Channel 10 is considering scrapping I’m a Celebrity‘s international format altogether after viewers responded so well to this year’s locally produced season.
While this was only supposed to be a one-off, ratings this year have been better than expected and the network’s head of entertainment and factual programming, Stephen Tate, has hinted I’m a Celebrity may never return to South Africa.
‘The audience is responding so strongly to an Australian version’: Network Ten’s Stephen Tate has revealed the team would ‘assess’ whether filming would return to South Africa once travel restrictions lift due to the show’s success. Pictured: Toni Pearen in a challenge on the show
‘At the moment, the audience is responding so strongly to an Australian version that you would have to question whether you would return to Africa,’ Mr Tate told Mumbrella.
‘Because we are very much led by the audience and they are loving it.’
I’m a Celebrity attracted more than one million metro viewers when it premiered on January 3. Ratings have since plateaued at a respectable 757,000.
A record number of sponsors have signed on to support the show this season, including Youfoodz and Origin Energy.
‘They are loving it’: The show attracted 1.02million metro viewers on the night it premiered on January 3, followed by 820,000 on Monday, 757,000 on Tuesday, 720,000 on Wednesday, 678,000 on Thursday and 744,000 on Sunday. Pictured: Hosts Dr Chris Brown and Julia Morris
Mr Tate said the pre-recorded format was a blessing in disguise because the producers were able to spend time getting to know the contestants before filming.
This process ensured the group properly gelled throughout the season.
‘We really do get to know them properly,’ he told the website. ‘We get to see the layers that will be revealed through the process.’
‘We really do get to know them properly’: Stephen pointed the production team spending a lot of time with contestants prior to the show being filmed as the reason for the success of the seventh season of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! Pictured: Contestant Abbie Chatfield
It comes after contestant Grant Denyer took an extraordinary swipe at his co-stars on on Channel 10’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
The Gold Logie-winning presenter told TV Week on Monday he’d immediately regretted signing up for the show when he entered the camp in November.
‘I was like, “I’ve made the wrong decision.” It hit me like a ton of bricks,’ he said.
Bad decision: Grant took a brutal swipe at his I’m a Celebrity co-stars, admitting he ‘instantly regretted’ joining the show when he met the ‘fame-seeking’ campmates
‘I thought, “Oh, my God – I can’t be here around the clock with these fame-seekers bouncing off the walls busting to be on camera. This is going to kill me.”‘
However, the father of two changed his opinion of his co-stars within a few days, saying the gruelling challenges and privations of jungle life made him realise they all needed each other.
I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! continues Tuesday at 7:30pm on Channel 10
‘I’ve made the wrong decision’: Grant feared it would reflect poorly on him being on a reality show surrounded by ‘fame-seekers’. Pictured: Abbie Chatfield and Robert DiPierdomenico