TEN is yet to reveal how it will address the loss of drama quota points when Neighbours shifts from TEN to ELEVEN next year
The announcement yesterday comes hot on the heels of the Network throwing an anniversary celebration for the long-running soap. On the day of its #6000th episode cast and crew are facing headlines that say “Dumped to Digital.” It is a soapie twist even a scriptwriter couldn’t have dreamed up.
The move will leave TEN with two primetime dramas, Rush and Offspring, both yet to be confirmed for 2011, as its current drama quota generators.
Yesterday CEO Grant Blackley would not be drawn on its future plans for new drama announcements, or whether the network plans to lobby the government to allow content on digital channels to qualify. Right now it’s probably difficult to know who to lobby anyway…
TEN has had some success with telemovies such as Hawke and A Model Daughter: The Killing of Caroline Byrne, which yield 4 times the drama points than a serial episode. Others such as Emerald Falls and The Informant haven’t been quite as well received.
The network has crunched the numbers on audience trends and says there is a significant switch-off by viewers at 6pm, with many not returning until 7:30pm. It hopes to address that by investing heavily in News.
Next year TEN will follow News at Five with a national 6pm News bulletin and a 6:30pm local bulletin, followed by The 7PM Project.
It is hiring an additional 100 employees, around half of whom will be Journalists / Presenters and forking out $20m per year to step up its News output.
It plans more live eye vehicles, SNGs, on air sets and graphics, a broader affiliation with global news providers and promises the return of local news to each state.
Presenters are expected to be announced at its 2011 Programme launch in mid-September.