Julian Morrow spoke about this in his interview with me here, and it’s great to see it come to fruition – everything we didn’t know we need and once we got it decided we probably didn’t want their help anyway. From the press release:

The public interest just got interesting …

ABC1 today announced THE CHECKOUT, a new 10 x 30 minute, factual consumer affairs series, will air on Thursday, March 21 at 8pm.

With presenters including Julian Morrow and Craig Reucassel from The Chaser team*, Hungry Beast’s Kirsten Drysdale and Kate Browne from CHOICE, THE CHECKOUT is a co-production between ABC TV, Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder and Giant Dwarf.

THE CHECKOUT will turn consumer TV on its head, with a no-holds-barred, irreverent and entertaining approach to the subject that would have Helen Wellings turning in her grave, if she wasn’t still alive.

Each episode will tackle issues that face all of us when we open our wallets – identifying ways consumers are being taken advantage of, manipulated and ripped off… even if there’s nothing illegal about it. With support from Australia’s consumer group CHOICE, THE CHECKOUT team will give viewers a healthy and/or dangerous mix of info and attitude that hopefully might lead to smarter spending decisions.

Regular segments will include:
Beat the System – light-hearted tips for changing consumer behaviour based on consumer psychology;
As A Guilty Mum… – a Brand Power style infomercial that showcases the way marketers play on parental guilt to flog an ever-expanding suite of products; Product vs Packshot – showing some of Australia’s most lovingly photographed products as they look in real life; If I Could
Say One Thing – bite-sized chunks of advice for consumers from some of Australia and the world’s leading consumer advocates and researchers, including Ralph Nader and author of “The Paradox of Choice” Professor Barry Schwarz.

But wait, there’s more!

Building on the audience participation of Q&A’s video questions, THE CHECKOUT will fire-up the already explosive world of consumer problems on social media. Disgruntled consumers with legitimate gripes will be able to send in their complaints, tips and rumours – as well as upload their video consumer gripes on the web and maybe even see them on TV courtesy of the national broadcaster. Details below.

Jennifer Collins, ABC TV’s Head of Entertainment, said: “THE CHECKOUT is consumer affairs TV for the 21st century, and who better to go into battle for consumers than Julian Morrow and Craig Reucassel?”

Presenter and Executive Producer Julian Morrow said: “I can think of so many people who would be better to go into battle for consumers. But the election’s not until September so this should pass the time.”

Executive Producer Nick Murray said: “Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder has a proud track record of producing innovative and engaging factual television. There’s every chance that working with Craig and Julian will ruin that.”

Former ABC Director of Television Kim Dalton said: “I am so glad I’m not going to be at the ABC for this.”

* Since the Australian Consumer Law prevents misleading and deceptive conduct, the ABC no longer uses the term “The Chaser boys”.

thecheckout.net.au (where you can send in consumer tip-offs, suggestions and video complaints)