The ABC Has Cancelled ‘Tonightly With Tom Ballard’, Saying It’s ‘Time For A Fresh Approach’
The show will continue to air until its final episode on September 7.
The ABC announced this morning that it won’t be renewing Tonightly with Tom Ballard after its final episode airs on September 7, saying it’s “time for a fresh approach” going forward.
The decision marks the end of the scathing political sketches the show has become known for, which perfectly skewered everything from Barnaby Joyce’s dating habits to Australia’s problem with violence against women. It’s also the end of a show that nurtured some of Australia’s best young comedians, who’ve taken to Twitter this morning to express their sadness over the decision.
I am absolutely devastated. I love this job, and every single person I work with. It's the best experience I have ever had at work. But, on the plus side, I am looking forward to sleeping in my car. Very cosy. https://t.co/Z4iw16yEzO
— Kara Schlegl (@karaschlegl) August 14, 2018
In a statement this morning explaining its decision to cancel the show, the ABC wrote that “attracting younger audiences requires bold approaches and we continually experiment with new content and new formats particularly on digital platforms.”
“We remain committed to exploring and developing projects that connect with different demographics.”
Tonightly’s end comes after a number of controversial moments for the show over the past six months. In March this year, it generated outrage after it dared to call an Australian Conservatives candidate a cunt, though this decision was ultimately found not to be in breach of ABC standards.
Then, in June, allegations of indecent assault were made against host Tom Ballard. Ballard has strongly denied these allegations.
The ABC’s statement on Tonightly’s cancellation makes no mention of these controversies, though, instead thanking the Tonightly crew for “their hard work and dedication in producing a complex and cracking show in quick time”.
“Tonightly deliberately pushed boundaries to inform and entertain. We are proud of the program and its role in supporting some of Australia’s best emerging comedy talent.”
Feel so lucky to have had the chance to work on this show with such an amazing team of talented people who worked their guts out every night for almost a year. Will miss it very much. Also if you've ever wanted me to work for you, now is your chance. https://t.co/bywF6t0T0N
— Bec Shaw (@Brocklesnitch) August 14, 2018
In response to the decision, Tom Ballard said that “getting the chance to host Tonightly has been an absolute honour and privilege, even though we never got to be on Media Watch.”
“I feel so proud of the ‘work’ we made and I feel so lucky to have been surrounded by laughter and stupidity for an entire year. My sincere thanks go to the brilliant Tonightly team, the ABC and the fans of Cory Bernardi.”
You can still tune in to Tonightly’s political roasts on weeknights for the next few weeks, until September 7.