Ten hits out at ‘completely wrong’ and ‘misleading’ News Corp article about the future of its programs

Ten has rejected claims published over the weekend in News Corp papers that its flagship programs could be under threat from new owner CBS.

The Sunday Telegraph foreshadowed shows including The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Survivor, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and Pointless could be under review and speculated Ten’s chief content officer Beverley McGarvey was under pressure from CBS. Ten, however, has called the report “ill-informed, misleading and completely wrong”.

Ten says the article over the weekend was “ill-informed”

Annette Sharp’s article in the News Corp papers claimed: “It appears Ten’s honeymoon with new owners CBS is over with television executives on notice the broadcaster will soon fall more closely into line with its American parent company.”

McGarvey, however, said Ten had not been asked to comment on the claims before they were published, noting if they had, they “would have furnished the reporter with the truth”.

“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,” she told Mumbrella in a statement.

“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 number one in its timeslot in total people and 25 to 54s.”

She said Nick ‘Honey Badger’ Cummins’ run as the star of The Bachelor would make it “a fantastic season” and promised Ali Oetjen’s The Bachelorette Australia “will follow later this year”.

“The claim that we think the shows are too similar and that there is only room for one is naive and false,” she said.

She said I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here would be back in 2019 after performing “very well” this year, and that Pointless “is generating good growth” among younger viewers.

“Overall, Ten is performing well and we are looking forward to launching new seasons of all the shows that are allegedly ‘under review’. To suggest otherwise is just plain wrong.”

CBS said it supports McGarvey, the wider Ten team and the network’s programming strategy.

In a statement to Mumbrella a CBS spokesperson said: “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.”

Speaking at Advertising Week last week, McGarvey said Ten, along with the other free-to-air TV networks, had learned “crappy shows don’t really work anymore” and said the network was now focusing on producing “a full domestic entertainment schedule [for] 50 weeks a year”.


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