High noon for Studio 10

TEN’s own Studio 10 is extending its programme by another hour, set to run from 8:30am – 12 midday from Monday July 24.

“We thought we’d give them more of Joe Hildebrand naked, but no, what they really want is an extra hour,” host Sarah Harris told TV Tonight.

“Being in the ‘bus-driver’ seat as (producer) Rob McKnight calls it, I’m always being told to hurry things along. We’ve got so much to say on so many different topics that I’m having to hard-wrap people. So it will be great to delve into topics a bit better, with more detail and more segments.

“It will be more relaxed, more hot topics and I’m excited about it.”

“We’ve been running our own race”

The TEN show has seen its audience lift by 15% this year, and with no breakfast lead-in, it builds its viewers across the morning.

“We’re not only holding audience, we grow them through the morning. It shows in our numbers, so it makes sense to keep us on for another hour,” she explains.

“We start from a lower point at 8:30. Our show is the only morning show that grows, compared to the earlier hours. So I think we have to capitalise on that. We’re the underdog of morning TV.

“But we’ve been running our own race and giving viewers the best conversations, the best segments that we can put out there. The fact we are a 5 person panel is something completely different.”

“If you pick a side and stay true it….people really stay appreciate that”

Launched in November 2013 Studio 10 survived its more-profile morning partner Wake-Up and has gone on to find a loyal following and Logie nominations. Harris, Jessica Rowe, Joe Hildebrand, Ita Buttrose & Denise Drysdale demonstrate their audience rapport as the only morning show with a daily studio audience.

“It’s a great barometer because it’s instant. Sometimes if you are dancing around a topic, you can see people rolling their eyes. If you pick a side and stay true it, and don’t flip-flop, I think people really stay appreciate that,” she continues.

“Having them in with us, reacting to every conversation we have, has been a real benefit to us.

“It keeps us grounded and keeps us across what is affecting people, day in, day out.

“One of the biggest benefits we have is a panel of seasoned journalists like Ita Buttrose and Joe Hildebrand who can bring credibility to news conversations. But at the same time we’re also lucky to have the lightness and zaniness of people like Denise Drysdale, who add a completely different dimension.”

Harris has also seen her star rise, including her presenting role on Shark Tank, a Logie nomination and stints on The Project and Have You Been Paying Attention? It was a leap of faith to leave Nine News at the behest of producer Rob McKnight, but one which has paid off.

“I’d been an Nine for 12 years and I thought ‘You have to take a few risks in life.’ For me it was a gamble, but it’s paid off. I just feel like I’m learning so much every single day. It’s made me a much better journo and host,” she insists.

“I once had an executive say to me, ‘It’s all about time in the chair. The only way you can get good at things is by doing it over and over again.’ Don’t you need 10,000 hours at something to become an expert at it? I don’t know how many I’ve got to go! Probably many!

“This format and the people I sit next to every day have really allowed me to be myself on television. It’s very different to being a journalist on the road and not showing your personality.

“I’ve worked in a number of newsrooms and teams over the years and this is one of the best and most supportive teams I’ve ever come across.”

“I think I was speaking on behalf of our entire team”

But being more in the spotlight also attracts greater attention. Last week on The Project she was blushing from the compliments showered by Sir Richard Branson (she previously interviewed him in South Africa, when at Nine) and a recent on-air editorial urging for media reform legislation raised some eyebrows on social media.

“It was never meant to look like I had just come up with an inspired or passionate speech to get Canberra to change its mind. But it’s something I definitely believe in and I think I was speaking on behalf of our entire team,” she explains.

“It’s not just Channel TEN pitching for the laws to change.”

Indeed in this precarious time for TEN the extra hour is pitched as some rare good news. But if the cast and crew of Studio 10 are doing overtime out of the goodness of their heart, Harris isn’t saying.

“I can’t stand it when television people whinge about their pay!” she sighs. “How about we get real jobs and go out into the real world?

“In the current climate it’s just nice to know that people want more of us, and not less of us.”

Studio TEN airs at 8:30am weekdays on TEN and from July 24 extends to 12 midday.

26 Comments:

  1. the Talk is a shocking show. I am glad its gone. I remember watching it and counting how many times the audience clapped at the so called politically correct opinions of the panel. It was over 30 times!! Also annoying is the the woman in charge. All she does is read off the auto cue. I really like Studio Ten. Joe and Jonathon coleman are hilarious. I like Sarah as she isn’t the typical gushing tv female lead, who all they feel the need to do is smile and giggle (eg Sam Armytage). Maybe what Studio Ten needs is more big stars as guests.

  2. Armchair Analyst

    If TEN is bought by CBS (hears hoping) that they keep The Talk or change Studio TEN to the Talk OZ (version) and just structure the segments to have more adbreaks like they do in the US. i remember back in the day TV shows drama, comedy, dramady ect had less breaks and longer scenes/segments maybe since 10 years ago to now its shorter scenes/segments to have more adbreaks. IMO thats what TEN should do ditch the infomercials/advertorials they spoil the continuity of the show and just go to a adbreak instead comeback with a new segment. If CBS ends up owning TEN outright or close then i can picture that happening.

      • Armchair Analyst

        I am confident because a) CanWest/ Izzy Asper set a precedent before and after the changes to Foreign Investment Rules by Howard Government in 2006 and b) Australia has a history of being ok with American companies buying Australian Companies, then later selling them. Besides FIRB allowed Foxtel to buy 15 percent of TEN. Its all how its structured anyway if CBS structure their ownership like CanWest did than i see no reason why FIRB would not allow it. also it wouldn’t be much different than Lachlan and Foxtel NewsCorp subsidiaries owning parts of TEN anyway. Much rather CBS own TEN than NewsCorp.

  3. All the advertorials spoil that show otherwise good show .would love to see studio 10 start later say at 10am till 1pm it would be better as a lunch time show than morning no time in the morning with the kids and school drop off .and keep The talk and put it on at 1pm . and ten really do need a news breakfast news show like CBS this morning love that show but start the Aussie version at 7am to 10pm with Sandra sully as host then straight into studio 10 .

    • I think that’d solve their problem too – just one continuous show 7am-10pm. People can drop in or out, it’s live so on air bloopers provide a point of difference and keep things afresh.

    • yeah, he and Sarah are the 2 reasons why I don’t tune it, they seem to rub me up the wrong way for some reason. and I don’t find Jono one bit entertaining.

  4. Cost cutting for whoever the new owners end up being. Cheaper to extend a program to cover extra time than to keep two shows – expect The Talk to disappear. It’s probably reasonably cheap, but this feels like the first round of “content deal renegotiations”.

      • Doesn’t cost anything to get the same number of staff to churn another hour of content out. Did they also announce a couple of additional producer and researcher positions?

        • Given crew would be called an hour or so earlier before it goes to air for rehearsals etc, extending by an hour on air till 12 would be within their minimum call and wouldn’t cost any extra

  5. The one thing I can’t stand watching on Studio 10 are those annoying infomercials. It makes me switch off or change channels. An extra hour probably means there will be even more infomercials. They should get rid of the infomercials or advertorials. They are pitfalls in the show.

  6. This is great news.
    The cynic in me thinks that during the recent brainstorming seasons on how to make Ten a sustainable ongoing proposition and what makes money the words advertorials came up???
    Would like to see as the state news rooms come online between 11-12 maybe each state newsreader cross to Studio 10 for a local “coming up” on tonight’s news segment. Wonder what Robs plans are for this hour.

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