After seeing a leaked promotional video of the part scripted/part reality show based around the lives of young people, the mayor of Sutherland Shire, Carol Provan attacked producers for deceiving her about the raunchy content.
“I couldn’t believe it. All I saw was people talking about getting drunk and being porn stars and falling down stairs. That’s not what we want and it is not what the Shire is really about,” she said.
“Basically it was horrific and I’ve told them that if that is what the show will be about then I will do everything in my power to ensure they do not get over that bridge.”
It’s understood the show is inspired by the reality genre made famous by MTV’s Jersey Shore and the UK’s The Only Way Is Essex, and will be aimed at Ten’s 18-49 demographic.
Sutherland Shire councillors have agreed not to co-operate with the production – even suggesting installing a boom gate to block crews.
David Mott, the Network Ten chief programming officer said it was incorrect to assume The Shire would be a clone of Jersey Shore, and that the leaked YouTube footage was a misrepresentation of the show.
“It is disappointing the councillors have made assumptions about The Shire before discussing it fully with us,” Mott said.
“Their concerns appear to be based on footage that was leaked online, footage that has triggered some inaccurate, misleading and – in some cases – mischievous reporting.”
“The Shire will follow the lives of a group of young people who live in the Sutherland Shire,” he said.
“It will provide a very real glimpse into the private lives of a distinctive group of young Australians.”
Since the uproar representatives for Ten and the production house, Shine, have promised to return with a more palatable pitch.
Mott added: “We respect their position enormously and we want them to want us to do the show there.” Councillor Mark Speakman urged TV bosses to recognise Cronulla’s “great sense of community spirit”, as well as its dedication to the arts, junior sports and volunteers.
He said: “”My argument is that if they are going to do a show called The Shire then they have to include all of the elements that make up the area and not just one, small stereotypical view that everyone is a blonde bombshell.”
In the wake of Sutherland Shire’s objections to the show, offers had come in to film the show in the Gold Coast, Penrith and Blacktown.