EXCLUSIVE: Just why did the ABC broadcast the wrong episode of MAD AS HELL last night?

Shaun Micallef on repeat…
Souce - TV Cynic at MediaSpy

Something as simple as a mislabelled computer file is believed to be responsible for the wrong episode of hugely popular comedy series MAD AS HELL being broadcast across Australia last night.

Social media lit up with complaints, anger, and a few interesting conspiracy theory’s last night when the previous week’s episode of the Shaun Micallef hosted comedy series was repeated.

TV Blackbox can reveal a simple production error by a lone staffer at the ABC’s Melbourne based Transfer Exchange caused the wrongly labelled episode to be sent to the national MediaHub playout centre in NSW.

MediaHub is an independent broadcast playout service owned in partnership by the ABC and regional broadcaster WINTV. The business was established in 2010 and now controls hundreds of broadcast channels from multiple networks across Australia and New Zealand.

To put it in layman’s terms, TV networks supply all programming to MediaHub, who then ensure the programs are broadcast by the correct broadcast transmitter, and in the correct timezone, at sites across the country.

Mad As Hell is filmed on a Tuesday evening each week in Melbourne. The episode is then edited by the programs producer’s ITV Australia, before being handed over to ABC on Wednesday afternoon.

TV Blackbox spoke exclusively with a senior executive at MediaHub last night who explained the Mad As Hell error occurred after the playout service was supplied a wrongly labelled episode by the ABC’s Melbourne based Content Transfer unit. TV Blackbox understands an ABC staffer has admitted fault for the production error.

The mislabelled episode was not discovered until the broadcast commenced and complaints started rolling in from disgruntled viewers.

However, even after the error was discovered, TV Blackbox understands due to a lack of staff at the ABC’s Melbourne based Transfer department, the correct episode could not be supplied to MediaHub ,meaning the playout service was frustrating forced to repeat the mistake into the South Australia/Northern Territory markets, and then later in Western Australia.

The ABC did however instruct MediaHub to add a ‘lower-third’ graphic to the program apologising for the error.

Interestingly the correct episode was supplied to the ABC iview team, with the program published online at 9:30pm AEST.

While refusing to comment on why the wrong episode was played, a spokesperson for the ABC did tell TV Blackbox the comedy series would now be allocated an additional broadcast time this week.

“The ABC apologises for broadcasting the incorrect episode of Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell. This fault was due to a technical error. This week’s episode has been put up on ABC iview for fans to watch as soon as they like.

The episode will also be shown on the ABC’s main channel at 9pm Thursday night as well as at its regular repeat timeslot on Friday night.”