Have management changes at TEN put projects on the backburner?
Last September ELEVEN announced an initiative to uncover new local television projects, “ELEVEN out of TEN.”
The search was looking for a new television series or special, in comedy, observational documentary, light entertainment or drama, as long as it held appeal to a youthful audience.
At the time David Mott, TEN’s chief programming officer said, “Young producers, fresh new ideas and a unique voice are things ELEVEN will celebrate and this development grant is the perfect way for us to kick start what we think will be a long and successful project for our premium new channel.”
On offer was the chance for finalists to pitch their concept to a panel of judges during the SPAA Conference in Sydney in mid-November.
Five finalists received a full 3-day registration with travel and accommodation.
The winning pitch was a news-based comedy by Shannon Marinko, best known as one of the co-creators of community TV show The Bazura Project then entered into a development phase, with a pilot made in January.
A TEN spokesperson told TV Tonight, “The scheme identified a couple of interesting projects and some very impressive talent. We’ve had discussions with a couple of the finalists, and we’ve done quite a bit of work with the winner, Shannon Marinko, to help develop his concept.”
Marinko speaks highly of TEN’s enthusiasm and support.
“They were incredibly keen and supportive and accommodating towards me and the concept. They busted a gut to get everything scheduled, budgeted and produced as soon as possible. I couldn’t be happier with how everything went, really. Lot of fun,” he said last week.
But after some five months later there are also questions about whether the project has fallen victim to changes in TEN management, which reached a crisis in February.
“Everyone at TEN seemed pretty happy with it. But the regime change seemed to put the kibosh on a lot of projects in development, including mine,” he says.
TEN has denied the show has stalled due to management changes and says it is still under consideration.
The original promise of the initiative never guaranteed a project going into production, despite is sounding like it was the ultimate target.
Meanwhile, Marinko is busy with The Bazura Project which has been picked up by ABC2 to air later this year.