Nine is understood to let go its output deal with Sony Pictures Television, opting not to renew with the Hollywood studio prior to the LA screenings.
It retained is output deal with Warner Bros.
The move meant the shows Sony showcased at the last LA screenings are believed to be without an Australian broadcaster:
The Last Resort (ABC)
The Mob Doctor (FOX) [pictured]
Made in Jersey (CBS)
Save Me (NBC)
Other broadcasters are believed to be in discussion with Sony.
On Wednesday CEO David Gyngell told Aussie media, “The Nine Network has walked away from a big Hollywood studio and I’m pretty sure the Seven Network will walk away from a big Hollywood studio.”
He cited Downton Abbey and Revenge as the only two overseas shows working on Australian TV.
“If you throw in The Big Bang Theory and a few other small bits of television you can fill up schedules but you will not pull big audiences to FTA television when you are competing for eyeballs for television from a range of devices.”
Gyngell plans to lobby Communications Minister Stephen Conroy for further licence fee rebates.
“People wrote that the licence fee rebate went to to bottom line – it hasn’t. The profitability of the three commercial TV networks are at an all-time low. We have to keep investing in local production and the government respects that. I’m going to lobby him to go harder to reduce the next round of licence fees not so we can improve the bottom line, but so we can again invest in Australian production and Australian drama.”
He singled out TEN’s Offspring as the best on local TV lately.
“We have made some OK television in the past three years, but our new House Husbands for me is the best piece of character drama we have made at Channel Nine. I’ve put plenty of bad television on air in the past but I reckon I’m right on this one.
“Underbelly Badness is an amazing piece of television. We need to do some work with investors to ensure that when you come up with something as good as this it shouldn’t have to stop after 65 episodes. Underbelly has given great employment and great opportunities to different people as it’s been a different story every series.
“One project important to me is Kerry Packer’s War. The story Chris Lee has told and the research he has clearly done is so good that there’s only a few people like myself, James Packer, his mother and perhaps John Cornell will pick up on. Lachy Hulmes’ performance is so good that I get a little nervous and a little bit sweaty when I see it.”