Thursday – The Game Plan (One, 8:30PM)
Hawthorn Captain Sam Mitchell
Carlton star Bryce Gibbs
Melbourne star Brent Moloney (live
Thursday – Footy Show (Nine, 9:30PM)
Live interview with Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse
Saturday – Before the Game (Ten, 6:30PM)
Collingwood ruckman Darren Jolly
Bombers rising star David Zaharakis
Monday – One Week at a Time (9:30PM)
West Coast forward Mark LeCras
Today network Ten stated that they would not buy any games off Channel Seven for the 2012 season. This leaves a number of shows and network personalities up in the air.
Many are writing off personalities such as Stephen Quartermaine, Robert Walls, Tim Lane, Anthony Hudson, Michael Christian and Malcolm Blight as being out of a job, however this is not entirely true.
Stephen Quartermaine will surely remain with the network
co-presenting the 5:00 news in Melbourne.
The rest of their futures at Ten look shaky, though.
But the big question mark lingers over Ten’s Before the Game. At this stage, it could go one of three ways;
One: it stays at Ten in its current timeslot- it will still be able to be called Before the Game, as it will air before the 7:30 match on Seven.
Any doubts of having an AFL show on a non-AFL network will surely be dispelled by the fact that Channel Nine has been able to maintain the success of the Footy Show despite not having AFL rights for many years.
It rates well for Ten, constantly challenging Australia’s Funniest Home Videos and often winning its time-slot, so they will want to keep it.
Two: it jumps over to Channel Seven. Seven are reportedly in talks with Roving Enterprises, and it would fit very nicely on their Saturday night schedule.
They would also be able to secure most of the personalities on the panel; Mick Molloy isn’t tied to Ten, nor is Anthony “Lehmo” Lehmann, Samantha Lane or Andrew Maher.
The problem lies in the fact that Dave Hughes is tied to the 7pm project, a now fixture of the Ten schedule, and he is one of the show’s main draws.
However, Seven could easily fill the void with Peter Helliar, the bloke they sacked last year as part of The Bounce- and someone who probably would like a high-paying regular commercial TV job again.
It would also give Seven that primetime AFL show that they have desperately wanted for so many years to complement their primetime AFL games.
And of course the third option is that Channel Ten lets the show go with the football rights, which is entirely possible. It has always advertised BTG in conjunction with the match following it, and it might see BTG as being an irregularity in its schedule.
After all, its focus now seems to be on news and semi-edgy current affairs, Masterchef, its stable of US dramas and serious Aussie dramas.
After all, it did ditch the concept of its digital channel One as a sports channel after abysmal ratings.
And speaking of One, it also brings up the point of its three other AFL shows; One Week at a Time, The Game Plan and The Final Siren.
Of the three, OWAAT has been running the longest- it is now in its third year and features Luke Darcy, Robert Walls and Stephen Quartermaine.
The other two shows have premiered this year, and while at the start of the year, it seemed as if Ten was beefing up its AFL content output, as well as adding more home-grown programs to One’s then sport dominated line-up, now pose an immense problem for Ten on both fronts.
Ten could- and probably will- cut all three very easily, and not many people would bat an eyelid, however they do offer alternative viewpoints and are mildly entertaining- there’s just nothing that puts OWAAT near Nine’s Footy Classified (both player, team and issue analysis shows), or The Final Siren near The Sunday Footy Show (both recap shows). The Game Plan is also only for extremely devoted footy fans.
But if its any consolation, OWAAT was the most entertaining of the three.
Of course, needless to say, the Fifth Quarter is done for (the show that aired after Saturday night AFL matches)… So say goodbye to the “Saturday Specials”.
So, I’m hopeful that Ten will hang on to Before the Game, but wouldn’t give much hope to the rest of them, as Ten would likely see this as an opportunity to make a clean break from the sports format of One (and possibly relaunch the Channel with a better, more distinctive logo).
And as for their hosts, I wouldn’t feel too bad for them, they all have second jobs either on the radio or in newspapers to fall back on (with people like Luke Darcy having not only a breakfast show but a weekend calling gig). If only we all had that luxury!
