TEN launches 2008 slate

Rove is back. Marcia is staying put. And here come the Farrelly Brothers and Kelsey Grammar.

Network TEN’s chief executive officer, Grant Blackley, and chief programming officer, David Mott today announced its 2008 line-up at Sydney’s Hordern pavilion.

Delta Goodrem sang to a media crowd of 600 people.

TEN announced the return of Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?, Bondi Rescue, Neighbours, Australian Idol, Big Brother, The Biggest Loser, AFL, Rove, Saving Babies, Friday Night Download, House, NCIS, Medium, Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Numb3rs, Californication, Life, Cane, Supernatural, The Simpsons, Futurama, Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search For The Next Doll, and America’s Next Top Model.

The network is in discussions with Working Dog for a “bigger and better” Thank God You’re Here.

New programmes will include So You Think You Can Dance Australia, Saving Kids, Kenny’s World Toilet Tour, Women’s Murder Club, Rules of Engagement, Back to You, Burn Notice, Swingtown.

There are three new Australian programs, with at least two others to be announced early in the new year. There are six new US series.

In drama TEN has two telemovies: The Informant, starring William McInnes, and Emerald Falls, featuring Georgie Parker.

TEN also announced TEN HD will launch on December 16, with programming to follow. It promises approximately 50 hours a week of programming not seen on the main TEN channel.

But the following shows are conspicuous by their absence: Animalia, ARIA Awards, Battlestar Galactica, Before the Game, The Big Night In, COOLAID, Cops, Cybershack, H20 Just Add Water, Jericho, Kick2Kick, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Lost Children, Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala, The Office, Real Stories, Rock It!, Simply Footy, Smallville, Toasted TV, Torchwood, Veronica Mars, Video Hits, The Western Front, The Wedge, Wicked Science. And anything with the words Jamie Oliver. No doubt some will move to TEN HD. But which?

An expanded, winning program slate for 2008 will see Network Ten build on its record 18-49 commercial share* achieved in 2007:
o All TEN’s proven Australian and international favourites return, plus;
o TEN introduces three new Australian programs, with at least two others to be announced early in the new year;
o TEN welcomes six new US series; and
o TEN is set for its strongest-ever launch to an official survey year.
TEN’s chief executive officer, Grant Blackley, and chief programming officer, David Mott, launched the network’s 2008 lineup this afternoon to an audience of 600 media, advertising and industry colleagues at Fox Studios Australia’s Hordern Pavilion.

Mr Blackley and Mr Mott also revealed Australia’s newest fully-fledged digital channel, TEN-HD, would launch on Sunday 16 December – delivering more choice, in the highest possible broadcast quality, for free.

They announced major live sport would feature on TEN-HD virtually every day from February 2008, including NASCAR, NFL and the World Golf Championships.

Mr Mott noted TEN would launch into 2008 on the back of its highest-ever commercial share* in the 18-49 demographic, TEN’s target audience and the age group that attracts around 75 per cent of advertisers’ TV dollars.

Even better, TEN’s 18-49 share is ahead of its winning position a year ago, and the network has also achieved its seventh consecutive annual win in 16-39.

In addition, TEN is well within a share point of Nine in 25-54 in primetime for the year to date.

TEN has also fulfilled its promise to become Australia’s No.1 daytime network (9am-5pm, Monday- Friday), winning all key demographics. And, on an all day (6am-midnight basis), TEN is now a firm number two in 25-54.

Mr Mott said TEN remained absolutely focused on its target 18-49 primetime audience and its new lineup would strengthen the powerful position TEN holds in under-50s.

NEW: So You Think You Can Dance Australia, Saving Kids, Women’s Murder Club, Rules of Engagement, Back to You, Burn Notice

RETURNING: Australia’s Biggest Loser, AFL, Rove, Bondi Rescue, Neighbours, Friday Night Download, House, NCIS, Medium, Law & Order: SVU, The Simpsons

So You Think You Can Dance Australia – Our hottest dancers are set to burn the floor and the ratings. Join host Natalie Bassingthwaighte and judges Bonnie Lythgoe, Jason Coleman and Matt Lee in the country’s most vibrant and exciting big event show since Australian Idol (FremantleMedia Australia).

