The popular Gruen Transfer franchise will return to television screens from next month, with a series of four Olympic-themed editions to be followed by a full season of Gruen Planet.
Over the course of four 45-minute instalments beginning on 25 July, Gruen Sweat will examine branding and marketing issues surrounding the London Games, "exposing the marketing machine that underpins, underwrites and over-exploits the Olympics".
Gruen Planet, focusing on political and corporate marketing strategies, will then return for its second series from 22 August.
The host Wil Anderson and regular panellists Todd Sampson and Russel Howcroft will all feature again in the new episodes.
"We know Gruen fans everywhere have been waiting for its return and what better way to kick off the series than to ‘upsize it’ with an Olympic edition?" said ABC1's controller Brendan Dahill in a release on Monday morning.
"For those who love their sport with a side humour, Gruen Sweat will be everything they need to know about the marketing world that surrounds an Olympics and more. The special will then pass the torch to Gruen Planet which will carry on the legacy of being a show that never fails to entertain and inform."
The programme's executive producer Andrew Denton said that Gruen Sweat would "be taking weekly samples of the Olympics to test for traces of bullshit, hype and spin - any brand that doesn’t test positive will be sent home in disgrace". Gruen Sweat is the third spin-off of the original Gruen Transfer series, following Gruen Planet and the 2010 election specials Gruen Nation.
The return of the popular franchise could give a much-needed boost to the ABC's Wednesday evening schedule, which was one of the broadcaster's best performers in preceding years but has struggled to gain traction so far in 2012. While the ABC had initially pinned its hopes on the Denton-fronted Randling, the light entertainment format has never looked likely to emulate the successes of predecessors like The Gruen Transfer or Spicks and Specks.
Randling, the current occupant of the 8:30pm timeslot, will be pushed back to 9:15pm as a result of Gruen's return.
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