Todd, Steve Moneghetti, Wil, Jane Fleming, Russel

It’s a complete tease – 4 episodes of the usual Gruen suspects talking sport sponsorship and branding to tie in with the London Olympics, and then it’s gone forever. Or at least until the next Olympics. Which, depending on the needs of sponsors, could be sooner than we think.

With Gruen Sweat however, we’re guaranteed more insight from the panellists in what has undoubtedly become one of the ABC’s marquee brands. Returning last Wednesday night Wil Anderson proved he is now more comfortable than ever in the host’s chair and is doing a bloody good job of it. His engagement with the panel and audience (in studio and at home) whilst driving home the key points of a very fast-paced, intelligent show is a tough skill to master and he’s not too far from being awarded his black belt. Along with regular Gruenites Russel Howcroft & Todd Sampson the trio are clearly now very comfortable with each other but not so much they can’t share their opinion (they do – frequently) and they continue to disagree (again, they do – frequently). And you wouldn’t be Kenrick Monk or Nick D’Arcy around these guys for quids.

As with all Gruen specials it is the addition of the extra panellists that add the extra touch of spice right when you need it, and starting off this week with Steve Moneghetti and Jane Fleming was inspired. Both are seasoned Olympic & Commonwealth Games athletes, and both are now working in consultative roles with athletes pushing their way through the training and sponsorship minefield. Their insight proved to be genuinely interesting and their humour not forced (a tough ask when those around you are) and because of this future guests have had a high bar set for them.

Once Gruen Sweat wraps it will be follwed by a 10 episode weekly series of Gruen Planet, reverting back to global brand/marketing/spin doctoring of a generic nature. This again makes the next 13 Wednesday nights must watch material on Aunty. Even up against the finales of MasterChef Australia and Australia’s Got Talent Gruen managed to hold it’s own at 8:30pm and pull in 930,000 viewers – an excellent result considering the competition. It’s a spectacular return by the Gruen team, and a brilliant antidote for suffers of a bout of “Olympic fever”.

Gruen Sweat: a television-enhancing drug.

Gruen Sweat – Wed 8:30pm, ABC1.