Upfronts pressure: Can these shows survive in 2019?

Upfronts begin with Nine to stage their 2019 showcase late on Wednesday.

Seven follows next week, with TEN a week later.

In the US the phrase “on the bubble” refers to shows that are considered to be hanging in the balance, and while the lingo may not be common in Australia some shows know their future is not guaranteed.

But Upfronts are about good news, not bad, so will we get any news on some of these shows?

The Footy Show, Nine.
Nine swung the axe on the NRL Footy Show under Sport. But the Eddie McGuire-produced AFL edition falls under Entertainment and talks are said to be ongoing. Everybody except those closest to the show knows this era has run its course and it’s time to start a new AFL chapter.

Today, Nine.
Another show where ongoing headlines -some of them self-inflicted- have led to the lowest ratings in 12 years for Nine’s breakfast show. Observers are yet to give the Karl / Georgie pairing a pass but there is division about the solutions. If I have any advice, it is that Nine’s strength has always been in News.

Buying Blind, Nine
A short-run renovation show led by Shaynna Blaze.  Doubtful.

Date Night, Nine
Remember the show that tried to mix dating with Gogglebox? Didn’t think so.

Take Me Out, Seven
Joel Creasey has won praise for the confidence with which he has fronted Seven’s show. But the ratings have not set Seven on fire and resting it for a UK doco didn’t help. One option may be a 30 minute edition elsewhere in the schedule?

Interview with Andrew Denton, Seven
It’s a mixed report card for Denton’s return to TV both in terms of the interviews (Magda Szubanski amongst the best of them, and Gene Simmons not) and overnight ratings. It’s safe to say it hasn’t upstaged the acclaimed Enough Rope but there should still be room for a one on one conversation in anybody’s schedule.

Pointless, TEN.
With the season having finished shooting, new episodes should run until sometime in January, meaning TEN will be able to list it as a 2019 show. But with the ratings below those of its “rested” predecessor Family Feud, the network will need to make decisions soon. TEN has confirmed quiz research for October but yet to confirm the next shooting block.

Studio 10, TEN.
It’s been a difficult 12 months for TEN’s morning show, losing an executive producer, 2 permanent cast members, and another who was convinced to remain in a part time capacity for 2019. Headlines about backstage friction came with regularity, but the network avoided a legal case with its former producer which would have only triggered more. Despite the show working hard to maintain a point of difference from its competitors, ratings have disappointed this year. These days advertorials alone are not enough to pay the way in this genre.

The Chef’s Line, SBS.
With overnight audiences at around 60,000 will the SBS cooking show get a renewal? At a hefty 50 episodes, this will be a numbers game.

Go Back to Where You Came From, SBS.
Strictly speaking this was an ‘event’ series which made a rare, possibly last-ditch comeback when producers added a Live component. Always putting its social message first, there is no escaping the production costs involved versus the performance and the parties may ultimately decide they have exhausted current storytelling ideas.

Think Tank, ABC.
This one is tricky, because the show improved the timeslot for ABC and repeat episodes (which ABC ran after new ones ran out) were often rating higher than originals. But ABC also had plans to follow with new local lifestyle series Escape from the City in the same slot, but appears to have rethought the 6pm timeslot.

There is a much longer list of shows that haven’t a hope of resuming (Dance Boss, Back with the Ex, Street Smart, Everyone’s a Critic, Dead Lucky etc.) and others where it is way too soon to judge (Playing for Keeps).

16 Comments:

  1. Given that 9 axed NRL Footy show 2 weeks ago, i think that its about time that the channel has the post-match chat. The revamping of the nrl footy show format created a big downfall in ratings.
    Meanwhile, i heard some speculation on the afl footy show future. they asked that this show could be on the brink of axing.

  2. With KAK joining Studio 10, it will be safe for another year. Pointless needs to go. It’s damaging Ten’s early evening schedule. A 30 min version of Blind Date at 6pm might be a better option.

  3. As a viewer of Studio Ten in the initial years, I would suggest dropping the infomercials. It is such a distraction and turn-off. Could you imagine the The View or The Talk doing this? If you are going to spend all that money to have funny and smart presenters, I would be making the most of them.

  4. I really hope Ten give Pointless another series. I feel the hosts have eased into it and it’s great fun at the moment. I was a big fan of the UK version and a little skeptical of our version, which felt a bit rushed, but it’s definitely settled into the slot. It’s must-see viewing in our household.

    • It is getting better, and if they could be brave enough to expand to the one hour format, I think it would find a much bigger audience. By rushing through the show, they have cut some of the best parts of the UK version.

  5. In Tas we do not have Pointless on the main channel we have Win Tasmanian news from Wollongong, and Pointless is on Eleven, what were the ratings of Family feud on one channel as opposed to the three of them.
    Again I point out that Tasmani ais not included in oztam capital cities, last time I checked Hobart is a capital city and should be treated as such and I think that the num,ber of boxes should be tripled to givea better picture. Oh by the way I love Poinlless I would like it to be an hour, but that would cu into Neighbours. With Neighbours going 52 weeks in the UK is Australia the same ?

  6. I don’t think Take me Out is a prime time show. When I originally heard about it, I thought it would be shown on one of the secondary 7 channels and not 7. While i’m not a fan of Joel, I think he works for this show, but not at 7:30 on the prime channel.

    AFL footy show has to go.

  7. Think Tank is a quiz show that grows on you, it has matured with age and the number of episodes but in reality it is just a time filler, just appearing on the show is really the only prize to be had for the contestants,as the garish acrylic trophy is extraordinarily hard to win, which is amusing and dare I say very ABC.

    • The maturing with age, I think, has come as the cast have relaxed into their roles and also started sparking off each other. Paul has moved to the background a bit, and the contestants now give a bit back (like on Hard Quiz). I love it.

  8. Thanks for this David, Sorry to hear that Dead Lucky is in the list of shows that haven’t a hope of resuming.
    I have just finished watching Dead Lucky (stored on hard drive for a couple of months) and in my opinion was one of the best Aussie Dramas I have seen in years, short and sharp with twists and turns and a great cast of established and emerging actors! Am I one of the few who thought this, or did it rate abysmally? As I said I enjoyed it and thought it was a quality drama!

      • Thanks carolemorrissey, you never know. I’d have thought they spent a whole lot of money developing a show, it could be worth continuing, as word spreads…maybe if it wins any Outstanding nods at the Logies (I can hope)….

  9. I think Today needs an overhaul and I think giving a studio set up similar to Sunrise with an outdoor area may be a good idea they can physically connect to the audience.

    Studio 10 has promise, they have a good solid line up now of host’s they need to use KAK’s experience to land some big name guests and have her do some bigger interviews, KAK can get people talking. ditch ding dong completely she’s just becoming annoying, she has no interview skills she was always the sidekick, there for a few laughs.

  10. Given Ten has only just hired Kerri Anne Kennerley to be part of Studio 10 I think it is safe (for now). At least they are giving it a chance to succeed by hiring new hosts rather than just leaving unfilled spots on the panel like they did with The Circle.

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