Ten has this morning launched its crucial 2013 lineup to media agencies and advertisers at a breakfast in Sydney.
Australian drama series led the push, including a dramatisation of the Batavia mutiny, comedy drama Wonderland, Mr & Mrs Murder, Reef Doctors and Secrets & Lies: The Track.
Returning shows include Masterchef,Offspring, Puberty Blues and The Biggest Loser. There will also be a Masterchef Professionals spinoff fronted by chef Marco Pierre White.
The launch comes at a crucial time for the network, which has been struggling in the ratings.
Other new series announced include Hamish Macdonald’s The Truth Is and “love child of Gruen Transfer and Can of Worms” live series Shock Of The Now.
The network is also moving the The Simpsons back to 6pm on Ten after shifting the show to the same slot on Eleven when it launched the network at the beginning of 2011. The Simpsons had already started airing again on Ten at weekends.
The move bumps The Project back to a 6.30pm start time – the show’s fourth timeslot since it launched as The 7PM Project in a half hour format in 2009. It was later extended to an hour and renamed The Project when 6.30 with George Negus was axed. It then moved forward to 6pm, still in an hour long format. The return to 6.30 will see the show continue to run for an hour.
Throughout the morning’s presentation, chief sales officer Barry O’Brien, CEO James Warburton and chief programming officer Beverley McGarvey stressed three words to sum up the coming lineup: “smart”, “different” and “authentic”.
Acknowledging the network’s poor year, Warburton stressed that “consistency and stability” would be the strategy for the coming year.
He told the audience: “We know we have not been good enough, not only by your expectations, but by our own standards.”
He also pledged: “No chopping, no changing, no programming lineups padded with endless repeats.”
He said: “We are not about to curl up into a ball and stop competing. Ten is and always will be a brilliant brand. Inertia will kill you; complacency will kill you. We have to adapt and we have to evolve.”
McGarvey said that the spine of the schedule will be built around NCIS on Tuesday nights, Homeland on Sundays, Can of Worms on Mondays, and Australian dramas at 8.30pm on Wednesdays.
She also pointed to three shows from overseas, saying that Australian networks need “a bit of luck” when it comes to acquired content. The three shows were Elementary, a New York-based modern day take on Sherlock Holmes; cold war spy series The Americans and period drama Ripper Street.
The network is also going to air American Idol, which features Keith Urban, who was previously a coach on Nine’s The Voice, as one of the judges.