Think all television is the same? You would almost be right. The network power heads have systematically dumbed down the average viewer’s programming diet. Why? Well most consume instead of savor. It is a matter of taste.
The very same unwashed viewing public tune in weekly to knuckle dragging reality shows that are an insult to the cornea and yet they can garner higher ratings than a real piece of entertainment. So why should we bother to create art? The question was rhetorical.
And yet, on a rare occasion a new show comes along that delights its viewers. Of course I am speaking about Australia’s hit Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
The show is one of the ABC’s (Australia Broadcasting Company) hit Dramas, pulling audiences of around 900,000 on Friday nights, but Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is in doubt for a third season.
The stylish smartly produced period drama stars the incredible Essie Davis as Phryne Fisher, Lady detective who solves crimes, all while looking amazing. Essie Davis is La Jazz Hot.
Producer Fiona Eagger tells SPY that ABC has yet to come to a decision and time is running out to retain cast and begin script development. What is there to think about? The show is brilliant.
“I believe there’s a desire from the ABC for a third series, I think they’re very proud of the show. It’s got very loyal following and it’s doing outstandingly well in terms of ratings on Friday nights and overseas,” she said.
“But I think what the ABC is struggling with is that they’ve had budget cuts and they’ve got a lot of potentially-returning shows. They’ve got an embarrassment of riches.
“So they haven’t gone into development or commissioned a third series.”
I now own the DVD of season 1 and on pre-ordered season 2. The show is so refreshing and while set in the jazz age, seems modern with current subject matters. Once discovered, I can not imagine having to go back to the way it was before we had our Phryne.
An ABC spokesperson confirmed to SPY, “No decision has been made either way.”
This week ABC announced 12 new and returning Dramas including the Crownies reboot Janet King, ANZAC Girls, Broken Shore, Old School, Jack Irish, Dr. Blake Mysteries and the drama poster child, Rake.
None compare to Miss Fisher’s.
Essie Davis was invited to the ABC 2014 launch party but was unavailable to attend.
With so many upcoming Dramas series, Eagger is concerned Miss Fisher may fall victim to a crowded production slate. If that is the case bring the show here to America. Our team here at SPY will fund and produce it.
“I think they might forward-commit sometimes so there might be a change of practice. They’re anticipating bringing in the reins a little bit more, so the next year there is going to be a little bit tougher on Drama,” she said.
“The word we’re getting is that there’s a bit of a squeeze going on for the Drama dollar. Whether that’s internally or in anticipation of an external force I’m not sure. I think it’s something audiences and practitioners have to watch -that the ABC Drama dollar is not eroded.”
But the indecision may also stem from ABC’s ongoing desire to attract younger viewers.
Last week Director of Television Richard Finlayson told SPY when I called to complain, “the broadcaster was looking to attract broad audiences and change was coming.”
“Possibly fewer, but bigger Dramas. Taking bigger risks and bigger punts,” he said. I like to punt him right out.
“’Fewer, bigger, better’ is an idea across the whole slate, really. We need to push our resources behind some bigger bets.”
The Drama’s popularity through ABC’s iview is evidence it has a broad audience and says the show is family viewing for teens and parents. Phryne Fisher as an ideal female role model.
“I think if you look at Friday night figures alone, yes you would think it was skewing older, but I think that’s actually under-estimating it’s reach,” she says.
It does not take a brain surgeon to know the every coveted 18-24 market is hard to reach in a time slot they historically are not viewing programming. But times are changing to a new time of on demand programs and outlets that promote content, when and where you want to watch your favorite programs.
“I feel like there is an obsession at the ABC, and probably all broadcasters, about ‘Where is the Television audience?’ and feeling like they are losing younger viewers and (wondering) how can they push into that 25-50 age bracket? But I believe we have a lot of supporters in that age bracket as well.”
Miss Fisher is also popular overseas, distributed through All 3 Media into the UK and Europe. It also screens on Netflix in the US.
“All 3 Media can’t even understand why we are having this debate,” said Eagger.
We think would make a great addition to the Netflix slate of shows.
Meanwhile, an online petition at change.org has attracted fans from around the world including the US, UK, NZ, Poland, Latvia, Russia, Czech Republic, Mexico, Singapore, Sweden and more.
James Newburrie from Clayton, who started the petition, writes:
The show has become a cultural touchstone and an educational experience for people my age and younger. Miss Fisher has taught me about:
- Period fashions;
- Pre-suffrage women’s rights; and,
- The underlying tensions in Australian society of the time.
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries are critical to the mission of the ABC not merely because it is only show worth watching on Friday night, but because it may be the only show on Australian television which is still ‘appointment viewing’.
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is an ideal representation of the new programs that could be and are taking the world by storm. That if allowed to grow, it will produce the revenue potential and production quality recognition the network desires. .
“We need the go ahead to be on screen in 2015.
Richard buy a letter , get a clue and solve the mystery of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Season 3
GREAT NEWS MISS FISHER FANS… THERE WILL BE A SEASON 3 !!! CLICK HERE TO READ THE NEWS!