Nine’s Head of Drama resigns

Channel Nine’s Head of Drama, Jo Horsburgh, has resigned after 8 years with the network.

She is leaving to pursue new challenges.

Nine’s Director of Television, Michael Healy, says, “We would like to thank Jo for her enormous contribution to the network over the past eight years.

“Her dedication and commitment to the role has led to the incredible successes of the much loved series Sea Patrol, Rescue Special Ops and, of course, the outstanding critical and ratings success of the Underbelly franchise.

“We are pleased that while Jo is moving on, she leaves us with a great legacy – a slate of exciting, new drama projects to build on.”

During this time she has also overseen other Nine dramas including McLeod’s Daughters, Canal Road, The Strip, Wicked Love: The Maria Korp Story, Scorched, Cops LAC, Panic at Rock Island, Two Twisted, The King and Blood Brothers. Upcoming Nine dramas include Beaconsfield, Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket and Sundowner.

Nine’s Managing Director, Jeffrey Browne added, “Jo has excelled in her role as Head of Drama at Channel Nine.

“Her record speaks for itself; Underbelly: Razor was the highest rating debut for a drama series in recent history on Australian television.

“We wish her all the best and look forward to working with her in the future.”

Jo Horsburgh says, “It’s been a great ride at Nine. I have worked with amazing people and I am so thrilled to have had this experience, but it’s time to take some time out and discover other opportunities.”

A replacement will be announced in the coming weeks.

Earlier this week TV Tonight revealed Julie McGauran as Seven’s new Head of Drama in 2012.

21 Comments:

  1. Interesting to compare the different approach to succession planning in drama between Seven and Nine. Says it all really. The chaos at Nine continues. What is Nine’s drama strategy for 2012? Drama costs $800-1.2M per hour and needs to be guided by someone with both creative and financial management skills. Good luck with that Nine – I hope you find someone who can restore industry confidence in dealing with you.

  2. “UB razor was the highest rating debut for a drama series in recent history” and has slid in the ratings ever since the first gratuitous boob shot 5 minutes into the first episode.

  3. @RK
    I’m sure she’s a lovely person but the fact remains most of what ch 9 is patting her on the back for belongs on toilet paper. I’m sure after 8 years she must also have somewhat of a headache from banging her head against the brick wall that sits outside the ch 9 executive offices.

  4. Good riddance, hopefully they hire someone who actually knows how to make good drama. They were all flops apart from Underbelly obviously and Sea Patrol which was a moderate success.

    But for me Two Twisted was easily the best of the bunch, interesting, well written and quirky tales which was something different and outside the norm.

  5. I have worked with Jo and think she’s terrific – gutsy, committed, and fun to deal with. There are other v good people there in drama at Nine (Andy Ryan).

    But Jo’s track record – Underbelly, especially – is simply, and unarguably, impressive and she will do well wherever she ends up next.

  6. Wow this is big news. I hope they replace her with someone who has an interesting track record and not someone in-house or too Channel 9 ‘friendly’. They really need to think outside the square and perhaps canvas Producers/Production Companies to suggest talent. ‘Cause they’re the ones in the know.

  7. LOL all them shows are crap. Nine might improve now, doubt it, but it might. Nice resume she’ll have with Rescue Special Ops, Cops LAC, The Strip, Canal Road, Panic at Rock Island next to her name?

  8. Much loved dramas like Sea Patrol and RSO? Hmmm delusional Mr Healy, may I asked much loved by who apart from the lackeys hired to write that drivel? I’m sure in 20 years’ time no one will remember either of those 2 souless productions. I doubt anyone will remember them next year. And that’s why you deserve to not win a single week this ratings year 9. But what the hell keep patting yourselves on the back, no one else will.

  9. Yes her record does speak for itself I’m afraid. Eddie Maguire commissioned the first Underbelly and the rest of slate has been a big disappointment. I hope they appoint someone with some vision and take a few commissioning risks. It’s time for a big drama re-think at Nine. I hope it’s also the end of the “landscape” dramas she talked about.

  10. More PR drivel talking up rubbish commissioned just to fulfill local content requirements. What world do the people who write these releases live in? Please take even the slightest risk and commission something that might actually take the viewing public beyond their comfort zone. Arguably underbelly 1 did this to a degree but it’s time to shelve that franchise and come up with something fresh – if they can.

  11. Quite a mix of credits here, one or two are very good, a few regular average shows and also a fair amount of garbage (the strip, rock island & korp). Not what you could call an outstanding record.

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