But I hope that this abrupt ending to Ten’s long commitment to AFL doesn’t undermine the great work it did over the years.
At least they broadcast some of their games live, unlike Seven, who try to delay airing their matches every chance they get. They also took their football seriously, and played up rivalries and big matches to great effect.
But most importantly, though it may be a contradiction, they never took the football too seriously, with the calling team establishing a good rapport over the years.
It will definitely be interesting to see how this one unfolds… Stay tuned… Play on…
Note: In most cases, “Renewal” refers to a show being granted another season in 2012, or later in the year, depending on the show.
The 7PM Project
Once a basket-case in terms of ratings, format and style, it would now be difficult to picture a Ten schedule without “7pm”. It doesn’t exactly set the world on fire every night, but at least it has a natural rhythm and to have a live program on TV every night that isn’t a straight news broadcast is a real novelty that we shouldn’t take for granted.
The Biggest Loser
You’d have to think the Biggest Loser has at least one more season left in it. Especially given Ten’s ability to constantly reinvent it. It isn’t performing terribly and fills a decent amount of Ten’s schedule.
However, Ten would be wise to give it a “rest” after 2012, just like it did with So You Think You Can Dance and Australian Idol.
But at the end of the day, the decision will be made based on ratings. And here are its ratings starting from Week 5 of TBL.
Sunday: 1,076,000 (FIRST in timeslot)
Ten pretty much lurves Chris Brown, as demonstrated by his constant appearances on The 7pm Project. They will find a spot for him in the schedule, no matter what.
Undercover Boss Australia
Ready Steady Cook
Good News Week
The Fifth Quarter
Before the Game
One Week at a Time
Junior MasterChef Australia
It would seem a shoo-in for a third season in 2012, however, Ten would be wary of exhausting a more limited brand than MasterChef, given the whole show operates around a central gimmick: “Wow, those kids can actually COOK.”
In addition, if there is indeed another iteration of Masterchef waiting in the wings (possibly a Masterchef: The Professionals series, such as the one which aired in the UK), you would imagine it would be logical to swap the old for the new to avoid it becoming… stale.
Talkin’ Bout Your Generation
The only uncertainty surrounding this show being renewed for 2012 arises due to Shaun Micallef’s potential piloting of a new show. If this show were to be picked up by Network Ten, it would be hard to envisage 26 episodes of “Your Gen” as well as another 10 episode Micallef show (hypothetically), unless:
The Your Gen quota was lowered to one 13 episode run, or, Micallef were to be replaced as host of the show (unlikely, because he IS the show).
6PM with George Negus
Everyone knows about George’s ratings woes, and on any other network it probably would’ve got the boot by now. It would also be nervous with new interim boss Lachlan Murdoch in charge.
However, it has garnered no shortage of positive remarks in recent times, and Ten would be desperately hoping this translates into at least mediocre ratings soon.
It probably belongs somewhere in the middle of “Low” and “50/50”, but chances of renewal for a fifth season in 2012 at this stage seem shaky. It was lucky to be granted a fourth- to air in 2011- as it drew mediocre ratings for much of its third season. Plot-lines also seem tired.
The fact that Ten was willing to burn off the extra episodes of season three in the TV off-season just demonstrates how little value it is to the network anymore- apart from helping to fill their Australian content quota.
It has only been given a 13 episode run in season four, and you’d have to think, if it didn’t achieve any sort of increase ratings-wise, and Inside Out is renewed for a second season, there will be no need- or value- for Rush in the 2012 schedule.
Don’t Stop Believing
Can of Worms
In one of the many moves that occurs in the AFL off-season, Brad Johnson has joined the Fox Sports commentary team of Gerard Healy, Jason Dunstall, Alastair Lynch and Paul Roos (fresh from coaching the Swans in 2010).
Johnson was obviously an easy choice, what with his affable personality and considerable experience as captain of the Western Bulldogs.
He had previous experience of the commentary world during 2010 on Channel Seven, usually during his times on the sidelines due to injury.
Source: Fox Sports