Channel 4 dating show AXED – as the station continues to cancel and delay host of popular series after running out of money to fund them
Channel 4 has axed or delayed some of its most popular shows after running out of money to fund them – despite its boss Alex Mahon earning £1.2 million last year.
And the latest to be cancelled by the commercial broadcaster is popular dating show Five Dates A Week.
TVZone has reported that after two series on-air, the romance show will not make a return.
As part of the format, one singleton invites five potential partners of their choice to spend a week living with them – all at the same time.
It aims to fast-track the ‘getting to know you’ phase of the relationship and gives the picker the opportunity to compare and contrast five dates – in real time.
Struggling: Channel 4 has axed or delayed some of its most popular shows after running out of money to fund them – despite its boss Alex Mahon earning £1.2 million last year
Fan favourite: And the latest to be cancelled by the commercial broadcaster is popular dating show Five Dates A Week
A Channel 4 spokesperson confirmed to The Sun that the show did not get commissioned past a second series.
They said: ‘The series last aired in May of last year and no subsequent series were commissioned at that point’.
Five Dates A Week was originally titled Five Guys A Week but the station changed the format to include people of all sexualities and genders.
The dating show is still currently available to stream on Channel 4.
The Mail on Sunday recently revealed that staff at the channel are calling it a ‘bloodbath’ as controversial cult late night show Naked Attraction, big-money celebrity flop, Scared Of The Dark and groundbreaking medical documentary Rescue: Extreme Medics, based in Scotland, have all been canned.
The much publicised return of reality series Four Weddings has also been scrapped, though a team from an independent production company had been commissoned to make it.
Staff on fixed contracts to work on the programme were immediately laid off, with some now worrying about how they will pay their rent.
Friday night favourite The Last Leg, one of the channel’s most popular shows hosted by Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker, is set to have the length of its next series cut to save money.
The 28th series is due to return this month for a nine-week run but production bosses have been told that the channel can only afford to have it on air for seven weeks.
Tough: The Mail on Sunday can reveal that staff at the channel are calling it a ‘bloodbath’ as shows including big-money celebrity flop Scared Of The Dark (pictured) have all been canned
Channel 4 has instructed lawyers to thrash out deals with heads of production companies to get out of contracts for shows which are worth millions of pounds, meaning it has been left with expensive legal bills and exit fees.
The crisis comes after Ms Mahon and her colleague Ian Katz fought off a Government plan to privatise it, with one of their arguments being that it funds independent production companies nationwide.
A source told The Mail on Sunday that the channel believes it is better to cut its losses. But staff blame Mr Katz for wasting money on expensive but little-watched shows such as reality series Rise And Fall, which is understood to have cost the channel £14 million – money which could not be justified because of its low ratings.
One insider said: ‘Everyone is calling it a Channel 4 bloodbath.
‘At first everyone was in total shock when Four Weddings was cancelled.
‘It’s almost unheard of that a show that is going really well is decommissioned, but as news started to spread, other shows were falling down too.
‘They were told that Ian Katz had been looking at the channel’s entire output, and they were sorry but it had to happen because there was no money.
‘The casting team were already in place to start on Naked Attraction and were all told they were no longer needed as they were not making another series.
‘They tried to lessen the blow to the show’s freelance crew by saying they hope to make another series in December, but that doesn’t help them now.’
Ms Mahon and Mr Katz announced last week that they have deferred taking bonuses worth hundreds of thousands of pounds and scrapped a planned pay rise, amid the crisis.
Cancelled: Controversial cult late-night show Naked Attraction, hosted by Anna Richardson, has also been canned
However, one Channel 4 employee said: ‘It’s only because they have had to.’
A spokesman for the network said: ‘Channel 4 cares deeply about the Indie community and our wider supply chain of freelancers. They are the beating heart of our business.
‘While we recognise the actions we are asking of some are causing some short-term pain, the plan we have in place underscores our ongoing commitment to our financial sustainability and our continued support of the UK’s independent production sector
‘The Executive Directors have already made the decision to defer retention payments and earlier this year declined a salary rise as part of a wider response to a very difficult ad-market in Q2, which is affecting all commercial broadcasters.’
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