I've worked on quite a few axed tv shows. Actually, I had my first show The Movie Show axed before I even turned 21. Usually you can see it coming. In the case of the old SBS Movie Show, we were keenly aware at the time that the show wasn't working and when the word came from above none of us were terribly surprised. In the case of Hungry Beast, upon entering Season 3 we all pretty much knew that there would be no 4th. That was fine. If anything it propelled us to do the stories we really wanted to do while we had the resources. It also gave us time to plan other jobs.
Then there's the axing of The Circle. For 2 and a half years I was the weekly movie reviewer for this quaint lady chat show. It was something that I balanced with other jobs like triple j, Hungry Beast and now Radio National. I was a small Sydney part of a big Melbourne team. It's only now, a week after the final episode that have I have fully realised just how much I'll miss it.
It's easy to dismiss a daytime chat show like The Circle if you only ever saw a small chunks of it or perhaps only heard of it via the infamous Yumi gaffe. A lot of people (myself included) like to dismiss morning tv as moving wallpaper. However, after 2 and half years of being tweeted and facebooked by viewers at home it dawned on me that it was a lot more.
For them, it was 2 or 3 hours with funny, honest, inquisitive, unpredictable women who were smart - and most importantly - they assumed that you were too. For people at home, it was something more akin to radio than tv - its was friendship and company.
I'll always remember one particular day in the lead up to Julia Gillard's spill that saw her become Prime Minister. I happened to be at the gym which had all 3 daytime tv shows playing on televisions sets in a row. The Morning Show and Kerrie-Anne were both running the talking point "Is Australia Ready for a Female Prime Minister?". But not The Circle. "Of course Australia is ready for a female Prime Minister" Georgie Coghlan said in the show opener "The real question is whether Gillard is the right person for the job" and with that they launched into their weekly political experts. It was a very very small distinction that said "Just cos you're at home right now doesn't mean that you are the absolute lowest common denominator"
Back in 2010 I mostly agreed to join the show because I was interested in learning how to do live tv. Pretty soon The Circle became the highlight of my working week. It was so much fun talking about movies with a live audience. It was a perfect mix of experienced tv makers and, as you can see in the video, an awful lot of young Melbourne talent
The grief expressed in the video may seem over the top. Christ, it was only on tv for 2 years? For those that worked on it though the video sums up the emotions of the cast, crew and guests beautifully. This wasn't an axing we saw coming. This was an unexpected loss. This was analogous to having that young, lively person in their prime snatched away without warning. We all know that those losses are felt far more keenly than when someone old, someone who's had a good inning passes on.
Suffice it to say, I miss my little daytime tv show a lot more than I ever thought I would.