In a big week of goodbyes and resignations, another long-running show is saying goodbye to screens, at least until further notice, The living room.
In the 11 years the show has been on the air, it has won 4 Logie Awards for Most Popular Lifestyle Program, ending a rival’s 7-year run Better houses and gardens.
Officially “resting” 10 the show to rejuvenate the timeslot and hopefully refresh the show with Amanda Keller, Chris Brown, Miguel Maestre and Barry DuBois for 2024.
But veteran artist Amanda Keller narrates tv tonight, television doesn’t always work that way.
“We celebrate as a force is such a rare thing”
“We have been told we are rested and have a tweak and retjzush, shake up the cushions and play again, we hope next year. My concern, as always, is that TVs are like a fast-moving river. Celebrating us as a force is such a rare thing,” she says.
“Chemistry, whether on radio or TV, is so elusive and the four of us have that in abundance. We can’t all just sit here and wait. But the four of us would always make time to make, make another show together The living room together. But it’s a bit of a question that we’ll all be available at the same time. That’s the risk Channel 10 runs here. That’s what upsets me, I think.
“It’s a big question”
“A year later, who knows what obligations… people have to feed their families, people want to keep working. We would do anything to get back together, but it’s a big question.
“Our brand is something so strong and so healthy, you don’t want to mess with it. But I don’t want to sound ungrateful. 10 were great. But it’s a great thing to be arrogant.
Despite this, Keller remains 10 grateful for giving the show a home for so many years.
“I don’t want to sound bitter. I am very, very grateful that we had 11 years”
“I don’t want to sound bitter. I’m very, very grateful that we had 11 years, which was incredible. You don’t want to be one of those shows that last longer than you have juice. But I already felt that this past year was our best. We’ve had a few years, yes, where I think we went in directions that weren’t specific to us. But I do feel that this last year has been our best incarnation yet. And that’s why I was really surprised about the timing of the rest.”
The show went through major changes in 2020, with producers abandoning WTFN for its own production without a studio audience, running a warehouse and helping families with makeovers. Last week it drew 183,000 night vision goggles gardening australiais 362,000 and BH&Gis 351,000.
As Keller sees it, follow The project means 10 shows have steeper hurdles to overcome.
“I admire Channel 10 where they have stuck The project for so long. I admire that they have decided to organize their evenings differently. But it does mean that if your show starts at 7:30 PM, it’s very hard to be compared to other shows. We’re against it Better Homes & Gardens, Gardening Australia and we do our best to maintain ourselves in that capacity. I love that it’s a lifestyle night. But you know, they come from a 900,000 rating from the news or something,” she admits.
“It’s harder for a Channel 10 show at 7:30.”
“It’s harder for a Channel 10 show at 7:30pm. So I’m thankful we had 11 years. I think we deserved a higher rating and I wish more people would have seen us, but the people watching us are hard-wired, loyal fans who, like us, wonder what’s going on here?”
The final episode has a Christmas theme with a closing segment that looks back at highlights and the emotions and friendship between the four are candid.
“All four of us — including Chris Brown — we all cry at some of those great moments that impact people’s lives, which we loved to do,” she points out.
“That love and support saved him.”
“Many of them shared the reality of our lives, with Barry announcing his illness had returned and the emotion that came with it. Barry looks down the barrel of the camera – and I’m crying right now – he thanks the audience for saving him. That love and support saved him.
“The people who love this show rallied around him and made such a difference in his life, not just his career, his life.
“Miguel, this fierce Spaniard, talks about what loyalty means, and that we are his family and he doesn’t say that lightly.”
She adds: “(10 Entertainment Exec) Stephen Tate once said we were secretly doing a Tonight show. But we lost our live audience, and that also made a big difference, because we fed so well with a live audience.”
Despite the sad ending, Keller wishes the replacement show well. Kind of.
“The predominant feeling is that you are with your friends”
“I hope the other shows on Friday are very successful. But not too much, because we love to come back! It’s a heavy gig on a Friday night when you’re dealing with footy most of the year. But that’s why I like the idea of having a glass of wine on a Friday night, you smile and you see something that you might want to cook, make, travel somewhere. You get all that. But the overriding feeling is that you’re with your friends and you’re relaxing on a Friday night,” she notes.
“I know that 10 really appreciate and love us and they are trying to find things for us in the meantime. That’s what they told us. But the world doesn’t always work that way.
“We take a nice long holiday over Christmas and then I catch my breath and see what’s around. I’m in no rush to jump into anything. I’m spoiled for choice The living room I really… So I’ll be a little sensible about what comes next and hopefully it will end with those pranksters on The living room.”
Indeed, the gold Logie nominee will be out of contract with 10 when the show ends, meaning another network could intercept her availability.
“That’s the nature of the beast. There it is. So I’ll be doing my Anusol commercials everywhere before you know it!
“Everywhere I go people tell me how much they love this show.”
Finally, she leaves with a message for the show’s loyal fans.
“Thank you for your support. I’ve never worked on a show that really touched people’s feelings The living room has, and I enjoyed that response. Everywhere I go people tell me how much they love this show. They talk about Miguel, Chris and Barry. I’ve never had that and I don’t take it lightly. I’ll never forget how much I love hearing how people love this show. And I hope we will do that again.
“Thank you for your loyalty. We are working hard to come back.”
The Living Room finale airs Friday at 10:30am.