Just four weeks after launching, The Spinoff TV has been dumped from its prime Friday night timeslot, following disappointing ratings.

Three updated its schedule this week, moving the New Zealand on Air-funded series to 10.45pm on Friday night - a slot commonly known in industry circles as a 'graveyard slot'.

The quirky current affairs series, which received $700,000 in taxpayer funding, was originally scheduled as part of Three's popular Friday night line up, following The Graham Norton Show and 7 Days.

But after four weeks on-air, the series has failed to connect with viewers, forcing Three to push the series to a later timeslot and replace it with the low-budget clip show Fail Army.


Hosted by Alex Casey and Leonie Hayden, The Spinoff TV debuted in the Friday night timeslot usually reserved for comedy shows, such as Jono and Ben and Funny Girls.

Was The Spinoff TV worth taxpayers' $700,000? Nope

The show aimed, according to The Spinoff, to emulate the same style and content that they produce online, but on television.

"Gonzo reporting, scorching hot takes, ruthless media analysis, the best of our podcast lineup and more."

However, last week Herald entertainment writer Siena Yates raised several issues with the series, including the fact no one seemed to know what the show was meant to be.

"It isn't a comedy show. It draws on content from a news website, presented by journalists who have sub-zero on-screen chemistry and is produced by people whose backgrounds are in news, current affairs and local drama.

"Normally, this is where I'd tell you what The Spinoff TV is, but I don't actually know. And I strongly suspect they don't either. There are some news aspects, some comedy segments and some of what Hayden herself has referred to as plain 'nonsense'."

Set down for 16 episodes, NZoA funded the series, which lost half its target audience (viewers aged 25-54) in the first three weeks, dropping from 73,000 to just 35,000.


NZoA spokesperson Allanah Kalafatelis said it was still early days for the show and that new content takes time to build an audience.

"The performance of this funded project relies not just on TV ratings but also on the numbers of views of and engagement with the online content," she said.

"The Spinoff TV is being made by a very experienced production company, Great Southern TV, and provides a new opportunity for online creators.

"The concept of a hybrid output of online content and a TV current affairs/satire show was a new, innovative idea and one we thought deserved a shot. We are always keen to see brave, new ideas. It's how new talent rises up."

The Spinoff founder Duncan Greive took to Twitter to say: "It was an absolute honour to play at 9.45pm, but our mutant lil baby will grow into its best and most natural state under cover of deep darkness."

A MediaWorks spokesperson told the Herald they remain committed to The Spinoff TV.

"We are moving it to a later time where it can consolidate and develop a dedicated audience."

MediaWorks intend to keep it in the new timeslot for the remainder of its run.