Will there be more Offspring? “Never say never…” say producers.

There are cost challenges facing an Offspring renewal, but producers remain optimistic for more.

2014-06-18_0051With A Place to Call Home ending at just two seasons, and the future of Puberty Blues still to be decided, what does the future hold for one of the nation’s favourite dramas, Offspring?

In 2012 TEN renewed the show for two more seasons, a rarity in the drama landscape.

With the series final now just 6 weeks away, the show is still one of the network’s best performers.

TV Tonight asked producer John Edwards if fans can look forward to more?

“I don’t know. We don’t have an absolute view on it at all. I think the show is going extremely well,” he said.

“But there are all sorts of problems. It costs 30% more because we’re over 65 episodes.

“So it (costs more) already and there are up lifts on the cast. There are significant difficulties and there are scheduling difficulties because we’re doing things.

“But never say never.”

At 65 episodes Offspring is no longer eligible for a Tax Rebate on its costs –a number that also saw Rush, Sea Patrol and Dance Academy take their leave.

Puberty Blues is also yet to have a third season greenlit while writer Tony McNamara is directing his own film in the US.

Edwards explains that Offspring’s season final offers a natural season conclusion but not necessarily the last word on Nina Proudman.

“There’s a completion, and we would have done more Puberty Blues if we were in a position to, but the Tony thing has put a temporary kibosh on that,” he explained.

Meanwhile Edwards is busy with his massive Gallipoli series for Nine while co-producer Imogen Banks is overseeing the 6 part political romance Party Tricks for TEN with Asher Keddie and Rodger Corser.

“If it works we’d aim to do 10 next year and there’s no reason, I would have thought, not to. Nobody’s done a show in that area and had it work before,” Edwards says.

“Rodger Corser and Asher are just dynamite together.”

While Edwards has been prolific with recent titles including Howzat, Beaconsfield, Tangle and Paper Giants, he concedes short-run dramas are not his preferred medium.

“I would still like to be doing longer stuff with slightly different aims,” he acknowledges.

“Things ebb and flow and at the moment we’re seeing all these short-running series, but I don’t think that’s sustainable because out of necessity you have Australian show up against Australian show and we’re cannibalising ourselves, spreading our resources too thin. I don’t think it’s the most rational way of being.

“Frankly, I’d like to be doing a long-running show.

“Everybody thinks (short-run) are more fun and artistically more gratifying. Bullshit. I don’t find them so. I enjoyed doing 22 parts of Rush and 22 parts of Secret Life. The only reason we did 8 and 10 at a time of Love My Way is that was all the money they had.

“With Offspring 13 a year is fine, but 22 is better. That’s what I really regard the real thing as being.”

24 Responses

  1. “….for one of the nation’s favourite dramas….”

    Really?? Now hold up a minute….

    ….Channel 10 doesn’t speak for me, so why does it think it’s speaking for the whole nation? Offspring isn’t my favourite drama; it was (and remains) Rush.

    Tell me something; why are executives in general so bloody stupid and so intellectually handicapped?

    Who decides which moron they’re going to overpay to ruin top Aussie dramas in favour of limp-writsted, yawn-worthy, waste of space, reality shows, heavily sterilized news programs and crap they call ‘drama’, but which really aren’t?

    Why did they cancel Rush (which is streets ahead of ‘offspring’)? If it was because the actors felt they’d had enough, then that’s fair enough, but if not, then there wasn’t a single valid excuse for their stupidity.

    It all goes back to the overpaid, unintelligent suit monkey hired to…

  2. As brilliant as Offspring has undoubtedly been, once everyone’s been through the births, deaths and marriages cycle a couple of times it’s going to start to feel repetitive. The market needs to decide if it’s prepared to support/fund more than 65 episodes and Victor is right – Seven would do it. However, I agree with the previous comment about Asher Keddie – it’s very much her call if she wants to continue or not. Maybe she’s had enough of Nina after 5 series.

  3. In general, it truly saddens me to know that one of the reasons Aust. series get cancelled is because producers and/or networks no longer receive tax incentives for them. Surely if Senator Turnbull read this article he would be enraged to know that networks and producers are abusing the law which was created to increase Aust. productions but is instead being used to determine which ones to cancel.
    But more specifically given Offspring is one of TEN’s best rating shows, and most well received (both publically and critically) I do hope for their sake that it isn’t cancelled.

  4. If Asher Keddie doesn’t want to do another season it doesn’t really matter what anyone else wants. They can’t do it without her. She’s in practically every scene and it would be a very high workload. Given she’s shooting a new show I think it’s incredibly unlikely it’s coming back even if 10 wants it to. I imagine they’ll wrap it up this season.

  5. JJ it may have some impact depending on the network. But for example Seven the undisputed leaders in high rating drama would probably commit to a long running drama after the 65 hours ended if the ratings remained high. It would really depend on the budget and the size of the deficit without the tax rebate. Offspring is not an expensive show to produce although the lead actors may now be demanding their pound of flesh.

