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The Checkout producer slams ABC’s decision to suspend show

The ABC has decided not to commission a seventh series of its consumer affairs show The Checkout, putting the show on indefinite hiatus.

In a message on the program’s Twitter account, executive producer Julian Morrow said the ABC’s decision had been driven by cost cutting, as the broadcaster deals with the Federal government’s funding freeze.

In his post, Morrow said: “It’s true The Checkout’s combination of thorough research and creative ways to present consumer information means it’s not as low cost as some other ABC programs.

“But the cost of making The Checkout has not increased for two years, and the next series would have cost the same or less. The Checkout was also slated for production in the current financial year, before the federal government’s freeze on ABC funding in July 2019.”

The show first premiered in 2013.

In its early years, the show was a ratings success for the ABC, but in recent times audiences have been dropping away, with last year’s season premier falling below the half million mark.

An ABC spokesman would not comment on the details of the “hiatus”, telling Mumbrella: “The ABC has decided not to commission a seventh series of The Checkout for 2018-19 at this time. The programming slate regularly changes for any number of reasons, including the need to strike a balance between new and returning programs for audiences.

“Putting The Checkout on hiatus does not preclude the program from returning in the future. The ABC is proud of its long association with The Checkout and production company Giant Dwarf, with which it has worked on other programs, such as The Letdown and Growing Up Gracefully.”

Morrow was defiant in signing off his letter, saying: “The Checkout’s inbox was always overflowing with ripoffs, corporate doublespeak and advertising fails from the sinister to the silly. The ripoffs will continue, but unfortunately it seems the The Checkout will not.”

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