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Taskmaster heads to Oz as Network 10 orders local version of hit comedy format

Tom Gleeson (left) and Tom Cashman in the Oz version of Taskmaster

A local version of comedy competition format Taskmaster is among the new shows heading to Paramount-owned Australian broadcaster Network 10 in 2023.

The Aussie version of the UK format will star Tom Gleeson as the Taskmaster, with Tom Cashman his devoted assistant.

Each week, they set five comedians a range of ridiculous tasks designed to bamboozle brains and put funny bones to the test. Those set to take part in the first season are Julia Morris, Luke McGregor, Jimmy Rees, Nina Oyama and Danielle Walker.

Taskmaster Australia will be produced by UK- and US-based Avalon, owner of the format, and New Zealand’s Kevin & Co, which has been behind three seasons of the Kiwi version of show.

The executive producers are Alex Horne, who created and stars in the original UK version of the show, Richard Allen-Turner, Rob Aslett, James Taylor, Jon Thoday and Andy Devonshire (The Apprentice and The Great British Bake Off), who also acts as series director.

It comes as Network 10 confirms some of the highlights of its 2023 schedule, which will also include new seasons of Hunted, The Bachelors, Australian Survivor, The Dog House Australia, Would I Lie to You?, Gogglebox Australia, I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! and MasterChef Australia.

The latter is also getting a spin-off, MasterChef: Dessert Masters, to be produced by Banijay-owned Endemol Shine Australia. The same company is making a local version of house-hunting format Location, Location, Location for Network 10, based on the UK show from Banijay-owned IWC Media, shopped by Banijay Rights.

Daniel Monaghan, senior VP of content and programming at Paramount Australia and New Zealand, said: “When we consider the best way to serve our audience in the future, top of mind is the way content is consumed. It’s constantly evolving. And we have to constantly evolve as well.

“We will schedule primetime for you, but if you prefer to personalise your own primetime, we have the platforms and the content that allow you to do just that.

“Well-executed, familiar brands continue to succeed, but audiences are ready to embrace new shows, and we have a brilliant line-up of fresh content to complement fan favourites.”

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