In what is devistating news to fans of the show and the huge cult following that has developed, SBS have made the decision to “rest” Letters and Numbers – which more than likely means it will not return.
Letters and Numbers has aired at 6pm weeknights on SBS ONE since its debut August 2, 2010 whether ratings period or not. The show’s run at 6pm weeknights only broke for the Tour De France in 2011. Originally produced by Shine Australia, Letters and Numbers has been an in house production for SBS for the last few seasons, and is recorded at ABC’s Gordon St studios in Melbourne.
On the Letters and Numbers page on the SBS website, is an Audience Announcement stating that SBS has made a decision to rest Letters and Numbers and develop other programs so we can continue to offer new, great content to our audiences. The last episode will be transmitted on June 27.
After the Tour De France, Countdown, the UK version of the show will air at 5.45pm weeknights. On June 28 and 29, ADbc airs in the timeslot.
Lily Serna – who herself now has achieved a cult following – is working on a new show with SBS, Destination Flavour. SBS hopes the appetite for Letters and Numbers will be satisfied with the very popular UK series Countdown. No word yet where or if Richard Moorecroft and David Astle will turn up anywhere else on TV.
Letters and Numbers has sporned six books each containing 50 complete Letters and Numbers games (that is 5 letters puzzles, 3 numbers rounds, a conundrum and the 8 letter wordmixes they show before commercial breaks) while Lily herself has a book of number puzzles currently available.
Having seen the UK version, it is nothing like ours. Letters and Numbers over its close to four and a half seaosn run has evolved to become a very quirky and entertaining show, while the UK version is somewhat flat and dull in comparison. Their version features alot more letters rounds.
At our house, Letters and Numbers has become part of our nightly routine. We were concerned there was a problem when the show played finals repeats then the masters series currently airing featuring the best two of each of the four seasons. Season five – in which was a contestant remains an incomplete season. Alicia B was a contestant in season 2.
Amongst people we know and associate with, more watch Letters and Numbers than shows like The Voice, Home and Away and ACA / TT.
No doubt SBS’s decision is ratings based, with the show regularly drawing figures aoround the 130,000 – 150,000 mark in what is a difficult timeslot given the strength of the 6pm news on Seven and Nine.
The show is relatively cheap to produce. It would be great news if either the ABC or Foxtel could pick up Letters and Numbers from SBS.
The last episode airs Wednesday June 27 on SBS ONE. Repeats, one week behind the 6pm episodes, air at 3pm weekdays.