Spicks And Specks has barely gotten back into the swing of things but already the ABC has announced that it will be pulling the music quiz show with no plans to renew it for another season.
Despite returning the series to its regular Wednesday night slot in February, with a revived format skewed towards a younger audience with a new panel featuring musical comedian Josh Earl, Killing Heidi turned solo star Ella Hooper, and Adam writer-comic Adam Richard, ABC says the reboot has not “resonated” with viewers.
Originally scheduled for 26 episodes, according to TV Tonight, the ABC will shelve the current series at episode 20, with the remaining six episodes to be screened later in the year. A statement from the public broadcaster states “there aren’t plans for the show in 2015.”
“Josh, Ella and Adam did a terrific job of breathing new life into Spicks and Specks,” ABC1 Channel Controller Brendan Dahill tells TV Tonight. “We’re very proud of their efforts. We believe this year’s Spicks was every bit as entertaining as its long-running predecessor, but we sadly accept that it hasn’t resonated with viewers to the degree we had hoped.” “We’re very proud of their efforts …we sadly accept that it hasn’t resonated with viewers to the degree we had hoped.”
The reincarnated Spicks And Specks has fared poorly in the competitive ratings field. The last month’s four episodes attracted an average of 415,000 viewers, with a peak of 490,000, but placed 20th place overall in the TV ratings finishing 21st May. This week’s screening was a low point, hitting 29th on the rankings with just 331,000 viewers.
It’s a far cry from the original series, with Spicks And Specks originally running for seven seasons until hosts Adam Hills, Myf Warhust, and Alan Brough decided to call it a day, but not before the music quiz show bowed out to an audience of over 1.6 million viewers in its final series.
Musical guests on the current series of the ABC program have include Pond/Tame Impala/Gum’s Jay Watson (in the debut episode), Something For Kate’s Paul Dempsey, Vance Joy, Adalita, Seth Sentry, Bluejuice’s Jake Stone, Dan Sultan, Kate Miller-Heidke, DJ Shadow, Suzi Quatro, and costumed heavy metal band Barbarion (as seen in the footage below).
Spicks And Specks’ demise is a sad state of affairs for Australia’s music television landscape.
There was a positive step recently with the launch of Hargrave Lane, the bizarre new music show hosted by mid-morning larrakin Karl Stefanovic, but aside from a few exceptions – such as the SBS’s long-running RockWiz or Foxtel’s one-off Tim Rogers-hosted cabaret variety show of last year – artists are severely undernourished for opportunities to perform or promote their music in front of Australian broadcast audiences. And the less said about The Logies, the better.