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From the website From Wireless To Web.
Video clip synopsis – Youth has become a new target audience for television programmers.
Year of production - 2005
Duration - 1min 20sec
Tags - audiences, consumers, culture, media production, popular culture, television, television programs, youth, see all tags


TV chases youth market

For copyright reasons this clip is not available as a download.

About the Video Clip


The video clip Totally Wild is from the TV series Totally Wild and is used courtesy of Network Ten.

Liz Jacka is an Author and Professor in Communications Studies for the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences at the University of Technology Sydney. You can view her full biography at From Wireless to Web.

The website is a selective history of broadcast media in Australia. Decade by decade, from radio and newsreels to TV and the internet, this history shows how the Australian broadcast media developed and shaped the way Australians see themselves.

From Wireless to Web is a Film Australia production in association with Roar Film.

Curriculum Focus


Outcomes from this module

Students will learn:

  • that audience demographics and ratings influence the development of youth-oriented television programming
  • to critically analyse an example of youth television (Totally Wild)
  • to create a class poster of favourite TV programs
  • to storyboard a title sequence for a new TV program aimed at youth

Curriculum links
National: The Statements of Learning for English- Year 5

Year 5 Reading
Students read and view texts that entertain, move, report, present opinions and persuade. Students have the opportunity to draw on their knowledge of texts and language to clarify meaning. When students read and view texts, they recognise main ideas by identifying who, what, where, when and why, and locate supporting details and background events.

Year 5 Writing
Students write texts for known readers to entertain, inform and persuade in print and electronic mediums. Students understand that writers consider their purpose for writing (eg to entertain, to inform, to persuade) and the interests of their intended readers when selecting subject matter within a chosen topic.

Year 5 Speaking and listening
Students understand that speaking and listening provides opportunities to clarify ideas and understandings on a topic, to give simple arguments and to seek the opinions of others. They understand that people, places, events and things can be portrayed in particular ways.

This is an extract only. Go to The National Curriculum Statements for English
Teachers and students should consult their state’s curriculum and learning programs.

Background Information


During the 1990s Network Ten took a strategic decision to capture the 16 to 39 year olds because they were regarded as an ‘emerging lucrative demographic’ – in other words, because today’s young people would be the spenders of tomorrow.

Since declaring their bid for the youth of the nation, Ten has pumped out a string of high-rating locally produced programs targeting young people and ‘adultescents’ including Rove Live, Good News Week, X-Factor, Popstars, Secret Life of Us, White Collar Blue, Australian Idol, Neighbours, SkitHouse and Big Brother, as well as screening imported programs with youth appeal like Everybody Loves Raymond, The Simpsons, Charmed and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

Ten’s aggressive youth-oriented strategy paid off. In 2000 Network Ten was the lowest-rating commercial network overall but the most profitable, and since then Ten has achieved the highest ratings among under 40s groups for three consecutive years.

Good News Week (GNW) – a news and current affairs game show developed by the ABC – shifted to Ten in 1999. The program was extended from 30 to 90 minutes, with extra games, live music and guest appearances by Flacco and the Sandman. Speaking of youth audiences and GNW’s transition from ABC to Ten, GNW celebrity contestant Julie McCrossin said, “Channel 10’s audience is predominantly under 30 and from a less educated and diverse socio-economic background. With really young audiences if you mention the word Whitlam they think you are referring to a band. They don’t know about World Wars 1 and 2, so your cultural, historical and political reference points, out of which you may bounce a remark or comment from the news, are reduced. It wasn’t a question of dumbing down, it was a question of playing to the audience we had.” (Cunningham & Turner)

Classroom Activities

  1. In class view the interview clip with Liz Jacka about Channel Ten’s ‘younger demographic’, and the clip from Totally Wild, then discuss
    1. Which programs do you enjoy watching most on television, and why? Do they fit into the type of demographic Liz Jacka talks about?
    2. View the Totally Wild clip several times again, pausing on each segment to discuss how the title sequence is contructed.
    3. What visuals and sound are used to introduce Totally Wild?
      Discuss shots (size, angle, movement etc), music and graphics, including the program logo.
    4. How do these signal the type or genre (non fiction) of the program?
    5. What shots dominate the title sequence?
    6. Why is the sequence of the bike rider included?
    7. How does the logo represent the stye and content of the program?
    8. What you think the clip tells us about the rest of Totally Wild, the content it might include, and the viewing audience it is aiming at. For example, is it designed to attract older adults or not? How can you tell? You should back up your comments with evidence from the clip.
  2. Producing a poster display of favourite TV programs.
    1. Make a list on the board of favourite TV programs the class views and beside each list three points about the program that make it stand out, including the audiences for the program: for example, children, pre-teens, teenagers, young adults, older adults etc..
    2. On a large piece of paper (as large as possible) each student over the next few days draws or sticks on the logo for a program and writes a short review to accompany it. this activity can also be done with students creating their own mini poster.
  3. Storyboarding a title sequence for a new TV program aimed at youth.
    In groups design a storyboard for a TV program you would like to see. It can be a be a fiction or non fiction. Think of name and how you will represent the program in the title sequence:
    1. whether it’s Australian or not
    2. whether aimed mainly at boys or girls
    3. its difference from other programs for the your age group
    4. the time screened

Further Resources


Go to From Wireless to Web for more about the history of broadcast media in Australia.

Go to Totally Wild

Go to Jason Harty, Pay TV works hard to attract young viewers, B&T, 11 March 2002

Go to Sharon Beder, Marketing to Children, A Community View, Caring for Children in the Media Age, Papers from a national conference, edited by John Squires and Tracy Newlands, New College Institute for Values Research, Sydney, 1998, pp. 101–111.

Go to Screen Education for excellent articles and study guides focusing on all aspects of Australian documentary form and for detailed instructions for producing media texts.

Read Reading the Visuals in the Middle Years by Rod Quinn, Curriculum Corporation 2005.

Go to Australian Children’s Television Foundation’s Learning Centre, Live Action kit for information and tutorials for students on storyboarding, the language of media (shots etc).