Kenny’s World Toilet Tour – follow Australia’s much-loved portaloo expert, Kenny, on his international tour of conveniences. Compelling and hilarious docu-comedy, but we promise, no interactivity required (Thunderbox Television).

Saving Kids – Australian Idol 2006 winner, Damien Leith, fronts TEN’s newest factual program, with stories of courage and hope that will melt hearts and inspire. From the producers of Saving Babies (Quail Television).

World premiere Australian telemovies – The Informant, starring William McInnes (Screentime), and Emerald Falls, featuring Georgie Parker (Pacific & Beyond and Spider Ink).

Mr Mott added TEN would announce two further major new Australian projects in early 2008.

Women’s Murder Club – based on the best-selling James Patterson novels, this thrilling crime series is among the best performing new US series this year, achieving around 10 million viewers for ABC America at 9pm Fridays. Stars Law & Order’s Angie Harmon and 24’s Laura Harris (20th Century Fox Television).

Rules of Engagement – two brand new seasons of the series created by comic genius, Adam Sandler, starring Just Shoot Me!’s David Spade and Seinfeld’s Patrick Warburton. Routinely capturing 10 million viewers for CBS at 9.30pm Mondays (CBS Paramount Network Television).

Back To You – veteran comedic actors Kelsey Grammer (Frasier, Cheers) and Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond) star in this multi-camera sitcom about former lovers teaming up ten years later to anchor the evening news (20th Century Fox Television).

Unhitched – launching in the US in early 2008, the much-anticipated television debut for the Farrelly brothers (creators of There’s Something About Mary and Shallow Hal). Craig Bierko (Boston Legal), Johnny Sneed (The Guardian) and Shaun Majumder (24) star as a group of newly single friends learning painfully hilarious lessons about starting over again in their 30s (20th Century Fox Television).

Swingtown – a mid-season launch for CBS, this one-hour dramedy peeks into the shag-carpeted suburban homes of the 1970s to find couples revelling in the sexual and social revolution that ushered in open marriages and women’s liberation. Stars Molly Parker (Deadwood) and Jack Davenport (Pirates of the Caribbean, Mary Bryant) (CBS Paramount Network Television).

Burn Notice – after ten years serving his country, Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) is living every spy’s worst nightmare: his burn notice. When a spy gets fired, they can’t take away his skills or what’s in his head; instead, they take away his assets and resources so he can neither work nor defend himself when old foes come gunning (20th Century Fox Television).

Australia’s Biggest Loser – the challenges are tougher than ever, the goals even more rewarding. Join host Ajay Rochester and trainers Shannan Ponton and Michelle Bridges as contestants aim for weight loss, better control over their lives and the title of Australia’s Biggest Loser. Launches in February.

Big Brother – Australia’s original, biggest and best reality show, back for its eighth season in a reenergised, tighter format with greater interactivity than ever before. Featuring new hosts, Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O, and old friends Mike Goldman, Ryan Fitzgerald and Bree Amer. Launches at Easter-time.

Australian Idol – this year the quest to find Australia’s brightest new singer goes wider than ever. Come on the journey with judges Ian Dickson, Marcia Hines, Mark Holden and Kyle Sandilands, and your hosts Andrew G and James Mathison, as we find out who will be the next Australian Idol. Returns in August.

Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?, Bondi Rescue, Neighbours, Rove, Saving Babies. TEN is in discussions with producers Working Dog for an even bigger and better Thank God You’re Here for 2008.

House, NCIS, Medium, Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Numb3rs, Californication, Life, Cane, Supernatural, The Simpsons, Futurama, Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search For The Next Doll, America’s Next Top Model.

