PayTV: Does Cancelling a Series Cause Corporate Backlash?

slider00061 Although WordswithMeaning! is a total stranger to the discussion of TV, we are no strangers to the corporations that provide the intensely expensive services like Foxtel in Australia. Even though Foxtel costs subscribers like myself around $100 a month, its service still has frequent advertisements and cancellations of the programs that were originally meant to gain more subscriptions in the first place.

The Australian show “Spirited” won many awards and received critical praise all around Australia as well as in the UK. It featured British comedy legend Matt King who portrayed the ghost of punk rocker “Henry Mallet” who inhabits the apartment of a dentist who leaves her husband and risks the judgement of insanity by befriending the ghost of the 1980s star. Throughout the series she attempts to help find how he died and comes across many of the challenges that someone who can communicate with a ghost would expect.

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I personally don’t watch Australian programs often but I was very fond of the series, so it was a disappointment to receive a message on Twitter earlier this month that the series was cancelled despite the fact it was dubbed the “most successful Australian drama” by the critics and viewers alike.

If a television program has poor ratings it is usually cancelled, but why cancel a show that the people clearly want. Fans have created an online riot against the cancellation due to the incomplete ending in series 2, with more expected, it would only seem reasonable that the show would continue for at least another 6 episodes in order to please those that have paid good money for a subscription to an overly-expensive and overrated cable TV service.

Sadly though in this day and age the program will most likely be replaced by some sort of reality show about the three stuck-up daughters of Robert Kardashian who inherited his fortune when he died (Mr Kardashian was the defense attorney during the O.J Simpson’s murder trial).

Even though I wouldn’t treat this as a review of the program, it was cleverly written and was definitely better than most of the other crap we see on TV these days but once again this is another tale of a business venture to only promote the less-talented individuals on TV, much like how the technically proficient artists are dropped from their record label’s for failure to conform to the mainstream music acts of today.

About Author



As founder and editor-in-chief, Cask J. Thomson has exhausted his life as a graphics designer, political activist, freedom of speech advocate, anti-censorship promoter and a published author of several computer science books and a graphic novel. As well as running the publishing company linked to WordMean, Cask has several aspirations as a musician, producer and journalist. Thomson was born in the United Kingdom and currently resides between Sydney, Australia and Alicante, Spain.

  • Tracey Lincoln

    The above article echoes the sentiments of the fan base protesting to Foxtel regarding the axing of this unique Australian production and the frustrations felt by many in relation to the rubbish currently aired on subsciption television.
    Tracey Lincoln
    Spirited Fan

  • Megan FitzGerald


    Thankyou so much for the above article standing up for Spirited. It is beyond me why 1 they ended in such a fashion with none of the many storylines being wound up satisfactorily, & obviously open ended, meaning NOT ended at all…& 2 cancelling a popular series, when from what I have heard & read, all involved were more than ready to jump onboard for another series.

    I am so sick & tired of the so-called reality crap they pass for television these days. Spirited is such a refreshing & entertaining program, I would rather watch that than anything reality based.  I think it is sad that people have forgotten how to use their imagination & the art of fantasy.

    Kindest regards,

    Megan FitzGerald
    Spirited supporter 

  • Tervuren

    Hi – I could not agree more.The SPIRITED story was definitely not finished and the ending of season 2 was not intended as a finish. Writers, Cast and Crew were apparently as devastated and surprised by the untimely axing of Spirited as their fans were.  Spirited has earned  numerous industry accolades; the most recent of which include Spirited being named 2011′s Most Outstanding Drama on Subscription TV and lead Matt King rightfully received Best Performance By An Actor, ASE nomination for Best Editing, IF Award nominations for Claudia Karvan, Annie Maynard and Anna McGahan.  Obviously Foxtel does not recognise the outstanding effort & quality that goes in to the production of Spirited and it is beyond my comprehension why they would want to axe a show that has such a strong following and is so well liked.

  • Tracey Lincoln

    This is the news that Spirited fans woke up to this morning “Endemol Southern Star (international distributors for Southern Star) have partnered with ABC America to produce a new version of Spirited. It does mean that this incarnation of the show will not be a continuance from the still open-ended Australian version, instead it will be starting anew from the ground up. Desperate Housewives’ Chris Black and Chuck’s Henry Alonso Myers will both write the pilot episode and serve as executive producers. Endemol Studios head of creative affairs Jeremy Gold will oversee the project”
    In my opinion this is another loss to the Australian film and television industry!

  • Lara Bell

    On 13 December 2011 it was reported that the series has been picked up by Showcase. 

  • Maree

    I bought both series 1 & 2 …. I am an addict…. I want more please

  • Shihje

    I feel sad. I really love the show. I wish I could have done something to bring back the show. :'(