Angus Ross on “unstoppable Seven”

Since Q2 a resurgent Seven has been back in the game, and it isn't stopping there.

“The big story is Seven is going to return to Number 1 this year,” says Seven Head of Programming, Angus Ross.

“Whether you’re looking at Calendar year, Survey year, Olympics in, Olympics out -Seven is going to be Number 1, in 2021.

“Some of the demos -if you’re pulling Olympics out- are going to be a tighter race. I think people under 50 and 16 to 39 will probably go down to the wire.

“But Seven is the only network to grow share in every key demographic this year. Significant growth. But we’re going to be number one in All People.”

While Seven has been resurgent in 2021, there were problems in Q1 with Holey Moley slipping after a strong debut and Ultimate Tag failing to get out of the blocks -neither is on the list for 2022.

“We’ve been dominant from Q2 this year. We’ve been pretty honest that we’ve got to fix Q1. Under James we’ve had a 3 year plan to rebuild the schedule and we’re in Year 2 of that plan in 2021. I’d like to think we’re ahead of schedule by returning to Number 1 this year.

“In 2022 I think we’re going to come out with our full armoury…. no COVID-affected shows being scuttled or anything like that. When we’re out there with all the rounds in the chamber, I think we’re going to be unstoppable. When you combine that with Winter Olympics and Commonwealth Games, I think we’re going to have a very dominant 2022.”

In speaking to TV Tonight, here’s a summary of Ross’ take on other 2022 content.

The Voice
“There’ll be a few structural changes within it, but nothing that you’d say, ‘This isn’t the show that I loved in 21.’

“This is the only show for the whole year that never dropped below 1m metro viewers. There may have been some social chatter about ‘The Cut’ but that’s not always representative of the audience as a whole.”

SAS Australia
“We’re halfway through filming…. there could certainly be more (than one season in 22). At this stage, we’re going to have one in the can for Q1 next year.”

Australian Idol
“We’re not going to make COVID-compromised shows because we see what happens when they get made in many overseas markets, and they don’t perform. So if we’re going to bring back Idol, it has to be the Idol that people are expecting: crowds, live, bigger than Ben Hur, and that’s what we’re going to do. So the conditions have to be appropriate for that to happen. That that will determine the timing on it. But clearly, it’s not going to be Q1. We would had to have been in production for a number of months already.”

“It’s no secret that’s the one part of the year, we felt that we need to improve things. The whole kickstart for 2022 comes about with the Ashes, into the Winter Olympics, and then using proven formats being Dancing with the Stars: All Stars, SAS Australia, and The Voice: Generations, being a spin-off of a proven format.

“Q1 is a lot more solid with tried and tested formats in there. I think we’re going to end up having our best Q1 for a number of years, which has been something we’ve been endeavouring to fix as part of this new plan under James Warburton.”

4 Talent Shows?
“People have asked ‘Is there enough talent?’ They asked that before The Voice this year. The reality is with those key talent shows, we control them in this market -and I said this last time- we’ll roll them out in a manner that’s going to work best for each of them. You’re not going to run things back to back or anything like that. Nothing’s going to be done that would undermine any of these formats. We want to keep them going for a long time.”

My Kitchen Rules, Apartment Rules
“It’s going to be a different approach this time, in that they’re clearly not going to be made by Seven Studios. They’re going to be made by third party companies. So we are going to have a fresh set of eyes on these formats. I think we’ve had a very good record over the last two years of our ability to refresh and reinvent some of these classic formats.

“Both of those formats were very successful for us for a long period of time, but perhaps lost their way at the end of their runs.

“In terms of judges we’ve got a lot of people to choose from, with borders opening will be scouring far and wide. They’re both they’re both formats we believe we can reinvent with a little help from outsiders.”

Home & Away
“It’s there 4 nights a year, 40-something weeks of the year, it’s another tentpole and we treat it as such.”

“They were the longest unsolved serial killings in Australia. COVID has impacted the timelines on the delivery of that show. We were hoping to actually have it kick off next year, but borders and things have made that impossible. But it’s gearing back up now.”

“That is in the To Be Decided basket. There’s a number of number of shows which we’ll decide probably closer… decisions haven’t been made by Upfronts on a number of these.”

Holey Moley?
“Being able to do that show relies on us piggybacking off other internationals coming to this market. That’s a decision (where we’ll) run the numbers at that time, and look at it again. We have an investment in the set here so we’d love people to come and start using it.”

And finally…
“When you look at that content slate there is a hell of a lot of investment in Australian content for next year.”

You can read more at Upfronts 2022: Seven.

7 Responses

  1. They have to talk it up. Imagine if they didn’t? But Seven is to be commended for its resurrection. They’ve spent enough money to make it happen!

    Seriously I don’t understand why CBS is bothering with free-to-air in this country. The numbers are falling by the month. They should stick to streaming imho.

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