SET­TLING IN TO NEW HOME AF­TER RES­CUE

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - NEWS -

BRIAN Walsh, Fox­tel’s di­rec­tor of tele­vi­sion, is the man re­spon­si­ble for saving A Place To Call Home from Chan­nel Seven’s pro­gram­ming scrap-heap last year.

The free-to-air net­work is said to have swung the axe af­ter de­cid­ing that the al­most one mil­lion weekly view­ers were too old and not a prime ad­ver­tis­ing de­mo­graphic.

Fans re­volted, launch­ing a so­cial me­dia cam­paign plead­ing with some­one to save their show.

Fox­tel fig­ured at least a few devo­tees would fol­low it to its new home. And so they have.

“We’ve sig­nif­i­cantly lifted our sub­scribers … in the drama tier, and that’s be­ing driven by A Place To Call

Home,” Walsh says.

“It’s more than ex­ceeded our expectations. It will go down as one of the great Aus­tralian TV suc­cess sto­ries. We’re over the moon.”

In in­dus­try terms, the come­back story is a unique one. A net­work making new episodes of its dumped show for a ri­val, with a pur­chase com­mit­ment of two sea­sons to boot, is un­heard of.

“It’s quite a ground-break­ing part­ner­ship,” Walsh says.

“It was a big gam­ble and I was ner­vous, no ques­tion, but the gam­ble has paid off.”

Since launch­ing, it has at­tracted an au­di­ence of nearly 500,000 each week and is the third most-watched drama ever on Fox­tel, be­hind Game of Thrones and Went­worth.

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