Fans of ABC’s The Checkout have been delivered some sad news today, with the government-funded broadcaster deciding not to proceed with the next series of the show.
Since premiering on the ABC in March of 2013, The Checkout has delivered six seasons and 74 episodes under the guidance of executive producers Julian Morrow and Nick Murray, and was just about to go into production for a seventh season before it was rested.
Morrow issued a press release announcing The Checkout being put on ice via social media, saying he was “disappointed” the show wasn’t included ABC’s funding priorities.
“The ABC’s head of non-scripted production explained the decision not to fund another series of The Checkout by citing budget cuts and the relatively high cost of making the show,” he 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.”
R.I.P. The Checkout. pic.twitter.com/QAn9iGai9f
— The Checkout (@checkouttv) July 6, 2018
Morrow said the show was very much a program shaped by information that was sent in by ABC viewers of all ages.
“The Checkout’s inbox was always overflowing with rip-offs, corporate double-speak and advertising fails from the sinister to the silly,” he said.
“The rip-offs will continue, but unfortunately it seems The Checkout will not.
“We’d like to thank everyone who’s tuned into The Checkout over the years for their input and support.”
The ABC then followed up with a statement of its own:
“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.”
Social media has since been flooded with messages of sadness and anger from fans of the show, including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
We’re sad to hear the news of no immediate plans for season 7 of @checkouttv. The show’s producers, writers & hosts have done an incredible job over the years informing Australians about consumer rights & holding businesses to account. We need shows like the Checkout #accccccc
— ACCC (@acccgovau) July 6, 2018
Noooooooooooooooooo! C’mon @ABCTV, what the heck? This is unique Australian television that added to the social good by informing consumers of their rights and gave them a voice. Now, who will keep the bastards honest?
— Dr Jamie Chapman (@Chapman_Histo) July 6, 2018
Who can we tweet our dismay at? I’m going to the Rally for the ABC, but I want to let someone know that despite the huge challenges the ABC is facing, cutting this show is the wrong call. It’s incredibly informative, cuts across demographics, and is just plain enjoyable to watch.
— Anna Gunn (@annzier) July 6, 2018
— duritz (@duritz) July 6, 2018
Really sad to hear, this was precisely the kind of show that a public broadcaster can uniquely provide and support, an important public service that could never exist in commercial media.
— Matt Ebb (@mattebb) July 6, 2018
NOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAWWW This is such a fantastic informative and funny show. I will really miss it. Big Mistake ABC!
— Flick Ruby (@FlickRubicon) July 6, 2018
Shame on you @ABCTV. The Checkout is the type of show you should be funding, helping ordinary viewers stand up to shonky businesses & company rip-offs. Commercial TV will never bite the hand that feeds it, so we consumers are left worse off.
— Helen MacLean (@1HelenMac) July 6, 2018
Nooo! This is the worst news! pic.twitter.com/UBsDhpng9C
— Anthea 🌈 (@anthea_yeah) July 6, 2018
Very sorry to hear this. The Checkout communicated important messages for all. It was not “low cost” because its messages had to be correct. Its mix of info and irreverence was brilliantly pitched. Thank you to all the team.
— Lin Enright (@1linnet) July 6, 2018
noooooooooo. The Checkout is a public service in its own right
— choosing (@ch150ch) July 6, 2018