Is Bondi Rescue lacking in diversity to be renewed?

With a "No Diversity, No Commission" rule at 10, time may be up for long-running factual.

Long running factual Bondi Rescue is yet to be renewed for a 17th season.

The show produced by CJZ first screened in 2006, picking up multiple Logie Awards and selling to a string of territories around the world.

But while its ratings have dropped it is yet to be renewed for 2022, at the same time as 10’s parent company has a strict “No Diversity, No Commission,” rule.

Unusually, the cast are employed by Waverley Council, which gives 10 little control over the mix of mostly male lifeguards.

Daniel Monaghan, 10’s Director of Programming recently told TV Tonight, “It hasn’t played into the decision of Bondi Rescue. It’s been on for about 16 years. Diversity is incredibly important to us but it can come in the form of contributors and people who work behind the scenes, not necessarily just the cast.”

But the show’s limbo may also be tied to its natural life, with ratings for new episodes in December at 317,000 (448,000 in Total TV viewers).

Production sources indicated they understood the diversity expectations required in 2022.

Bondi Rescue is yet to be renewed or axed.

12 Responses

  1. If Reality doesn’t fit your ideological agenda, then cancel Reality. The distribution of the values that diversity quotas choose to focus on is not uniform. You can never find samples that are identical or conform to your targets, which is diversity too. What will happen is what SBS is doing, by creating ideological diversity quotas that don’t reflect census data for ideological reasons. Then instead of producing Australian TV, they fill their schedule with UK and US show which reflect modern Australia even less to make money. Martin Clunes, Michael Mosely, Kate Humble and Robson (Reeves last week) screen fill their prime slots this week. Only on Saturday do we get a sample of contemporary Australian comic. If you make all the experts female, colours or queer, you are creating a deliberately unrepresentative biased sample. And its their knowledge not their identity that is important. No single episode or show can or should try to reflect everything, and attempts to will fail.

    1. Cancelling reality would be a pretty extreme response, especially when it is the business backbone of primetime. It’s possible to find a happy medium, reflect the changing face of Australia and rate, but I agree it has to be authentic. MasterChef a good example. In any case, 10 denied diversity was the reason BR is yet to be renewed.

  2. Surely in a case like an observational documentary where the participants are just filmed rather than cast it should be the make up of the production team which should be the deciding factor on meeting diversity quotas.

  3. Bondi Rescue is the longest running prime-time series on Ten main channel. CJZ is continuing discussing a new series with Ten, Waverley Council and the Lifeguards themselves.

  4. There was an all-out campaign a few years ago to try and get more diverse lifesavers and lifeguards. They appealed to the Muslim community and other ethnic groups to join but they didn’t want to. Consequently, surf and pool lifesavers and lifeguards continue to be young white males.

  5. Ohhh, young white males are so evil aren’t they!!! Seriously. Pathetic if 10 do not renew this series, based on the lack of diversity.

  6. One of the few actual “reality” shows on television, and the reality is that most lifeguards are young white males. I’m sure the council itself would employ diverse people if they qualified, however this is one instance where you have to employ the best of the best. There actually is diversity on this show, as the majority of rescues are tourists from Asia…
    The only issue I have with the show is the sameness of each episode…rescue, frivolity, thief, rescue, perv, injury, rescue…

  7. If it is a factual then it is showing what exists in that workplace. If they have a policy of not renewing a show because it lacks diversity then you risk not making the show at all.

    I support the idea of dramas or reality shows being cast with diverse people because they reflect the make-up of Australian society. But I find it frustrating when they slot in diverse characters in a period drama when those people were not part of the original story just to make up some sort of quota.

    I wouldn’t like to see a situation where a show like Bondi Rescue dictates to Waverley council to hire a “diverse” lifeguard so the show can be made. Obviously, the most qualified person for the job is the most important part of hiring the lifeguard crew.

    1. They’re not that diverse either! Irish backpackers and non-swimming tourists from countries that are either landlocked or otherwise not known for their prowess in the ocean seem to make up the majority.

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