EXCLUSIVE: Nine has officially confirmed the end for Logie-winning drama House Husbands after 5 seasons.
The Playmaker Media series starring Gary Sweet, Firass Dirani, Rhys Muldoon and Julia Morris, last aired in April 2017, although production concluded in mid-2016.
Nine had explored the possibility of a spin-off around Gary Sweet’s Lewis Crabb but opted not to proceed, concluding with 58 episodes. But it also pointed towards the challenges of producing Drama under current funding models.
“House Husbands had a great run over five seasons, and it certainly could continue with the numbers it was getting,” Nine Network Program Director Hamish Turner told TV Tonight.
“However, there is no question the 65 episode cap on the Producer Offset is a major financial hurdle for all long-running dramas. Hopefully that restriction will change.”
It follows recent confirmation that another Nine / Playmaker drama, Love Child, would also not be returning.
“Love Child was still performing strongly for us through to season 4, and it continues to be extremely popular on 9Now. We love the show, but we’re also satisfied that the storylines have come to a natural conclusion after a great run,” Turner said.
Industry concerns around funding increases after 65 episodes persist, as shows lose a rebate and effectively cost 20% more. Other shows ending around 65 episodes include Sea Patrol, Rush and Dance Academy, while Offspring -which had initially ended under the same cap- managed a return in 2017.
Matthew Deaner, CEO of Screen Producers Australia, said, “The 65-hour cap is an arbitrary and perverse disincentive for success. A sustainable industry relies on long-running productions that provide certainty in employment, skills development and investment. Market conditions have changed since the cap was introduced. To grow a sustainable television industry, this cap should be removed.”
A recent government inquiry into the Australian film and television industry recommended removing the 65 hour cap on television series accessing the offset.