The following conversation is a transcript of a fictitious recording that found its way into my possession. The integrity and anonymity of my source must be protected so no names will be revealed, either those involved or the source. I offer this as an insight into the goings on inside a meeting of a member of the Channel 9 programming department and a senior executive last week.

Person 1: “So, we’re gonna have to cancel it. It’s not rating anywhere near like it should be.”

Person 2: “But I thought you said that including this Fryzie kid would get it across the line with the Nova demo. After all he’s on their radio every afternoon.”

P1: “He’s OK. It’s the other two. Eddie rates great in Melboure, but he’s poison everywhere else. As for Molloy… well, you know how well that went last time.”

P2: “Easy then. We cut them lose and move Getaway back into the 7:30 slot and slide the other shows up. The Footy Show’ll be fine.”

P1: “But it’s not that easy. We’ve got some other shows we’ll need to make room for and we’re still struggling with this ‘home of laughter’ horse shit they tagged us with at the start of the year. Bloody Elton.”

P2: “But we’ve got some great comedies at the moment.”

P1: “Name three.”

P2: “Two and a Half Men, Big Bang Theory, Mike & Molly…”

P1: “Wrong. You said great comedies, not the same thing rehashed three different ways. Besides, none of them are How I Met Your Mother. I love that shit.”

P2: ” Shit my Dad Says? Mr Sunshine? Hot in Cleveland?”

P1: “Get fucked with that shit.”

P2: “OK, what about that new one from the Little Britain guys?”

P1: “Yeah, it’s pretty good. It’s our Aussie content I’m worried about. We can’t write a sitcom to save ourselves.”

P2: “Top Gear Australia will be fine. So will The Block. Then there’s the new Durie show.”

P1: “But where do we put Top Gear? Nobody watched the UK jerks, and they’re way better than our shit. The Block has become MasterChef for renos and the Durie thing… well, we needed to get him doing SOMEthing. Laurie Oakes thought he was a garden gnome sitting on the bench out the front last time he was here. And he was sniffing around the offices of The Block and Scotty was getting nervous. I told him he had our full support, had nothing to worry about – so we better get his severance package sorted ASAP and change the locks tomorrow.”

P2: “At least this last season of Sea Patrol will help us out.”

P1: “You’d think, wouldn’t you, except these stupid rich bints on Seven aren’t going away. That Lisa’s a little hottie – much more attractive than all those losers combined – yet we can’t seem to beat ’em. Even the new season of Rescue isn’t doing what we want it to. Thank Christ we’ve locked up tight with Underbelly. That shit is gold.”

P2: “Maybe we should stop moving programs around in the schedule? Set definite timeslots for shows and stick with it. It works in the States.”

P1: “Fuck that. We’ve got nights to win. Thank Christ our News is starting to rate on the east coast – particularly in Brissy. Seems our idea to only hire intelligent eye candy is paying off. Oh, and McDermid & Price are doing OK too. People want to see stunners when they hear about the latest car accident or whatever. Helps soften the blow.”

P2: “Hitchener in Melbourne is solid, too. Looks like Sydney are finally taking to Overton.”

P1: “About fucking time too. We’ve sunk so much money into promo for that guy you’d think he was the second coming.”

[phone rings]

P1: “Hang on a tic, will ya. Yep…. yeah… yeah… Just tell Eddie he can keep his car space and we’ll come to some sort of arrangement about the on-air hours clause. As for Mick, give him a cabcharge and a carton and push him out the door. Thanks. Oh – you still there? Draw a letter for Scott Cam too, will ya? Standard thing. And call the locksmith for tomorrow. See ya.”

P2: “How did he take it?”

P1: “Eddie’s a pushover. All you need to do is tell him the next thing is his and he’s fine.”

P2: “So what now? The rest of the year is looking pretty grim, isn’t it?”

P1: “Nah. Warburton will go and fuck with Ten just enough we should pick up some more lookers for the News department. We’ll tweak ACA so it should start rating it’s tits off soon, but I don’t care – just as long as we keep beating that smug bastard Negus. Grimmers is fine. It’ll be Christmas soon enough and we’ll kill the Carols. Actually, another domestic disaster would be nice – something big. Something we can run a telethon off. Thank Christ we know how to run a telethon.”

P2: “What about Today? Sunrise is all over them.”

P1: “They’ll be fine. We’ve got plans for them. Sunrise won’t know what hit ’em once we move Karl over to 60 Minutes next year. That’s the best part – the surprise.”

P2: “Let’s stick it to them then, yeah?”

P1: “Fuck yeah. Pass me the scotch, will ya? Welcome Home indeed.”