ABC steps away from messy The Checkout negotiations

Negotiations have completely broken down between ABC and Giant Dwarf, producer of consumer affairs program The Checkout, after the messy discussions broke out onto social media last month.

In a statement released to the press, ABC said ‘preliminary discussions’ had been ‘ended’ as it became clear the two weren’t ‘creatively aligned’.

ABC has abandoned negotiations with The Checkout producers

Negotiations took a turn as Giant Dwarf and Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder (CJZ), who both worked on the six seasons of the show for ABC, headed to court over the program, as reported by TV Tonight.

During that process, the manager of The Checkout’s social media account seemed to be goading the ABC into making a decision regarding a seventh season of the format. A post alleged the broadcaster had banned The Checkout’s team from being involved with other ABC programming.

The ABC vehemently denied the claims of the tweet to Mumbrella.

The statement provided regarding the end of discussions said the national broadcaster is still working with Giant Dwarf on other productions.

“The ABC had preliminary discussions with producer Giant Dwarf to develop a consumer affairs program that offers something new to our audiences, showcasing fresh ideas and diverse Australian talent. We have ended those discussions after Giant Dwarf’s public statements and correspondence and dealings with the ABC made it clear we are not creatively aligned, which is a necessary first step when considering development of a new program,” read the statement.

“We were also clear from the outset of those discussions that we are unable to commission a seventh series of The Checkout due to editorial and legal reasons, including current court proceedings between third parties.

“The ABC continues to look at ways to build on the consumer affairs content of our news, factual and specialist teams across radio, television and online.

“Meanwhile, we are working with Giant Dwarf on other unrelated projects. We are also proud that our program slate for next year features some of the great talent featured in The Checkout, including Craig Reucassel on Fight for Planet A: The Climate Challenge and Big Weather, and Kirsten Drysdale and Zoe Norton Lodge on Reputation Rehab.”

The Checkout’s social media pages also reported the show was axed in July. This was denied by ABC.

The Checkout’s executive producer Julian Morrow is the sole director of Giant Dwarf. The Checkout’s Kristen Drysdale and Zoe Norton Lodge are involved in ABC’s Reputation Rehab which is coming to the network in 2020.


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