Renewed: The Great Australian Spelling Bee


TEN has some good news for little kids who love their alphabet.

It has announced a second season for The Great Australian Spelling Bee, in only its third week on air.

The series, which launched with 921,000 viewers, last night drew 616,000 viewers -its lowest audience so far. But the show has done good business in young demos despite some questions about whether it would be better suited to a more family-friendly timeslot.

TEN Chief Programming Officer, Beverley McGarvey, said: “We are delighted with how Australians have embraced The Great Australian Spelling Bee and welcomed these amazing kids into their homes and hearts.

“From the start, we realised this was a very special show and that its stars – the talented and inspiring eight to 13 year old spellers – would have viewers laughing, crying, cheering and spelling along with them. The Great Australian Spelling Bee is fresh, different and always compelling. Commissioning a second series was an incredibly easy decision for us to make.”

Endemol Shine Australia CEO, Mark Fennessy, said: “We’re extremely proud that this simple yet original concept has been so warmly received and supported. We look forward to presenting even more of Australia’s brightest and brilliant young talent in this exciting family entertainment series.”

The second series will go to air on TEN in 2016.


  1. It’s the only FTA show I’m watching ATM. It’s such a good show to watch with kids as there are great displays of sportsmanship and the value in striving to do your best – my 5 year old niece and I watch it together. We view it on catch up though because it goes on long after her bedtime. Hopefully they can sort out a better time slot for it next year and trim it to an hour show. I like it being on twice a week, I get really excited to see how the kids do each round!

  2. The luckiest show to be renewed since…..wonderland! Let’s face it. It is a relatively cheap show to produce. All shot within a week or two. No live shows. No expensive hosts or judges.

  3. Interesting news. TEN have shown they can listen to the audience, for example when they fixed MasterChef. So, can they do it with Spelling Bee and listen to us here? Once a week, 6.30 timeslot, 1hr shows… I am speculating that it was always planned for 6.30, just that Nine beat them to it with The Voice (which they might have thought would move to Monday only like last year).

  4. Original show? Really Mr. Fennessy, where did you ever get the idea for this show? One of the many other versions around the world, or the doco’s? Is the original part shoving in some hosts, or airing it twice a week?

    I weep for Australian TV when they’re applauding 600k viewers as embraced, and a rip off as original; It’s worse than I thought.

    • Original means the format has not screened anywhere else, so in this sense he is correct. By 2015 everything is derivative on one level or another, unless you want to talk about log fires and bird nesting TV.

      • Yeah, on a technicality he’s correct, I suppose; but still, there’s little hope we’ll start getting anything on FTA that’s less derivative than this then.

  5. Secret Squïrrel

    Commissioning a second series was an incredibly easy decision for us to make… because we have nothing else apart from more Masterchef.

    Fixed that for ya.

    It’s a bit sad that McGarvey is gushing so much about a show that pulls a bit over 600K. I understand why they wanted to avoid going up against The Voice on Sundays but you have to wonder what the numbers would be if the show had started and, more importantly, finished earlier.

    • I find her press releases to be reliably hyperbolic, but also easy to translate:

      “It didn’t tank. Thank god for that. Let’s see how far we can push this.”

  6. Let’s hope they ditch the superfluous Chrissie and the parents backstage drama! and spend even more time with the adorable kids (there was a girl who went through last night we’d barely glimpsed before).

    Oh, and please cut all the high fiving.

    • Agree.
      Too drawn out – once a week is plenty.
      Also, as others have already said, in the wrong time slot.
      6.30 pm Sunday night would be far more suitable, especially for all the kids out there watching.

      Am enjoying GASB though – finding it quite inspiring at times and there are some lovely kids participating.

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