EXCLUSIVE | Channel 9 dumps #MAFS spinoff TALKING MARRIED
Despite strong ratings Nine has axed plans to bring back TALKING MARRIED, the sister show to mega-hit MARRIED AT FIRST SIGHT.
In the 2019 finale 315,000 metro viewers watched as Dan Webb and Jessika Power appeared to break up live on air while being questioned by Jayne Azzopardi, Shelly Horton and Ben Fordham. It was car crash television which led to the couple pulling out of planned interviews the following morning.
TV Blackbox can reveal that incident is just one example of why the network has decided to cancel plans for another series, with a source telling us;
“(it is) out of concern for the mental health of those involved”
A hit reality show like Married At First Sight involves a lot of managing of the contestants. Typically, PR teams will follow the reaction to episodes on social media and then train talent on how to answer any curly questions.i
Unfortunately, due to the live nature of Talking Married there was not time for that process to be followed, leading to awkward moments. One of the biggest headline-making moments was in the finale where Dan and Jess faced tough questions about their relationship.
Insiders are keen to point out the hosts of the show did nothing wrong, they simply asked the questions you would expect three journalists to ask.
The Nine Network has plenty to celebrate with the juggernaut that is Married At First Sight and the show will kick off the ratings year for 2020 up against Seven’s reworked My Kitchen Rules (you can read more on that here), but CEO Hugh Marks has expressed concerns over the damage the show has done to the Nine brand.
Talking Married only added to those issues with the 9Life show creating headlines of its own throughout its run.
I’m sad to see Talking Married axed but so glad I got to co-host two seasons. Live TV can be brutal for all involved. Oh well, you don’t go into the media for stability. Not my first rodeo. Love your work BlackBox. I listen every week.— Shelly Horton 💃🏻 (@ShellyHorton1) September 16, 2019
Companion shows are a rarity in this country but are a staple in the UK and to some extent the US where viewers have a platform for extra material about their favourite shows.
Talking Married looks to be a victim of its own success and its a shame it won’t be part of Nine’s line-up in 2020.
*Nine declined to comment