is an Australian television program, that is broadcast on Wednesday nights on ABC1
ABC1 was a United Kingdom based television channel from Disney using the branding of the Disney owned American network, ABC.The channel initially launched exclusively on the British digital terrestrial television platform Freeview on 27 September 2004. On 10 December 2004 it was launched on...
and repeated on Thursday night on ABC2
ABC2 is a national public television channel in Australia. Launched on 7 March 2005, it is the responsibility of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's television division, and is available nationally to digital television viewers in Australia...
. It is produced by Andrew Denton's production company, Zapruder's Other Films
. Auditions were held in January 2009, with the presenting team announced in September.
The third season of Hungry Beast began on ABC1 on Wednesday 23 March 2011 at 9:30pm with a smaller, more streamlined production team. The 12 week season has each episode themed around specific issues (e.g. Secrets, Waste, Captivity, Faking It, Download, Perfection and Wealth). Regular segments include Vox pops, "Follow The Money" and "The Beast File".
The show is a half-hour program and is structured as a hybrid between a current affairs program and a satire/comedy show. The presenters were initially given a single editorial instruction: "Tell me something I don't know". Rather than having a strict format, the show was started without a clear format in mind, with the final shape evolving alongside the presentation team that had been assembled. As a result, prior to the show's debut executive producer Andrew Denton
Andrew Christopher Denton is an Australian television producer, comedian, Gold Logie-nominated television presenter and former radio host, and was the host of the ABC's weekly television interview program Enough Rope. He is known for his comedy and interviewing technique...
described it as "unclassifiable" due to the chaotic nature of the work, likening the show's format to the Internet.
Originally 19 presenters were used, but the second season saw the hosts pared down to just four, Kirsten Drysdale, Nicholas Hayden, Dan Ilic
Dan Ilic is an Australian presenter, comedian and filmmaker. Ilic has been known for his parody work, including videos and Beaconsfield: The Musical, which he authored, and more recently for his work on the show Hungry Beast....
and Monique Schafter, although some of the other presenters continue to report onscreen. During the second season of Hungry Beast reporters Ali Russell and Kirk Docker were nominated for a Walkley Award for Coverage of Indigenous Affairs for their story on the "Gang of 49". Hungry Beast also was nominated for an ATOM Award in the Best Multimedia category, and an AFI Award for Best Light Entertainment.
Prior to the debut of the first series, Hungry Beasts pre-broadcast publicity incorporated perpetrating a hoax upon several Australian news agencies, in which they constructed a media release by the fictitious Levitt Institute. The release discussed a report called "Deception Detection Across Australian Populations", which looked at the comparative gullibility of people in different Australian states, and the release used a website and altered Wikipedia
Wikipedia is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 20 million articles have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world. Almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site,...
articles to provide support for the document. The hoax was successful, with a number of Australian media groups, including the AAP
Australian Associated Press is Australia's national news agency. The organisation was established in 1935 by Fairfax and The Herald and Weekly Times.AAP employs more than 175 journalists who work in bureaux in all Australian states and territories...
, running stories based on the material. When revealed, the hoax was criticised by the AAP who stated that they were "... disappointed that an individual, or organisation, would go to such lengths to take advantage of the Australian media and ultimately the Australian public."