Mad As Hell presenter Shaun Micallef has joined a chorus of confused viewers after the ABC broadcast the wrong episode of his Logie winning news satire show.
“This fault was due to human error,” an ABC spokesperson told The New Daily in a statement.
The ABC had earlier blamed a “technical” error for the glitch, which saw viewers who tuned in on Wednesday night for the latest episode of Mad As Hell surprised to see a rerun of last week’s show.
On the plus side for the ABC, despite being a repeat Mad As Hell still won its time slot. It was the 15th most watched show in metro Australia last night with 495,000 viewers.
Last week, with the State of Origin decider dominating rankings, the same episode ranked 19th and had an audience of 100,000 fewer people.
The ratings surprise was noted by ABC’s News Breakfast co-host Michael Rowland on Thursday:
— Michael Rowland (@mjrowland68) July 18, 2019
The mistake saw the Micallef family’s Melbourne household in uproar as much as those of normal diehard fans, according to Mad as Hell’s host.
“My wife is ringing the ABC switchboard. I rang ITV. Hopefully we’ll at least get the right one up on iView,” Micallef tweeted.
“It’s a good episode, too. Nice and topical. Maybe they’ll play it next week.”
Or earlier, as it turned out.
“This week’s episode was put up on ABC iview last night for fans to watch straight away,” the spokesperson said, adding the ABC “apologises” for running the wrong show.
“Episode 4 will also be shown on the ABC’s main channel at 9pm tonight, as well as in its regular repeat time slot on Friday night.”
Viewers who picked up on the mistake quickly took to social media to air their grievances.
“If the ABC finds the right #madashell tape on tape, Adelaide might actually get to see something before the east coast for once,” one of the program’s writers David Green tweeted.
Towards the end of the half-hour episode, an apology crawl was broadcast on the bottom of the screen, confirming that “due to a technical error last week’s episode was played”.
Tosh, we just had a meeting with the ABC board about the whole thing and they voted overwhelmingly that it's all your fault. I abstained (from having any of the biscuits Ita was handing out). #madashelltv #wrongepisodegate https://t.co/pvcDEXC71E
— Shaun Micallef (@shaunmicallef) July 17, 2019
— Craig Dixon (@craigdixon65) July 17, 2019
#ThisIsAustralia When you work at the ABC and PEOPLE RING YOU because the wrong episode of @shaunmicallef #MadAsHell is on. It’s not like it’s my job to put the correct tape in the Betacord each day. And, anyway, who watches broadcast tv these days anyway? 🤔🙄🤔 #iView #abcyours pic.twitter.com/9RBBo4RDMX
— Andrew Heslop (@AndrewHeslop) July 17, 2019
Many fans were bemused and even amused by the blunder.
“I enjoyed seeing the same episode again, so there,” tweeted one Mad As Hell blithe spirit fan.
“We were all wondering if the ABC knew,” posted one user. “I tweeted Paul Barry and Raf Epstein to see if they knew (and could do something.)”
Said a third, “It was still good to watch, the second time around. Funny show.”
Ironically given last night’s time fail, Micallef told The New Daily earlier this month Mad As Hell – which has just started its 10th season – has the peculiar effect of freezing time.
Part of the reason is he is still wearing the same suit from season one (spectacularly outdoing Karl Stefanovic’s mere year spent in one suit on Today).
“The reason I wear the same suit is because we sometimes use footage from a previous week,” Micallef said.
“I quite like the colour and everything. But it doesn’t feel like eight years have passed. [Co-creator] Gary McCaffrie says to me, ‘This is our perfect show’.
“We’re not writing to someone else’s agenda or fitting in with someone’s business model. It is fed by the week’s events. It has a freshness to it.”