Wake Up: reviews

2013-11-05_0100The ratings will reveal all for Wake Up today (although strictly speaking, not head to head results), but in the meantime what did other media think?

Most agree there are some areas that need tweaking (mostly regarding the content) but the show also seems to have scored a preliminary thumbs up for a first day.


Wake Up is one part breakfast show with all the requisite tools — news, weather, sport, celebrity gossip, cross-promotional plugs, previews of the coming day’s big events — and one part The View-like chat show, the hosts and guests primed with a handful of ready-made talking points.

The show was largely sold on the hook of its beachside setting and being the only morning show with localised news, with Nuala Hafner delivering the headlines and weather from a studio at Melbourne’s Federation Square. A counterpunch, one imagines, to the accusation of Wake Up being too Sydney-centric.

In the end, though, it plays to the morning TV rulebook, geography less important than conviviality, chumminess and a running-sheet that ensured that the viewer didn’t suffer too much repetition (though a moratorium on the phrase “the race that stops a nation” when introducing the obligatory Melbourne Cup item might be in order).

The Guardian:
The two-hour show contained endless “talking points” segments devoted to seemingly random topics such as Catholicism, weight loss after childbirth, drinking in front of children, office affairs and drug taking.

Do we really want to hear non-experts talking endlessly about their opinions? The chatty format works brilliantly on The Project, because it is very tightly produced, with live crosses and interviews kept short and punchy, and naturally funny hosts, Charlie Pickering and Dave Hughes. Here it’s not as effective.

First-day jitters presumably accounted for the hosts’ nervous giggles, awkward glances and slips of the tongue – Exelby at one point welcoming us to Queensland rather than Queenscliff. That might improve: Belling handled the conversation and jokes like a pro.

Daily Telegraph:
Ten standout moments on Wake Up

1. The crew member walking through the middle of the set with the surfboard at the start of the show as the voiceover asked what our message was to Cardinal Pell.

2. Tash. Early prediction: she’s the new Paul Henry in this Tash-Tarsh-Matho mix. Did I imagine some jaw-tightening from the other pair a couple of times? I don’t think so. Her best bits: when she said her brother wanted to know if he had to watch the whole show, likening it to a horror movie, and then saying Tarsh is not a Chucky Doll. And her contribution to the discussion on office romances: “The guy who hired me is gay so that didn’t work.”

3. Sam Mac, roving reporter, meeting the neighbours outside at Queenscliff. He was the liveliest person on air all morning. He told them he hadn’t been this excited about a launch since Yasmin’s Getting Married. Background in case you’ve forgotten: a Ten show from 2006, axed after a week on air.

Sunshine Coast Daily:
The hosts look relaxed, despite Exelby admitting to being nervous.

Exelby was the first to christen the show’s blooper reel, introducing the show’s Million Dollar Nipper promotion as a partnership with the Queensland Nippers, rather than the Queenscliff Nippers.

“I’m from Queensland, it’s going to happen from time to time,” she laughed.

“I’m glad it happened on the first day.”

Helping to launch the show’s “housewarming week” will be Perth rockers Eskimo Joe, who are slated to perform in the “beach house” later this morning.

The show is also promising interviews with heaps of film stars this week, including Harrison Ford, Natalie Portman and Chris Hemsworth.

It’s certainly a more impressive start than Ten’s ill-fated Breakfast program last year.

But does the show offer something different enough to attract viewers?

I think the hosts have good chemistry but they will take a little while to bed in. Tomorrow’s ratings results will be the first litmus test.


  1. Now that we have experienced Wake Up, please bring back the CBS Morning Show from New York. It’s much more informative and interesting.
    Peter and Diana

  2. I really wonder how many commentators are aligned to Seven/Nine social media teams. Well in a sense I hope so because it’s sad if the average punter is this critical so early on against the show and Ten – it paints a bleak picture. Yes WakeUp needs some tweaking, but Studio 10 kills the competition.

