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Ten in 2021: Makers, rescue dogs and inventors join Bachelor(ettes), Masked Singers and Masterchefs

The three additions to Ten’s programming slate next year are family-friendly formats which each “do something different”: A local version of the Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman-fronted craft show, Making It, a series about adopted dogs set inside a rescue shelter, and a show exploring Indigenous innovations.

Ten’s boss Beverley McGarvey told Mumbrella ahead of this afternoon’s upfronts presentation that the network wants a “consistent, fun schedule that our audience and our clients want”.

Making It – the biggest announcement of the three – is a competitive reality show hosted by comedians, and a big franchise in the same way Masterchef is, according to McGarvey. She said the “aspirational, inspirational and fun” series will do for craft what Masterchef did for food, and air straight after the cooking show’s run.

Making It Australia’s hosts and judges are yet to be announced

Poehler and Offerman – the show’s US hosts – are on board as executive producers, and the victorious ‘Master Maker’ will win $100,000.

“Making It Australia will not only showcase some of the most beautiful, quirky and imaginative craftmanship at work, but it just might inspire you to make something along the way,” Ten’s head of programming, Daniel Monaghan, said.

McGarvey described The Dog House Australia – centred on rescue dogs – as a “utility player”. It will air later in the week, and provide “some flexibility with our schedules, so that we have some content that can do a really [great] job for family audiences in a safe environment”.

The local version of The Dog House comes after Ten aired the UK series earlier in the year

Earlier this year, Ten aired the UK iteration of The Dog House, but Monaghan said the local format will be “the most joyous and feel-good series of 2021”.

The final new show, The First Inventors, will “take you on a journey back through time – somewhere between 70,000 and 120,000 years ago – to a community in the midst of developing sophisticated stone tools, art, agriculture, irrigation and much more”.

“In this incredible story of knowledge, resilience and invention, presenter Rob Collins will meet and collaborate with First Nations authorities whose frontline fieldwork is giving us an exciting new insight into ancient Indigenous innovations and discoveries,” the network said in a statement.

McGarvey added that each format is designed to “add texture to the schedule” and be “something that differentiates us from what our competitors may be doing”. But, she stressed, the three new shows are “not a definitive list” of what’s to come in 2021.

“We will have announcements about new, Australian originals for [impending streaming service] Paramount+ later in the year,” she said.

“We also have some scripted announcements to make, particularly in the children’s space. So really, the upfront that we’re doing at the moment is about selling Ten, our big platforms, our big channels, but there will still be other announcements to come over the next three to six months.”

In addition to ‘adding texture’, the new shows also ensure the slate features shows at different stages of their life cycle, from the upcoming formats in their first year, right through to the “very mature, legacy brand”, Masterchef.

The returning slate

McGarvey is “confident in what we have and we are returning virtually everything”. That includes Masterchef – which had an impressive run this year under its new line up of judges, and will return in 2021 just after Easter – Australian Survivor, The Bachelor franchise, The Masked Singer, Gogglebox, Have You Been Paying Attention? and I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

The latter will premiere on 3 January, filmed from the Australian bush instead of the African jungle due to COVID-19 border closures, and a domestic The Amazing Race will also air after similarly grappling with travel restrictions.

McGarvey was adamant that despite the closure of news and lifestyle site 10 Daily, and a number of additional talent-based redundancies, “this year has been a remarkably successful year for 10 ViacomCBS”.

“Not only are we the only commercial network growing its audience, but we have also had the biggest prime time commercial shares in key demographics since 2011,” she said in a statement.

“Our established suite of shows has seen our linear free to air channels enjoy an incredible 11% growth and generated more top regular programs in key demographics than any other broadcaster.

“This year we have also enjoyed our biggest ever digital audience, with minutes viewed on 10 Play up 18% year-on-year. Social media interactions across 10’s programs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have also risen 25% from the same point of 2019.”

Multiple exits were attached to the shake up of breakfast show Studio 10, with Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Natarsha Belling, and Joe Hildebrand all departing. The new format, helmed by longtime host Sarah Harris and new addition Tristan MacManus, will continue next year, in addition to nightly current affairs show The Project, which enters its 12th season in 2021.

The Masked Singer’s Jackie O, Dave Hughes, Dannii Minogue and Urzila Carlson have all signed on for next year, and Hughes’ Hughesy, We Have A Problem, drama series Five Bedrooms, The Living Room, Bondi Rescue, and Top End will also be back.

On a sports front, Ten will air the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, the Moto GP World Championship, and the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

New multi-channel 10 Shake is ‘tactical and strategic’ and ‘commercially right’

In its upfronts release, Ten cheekily quipped that its multi-channels – 10 Bold, 10 Peach, and the newly-launched 10 Shake – will be “throwing a party so out of control that the neighbours down the street at numbers 7 and 9 will be filing noise complaints”.

Head of programming, Monaghan, said “10 Peach and 10 Bold have really hit their stride”, up 9% and 17% year-on-year, respectively.

Meanwhile, McGarvey and chief sales officer Rod Prosser told Mumbrella they are “very happy” with how 10 Shake has performed in its first few weeks; it launched on 27 September.

“It was really exciting for us to fill out that last piece of the puzzle … that very youngest end of that [under 50s] demographic is something that we really needed to expand upon, so Shake allows us to do that. The growth has been quite quick,” McGarvey said.

“It’ll take people time to find it, but that first couple of weeks, the audience already doubled for things like Paw Patrol.

“We still need to see more growth in prime time, but as I said, it’s been a few weeks, and we’re really at the beginning of something that will be a long process … It’s a very tactical and strategic decision to put that channel there.”

Prosser added that “the pick up’s been really good” for the channel, which next year will air shows including South Park, Inside Amy Schumer, Pimp My Ride, Just Tattoo Of Us USA, The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, The Late Late Show With James Corden, Teen Mom OG, and Catfish. The daytime slate includes children’s shows like Paw Patrol, Blues Clues, Spongebob Squarepants, and Totally Wild.

“Commercially, it had to be right, and I’m pleased to say that what we’re seeing to date is that it was the right thing to do. So I expect some big things from Shake next year,” Prosser said.

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