Dear Lachlan, seriously…

Dear Lachlan, TEN has always been the underdog of the three commercials, but hey, that's exactly why we've liked it.

Dear Lachlan

In just a few short months you’ve gone from being deputy chairman of Prime Media to acting CEO of Ten Network Holdings. What a ride. And to be fair, none of us saw that one coming.

With James Packer (the bloke you had One.Tel with) and the obvious support of the majority of the Board, we’re now awaiting your next move.

We know you’re the good-looking Murdoch, although the lovely Elisabeth nearly out-Shines you. You’re married to the equally lovely Sarah (and a tip to TEN production crews check your audio feed is working or risk losing your contract) and you love your NRL and IPL.

But what is it you have in mind for TEN now that Mr. Falloon and Mr. Blackley are both effectively out of the picture?

TEN has had so many wonderful shows over the years. We grew up with The Young Talent Time, Prisoner, Good Morning Australia (both of them), The Early Bird Show, Wonder World, Carson’s Law, Neighbours, Perfect Match, The Comedy Company, and The Simpsons.

Then there was Rove, Big Brother and Australian Idol when Sunday nights were must-see TV. Remember Merlin telling Gretel to “Free the Refugees?” Remember Guy Sebastian singing “Climb Every Mountain” or Anthony Callea singing “The Prayer?” Remember “What The?” and “My Charader?” Remember Melrose Place “Tuesday Night’s a Bitch?” Remember The Panel?

They were fun times, Lachlan, even if sometimes they were a little hokey. The fun was that you never quite knew what might happen next because TEN always took a risk. Let’s not forget they were the first to dump the Sunday night movie, the first to say “dammit we’re gonna strip a cooking show in primetime,” and the first to say “we’re sticking with The 7PM Project and bugger the lot of you.”

More recently they’ve taken some risks with a dedicted Sports channel. I’m not especially into Sport but Lachlan I’m confused… why is it playing shows about logging, trucking and mining? What’s The Manchurian Candidate got to do with Sport?

And then there is the News experiment.

Like 7PM, a move of this magnitude will probably take a year to bed in. Many people have said they admire that George Negus is not going down the road of Today Tonight and A Current Affair, but there is debate over the suitability of the content to the timeslot. Numbers would suggest you have bigger problems with the 6:30 News (and why did you take Sandra Sully away from the rest of the country -we grew up with Sandra too). And moving the weekend News from 5pm to 6pm? Why?

I have no idea how you will meet your drama quota with 13 episodes each of Rush and Offspring. I enjoy both shows, but really….. I know there is more in the pipeline (including Inside Out), but we’ll be in March soon. Are you buying more NZ shows, or picking up more Aussie movies? Please explain.

I’m quite partial to some of the shows on ELEVEN: Dexter (if only I hadn’t seen it on Pay TV already), Nurse Jackie, Californication and The Simpsons -but honestly Lachlan, I don’t think I’ve seen a new Simpsons episode since your launch week.

And why are we moving all these shows around lately? Please make up your mind where The Good Wife, House, Glee, Modern Family, NCIS: LA and Lie to Me belong. We have lives to organise y’know? Better yet, just take Lie to Me off altogether.

On a positive note The Circle can sometimes be a breath of fresh air. That Chrissie Swan cuts right through the TV screen. Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation is consistent fun (yes, give Micallef a chat show too), and The 7PM Project has settled into a nice groove. MasterChef remains addictive TV.

TEN has always been the underdog of the three commercials, but hey, that’s exactly why we’ve liked it.

The other two have always brawled over prestige and then along comes TEN with bold ideas and those crazy promos with celebrities sitting around in a rehab circle. It takes nerve to go out on a limb like that. I’m not really sure if 2.5 hours of News was nerve or which focus group said it was a good idea, but I sure hope the Board hasn’t lost it’s nerve too. I know yesterday was probably a bit of power play, but hey, these are my shows you’ll be playing with, Lachlan.

