A Sunday Telegraph item headlined “Channel 10 programs facing axe with new American owners taking charge” has attracted a strong denial from both Network Ten and its new owner CBS.
The report said in part: “Under review for 2019 are said to be its underperforming new game show Pointless, which recently replaced Family Feud in Ten’s schedule, The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, with sources claiming Ten executives believe the two shows are too similar for both to survive, and Survivor, which premiered with only 716,000 viewers on Wednesday against soft competition.
“A cloud also hangs over I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.”
In response, Network Ten chief content officer Beverley McGarvey said: “The claims made in The Sunday Telegraph today are ill-informed, misleading and completely wrong. We were not asked to comment on these claims before they were published. If we had been, we would have furnished the reporter with the truth.
“The facts are clear. Network Ten’s audience has increased strongly over the past three months, thanks to the success of MasterChef Australia, Have You Been Paying Attention?, Shark Tank, Australian Survivor and other shows. Last week, Ten had the #1 show of the week in total people with MasterChef Australia The Winner Announced and four of the top six programs of the week in our key target market of people 25 to 54.
“To claim Australian Survivor, The Bachelor Australia, The Bachelorette Australia, I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! and Pointless are under review is total nonsense.
“We are very pleased with the performance of the new season of Australian Survivor. After two nights, it is up 6% in total people year on year and it ranks #1 in its timeslot in total people and 25 to 54s.
“The new season of The Bachelor Australia, with Nick “Honey Badger” Cummins, starts on 15 August and it is set to be a fantastic season. The new season of The Bachelorette Australia with Ali Oetjen will follow later this year. The claim that we think the shows are too similar and that there is only room for one is naïve and false.
“I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! performed very well for Ten in early 2018 in our core target market and it will be back in 2019, while Pointless is generating good growth for us among younger viewers.
“Overall, Ten is performing well and we are looking forward to launching the new seasons of all the shows that are allegedly ‘under review’. To suggest otherwise is just plain wrong.”
A CBS spokesperson added:
“CBS has and continues to support Beverley, the TEN management team and the Network’s programming strategy. The second half of 2018 will see the most comprehensive investment in Australian content in the history of the network, and they will soon be announcing a significant investment in summer and first quarter 2019. The story in The Sunday Telegraph is simply not accurate.”
Top photo: I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! hosts Julia Morra and Dr Chris Brown