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|Created by||Shaun Micallef|
|Starring||Shaun Micallef |
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||30|
|Running time||30 minutes per episode|
|Original network||SBS One|
|Picture format||576i (SDTV)|
|Original release||10 October 2007 - 3 December 2008|
|Related shows||Micallef Tonight (2003) |
The Micallef Program (1998)
Welcher & Welcher (2003)
Newstopia (stylised as NEWStopia) was an Australian half-hour satirical comedy programme hosted by Shaun Micallef. The first series premiered at on SBS TV on 10 October 2007 and concluded on 3 December 2007. A second season began on 27 February 2008 and concluded on 30 April 2008. A third season of the show screened from 1 October to 3 December 2008. The show was developed by Micallef, Gary McCaffrie, Michael Ward and Jason Stephens, with McCaffrie and Ward working as writers on the programme. A fourth series in 2009 was planned, but cancelled due to production clashes with Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation.
The show is presented in the style of a news bulletin, with Shaun Micallef acting as anchor. The program begins with a statement by Micallef about history and/or news and their relation to the show. The rest of the program features segments detailing often factual events, but told from a humorous or satirical angle. Like much of Micallef's earlier work, the humor depicted is mostly surrealism and some social satire.
The program also has several fictional commercial advertisements placed throughout the real commercial breaks, dressed up to appear as authentic SBS commercials; for example, Inspektor Herring is a parody of Inspector Rex. Because these commercials are fictional creations of Newstopia, for the first two seasons, SBS broadcast them with the SBS watermark in the bottom right corner, whereas genuine commercials did not show the watermark. Starting in the third season, the show removed the SBS watermark during the fictional commercial advertisements.
The show also features subliminally parodies of Pope Benedict XVI by supplanting his image with one of Nosferatu--long enough to be noticed, but not long enough for the viewer to have a concrete idea of what they had just seen.
Following the conclusion of each episode's initial broadcast, the Newstopia website featured a web stream of the current week's episode. This was only available for 7 days, and only to Australian residents, after which it was taken down and replaced by the latest broadcast. International visitors were blocked by an IP blocker. A guestbook was also available for commenting on the newest episode.