TEN is set to continue to win 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday, in all key demographics, including people 25-54, grocery buyers with children, and total people with: 9am with David & Kim, Dr Phil, Oprah, Ready Steady Cook, Huey’s Cooking Adventures, Judge Judy, Scope, Totally Wild and the most-watched daytime show on Australian TV, The Bold and the Beautiful.

More than 40 hours of pure news each week through the Early News, Morning News, TEN News at Five – still Australia’s only one-hour local evening news bulletin in each of the five mainland capital cities, delivering up to 1 million viewers nightly – and Late News with Sports Tonight plus TEN’s agenda-setting public affairs show, Meet The Press, and acclaimed children’s news program, ttn.

AFL – TEN remains the home of Saturday AFL and in 2008 will also broadcast the pre-season NAB Cup Grand Final and Brownlow Medal Count. Every game in every round of TEN’s home and away season and finals coverage will be in stunning high definition (HD).
Motorsport – every round of Formula One and MotoGP.
Golf – including the US Masters and US Open (both in HD), the Cadbury Schweppes Australian PGA Championship, the Moonah Classic, the New Zealand Open and the ANZ Ladies’ Masters.
RPM – Australia’s leading motorsport program returns for its twelfth sensational year.

Mr Mott said TEN would announce further schedule details of Australia’s newest fully fledged digital channel, TEN-HD, closer to its 16 December launch date.

Virtually all of TEN’s primetime schedule, and most of its sport, are already in high definition, with even more to come next year.

TEN-HD will debut with approximately 50 hours a week of programming not seen on the main TEN channel, including award-winning documentaries from National Geographic and Granada Television, and the amount of unique content will progressively increase.

However, Mr Blackley revealed live sport practically every morning of the week would be among TEN-HD’s key attractions.

For example:
NASCAR – America’s most popular motorsport category is coming live to TEN-HD, with 39 races (approximately 170 hours) – including the Daytona 500 – to air Sunday mornings through most of 2008 plus one-hour highlights packages each week.
NFL – from September 2008, two games per week live plus the play-offs and the 2009 Super Bowl (the Super Bowl will air live on the main TEN channel as well as on TEN-HD).
GOLF – from 2008 the prestigious World Golf Championships will be live and exclusive to TEN-HD.
These include the WGC Accenture MatchPlay Championship, WGC CA Championship, WCG Bridgestone Invitational and the WGC Mission Hills World Cup. In addition, the HSBC New Zealand PGA Championship will be live and exclusive to TEN-HD.

Mr Blackley said TEN Digital Media would continue to build on its impressive consumer offering in 2008, based on TEN’s great program brands, video and community.

TEN Digital Media boasts a number of achievements this year. To name just three: usage of the Australian Idol website has increased by double digits on 2006; Thank God You’re Here was Network Ten.

Australia’s No. 1 podcast during its 2007 season; and Big Brother was again Australia’s leading program website throughout the 2007 series.

In 2008, the team will offer even bigger website and mobile products for these brands as well as So You Think You Can Dance Australia, The Biggest Loser and Rove, while Australians will for the first time audition to be a Big Brother housemate, and influence who goes into the house, via the web.

TEN Digital Media delivers a single “through the line” message that links television activity with the web, mobile phones and portable devices. TEN offers deep brand extension and direct response capabilities, and all of it through an inherently integrated sales model, where a single call to TEN provides clients broadcast and digital products.

TEN’s LAUNCH EVENT at the Hordern Pavilion included a spectacular laser show and a special performance by Delta Goodrem.

Network Ten is set to end 2007 with its highest-ever commercial share in its target 18-49 demographic and its seventh consecutive annual win in under-40s.*

TEN’s primetime share in the important 25-54 demographic is also ahead of its corresponding position a year ago and within one share point (0.7 share points, to be precise) of Nine.

TEN wins all key demographics in daytime (9am-5pm), Monday-Friday. Including TEN’s Monday -Friday News at Five hour only enhances TEN’s position.

