ABC slips on Bananas in Pyjamas’ future
No more episodes guaranteed for Bananas in Pyjamas animation.
The internationally-successful brand, which began as a live action series in 1992, is currently screening the last 52 of 156 animated episodes.
These are part-produced in Singapore as a co-production with German children’s television channel, KiKA.
ABC’s head of children’s content, Tim Brooke-Hunt, told Fairfax the show didn’t generate enough money to justify a fourth season, and that overseas merchandise figures would be a deciding factor. He confirmed ABC4Kids on ABC2 is funded from the previously existing, general allocation for the ABC.
In a statement, ABC said, “In order to make the most of our significant investment in the hugely popular program, we will continue airing these episodes to a new generation of Australian pre-schoolers, as has been our standard practice in children’s television for more than two decades.
“Another series of Bananas in Pyjamas will go through the usual commissioning process to determine future production of the program. This process does not relate to current Government funding.
“In 2012 ABC4Kids was the highest ranking children’s television service for pre-schoolers aged 0 – 4 and we acknowledge the invaluable contribution Bananas in Pyjamas has made to that success.”
Last month Brooke-Hunt told TV Tonight the show was playing out very well for the ABC.
“It’s doing extremely well for us, and it’s also doing very well overseas,” he said.
“We made the decision when we were looking to revive Bananas that it made sense to go into animation, so we’re resting all the live action ones. But we might at some point in the future come back to live action. But to be honest with you, it’s been an easier financing job with the animated version. The costs are not that different. It’s quite an expensive thing to do …. but the results have been very gratifying.”
Asked if Bananas brand would end after the latest block of 52 episodes he said, “No. Not at all.”
“We play that show everyday, twice a day. And every showing gets a great audience.”