In another example of the Nine Network’s Back to the Future approach to its ratings problems, Sale of the Century is coming back. Well, sort of. This time around it’s going to be called Temptation.

Sale/Temptation has had more comebacks than Dame Nellie Melba. It all started with Great Temptation in 1970, was revived as Sale of The Century in 1980, brought back again in the 1990s and renamed Sale of The New Century in 2000, only to be “rested” in 2001.

Now Sale/Temptation is returning again in around 4-6 weeks’ time, running at 7pm in place of the endlessly repeated Frasier when the present series finishes. Nine has already started advertising for contestants. The new Tony Barber is a Pay TV chap called Ed Phillips, who now fronts The Boat and Car Shows for Nine. The female sidekick is Lavinia Nixon, a minor Melbourne TV personality.

Sale’s international success helped make Reg Grundy rich after he sold his company to Britain’s Pearson group. Remember black and white television, cigarette advertising, the whistling Tony Barber and his sidekick Barbie Rogers? If you can, then the new Sale/Temptation is for you. If you can’t, it’s either ABC News, Home and Away on Seven, or a DVD.

will definitely “skew” old, as they say in the TV game. All game shows do, including Eddie McGuire’s Who WantsTo Be A Millionaire. Of all the “fixes” Nine has attempted this year to try to repair the damage done to its ratings, this is the most interesting. It’s an old idea that attracts older viewers. But it worked in the past it has worked, and it will probably work again as people tune in to see what it’s like.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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