“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.”
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