Why isn't anyone watching Ten?

Why isn't anyone watching Ten?

In the broader scheme of things, like "nefarious network TV shenanigans" and "utter contempt for viewers", longtime readers of this blog will know that Ten usually comes in a distant third after Seven and the reigning champion, Nine. 

Ten has been, until recently at least, home to some of my favourite shows. The network was also responsible for one of the greatest series promos ever made in Australia: 

Ahem.

More pressingly, they tended to air entire series without messing around with the schedule, and allowed new projects time to find their feet rather than cutting them down after one or two episodes. 

All of that appears to be a thing of the past. 

Fairfax telecommunications reporter Lucy Battersby yesterday indicated that Ten's audience figures - once reliably healthy - have taken such a dive that they're at their lowest point in over a decade. 

More specifically, since "the turn of the century". 

Ouch. 

From her piece: During the Olympic month, more people watched Foxtel than Ten, which had just 21 per cent of the national audience, according to figures compiled by Credit Suisse research analyst Samantha Carleton. "Ten’s share of 21 per cent was its worst since the turn of the century. While some allowance can be made for the impact of the Olympics, Ten also lost significant share to Seven as a string of new shows failed to fire," Ms Carleton wrote in a note to clients.

There has been plenty more bad news for Ten this year, including the resignation of head of programming, David Mott, evidently in response to poor ratings. Everybody Dance Now was canned, and The Shire, Don't Tell The Bride and Can Of Worms have limped out of the gates. Only Puberty Blues appears to be hanging in there. 

Where did it all go wrong? From a personal perspective, though an argument could be made for its professional impact, cancelling So You Think You Can Dance Australia in its prime was the first nail in Ten's coffin. 

The show enjoyed high ratings, and an exceptional level of production values - the final finale, in 2010, was one of the best production numbers I've seen (and that includes on the US franchise): 

Having shunted SYTYCD for the project that, presumably, eventually became Everybody Dance Now, I'm not surprised Mott left with his tail between his legs. 

It's possible that sending much of the network's reliable ratings workhorses, like Neighbours and The Simpsons, to Eleven likely made a large dent in their audience share. 

I do remain impressed that Ten has stuck by The Project; while it's not the greatest news-related show on television, that the network allowed the show to evolve and settle into a pleasant groove is quite unusual in the current TV climate (especially as Ten seem to have begun to adopt the Nine approach to struggling newbies: a swift death). 

Now that the Olympics and Paralympics are over, it'll be interesting to see if Ten gets back in the game. If they insist on commissioning dull content (with the exception of Puberty Blues) and cancelling things willy nilly, however, it'll be a grim outlook indeed. 

Images via FDC and Getty

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7 comments so far..

  • ScarlettHarris's avatar
    Commenter
    ScarlettHarris
    Date and time
    Thursday 13 Sep 2012 - 11:57 AM
    I actually used to find that Ten always cancelled and moved around their shows to super-late night (and even early morning!) timeslots: Veronica Mars, Charmed and the new 90210 come to mind. When they launched 11 and relegated Neighbours to it, I thought there might be some promise on the channel, and I was not wrong when The Project launched, which still remains my favourite news program. I used to love that George Negus show, but it seems they amalgamated the content from his show into The Project. I still think Ten shits all over Nine because I can't stand the bogan vibe they've got going on, and they only really started going downhill when Lara Bingle and the Shire came on the scene...
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  • OscarTheMild's avatar
    Commenter
    OscarTheMild
    Date and time
    Thursday 13 Sep 2012 - 4:27 PM
    "It's not ham, it's SPAM!"
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  • Robbie16's avatar
    Commenter
    Robbie16
    Date and time
    Friday 14 Sep 2012 - 8:28 AM
    When you listen to the bias and rhetoric and misinformation by Andrew Bolt you must realize that the average person will not take his tripe on board. So it Chanel 1 are wondering why people would turn off there is part of the reason. Bad programs and bad management. We need balanced reporting
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  • Robbie16's avatar
    Commenter
    Robbie16
    Date and time
    Friday 14 Sep 2012 - 8:29 AM
    Channel 10
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  • Turnnburn's avatar
    Commenter
    Turnnburn
    Date and time
    Friday 14 Sep 2012 - 3:42 PM
    Channel Ten is pathetic, they treat the public as if we are vanity obsessed morons unable to make a decision for ourselves. A perfect example, "We are living in a complex world, it takes time to make sense of it all," thats why we are going to explain the news to you for an hour... Like how condescending can you get, I dont need to be told we are living in a complex world, as a pilot flying highly sophisticated aircraft/equipment day in day out i have an understanding that the world is complex, just give me clear unbiased news. Don't get me started on 'the shire' or any other rubbish Ten has tried to start up recently. Have they never heard of HBO? How about actually sitting down and writing the story before casting the brunette with the big boobs. Puberty Blue's is a brillant show and some how ten got it right with that. I really only watch ABC, Nine and foxtel.
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  • SR's avatar
    Commenter
    SR
    Date and time
    Saturday 15 Sep 2012 - 9:09 AM
    Sadly Channel 10 as well as most other stations only pander to under 30's these days. What really makes my blood boil is the so-called judges they have on those moronic music shows are all from overseas!!!! Grow up Australia and be proud of our artists!!! Most of them are scruffy undertalented hasbeens or otherwise why would they come here. They get paid squillions to praise our scruffy 'stars'. If they really knew their job they would teach the singers diction, how to dress and stand and hold a microphone. I know I'm fighting a losing battle as the channels don't listen to adults!!! I would dearly love a night time show with music, light chat with interesting guests and headed by an AUSSIE!!!!!
    Not a chance I know that
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  • Lucy Blundell's avatar
    Commenter
    Lucy Blundell
    Date and time
    Sunday 16 Sep 2012 - 10:27 AM
    The reason no one is watching Ten is because, unlike the hysterical Muslims who protested in Sydney yesterday over an amateurish and stupid video trailer, Australians are civilised and know how to protest when they don't like something on the box - you change channels.
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