It would seem the home of off-screen drama is well and truly Network Ten, with Breakfast snatching a reprieve from the jaws of cancellation and in its place The Circle getting the axe. The extraordinary nature of the meeting call for the Breakfast team looked for all purposes to be a horrible announcement for them – instead it was the announcement they’d only have to deliver 12.5 hours of live television a week instead of 15.

It’s a very sad day for Pam Barnes (Executive Producer of The Circle), Yumi Stynes, Gorgi Coughlan and the rest of the on-air and production teams that put the show on every morning with the news the show will finish up this Friday. While costs are always a pressure on television networks it seems strange to axe a show that, while not a ratings success, certainly was a critical one with it’s content regularly discussed across social media networks and an excellent nursery for new talent the network could slip in and out of to test their audience impact. The Circle offered intelligent discussion, humour and entertaining segments and employed many people.

That in itself is the saddest thing – that this uniquely Australian-voiced show is now no longer being made by Australians for an Australian market. From the press release:

Network Ten today announced changes to the morning program line-up on TEN. From Monday, August 6, TEN will add four new programs:

The Talk: A weekday talk show that offers a female perspective on the day’s headlines. Created and hosted by Sara Gilbert, The Talk has become one of the fastest-growing talk shows on daytime television in the United States since its launch in 2010.

TEN Morning News: Hosted by Ron Wilson, TEN Morning News will cover the latest breaking news and the emerging news stories/issues of the day, adding to TEN’s comprehensive news service from breakfast to bedtime.

Entertainment Tonight: An institution in the world of entertainment television, Entertainment Tonight has for the past 41 years offered viewers the latest news events, exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes first looks and Hollywood’s hottest stories.

The Insider: Spun out of Entertainment Tonight eight years ago, The Insider takes viewers inside Hollywood, with exclusive interviews and all the news on the hot trends and events in entertainment.

As a result of the introduction of TEN’s new morning line-up, production of The Circle will cease on Friday, August 3.

From August 6, Breakfast will run from 6am to 8.30am, presented by Paul Henry, Kathryn Robinson and Magdalena Roze.

Network Ten would like to thank Pam Barnes, the Executive Producer of The Circle since it launched in February 2010, for her valued contribution to the program and to TEN. Network Ten would also like to thank all the staff on The Circle, including Hosts Gorgi Coghlan and Yumi Stynes, for their hard work and dedication.

“The decision to cease production of The Circle is unfortunate and was not taken lightly. But tight fiscal control and cost discipline are a core part of our strategy,” Network Ten Chief Executive, James Warburton, said. Network Ten Head of News and Current Affairs, Anthony Flannery, said: “We appreciate the efforts and dedication of everyone involved with The Circle, including Executive Producer Pam Barnes.

“Network Ten remains focused on providing viewers with a comprehensive News and Current Affairs line-up from breakfast to bedtime, with Breakfast, TEN News At Five, The Project, TEN Late News and now TEN Morning News,” Mr Flannery said.

From Monday, August 6, TEN’s morning line-up will comprise:
• 6am to 8.30am: Breakfast.
• 8.30am to 9am: Wurrawhy.
• 9am to 10am: The Talk.
• 10am to 11am: TEN Morning News.
• 11am to 11.30am: Entertainment Tonight.
• 11.30am to 12: The Insider.