The Shire (TV series)
|Created by||Chris Culvenor|
|Opening theme||"Dumb Things" by Paul Kelly|
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||9|
|Running time||23 minutes (without ads)|
|Production company(s)||Network Ten
|Original channel||Network Ten|
|Picture format||576i (SDTV)|
|Original run||16 July 2012 – 10 September 2012|
The Shire was an Australian reality-drama series on Network Ten that debuted on 16 July 2012. The series follows the lives of 15 people, that work, live or play in and around Sydney's Sutherland Shire. The series has been described as "dramality" by Ten, a combination of drama with prompting and light scripting. The Shire was created and produced by Shine Australia. Modelled on the American TV show The Hills, the production company describe the series as a reality show version of soap opera Home and Away.
- Simon, radio announcer, Mitch's friend
- Gabrielle, direct sales assistant, Mitch's girlfriend
- Michelle, Mitch’s mum
- Sophie, ultrasound cavitation manager
- Vernesa, shop assistant
- Kerry, bar/beauty salon manager
- Tegan, singing teacher and waitress
- Matt, recruitment consultant, Kerry's boyfriend
- Folksy, Spock’s friend
- Beckaa, student
- Tony, financier, Beckaa’s father
- Kris and Stace, Beckaa's best friends
- Joel "Rif-Raf", rapper
- Megan, stripper
- Nikee, pole dancer
- Michael, bricklayer, Nickee's manager
- Michelka, personal assistant
The first episode of The Shire received a mixed response. TV blogger Steven Molk wrote "As a first episode, The Shire ticked all the boxes. It established the characters well (in that we all know what to expect from them in future episodes), set out the premise of the show quickly and offered tidbits of insight into the relationships between the key players." Pedestrian TV's review was favourable noting, "While Sophie and Vernesa are frontrunners as my early favourites, I was also quite taken with the character Rif-Raf... Reality television is a genre that shouldn't be confused with documentary television... I think The Shire is just great."
John Birmingham of the Brisbane Times also gave a favourable review, "Lest you judge me, before I have a chance to get judgey, just let me say I loved this TV train wreck. I loved it like a diabetic loves that last, choc-dipped fudge brownie that sends him hurtling towards surgery for the emergency amputation of his gangrenous toes." A less favourable review was given by Michael Idato of The Sydney Morning Herald, "Does Ten have a hit on its hands? The answer is nearly, but not quite. It needs to be doing modest business on the good side of the million-viewer watermark for that. But it's a noisy nearly-hit, and in a room where everyone's talking, silence is death. The fact that most people will kick the show doesn't mean much; the "reality" genre is engineered to create conversation, not adoration. And a hater, in commercial terms, is probably worth one and a half genuine fans."
According to the official OzTAM ratings data the premiere episode of The Shire received 941,000 (1.01M with +7 data) viewers while the second episode grew to 1.06M, however this figure was potentially inflated due to MasterChef running 15 minutes over with the actual viewership being around 872,000 (1.00M with +7 data). The total viewers for the third episode decreased due to the scheduling of the London Olympic Games however the series consistently maintained healthy ratings throughout its run.
In April 2012, the show's production company expressed optimism about the prospect of airing the show in the UK but this has yet to happen.
The pilot episode generated significant controversy in Australian media and has been described as "edgy" and "offensive". Following a clip leaked in March 2012, local residents were angry that the area and residents would be portrayed negatively. The Mayor of Sutherland Shire Carol Provan vowed to take "any means possible" to stop the production crews filming in the area. The local council reportedly put forward a motion at a council meeting on 19 March saying they did "not approve the filming of The Shire and [would] not co-operate in any way with the production". The mayor urged locals not to cooperate with the makers of the program. Network Ten defied critics and pushed ahead with production. Controversy also arose after it was revealed that several of the stars were not actually Shire natives.
- Stephenson, Alison (27 March 2012). "Sassy KC Osborne stars on Channel Ten show The Shire". News.com.au.
- Marks, Kathy (24 March 2012). "The Only Way Is Aussie: anger at Britain's TV export". London: The Independent.
- Molk, Steve. "God, people are smart...". Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- "In Defence Of 'The Shire'". Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- Birmingham, John. "Why I loved The Shire". Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- Idato, Michael. "The Shire a modest hit for Ten". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- The Sydney Morning Herald. "The Shire". Retrieved 24 July 2012.
- "Shire hopes sun, sea and surf will entice the British". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- Emma Ashton. "The Shire makes the Lara Bingle show look like 'Q & A'". The Herald Sun.
- "The Shire". The Australian. 23 July 2012.
- Scott Ellis and Matt Buchanan. "The Shire". Smh.com.au.
- "The World Today - Mayor calls for boycott of 'The Shire' 22/03/2012". Abc.net.au.
- "Ten defies critics, pushes ahead with The Shire". Smh.com.au.