TV’s unanswered questions: shows in limbo

Big Brother? Offspring? Hamish & Andy? Rake? Party Tricks? Programmers on the record about their future.

Sonia KrugerBig Brother, Offspring, Hamish & Andy, Party Tricks -they are some of the shows which fans are still awaiting good news.

TV Tonight asked some of our programmers to clear the air on shows in limbo.

BIG BROTHER (Andrew Backwell, Nine)

“No decision has been made on Big Brother. It’s fair to say I was disappointed with the ratings. It was certainly far from a disaster. Every audience with our shows is demos and as you know our target at Channel Nine is we don’t care about winning All People. It’s all about delivering the demos, it’s what advertisers need. Plus, if you remember, on catch-up online, it did an incredible job.

“It created a lot of revenue for Mi9 and you get so much volume out of it. It was 86 hours or something that we got out of it so it’s very cost effective TV. It’s not a cheap show but when you get so much content out of it, it makes the cost-per-hour cost effective. So that’s why we haven’t cut it loose. We’re still considering it.

“There’s still time for us to get it up for the last quarter, but only just. So we have to make a call on it very shortly and that all comes down to crunching the numbers with the audience it delivers, with the revenue it delivers, and with the amount of content, and just to see if it’s viable for us.

“What I think is worth seeing is if we can get it across our primary channel and one of our multi channels such as GO! So you can have some daily shows on GO! some events on Nine.

“So you’d have to look at having your eviction shows and your nomination shows on Nine to make it viable and then push that young audience to GO! for the daily shows. And I’m thinking that, if we could make it financially work, which is the big key to it, it would rate through the roof on GO! because you’ve got a dedicated bunch of fans. You’ve probably got 400,000 or 500,000 fans that will watch it whether it’s on Nine or GO!”

OFFSPRING (Beverley McGarvey, TEN)

“Unfortunately my answer is the same as it was last year. It hasn’t moved any further forward, we would love to be working on it, but we don’t have a firm answer. Believe me the minute we get firm answers on Offspring we will be singing from the rooftop.

(Asher) is unavailable at the minute anyway. It is an important show, we just don’t want to write it off before we really examine all the options.

PUBERTY BLUES (Beverley McGarvey, TEN)

“No (news). It’s the same production company as Offspring so we are sort of going through the same issues.”

PARTY TRICKS (Beverley McGarvey, TEN)

“We haven’t decided on Party Tricks yet.

“I think there was a lot to like about the show. We would have liked it to have done a bit better, but the quality of the cast and the calibre of the show, John Edwards, Imogen Banks, Asher, Rodger, it’s such a great team. It’s an interesting subject area for Australian drama to mine.

“So we will sit down now and look at our drama slate across the board and decide what we do moving forward.

“It certainly won’t be in the short term with Asher having some time off.”

HAMISH & ANDY’S GAP YEAR (Andrew Backwell, Nine)

“We would love to have Hamish and Andy back on air. I think it would be great. They’ve obviously done a great job in the last couple of years. At this stage, my understanding is they’re concentrating on their new radio gig. That’s going to take them up to the first half of this year and then we’ll talk to them after that and see if there’s time to do some TV.”


“I’m not going to say that we’ll never bring it back. It’s sitting there. We have the ability to bring it back any time. And we’ve got a lot of content so we could get into production very quickly. That’s all sitting there but, no, we don’t currently have plans to produce new episodes.”

Rake (Brendan Dahill, ABC)
“I love Rake. I want a fourth season of Rake. So I am planning on another season, but it won’t make it to air this year.”

NB: Dahill also notes Jack Irish production later this year is subject to the availability of Guy Pearce and Marta Dusseldorp and likely to air in 2016, which may mean any new Janet King is also some time off.

25 Responses

  1. I’d love to see BB move to GO. The biggest problem with BB on Nine IMO has been that they have tried to make it a “family show”. On GO there would be a lot more leeway I would think. People who like watching BB don’t want a sanitized version – it needs to be warts and all! We want a live stream, less bleeping of swear words, show the ‘adult’ stuff. Give them plenty of alcohol. And casting – OMG the casting – needs real people not a bunch of show ponies. The best results have always come when you put a group of people in who are all very different from each other.

