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    Mercado on TV: Remembering 10’s greatest hits in a year it celebrates a milestone

    This has been a challenging week at times for Network 10 after news found a way out that The Bachelor and The Masked Singer had been dropped. News too that regional operator Mildura Digital TV was closing down because it was no longer financially tenable.

    10 has called on the Prime Minister to “urgently intervene” because “regional Australians love our iconic shows like MasterChef Australia”. The show doesn’t win all people, but it is often still the champ with viewers under 50. It is also attracting its biggest BVOD numbers ever.

    Mercado on TV: Remembering 10’s greatest hits in a year it celebrates a milestone

    MasterChef Australia 2024

    If only there had been some more urgent intervention when it came to The Masked Singer and The Bachelor. It was left to host Osher Günsberg and judge Dave Hughes to “drop the bombshell” on radio, leaving 10 to confirm it was true in the aftermath.

    Paramount ANZ’s PR department is staying upbeat, with gags about Osher now being able to rest his voice which has worked overtime screaming ‘Take It Off’ and simultaneously dropping to a whisper to deliver the iconic line of ‘I’m sorry but you did not receive a rose’.

    That trademark cheekiness is why people love 10, and keeping that up would be a good way to move forward.

    Network 10 holds a very special place in viewers’ hearts and I would not be the only one to admit that my all-time favourite shows either screened on 10 or were made by them. Many came to fruition because 10 has always been the underdog, and when you’re coming third, what else is there to lose?

    Network 10 used to take wild gambles and sometimes they hit the jackpot and changed television forever.

    For example, let’s look at 10’s unnerving ability to strip formats every weeknight and turn them into ratings monsters. Number 96 (1972) was the world’s first five-nights-a-week soap in prime time. Perfect Match (1984) broke records at 5.30pm, and Big Brother (2001) turned a late-night format into a family-friendly hit at 7pm.

    10 classic Aussie soap Number 96

    The best shows worked because they are perfect matches for 10’s audience. One special relationship has always been with Working Dog, which has given them shows like Have You Been Paying Attention? The Cheap Seats and Thank God You’re Here. Those shows always seem at home on 10, even though Thank God had a brief flirtation with Seven.

    The decision to abandon the cool kids in 2011 sent Australia’s most profitable network to the verge of bankruptcy. They’ve been trying to lure them back ever since, but that audience now prefers streaming.

    This year is a celebration for 10 because it will be its 60-year anniversary on 1 August, the date that ATV-0 began broadcasting in 1964. Since then, their beloved roster of shows has included such game-changers as Young Talent Time (1971), The Mike Walsh Show (1973), Blankety Blanks (1977), Prisoner (1979), The Dismissal (1983), Return To Eden (1986), The Comedy Company (1988), Totally Wild (1992), Heartbreak High (1993), Bondi Rescue (2006), and Offspring (2010).

    Offspring Season 6 cast in 2016

    Let’s not forget the aforementioned MasterChef Australia, currently in season 16 after launching in 2009.

    As they look back at their wonderful history, let’s hope 10 can remember what made it so great. While Seven and Nine fought each other with copycat programming, 10 often took the opportunity to try something different. Television is cyclical and 10 can still be a powerhouse if they take some bold risks and go for it.

    TV Gold: New episode of Mediaweek’s weekly TV podcast

    Listen now on your favourite podcast platform for 30 minutes of TV reviews and recommendations every week from Mediaweek’s Mercado on TV columnist Andrew Mercado and editor-in-chief James Manning.

    We want your comments, feedback and questions –

    Mercado on TV: Fake from Paramount+ matches Asher Keddie with David Wenham

    Four programs reviewed this week:
    The Veil (Disney+, series) Elisabeth Moss stars in this thriller about an MI6 agent bringing in a suspected ISIS senior officer.
    Red Eye (Stan, series) Richard Armitage plays a doctor who was framed for a murder in China. He spends all of the episode in the air trying to flee the country.

    Elisabeth Moss in The Veil

    We Were the Lucky Ones (Disney+, series) – A Jewish family split apart during WW2 are determined to survive and reunite.
    The Tattooist of Auschwitz (Stan, series) Holocaust survivor Lali, played by Harvey Keitel, tells his story of his time in a concentration camp and how he met his wife.


    Listen online here, or on your favourite podcast platform.

    The post Mercado on TV: Remembering 10’s greatest hits in a year it celebrates a milestone appeared first on Mediaweek.

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