The Ten Network today announced it’s 2011 lineup, following an event today in Perth. There were a couple of aspects of the announcement that were of interest.
Confirmation was given that, in WA, the current 5pm News host, Narelda Jacobs, would also front the new local 6:30pm News. Presumably, this will be the same across other markets. As a point of interest, (Wikipedia reports) Narelda Jacobs is the first Aboriginal and openly lesbian newsreader in Western Australia. That’s astoundingly progressive and completely rad.
US series to launch in 2011 include Hawaii 5-0, Blue Bloods, The Defenders, Raising Hope, and Mixed Signals. Of these, Hawaii 5-0 and Blue Bloods are the two to really keep your eye on. Hawaii 5-0 looks like it’ll be a lot of fun, while Blue Bloods is from some former producers of The Sopranos. Advance buzz on Blue Bloods hasn’t been great, but I’m hoping to be happily surprised.
Australian TV networks are in a difficult place in that the Australian TV ratings season runs from Feb-Nov each year, while in the US their season is from Sept-May. What this means is that even when a local network does fast track a series, they can’t run it during the off-ratings season. The cost of purchase against lost revenue is simply too great. As such the networks have the choice to either break up the season at a mid-point and piss off viewers, or wait until the start of the next rationgs season and give the shows a clean-run.
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Ten have opted to take the latter approach with their new US series. I see this as a little risky as I’m certain that a few of the titles mentioned will find cancellation rather quickly. The Defenders (starring Jerry O’Connell and the lesser Belushi, James) surely can’t last more than a couple of weeks. Will the shows still be in production by the time the 2011 season kicks off? If they are cancelled quickly, at least now Ten has the digital multi-channel Eleven to schedule the shows.
Speaking of Eleven, Ten have confirmed first-run episodes of Futurama, The Cleveland Show, Supernatural, Stargate, Dexter, Smallville, The Office, Nurse Jackie and 90210. They’ve also committed to the idea that once a show makes its premiere on Eleven, it will stay on Eleven. This is an obvious strike against Nine who have allowed for some bleeding between the Nine and Go! channels.
Ten have also announced a bigger online hub, offering more purpose-built content and interactivity. It will be interesting to see if they extend their online content to include content made available through their partnership with CBS.
Despite the occasional success and, obviously, Masterchef, Ten have floundered a little. With a strong suite of digital multi-channels and the potential of their early evening lineup, Ten are in a very interesting position going in to 2011.