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The Australian TV show that's being billed as the brand new Gogglebox.

Gogglebox Australia asked a simple question: what are real Australian families saying when they sit down to watch TV together?

The characters on the show were fantastic. It was brilliantly casted, entertaining, and felt wonderfully real.

Now, the TV boffins over at Endemol Shine Australia are replicating the concept. Except instead of listening in to conversations in the family home, they’re turning their attention to the other place Australians spend the majority of their time.

The workplace.

Listen: Executive Producer David McDonald takes us behind the scenes of Common Sense on The Binge. Post continues after audio.

Basically, ten workplaces across Australia – think everything from hairdressers and tech entrepreneurs to removalists and retirees – are filmed on an ongoing basis from remote cameras (there’s no cameraman) inside their workplace.

Their conversations are recorded as they discuss and react to everything in the news that week.

The Tenplay website reads, “Common Sense features a cast of everyday people from 10 diverse environments across Australia discussing the news of the week and making sense of it all in a light-hearted, honest and hilarious way.

Executive Producer David McDonald spoke to Mamamia’s Entertainment Editor Laura Brodnik on The Binge, Mamamia‘s TV podcast, this week, letting us in on how the show was cast.

“Most of it was street casting,” says McDonald. “It was producers hitting the road, going out and finding people. From there, a bit of an audition process that funnelled it down to the final ten workplaces that we’ve got.”

“They [the producers] really go out with nothing, and have to find people.”

Nikki and Kathy are two of the cast members. They work in a salon. Image credit: Endemol Shine Australia.
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He goes on, "It's not easy to find the ones that are right - have a personality, have an opinion, talkative, all that sort of stuff."

The cast, McDonald believes, is the key to the success of the format.

"It is the characters that draw you in, wanting to spend some time with them and see what their opinion is... it is the characters that you come back for. "

He goes on, "I think for the audience, it's seeing themselves... they're real people and it adds another layer... it's not an actor doing lines."

"Some of what makes this endearing is that it's not massive dramas, it's the minutia of life."

"It also compresses all your television watching into forty minutes," McDonald says.

You can watch Common Sense Wednesdays at 7:30pm on Lifestyle. 

Read more about Common Sense, and watch the highlights from the first episode, here

You can listen to this week's full episode of The Binge, below.

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