An eight-part drama about one of the world's great maritime tragedies - the 1629 Batavia shipwreck, mutiny and massacre off the WA coast - is one of the new local programs the embattled Ten Network hopes will steer it to bigger audiences next year.
The network is working to rebuild viewer, advertiser and investor confidence after a bad year in the ratings, coupled with last week's announcement of an almost $13 million loss for the year to August 30 and a call for voluntary redundancies.
Batavia, based on Peter FitzSimons' best-selling book, was unveiled at Ten's 2013 program launch in Sydney yesterday.
It joins romantic comedy drama Wonderland from Jo Porter (a producer of Seven's Packed to the Rafters and writer on Winners & Losers), psychological thriller Secrets & Lies: The Track; the already announced Mr and Mrs Murder starring Shaun Micallef and Kat Stewart as industrial cleaners by day, amateur sleuths by night, and family adventure Reef Doctors starring Gold Logie-winning former Perth star Lisa McCune.
Batavia is being produced by Underbelly and Cloudstreet makers Screentime, with discussions continuing with ScreenWest about filming part of the series in WA.
Ten will build on the success of the MasterChef franchise by adding MasterChef: The Professionals, hosted by internationally acclaimed chef Marco Pierre White and MasterChef judge and food critic Matt Preston.
Late News presenter Hamish Macdonald will front The Truth Is, exploring dangerous and difficult stories when "journalism meets Bear Grylls-style television".
In January Ten will air the new season of American Idol with new judge Keith Urban, formerly a mentor on Nine's The Voice.
New overseas dramas will include Elementary starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Sherlock Holmes and Dr Joan Watson and the BBC Jack the Ripper drama Ripper Street. "It is a 40-week plan, consistently targeted with authentic Ten programs," Ten's chief executive James Warburton said.
"Familiar, successful franchises will be in our schedule week in, week out, as well as a large number of new shows."
The Simpsons will move back to 10 at 6pm from digital Channel 11, meaning another move for current affairs show The Project, to 6.30pm.
Returning Australian series include The Biggest Loser, Puberty Blues, Offspring, Can of Worms, Bondi Rescue, Bondi Vet and The Living Room.