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“As much we would love to make Australian drama for many more slots, we can’t.”

Seven's Angus Ross shares his thoughts on the network's state of drama.

RFDS will be heavily promoted through Seven’s upcoming Olympics fest and execs are very enthused about what Endemol Shine Banks have delivered.

Director of Programming Angus Ross spoke to Mediaweek about the network’s position on dramas, with RFDS, Home and Away and Back to the Rafters (produced for Amazon Prime Video).

Home and Away is currently enjoying solid figures, noting “The untold story is its massive success in streaming. Home and Away is having a record year on 7plus and every episode on 7plus does 150,000. It is the most streamed drama in Australia.”

However commissioning drama for commercial TV has its challenges.

“Consumption of drama has changed. With dramas later in the night it is hard to move the needle. RFDS is a great show, but in the 8.30pm slot it may not suddenly change audience dynamics. Not in the way growing the Home and Away audience can radically change things.”

Seven hasn’t stopped commissioning drama though.

“We are limited of course by what we can afford to do. A lot of our investment has to go into news, Home and Away and early evening tentpole programming, plus sport. As much as we would love to make Australian drama for many more slots, we can’t,” he said.

He also noted, “I am not totally across the plans Nine and 10 have for their drama. Although I note Five Bedrooms is going on Paramount+ I think.”

Meanwhile as tipped, Ross also confirmed Australian Idol will not kick off 2022, due to COVID.

Australian Idol is in a bit of a holding pattern at the moment. In the current climate we are unable to get the show made. It’s a similar challenge we faced with Australia’s Got Talent. There are some shows where it is a must to have an audience. We have seen what happens when you make Covid-impacted productions in the UK and the US. The numbers on those shows just tank.”

You can read more here.

11 Responses

  1. I would like to know the why to this statement: “A lot of our investment has to go into news, Home and Away and early evening tentpole programming, plus sport.”
    I followed the link to the original article and it shed no more light on the why they “have” to invest in news, sport, H&A and tent pole shows. It sounds like that it is just their priority and with a lack of drama points and seemingly increasing preference for airing Aussie drama on streaming services first, FTA viewers with poor internet will be disadvantaged. Something I am becoming increasingly concerned and annoyed about!

    1. They are commecial networks, they make what people watch enmass, which is news, contest shows and sport. Viewers stopped watching dramas live on TV long ago, and now stream drama, paying for quality content that is ad free. Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries failed on Seven and ended up on Acorn.

      1. Oztam TV is 5MC FTA and national STV with Regional ratings done seperately. VPM just measure the number of streams on the networks servers and would be national. The first episode of The Handmaid’s Tale pulled over 600k on On Demand, 4 times the figure claimed for Home And Away per episode. This week more people watched Innocent ep2 on iView after ep 1 aired on the ABC than Home And Away.

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