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Lisa McCune returns to TV on Ten
Lisa McCune returns to TV on Ten

Network Ten is banking on Keith Urban's popularity, along with the return of Australia's darling Lisa McCune, to restore its pride in 2013.

After a bumpy year of hits and misses, Ten's chief executive officer James Warburton has outlined the station's plans for next year, which include nine new local productions and four new imported series.

Playing on its strengths the station will expand on MasterChef as well as Puberty Blues, it was announced in Sydney on Tuesday.

There will also be change in direction for 2013 to drama and mini-series, after a succession of reality show disasters plus some major restructuring this year both in programming and at its Sydney head office.

Everybody Dance Now was axed; I Will Survive performed poorly; The Shire, based on "real people" didn't rate well, along with bikini model Lara Bingle's fly-on-the-wall series Being Lara Bingle.

Warburton said in a statement Ten had specifically chosen its programming to rebuild its audience.

"For 2013 we have developed a schedule that builds consistency for our viewers and advertisers and will build our audience," he said.

"It is a 40-week plan, consistently targeted with authentic Ten programs.

"Familiar, successful franchises will be in our schedule week in, week out, as well as a large number of new shows.

Ten may have put less emphasis on reality shows, but it's sticking with its successful formats such as Biggest Loser and MasterChef.

Expanding on this comes MasterChef: The Professionals, which is about 18 working chefs putting their ability to the test in front of Michelin-starred chef Marco Pierre White, as well as a new cooking show called Recipe to Riches.

In what looks like a well-placed infomercial, Recipe to Riches gives contestants the chance to turn their home-cooked dishes into products available in one of Australia's biggest supermarket chains.

Drama-wise, four-time Gold Logie winner McCune will star in and co-produce Reef Doctors, about a doctor who runs the clinic on Hope Island.

Peter Fitzsimons's best-selling book Batavia, about the shipwreck of the 17th century Dutch East India Company vessel on its maiden voyage, will be made into an eight-part series.

There will be a second season of the highly popular Puberty Blues, a new romantic drama Wonderland and the whodunit series Mr and Mrs Murder, starring Shaun Micallef and Kat Stewart, which is already in production.

It will be one of two series for Stewart on Ten following the return of Offspring for a fourth season.

The other locally-made shows are psychological thriller Secret & Lies: The Track, factual program Shock Of The Now and news and current affairs program The Truth Is, hosted by Hamish McDonald.

Instead of bringing back Australian Idol, Ten has invested in American Idol, which is one of four new overseas shows. The US show should be popular with Aussie viewers, after Urban's success as a judge on The Voice, which was a rating's hit for Network Nine earlier this year.

Urban joins Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson on the newly minted panel on the US TV talent show.

Other imports are Ripper Street, set in late 19th-century London immediately after Jack The Ripper had struck; The Americans, about Russian spies living in the US; and Elementary, which is a rework of Sherlock Holmes.

Other major programs returning in 2013 include The Project, Can Of Worms, Bondi Vet, Bondi Rescue, Neighbours (on digital channel 11), Homeland, NCIS, Modern Family, Glee, Merlin, Law And Order SVU and The Living Room.