ABC to yank Spicks & Specks from schedule

Exclusive: ABC will hit pause on its music show, conceding it hasn't resonated well with audiences.

2014-05-29_2325EXCLUSIVE: ABC will shortly pull Spicks and Specks from Wednesday nights, conceding it hasn’t performed as well as it had hoped.

3 more episodes will screen before it is parked.

The rebooted show was largely well-received by critics, with many acknowledging the degree of difficulty it faced in replacing Adam Hills, Myf Warhurst and Alan Brough. The original production order was extended from its initial 20 episodes to 26, all of which have been filmed.

But ratings have not improved against stiff competition, last week attracting 490,000 in Overnight viewers.

ABC will now hit the pause button at episode 20 and reschedule the remaining 6 eps later in the year.

ABC1 Channel Controller Brendan Dahill said, “Josh, Ella and Adam did a terrific job of breathing new life into Spicks and Specks.

“We’re very proud of their efforts. We believe this year’s Spicks was every bit as entertaining as its long-running predecessor, but we sadly accept that it hasn’t resonated with viewers to the degree we had hoped.”

No word on the reception for Jonah from Tonga, which has tracked even lower.

ABC is yet to confirm what will take its place.

33 Responses

  1. I’m sorry to read this. I have no opinion if the show was good or bad purely because I never watched it. All because of my ridiculous fear of random computer graphics showing up at the end. I just ration how many times I experience that a week. This wasn’t a show I chose to experience it with. Maybe they should try risky things on Friday like they did with Mad As Hell. I don’t know.

  2. Disappointing. I didn’t love it at first but as it’s settled in I thought the new S&S settled in pretty well. It’s a bit poor to dump it with only 6 weeks to go. This is the same channel that thumped us over the head with Randling for months on end, even though it was a resounding dud from day one.

  3. @Bazza : I would put money on it that you would have said the same about the ‘original’ after 17 episodes. We feel warm towards the old crew now cause they were around for so long.

  4. I really liked it. I thought it was a good replica of the original. One of the things I like about comedy is that it’s polarising. ABC is full of good examples of this.
    I didn’t know they bumped the final of Agony, so I missed it. I don’t dislike Jonah as much as most though. There are lot’s of kids like him according to a teacher friend.

  5. I’m also really disappointed. It did take a while to find its feet, but now it’s one of those shows that we watch within days of it airing (compared to our eps of RocKwiz that sit on the DVR for months!) It’s still got what made the original special. It still makes me laugh. I still get excited about those quirky talented bands they find to transform songs. It still has me yelling at the TV. Just when it felt like I had the show back, after those early teething problems … gone again. Not happy ABC! Time to grieve all over again.

  6. Very disappointed to hear this. While it took me a few eps to get used to the new regulars, I’ve come to love them.

    @adrianguest – I totally agree. Josh is a fantastic find.

  7. As has been said before, maybe if they didn’t have the original repeated at 7pm very night they could have given it half a chance. Disappointing.

  8. Bazza’s comment pretty much sums up how I felt about it. It was a hard ask, coming in after the original. However, even if we didn’t have that to compare with, this would be yet another one of those almost-but-not-quite panel shows that the ABC has been investing in recently, like Tractor Monkeys and Dirty Laundry.

    Its worst failing is the lack of chemistry between the team and their guests. On the original, most of the guests behaved like they were old mates. The original did take a little while to find its feet but not 20 eps. Replays of the original can’t be helping either.

    “ABC is yet to confirm what will take its place”
    Hopefully not more Chris Lilley or more QI (17 times a week is enough). Why not move the repeats of the original to this slot?

  9. @ J Bar

    They will never move Dirty Laundry Live to ABC1 – it’s too rude and potentially litigious.

    ABC2 is perfect for this show – is developing a minor cult status I think…

  10. Disappointing news.
    Yes, this rebooted version hasn’t been nearly as good as the original but I’ve grown to quite like it.
    Ella and Adam are very likeable and some of the guests and weird and wonderful bands that appear each week are really entertaining.

    I think they just need a different host.
    A shame to see it go.
    Doubt they will replace it with anything better.

  11. Such a shame, I really enjoyed the new look S&S. Don’t forget ABC, it took awhile for the original to find its footing and find its audience. It was always going to be a big ask to take a beloved quiz show and make it their own, but I think Ella & Adam did an outstanding job. They have a broad range of musical knowledge (really, Mariah to opera is no mean feat!). I like Josh fine enough, but think he’s trying too hard in his role to be funny and he’s still speaking too fast. I hope they renew it later down the track, hopefully with the same team captains.

  12. Why don’t they move Dirty Laundry Live to ABC1? At least that show gives you plenty of laughs.
    Also, rather than showing so many repeats and unfunny UK series, I recommend they screen comedy series like This Is Littleton, Twentysomething and Please Like Me on Wednesdays on ABC1 before repeating them on ABC2.

  13. Sad to see the ABC acting like the commercials. They bump Agony’s last ep to later int he night to put on Jonah. They put old Spicks and Specks on early in the night while trying to promote this one. Remember when Angry Boys was tanking and they started running “Sneak Peaks” of the next episode to promote it. Chris Lilley seems to be some sort of protective species. The DVD is released before the series has finished (a first?) and then the promotional cinema tour is cancelled. He rates terrible numbers but they bump the show before him.

    1. No question Jonah has not rated well, with or without advance binge sessions. Bumping the final Agony, which had been rating above Spicks, was poor form. Jonah will run its full season and Spicks will wrap around the same time.

  14. Bazza, are you watching the same show? Josh Earl is a real find. Ella is extremely knowledgeable for someone so young. Adam is always a hoot.
    Pity ABC didn’t mercy kill Randling earlier, they had even more episodes in the can.

  15. Perception is a whole lot in this industry, and ‘parking’ or ‘pausing’ a series during its run is not a good look. The ABC rarely does this, and i don’t think its a good move. Commercially anytime a show gets bumped or relocated it never improves, so ‘burying’ the series is what it inevitably does.

  16. This is mindboggling. The quality of the show, panel, musical talent – all as good as the original show. Did ABC promote it well?

  17. It’s nowhere near as engaging as the original series, for a host of reasons.

    The three regulars simply don’t have the same depth of character to them, nor the same broad musical knowledge and comedic timing. The host is simply annoying the majority of the time, I find myself watching the show hoping the camera will quickly go to anyone but him. At no time do you feel ‘invited in’, as we did with the old team.

    The writing seems weaker allround as well. The games are often trite rather than entertaining. There seems little chemistry between the regulars and the guests and the whole event somehow feels more shallow.

Leave a Reply