Less cats & dogs, more local content say Producers.
Cat videos in primetime is of "no benefit," says Screen Producers Australia.
Industry voices have reminded networks to uphold local content instead of running animal video clips following ratings drawcards Cats Make You Laugh Out Loud and Dogs Make You Laugh Out Loud on Seven.
Seven has another tomorrow night followed by more cats next week.
Matthew Deaner, CEO of Screen Producers Australia told TV Tonight, “Screen Producers Australia doesn’t think that running UK cat and dog clip shows in prime time is of any benefit for local Australian producers, however this is a worldwide market we are in and we need to take note of what viewers are watching. To be fair to Seven, this show was only put in the schedule due to a failure of a locally produced show.
“We would rather there was a focus on the Seven Network making more shows with the independent sector than criticise them too much for what clearly was a response to the performance of an Australian show.
“We are of course concerned to ensure, more generally, that all the commercial free to air networks are commissioning prime time content from the Australian independent production sector.”
Meanwhile Zoe Angus, director of Actors Equity, echoed similar sentiments in an interview with News Corp.
“My concern is that the balance is out of kilter,” she said. “Commercial networks invest much more money in reality than local dramas.”
But Seven’s director of programming Brad Lyons pointed to upcoming local dramas Peter Allen: Not the Boy Next Door and 800 Words.
“We believe in good stories that are well told,” he said.
“Drama has always been part of our DNA and mantra. I think people still have an appetite for Australian stories, whether short form or long form.”