End of the round for Temptation?

By David Knox on June 4, 2008 / Filed Under News 9

EXCLUSIVE: Long-running quiz show Temptation will cease production for the immediate future, effectively placing a question mark over the show’s long-term prospects.

“It’s the last weekend of production of Temptation for the time being and that should get us through for the year,” said a spokesperson. Nine could not confirm if or when the show would resume production and denied the show had been “de-commissioned.”

Nine will air new episodes in 2008 at a date to be announced.

The Temptation brand has a long history with the Nine Network, stemming back to Sale of the Century in 1980. It was revived successfully under Ed Phillips and Livinia Nixon in May 2005.

This is the third major occasion it has ceased production in Australia under its various titles, hosts, networks and Grundy / FremantleMedia license. .

The US format was first seen in Australia on the Seven Network (as Great Temptation) under Tony Barber in the early 70s. Barber hosted Sale for Nine from 1980-1990, followed by Glenn Ridge from 1991- 2001. Nine’s legendary Pete Smith was also the voice over announcer for every episode from 1980-2001, and remained with the show as warm-up host to 2007.

The fate for Temptation follows erratic figures for the show in late 2007 when it fluctuated anywhere from 900,000 to 1.3m viewers -it consistently averaged 1.1m. At the time Nine planned to strip a nightly 7pm version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? but changed its mind, keeping Temptation on air 4 nights a week. There were also rumours the show might move to 5:30pm.

Nine’s decision, like any network is based purely on the bottom line. Two and Half Men (in repeats, no less) is generating figures of 1.1m – 1.3m without any of the production costs associated with the local game show. Significantly, there are also no local quota points to be made from game shows. The audience build for the Charlie Sheen comedy mirrors that of Frasier, another “summer sitcom” that Nine couldn’t make work until it left it on air so long it actually forged competitive figures.

Two and a Half Men has been delivering fantastic results for us across the board,” said the spokesperson. “But this weekend is (Temptation’s) last weekend of production.”

The rise for Two and a Half Men could also be attributed to slight competition from Big Brother. Interest in the reality show has waned. And without Kate Ritchie, Home and Away has also seen a modest dip. On some nights, ABC News even wins the slot.

The 2005 revival of Temptation by Phillips and Nixon was widely regarded as a successful reinvention of a format that, with such strong identity, would not be easy to revive. But the natural rapport between the two worked with viewers, and US producers even flew to Australia to copy the Nine brand for a US version. Grundys had previously franchised Barber’s Sale format to numerous territories, right down to the excited, bouncing entry from other hosts.

With the end of Temptation shoots Livinia Nixon remains on air as the National Nine News’ Melbourne weathergirl, but Ed Phillips is effectively without any other hosting vehicle.

Nine also advised its contestants across its network game shows are all paid their prizes, avoiding any National Bingo Night furore.

If you are a fan of the show your last chance to attend a recording of the current series is this Friday or Saturday via the show’s website at FremantleMedia.

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9 Comments »

  1. Ben June 5, 2008 at 10:14 am -

    I’m with Scott… people’s viewing choices really leave me guessing.

    Two and a Half Men with it’s canned laughter doesn’t really compare to Fraiser.

    Hopefully if and when nine runs the completed episodes of Temptation it will rate better than the sitcom.

  2. jezzaontv June 5, 2008 at 7:19 am -

    Surely if channel 9 were really serious about stuffing up the 7pm ratings timeslot, they would find a programme for Jackie O to host. Everything she touches bombs

  3. dan June 4, 2008 at 9:23 pm -

    Thanks a lot channel 9 you have canned what was one of your very very few good shows like Ryan said surely it would be a better lead into the news than million dollar wheel of flop it is being hammered by deal last nights ratings for example were

    Deal or no deal 958,000
    Million dollar wheel of flop 577,000

    And nine news also got thumped by seven

    Seven news 1,608,000
    Nine news 1,204,000

    Wake up channel nine move wheel of flop to 5pm if you have to have it at all that is and put temptation on at 5:30 pm lets face it it couldn’t do any worse and would almost defiantly be a good lead in to the news

  4. Scott June 4, 2008 at 7:33 pm -

    Whilst I have enjoyed Two and a Half Men on occasions, it is hideously repetitive and based on very tired old jokes.

    Even the new episodes seem like repeats of those that came before, so I fail to see how actual repeats can rate so strongly.

    I remain, as ever, utterly bewildered by the viewing preferences of my peers.

  5. sTeVie G June 4, 2008 at 7:28 pm -

    It’s funny how few people watched 2&1/2 Men when it was on once a week, but it gains a following on 5 nights a week. I think Nine really missed out by never putting Friends in that slot, as it seems five night a week sitcoms work better on Nine, than Ten. Maybe they should try Old Christine or the Big Bang Theory next summer in the 7.00 pm slot and see how they go. My Mum is hanging out for the return of Temptation, though, so I hope they bring it back for her sake.

  6. lancer1993 June 4, 2008 at 6:55 pm -

    I’ve been watching Scrapheap Challenge on ABC2 from 6.30 to 7.30, any other fans out there?

  7. Ryan June 4, 2008 at 6:43 pm -

    Urgh, I liked Temptation. Sure 2 and a Half men is rating well, I understand that, but wouldn’t Temptation prove to be a better lead in for the news than what Wheel of Fortune has been doing???

    I think it could be real competition for DOND!! At least it’d still be on air, surely its no more expensive than what WOF is costing the network!

  8. KnoxOverstreet June 4, 2008 at 5:01 pm -

    Two & A Half Men would rate what it is no matter what TEN put at 7pm.

    Shame about Temptation and hopefully Nine bring it back next year.

  9. Benno June 4, 2008 at 4:45 pm -

    Has channel 9 made an official thankyou to channel 10 for keeping big brother on the air, and therefore boosting its ratings?

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