Staff working on two local children’s shows were told their services would no longer be required today as production came to an unexpected end.
The Seven network has decided not to renew Get Clever and Get Arty. TV Blackbox understands production has been accelerated to complete the current run of episodes, although none are currently scheduled in released TV guides.
A spokesperson told us the network was still on track to meet its children’s television quota, despite the decision not to renew these two shows.
Get Arty was airing 7.30am Monday to Friday on 7TWO but is not listed as airing next week.
According to the description on the 7PLUS website;
Get Clever is a new children’s science and maths TV program that presents ways for kids to understand, explore and utilize the fundamental principles of science and mathematics in an entertaining way!
Get Arty is a showcase of amazing arty projects! From their sketchpads, to your home – get all the tips you need to make some beautiful, messy, fun, tasty, weird, and even exploding art.
Just this week Seven announced it would be making an additional $20 million worth of cost cuts after the company posted a $67 million loss for the December half. This is the first indication of where some of those cuts will come from.
Meanwhile, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and Screen Australia are set to release their response to the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry at the end of February. Part of that report will outline recommendations for local children’s TV content quotas.
Currently television broadcasters in Australia are required to air 390 hours of P and C rated material with at least 130 hours being first-release children’s content.
In 2017 representatives of each network appeared in a parliament inquiry into the sustainability of the film and television industry.
According to a report by the SMH 10 CEO Paul Anderson;
urged the committee to recommend the government “abolish children’s and pre-school quotas”, which he described as “heavy and restrictive” and “no longer sustainable”.
With the report due to be released at the end of February, today’s developments could be an indication the networks have got their way and children’s content quotas are set to be scrapped, or at least dramatically reduced.