love is a four letter word: articles

Love is… to go off the air

A brave attempt to use the power of email to save a local ABC drama series has failed.

Love is a Four Letter Word, shot in Newtown and revolving around the pub-music and book publishing scenes, will be no more when the current 26-episode season ends.

The drama received generally positive reviews when it first went to air. Yet the ratings were so poor one of the lead actors, Paul Barry, launched an email campaign to persuade more people to watch it.

Expressing despair that so many people "not only haven't seen it, but don't even know it exists", Barry urged people to tell their friends about the program.

"If Love is a Four Letter Word disappears, please let it be because Australia decided against it, not because they didn't know it existed."

Fifteen episodes of Love have gone to air so far. On Tuesday night it rated ahead of only SBS World News and was soundly beaten by all the commercial offerings (Water Rats peaked with a rating of 20 and Cold Feet with 18, compared with Love's 8).

The show's executive producer, Tim Pye, admits that the poor ratings were part of the reason for the show's demise.

"The primary reason, though, was because we [ABC Drama] are keen to do new and other things."

Although Mr Pye wouldn't specify what these projects were, he said they would involve the six writers from Love… and the show's producer, Rosemary Blight. Paul Barry, it seems, is not part of the mix at this stage.

Mr Pye said that the achievement of making 26 half-hour episodes was something "we are all very proud of … it's one of the most exciting shows I've worked on and anecdotally people just love it".

Just not enough of them.

By Tony Davis
May 14, 2001
Sydney Morning Herald