Programmers Wrap 2023: 10
10 teases its "best ever" season of Survivor, Taskmaster Tom Gleeson and why it hasn't given up on two big Reality shows just yet.
There’s just two weeks to go until 2023 ratings survey kicks off, but one of Television’s favourite reality shows is ready to wow its many loyal fans.
Australian Survivor spearheads 10’s first quarter, now back oceanside in Samoa after two seasons in Queensland.
“The series is phenomenal and we are going to call this the ‘Best Series’ to date,” Daniel Monaghan, Senior Vice President, Content and Programming, Paramount ANZ tells TV Tonight.
“It’s really a cracker and I think this one is something that will get people talking. That claim comes out a lot. We try not to make it all the time, but this time I think we’re going to deliver it by about segment two of Episode One.”
Returning contestants include George Mladenov, Shonee Bowtell, Jordie Hansen, Hayley Leake and Nina Twine, but not everybody is on the same tribe in the lastest incarnation.
“Heroes v Villains is generally considered the most popular theme the franchise has had, particularly out of the US. We’ve got a mixture of returning Heroes and Villains alongside some new casting. I think for our franchise in Australia, with the cast being so much bigger than the US and a longer period- we do need to introduce new faces to keep that keep that freshness. We don’t just want to always have returnees…. we’ll probably go for an all new cast in 2024.”
New this Thursday is Taskmaster, with Tom Gleeson and Tom Cashman. Based on the UK format, with Julia Morris, Luke McGregor, Jimmy Rees, Nina Oyama and Danielle Walker featuring in every episode.
“They complete the same tasks and then come back to the studio, to watch them play out in front of Tom who rewards them,” says Monaghan.
“We’re very thrilled to have him”
“Taskmaster has a hugely loyal audience who not only seek it out on Free to Air, SVOD and particularly online. I don’t know there would be many people who could have sat in that Taskmaster chair quite as easily as Tom Gleeson. So obviously we’re very thrilled to have him.
“The ABC were kind enough to allow Tom do it with us, which was great.”
New to Would I Lie to You? on Mondays is Charlie Pickering, replacing Chris Taylor as a team captain, alongside host Chrissie Swan and fellow captain Frank Woodley.
“Charlie’s a great addition. He is well seasoned, very competitive, always wants to wants to win. We’ve always known that from Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation. He provides really great comedic and competitive relief.”
The Dog House returns on Wednesday week for its third season and Gogglebox is back later in February for the first of two 2023 seasons.
“It will be a similar run in terms of episodic count”
10 has returned I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here to Africa, and shifted it to Q2 in its schedule. The show will launch during Easter non-ratings. Let the casting rumours begin!
“It will be a similar run in terms of episodic count and time on air. The difference is simply it will be live and over a different period, running into May when MasterChef will take over, slightly later than it has previously.”
Filming continues in Melbourne on MasterChef: Secrets & Surprises with new contestants -but what does that title mean, please?
“It wouldn’t be a Secret or a Surprise if I told you what they were,” he teases. “We’re going to have a surprise straight from the outset in the first week, which is not announced. We actually did a season of surprises probably four seasons ago now. It’s just about peppering through each of the weeks and giving a ‘beat’ to cling onto.”
“We’re talking about something slightly larger.”
So is the secret / surprise about the food and cooking?
“We’ve often had themed weeks around food. That wouldn’t necessarily be what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about something slightly larger.”
He added, “It’s a bit shorter this year, there will be less weeks.”
The first local drama from 10 this year is six-part crime thriller, North Shore, by writer Mike Bullen (Cold Feet) and directed by Gregor Jordan. The premise asks, ‘What happens when a British detective and his Australian counterpart team up to solve a murder?’
Co-produced with Paramount UK, the cast includes Joanne Froggatt, Kirsty Sturgess, Dan Spielman, Rob Carlton, Matt Passmore Rhys Muldoon, Claire Lovering and Chris Alosio.
The unassailable Have You Been Paying Attention? is also back in Q2 from the Working Dog team -say no more. The Cheap Seats also returns to Tuesdays with Tim McDonald & Melanie Bracewell.
“At the end of Q2, moving into Q3 will be Hunted, in a similar run to last year, not dramatically expanded by any stretch of the imagination. It’s not turning into 45 episodes!,” Monaghan insists.
“Everyone thinks they could win it”
“We obviously commission research to find out what people thought, not just what we read on social, plus what the ratings were, the cities, the demographics and all that. The audience loved Hunted. Everyone thinks they could win it, which is something we can really tap into.”
Also returning is Ambulance Australia, while Q3 sees the debut of First Inventors with host Rob Collins.
Five Bedrooms S3 will screen in Q3 (Season 4 coming to Paramount+). In drama 10 also has Riptide which has performed strongly for Channel 5, a second season window for S2 of The Secrets She Keeps, new local drama Paper Dolls later in the year, Heat with Darren McMullen & Pia Miranda and the mid year return of Neighbours -but how will Neighbours 3.0 differ?
“It’s too early to share exactly what’s happening”
“We’ve seen some early scripts and I’ve heard about early conversations with talent. But it’s too early to share exactly what’s happening until we have a full picture,” he advises.
There is also no confirmation on a timeslot for 2023 yet, nor the number of episodes, but he says of the output, “This is a version of Neighbours of old. It’s not going to be exactly the same, because obviously we’re sharing this with Amazon Freevee, so it’s slightly different. But it is a significant order, nobody will be disappointed.”
New property series Location, Location, Location is due in Q3, perhaps to replace The Living Room timeslot?
“That would be a perfect slot for it, I would say. What an idea..!” he laughs.
MasterChef: Dessert Masters coming later in the year sees 12 pastry chefs in a sweet tooth cook-off for a $100,000 prize. Also in Q4 is Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly with UK expert Graeme Hall ready to face any dog, any age, any problem. Mirror Mirror from Todd Sampson will also return as will Bondi Rescue. 10 News First, Studio 10 and The Project all continue, marked by Sarah Harris moving from mornings to primetime TV.
Meanwhile 10 is also yet to formally confirm a second season for The Traitors but is actively casting with producers Endemol Shine Australia.
“The Traitors didn’t set our world on fire last year, but it was such a well-made show …I think it’s deserve more attention,” Monaghan explains.
“It really deserved more audience”
“Perhaps against the strength of The Block in that period of the year it didn’t have the cut-through. But it really deserved more audience. ESA did a phenomenal job.
“You never set out to put up a show that’s rubbish. If it does poorly, and it’s rubbish, then you just think, ‘Well, you deserve it.’ I think when you put up something like The Traitors and it doesn’t do as strong numbers as you think it deserves, you’d look at the quality of the show and think, ‘Can you grow it?’ That’s what we will be evaluating…. particularly with the performance (of the UK series), it deserves more.”
There is no decision on Shaun Micallef’s Brain Eisteddfod nor First Dates, and with no Bachelorette, there are also slots later in the year yet to be locked down.
“We’re hopeful that we can return The Masked Singer.”
Of The Real Love Boat and The Challenge, Monaghan confirmed, “Clearly, neither of them performed in a way that we were happy with…. we haven’t made an official decision on either of them, but they’re not currently in the schedule.”
One other big reality show was also not on 10’s 2023 list.
“The Amazing Race Australia is one of the biggest formats in the world. I think it’s worth revisiting. We’re certainly looking at it in the same way that we’re looking at Traitors.”
International titles include The Graham Norton Show, Ghosts, NCIS and FBI franchises while sporting highlights include Australian MotoGP, Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne Cup Carnival and on 10 BOLD: A-League & NBL.
Tomorrow: Seven: Brook Hall