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Seven moves Australian Spartan to non ratings period, didn’t do ‘the job it needed to do’

Seven has put its newest show Australian Spartan on a two week break, with the show to recommence during the Easter non ratings period, the broadcaster has confirmed.

The program, similar to Nine’s successful Ninja Warrior series, debuted a week ago with 816,000 viewers.

Spartan debuted just two weeks ago

But the following Sunday, it had fallen by almost 300,000, to an audience of 524,000 metro viewers. Nine’s Married at First Sight, which ran in the same time slot, attracted almost triple the amount of viewers.

It follows comments by Nine’s programming boss Hamish Turner, who told Mumbrella he felt Seven was keen to “emulate” the success of Ninja Warrior. But he warned “you have to question where the line of appropriation and imitation is.”

The show is inspired by a fitness phenomenon known as ‘Spartan Race’, and sees teams tackle a set of obstacles to win a grand prize. Seven’s version is run by hosts Edwina Bartholomew, Hamish McLachlan and Wendall Sailor.

Angus Ross, director of programming at Seven, said despite “the best efforts” of a great team, the show had not done the “job it needed to do”.

“Australian Spartan will take a two week break, before finding its new home in the prime-time schedule, in line with the kick off 2018 AFL season,” Ross said.

“The series will return with fifteen teams entering the Spartan arena to compete in the Finals Deciders shows leading to the ultimate test of endurance, strength and teamwork and $150,000 in prize money.”

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