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Network Ten’s Studio 10 extends to three-and-a-half hours

Network Ten is to extend the running time of its morning chat show Studio 10 by an hour, leaving it on air until noon every day.

The change, which kicks off in a fortnight on July 24, will see the show run for three-and-a-half hours from 8.30am every day. It follows steady audience growth since Studio 10 launched in 2013.

The extension will see the show vie with Seven’s Sunrise and Nine’s Today – which both run from 5.30am until 9am – for the title of Australia’s longest daily TV show.

Studio 10 is helmed by Sarah Harris with a regular ensemble of co-presenters Joe Hildebrand, Denise Drysdale, Ita Buttrose and Jessica Rowe. The show also features branded content segments led by Jono Coleman, along with a series of regular guests.

Although the show remains third in its timeslot behind Seven’s The Morning Show and Nine’s Today Extra, which both run from 9am to 11.30, it has dramatically closed the gap.

In the key battleground of 9.30am to 11am, the show has doubled its share of the metro audience over the last two-and-a-half years from 10.5% to 20.9%.

Studio 10 metro audience | Source: OzTam/ Network Ten

So far this year, Studio 10 has delivered an average metro audience of 94,000 for the 9.30am-11am timeslot and 80,000 for the whole program.

Last Friday, Today Extra rated 136,000 and The Morning Show, which has just celebrated its tenth year on air, averaged 151,000.

Executive producer Rob McKnight, who has been with Studio 10 since it launched in September 2014, said of the panel: “I genuinely believe they have the best chemistry on television. They can play off each other, get testy, then have a laugh a minute later.”

He added: “In two and a half hours we’re usually wanting to go longer. This will allow us to do all the extra things we want to do. We’ll be able to source stories that are breaking while we are on air.”

McKnight: Panel chemistry is best on TV

Studio 10 has now overtaken Ten’s previous recent forays into morning television for time on air. David & Kim, with David Reyne and Kim Watkins, ran from 2006 to 2009 and aired 938 episodes. The Circle, featuring Yumi Stynes, Gorgi Coghlan, Chrissie Swan and Denise Drysdale – who is now a regular on Studio 10 – ran from 2010 to 2012 and aired 582 episodes.

Studio 10 will celebrate its 1000th episode next month.

The additional hour will only see two more advertorial slots, helmed by Coleman. McKnight said: “We want to do right by both our clients and our viewers. Clients tell us that they get a big response rate from Studio 10.”

Asked if he had ambitions to take the show into breakfast territory, where Ten has filled its schedule with The Bold and the Beautiful and Family Feud since the axing of Wake Up in 2014, McKnight said: ‘I’d never say never, but more wise heads than mine would make that decision. Some of our viewers wake up at 8.30 and we are breakfast television to them.”

Asked where the show’s audience growth is coming from he said: “Certainly we have been taking audience from Seven and Nine, but I think we’re finding new viewers too.

“We’ve got a long way to go. But I like to win. I want to be number one.”

McKnight also sought to manage expectations on overhauling Today Extra or The Morning Show in the short term. He said: “I don’t expect to keep growing as fast. It gets harder now.”

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