Humphrey has been a fixture on Australian television since 1965, is yet to set a deal with Adelaide-based Banksia Productions to commission a new series of Here's Humphrey, Fairfax newspapers reported today.
Here's Humphrey is not currently airing, but the Nine Network has only weeks left of daily repeats if it does not do a deal with Banksia.
This has left the door open for the rival Seven and Ten networks to step in and give the bear a new home.
When questioned on the future of the honey-loving bear at Nine, network chief executive Eddie McGuire said: “We are in a production break at the moment and we'll discuss Humphrey in due course”.
Nine has signed a two-year deal with the makers of rival program Hi-5 and has ceased promoting Humphrey as one of its programs on its website.
Banksia spokesman Stewart Lamb refused to comment on speculation that rival commercial networks were set to headhunt Humphrey, but said keeping Humphrey on Australian TV was important.
“He's been on Australian TV for 42 years and we don't want that to end,” he said.
Humphrey is a big overseas seller. Banksia flies in Mandarin and Spanish-speaking presenters to serve its large Chinese, Spanish and South American markets.
See the full article as reported by: http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/story/0,23663,21217563-10229,00.html