The Shire's no Shore thing
Posted March 17th, 2012 by debritz
Australia's Ten Network is reportedly working on a new "reality" series to be called The Shire.
The word is that Ten is expecting the show -- about a group of people living in Cronulla, a beachside suburb south of Sydney -- to be Australia's answer to the US phenomenon Jersey Shore and the British hit The Only Way is Essex.
Not that anyone in televisionland is going to listen to me, but I would urge caution. Remember, Nine thought Excess Baggage would be a huge hit, too.
There are a lot of potential pitfalls with this kind of programming, and one of them is beating your chest too loudly when they are launched.
The days when people will watch a show based purely on the station's own promotional efforts are long, long gone. It takes positive word of mouth, and -- especially with shows targetted to a young audience -- a lot of genuine internet buzz before a show will become a hit.
If anything, overzealous promotion will turn potential viewers off (as I believe it did with Excess Baggage).
The fact that the formula has worked elsewhere counts for very little. Success or otherwise will depend on casting, production values, scheduling and a lot of luck.
The Shire may well be the next big thing and, given the lacklustre performance of many of its other shows this year, I'm sure Ten has a lot riding on it.
To be honest, I'm hoping it isn't a hit. Why? Because it means we'll have another bunch of oxygen-sucking pseudo-celebrities clogging up media coverage that could be devoted to actual achievers.
Given the backlash The Circle's Yumi Stynes and George Negus received over their comments about Victoria Cross winner Ben Roberts Smith, maybe Ten should be making a real "reality" show about people who've done something to benefit others.