How Nine turned Sex into a hit

In 1992 Nine had a runaway hit with lifestyle series Sex hosted by the alluring Sophie Lee.

With its frank discussions and male & female nudity, it had everybody talking. Lee lasted just 1 season before Pamela Stephenson fronted a second season.

Producer Tim Clucas, then offered a position at at Business Sunday had other ideas, and looked to the success of Burke’s Backyard.

“If there is a place on television for a weekly show about backyards, then there is a place for a show about sex because more people have more sex than people have backyards,”  he tells News Corp.

Clucas made his pitch to Nine’s head programmer Ross Plapp.

“He looked at me across the big desk and said, ‘You’ve got a show son.’ And that was that.”

The show had its detractors, notably Rev. Fred Nile, but it also drew bumper ratings.

Sex covered everything from gay conversion therapy, masturbation and how to get the perfect orgasm to issues around prostitution, sex toys, sexually transmitted diseases, sexuality and gender issues. The series even included Dr. Kerryn Phelps as a reporter.

Kerry Packer was running Nine at the time and the show had his support along with execs David Leckie and John Stephens.

By 1994 it moved to TEN as Sex / Life with Tottie Goldsmith hosting, then Alyssa Jane-Cook.

In 2015 Nine touted the show’s return but it never happened.

You can read more on the history of Sex in this excellent News Corp article.

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