The Block Showing It Knows How To Hit The Refresh Button
It was a big risk for NINE to commission two series of The Block for 2013 as they could be risking viewers getting fatigued of the format.
However it appears the producers have been thinking of ways to keep the series fresh. First they went with an All Stars series to start soon.
Now it looks like the fourth season will see the couples renovate an apartment block/motel.
The Age reports:
FANS of The Block, this is a spoiler alert. Look away now if you don’t want to know what happens next.
Despite the best efforts of Nine to keep the future of its top-rating reality show a secret, Fairfax Media can reveal the network’s plan for the biggest twist in the history of the series. Not even the contestants are in on the reveal yet.
In a bid to reboot the show’s ageing formula, next year’s crop of amateur renovators won’t be tasked with something as easy as fixing up a few derelict houses or flats.
Ratcheting up the difficulty – and, it hopes, the drama – Nine is planning to set them loose with power tools and decorating budgets on an entire six-storey building in South Melbourne.
The task, it appears, will be to transform a drab motel into a high-end apartment tower in little more than two months.
The network refuses to discuss its plans for the 2013 series or confirm The Block will be set at the Park Street building. In fact, it won’t even confirm that Melbourne is the setting for the sixth series.
But property records show production company Watercress has spent $6.71 million for the four-star bizMotel, which closed its doors a few months ago.
It is the most ambitious and expensive project for the producers, who spent only about $4 million to buy the four South Melbourne terrace houses used in the most recent series.
Security fencing and scaffolding have already gone up around the building, with construction crews apparently stripping out the walls, fixtures, electrics and plumbing before they are handed over to the contestants. Filming is expected to begin in late January.
Each floor is about 25 per cent larger than the average Australian home, which could see them transformed into luxury penthouse-style apartments. With so much space to work with, it’s also possible more couples could be added to the standard four-couple roster seen in previous series. They could even be tasked with creating a luxury boutique hotel rather than individual units.
Secrecy is kept tight in a bid to boost hype and protect The Block‘s position as a ratings winner and advertising revenue cash cow.
More couples competing will be interesting and if there is six couples this would be the same as the new renovation show being filmed for SEVEN House Rules.
Either way more couples and an entire six storey motel block definitely makes the show different from previous seasons.
The Block to be shown on NINE in 2013.