Seven’s primetime strategy of dusting off old formats and giving them a new lease of life paid immediate dividends in 2020.
Produced by Fremantle Australia, the Farmer Wants a Wife series originally aired on Nine with eight seasons screened over six years from 2007. Seven’s commissioning of programs that audiences have previously rejected relies on overhauls of the formats. That doesn’t always mean less episodes – at Nine the Farmer format ran over six or eight episodes, yet at Seven it returned across 10 episodes as a Fremantle/Eureka co-production.
Seven’s key measure of success for new programs these days is strictly the number of viewers in the key demos and how it compares to the channel’s existing averages in the timeslots. By both measures the new Seven series performed well this year.
The reboot of Farmer was top heavy with TV chiefs which didn’t seemed to hurt – executive producers included Judy Smart and Amanda Bainbridge-Trevor joined by Fremantle’s Jonathon Summerhayes and Eureka’s all-star trio of Chris Culvenor, Paul Franklin and Rikki Proost.
Everything You Need to Know about Farmer Wants a Wife on Seven
At the Seven Upfront in October, Seven announced the return of the most successful dating show in Australian TV history in Farmer Wants a Wife, which will air Sunday, July, 26 at 7 pm.
The show initially aired on Channel Nine between 2007-2012 with a brief return in 2016, and will now air on its new home on Seven, despite a delay due to COVID-19 the show will air in July 2020.
With nine marriages and 20 babies in Australia and 147 marriages and 280 babies worldwide. The show is back with a new crop of single farmers who are ready to find their soulmate in the shows 10th season.
The farmers on the latest rendition of the show are:
Alex, 29, Sheep and Cattle Farmer: From Cunnamulla in South West Queensland, The self-described ‘love virgin’ says falling in love and starting a family is the number one priority in his life.
Harry, 29, Grapes, Cotton and Sheep Farner: The small-town country boy from Goolgowi, NSW with a big heart says he would be a supportive husband and a red hot dad/
Neil, 43, Merino Sheep Farmer: From Crookwell, NSW Neil can make the bed, cook lasagne and quote Dirty Dancing line by line.
Nick, 44, Vineyard: After recently moving back to Australia after 27 years in Los Angeles, Nick is looking for true love and someone to push him to be a better man.
Sam, 28, Tropical Fruit: The third-generation farmer from Innisfall in North Queensland, is close to his Sicilian family and described it as a deal-breaker if a prospective partner doesn’t love food.
Each Farmer will choose their eight favourite applicants who were selected from thousands of potential wives who applied online. After a series of dates the farmers will then choose four of them to come back to their farm for a month.
Seven’s director of production Andrew Backwell told Mediaweek earlier this month about the production of Farmer Wants a Wife: “It has all been delivered and starts on air soon. We are very happy with the way it has come up. It is almost an antidote to Married at First Sight. It offers genuine love affairs, a bit of Mills & Boon. We genuinely want the relationships to work. It is about going back to basics and helping couples finding true love.”
Television presenter Natalie Gruzlewski will make her primetime return in 2020 as host of Farmer Wants A Wife.
Gruzlewski hosted eight seasons of Farmer Wants a Wife between 2007-2012 when it was broadcast on Nine. Since stepping away from television in 2014, the Gold Coast-based personality has focused on raising her family, but she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to helm the return of the feel-good, matchmaking format.
“I’m excited to be returning to TV for Farmer. It’s a privilege to be a part of the show and witness those special connections as they start to form,” said Gruzlewski. “I’ve seen firsthand how this process can change lives and I can’t wait to get back into it.”
Seven’s director of network programming Angus Ross said: “Natalie radiates natural warmth and sincerity and we’re delighted to welcome her to the Seven family.
“Farmer is the original true romance show, delivering more happy endings than any other, and Natalie is the perfect choice to help guide our new crop of single farmers in their search for love.”
Toyota Australia, IGA, Youfoodz, BUPA, Lilydale, Horticulture Australia and Mayvers, have all been confirmed as sponsors of Farmer Wants a Wife. All partners will feature throughout Farmer Wants A Wife.
Natalie Harvey, SWM network sales director, said there had been a strong response to the unique proposition offered by Farmer Wants A Wife. “We’re so excited with the response Farmer Wants A Wife has had in the market.
“It provides an authentic and safe environment for brands to align with real love stories that will capture the hearts of Australians. It’s the world’s most successful dating show, including here in Australia where it’s sparked nine marriages and 20 babies. Our partners are keen for Farmer to get underway to share their brands and products with this much-loved show and its highly engaged audience.”