  6. I really hope Ten will renew Offspring for at least one or two more season. Offspring is one of the few shows I have stayed with from it’s beginning. They have so many stories they can tell if they get another two seasons. This season is their best yet, and while I do like shows going out on a high, I believe the creative at Offspring can bring in more exciting story lines if it was renewed by Ten.

    I can just imagine the social media campaign to save Offspring.

    I’d rather 22 episodes of Offspring over Wonderland any day.

    The ensemble cast is brilliant and tonights episode was well done!

  7. From a brand perspective. Ten cannot afford to drop offspring. They need every eyeball they can. But if they drop it due to finances An other network will pick it up. Seven or nine. Maybe foxtel.

  8. @ victor I never knew that the producer offset was only introduced in 2008. With the tax break being capped at 65 episodes, I wonder if that is the reason why there are no more once or twice weekly long running (as in 45 weeks per year for many years) drama serials on TV?

  9. OMG. I didn’t want to be worried about Offspring but maybe I was right to be worried. Just please renew it. Channel 10 if you know what’s good for you you will renew it. (as well as Puberty Blues). While I would love 22 eps I actually think it will drag out more and wouldn’t be as fabulous as it is now with 13 eps. I love Offspring so much, everything about it is just amazing to watch, I would hate for it to end.

  10. I would hate to see Offspring end – it is just the most brilliant show. Each and every week for the past 5 seasons I have been competely enthralled by the performances, writing and character of the show. It is, in my opinion one of the greatest Australian Dramas ever produced. To not get more when it is still on such a high would be incredibly disappointing.

    Onto the topic of Puberty Blues, not surprising, as disappointing as it is. Season 2 had been in the bag for a while you can’t have people just sitting around waiting on word of Season 3, we all have bills to pay.

    13ep vs 22ep seasons – There are very few shows that can pull off 22episodes of brilliance, there is usually always a period of filler – generally from episodes 13-18. I would much rather get my teeth into a 13 episode season of high quality than to have it stretch out over 22 episodes.

  11. I honestly don’t think Ten have any other choice than to renew Offspring… It’s their top rating, most consistent drama. I was also a big fan of Rush, so if Offspring endures the same fate then I say this 65 episode tax rebate is essentially killing Australian shows

  12. Please don’t end it yet most Australian shows have very little episode count. this show is one of a kind and deserves to live on. its won loads of awards and also its got great ratings.

  13. A comment like “never say never” usually means that whilst something is not impossible, it is also unlikely.
    If a 6th season of Offspring is to go ahead you would imagine that pre-production would need to commence shortly? Unless there is to be an hiatus with Offspring to screen later next year or in 2016.

  14. It’ll be a real shame if Offspring ends this year.
    TEN should allow the producers to write an ending they want, and seeing as how it’s their highest rating scripted series, I hope it makes sense for them to ensure at least one more season.

  15. I know someone that worked on this show, says they were not given any confirmation either way. But none of the staff are expecting a call for another season, they have all moved on. That 2 season renewal seems a giveaway to me.

    Completely disagree with his views on a 13/22 ep season. When it comes to serial drama less is always more. 13 eps is good for getting a neat beginning, middle and end. 22 episode seasons always have filler episodes where nothing happens apart from dragging the season out. I think Revenge would be much better condensed into 13 eps.

  16. It says a lot about Ten that the loss of the Producer Offset which is a maximum of 20% of the budget, may be a reason not to renew. The Producer Offset was only introduced in 2008 and prior to that the broadcasters paid for a long running series in full. That is about 40 years of TV drama production. The fact is that Ten has looked for years for cheap ways of achieving its compulsory drama quota under its licence, buying cheap New Zealand product to broadcast in summer ratings or the UK initiated series Out Of The Blue in 2007/08 which emerged as a complete dog and waste of money. It is about time Ten’s CEO and Board bit the bullet on Australian drama, admitted its cheapskate approach and invested heavily in development and production. Offspring should be renewed without the blink of an eye despite the extra cost and Australian drama should be considered as fundamental to its strategy…

  17. Rush was the best police series ever in Australia – I was devastated when it finished. Now I know why.

    An enormous shame, and even more so if Offspring meets its maker for the same reason.

  18. Apropos Party Tricks & Edwards’ comment that no-one has done anything in this area successfully ABC did a sitcom in the early 90’s called Dearest Enemy about a couple on opposing sides of political parties.

    As much as I love Offspring and Keddie; to cast her at the same time on the same network in another role is risky. Kat Stewart pulled it off (just) in Mr and Mrs Murder, as it was such a different character, but again with actors such as Marta Dusseldorp, Claudia Karvan et al securing several lead roles concurrently risks at least one failure.

  19. I may sound bias as some of the my comments are directed at offspring, but it is a truly mesmerising show! Please Channel Ten, think about the viewers, not the bank account for this show. It delivers the best ratings for any channel ten drama; it has won more awards than most other Drama’s on television; it gets better and better. If Channel Ten cancel this show, then i have no sympathy for the network’s struggles!

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