A spring in TEN’s winter step

By David Knox on July 19, 2013 / Filed Under News, Top Stories 21

TEN winter party 014TEN stars and execs were out in force last night for the network’s Winter Party -a glitzy mid-year “Upfronts” to promote the remainder of its upcoming 2013 shows.

TEN CEO Hamish McLennan and Executive GM Russel Howcroft were joined by various stars from The Living Room, Wonderland, Recipe to Riches, Wake Up, Puberty Blues, A League of Their Own, This Week Live, Offspring, Wanted, TEN News, The Bachelor, The Project, Secrets and Lies, Bondi Vet, The Loop, Neighbours and TEN Sport.

It was a who’s who of TEN execs including Beverley McGarvey, Rick Maier, Stephen Tate, Lisa Fitzpatrick, Anthony Flannery, Adam Boland, David Barham, Rebecca Horne and production industry execs from Shine Australia, FremantleMedia, Roving Enterprises, Southern Star, CJZ, ITV Australia, WTFN plus sponsors and media.

The Overseas Passenger Terminal in Sydney was turned into a winter wonderland with billowing fog, “falling snow,” a Husky dog and snow bunny roller bladers.

But the push was all about TEN’s new drive to win back more viewers through upcoming shows, all of which has already been announced.

Russel Howcroft talked through some of TEN’s recent achievements including new Sochi Winter Olympics, Big Bash League, new sports commentators, new show announcements, hiring Adam Boland, new morning hosts, Gold Logie win and the shift to 25-54 audience target.

“As some of you know, I was the acting CEO for two and a half weeks. So maybe it’s a bit rich for me to take all the credit. There is one highlight of the year thus far that I failed to mention, the appointment of Hamish McLennan as the CEO. Hamish and I do go a long way back and I can safely say that it looks to me like he’s sitting in a seat that was absolutely made for him.”

Hamish McLennan jokingly told the crowd their “regular Thursday night staff drinks” had grown to “something bigger than Ben Hur.”

“We want you to have a good time, we want you to see what we’re doing and to feel the energy we’ve got here at TEN. Any good network is only as good as the talent we have. We’ve got a lot of good talent in front of the camera but there’s also a lot of great people who sit behind the camera.

“If anyone wants to sponsor a show tonight we’ve got Louise Barratt up the back!” he joked.

“We’re also launching our new TEN Play catch-up platform led by Rebecca Horne who’s an absolute genius. She’s here tonight and they’ve done a great job.”

Whilst there were now new shows confirmed, there was an optimistic mood surrounding youthful drama Wonderland and dating show The Bachelor.

Osher Gunsberg (the artist formerly known as Andrew G) interviewed The Bachelor‘s Tim Robards.

“I spoke to my mum and dad and told them I had this opportunity and I was quite hesitant to start with. But they said ‘Stay true to yourself and you can’t really do much wrong.’ Basically, it’s going to be a good opportunity for me to grow as a man, and I guess to express myself,” Robards said.

International shows included Ripper Street, The Americans, Homeland and Under the Dome .

But TEN also overlooked previously announced 2013 shows Batavia, Shock of the Now and Come Date with Me.

Details of TEN Play are due to be revealed, allowing viewers to watch TEN content “anywhere, anytime” on smart devices.


  1. advoc8 July 21, 2013 at 4:32 pm -

    If they are going to cut back on “The Project” it should especially be the air times of Steve Price and all the other radical right wingers and political hacks who appear or are even invited, when the polls and events reflect badly on the Mr Abbott and Co.

  2. MHA July 20, 2013 at 1:37 pm -

    Instead of starting the big money marquee programs at 7:30pm, why not try 6:30pm to get a head start on Nine’s 7:00pm stranglehold? And cut back The Project back to 30 mins from 6pm or run The Project late night at 10:30pm instead of the Late News? Just a thought?

  3. ryan July 19, 2013 at 9:06 pm -

    I think the best thing ten could do next yr is return it’s stripped shows(Bl,Mc) Back to 7pm weeknights. The Project is doing ok but not good enough to give it 1 hr of programming. An easy cut back to 30 mins to pull stripped shows back to 7pm instead of the failed 7.30 start because of stronger competiton like the block and mkr. If ten could get people watching their top shows first it would incline more people to stay with it. This yr’s timeshifted figures are also good for mc which also shows its current timeslot is not the best one.

  4. Maev....Sydney July 19, 2013 at 8:10 pm -

    Just saw a promo for Wonderland…I will watch!
    But…only if they do not mess it around like Reef Doctors…drag it out…put it off…move it around…then…. I am done!

  5. squareyes July 19, 2013 at 7:22 pm -

    I hope Batavia has only been delayed and not dropped altogether.
    TEN had great success in the eighties with mini-series and it would be great to see a drama led recovery.

    A lot of haters commenting here.
    Maybe we should wait and see the shows before we pass judgement ?

