'We're gutted': Jono and Ben axed from TV

Section
Spy News,
Publish Date
Thursday, 11 October 2018, 8:37PM

Jono Pryor and Ben Boyce have announced their comedy series Jono and Ben is coming to an end after seven years on the air.

The cancellation, announced during Thursday night's episode, comes after the show's TV ratings dropped to an all-time low last month, with an average audience of 61,000 viewers (25-54) tuning in.

That's just half the number of viewers who were watching three years ago when the series screened on Friday nights at 7.30pm.

The show's ratings have been in steady decline this year, after the series returned to our screens in June, pulling an average audience of 76,000 viewers (25-54).

However MediaWorks says the show came to "the end of its cycle," which "isn't new for a TV series - especially after this long."

"The good news is that Jono and Ben will very much remain part of the MediaWorks family."

Pryor and Boyce say the show has been "a huge part of our lives".

"We're gutted it's ending, although to be honest it went six and half years longer than we ever thought it was going to," they said. "We put it down to the incriminating photos we have of some MediaWorks management.

"Over the last 7 years, we've made over 200 episodes… We've put our dignity and at times our bodies, on the line all in the name of sub par comedy. But we've loved every minute of it.

"We're so proud of the whole team who have work so bloody hard on the show - apart from the times Guy got heaps of parking tickets in the work vehicle this year."

Jono and Ben at the NZ TV Awards. Photo / Norrie Montgomery.

It's not yet clear what will replace Jono and Ben in the 7.30pm Thursday slot, though MediaWorks says there are "lots of discussions taking place at the moment".

The core production team of Jono and Ben is made up of 25 contracters. Mediaworks says it "expects to recontract many of them on future projects".

The final episode of Jono and Ben will air on Thursday November 15th.

Jono and Ben have been on our screens together since 2012, when Jono and Ben at 10 took over the late night Friday slot, bringing together elements from the stars' solo shows The Jono Project, Wanna-Ben and also Boyce's Pulp Sport.

In 2015 the show was renamed Jono and Ben and moved to the prime-time slot of 7.30pm on Fridays. They then moved to the same timeslot on Thursdays in 2017, at which point they began broadcasting live for the first time.

Over the years, Jono and Ben have made headlines for their outrageous and sometimes dangerous pranks.

In 2015, Pryor wound up hospitalised with a broken collar bone after he dressed as a tackle-bag and took a massive hit from one of the Auckland Blues rugby players. In return he set Boyce in a full-body cast and the expected hijinks ensued.

More recently they got Stan Walker to dress in disguise and compete in Panmure Idol, and got Simon Bridges to bag groceries at a supermarket.

But on the more serious side, Pryor also made headlines last year when he broke down live on TV as he paid tribute to a friend who had taken his own life. He urged viewers to take care of their mental health and to speak out and seek help, prompting viewers to praise the hosts for their candor and vulnerability.