“I Get Both Sides Of The Argument”: Nine’s Head Of Programming On The Briefcase

“I Get Both Sides Of The Argument”: Nine’s Head Of Programming On The Briefcase
SHARE
THIS



Monday night’s launch of Nine’s The Briefcase, and the subsequent responses to the show, caused quite the brouhaha, with everything from people’s “faith in humanity restored” to people shaming the network for exploiting struggling families.

So B&T spoke to Nine Entertainment managing director of programming and production Andrew Backwell about the show, the social experiment genre and why audiences can’t get enough of these types of shows.

“When we commissioned the show we knew it was going to be controversial,” Backwell said.

“I get both sides of the argument; I understand why people are criticising it. I don’t personally agree. I think if someone’s being exploited, the best person to say they’re being exploited are the people being exploited.

“But none of the families that participated believe they were exploited. In fact, they all said it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to them.

“It was always going to divide audiences and that’s exactly what we saw, more in terms of social media commentary. You’ve got a group of people who found it really uplifting, heart-warming… and on the other side you’ve got people saying we were exploiting people who are down on their luck for entertainment.

“The way I answer that, is that we have had 12 families that have been participants in this social experiment or moral dilemma on the television show, and every family has said it’s been a really positive experience and it’s changed their lives.

“There’s been a lot of people who have criticised the show without having seen it. But I’m never going to hide from the fact that it’s a controversial premise. We said it in our promos, we’ve told the audience, we’ve been absolutely upfront.

“It’s fascinating to see someone with a dilemma, because what it does is engage you at home and you wonder what you would do. So you sit on the couch with your family, your partner, and the first thing you do is turn to each other and ask, what would you do? And if it’s creating that debate at home, I think that’s a positive.

“The thing about these shows is they’re quite authentic,” Backwell continued. “It’s real people and their reactions, it’s not actors, and if people respond well to them we’ll make more of them.

“For example, last year we launched Married At First Sight and that got an average of 1.2 million viewers for the series. And what you find now, there’s quite a few shows in that area. Seven has First Date, Seven Year Switch and Kiss Bang Love. Everyone sees what the audiences are responding to and they commission shows along those lines.

“And when the audiences don’t watch them anymore, we commission something else. I think it’s all cyclical; people’s tastes change.

“We could do too many reality TV shows and people get bored of it and then they want to see something else. Then only the good reality TV shows will stick around and all the ones that aren’t as good will disappear and be replaced by something else.”

Quizzed about the ratings, Backwell called it a “solid launch” but conceded he always wants higher figures.

“As programmers, we always want bigger ratings. But it was a solid launch and I believe that we’re going to see growth in the series as more people come in and sample and get a notion of the show. That’s just my personal prediction, we’ll have to see next week if the ratings go up or down.

“But honestly, we never get enough viewers, we always want to get more viewers. I would like it to rate the same as the State of Origin will on Wednesday night, which is around two and a half million viewers. So we always want more.”

Asked if this series might spur other reality programs for Nine, Backwell added, “There will be other ideas that come out of this show”.

 

Please login with linkedin to comment

#HappyGiving Advertising Standards Bureau andrew backwell Nestlé Purina Fancy Feast the briefcase

Latest News

Verizon Media Academy Ends For 2021 With Youth Charity Pitch-Off
  • Advertising
  • Media

Verizon Media Academy Ends For 2021 With Youth Charity Pitch-Off

Verizon Media’s talent program has come to an end for the third year, closing with a hybrid pitch-off event for Musicians Making A Difference (MMAD). The Verizon Media Academy class of 2021, made up of 44 emerging leaders from across Australia and New Zealand media, advertising and marketing industry, were given just one hour to […]

Industry’s Gamers Unite For UnLtd’s Virtual Rocket League Comp
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Industry’s Gamers Unite For UnLtd’s Virtual Rocket League Comp

Social purpose organisation UnLtd’s Big Games competition has raised a combined $85,000 for children and young people at risk. Running over five weeks, the competition involved 32 teams from across the advertising, marketing and media industries battling it out virtually for a chance to qualify for the Rocket League final. The tournament culminated in a […]

Sam Worthington And Phoebe Tonkin To Star In New Stan Original Film ‘Transfusion’
  • Media

Sam Worthington And Phoebe Tonkin To Star In New Stan Original Film ‘Transfusion’

Stan has announced that the Stan Original Film Transfusion commenced filming in Sydney earlier this week and will premiere on Stan in 2022. Transfusion is a taut, muscular thriller starring Sam Worthington (Avatar) as Ryan Logan, a former Special Forces operative, who is battling to cope with life after the loss of his wife and is thrust […]

COVID-19 Saw Stock Imagery Return To Harmful Gender Stereotypes
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

COVID-19 Saw Stock Imagery Return To Harmful Gender Stereotypes

According to a decade of data collected by iStock, Australian brands turned to imagery depicting outdated gender stereotypes during the pandemic. Tracking the keyword ‘women’, iStock by Getty Images found that in 2020, ANZ brands and businesses reverted to gender stereotypes. Images of mothers home-schooling were used at almost twice the rate of images of […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Maddison Connaughton Ends Time As Editor Of The Saturday Paper
  • Media

Maddison Connaughton Ends Time As Editor Of The Saturday Paper

Schwartz Media is congratulating Maddison Connaughton on her three years as editor of The Saturday Paper. Connaughton has decided to finish up her editorship this month. “It’s been an honour to edit the paper,” Connaughton said. “The Saturday Paper is one of the brightest voices in Australian media and I have been happy to see […]

Teenage boy wearing headphones works at desk in his bedroom
  • Media

New Research Names Olivia Rodrigo And BTS The Most Popular Study Music

Research from EdBbirdie using Spotify data has identified the most popular songs to study to. After analysing thousands of studying and homework playlists on Spotify, American singer Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘drivers license’ came out as top song to study to. It featured on 48 study playlists, while other top songs included ‘Ophelia’ by The Lumineers, ‘Falling’ […]

Happy woman drinking tea and waving to someone while having video call over desktop PC in the evening at home.
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Building A Successful Remote Marketing Team

Dayna Stewart is the Business Director – Digital Marketing, Media & Creative Services at The Nudge Group. Here, she discusses the challenges that come with building a successful marketing team when working remotely. Before COVID-19 changed the way businesses work, most marketing teams spent their days together in a meeting room collaborating on the next […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Australia’s The Kid LAROI Joins Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Olivia Rodrigo And More In iHeartRadio Festival Line-Up
  • Media

Australia’s The Kid LAROI Joins Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Olivia Rodrigo And More In iHeartRadio Festival Line-Up

The line-up for the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Festival has been announced as the legendary event returns live in Las Vegas in September. This year, the epic two-day lineup for the iHeartRadio Music Festival main stage will feature performances by Billie Eilish, Cheap Trick, Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Florida Georgia Line, Journey, Khalid, Lil Baby, Maroon 5, Nelly, […]