There’s a bunch of other things I could throw in but let me leave you with one more thought: please pick up the phone to Hamish and Andy before it’s too late.



91 Responses

  1. Dear Lachlan,

    Sorry, I’m late but hey, think of me as Dexter of Ch 10 after it’s already been aired on Pay TV. (Oh and I never watched it on your channel, I just bought the DVDs as they were so cheap).

    You know, I left Ch 7 on Monday night (Desperate Housewives) to watch the additive Supernatural. To be honest, it was the only show I watched on 10 as your programming as always left me a bit “what’s on ABC?”. Since you cancelled my fav show, bought it back, cancelled it again, moved it. etc etc, I vowed never to watch 10 again and I haven’t. That was back in in 2008.

    I saw the promos for Terra Nova, but still no. Not watching 10. I admit, it’s not hard, your shows really have no appeal.

  2. I also like the Micallef idea, I watch the 7pm project but just don’t have the time to commit to your other new programs coz there is just so much on tv with all these channels. But I would probably watch a Micallef tonight show style thing, I get the news headlines from twitter, having a person read it doesn’t add much, but having Micallef put his style to it would make it different and worth the watch.

    Also use some of your power to move the ratings boxes around. Take them all out of the current houses and place them in new houses because I just don’t believe that the statistics are right. I’d be very surprised if this doesn’t result in a boost to your ratings. Peoples taste in TV is not defined by their age bracket, gender or race, that stereotyping just doesn’t work in my opinion, there are plenty of women who watch “male” programs and loads of other stereotypes are being broken all over the place when you actually get out there and talk to people about what they watch. Maybe the screening process should also involve a little personality testing and make sure that the sample is representative of the population on that basis too.

  3. Dear Lachlan

    Get Rid of the Bold and the Beautiful at 4:30pm and put on some family friendly shows at that hour on 10 like they used to have when I was a kid.You can’t expect people with younger children or those of us who watch either home grown soaps or are of the new 90210 generation to relate to that old person soap or have better things to do with their time.I mean apart from retirees who is home to watch that crap

  4. Dear Lachlan,

    Leave ONE alone!!!

    If you want to show movies and documentaries in prime time, then set up a fourth channel and have them on there. I tune into ONE to watch sport and you keep taking it off the air for rubbish.

    Sport on ONE thanks.

  5. Dear Lachlan

    Keep what’s good on Ten or has been in the past – the outlandish, the edgy, the creative. Don’t imagine copying 7 and 9 will work. Be brave in programming but not stupid!

    Clear the News department of ex-9 hasbeens who imagined that just because that’s where they once worked, they’d be able to “fix” a network with an entirely different news image and audience. Their bravest and stupidest contribution was Negus at 6 (who needs an old hack with ABC-style stories that early?) and the 6:30 news (who’d watch it 30 minutes after 7 or 9’s bulletins?)
    Either might have worked in better timeslots, but run by people with a better sense of what makes good news and CA on commercial TV.

  6. What’s all this about risk&reward for 7pm? They made 7pm it was a flop. 18 months later, still a flop. 600k in primetime is not good guys. I’m going to sway a different way to everyone else tens philosophy of sticking with flop shows, at the end of the day just means they have a schedule filled with flops.

    People on this site do seem to give ten a lot of support and all this talk of risk taking is nice but the facts are ten are a distant 3rd to 7&9 in total people and all demos, have the least successful digital channels, have very little commitment to local dramas, their current schedule is a joke and there are white elephants everywhere.

    They do need to pull their head out a bit, the ten that blackley ran was far from perfect. I really would like an answer to the drama question, there is something wrong with our system if ten can get away with making so little of it.

  7. Wow, you just have to read through the comments to know that there’s an awful lot of passionate, intelligent TV watchers/amateur programmers out there with some great ideas. But please David, don’t make a Faustian pack and program for Ten on the side – you’d never forgive yourself! And we’d miss out on your wonderfully impartial insight and wisdom.

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