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Katering Show creators say they couldn’t afford to produce a second season on YouTube

The creators of one Australia’s most successful YouTube comedy shows, The Katering Show, revealed to Mumbrella that they made so little money from the show’s first season that they couldn’t pay themselves or their executive producer.

Kate Mc Kate McLennan : The Katering Show pulled strong audiences but they weren't able to pay themselves.

Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan: The Katering Show pulled strong audiences but not enough money to pay the talent behind it

Speaking about their decision to move the show to the ABC’s iView platform, Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan said that despite some episodes drawing more than 800,000 views they quickly realised the audience wouldn’t pay for a second season.

“For the first season, myself, McCartney and the producer Tamsin all reinvested our wages, so we haven’t really been paid,” said McLennan. “We knew how much work it would be to do a second season and to make it and there is no way we could have done it while reinvesting our wages.”

Fellow co-creator, McCartney confirmed: “It was very low budget for us, personally.”

“We knew there was enough juice in the idea and when it came to a second season we weren’t going to mess with the formula,” she added, explaining the decision to move to the public broadcaster.

McLennan noted the duo did speak with a number of TV networks but were worried about being able to maintain the satirical format of the cooking comedy which mocks franchises such as Maggie Beer, Masterchef and other popular cooking shows.

katering“A lot them had ideas about what they wanted to do with the show or us as our characters and they just weren’t in accord with what we wanted to do,” said McLennan.

“The only way we could have made any money out of the second series was going (with a TV network).

“For a second season we would have had to do a whole heap of product placement to keep it on YouTube, which you can’t really do if you are satirising that world.”

The Kates also spoke about the process which saw the comedy come to life and how its success on YouTube surprised them.

Kate McCartney said: “We been had a developing a series called Bleak, and by the time we started on Katering we had been doing it for four years.

“We just needed a mental break from writing the same idea and that ended up being Katering. A friend actually said: ‘that will probably be the one that hits’ and it was.”

“Bleak only had around 10,000 views and that’s all we were hoping for.”

“Katering had a bump a week or so after the launch and it really took things to the next level,” added McLennan.

“This time around, the ABC offered us the best of both worlds in that it would part-fund the series and we would retain quite a lot of the creative control.”

Asked about the second season McLennan joked there would be a number of surprises, including a guest appearance by comedian Ronny Chieng, but joked that viewers shouldn’t expect much cooking.

“I’d like to say this season sees us do more cooking but we don’t,” she said.

Kate McCartney added: “I would venture we do about half the amount of cooking.”

Both comedians noted they were keen to build the franchise and might look at doing a stage show or a recipe book down the track.

“I mean it’s the second season that already has an established fanbase,” said McLennan “I think we’re heading up to 5m views (on YouTube).

“We still want to feed the community that is around the project and putting it on iView is interesting.”

“People are asking us if we want to do a third season of the Katering Show,” added McCartney. “And I think we just need to exist in the world for two seconds – give us six month – if we don’t do a third season there is juice within our dynamic. So while we might not do another series, we might do a companion piece to the show.

“We also toyed with the idea of doing a stage show,” said McLennan, “and we would love to do a recipe book at one point.”

Nic Christensen 

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