Missing Pieces

Nine's Missing Pieces tells us more about how it found missing family members before its teary reunions. It's not always about the destination, but the journey too.

peter-overton2You pretty much know from the premise of re-uniting family members, whether this will be your thing or not.

After all, the concept has proven a huge hit for Seven and there is no shortage of candidates wanting a helping hand. The question here is really: how does the Nine format differ from Seven’s and is it any better?

The first point of difference is in having Peter Overton as a presenter. Overton was attached to this prior to his appointment as Nine’s Sydney newsreader -whether this helps improve his Sydney figures, or it deters that market from sampling this will be worth watching.

Overton is visible on camera introducing the series and thereafter supplies narration -a similar approach used with Jack Thompson on Seven’s Find My Family. You can’t help but wonder whether either man really has much first-hand connection to the stories that follow. While Thompson has thepersonal experience of adoption, Overton brings a certain “newsy” tone to his new show.

Missing Pieces (which comes complete with Delta Goodrem’s “Lost Without You” as its theme) approaches its stories as mini-detective stories. There are two stories featured in the premiere: one with a woman who needs to find her father to see if he is compatibile bone marrow donor, and a family looking for two lost siblings to share in a $400,000 inheritance. One is an upbeat story, the other goes for the emotion. The transition from one to another is quite abrupt.

But in its favour Missing Pieces illustrates more detail about how it locates the family members. While Seven’s show has a faceless producer with a DVD player simply saying “we’ve found your family”, Nine’s delves more into the second act of locating and convincing the family member why they should agree to a reunion. It isn’t entirely comprehensive but it’s actually one of the more interesting parts of this premise. It’s not always about the destination but the journey too.

Missing Pieces shows a producer liasing with the ‘missing’ family member, though it would have been bolstered with a tad more credibility if it had actually been Overton in the moment.

In one meeting cameras keep their distance, as a man hears the striking news that he could be somebody’s father. That said, it is shot almost surveillance-like; you’d hope he consented to it…

There are so many Australians longing to be reunited by television shows that Seven has been inundated with requests. No doubt there are more than enough good yarns to go around. Indeed even TV Tonight is constantly beseeched by pleading individuals, who assume the site can assist their request (or for that matter, makeover their garden, supply a recipe or grant them an audition!).

Some creative postcard-style shots of missing family members as photographs dotted on the Australian landscape are a nice touch.

Sneakily slated on a Monday night, 24 hours before Seven’s Find My Family, this will probably help feed an insatiable appetite for those hooked on Seven’s version. Neither holds a candle to the real storytelling of SBS’ genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? (Nine will have the US series this year), but these have different ambitions.

Missing Pieces slots neatly into Nine’s promise of “blue-sky” television which clearly has a significant appeal elsewhere.  If you’re a sucker for this genre bring your own box of Kleenex.

35_starsMissing Pieces premieres 8pm Monday on Nine.

18 Responses

  1. NB: Once again, for all enquiries about this show PLEASE CONTACT NINE not this website. No further enquiries about being included on this show will be published here.

  2. I was born in sri lanks 6/4/43 and was given up for adoption at birth. From the age of 15 i have been on the search for my biological parents. I have a few clues and paper work but unable to know where to start.
    This is a very dark and gloomy part of my life as i would very much appreciate to know my roots even at this late stage in my life.
    I watch your programme which is excellent and really should be for a longer time (at least 1 hr) and do away with stupid shows which have no meaning to life.
    Always a question ??? Do i have brothers & sisters ?
    Who am i? What are my roots?
    It seems to be a very well kept secreat – why ??????
    I am happy to be interviewed with all the paper work i have on hand, & try and end this “thing” that seems to haunt me .
    Please reply .
    Greatfully yours.

  3. wow i think this tv show is great. i was just hopeing that shows like this would come around so people that have missing pieces of there family have a chance to find them. well i was addopted from birth and i was wondering if i have any brothers or sissters and if you could help me find my parents i havent had much hope with other shows like this but i am hoping that this might be the time that i do. if you think you can help me with this problem contact me on my email address and it would be a pleasure to give you all the infomation i have about my birth parents thatnk you

  4. i am trying to find my brother and sister

    nathan and kylie yates, and their mum robyn yates(last name from marriage to my dad unsure of birth last name

    last known location logan southern brisbane,
    boith between 20- 30 years of age

  5. Well done channel nine……. what a great show last night no fluff and no frills just the story that needed to be told. I hope that others can benifit from them and have the courage to keep going and keep looking for the families they have lost. Two thumbs up 🙂

