Why the BBC has axed Robot Wars Again!

The BBC has once again, axed Robot Wars from its schedule, leaving the British TV show without a home. So, why, when and who has taken this decision to cancel a future series of the robotic combat show.


When was the Decision Made?

This is purely a speculation but, following the poorer ratings of series 9, the decision may have been made as soon as the Summer of 2017, when the 10th series of Robot Wars was delayed after it had been filmed compared to the two previous series.

Series 8 Filmed April 2016 and aired just over 3 months later in July 2016.

Series 9 Filmed December 2016 and aired 3 months later in March 2017.

Series 10 Filmed in May 2017 and aired over 5 months later in October 2017.

Not only was it delayed, it took it away from a low competition time of the TV year of August into the time slot against two of the biggest programmes of 2017, in terms of ratings, Blue Planet 2 and The X Factor as competition. In retrospective, it seems it found itself in a spot that may give it lower ratings than the show should be able to get. Also, the 7 pm time slot (which series 9 had for its tv run) had a lot less competition but, that was given to reruns of Top Gear series 24.

The third instance of this was the World Series which found itself having a weird time schedule with its 2nd special airing on the 7th of January, not really a Christmas special. By giving it the weird timing was the big sign to us that all wasn’t well with the show with no confirmation of a new series before new year seeming to spell out the end of the show.

If the decision wasn’t made in the Summer, it was definitely made in the final quarter of last year.




BBC More New Series

There is currently a trend in the BBC TV department where a show has to follow either of these rules or it is axed for something new:

  1. A show that is very popular in TV ratings.
  2. A low budget show, not very complicated.
  3. Award-winning show.
  4. A Brand New or Revived Series.

If you find a TV show on the BBC where it doesn’t follow at least 1 of these rules, then let us know. Robot Wars followed the 4th rule in its modern run with the idea of it transitioning to the first rule but, in the eyes of the BBC, it didn’t succeed to that level. The show was expensive in concept but, the arena, personnel and equipment costs were spent on the show with the running costs being significantly lower than the revival/initial costs.

BBC have had a problem of keeping shows running longer, in order to grow unless it has lower costs, then it will be kept on the air as it fills time with less expense. The BBC only looks to top the ratings in the prime time slots with other shows there to fill time and because, Robot Wars didn’t top the ratings, as a prime-time show it could and has been scrapped.




BBC Controller

Shortly after the Robot Wars revival was announced, the BBC 2 controller left the BBC with BBC 1 and BBC 2 joining together under the controller of Charlotte Moore. There were other moves within the top of the BBC TV departments but, such changes may have had an impact behind the scenes of the show as such changes have had on Robot Wars in the past.

Robot Wars is leaving the BBC once more and is very unlikely to ever return. However, what does the future of Robot Wars hold for its competitors and fans, click here to see our speculation about the future of the show in the UK.


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