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    Catherine Murphy and Tony Armstrong cross the starting line on ABC’s Monday’s Experts

    There are many reasons to give ABC’s new weekly program Monday’s Experts a look. Sports fans are served by so many sports panel shows that there will be much interest in how hosts Catherine Murphy and Tony Armstrong make this one different.

    The weekend is already well-served by sports shows from Nine’s AFL and NRL Sunday Footy Shows to Fox Footy’s Bounce. Monday sees another range of options from analysis on AFL.co.au, panel shows for both footy codes on Nine, Talking Footy on Seven, and a handful of analysis shows on Fox Footy, Fox League and Fox Sports.

    Thrown onto that crowded starting grid is the 2024 rookie Monday’s Experts.

    The new sports entertainment show promises coverage of all that happens both on and off the field each week. The hosts will be joined by a panel of sports journalists and comedians coming off the bench.

    The format will cover the biggest stories and the funniest and most awe-inspiring moments of the week.

    Team selection: Monday’s Experts

    Catherine Murphy and Tony Armstrong cross the starting line on ABC’s Monday’s Experts

    CJZ’s Damian Davis

    Regular panellists include the comedians Broden Kelly (Aunty Donna) and Lizzy Hoo and a plethora of guests each week who will be journos, comedians and sports aficionados.

    Steering the new format is long-time TV coach and executive producer Damian Davis. He is working alongside ABC executive producer Rachel Millar who is ABC’s head of entertainment.

    The new show has been commissioned for eight weeks, taking the prized Monday timeslot held by Q&A. If the producers find an audience, there will have to be a conversation about where the show might live if called on to continue.

    The mid-year break for Q&A is a great time for the program given the T20 World Cup is underway which then leads into Paris 2024.

    Davis told Mediaweek the panel show format will draw on the essence from past ABC programs like Live and Sweaty and The Fat to Roy & HG. Prior to joining CJZ, Davis worked for ABC for 13 years, including a stint producing The Fat.

    When asked about how long CJZ had been putting together the show, Davis explained: “It’s been an extraordinarily quick turnaround. The production team has been together for about three weeks. There’s a lot of things that had to be formed very quickly.”

    Monday's Experts

    Monday’s Experts hosts Tony Armstrong and Catherine Murphy

    Key to the show’s success will be the reaction to the hosts. Davis and the ABC have made two great choices.

    Davis said: “We have Tony Armstrong, a Silver Logie winner. Long-time ABC broadcaster, ex-AFL player. He has a great ability to communicate and to be very funny. He has a real interest in and a great knowledge about sport.

    “Catherine Murphy was an Irish sports journalist now living here and working for the ABC. She started at the ABC around the same time as Tony and there is a fantastic energy between them.”

    The hosts will be joined every week by a combination of comedians and journalists. “Each show will feature interviews with sportspeople or sports-adjacent celebrities.”

    No post-match analysis on new show

    The ABC already has a well-regarded sports show on Sunday mornings – Offsiders. Davis explained the difference between the two shows. “They do reportage very well about what’s happening on the weekend across all sports.

    Monday’s Experts won’t be about giving results and match analysis. We will look at the stories, the personalities, the controversies, and moments of brilliance. It will be more about entertainment. All the time looking for laughs. There will be serious chat, but also a lot of laughs.

    “Any interviews on Monday’s Experts will be looking beyond the guests’ most recent performances. We’ll ask about their lives and we will have a bit of fun.”

    Murphy with Melbourne AFL superstar Jake Lever

    Access to sports footage

    Davis said the show is able to access footage under fair use provisions if they are reporting on something within the week. “We can also use footage if it is being reviewed and critiqued. An analysis of the coverage is allowed.”

    Because of those reasons, episodes of Monday’s Experts will only sit in iview for one week after broadcast.

    Not being able to show any Olympic vision will be a challenge, with Davis noting they will need to find other ways to highlight performances.

    Monday’s Experts training run

    Given the short lead time, there hasn’t been a lot of time for rehearsals or dry runs. Tony Armstrong has been off filming for other programs. The first run-throughs ahead of the premiere episode were on Friday and Saturday before broadcast.

    Davis: “Friday’s rehearsal was be bit of a stumble through where were trying things out. We hadn’t done a show yet end-to-end. We have just played with different segments. The show is very full. We were testing different things to see what stays and goes.”

    Tony Armstrong during an appearance on 10’s The Project

    On Mondays, the show will be taped about four hours before broadcast. Davis: “That doesn’t really give us time for editing. We will just be doing legals on it.”

    Everyone who works on the show are sports fans, explained Davis. He noted it’s a pretty small team with about seven working on the production.

    “There will be a bit of evolution on air as we learn what editorially works best.”

    Watch Monday’s Experts on ABC and iview from 9.30pm Mondays

    See also: Jennifer Collins harnesses ABC TV star power to maintain 2024 momentum

    The post Catherine Murphy and Tony Armstrong cross the starting line on ABC’s Monday’s Experts appeared first on Mediaweek.

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