Nine Draws a Line after Three Weeks: Between the Lines Cancelled

So, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but Eddie McGuire’s latest show Between the Lines has been cancelled after only three weeks.

Ratings weren’t terrible with 696,000 in its first week, 610,000 in its second, then 510,000 viewers in its third. For a Thursday night, it would need at least 700,000 to justify its presence.

It featured Mick Molloy and Ryan Fitzgerald, both Channel Ten personalities (lucky they didn’t sever that tie) who tried their best but unfortunately it wasn’t enough.

The show drew criticism for its blokey vibe (only one woman was allowed to be a guest per-week) which only perpetuated the “boys club” myth that many find repulsive. It also had an over-emphasis on AFL (McGuire, Molloy and Fitzgerald are all AFL media identities), which obviously didn’t have a great appeal to Sydney audiences.

However, it is a bit of a shame, as it is when any Aussie program bites the dust, and there were some decent laughs to be had on the show. Unfortunately, viewers have clearly tired of shows which try to replicate formulae of other shows (BTL was obviously a copy of Spicks and Specks, The Trophy Room, or any other show along those lines).

Even if it didn’t make an identical copy, the fact is that it wasn’t original enough, or at least it wasn’t entertaining enough to overcome that initial hurdle.

Just look at the example of My Kitchen Rules: it was obviously an attempt to replicate the winning formula of MasterChef- the drama of preparing dishes, the plating up, friendly yet critical judges, etc- yet it appeared to be a completely different show. For starters, it was set in people’s homes. The contestants also were able to critique each other’s dishes, which was somewhat of a novelty. Hence, it became a success in its own right, an remarks comparing it to MasterChef became minimal.

So hopefully the lesson learned from this should be that networks should focus on giving a new show a strong element of originality to avoid people judging it in comparison to their more successful counterparts.

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Posted on May 27, 2011, in LATEST Renewals and Cancellations and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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