SETTLING IN TO NEW HOME AFTER RESCUE
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.