Daryl, any news from the boys upstairs if we are back in 2011 yet?
Afraid not, Ossie.
The last Hey Hey it’s Saturday airs Sat Nov 27, 7.30pm – 11 years since it was originally axed in 1999.
The idea of bringing Hey Hey back was originally sparked by a Facebook group of fans. In 2009, the two one off specials scored huge audience figures in excess of two million which promted the Nine network to commission the show for 20 episodes in 2010.
Hey Hey It’s Saturday for 2010 premiered on April 14 – a Wednesday. The first show did well, over 1.2 million tuned in. The second one was down, and as the weeks went by, it settled into average figures of around 800,000 viewers.
Opinions were many and varied about the Hey Hey revival – but mostly favoured that the format had had its day and was now out of date. Apart from references to Facebook and Twitter, you could easily have been mistaken for thinking you were watching Hey Hey as it was back in the 90’s.
The segments were the same – Plucka Duck, Red faces, Funny Photos, etc. The cartoonist was there. Sound effects were the same. The set very similar. Daryl still talked and talked. The show always finished late.
I for one enjoyed Hey Hey in the 80’s and 90’s, and enjoyed the reunion specials in 2009 – but honestly – that is where it should have been left. A few reunion specials every now and then would draw the numbers. But the weekly show in 2010 was just way too much of the same every week – and did not fit well into Wednesday night viewing. The few I watched I had recorded and ended up watching on the weekend. Outside of Melbourne, numbers were very soft to say the least.
Some will blame putting Hey Hey against Masterchef which was on the same time most of the Wednesday nights as a reason why Hey Hey could not rate well on Wednesday night. But, if Hey Hey had stood the test of time, and people liked what was on offer, the numbers would have come. Masterchef was on six nights a week, Hey Hey just the one.
Even though the last seven episodes moved back to where it should be – on Saturday night – the figures have remained low. Yes, fewer people watch TV on Saturday nights, and there are so many options on the digital channels, but considering the cost of each hour of Hey Hey to make, it’s a bad deal for Nine.
So what now? Hey Hey will almost certainly not be back in 2011 unless for a one off special. It would probably be better to hold off on any specials until 2012 or later in any case, as a special in 2011 will be too soon after the 20 shows we just had in 2010.
If Daryl Somers really wants to get back into putting variety onto TV – and I do agree we should have more variety shows – then how about coming up with a new idea? What about a condensed contemporary version of Hey Hey? It’d have to be called something else though and contain new segments. A one hour show – perhaps presented like a cross between Rove Live, Hey Hey and a late night US talk show like Letterman or Leno might work – once a week on a Saturday night. Just a thought.
It may also be time for Daryl Somers to retire gracefully knowing he has done the best he could to keep Hey Hey alive into another decade. Afterall – it did start in the 70’s. Not too many shows around that have that sort of history.