Australia’s television networks have begun to reveal details of how they plan to cover the results of the federal election expected in May.
The Nine Network has already declared that its usual election night panel host, sacked Today show star Karl Stefanovic, will not be given the role this year.
The Bug understands that Nine will seek to capture a larger election night audience by having The Block’s Scott Cam host its coverage (main picture).
He will be joined by stars of other popular Nine shows including the cast of Australian Ninja Warrior and two as yet unnamed couples from Married At First Sight.
“We’ll also be featuring live crosses during the entire night to talk to Jim Parsons in Los Angeles who plays Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory,” a Nine spokesperson said.
“We really aren’t sure how much Jim will be able to add to the commentary, but we’ve been running back-to-back episodes of the popular show for months now so we thought it’s best not to upset viewers by taking it off the air entirely for the duration of election night.
“Our roving reporter for the evening, who’ll be popping in to key electorates to talk to candidates and MPs, is a young woman we’ve discovered called Stefanie Karlovic (pictured).
“Stefanie sent us an audition tape which just blew us away. She’s a real find and we’re glad to have her on board. I reckon she’s got a big future at Nine. A 34-C at the very least.”
A Seven Network spokesperson said in a bid to win the night’s ratings battle, its election night coverage would be anchored by the hosts and judges from My Kitchen Rules, Pete Evans and Manu Feildel (pictured).
“We will be using a kitchen set this year for our election night panel and we see plenty of opportunities for Pete and Manu to cook up a storm as results pour in,” the spokesperson said.
“Pete will be wielding a cleaver and Manu will be cooking geese all night for those MPs who lose their seats and guests on our panel will be asked to bring along their favourite recipes to prepare as the night unfolds.
“We think we will be offering something different which should be very popular with viewers and help them better understand the traditions and intricacies of our Westminster system of parliamentary democracy.”
An ABC spokesperson told The Bug funding cuts meant the national broadcaster would be screening a test pattern for the evening with occasional voiceovers giving results in key seats.
“Naturally we’ll also have Antony Green on hand to tell, if not show, listeners the swings and trends happening during the night,” the spokesperson said.
Network 10 said it would be giving the federal election its usual level of coverage.
“We’ll be re-screening The Shawshank Redemption on election night because we estimate that by then it will have been four or five days since it was last screened,” a Network 10 spokesperson told The Bug.
“But during ad breaks we’ll have Brad, the unpaid newsroom intern (pictured), updating viewers on election results live from his mum’s dining room.
“So, yeah, Network 10 will be doing what we usually do for these major nation-changing and historic events,” he said.
Sky News would not comment on details of its election night coverage but advised it would begin broadcasting at 8am on election day when polling booths opened with its “after dark” presenters providing continuous coverage and reasons for voting against Labor and Bill Shorten until polls closed at 6pm.