  6. my brother has been missing since 1951 he was 15 years old and not a day goes by without my thinking about him as we have tried to find him without any luck so if it helps family to find there loved ones that is great good on you channel 9

  7. I saw the program for the first time tonight and was disappointed with the approach and the values it reflected. The death of young Kellie was communicated with no empathy whatsoever, just in a matter of fact newsy tone, then straight on to the next story – surely she deserved more dignity than that. The siblings with the $400k inheritance was no better – the focus should have been about reuniting the family, but the last line of the story was for the younger brother to come and claim his inheritance – what about being reunited with the family? Surely that is more important? What sort of values are you trying to push? I think Jack Thompson on Find My Family has the right approach and empathy required for this type of program, but Peter Overton needs to work on it.

  8. I think the show sounds fabulous and I being someone who has had no success in locating a brother in 15 years and not actually seen him for 26 finds it interesting. I can understand people not being in this position having no interest, but for people like myself it leaves me with the feeling “that while there is life, there’s hope” keep up the good work Peter, we need more like you on our side!
    P.S How does one go about getting involved with the program? I would love to find “Our missing piece”

  9. Hopefully 7 keeps HIMYM and Scrubs on monday nights as they should do really well in the younger demos, especially with this crap on!

    I know understand why nobody in sydney watches 9 news. this guy scares me!

  10. The networks are always copying each other.

    Sunday Night = 60 minutes
    Customs = Border Security
    Surf Patrol = Bondi Rescue
    Today Tonight = A Current Affair
    Missing Pieces = Find my Family

    We’ve been through this before, there are so many more, and of course it is a shame that the networks feel the need to create their own clones of successful programmes when they should be trying to find a new ideas that work. It’s so boring watching television lately when the networks just offer us the same crappy programs, time and time again.

  11. when i first heard 9 was doing this i though surely they would have to do a major concept difference to FMF. eg. make it an hour long, only focus on one family, involve a host, follow them through their lives in the coming future, throw reunion celebrations every ep, make the women take their tops off, etc. but judging on this review it is a complete copy without any major differences.

    i wonder if this will affect underbelly, delta goodrem music, this show is not going to be male skewing, wheras UB is. and the easter break could not have helped (the easter break has done some evil things to serials in the past). customs was a perfect lead in. i’m sure all the men will be watching scrubs or SYTYCD or ABC/SBS shows over this.

  12. The description sounds exactly like the NZ version of Missing Pieces which finished here last night after a 10 episode run. Even right down to the “Some creative postcard-style shots of missing family members as photographs dotted on the Australian landscape are a nice touch.” was used here (with NZ backdrops obviously).

    A lot of the shows were Tasman crossing ones too, so it will be interesting to see if 9 play these.

    Our presenter/voiceover was the male nightly newsreader for 3 News here in NZ.

  13. I cannot stand Find My Family, so there is no way Missing Pieces will appeal to me.

    But the premise of this show would have to be the most blatant rip off in recent years.

    For a network that is refocused on the under 55’s, they’re not doing a crash hot job at appealing to them. But then again, 9’s other motto is cheap and nasty…this rip off factual fits that bill quite nicely.

  14. This makes me angry. I completly agree with Brown, everything on nine is a copy of seven. Take the today show, I am sometimes forced to watch it at the dentist, they have cloned sunrise, right down to the coffee mugs with “today” written on them instead of “sunrise”.
    Yes I am a seven fanboy but channel nine just makes me sick. Everyone do me a favor and watch the original shows on seven, not the blatant rip-off which follows on nine.
    Thanks for listening to my psychotic rant.

  15. someone correct me if i am wrong but i think FMF looks into the process of finding them sometimes as well. i can remember more than once they did DNA testing and once they showed people going through records ect.

    i guess FMF only show it when the process is interesting other times it might just be looking up the phonebook.

  16. When are Nine going to start making shows that aren’t direct copies of there competition? Missing pieces = Find My Family, You Saved My Life = 000 heroes, Customs = Border Security, their News look = Channel Seven’s News look 3 years ago. Sensing a pattern? What happened to original ideas Nine?

  17. People wont watch this copy unless there is no more competitive alternative. I think the same as Customs 9 will be lucky with this one unless 7 exercise some sense and give up on Scrubs and How I Met Your Mother in that time slot. They should try moving desperate housewives forward an hour just while Underbelly wrapps up (i suppose they can´t for classification reasons though).

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