It’s been away too long – and now that it’s back, it’s bringing a baby brother! The Gruen Transfer, repleat with freshly LA-ed Wil Anderson is back following the final episode of Angry Boys and ready to rock. Additional bonus is the announcement of a further extension of the Gruen brand to The Gruen Planet. It’s been a show that’s performed well for the ABC, and LONG overdue for an expansion (The Gruen Nation was the hit of 2010 during the election campaign). Advertisers – beware & game on. From the press release:

The Gruen Transfer returns for 2011…

…because we’ve been away long enough and really, because we’ve missed you. And there’s so much to catch up on: crazy mining ads, Big Tobacco campaigns, gambling messages invading every sport program on TV, the social media monster of Vodafail, NAB pretending it has no friends…

In the fourth season of The Gruen Transfer, inimitable host Wil Anderson will once again pick apart the seams of advertising with the extraordinary Russel Howcroft and Todd Sampson, ably supported by our rotating panel of Dan Gregory, Dee Madigan, Jeremy Nicholas, Bridget Taylor, Jane Caro, Rowan Dean and Carolyn Miller.

Old favourite segments including The Pitch – where two agencies compete to sell the unsellable – will return, along with another End-Of-Show Quest. Last year we voted for The Worst Ad Of All Time. This year, we’re pushing that idea further, hoping to identify and celebrate … (drum roll) … The Worst Product Of All Time!

And following the success of election series Gruen Nation in 2010, we’ve got another surprise in store. In 2011, we’re adding another baby to the Gruen family, Gruen Planet, a new show that will look at the news of the week through the prism of spin, branding and image control. We can’t tell you much about it yet, because … well, because it’s still a secret. Mostly.

By the way, last year The Gruen Transfer averaged 1.4 million viewers on ABC1 each week. Gruen Nation was the ABC’s highest rating show of the year, averaging more than 1.6 million viewers for each of its four outings and was in the Top Ten shows of the year. Transfer also won the 2010 AFI for Best Light Entertainment program.

THE GRUEN TRANSFER is a Zapruder’s other films co-production with ABC-TV. Executive Producers are Andrew Denton, Anita Jacoby and Sophia Zachariou. The show was co-created by Andrew Denton and Jon Casimir. It is produced by Jon Casimir.

The Gruen Transfer – from Wed 3/08 9pm, ABC1.