“Farmer will also be part of our EAVE proposition enabling increased engagement and cut- through for brands. We have seen a very positive impact in terms of audience retention in a decluttered advertising environment through Big Brother and expect to see a similar result for Farmer.”
Farmer Wants A Wife is a Fremantle and Eureka co-production for Channel Seven.
Farmer Wants a Wife: Finale recap and ratings review
Farmer Wants A Wife concluded its comeback season on its new home of Seven last night with 923,000 tuning in to see the fall out of Harry choosing Stacey Cain, Neil choosing Justine Adams, Nick choosing Liz Jelléy, and Alex choosing Jess Wolfe in the show’s reunion special filmed a month after the finale.
With the main takeaways being:
• Neil and Justine are still together but living in different states
• Sam revealed his new girlfriend Kirsten
• Nick and Liz have broken up with Liz not appearing on the reunion show
• Harry admits he broke up with Stacey after he said she wanted to move too fast
• Alex and Jess did not work out and Alex is now with Henrietta who was originally his second choice to Jess
Farmer Wants a Wife TV Ratings
The show’s finale outrated its premiere episode last month which did 908,000 viewers. Farmer Wants a Wife is the second tentpole show announced by Seven last year to conclude its run with the previous one being Big Brother which had 876,000 viewers tune in for the winner announcement.
Angus Ross, Seven’s network programming director, said: “We’ve reinvented our 2020 entertainment schedule with proven, powerful formats and Farmer Wants A Wife has continued the ratings momentum created by our relaunch of Big Brother. Number one nationally, major growth in key demos and streaming numbers that have kept 7plus number one – it’s a multi-platform winner.”
Key points on Farmer Wants A Wife:
• Reached 6 million viewers nationally.
• Seven’s 2020 season of Farmer delivered 32% more audience than Nine’s 2016 season.
• Farmer’s average national series audience of 1.37 million viewers puts it ahead of Masterchef, Australian Ninja Warrior, The Voice, The Block, Gogglebox and The Masked Singer so far in 2020.
• Delivered timeslot growth in key demos: +24% for 25-54s, +24% for 16-39s.
• Seven’s biggest entertainment program so far in 2020 and biggest reality show in two years.
• The second-biggest launch ever on 7plus, behind only Big Brother.
• A VPM rating of 164k on 7plus (live + 7-day VOD).
• Over 100 million minutes streamed across live and VOD.
Seven orders more Farmer Wants a Wife for 2021 from Fremantle/Eureka
The second show to launch under Seven’s content-led growth strategy, the network reports Farmer Wants a Wife has delivered big ratings since its premiere, regularly proving to be the most popular entertainment show in Australia on Sunday and Monday nights.
Angus Ross, Seven’s network programming director, said: “We knew Farmer Wants a Wife had its heart in the right place and this has resonated with viewers across Australia – with huge numbers on 7 and 7Plus.
“This is just the beginning: we’re excited to build on this year’s momentum by delivering a scaled-up season with even more of Farmer Wants a Wife for 2021. It continues the successful reinvention of Seven’s content slate in 2020 using proven, power formats.”
The network is promising the 2021 season will be even more romantic with dream overnight dates, luxury country getaways and spectacular group get togethers that will set the stage for true love to blossom.
Thrilled with the chance to play Cupid again, returning host Natalie Gruzlewski will throw in a few new surprises to help the hopeful farmers find the one.
“I’m so excited to guide another crop of hard-working Aussie farmers in their search for true love. As Australia has seen, our farmers and ladies wear their hearts on their sleeves and it’s a privilege to be a part of their life-changing love stories.”
With 99 marriages and 225 beautiful farmer babies worldwide, Farmer Wants a Wife is the most successful dating show on the planet. In Australia alone, the series has resulted in nine marriages and 20 babies.
Farmer Wants a Wife is a Fremantle and Eureka co-production for Channel 7.
Commenting on the 2021 season, Fremantle director of unscripted Jonathon Summerhayes said: “Everyone loves a love story, so it’s great to be teaming up with Eureka and Seven again to help our Aussie Farmers find true love on the land.”
Chris Culvenor, Eureka Productions co-CEO, added: “Australian audiences have fallen in love with Farmer Wants a Wife and we’re thrilled to be working with Seven and Fremantle to ramp up the romance in an even bigger and bolder season next year.”
Casting is now open for Farmer Wants a Wife 2021 www.farmerwantsawife.com.au