MasterChef Australia ready to rescue TEN

MasterChef Australia judges will return for season two, without host Sarah Wilson." link="/masterchef-australia/show/76597/summary.html" target="_blank" loc="right">

Network TEN is pinning its hopes on a second season of the reality contest to drive up ratings.

Now that My Kitchen Rules is out of the way, TEN is counting on Australia ready to sit down for another banquet.

Season two of MasterChef Australia will air its launch sometime after Easter and it couldn't come at a better time for the network.

Overall ratings for the network have been disappointing. NCIS is the network's most popular show, managing figures of 1.5 million viewers. By contrast, 7pm Project clocks in under the 700,000 mark, while The Biggest Loser (Australia) and So You Think You Can Dance Australia hover around 800,000.

Both Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation and The Good Wife sit at around 1.2m viewers. In TEN's defence, some shows still perform well with key demo groups in the advertiser-friendly 18-49 bracket, and viewing figures for all networks are down this year, affected by the Winter Olympics, multi-channelling, pay television and daylight savings.

Some in the industry are already branding 1.2m as the new benchmark of "hit show" and nodding to post-Easter as the time when we will know if the shift in viewing habits is permanent or not.

MasterChef Australia has 50 contestants, comprising 14 each from NSW and Victoria, 10 from South Australia, six from Queensland, four from WA and two from Tasmania. -->24--> of them will make up the show, once again featuring Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris. Sarah Wilson is no longer hosting the show, replaced by the judges. After last year's taste test, expect the quality of food to go up this year.

TEN hasn't revealed either a start date or a time slot for the series, but it is tipped to air at 7:30pm in place of The Biggest Loser (Australia).

TEN will also have more Glee and Modern Family up its sleeve, but is yet to indicate their return.

Meanwhile, Nine and Seven will also be rolling out big guns after the Easter non-ratings period.

Underbelly III: The Golden Mile will finally hit our screens, set on the streets of Kings Cross. Nine also has Hey Hey it's Saturday, Sea Patrol and a new Farmer Wants a Wife, while its new Top Gear episodes will quickly run dry. Expect old episodes once seen on SBS to take their place.

Seven's top new titles include The Pacific and Australia's Got Talent and it is yet to indicate the return of either Packed to the Rafters or City Homicide.

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