Eleven is to broadcast a re-edited 90 minute version of its comedy series Micro Nation which it has been broadcasting as 15 five minute episodes.
The locally produced sitcom will go out on Sunday 4 November at 10.30pm. The series has been airing Monday to Friday immediately before Neighbours on Ten’s digital channel Eleven. Apart from Neighbours, Micro Nation has consistently been the highest rating program for the channel.
Produced by production company Freehand, the show’s head writer and director Andrew Garrick, who is now a development executive at Ten, told Mumbrella that he hoped the show would lead the way in the use of digital channels as an ‘off-Broadway’ breeding ground for the main commercial channels.
Garrick told Mumbrella’s Colin Delaney: “The leadership at Channel Ten are being brave by letting us do this and the idea of an off-Broadway digital channel where you can test out some stuff to see if it does or doesn’t work. And if it does, we can get it out to a bigger audience.”
Recently, a group of guilds from the production sector have been lobbying for an increase in local content regulation across the digital channels with Geoff Brown, outgoing CEO of the Screen Producers Association of Australia, suggesting the economics of digital channels are the perfect place for local sketch comedy, low-budget situation comedy and experimental drama.
Friday’s episode rated 157,000 in total viewers in its 6.25pm time slot behind Neighbours’ 233,000. Garrick said it regularly picks up a further 30-40,000 viewers in a late night repeat each weeknight.
The production came through the Screen Australia’s All Media Fund, announced on 20 October last year.
The series has also been made available on the Eleven website with full episodes as well as notes about the writing process and content from behind the scenes.