    But if people don’t support new shows, then all we’ll be left with in a few years is 2 main free to air channels prouducing slight variations of the same breakfast tv show, current affairs, talent/reno show etc.

  3. The show seems to lack content. They need to beef it up more. Natasha Exelby needs to remember she’s on a national tv show and not sitting at the pub downing schooners with the blokes.

    Boland said the presenters had fantastic chemistry. I’m really not feeling it. Natarsha Beling is definitely the standout. James is okay but looks a bit disinterested. Exelby was always deemed a bizarre choice and she has really struggled so far.

  4. “Early days and too soon to make snap judgements or assess ratings.”

    Too soon? Nonsense! This is TV Tonight! Where people have made up their minds as soon as a show’s announced!

    • I agree we need to give shows time, but I don’t think rash judgements are the domain of this site. Wherever television is discussed online this takes place, including the networks own sites. Audiences respond to marketing and concepts and have done for years.

  5. Armchair Analyst

    I think people have forgoten that before Sunrise became a huge success the cast was different, I think maybe Chris Bath was on at some point deffinetly had Chris Reason on at the begining of the show, these things take time, question is does Network TEN have the patience, for it. Studio 10 is similar to the view or atleast the promos make it look like it although its failing at the moment in the states.

  6. Studio 10 will last because of the revenue from advertorials but Wake Up will fail without major cast/format changes.
    I do not like the news bulletins especially because they are prerecorded & also because the local Qld stories are in the national bulletin on Today. So what news from other states am I just not seeing?

  7. Lets just give it a month or so. Wake-up say they are like an FM station rather than AM. I think Sunrise are more FM than AM, maybe in the middle which is why I think they will continue to rule. After a bit of fine tuning it will get better as they have good chemistry but I fear the market place is way too crowded. I really think this show would work better at Midday as the beach would have more activity on it.

  8. They have to drop the endless non-hot topics and discuss topics that are in today’s news or newspapers. I don’t want to hear a live band belting out a number at 7am, it’s too irritating at that time of day. Tash and tarsh look very similar . They should have swapped one of them for the newsreader who seemed more interesting

  9. Spin it any way you like, these two shows are destined for the scrapheap along with the ever lengthening line up of TEN’s turkeys.
    A total of 777,000 viewers tuned into the other three breakfast shows, while the number four network could only srape up 62,000.
    Poor Jessica, her foolish move back to TEN has failed.

    Although it is early days, one can safely state the obvious. As I stated last week, any show with James Mathison in it, simply has to bomb.

    I hope the Queenscliff Surf Club received a large one off payment, because I don’t think the TEN mob are going to be there too much longer.

  10. All depends on how you spin it.
    I thought the majority of the reviews were scathing.
    News Ltd was nicest because they are in bed with Wake Up.
    Jo Casamento would be upset that Fairfax is biting the hand that feeds her.
    Crikey was particuarly pointed in their objections to this program.
    Most comments to all articles would appear ot be negative as well with most asking “What is the point of difference?” IMHO the point of difference is that Wake Up is the most amateurish. Smeone remind me what have they been doing for months apart from building the set. It aint “Field of Dreams” – if you build it, they won’t come without some decent content and engaging hosts.

  11. just gave it a look in now …..

    *seems to be more ads than content
    * The jokes seem to be more in- house than what the public may understand ….
    * definitely a lot of nerves showing
    * not sure having ads for the TAB and then for Barbie dolls shows advertisers are unsure where the show is at ….

    to early to tell the direction of the show …

    nicest thing about it is Manly Beach …….

  12. Gave it a go but didn’t like it. As soon as I saw Sam Mac I turned it off. Didn’t bother with Studio 10 when I heard Meshel Laurie was going to be on.

  13. jezza the first original one

    Early days and too soon to make snap judgements or assess ratings. How it evolves and the strength of ratings in about 3 months time will be more important for its future….

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