Thank God You're Here

Last updated

Thank God You're Here
Episode ThankGodYoureHere.jpg
Created by Working Dog Productions
Directed byPeter Ots (series 1–3)
Jon Olb (series 4)
Presented by Shane Bourne
Judges Tom Gleisner
Opening theme"Come Anytime" by Hoodoo Gurus
Country of originAustralia
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes41 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producersSanto Cilauro
Tom Gleisner
Michael Hirsh
Rob Sitch
ProducerDebra Chyote
Production locationsGlobal Television Studios, Nunawading, Victoria (series 1–3) [1]
Melbourne Showgrounds, Flemington, Victoria (series 4)
EditorsIan Carmichael (series 1–2, 4)
Ken Hardie (series 3)
Running time60 minutes
Release
Original network Network Ten (2006–2007)
Seven Network (2009)
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audio format Dolby 5.1
Original release5 April 2006 (2006-04-05) 
8 July 2009 (2009-07-08)
External links
Website

Thank God You're Here is an Australian television improvised comedy program created by Working Dog Productions, which premiered on Network Ten on 5 April 2006, and aired for the first three seasons and on Seven for the fourth season.

Contents

Each episode involves performers walking through a door into an unknown situation, greeted by the line "Thank God you're here!". They then had to improvise their way through the scene. At the end of each episode a winner was announced. It was the most successful new show in Australia of 2006, attracting an average of 1.7 million viewers after the first few episodes.

The show is hosted by Shane Bourne, and is judged by Tom Gleisner. The format was sold for recreation in a number of countries.

Synopsis

Each contestant is dressed in appropriate costume, has some brief banter with the host, and is then invited to "walk through the blue door" onto a hidden set. They are greeted by the ensemble cast, in character, with the line "Thank God you're here!", and must then attempt to improvise their role in the scene. Typically they will be asked in-character questions by the ensemble cast and challenged to provide information about the scene, including the names of characters or objects.

At least twice during each episode (to cover set-up and costuming for the live audience), footage is shown of each of the four participants performing a challenge, often on location, which was filmed earlier in the week. These include a commentary booth where the contestants have to comment on an unfamiliar subject, an office where they are being interviewed or interrogated (by police, customs officials, etc.), showing customers things for sale (cars, boats, pianos, houses, etc.), or advertisements (e.g. slimming products, housing developments, etc.). The other characters in these scenes are generally played by members of the ensemble cast. The third series also introduced an additional segment in which Gleisner highlights a "real life" Thank God You're Here-style situation, such as the infamous Guy Goma BBC interview and frequently, that of politicians forced to improvise answers under pressure. The fourth season introduced a different segment, where Gleisner points out that he believes an Australian cricket player is able to endorse anything, and presents a falsified advertisement where a retired Australian cricketer (Damien Fleming) attempts to endorse an also falsified company of a completely random field (such as a French restaurant or sewage processing plant). Running gags in these segments include the cricketer comparing selecting such a company with his medium pace bowling, the use of "jargon" which actually is completely made-up, comparing the reliability (or other value) with his own bowling style, and a man named "Steve" who is called upon to agree with this previous statement ("bit like my bowling, eh, Steve?")

Finally, when all the contestants have played in a scene by themselves, all four enter a final scene together for the "all-in group challenge". At the end of the show, the judge declares a winner; this choice is entirely at the judge's discretion, and is largely arbitrary. Honorable and dishonorable mentions are also given, usually to contestants who do not win so that the judge can comment on their performances. The winner receives a trophy in the shape of the programme's blue door logo.

There are variations on the standard setup: occasionally the greeting will be slightly changed to better suit the setting (e.g. "Thank the gods you're here!" for a scene featuring Vikings or "Thank God you're alive" in a scene featuring a car accident), and often an alternative entrance will be built into the set. These are often used for comic effect, as in the aforementioned car accident scenario where the contestant (Matthew Newton) climbed through the back of the set and emerged from the door of a wrecked car embedded in the wall of a second-storey flat.

Ensemble cast

Although their parts are thoroughly scripted, the actors who interact with the guest stars in each scenario are drawn from an ensemble of experienced improvisational actors.

