Community television took the opportunity to remind us of its worth this week when TVS General Manager Laurie Patton pointed out the similarities between a new SBS show, Costa’s Garden Odyssey, and its own Vasili’s Garden.
Costa’s Garden Odyssey is one of four local shows SBS airing tomorrow night.
In the series, landscape architect Costa Georgiasdis (pictured right), takes a ‘holistic’ approach to gardening. He is described as a ‘Greek garden god aiming to spread his green wisdom while celebrating cultures and communities and their connections to plants.’
That’s a little too close for comfort for community television.
TVS chief executive Laurie Patton pointed out the show looks a lot like the long running Vasili’s Garden.
In a statement TVS said: ‘If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then SBS’s new gardening show, Costa’s Garden Odyssey is proof that Community Television is helping shape the future of Australian television. ‘
“It’s nice to see a network cloning an Australian program instead of buying another overseas format,” says Patton.
But SBS stood its ground.
Denise Eriksen, Manager of Production and Development, told TV Tonight, “The only real similarity between the two programmes is that they both feature Greek men – passionate about what they do. Incidentally, Vasili’s Garden also ran on SBS for 10 episodes more than two years ago.
“Costa’s a landscape architect who takes a holistic approach to gardening and horticulture, emphasising the importance of water and its management and the benefits of sustainable living – crucial contemporary issues. Vasili’s show focussed on Australia’s backyards. Long may they both find their homes on Australian television.”
Vasili did indeed air on SBS, after starting in community television, and returning to it years later.
Costa’s Garden Odyssey airs on SBS Thursday night at 8:00 pm along with newcomers My Family Feast, ADbc and the return of Dave in the Life.