TEN cooks up Big Brother replacement

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Network TEN this week announced its key programmes for 2009 with MasterChef Australia to replace Big Brother from May. The local version of the British show will look to elevate an amateur cook to become Australia's "Master Chef."

In replacing Big Brother, the series will air in the 7pm timeslot six nights a week.

Another major 7pm show is yet to be announced to follow MasterChef later in the year.

TEN has also given Rush a second series, set to begin filming in February for a mid-year return with a full 22-week run.

There are several new factual series including Recruits, which looks at police trainees in NSW, Undercover Boss sees a head office executive pass themselves as a new employee in the lower rungs of their company, and Bondi Vet sees veterinarian Chris Brown saving pets against an eye-catching beach backdrop.

There's also Guerrilla Gardeners which TEN promises has more cheek than traditional makeover shows. These guys will make over "barren and concrete-filled spaces in our cities". Talkin' Bout My Generation pits baby boomers against Gen X and Gen Y panellists. And there is a search for Australia's Hidden Genius.

Returning shows include So You Think You Can Dance, The Biggest Loser, Neighbours, Australian Idol and, returning in February are Rove and Good News Week.

From overseas, new shows will include the lavish British fantasy Merlin, a new drama starring Tim Roth as a deception expert who knows when people aren't telling the truth, Lie to Me, the US version of Life on Mars starring Harvey Keitel, plus Little Britain USA, Worst Week and Harper's Island.

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