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.
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.
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).