ABC1 ending Can We Help?

ABC1 factual series Can We Help? hosted by Peter Rowsthorn is to end a six-year run.

The Perth-produced series, in which Rowsthorn and experts answer questions from the audience will not be renewed after its current season.

Segments  including “Lost & Found”, “Help Wanted,” “Pete Investigates,” and “Wise Words” have included Presenters Kate Burridge, Christian Horgan, Dr Norman Swan, Dr Karl Kruzelnicki and Tanya Ha.

This year the show moved from a Friday night timeslot to Saturdays, while the show had earlier switched production from being a studio-based panel show to a stripped-down format with Rowsthorn filmed in a Can We Help? office introducing filmed segments.

Prior to being axed the show produced 211 episodes across 6 years.

Jennifer Collins, Head of ABC TV Factual said “Can We Help? has had a long run and I would like to thank Peter Rowsthorn, the many other presenters and production staff and the hundreds of families who have contributed wonderful heart-warming stories each week to the series”.

Peter Rowsthorn said, “Can We Help? has been a magical ride…a show with a big heart and wonderful dedicated team. Together we have reunited dozens of families and shone the spotlight on amazing people doing great work helping others. It’s been a privilege to be part of it.”

ABC production in Western Australia will include a joint ScreenWest initiative of 16 x half hours of factual entertainment, an 8 part factual Who’s Been Sleeping In My House? and a new ABC3 13 x 15 minute comedy series featuring Geoff Paine and Luke Ledger, cousin of the late Heath Ledger.

Can We Help? will remain on air until June.


  1. Saturday evening time slot killed this show. It worked well on Fridays with Collectors shown on the same evening attracting the same demographic. Very sorry to see it go. Loved the whole package.
    Although I love cooking I certainly will not be watching yet another cooking program set to replace “Can We Help?” 6pm Saturdays in NSW.

  2. I only heard about the axing last Saturday. It is such a shame. I agree with the other commentators, I liked the studio setting best. But having Kate Burridge in the library with Pete of late is much better than having her sitting in the room all alone. I agree this is the most interesting segment and should have had more time devoted to it. Although more are being made, how many Perth based TV shows are there? ‘Can We Help’ should not have been axed. I suppose it will make way for more news programs. Everyone knows that there are not many of these on ABC1 (the only ABC channel we can get here).

  3. The changes to the format I could live with, the move to Saturday a big mistake and clearly, with hindsight, a sign of what was to come. Very sad. Now who will answer our questions???

  4. I agree with all the comments. I loved the studio based format. Hate the current format. I assumed the show was doing what it could with an ever-shrinking budget but I switched off a while ago.

  5. I agree with all the comments. When I saw the new format – well the magic was gone and so was I. Such a shame. Fools couldn’t leave well enough alone.

  6. Writing was on the wall when the ABC up to it’s normal tricks could not leave well enough alone.Would think ‘Collectors’ may hang a bit longer but in the end will go the same way.

  7. Christopher Chance

    What can one say, it was an excellent programme, sadly a lot of peeps do other stuff on Saturday evenings and couldn’t/can’t watch it.

    Bert Lance’s old adage sums it up, “if it aint broke don’t fix it”

  8. Once they changed the format this was a given – the fact that the ‘Perth produced’ was now pretty much shot in Melbourne (for Rowsthorn at least) and the complete lack of atmosphere (Kate now in a dark room all alone) meant I switched off a while ago.

    They emphasised the most boring parts, and de-emphasised the more interesting, such as Wise Words.

  9. I said they would kill this show…..changing the format and putting it on a 5PM Sat. nights…..
    It would still rate…if they put everyone back in the studio….and we had the interaction and they put it back to its original timeslot……

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