Family Food Fight will award $100,000 tonight to either the Giles or Tartaglia families, but the show’s future is under review by Nine following low ratings.
Since premiering in late October the show has struggled to rise above 500,000 viewers, prompting Nine to trim it from 3 to 2 nights a week. That led to the finale screening tonight, outside of official ratings survey.
Nine’s Head of Content, Production and Development, Adrian Swift, told TV Tonight, “We’re disappointed. It’s a show we really believe in, and that’s why we left it in the schedule.
“It’s been picked up all around the show. It’s an Australian format that’s been picked up by Channel 4 in the UK, ABC in the US, and all over Europe.”
Indeed the Endemol Shine / Nine developed format recently secured a deal in Denmark. A Latino edition is currently airing in Argentina. Yet in its country of origin, the show has struggled to find an audience.
“Coming off a long season of The Block I think people were a little bit reticent to re-engage with another long-running Reality show,” Swift suggested.
This year also saw tweaks to the format, including reducing the families from 4 to 2 team members. But wasn’t that the show’s point of difference?
“There’s some truth in that, but we had a lot of audience feedback,” says Swift. “They couldn’t lock onto the characters, and they couldn’t quite define their relationships.
“So it was much easier for the relationships to play out with 2. While The Block has competition between teams, Family Food Fight is more about the dynamic and the jeopardy within each of the teams. So it’s much easier to do that with 2 people.
“But it hasn’t worked as well as we’d hoped.”
Despite being listed on Nine’s recent Upfronts, the show is now under review for 2019.
“We haven’t made a decision yet, but we’d have to be reviewing it. Let’s be serious,” Swift agrees.
“I think you would have to say, based on the numbers, it is one of those things we would think about.”