Reflecting its daytime strength, TEN has gained share in all major demographics between 6am and midnight this year and is a competitive number two in 25-54.

*All ratings OzTAM survey weeks 7-46, 2007 excl Easter, and refer to metro commercial: primetime (6pm- 10.30pm) share, Sun-Sat; all day (6am-midnight) share, Sun-Sat; or daytime (9am-5pm) share, Mon-Fri.

Sources: Apple iTunes Australia Store, podcast category, 2/7/2007 to 5/9/2007; Hitwise program website rankings, 28/4/2007 to 4/8/2007.


  1. David,

    My guess is that Torchwood will turn up on the oft-mentioned “Sci Fi Saturdays” on Ten HD.

    Flight Of The Conchords was mentioned during that “Best Of Montreal” special a couple of Sundays ago, the pair introduced with the line “their hit HBO sitcom, coming soon to Ten”.

    Roving Enterprises is on board for at least one show, of course – “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader”. Obviously the ARIAs wouldn’t be mentioned because that deal will be done much, much further down the track.

    And finally for the person asking about a program guide: Ten started transmitting a full 8-day EPG on their digital channels last Monday. TenHD’s alternate programming is the reason why.

  2. Luke (sexyer1)

    Torchwood isn’t listed… but I’m sure 10 will hold on the rights anyway, they’ll stop ABC from releasing the DVD before they show it, and we’ll get to see it this time next year..

    Rove back for 2 more years… and Big Brother… They are almost as desperate as John Howard and the Liberal Party!

    PS. Kenny’s World Toilet Tour sounds shit…

  3. Mr Mott said TEN would announce further schedule details of Australia’s newest fully fledged digital channel, TEN-HD, closer to its 16 December launch date.

  4. I’m sure that many of these “missing” shows will appear on the HD channel. As for Before The Game, TEN probably didn’t mention it as it doesn’t air in all states.

  5. Contracts and offers are all hush hush, even publicists aren’t privy to salaries.

    The fact that Rove has re-signed to TEN is encouraging for the rapport it has with Roving Enterprises. Obviously not everything on TEN’s plans were revealed yesterday. It’s possible the ARIAs haven’t sewn up a 2008 deal yet, meaning TEN couldn’t make any official statement.

    I did find the absence of Before the Game and some other omissions curious. TEN had already committed to 2 series of Torchwood for instance. Where is it? HD only?

    Will delve deeper….

  6. In reply to Johnson’s comment, Ten also has an unofficial affiliation with FOX, who have the rights to the other half of NFL games each week, plus the Superbowl on rotation. He’s right about Ben Graham and Sav Rocca.

  7. I thought ‘Before The Game’ is/was the best footy show on (Sydney’s) free TV (when it was occasionally broadcast). Has it gone? It would need Peter Hellier back… (BTW can’t Nine Sydney please add ‘AFL Confidential’?!) Anyway I just hope The Office screens a couple of times a week on Ten2… or whatever it’s called. What is it called? Am I asking too many questions?

  8. To me, the biggest surprise was Ten picking up rights to the NFL (gridiron). Ten probably got it because of its affiliation with CBS (which has the rights to about half of NFL matches every week plus the finals and the Superbowl on rotation), and because two former AFL players, Sav Rocca and Ben Graham, are playing in opposing teams.
    Given the timing of the Superbowl (10am to 2pm AEST), I don’t think it will be shown in parts of regional Australia because it may disrupt the daytime TV schedule, like Nine’s coverage a few years ago. At least with ABC and SBS (which will air next year’s Superbowl) it will be seen in every part of the country.

  9. You’re being a bit harsh with the list of missing shows. I’m sure the Hyundai Club Challenge is a one-off thing, RPM was mentioned in the sport section, and Simply Footy and The Western Front are regional shows with a small viewership.
    Having said that, though, it’ll be interesting to see where the ARIAs, Letterman and The Office show up next year.

    Looking forward to NFL and NASCAR on Ten HD!

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