"RIP The Circle" writes Em Rusciano

Channel 10 has announced it’s axing mid-morning chat show, The Circle.

The show’s final episode will be this Friday – August 3. After next week the time slot will be filled by content mainly from the US. In a statement, Channel 10 said:

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

The Circle’s original hosts








  • 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.

Regular MM columnist and semi-regular co-host of The Circle, Em Rusciano wrote this for Mamamia, upon hearing the news:

I’m sad. Proper sad. Like lapsing into a Nutella induced coma sad.

Em Rusciano

I’m also angry. Proper angry. Like the wrath of a thousand suns burning in the depths of hell angry.

Today Channel Ten made the decision to axe their morning program The Circle. I happen to work on The Circle once a week – so this piece will absolutely be biased, I make no bones about it – I LOVE The Circle, hard.

Here was a program that allowed articulate, smart  women (plus Colin Lane, Steve Vizard and Lawrence Mooney) of all ages/races/religions to openly speak their mind on topics that ranged from “Libya to Labia” (Copyright Mia Freedman.)

A program made and produced in Melbourne by a team so special I don’t even know where to begin. Pam Barnes the Executive Producer is one of the most impressive women who has ever walked the face of this earth; her right hand woman Mim Stacey – equally as rad. Two intelligent, strong, talented and driven women, making a show that provoked debate, informed and at times challenged people.

What the hell? WHAT THE HELL?

To replace The Circle with a US chat show, plus not one but two gossip shows is a little insulting. Is that what you guys want? For those of you who are home at that time of the day due to shift work/parenting duties/school or age, is that what you want? Is it?

There has been a public outcry of sorts since the announcement this morning, a “save The Circle” Facebook page has been set up and plenty of “twitter celebs” have been having their say. The thing is, the public seemed to give up on The Circle around 6 months ago and now it’s gone, a few are lamenting the loss of what they once had.


[Text continues after the gallery.]

After perusing some of the supportive tweets and comments I admit I felt like screaming at the thunderous clouds  “where were you all when we needed you?” Scarlet O’Hara style.

The show deserved better than what it got. Yes Chrissie left and yes Yumi said something insensitive but that didn’t change the bones of the show. It didn’t change the intent of the show and it didn’t change it’s pioneering format

Gorgi Coglan and Yumi Stynes are two of my most favourite people in the whole world, they really cared about their jobs. They decided what went on the show each day – it wasn’t a case of just show up read the research and leave – both girls were invested in the show. I am sorry for them.

I am also very sorry for the heart and soul of The Circle; the behind the scenes team, some good people lost their jobs today. A quality program was made because of the quality production and technical staff behind it, it is by far the most supportive and professional environment I have ever been in.

I was tempted to turn this bit of writing into a rant about women on TV, treating the public like morons and challenging us through programming but I’m just too deflated at the present time.

I guess I just wanted you all to know that this matters. This decision matters, it will change people’s lives and re-work the Australian Television landscape.

All I ask is that you lot – the viewers – demand more from all the networks. You deserve better than the generic US television that appears to be suffocating our free-to-air channels. You deserve entertainment, information and damn it you deserve ahh bras!

Em Rusciano appears on Network Ten’s ’The Project’, she also regularly hosted The Circle until today’s sad announcement. You should follow her on Twitter here and take a look at her website here.

Did you ever watch The Circle? Women’s talk shows like this have been notoriously unpopular in Australia – why do you think this is the case?