Networks “very concerned” over too many Celebrity shows.

One TV exec says the time may be up for the glut of Celebrity shows.

2021 may go down as the year with the most Celebrity TV casts on record, but their time may be up.

Networks faced challenges in getting productions made, bringing Australians across borders, at the same time as stars were available without work. So it resulted in a flurry of Celebrity shows.

But ratings for some are sliding as a result while shows with ‘unknowns’ have defied the odds: The Voice, Farmer Wants a Wife, Lego Masters, Australian Survivor were largely without celebrities and did good business.

Big Brother: VIP producers acknowledged they cast the show to attract headlines, which Gogglebox this week described as “a content farm for the internet.”

Nine’s Director of 9Now and Programming Hamish Turner agrees the time for Celebrity shows is at a premium.

“You can have clickbait but you also want to have nuance in there as well,” he told TV Tonight.

“In Celebrity Apprentice, there are probably people from the outset, who aren’t household names. But actually, they’ve been cast for character as part of a mix.

“I think the broader question is the sustainability of Celebrity shows. Let’s go through them: I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, Celebrity Apprentice, SAS Australia, Celebrity MasterChef… shall I keep going?

“We only have one show that sits in that space. Lego Masters, Love Island, Beauty & the Geek -they are all (non-celebrities).

“Even when we’re looking at commissioning, we are very concerned and conscious of shows the come in pitching celebrities as part of it, because you think, ‘How sustainable is this?’

19 Responses

  1. Not sure why it is framed as “Networks” being concerned when it is just one quote from one director at Nine at a time of year where they’re engaged in petty one upmanship over who has the most 36 and a half year old 5 foot eight brunette women who shop at Coles on Thursday mornings watching.

    P.S. Have Nine done their upfronts yet?

  2. If they stopped considering reality tv contestants as ‘celebrities’, then they might have a better response from viewers.

    So many different ‘celebrity’ versions of various shows have meant that we either see the same celebrities on multiple shows or they scrape the bottom of the barrel for whatever D, E, F List ‘celebs’ they can find. Some shows are even resorting to casting convicted criminals for infamy.

  3. There is way too many and we’re getting even more in 2022. They’ve oversaturated the market yet again and the networks only have themselves to blame. Channel 7 got the BBVIP cast very very wrong. Whats worse is the whole show is boring. I don’t know why they thought it would work. It could honestly go on to hurt the main attraction although the fans vs favourites edition might work in their favour. It’s a preferred version than celebrities. Another is Celebrity Gogglebox too. What is Foxtel thinking airing it concurrently? I love Gogglebox but two different editions on at the same time seems very poor programming and could hurt both shows. Why wouldn’t you make the most of it and give us what we want, more Gogglebox throughout the year.

    1. Why does Australia constantly import has-beens from America? Tom and Caitlyn gave no value to BBvip. TV shows constantly re-hashes the same celebs over and over – how many are being overlooked and not approached whether for wkly shows like HYBPA or The Project, panel shows or a series. I agree with Guy, m.o.r.e. Gogglebox through the year please – it’s too long a wait otherwise.

  4. Hang on, isn’t Lego Masters doing a celebrity Christmas edition? Wasn’t the most recent Block a known personalities versus unknowns version?

    They all do it, every network. I’m pretty bored of them anyway, and I can’t see anything changing in the next few years, but hey, I’m happy to be wrong.

    1. Lego is a single show and The Block invited just 2 previous contestants to return who are not celebrities.

      The issue is finding enough celebrities for a series.

  5. As long as they keep making reality tv shows, the “celebrity” pipeline will keep flowing and it will be sustainable. Sounds like he’s just taking a dig at 7 of BBVIP. Dancing With The Stars ran for how many seasons?

  6. I much prefer all-stars to celebrities – look at the success of Masterchef all-stars to launch the new judges and Survivor (particularly in the US version). We love seeing these contestants return because of what they bring to the game, not because they’re trying to raise their profile/insta followers.

  7. If only commercial networks invested in drama / comedy / soaps over the years – employing actors and production – instead of filling the programme guides with cheap reality TV, then going the ‘celebrity’ path of reality shows would not have been as worn and drained in today’s scheduling. You’ve bitten the hand that feeds you. How many celebrities have appeared on reality shows because there’s not enough acting work and they need to pay the mortgage?

  8. I love celeb and returning players.
    This one person is complaining about five celebrity shows? Jungle, sas, celeb MasterChef (only came back this year and has been a delight to watch), apprentice and bb (also only came back this year) vs the non celebrity of Lego masters, the dog house, bachelor, bachelorette, paradise etc seasons, mafs, the block, farmer wants a wife, love island, beauty and the geek, the voice, sas hell week, amazing race, big brother etc. There is way more non celebrity shows then celebrity shows. You don’t like them don’t watch but don’t ruin it for everyone who does enjoy them.

    1. I think the thing is that I enjoy the formats of some shows, but have a strong preference for new non-Celeb players (and preferably players who are familiar with the show)

      Love BB, but the VIP edition is meh.

      Love Survivor but their Champion/Contender editions (strong Celeb inclusion) and their had a sub-par casting (too many boring sports people players), which carried over into all-stars. And Brains/Brawn cast appeared too unfamiliar to the Survivor game.

  9. I think the new trend (that I hope gets old quick) is returning players.

    Next year, BB and MasterChef are doing Fans/Favourites editions (with The Block having done so this year), while Survivor’s Blood/Water edition will feature returning players, in the mix with new players.

    Not to mention how MasterChef and Survivor are still fresh from doing a Full Returning Player season last year

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