TV’s unanswered questions: shows in limbo
Big Brother? Offspring? Hamish & Andy? Rake? Party Tricks? Programmers on the record about their future.
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.”
AUSTRALIA’S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS (Andrew Backwell, Nine)
“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.