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TEN ready to open the door to ELEVEN

David Mott tells TV Tonight ELEVEN has plenty for an Under 30s audience, as TEN charts its new 3-channel strategy.

When ELEVEN launches tomorrow, chief programming officer David Mott will see another chapter in TEN’s network strategy fall into place.

It may be arriving later than some of its rivals and in a quieter period in terms of viewing patterns, but Mott tells TV Tonight the channel is part of a long-term vision.

“This has been all about laying the bricks and charting a new path for TEN and therefore ELEVEN,” he says.

“I do liken it to TEN being the CBS of Australia. When you look at its appeal it’s 18-49 and 25-54 and ELEVEN is very much an Under 30s channel.”

A joint venture with CBS, ELEVEN is built on block-programming of mostly US content but becomes the new home for Neighbours, the only first-run Australian drama series on a commercial digital channel. It picks up from its 2010 cliffhanger tomorrow night at 6:30pm, changing launch plans to simulcast on both TEN and ELEVEN.

“We made the call just before Christmas when we thought this is what is strategically right for the channel. Let’s not underestimate the strength of where we see ELEVEN. The fact that we are putting Neighbours on this says a lot about the channel,” he says.

“We’ve got a lot of new content there and probably a lot more than what you’re seeing on the others at this point in time. There seems to be a lot of reruns and product from their main channels.

“Our philosophy has been very clear from day one, that what plays on ELEVEN stays on ELEVEN and we’re not going to be running shows on both TEN and ELEVEN. They are going to be destinations in their own right and I think we have the content to deliver that.”

ELEVEN’s schedule may offer classic titles during the daytime and overnight, but there are a number of first-run and even fast-tracked shows that will feature in primetime.

There is also no “soft-launch” for the channel, with the current line-up intended to roll through into ratings survey.

“We’ve gone with an alternative to what the others are doing with on Sunday nights. So we’ve got a brand new New Zealand’s Next Top Model at 7:30 leading into new Smallville for two hours and then Mondays it’s Supernatural leading into new Dexter,” says Mott.

Supernatural did a good job demographically on TEN so it’s a known brand, Dexter‘s a known brand, Nurse Jackie, Californication, clearly The Simpsons, Futurama and there’s a new series of So You Think You Can Dance.

“So I think what you’re seeing is quite a unique decision for a new multichannel to take.”

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson will be the first show on air from 11am on Tuesday morning, ahead of its regular weeknight slot of 10:30pm.

“There are some things he’s going to be doing for us to help promote ELEVEN, particularly for that first episode. He’s very excited about ELEVEN, so I think it’s a great addition to add to the schedule,” he says.

“He is tonally more appropriate for ELEVEN. We did have the ability to run Letterman, but when you look at that TEN / CBS quality, Letterman belongs on TEN. Craig Ferguson belongs on ELEVEN. He’s Scottish, he’s got a real attitude to him, he’s younger with a fresh approach to him.”

The channel will also be hosted by Brisbane radio hosts Jason “Labrat” Hawkins and Stewart “Stav” Davidson. Couch Time interstitials will appear from 3:55 – 6:30 Monday to Friday, using social networking to invite audience interaction.

“These boys are our face of the afternoons on ELEVEN and I think that’s a very clear distinction from what the others are doing. We’re invested in the boys, we have an ELEVEN studio. They will launch the channel on Tuesday and they will host the entire day on Day One. So it helps create a community feel to the channel,” says Mott.

Couch Time has a retro feel to it but the guys have got a really cool approach and they will be talking about product, giveaways, sponsorship, Twitter opportunities –there will be a lot of interactive activity that the audience expects nowadays.

“We went out and cast and decided on two playful boys and they tested particularly well. They are fresh faces to television and they have a lot of energy and a fair bit of attitude.”

ELEVEN will be available to Foxtel cable viewers, but Mott says there are hopes to add the channel for satellite viewers.

“There are discussions going on with Foxtel at this point in time and we’re hoping to resolve that soon. But that’s probably all I am prepared to say at this point in time,” he says.

ELEVEN will help Network TEN to take the ratings battle up to its competitors, at a time when multichannels have been attracting big viewing numbers.

Mott notes that unlike some of his competitors, the channel has given adequate notice to OzTAM to deliver ratings data. By Wednesday morning, TEN will get its first glimpse of what might be possible for its newest offspring. But philosophically he also knows a new channel needs time to gather true momentum.

“We know that it’s summer and things take time,” he says. “Interestingly enough the others are kind of wary of it. They’ve changed their line-up for that day.

“But we’re not concerned about one night, this is all about getting the tone of the channel right.”

