Waiting game on favourite shows

What's the outlook for Miss Fisher, Gruen, Biggest Loser, Dancing with the Stars & more?


There are mixed fortunes for TV shows yet to be renewed by Aussie networks.

Here’s some hints, and a bit of educated guesswork, on shows we are waiting to hear about:

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, ABC.
Essie Davis is flying the Gold Logie flag for ABC, as their sole candidate. But ABC is yet to confirm a return for the series. Davis lives overseas with family so spending protracted time away has proven tricky, together with ABC budgets. ABC’s Brendan Dahill has said, “There are some logistical issues that we are trying to resolve. We’d love to bring more Miss Fisher back, but it means finding an affordable way of doing it.” There has been talk of a European-based movie but nothing is announced with Every Cloud Productions developing new work. Success at the Logies would be a shot in the arm.

Gruen, ABC
One of ABC’s most popular shows. ABC had been planning for a return for Gruen later in the year to coincide with the Federal Election. Now a July 2 election is on the cards, there are whispers it has hit the fast forward button. Wil Anderson has comedy touring dates until May 7 on his website. Also don’t rule out a return for Gruen Sweat to tie into the Olympics. “We have an Olympic year and an election year. (So between) Gruen Sweat and Gruen Nation it’s a perfect Gruen year, isn’t it?” Dahill teased earlier this year.

The Chaser: Yes We Canberra, The Hamster Wheel, ABC
Another act that keeps us guessing. Currently tied up with The Checkout and Planet America, the Chaser boys were also counting on a later election. Again there is talk of bringing everything forward but it’s a big ask with other shows currently on air.

Dancing with the Stars, Seven
Seven announced the show’s return late last year but programmer Angus Ross threw a question mark over the show several months ago: “I would suggest, as it is every year, the return of Dancing with the Stars is dependent on the cast you can get together as to whether it would return this year or not.” No further word with Seven’s year dictated by the Olympics in August.


The Biggest Loser / TBL Families, TEN
With no auditions announced it’s hard to see this one returning in 2016, but TEN may yet return the series later. Earlier this year, Beverley McGarvey said, “We think there is life in the brand, it’s unique in the space that it occupies, and we’re very mindful of not throwing away brands. It’s very hard to launch a new brand so for that to be around for 10 years ….we are just working through it with Shine.”

Please Like Me, ABC.
After its dud timeslot, the broadcast numbers sank, but Please Like Me‘s audience is very iview-driven and the future may lie with interest from Pivot in the US. There are whispers one more season is looking good. “There are lots of fingers in the pie now,” star Debra Lawrance said. “Don’t underestimate the international audience. There are people tweeting from all over the world, who just love it.” Josh Thomas and the show are also up for Logies.

Utopia, ABC.
Not in 2016, hopefully in 2017.

Big Brother, Nine.
Unlikely. There are rumours Nine has been exploring whether it can justify the show’s cost as a GO! model.

The Family Law, SBS
Expected to be renewed. SBS Head of Scripted Content Sue Masters is enthused about “scripts coming in a mile a minute.”

Struggle Street, SBS
After stellar ratings everybody expects SBS to confirm a new season. It has been rumoured to be exploring filming opportunities, which may well be code for actual filming. “It provoked debate which is what SBS is all about. We need to provoke debate so that the conversation continues,” programmer Peter Andrews has said. “We haven’t made a final decision regarding a second series.”

Go Back to Where You Came From, SBS
No announcements and no rumours on this one. Short of applying the model to another topic (and First Contact arguably does that anyway), the feeling is 3 seasons have covered asylum seekers admirably. DNA Nation may also take its place as a premium doco series.

Open Slather, Foxtel.
Not returning. Producers and select talent in development on new projects.

Dirty Laundry Live, ABC.
Not returning but Lawrence Mooney has a pilot in ABC’s Comedy showroom which you can access on iview from Wednesday night.


Chris Lilley: Jamie: Private School Girl / Jonah From Tonga, ABC
Said to be considering next project. A change in direction would be welcome.

Kitchen Cabinet, ABC.
Nothing official, but Annabel Crabb will comprise ABC election season.

The Great Australian Bake Off, Foxtel
Returning later this year.

The Ex-PM, ABC
Micallef’s year is usually mapped out well in advance. Mad as Hell is back and he has an Odd Couple stage production in November. Docos and writing often comprise time in the calendar too. Nothing official.

The Hot PlateCelebrity Come Dine with Me, Nine
The former is out. The latter is out for now (and probably all of 2016) after Nine pulled the pin at the last minute.


The Verdict, Nine
Nine announced its return late last year but has gone very quiet on public plans for a show that was riddled with teething problems. This is a show that still doesn’t know what it is yet. Nine has bigger news issues to address right now, but it always has Thursdays to fill once the Footy Shows wrap.

Sabour Bradley: Head First, ABC.
Australia’s answer to Louis Theroux. Nothing official, but his website indicates, “In 2015 I’m lucky enough to be working on some exciting new projects with some amazing collaborators that are not only more challenging than anything I’ve ever done before but creatively the most fulfilling. We’re building on what’s come before and branching out into some totally new areas, which is always exciting and scary in the best way.”

Little Lunch, ABC3
Some talk of specials by the very busy folk at Gristmill.

11 Responses

  1. Just an idea on BB (should they want to pursue a multi-channel option). They could do two tightly edited shows (90 minute eviction on Sunday & a 60 minute mid-week wrap up on Thursday) which cover nominations/evictions and a brief summary of the events from the house on the main channel (for those who don’t want to commit to a 6 night a week series) and then do daily show on the multi-channel 7 nights a week for the die hard fans. Add a paid live streaming service and I think you could have a way the show could work for future years.

  2. Really hoping for 1 more season of Please Like Me. Also enjoyed The Family Law and would like to see a second season but if they decide against it that would be totally fine with me.

  3. Wil has mentioned a couple of times on his podcast(s) that he’s deliberately left the latter half of the year open for Both seasons of Gruen. He’s also said a few times that he thinks this year will probably be the last.

  4. My favourite AU panel show “Have You Been Paying Attention” is back May 9th.

    A shame about my second favourite AU panel show “Dirty Laundry Live”, I liked its barely restrained chaos.

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