Nine axes Australia’s Got Talent

imgres-1Channel Nine has axed Australia’s Got Talent (AGT) after just one year on the network, Mumbrella can reveal.

Nine acquired the rights to the show, produced by FremantleMedia, in 2012 after Seven dropped the show due to ratings falling towards the end of its five year run. It is thought the high production costs of the labour intensive competition are behind the decision to drop it.

However, ratings for AGT failed to materially improve for Nine as it was pitted against Seven’s blockbuster hit The X Factor. Although ratings started out at over 1m per episode they dwindled in the middle of the series with the show only breaking the one million metro viewer mark again for its last couple of episodes after The X Factor had ended.

Nine’s acquisition of the show also led to an embarrassing legal stoush with rival Seven when it moved to poach then X Factor judge Melanie Brown, better known as Mel B, for the show. Seven took out an injunction which prevented the former Spice Girl from switching to the network as she was still under contract with them.

Brown is now available to work for Nine after a year’s absence from Australian TV because of the injunction, and she will appear as a judge on The Voice Kids Australia due to start later this year. The move also puts on hiatus the television future of another judge, Kyle Sandilands, who had appeared on the franchise on both Seven and Nine since 2010.

He appeared alongside ‘Ginger Spice’ Geri Halliwell, former winner Timomatic and British comedian Dawn French in the last season.

The AGT winner announcement averaged just under 1.4m metro viewers when the show ended in November after The X Factor averaged 2.43m for its winner announcement two weeks prior.

At the end of last year a Nine spokesperson had told TV Tonight the show would be coming back in 2014.

Megan Reynolds


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