The announcement of Ten‘s long-awaited new breakfast show headed the network’s winter season launch in Sydney last night.
Wake Up, the brainchild of former Seven Network producer Adam Boland, will be fronted by James Mathison (Australian Idol), Natarsha Belling, Natasha Exelby and Nuala Hafner (Sunrise, Seven News, Sydney Weekender).
The program will be hosted from Surf City in the Sydney suburb of Manly, with Hafner reading news from Melbourne.
Boland, who turned Sunrise into a ratings winner and launched The Morning Show and Weekend Sunrise, said his new team of presenters will have the chemistry to make Wake Up work:
“Chemistry is everything at breakfast. We screen-tested plenty of combinations, but these guys had an instant dynamic. They can talk about anything and, trust me, with this format they will,”
“We promised to be different and now we can deliver. This show will never go near a studio. It’s an ambitious project, but one guaranteed to be fun.”
Wake Up enters the breakfast TV timeslot after Ten’s previous venture, Breakfast, was a critical and ratings flop before being axed last November.
The new program also enters a crowded market dominated by Sunrise — a program facing its own crossroads at the moment as it deals with the PR fallout from the handover between long-time co-host Melissa Doyle and Samantha Armytage. Meanwhile, Nine‘s Today continues to lead the breakfast ratings in east coast capitals and is closing in on Sunrise nationally.
An airdate and timeslot for Wake Up has yet to be announced, though the program will be coupled with Ten’s upcoming mid-morning show to be hosted by a panel including Ita Buttrose and Joe Hildebrand.
Ten’s winter launch also included a number of other announcements.
Former Australian Idol co-host Osher Günsberg (Andrew G) will host the new Australian series of The Bachelor.
Cricket legend Sir Viv Richards is joining the network’s commentary team for the upcoming KFC T20 Big Bash League — joining Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Mark Waugh and Damien Fleming.
Also joining Ten are Winter Olympic gold medalists Steven Bradbury and Alisa Camplin as commentators for the network’s 2014 Winter Olympics coverage.
The network has started promotion of its new drama series Wonderland (pictured), starring Michael Dorman, Brooke Satchwell, Jessica Tovey, Ben Mingay and Glenn McMillan. Other programs coming soon include This Week Live, A League Of Their Own, Recipe To Riches, a second series of Puberty Blues and new BBC drama Ripper Street.