How The 1% Club found the “Holy Grail” of TV success

jim jefferies

Plus: The show’s performance on broadcast, BVOD, and repeats

The first season of The 1% Club made a splash in the Australian TV landscape, with Seven reporting that the format was the top new entertainment show of the year. 

With a second season set to hit Channel Seven and 7Plus from 7:30pm, Wednesday February 21, Mediaweek spoke with Majella Hay, Seven’s head of entertainment ahead of the launch.

“We always loved this format, but we were ecstatic when it became the number one new entertainment show across all networks,” said Hay.

We know that it’s a demo play, we know that it’s a family play. We’re stoked.”

Majella Wiemers

Majella Hay

With one season of the show under their belts – and having “ironed out a few bugs we had in recording early on in the first season” – Hay said that there was one major lesson that the team took with them into season two: give host Jim Jefferies as much time chatting to contestants as possible.

“He really does like to have elongated conversations with the audience. With contestants that are part of that audience, the more they’re involved in the experience, the better. 

Jim actually likes to go and stand up before we do the record, and chat to the audience for about 10 or 15 minutes. That gives him a chance to get some of his more Jim jokes out of the way –  ones that we necessarily might not be able to put to [air]. But it also gets them a real familiarity with him,” said Hay.

In terms of the show’s content, Hay said viewers can expect more of the format they’ve come to know in season two.

The 1% Club is fantastic the way it is – it is more of a stand-up show with a game element rather than a game show, per se. 

“You don’t book Jim and expect not to get all the bells and whistles that come with him. It was a complete success for us last season, and we want to make more of the same.”

As well as finding success on free-to-air, The 1% Club is a solid performer on 7Plus. Hay describes it as “The Holy Grail to have both broadcast and BVOD doing really well.”

“We know that our numbers are really strong. We know it’s strong in under 55s – 70% of that BVOD audience is under 55. In a somewhat surprising trend with Jim at the helm, 61% of that audience is female, so even when you’ve got quite a masculine presenter, it’s definitely not alienating to that female audience.”

The 1% club Jim Jefferies

Jim Jefferies

On top of the broadcast and BVOD play, The 1% Club has also been performing well in repeats.

“Those repeats have been doing just as well as what they did in the first run,” said Hay. “Sometimes they do even better than what they have in the first run – which is a bit unheard of, especially with the repeats running quite close to the first run of the show and the availability of BVOD to watch it anytime. It’s a real testimony to this show and how it can hold up.”

When asked why, exactly, she thought people continued to return to the show, Hay pointed to both the show’s host and how easy it is to get involved with each episode.  

“I don’t think that Jim, up until this point, was a very well-known presenter in Australian TV land. He was well known in stand-up comedy circles and in the States, so people are still finding Jim. 

“It’s one thing to present comedy in a very scripted format of something that’s been written in the days prior with your wonderful team of writers. It’s another thing to be able to riff off what happens in the studio. It almost has a little bit of that live TV and live comedy feel to it, which I think is compelling.”

See Also: The 1% Club: Walking the lateral thinking tightrope

Top Image: The 1% Club host Jim Jefferies

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