  2. I dont think Janet King is even an option while Marta is tied up with A Place to Call Home…which I believe starts filming in March…and 2 series now…not just the one that Seven did not finish….and I guess that would also affect Jack Irish…just my thoughts…

  3. As much as I loved PB and Offsprng, I think Ten have moved on. Nine made a meal of Big Brother. I would love to see BB return to Ten in their third quarter TBA slot. Ten is proving with I’m A Celeb no one does ‘fly on the wall” tv better than them.

  4. It will be sad not to see anymore Janet King soon, i hope it doesn’t then get put on the scrap heap. Although it would be no suprise that Marta would be offered more lucrative projects, she is very talented.

  5. @David Knox I may be proven wrong, but having just given birth I highly doubt Sonia Kruger will commit to both BB and Mornings this year. I heard her state somewhere previously its a pace she wouldn’t be able to sustain if married or with children.

  6. All I want to know is this Are nine ever going to show arrow season 3?are they going to show the flash? & is channel 7 going to bring back Once upon a time S4? & also Gotham yes it’s not really that great but I heard that it is slowly getting much better like agents of shield did in season 2 I need something to watch on a sunday

  7. Thanks for this David.
    Hoping against hope for Offspring, Puberty blues and also Janet King which isn’t mentioned here. I wouldn’t mind more party tricks. It was better in the end.

    @dan – yes I agree with you. That all needs to happen.

  8. I loved Offspring but I think it’s time to let it go. It had an appropriate send off. I think let it go out on a high.

    Party Tricks I think deserves a second series. The first didn’t rate that well but that wasn’t helped by Ten scheduling it on Monday night where it drowned in competition. Maybe run the 1st series again on another night leading into a second series. But if Asher Keddie is unavailable then I guess it’s not an option, anyway.

  9. Hedging on Wonderland’s success or that they’ll simply make their drama quote?

    Ten ran the most recent Wonderland promo the other night – laugh out loud! At least they’re not pretending it’s of any quality anymore. At best It’s a lacklustre incredibly expensive soap (and by soap, I mean something that should air daily and be produced relatively cheaply).

    Most of the shows reported seem dead with the exception of Hamish and Andy who have proven very good at holding out for a top price. No way Nine will be letting them go.

  10. They’re dead Jim.

    There has been no PB shot since 2012/13 and the story is over. Ten sat on S2 for nearly 2 years because of poor ratings and yet we are expected to believe they are keen to put up enough money to commission a whole new show with no story, scripts or cast 3 or 4 years later.

    Asher Keddie is unavailable for an unspecified amount of time because she is starting a family and she is those shows. PT was a flop anyway. Offspring was rating 800k before they got a boost from heavily promoting killing off Patrick.

    Ten have hedged with Wonderland and Neighbours for drama points and will have to try out new shows. They will have to learn to survive without Keddie for a while at least.

    BB could be revived at sometime, but not this year thankfully.

  11. If 9 get their hands near big brother again they can not give us the same amount of access that they did last year. It needs to be more.

    They scrapped the video/live updates on the Internet last year too, and they need to come back.

    Also don’t dare bring back those double/triple evictions every week. It was like they were trying to get it over and done with asap.

    If you’re not going to treat it well don’t put it back on air at all.

    They should really just allow 10 to have it back. 10 are even doing live internet streaming of I’m a celebrity let me out of here after the show finishes on TV each night.

  12. I think fans need to give up on Big Brother returning to its original form (Friday night games, online stream, uplate, etc). It’s clear that Channel Nine were in it for the money, and doing those extra things for their audience would cost much more than they’re willing to spend on a cash grab show.

    If it does return this year, it’s going to be further watered down and aired on GO! (Probably with premiere/eliminations/finale airing on Nine).

  13. Thank you for th insights, David. I really appreciate it

    I do hope it comes back in Q4. I’d be interested to see how well it performs on GO! Perhaps they could simulcast the live events on both channels?

  14. Big brother could come back and be a success again but this is what I think needs to be done to make it a success

    1 have real people like the reggies Chrissies Alice’s peters Trevors etc

    2 bring back the live stream

    3 bring back Friday night live with mike bree and fitzy and put some money into it don’t do it on a shoe string budget like it was in 2011

    4 bring back up late with mike

    5 put it on at the same time each night and leave it there

  15. “… at Channel Nine (is) we don’t care about winning All People. It’s all about delivering the demos, it’s what advertisers need.”

    Hmmm, honest… But maybe a bit too blunt. I’d like to see him advertise that to the whole of Australia, and then see what happens.

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