Improvisation experience is preferred so that the cast can react appropriately and immediately to the improvisations of the guest stars, though in most cases this improvisation is limited. This ensemble is also used in many of the mid-week assignments, fulfilling the roles of customers or members of the public with whom the guests must interact in a real-life setting.

The following are regular ensemble cast members who have appeared or currently appear on the show.

Several special guests have also appeared, either playing themselves or as part of the ensemble cast for a scene. Special guests have included Carl Barron, Dan O'Connor, Kimberley Davies, Simon Burke, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Mark Holden, Joan Sydney, Kate Ceberano, The Veronicas, Mick Molloy, Nikki Webster and Alan Fletcher. Other guests including Don Burke, Suzie Wilks, Jane Hall and Andy Lee have appeared as mock presenters in the locational challenges.

Appearances

ContestantAppearancesShow wins
Angus Sampson 113
Hamish Blake 103
Josh Lawson 93
Julia Zemiro 82
Fifi Box 71
Peter Rowsthorn 72
Cal Wilson 73
Merrick Watts 73
Shaun Micallef 72
Frank Woodley 61
Akmal Saleh 61
Tony Martin 61
Bob Franklin 53
Rebel Wilson 41
Anh Do 41
Matthew Newton 31
Dave Hughes 31
Arj Barker 31
Kate Langbroek 31
Alan Brough 31
Glenn Robbins 20
Robyn Butler 20
Ryan Shelton 20
Tahir Bilgic 20
Colin Lane 21
Kate Jenkinson 20
Jo Stanley 20
Peter Helliar 20
Stephen Curry 20
Nish 20
Carl Barron 21
Josie Long 21
Felicity Ward 20
Toby Truslove 20
Santo Cilauro 10
Tanya Bulmer10
Dalian Evans10
Bianca Dye10
Russell Gilbert 10
Anthony Field 11
Andrew G 10
Jimeoin 11
Stephen K Amos 10
Eddie Ifft 10
Julia Morris 10
Ross Noble 11
Matt Tilley 10
Sean Choolburra10
Adam Hills 10
Franklyn Ajaye 10
Heath Franklin 10
Jordan Raskopoulos 11
Rhys Darby 10
Rob Carlton 10
Tom Gleeson 10

Episodes

SeasonEp #Season PremiereSeason Finale
Season 1 105 April 20067 June 2006
Season 2 106 September 20068 November 2006
Season 3 1111 July 200726 September 2007
Season 4 1029 April 20098 July 2009

Show promotion

Host Shane Bourne and Judge Tom Gleisner appeared on Rove Live on 11 April 2006, to promote the show after the first episode had screened. After an interview with Rove McManus, they participated in a game McManus called Where The Bloody Hell Have You Been, a play on words of the Australian tourism campaign, "So Where The Bloody Hell Are You?". In this game they had to perform, without preparation, a situation involving a funeral, and the reading of an improvised eulogy, following exactly the same format as Thank God You're Here.

Music

The main theme is "Come Anytime" (June 1989) by Sydney-based rock band, Hoodoo Gurus. A piece used throughout the interludes of the first Season of the show is "Don't You Know Who I Am", performed by Small Mercies.

In the second season, new music was also used in addition to the main themes:

In the third season, more new music was used in addition to the main themes:

Production and broadcast schedule

The show is filmed at Global Television Studios in Nunawading (a suburb in the outskirts of Melbourne) [1] which are rented by ATV-10 for the first three seasons in series 1–3 in 2006 & 2007.

Recording of a single episode is done between 7:30pm and 10:30pm. Each segment is recorded "as if live", but with longer breaks between acts for set changes and costuming. Some retakes are done after the initial recording is done to correct any errors made by the hosts during the initial recording, or to cover sounds picked up from outside the studio. The guest scenarios are recorded non-stop, and are longer than what will be seen on TV.

