Just what’s going on with The Living Room at 10?
That’s the puzzling question many were asking after shock news the show would not be returning in 2020.
When TV Tonight broke the news on the weekend, it was so early in the conversation that not everybody involved in the production had been filled in.
“The Living Room will not return in 2020,” 10 confirmed, before adding, “We are thrilled that the brilliant team of Amanda, Barry, Miguel and Chris will be back at 7.30 on Friday nights next year, watch this space for more information.”
Whispers suggest a lifestyle show will emerge under another name produced in-house and no longer by producers WTFN.
Much of this stems back to the origins of the show when 10 called for submissions for a Friday night lifestyle show, offering something different to Better Homes & Gardens.
WTFN cast and signed the four presenters Amanda Keller, Dr. Chris Brown (who was already their own Bondi Vet star), Miguel Maestre and Barry Du Bois. They have successfully produced the show for 8 seasons, picking up 4 Logie Awards along the way.
In 2013 WTFN CEO Daryl Talbot told TV Tonight, “The team that gave us our first go was David Mott and Rick Maier at TEN with Bondi Vet, and The Living Room was David Mott and Bev McGarvey.
“I think it was a sad day when David stepped away from Programming because he made so many bold decisions. He was the kind of Programmer who would talk to you about what he wanted and then let you get on and make it. The Living Room is a result of that.
“He wanted something in Lifestyle with Entertainment and the Channel TEN feel.
“But Bev also saw the potential in the show. After the first year the ratings weren’t kicking it out of the park, although they showed promise. But Bev has really said ‘Let’s bed it down in the timeslot and let it build its audience.’
“There was some early movement at the start and Bev said ‘No it’s going to 7:30 and it’s not moving’ and it’s benefitted from that.”
Fast forward to 2019 and the talent are understood to be signed directly to 10, hence their alignment to various other network vehicles.
While there is no suggestion of bad blood, it’s hard to think of another show that has been produced by an independent and then brought in house, should such come to pass. Occasionally the reverse happens: Nine originally produced Married at First Sight in house before handing it on to Endemol Shine. Others such as The Voice have moved producers….
Should the move be one designed to cut costs, just how will it impact for viewers? International travel for Dr. Chris Brown would likely be an early casualty. Does the format have to vary considerably to be distinctive enough to differ from the original? Unclear.
This week WTFN declined to comment, leaving the ball effectively in 10’s court.
“Watch this space.”