SBS viewers reject import, plea for Letters & Numbers return.
SBS axed a low-rent show in June and replaced it with the UK version. But it's a switch-off for audiences.
SBS viewers have rejected the import game show Countdown, brought in to replace the local series Letters and Numbers, axed in June.
Last week Countdown averaged just 36,000 viewers.
In the week it was axed, Letters and Numbers averaged more than three times the number: 128,000 viewers.
SBS axed the low-budget series starring Richard Morecroft, David Astle, and Lily Serna in order to save costs. It replaced it with the UK version, based on the French original.
But the UK series is failing to fire.
Letters and Numbers was also commissioned to give World News Australia a boost as a 6pm lead-in.
In June when Letters and Numbers was on air, World News Australia averaged 187,000. Last week it averaged 163,000.
Fans of Letters and Numbers have also taken to Facebook to vent their anger:
Countdown is pathetic, no brains involved except for the contestants. You will lose viewers.
Countdown sucks! So many awkward and clumsy moments! Bring back Letters and Numbers and the gang!
Sorry but the UK version of L&N sucks. Watched it for the first, and last time. Please bring back Richard and the team. Much, much, much better.
I am trying to accept the replacement show, but I really can’t! Two evenings of it will be enough.
I loved Letters and Numbers. How could you axe this wonderful show. The British show is awful. Most of the time I cannot understand what they are talking about in their ‘funny’ British way. You have lost me SBS until you reinstate Letters and Numbers.
An online petition has over 1000 comments and 4000 registered supporters.
Upon hearing of the axe, The Punch described the show’s nerdy appeal.
“We love everything about the show. The enthralling gameplay. The contestants, who apparently are forced to wear the unloved shirt at the bottom of their cupboard, and to keep them unironed at all costs. But above all, we love the hosts.”
While Lily Serna is currently appearing in Destination Flavour, the axing of the low-cost show in order to save costs, will go down as one of the more bizarre programming moves of the year.