The ABC has this afternoon confirmed one of its highest rating programs, the satirical consumer advice shot The Checkout will not be returning for what would have been its seventh series in 2018-19.
However, a spokesperson for the ABC was keen to send the message that this does not mean the show is “axed”, adding that “The programming slate regularly changes for any number of reasons, including the need to strike a balance between new and returning programs for audiences. Putting The Checkout on hiatus does not preclude the program from returning in the future.”
While its true being on hiatus does not preclude the ABC from commissioning new episodes in the future, it should be noted other series currently on hiatus according to network publicity departments include Sisters, Family Feud, Young Talent Time and A Country Practice.
The statement from the ABC marketing came four hours after The Checkout executive producer Julian Morrow revealed the show had been dumped by the ABC due to cost factors as the organisation looks to deal with the Federal government’s recently announced funding freeze.
“It’s true The Checkout’s combination of thorough research and creative ways to present consumer information means it’s not as low cost as some other ABC programs.” Morrow stated in an online post.
“But the cost of making The Checkout has not increased for two years, and the next series would have cost the same or less. The Checkout was also slated for production in the current financial year, before the federal government’s freeze on ABC funding in July 2019.” said Morrow.
The show had been an important part of the ABC schedule since 2013, attracting significant audiences for its mix of humour and consumer advice.
A spokesperson for the ABC added that the broadcaster was “proud of its long association with The Checkout and production company Giant Dwarf, with which it has worked on other programs, such as The Letdown and Growing Up Gracefully.”