Series One (Early 2006)

The final episode of Season One, in which the actor Angus Sampson won, had 2.13 million viewers nationally. [2]

Series Two (Late 2006)

The second series of the show ran from 6 September to 8 November 2006, at a 7:30 pm AEST timeslot. The ratings for the second season place the show in the top three shows watched in Australia boosting the ratings of follow-up show House on the network and placing the show up with ratings juggernaut Border Security: Australia's Front Line which broadcasts on the Seven Network. Thank God You're Here received an average of two million viewers every week. For the last episode of 2006 (8 November), had received ratings of 1.85 million viewers nationally. [3]

Series Three (2007)

The first episode of Series Three was filmed on 21 June 2007. Guests for this episode included Stephen Curry, Josh Lawson, Peter Helliar and Cal Wilson. Series Three had begun at the same 7:30 pm time slot on Wednesday 11 July 2007.

Series Four (2009)

The fourth season aired on the Seven Network instead of Network Ten. With Global Television Studios in Nunawading getting ready to shut down, [1] Series 4 started filming at Melbourne Showgrounds in Flemington, in the shed normally used as the Poultry Pavilion. With the move from Nunawading also came a move from Global to Cutting Edge as the broadcast provider. Shooting started on Thursday 19 March 2009, in front of a live audience of 500 people. At the recording of episode 2 on 26 March, Tom Gleisner told the audience they couldn't find an available studio big enough for all their sets and large studio audience, so started looking at other types of venues, and found what they needed at the showgrounds. Portable buildings were set up outside the pavilion as offices, etc. Another vacant pavilion was used to house the audience before taping. The new venue was an issue for audio, as there was no soundproofing, so the nearby railway line often interfered with scenes, and Tom said if it rained, they would be "stuffed".

Possible revival

In 2014, co-creator Rob Sitch said that a revival of the program was possible. [4]

Ratings

SeasonEpisodesoriginally AiredNetworkTelevision SeasonRankViewers (in millions)Ref.
Season PremiereSeason Finale
1 105 April 20067 June 2006 Network Ten Early 2006#21.729 [5]
2 106 September 20068 November 2006Late 2006#11.773
3 1111 July 200726 September 20072007#21.860
4 1029 April 20098 July 2009 Seven Network 2009#11.516

Release

Home media

Physical release

Seasons 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the show have been released on DVD in Australia. Season 1 was released on 8 November 2006, Season 2 was released on 23 August 2007, Season 3 was released on 28 November 2007 and Season 4 was released on 5 November 2009.

Thank God You're Here — The Complete Series One
Set detailsSpecial features
  • 10 Episodes
  • 51 Scenarios
  • 3 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: English for the hearing impaired
  • English audio (Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1)
  • Behind the scenes documentary
  • Unscreened highlights
  • Vintage Frank Woodley performance from the pilot
  • Hard copy Thank God You're Here game built into the DVD cover
Release dates
Region 4
8 November 2006


Thank God You're Here — The Complete Series Two
Set detailsSpecial features
  • 10 Episodes
  • 51 Scenarios
  • 3 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: English for the hearing impaired
  • Audio: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1) & English narration for the sight impaired.

No special features are included.

Release dates
Region 4
23 August 2007


Thank God You're Here — The Complete Series Three
Set detailsSpecial features
  • 11 Episodes
  • 55 Scenarios
  • 3 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: English for the hearing impaired
  • English audio (Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1)

No special features are included.

Release dates
Region 4
28 November 2007


Thank God You're Here — The Complete Series One, Two & Three
Set detailsSpecial features
  • 31 Episodes
  • 9 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: English for the hearing impaired
  • English audio (Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1)

As per Series One release.

Release dates
Region 4
28 November 2007


Thank God You're Here — The Complete Series Four
Set detailsSpecial features
  • 10 Episodes
  • 51 Scenarios
  • 3 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: English for the hearing impaired
  • English audio (Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1)

Uncut, extended scenarios from during the week.

Release dates
Region 4
5 November 2009
Streaming

Seasons 1–4 were released on Network 10's catch-up TV service 10Play throughout June and July 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. [6] [7]

Awards

Board game

In December 2009 the "Thank God You're Here" board game was released. It contains 70 different scenarios which can be acted out in the home, in a similar format to the show. The board game is being distributed in selected stores only, including What's New.