  6. mistaken July 19, 2013 at 7:11 pm -

    Good on Ten for finally giving a red hot go at dragging themselves out of the cellar. Their drama is superior to 7 & 9 and if they can get a hit or two viewers will start tuning in again.

    Tens new foray into breakfast tv could make some waves with Boland at the helm. Looking forward to it.

  7. IloveReality July 19, 2013 at 5:56 pm -

    Puberty Blues was one of my fave shows last year and am very happy it’ll be back on our screens soon!

    And Eleven have been wonderful in bringing us Dexter. I’ve watched every ep that they’ve screened. What a handsome serial killer that boy is…

  8. victor July 19, 2013 at 2:49 pm -

    Good on Ten for at least still having some fire or is it ice in their bellies. But Puberty Blues hardly cracked an audience last time so suspect it will keep last year’s core audience and slowly decline second time around. And it is gutsy to commission 22 episodes of Wonderland. It too could do OK and slowly dwindle to a commercially unacceptable level. Ten may continue to argue it has the young demographics but won’t survive if it can’t have a bunch of shows which at the very least can consistently crack 900,000 viewers. Wouldn’t if have been better for Ten to have commission a variety of dramas, some with sequel potential than 22 hours of Wonderland? Suspect Fremantle, its producer put the pressure on to improve foreign sales potential and its sales commissions.

  9. maxxdude July 19, 2013 at 2:47 pm -

    Shows how much I watch Ten. I haven’t even seen a promo for Wonderland yet.

  10. David Knox July 19, 2013 at 12:00 pm -

    How was Dexter canned? Season final airs Monday on ELEVEN!

  11. mj July 19, 2013 at 11:57 am -

    I can’t wait for Wonderland.

    Ten’s drama is clearly leagues ahead of the other networks when it comes to originality.

    Reef Doctors was mostly funded by the Germans, they were paying, they had the control of script and production…that’s why it didn’t look or sound like Offspring or Puberty Blues and failed to resonate with audiences.

  12. Zjonn July 19, 2013 at 11:47 am -

    I guess TEN network people can have their shindig to try to promote their form of entertainment but until such time that they get their collective acts together it really won’t have much if an effect on their viewer numbers.
    They have absolutely no idea as to who their audience is and until such time when they actually work it out, or target one and do it somewhat more resolutely than they have over these last few years since “the takeover”, they have no hope of actually improving their lot.
    Take their latest moves, once again they are shifting Beauty and the Beast, this time from Tuesdays to Mondays. After a return a few weeks ago by Dexter, once again canned. Even Reef Doctors, actually not a bad show, has had a number of shifts in its very short showing on the box.
    As to the gathering of stars, are you for real?, At best TV personalities, the ratings attracted by their product…

  13. MHA July 19, 2013 at 11:45 am -

    Hope it works for them, thinking this is the final shot in the locker for them. Can’t see the shareholders flushing even more money down the toilet for a 3rd time in 18 months to bail them out again if it fails.

    We can not afford to see 7 & 9 overly dominate like a coles/woolworths duopoly if 10 goes off-air flat broke.

  14. Lizzie May July 19, 2013 at 11:10 am -

    Slam – It’s hard to give constructive criticism on a promo. My point is, it’s being sold as twee and not particularly original. I’II reserve my constructive criticism when there’s more to go on.

  15. slam July 19, 2013 at 10:55 am -

    Lizzie May- how about some constructive criticism instead of relentless negativity?

    If you can credit Ten with one thing over the past few years its that their drama has been a strong point. Yes, Reef Doctors can be considered an anomaly (sometimes a delay in release can be telling in itself) to this however their success rate has been generally high

  16. mafyou July 19, 2013 at 10:37 am -

    I saw a promo of Wonderland last night during Masterchef, and I have to say I was intrigued tenfold over Reef Doctors.

  17. Ronnie July 19, 2013 at 10:06 am -

    An initial order of 22 hours of Wonderland is very risky in this climate – just say it’s another misfire like Reef Doctors? I’m not certain Ten’s demo wants to commit to 22 weeks of one drama series. I’d be pretty nervous about Pubes2 as well but at least the number of episodes is right.

  18. Lizzie May July 19, 2013 at 9:46 am -

    What did Paul Keating say – “all tip no iceberg”. Could apply here.

    I’d worry about a show that calls its block of flats Wonderland. And there was a shot in the promo with the bridesmaids that was a direct rip of of Muriel’s Wedding. Already insulting the audience. When will Ten learn?

  19. HeyHey_Variety July 19, 2013 at 9:30 am -

    Where is TEN’s new line-up?

  20. maxxdude July 19, 2013 at 9:00 am -

    What a waste of money for a network doing so badly.
    Russell Howcroft could look at bring Gruen Transfer to Ten. That might rate.

  21. carolemorrissey July 19, 2013 at 7:26 am -

    There’s a few good shows coming to 10, plus some coming back like Puberty Blues. Saw a preview of Wonderland the other night, it looks great.

    What’s the deal with Andrew G changing his name, is he trying to confuse us?

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