Seven has confirmed it will now produce the crazy mini-golf format Holey Moley in Australia after US filming was cancelled earlier this year.
Seven had attempted to film the ambitious series on the massive custom-built set in the US in March. However, as TV Blackbox exclusively revealed at the time, a mix of torrential rain followed by the spread of the COVID-19 virus caused the network to abandon production without a single episode completed.
The shutdown was a significant financial headache for Seven and producers Eureka. The US production involved a production team of over 500 people, including 60 contestants, many of whom had to be quickly flown back to Australia and put into isolation.
The decision to move the production was confirmed by the show’s commentator Brian Taylor over the weekend when he told his Triple M radio audience he was looking forward to his co-host, comedian Rob Riggles joining him in Australia later this year.
Holey Moley is a format created by Australian production house Eureka and was a huge ratings success when it first premiered in the US last year.
TV Blackbox understands Eureka is now considering filming the local season and the next US series back-to-back on the Australian course. Eureka recently commenced a search for US citizens currently living in Australia and willing to participate in a ‘game-show’ format.
Building the massive 18-hole course in Australia will be a significantly expensive exercise, but the ability to produce multiple versions of the format for television markets around the world could be a massive boon for the local industry.
With US travel restrictions likely to remain in place for a significant period of time, filming in the safer environment of Australia is anticipated to be appealing for some international productions.
A final decision on where the new 18-hole course will be built is yet to be confirmed, with Seven’s director of network programming Angus Ross telling Mediaweek;