ELEVEN launches at 11am on Tuesday January 11.

80 Responses

  1. @Pete
    Couldn’t agree more – Neighbours didn’t deserve to be shunted off to be solely an Eleven program. It’s an iconic show and Ten have done it a disservice. A lot of the problems with its ratings have been due to its 6:30pm timeslot and being sandwiched between American sitcom repeats and other dross since about 1993. Even on Eleven it will Still be on at 6:30pm. The Friday night double episode is only for this week to due to the fact that the channel launches on Tuesday, rather than Monday.
    If only Ten had had the balls to return it to its original 7:00pm timeslot on the main network and repeated it on Eleven the next day. The Project would have been better in the 6:30pm slot and Ten’s main news at 6:00pm, doing away with the George Negus program entirely.
    But we’ll see very soon how it all goes down.
    I’m simply disappointed that Neighbours wasn’t a part of their main chasnnel reshuffle, as they only have thermselves to blame for its lacklustre performance.

  2. I’m reserving judgement till I see it, but I hope it goes well.
    A caution to all you oldies who are looking forward to seeing old faves again – be careful what you wish for!
    I loved ‘Gilligan’s Island’ with a rare passion – until I saw it as an adult and realised MaryAnn was just a child!
    WTF was I thinking – Ginger is the one with it ‘all going on’!

  3. In reading about the negotiations going on with foxtel about satellite retransmission I looked up when 7two & Go were added 2009 and it was about a month after official launch. So will think if the negotiations are going the same path then I would think sometime in February if they get there.

    Thank you for asking.

  4. Goonies, agreed totally.

    Rasing Hope is one of the few things worth watching over summer on the main channel.

    Its good to see a return o Wednesday Animation Fixation though (with the added bonus of King of The Hill), just bad timing.

  5. A few points to say.

    @Leigh H -Firstly Medium will not be airing on 10 or 11 as indicated in a podcast on tvcentral.

    People who are wondering when shows will air that aren’t scheduled ? geesh give them time I am sure once some shows are up to date with seasons they will air these shows like Dollhouse, Melrose etc.

    @Ryano – Seven has the rights to show Jersey Shore this year on 7 mate.

    @Bella – Saturday is Get Smart, Hogans Heroes (11 has rights to all seasons)

  6. I’m quite excited about 11, more than I was for any of the other digital channels. I also agree that it was a good idea to put Craig Ferguson on there instead of Letterman – I think Ferguson works with the younger demographic better. He is probably my favourite US talk show host at the moment.

    @Secret Squïrrel
    “Some people do seem to like living in the past. What is all this love for wanting to see ancient TV? I don’t understand why you’d want to watch some old show again when there is plenty of new content.”

    There is indeed plenty of new content, but my problem with much of it is that it’s not very good. Or rather, I don’t particularly like it. If a third viewing of, for instance, ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ makes me laugh more than the first viewing of, say, ‘Modern Family’ – well then I’d prefer to watch Everybody Loves Raymond again.

    Sometimes I think it’s really worth taking a look at classics (music, TV, films) – if it’s been years and people are still into it, there has to be a good reason, right?

  7. I still cannot fathom why 10 would put new Futurama on at the same time as Raising Hope!

    Great programming there boofheads – put two of your newest shows up against each other ! Here’s a thought, how about scheduling Futurama at the same time as that crud ROE?

    Sarah Palin better not be on my FTA tv ever.

  8. @ natasha would love to see Perfect Strangers back on tv and I think 10 may have the rights to it to.

    @ jezza if ch11 started playing The Restless Years I would literally be in heaven. E Street would be cool too.

  9. Eleven should look into acquiring shows like Jersey Shore, Jon & Kate Plus 8 and Sarah Palin’s Alaska. Trashy US reality TV and its best…
    Or alternatively come up with some Aussie reality TV pilots, a modern day Sylvania Waters would be a hit.

  10. @natasha- neither, supernatural is starting at season 5 episode 10.

    glad to see the EPG is finally up, two fifths of my PVR recording listings are for 11 shows now, and if you count 11 and 10 together they are the vast majority of what I am watching. Packer should be begging to put a ratings box in my house.

  11. It’s unfortunate Nine onsold Smallville to Ten, as Ten will have to screen double episodes for 6 months straight, in order to catch up with the US. Same with 90210, that should be shown from the beginning.

    Missing for me is the Friday Night Lights series that Ten have abysmally only shown 2 seasons of. Given that it’s in its 5th and final season, they could and should show double episodes of it at 11.30 pm on a Friday night appropriately.

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