.
Teams are quizzed on a range of pop culture topics, visual rounds and physical challenges such as which generation is better at wallpapering. Points are also awarded for simply being amusing.
Leonie Lowe, topper of the local arm of Granada, says she thought the show owed its success to the chemistry of the leads — and good timing with “people ready to have a laugh.”
The show is expected to sell in the U.K. and Stateside due to Granada Down Under’s links to ITV Granada and Granada U.S.
Ten, which skews to a younger demo than its terrestrial competitors, Seven, Nine and pubcaster the ABC, picked up the format as soon as execs saw it on paper. They’re happy it has the broad appeal they had hoped for.
“We wanted something that was family focused,” says Beverley McGarvey, Ten’s head of programming. “Family content often appears to be soft but this is also very funny and very witty.”