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EXCLUSIVE | Why it will cost Seven $15-million to fire Andrew O’Keefe

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Andrew O’Keefe is facing domestic violence charges (image – Nine)

It’s been a big 24 hours for Andrew O’Keefe. On Sunday morning the host of The Chase woke up to headlines declaring network executives were set to replace him with Rove McManus.

The network rubbished the story, but just hours later reports emerged the star had been charged over an alleged domestic assault on his partner in Sydney’s east ­yesterday.

It’s left the network in a delicate position.

While O’Keefe is innocent until proven guilty and entitled to his day in court, it is not unusual for TV Networks to shy away from bad publicity and fire talent when their off-screen behaviour makes headlines. O’Keefe has survived a number of incidents over the years but it is understood he is currently off contract with the network.

And while that would give Seven executives an easy out, TV Blackbox can reveal 6 months worth of episodes have been recorded of The Chase at a cost of $15-million, including production costs and prize money.

While game show contracts usually state winnings will not be paid if the episode does not go to air, the production costs alone would make the axing of O’Keefe’s episodes a costly proposition. It could also be assumed the hundreds of contestants who miss out on their winnings will go on A Current Affair and tabloid magazines to share their stories of woe.

So, what does Seven do?

The network rushed to record so many episodes ahead of time after O’Keefe was not able to fulfil previous recording commitments. The Chase is a vital component of Seven’s afternoon strategy as it provides a healthy lead-in to the 6pm news.

While it seemed like a good idea at the time, that forward-thinking might now backfire. If O’Keefe is found guilty of domestic violence, you can safely assume those remaining episodes will never make it to air.

*Seven have been contacted for comment

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Andrew O’Keefe is facing domestic violence charges (image – Nine)

It’s been a big 24 hours for Andrew O’Keefe. On Sunday morning the host of The Chase woke up to headlines declaring network executives were set to replace him with Rove McManus.

The network rubbished the story, but just hours later reports emerged the star had been charged over an alleged domestic assault on his partner in Sydney’s east ­yesterday.

It’s left the network in a delicate position.

- ADVERTISEMENT -

While O’Keefe is innocent until proven guilty and entitled to his day in court, it is not unusual for TV Networks to shy away from bad publicity and fire talent when their off-screen behaviour makes headlines. O’Keefe has survived a number of incidents over the years but it is understood he is currently off contract with the network.

And while that would give Seven executives an easy out, TV Blackbox can reveal 6 months worth of episodes have been recorded of The Chase at a cost of $15-million, including production costs and prize money.

While game show contracts usually state winnings will not be paid if the episode does not go to air, the production costs alone would make the axing of O’Keefe’s episodes a costly proposition. It could also be assumed the hundreds of contestants who miss out on their winnings will go on A Current Affair and tabloid magazines to share their stories of woe.

So, what does Seven do?

The network rushed to record so many episodes ahead of time after O’Keefe was not able to fulfil previous recording commitments. The Chase is a vital component of Seven’s afternoon strategy as it provides a healthy lead-in to the 6pm news.

While it seemed like a good idea at the time, that forward-thinking might now backfire. If O’Keefe is found guilty of domestic violence, you can safely assume those remaining episodes will never make it to air.

*Seven have been contacted for comment

Robert McKnighthttps://tvblackbox.com.au/robert-mcknight/
"Leading TV commentator" - The Daily Telegraph | "Known for his impeccable sources in the TV industry" - The Daily Mail | "Always first with the correct info" - Beau Ryan | Robert McKnight is a highly regarded Australian Television Producer having worked at SEVEN, NINE and TEN during his 25 years in the industry. Publicly he is most well-known for creating and producing STUDIO 10 but has worked on SUNRISE, THE MORNING SHOW plus other prime time productions in addition to creating award-winning news campaigns for both 7NEWS and 9NEWS. Currently, Rob is the host and producer of the TV BLACKBOX, MCKNIGHT TONIGHT and MONSTERS WHO MURDER podcast, and executive producer of AFTERNOONS WITH SOFIE FORMICA on radio station 4BC
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Comments

  1. We’ve only heard one side of this story
    Let it PLAY out in a court of law .
    Personally I don’t think ANDREW is in a good place at the MOMENT.
    And one can understand that, let’s not speculate on ANDREWS FUTURE LET ALLONE HIS CONTRACT WITH 7 .
    WHATEVER HAPPENS I WISH ANDREW
    ALL THE BEST .

  2. There are two sides to every story. Sometimes more.

    This is a situation that needs to play out in a Court of Law, on a level playing field. The male within a heterosexual relationship is always naturally assumed to be the physical aggressor by Police when a domestic disturbance occurs.

    Andrew in this instance should be treated fairly and without judgement. Allow him his moment in court.

    Of course the majority of DV cases involve a male hurting a female and it is because of this, Police naturally take the side of the female. “The physical weaker person”.

    What if Andrew as attacked violently and he was simply trying to defend himself? He left the premises – presumably traumatised.

    There has been a lot to say about Andrew and all of his Alcohol and Drug problems in the media. If his partner is so “pure and innocent” (which she may well be), why were they together?

    The media needs to back off and allow the Courts to do there Job.

    Lets hear what Andrew has to say about all of this. I believe he also has injuries.

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