EXCLUSIVE: Nine has signed a 2 year deal with Turner Broadcasting for Adult Swim animations to screen late nights on GO!
Titles such as Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Harvey Birdman, Robot Chicken, Squidbillies and The Venture Bros will air in blocks from 11:30pm each Sunday night, from this weekend. They will also be available through Catch-Up and Live streaming on 9NOW.
The outrageous titles are known for their unashamed shock value and gross-out humour, all to the delight of their target audience of Millennials.
Nine Director of Acquisitions, Hamish Turner, tells TV Tonight, “The reason we went down this path is we felt like it was something different, for an audience who aren’t necessarily serviced on Free to Air commercials a this point in time. But it also provides a good opportunity to build the audience through 9NOW and its offering.
“So it’s not really a ratings thing at all, it sits there for 52 weeks a year to try to build up a bit of a loyal following for that style of comedy.”
The deal marks the Free-to-Air debut for many of the shows, including Rick and Morty, Adult Swim’s hit animation from Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland, which will debut later in the year.
“Some of the brands have been on Foxtel, but some will be premieres. We’ll start at the beginning (of seasons), but there is no real pressure to knock it out of the park. It’s about having a consistent offering there for 104 weeks and we fully expect to continue the partnership post-that.”
Nine has also picked up the local format rights to FishCentre which sees comedians voicing ‘live’ fish.
“Each of the Adult Swim blocks will be headed by our real live fish and we voice them with some improv banter,” Turner explains.
“But the identities of the voices is, at this point, anonymous!”
Meanwhile Turner concedes GO!’s local reality series The NRL Rookie has under-performed on Tuesday nights.
“I thought it was a well-produced show, but for whatever reason the audience hasn’t gravitated to it,” he said.
Later broadcasts paired with State of Origin and NRL have helped lift total numbers. The battle amongst multichannels has hotted up in recent months, with the arrival of 9Life, 7flix and SBS Food Network, sometimes accompanying primary channels to a network win.
But Turner says performance is ranked more precisely.
“Each of the multis has a very specific target so they are measured on demographic performance against their target, as opposed to the Totals,” he explains.
“I barely look at Total People anymore, to be honest.”
With its proudly under-grad humour, Adult Swim looks set to entertain a very specific audience indeed.
“It’s pretty zany and irreverent, not taking ourselves too seriously.”
Adult Swim begins 11:30pm Sunday on GO!