Seven looks to commissions, over development.

Only a handful of titles are now produced in-house, after Seven ends 'high risk' development.

Seven has confirmed it is no longer developing original titles in-house, preferring to commission from independent producers.

While Seven produces Home & Away, Better Homes & Gardens, Border Security and Back to the Rafters (the latter for Amazon Prime) CEO James Warburton (pictured) recently culled Seven’s in-house development team to cut both costs and network risk.

Seven Studios is yet to be sold.

Director of Programming Angus Ross told TV Tonight, “Since James has been here -and full credit to him- he’s given us much more freedom to have a very outwardly-focused commissioning system.

“We’re no longer in the program development business, which is a very high-risk business and has a very high failure rate.

“We’re now in the business of commissioning, proven and powerful international formats to try and ‘de-risk’ our schedule. The ones that we’ve done this year been Farmer, Big Brother and now SAS -that’s a three for three strike rate. So I’m really looking forward to next year when our entire schedule is going to be supported by established formats provided by the best program producers in this country.

“In summary, our effort’s been okay, this year, and it’s been remarkably close, even with how much we’ve been affected by COVID. And that’s due to the strength of the spine, and News, Home & Away, Better Homes, and also our Sport. We have the superior sport offering, clearly.”

4 Responses

  1. The Seven gamble is relying on external suppliers to make shows at a higher cost than internal production. Warburton now only banks revenue from the ads that run in commercial breaks.

    When SWM made programs through Seven Studios it got advertising cash and banked around $40m per year by selling formats (MKR) and episodes (H&A) of their own shows overseas.

    With no SS development and production staff left to make shows, there’s nothing to sell. And there’s no $40m each year to pay bills.

    It’s a gamble that Stokes and Warburton cannot acknowledge.

  2. The commissioning process is high risk, albeit if it is achieved internally or via an accord with a production company. It is intrinsically palpable that Seven are detracting from the countless errors which have built up over the years, post David Leckie era. I note this because when he was C.E.O, he had an astonishing strike rate, and he and other senior Seven executives always talked up how Seven had the best in their own team. James Warburton even referenced this during his stint at Ten, poaching Lisa Fitzpatrick to clone their own version of then-Seven’s team. If Seven are going to go all guns blazing with acquisitions via other parties, they should always look to Endemol Shine, as they can almost do no wrong.

  3. I am sure ‘Secret Bridemaid’s Business’ and ‘Between Two Worlds’ were Seven Studio Productions? And they were both bad IMO. I am not surprised by this announcement.

    I am a little disappointed in a lot of Aussie drama lately and maybe it’s actually ok and my standards have lifted with offerings from Netflix, Foxtel Go app and even SBS Damand and ABC iView has dropped some great shows for my viewing pleasure in the last couple of years.

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