Ten in 2020: Two seasons of Survivor, a ‘new look’ Masterchef, three Pilot Week shows and a whole lot of reality TV

Network Ten has kicked off upfronts season with the reveal of its 2020 programming slate which includes two seasons of Australian Survivor, a ‘new-look’ Masterchef, three Pilot Week shows and a whole host of existing reality formats.

Dancing With The Stars, the entire Bachelor franchise, I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here, The Masked Singer Australia and Gogglebox will all be back in 2020, but they won’t be joined by Sunday Night Takeaway, which has been ditched after poor ratings.

First up, the question on every Ten’s viewers lips was what would be happening with Masterchef, which saw its three hosts dramatically depart in 2019 just days before the final episode of the 11th season aired. Ten hasn’t yet announced the three new hosts, but has confirmed the show will be back in 2020 with a ‘brand-new look’.

Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and George Calombaris won’t be returning to Masterchef for season 12

The network is continuing its focus on ‘multi-platform content’ with further investment in The Masked Singer Australia, despite the first season still airing; Dancing With The Stars, which will be moving to Melbourne, but will still be hosted by Grant Denyer and Amanda Keller; I’m A Celebrity; and the return of the entire Bachelor franchise.

Ten’s chief content officer, Beverley McGarvey said the key to keeping those older franchises fresh is in the casting, adding that Ten is always pivoting to make sure viewers having something tantalising to tune in to.

“Typically it’s much harder to maintain the creativity and innovation in established brands than it in in new brands, like Masked Singer which is really exciting and new and fun. But it’s such a critical part of schedule that we continue to evolve and move forward shows like Masterchef or Bachelor, and I think we’ve been very successful in doing that,” McGarvey told Mumbrella.

“I think the trick is, for example with The Bachelor, so much of that show relies on the casting of the principal character. It’s about pivoting every year so the format people love is still there but you offer them something different to come for and a different type of story.

“At the end of every single one of our shows, whether they’re successful or not, we do a big piece of post analysis to see what people liked and what they didn’t like, what they’re getting tired of, and what they want to see more of. With something like I’m A Celebrity we know there are certain characters our audiences was to see every year and then on top of that you want to add in characters to keep it fresh.”

Chris Brown and Julia Morris will be back with a new host of celebrities for I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here

Bachelor In Paradise, The Bachelor Australia and The Bachelorette Australia will all air in 2020, hosted again by Osher Günsberg, following a similar lineup as 2019 which saw Bachelor In Paradise air first. The Bachelor will take on the Olympic Games, which air on Seven, giving viewers an alternative to sport content.

“We’ve done it before and it was really successful, we did two cycles of Masterchef against the Olympics. I’m A Celebrity is a perfect example of the fact that while there’s an incredible amount of people who love to watch big event sport, there’s also a large amount of the population that are looking for something else,” McGarvey said.

Ten CEO Paul Anderson agreed: “Historically, the Olympics has never had this much competition. I get exactly why Seven are saying what they’re saying [about the Olympics being a huge success on free-to-air TV], but if you go back across the last Olympics and particularly the Commonwealth Games, they’re just not what they used to be. We always put up an alternative and it works and they’ll have that and they’ll have a lot more competition from streaming services than they’ve ever had before.”

Australian Survivor is getting a chance to further, or break, its 2019 success with an additional season for 2020. Hosted again by Jonathan LaPaglia, the All Stars season teased by Ten at the end of the 2019 Champions vs Contenders season will air in February and will be followed later in the year by a second season of the traditional format.

Also on the slate are three Pilot Week shows. Kinne Tonight has been greenlit for another season, alongside the return of 2018’s Drunk History which missed out on a season for 2019, but will be aired in 2020. Trial By Kyle was also named on the lineup, although its first season hasn’t yet aired for 2019. No word yet as to what will happen with 2019’s Pilot Week shows – I Am Roxy, Sydney’s Crazy Rich Asians, Part Time Private Eyes and My 80 Year Old Flatmate – and previously commissioned Taboo, hosted by Harley Breen, wasn’t on the list.

Staying with Pilot Week, Ten was forced to drop the axe on Saturday Night Rove this year due to low ratings, which means the network has a big hole in its Saturday planning, seeing it drop as low as 4.8% audience share. As of yet there hasn’t been an announcement for what the plan is, but the network remains confident it can find the right tone.

Rove didn’t hit the right note with audiences on Saturday Night Rove

“Saturdays are incredibly challenging because there’s two types of programming that work on Saturday. There’s big event sport and also content that skews to older audiences. Saturday is also a bit night for catch-up viewing, and we’re a beneficiary of that as well obviously. Saturday night is one of the areas that we constantly focus on to ensure we can offer audiences somewhat of an alternative, obviously Rove was not a success, but I think we’ve had a lot of success between Sunday and Friday, so Saturday is obviously something we’re looking at now, but ensuring we have Sunday to Friday night is a priority,” said McGarvey.

Of course, Ten’s $100m Melbourne Cup Carnival will be back in 2020, alongside the Formula 1 2020 Australian Grand Prix, the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and the Bledisloe Cup, as well as Supercars and MotoGP World Championship.

In the drama category, Five Bedrooms will return for another season after subdued ratings for season one. The show comes from the writers of another Ten drama, Offspring, and stars Kat Stewart and Stephen Peacocke. Also returning is Playing For Keeps, which begins its second season this month, and How To Stay Married, which hasn’t aired on the network since 2018 and will be returning for its second season. Ten has also commissioned a new drama, The Secrets She Keeps which stars Downton Abbey star Laura Carmichael. Ten will also be adding FBI Most Wanted and The Gilded Age to its lineup in 2020.

Ten Peach and Ten Bold are getting a content injection with more Neighbours, Friends, Seinfeld, Will and Grace, NCIS and Netflix series Bojack Horseman. Ten’s subscription platform Ten All Access will see the addition of new series of Survivor and The Good Fight and the fast-track of Broke, In The Dark and MacGyver.

Coming soon to Ten

Ambulance Australia*
Australian Survivor All Stars*
Bachelor In Paradise*
Bondi Rescue*
Celebrity Name Game*
Dancing With The Stars*
Drunk History*
FBI Most Wanted
Five Bedrooms*
Formula 1 2020 Australian Grand Prix*
Have You Been Paying Attention?*
Hughesy, We Have A Problem*
I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!*
Jamie Oliver
Kinne Tonight*
MasterChef Australia*
Melbourne Cup Carnival*
MotoGP World Championship*
NCIS: Los Angeles
Pilot Week 2020*
The Bachelor Australia*
The Bachelorette Australia*
The Conners
The Gilded Age
The Graham Norton Show
The Living Room*
The Project*
The Secrets She Keeps*
Todd Sampson’s BodyHack*
Trial By Kyle*

* Homegrown


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