International versions

The format has been sold to Fremantle for worldwide distribution and has subsequently been sold for creation in 18 countries including the United States. [8] International versions are required to use the same sketch premises used on the original Australian version and if one wants to alter one of their episodes in some way, such as taping a Christmas-themed episode, they must go through FremantleMedia for permission to do so.[ citation needed ]

CountryNameHostChannelLanguagePremiereWebsiteJudge
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Thank God You're Here Shane Bourne Network Ten 2006–2007
Seven Network 2009
English5 April 2006 Link Tom Gleisner
Flag of Armenia.svg  Armenia 3 պատ (3 Walls) Garik Papoyan, Felix Khachatryan Armenia TV Armenian2009–2010
Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan Haradasan bu vaxtacan?Orkhan Fikretoglu, Turane Huseynli İctimai Television Azerbaijan6 October 2019Orkhan Fikretoglu
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium GodzijDankMatthias Coppens vtm Dutch16 March 2007
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
Flag of Quebec.svg  Quebec
Dieu merci! Éric Salvail TVA French27 September 2007 Link Gaston Lepage
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 谢天谢地你来啦 Cui Yongyuan CCTV-1 ChineseOctober 2011 Link
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic Konečně jsi tadyJosef Carda TV Prima Czech4 March 2007
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark Gu' ske lov du kom Mads Vangsø TV3 Danish30 September 2006 Link Sebastian Dorset and Hella Joof, third season Søs Egelind and Sidse Babett Knudsen
Flag of Estonia.svg  Estonia Jumal tänatud, et sa siin oled! Andrus Vaarik Kanal 2 Estonian 6 October 2007 Eino Baskin
Flag of France.svg  France Enfin te Voilà !Ariane Massenet Comédie+ French 2013
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Gott sei dank … dass Sie da sind! Knacki Deuser ProSieben German30 November 2006
Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia Akhirnya Datang Juga Winky Wiryawan – Trans TV, Narji 'Cagur' – Trans TV, Olga Syahputra – Trans TV, Boy William – MNCTV, Indra Bekti – MNCTV Trans TV, MNCTV Indonesian 21 October 2007 (Trans TV), 21 May 2011 (MNC TV) Link Didi Petet – Trans TV, Parto Patrio, Desy Ratnasari – Trans TV, Desy Ratnasari, Jaja Miharja – MNCTV
Ini Dia! Kevin Julio
Surya Insomnia
NET. 10 December 2016 Link Denny Chandra, Dwi Sasono, Ferry Salim, Arie Untung
Flag of Israel.svg  Israel Tov Shebata Moni Moshonov Arutz 10 Hebrew 5 June 2007 Tomer Sharon
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Grazie Al Cielo Sei Qui!Leonardo Manera La7 Italian22 March 2009 Link
Flag of Lithuania.svg  Lithuania Ačiū Dievui, atėjaiEgidijus Sipavičius TV3 Lithuanian 1 September 2007Arkadijus Vinokuras
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands Gelukkig Je Bent Er Carlo Boszhard RTL 4 DutchSeptember 2006 Link
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal Ainda Bem Que AparecesteVirgílio Castelo RTP1 PortugueseOctober 2008 Link Nilton
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Слава Богу, ты пришёл!Mikhail Shats, Igor Vernik (in 2018) STS Russian24 September 2006Andrey Urgant, Sergei Svetlakov(in 2018)
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Por Fin Has LlegadoJosema Yuste TVE1 Spanish14 September 2007David Fernandez
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden Tack Gode Gud David Hellenius TV4 Swedish21 March 2007
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey Bak Hele Bak Emre Altuğ TRT 1 Turkish13 January 2015 Link Rasim Öztekin
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom Thank God You're Here Paul Merton ITV English12 January 2008 Link
Flag of the United States.svg  United States Thank God You're Here David Alan Grier NBC English9 April 2007 Link Dave Foley
Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam Ơn giời cậu đây rồi! Xuân Bắc  [ vi ], Trấn Thành (2018), Trường Giang  [ vi ](2018) VTV3 Vietnamese11 October 2014Hoài Linh (2014 - 2018)

Xuân Bắc (2019 - present)

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