Former Pointless host Mark Humphries says his show was oddly axed twice by 10, during its ten month run, including just before the network Upfronts a year ago.
Humphries and co-presenter Andrew Rochford were due to perform in a network musical number at the annual Upfronts, but a decision to end the show saw them dropped from the show number.
Speaking to podcast What Shall We Do About? he said, “It was actually axed twice. The first time Andrew and I were at a big fundraising event for a group called You Can, a youth council fundraiser from the Sony Foundation.
“We found out just as we arrived at the event and so yeah, that was a hard thing to take.
“The biggest thing that bothered me was about a week later we were supposed to be at Channel 10’s Upfronts.
“Andrew and I were supposed to be in this big opening musical number. And I love musicals! So there was this whole section where Osher would sing a verse, then Chris Brown, Julia Morris Pete Helliar, Amanda Keller.
“I would get to be part of this big number. As a TV fan as someone who watched the Logies every year for better for worse, I loved the idea.”
Humphries said the bad news came after having been to a recording studio for the musical number.
“It was like, ‘Guys, ratings are not doing well enough. We’re not going to be continuing with the show, which means we don’t need you for that musical number.’ So the devastation for me was actually not the cancellation, it was being cut from the musical number.
“We had to go to the Upfront knowing full well that we wouldn’t be coming back. So it was not a fun event for us.
“And then about a week later, our ratings went up just enough, for 10 to go, ‘You know what, we’re going to do another 65 episodes!'”
Pointless ran from July 2018 to May 2019, with 2019 Upfronts taking place last October.
“The second time it was cancelled I was actually at the ABC filming a sketch for 7:30 and I got a phone call.
“The ratings had been coming close to 200,000. I think that day it had gone to 196. I think that must have been the magic number… if you go below it that’s it.
“I think we were told, ‘We’re going to shoot 10 episodes next week and then that’s it.'”
But while Humphries would have liked the show to have been trialled in a later slot, he was also very pragmatic about the realities of making television.
“We’re so lucky to have this opportunity, let’s make the best thing we can while we’ve got it. It’s a privilege to be in this position.”
Yesterday 10 moved on Pointless‘ successor, Celebrity Name Game, bumping it to multichannel 10 BOLD after ratings had sunk lower than Humphries’ show.
You can hear more at What Shall We Do About?