TV Tonight recently asked TV programmers to nominate the one show that kept them awake at night.
Five nominated concerning shows that are pretty self-explanatory, and one nominated a favourite show that was like a good book he couldn’t put down.
Brendan Dahill, ABC Head of Programming
How Not to Behave
“It looked great on paper. And it looked like an ABC Entertainment show on paper. But it’s that magic alchemy of TV that just didn’t work.
“Everyone worked really hard to make the show, but what we all had in our mind’s eye just didn’t work quite the way we thought it would.
“That and my scheduling decision of Please Like Me are probably the two I wish I’d had a chance to do again.”
Angus Ross, Director of Programming, Seven
Cats Make You Laugh Out Loud
“With what was going on at the time it was multiple nights sleep! There was a need to quickly stabilise the schedule and we needed a number of shows to over-perform.
“And that did!”
Andrew Backwell, Managing Director of Programming & Production, Nine
“We had such high hopes for Gallipoli and it was a brilliantly made piece of television. But it just didn’t resonate. I was sitting in front of my computer at 8:30 back then when the ratings came in and I was very surprised by the performance of the show.
“Only later did I realise that all the networks had done programming around ANZAC Day (Anniversary) but none of it resonated. There wasn’t interest in the market.
“I was particularly disappointed because I do think it was brilliantly made and a very important piece of TV. It just shows you that in this industry, no-one knows it all and anybody who does is an idiot.”
Beverley McGarvey, Chief Programming Officer, TEN
I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!
“Because it’s Live and in the jungle. There’s wildlife out there so that probably is the scariest for many reasons.
“It’s only year 2. It’s in Africa. There are lions out there.
“Being Live is also an opportunity because if something isn’t right you can tweak it as you go.
“But in recent memory Celebrity is probably the show that has kept me awake if I haven’t been lucky enough to be asleep in the first place.”
Peter Andrews, Head of Network Programming, SBS
“It certainly created a media frenzy, and although didn’t specifically keep me ‘awake at night’, we stood by the program and were confident of the production despite the media frenzy at hand.
Brian Walsh, Director of Television, Foxtel
A Place to Call Home
“I was encouraged by a family member to watch it. And when I did it was like a good book, I couldn’t put it down. I binged Season 1 and 2 in 4 days, so it literally did keep me up at night -in a great way.
“It was a wonderful discovery. Then I was so determined to get the show on air.
“So that kept me awake at night until I got the deal done with Angus Ross at Seven.”