Channel 10 to axe The Simpsons in budget cut
By Des Houghton
The Daily Telegraph
April 27, 2009 07:43am
THE Ten network will axe The Simpsons and replace it with more news, extending the one-hour 5pm bulletin to 90 minutes.
Insiders confirmed the financially troubled network says it can no longer pay the fee of $25,000 for each episode of the top-rating social satire.
Ten says dropping The Simpsons would save it $6 million a year.
By extending the news, Ten hopes to steal audience from the Seven and Nine networks in the crucial 6pm timeslot.
The high-risk strategy is being plotted in Sydney by Ten's national news supremo Cathy Schnitzerling.
Secret pilot shows have been filmed in most state capitals.
It is understood the new show will borrow from the Sky News format with a chatty presentation heavy on sport and with regular headline updates.
Key reporters will offer provocative commentaries on news and current affairs.