Claudia Karvan, left, and Ashleigh Cummings in a scene from the TV series Puberty Blues. Supplied by Network Ten.
Claudia Karvan, left, and Ashleigh Cummings in a scene from the TV series Puberty Blues. Supplied by Network Ten.

Puberty Blues just isn't fixing TVs problems at the moment

THERE is a new ugly bridesmaid in TV land, with Channel Ten seemingly taking tenuous hold of the rather drab bouquet from Channel Nine.

Ah, the swings and roundabouts of this crazy-frightening theme park called the Australian television industry.

Hats off to Ten for trying, and the new shows they are launching look good on paper.

The problem, I think, is less in their execution and more in their lacklustre promotion.

Ten used to make some of the best, most tantalising promos in the business.

Yes, there is a very fine line between saturation promos and sudden premieres, and a long list of conditions need to be in place to trigger a perfect viewer-avalanche storm, but So You Think You Can Dance and Secrets and Lies have not grabbed me.

It also hasn't helped that the network has not settled on a regular timeslot for Dance and Secrets has a bewildering online component that has not been explained properly.

It will be a cold day in hell when TV stations realise the single most important key to stirring viewer loyalty in a show is to keep it locked into a solid timeslot week after week.

Dance strikes me as being too cool for school, when it's actually a dorky new kid. The judges may have magnificent dance pedigrees, but apart from Paula, they have very little TV pedigree.

We don't know them, they need to be mindful of respectfully building their brand and growing with their audience, rather than assaulting us with sass and attitude from day one.

Of course, it doesn't help that the other networks have the gloves off, putting some top-quality shows as competition in the ring.

If Ten want to entice viewers back, do it with shows we know and love. Puberty Blues should have kickstarted the new ratings year, setting a tone for success. Wonderland needed to be sold better and given another decent shot.

There is very little compelling reason to watch Ten these days. Their new stable of shows is not edited, packaged or sold to us in a way that forces us to make sure we're on the couch at a certain time of the week, not answering any phone calls.


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