Ten content boss Beverley McGarvey tells how the network plans to deliver the numbers in 2018

Ten’s chief content boss Beverley McGarvey is looking to a mix of reality TV, comedy and US programming to connect with audiences and “deliver the numbers” as the network comes out of receivership under the ownership of CBS.

Speaking to Mumbrella on the sidelines of Ten’s up fronts last night, McGarvey dismissed claims that three different versions of The Bachelor won’t be overplaying the franchise during the 2018 season.

McGarvey presenting at last night’s up fronts

McGarvey acknowledged it would be “too much” if The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise ran consecutively.

“To put it into context we do 70 to 80 hours of Masterchef a year, even when you put Bachelor and Bachelorette together it’s still only about 40 so the volume isn’t that much,” she said. “We are separating them with a big period in between.”

Last night Ten revealed the first contestants of the new show – Laurina Fleure, Keira Maguire, Tara Pavlovic, Michael Turnbull, Davey Lloyd and Apollo Jackson.

McGarvey said the reason for the 2018 launch came down to timing.

“We wanted to wait and with this year’s Bachelorette, and the people who came through this year’s Bachelorette we just felt the time was right,” she explained.

“What you get with paradise is very different because you get lots of different texture, lots of different relationships – make up, break up – and lots of different things happen so we’ve always been interested in that show but you can’t really do it until you have done enough Bachelor and Bachelorette so you can create a proper star cast of characters who can really connect with audiences.”

According to McGarvey, the show might not run every year like the US – it will be dependent on whether it in the better interests of the brand.

“In the US they do Bachelor, Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise every year and we are not saying we will do that. We will look at it, assess it and decide what’s right for the brand and the longevity of the brand,” she said.

Last night’s up fronts also saw the introduction of a number of new local programs including the return of Russell Coight’s All Aussie Adventures, new comedy Street Smart, the revamp of British dating show Blind Date, Bachelor in Paradise and How to Stay Married.

Other local shows including new drama Playing for Keeps, Hughesy, We Have a Problem and The Secret Life of Four Years Olds.

McGarvey said of incoming owner CBS: “They are very supportive. They understand content, they are really good content makers. They know the business really well,” she said.

McGarvey is confident next year’s lineup can deliver the numbers across key advertising demographics.

“In the 25-54 – things like Bachelor, Bachelorette, Masterchef, Survivor, Gogglebox, Project do super well in the demo for us. And also something like Secret Life of Four Year olds – it’s important for us to appeal to family audiences and the kind of mix shows that connect to our audiences and connect to what people are experiencing in their lives and we have lots of comedy,” she said.

Next year Ten will also introduce a new ‘Pilot Week’ to Australian screens, which will see a number of new shows aired in one week, with audiences given the opportunity to choose what they like.

McGarvey said the week will run during winter, and will be made up of about five pilots.

“The reason for that is we have brilliant format Bachelor, Survivor and of all those shows which come from overseas and we are interested in pursuing original and good ideas and recently we’ve been pitched lots of fantastic ones and when you are going to invest in a broadcast pilot it kind of doesn’t make any sense not to play it and get an audience read on it, and this is something that is done often in Northern European markets with great success so we are going to push out a range of pilots, we are quite a way down that track already and we’ll play them.

“And not the ratings particularly, but the audience feedback, the audience will help us decide which of those shows will go to full season,” she said.

Reflecting on another show which will not return – The Biggest Loser – McGarvey said the network had been misled by audience research.

“Using the really clinically obese people was something that wasn’t connectible and it wasn’t relatable,” she said.

“All of our research told us we should make the contestants a bit more relatable because not very many people are 100kgs overweight, but a lot of people are 10kgs over week – that that’s what they wanted. But they didn’t.”


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