RMITV, the community TV production facility, sent out a press release yesterday announcing that their flagship program ‘Studio A’ will not be returning to Channel 31 for 2012. For six seasons and three years, the live variety talk show has been the first taste of television for Melbourne’s up and coming comedians and RMIT’s film and TV students. The program fostered a unique brand of comedy from a true writer/performer ensemble.
Previous cast and writers include Dave Thornton (Nova, 7Pm Project, Good News Week), Tom Ballard (triple j Breakfast host) and Jess Harris (‘twenty something’ creator).
Taking Studio A’s place is the new live talk show ‘Live On Bowen’. RMITV’s press release states:
Live On Bowen is planned to hit television screens mid year accompanied by a fresh new look and approach to live variety television. With a late-night talk show format, the show will become another incredible collaboration between students and industry professionals that will go to air throughout Melbourne on C31.
RMITV’s general manager Ruth Sayers is excited about the new show’s progress. “It wasn’t easy to give Studio A a break, as it has been such a successful show and has allowed so many of its cast and crew to move on to bigger and better things, however our new show will be extending on from what Studio A was, allowing us to try new things and work with new people” she said.
Studio A was RMITV’s highest rating show. We’re still not sure, if the show was successful and launched the career of so many of the cast and crew, why RMITV would make such drastic changes to the production. Changing the name and replacing the cast seems an aggressive way of ‘extending what the show was’. Surely the crux of the program was the writing and talent.
We spoke to Studio A host, Tommy Little:
“It was kind of just the only platform where young comedians could get experience in live TV. It’s also one of the only live shows on TV; across the board not just on 31″
We asked Tommy why the show was being replaced given the success RMITV had seen with the show.
“It’s really sad that it’s over but I’m also very happy for the time we had, I got to make funny TV with the best young comics in the country and I’m very grateful”
RMITV stated in their press release that current cast members of Studio A were welcome to audition for a role in ‘Live on Bowen’. We asked Tommy if he would consider auditioning. Tommy laughed.