Ten spends wisely

Opening night of the Screen Producers Assn. of Australia

GOLD COAST, Queensland — When CanWest’s Network Ten is buying the drinks and the venue is the grand Ballroom in the Palazzo Versace, one might expect a little razzle-dazzle on the opening night of the Screen Producers Assn. of Australia Conference.

But the Nov. 14 soiree for 300 or so mingling producers, lawyers, bureaucrats and allied industryites was a rather beige affair, despite the opulent decor. Still, nobody complained even though the wine merely tickled the tongue and food circulated only rarely, since they prefer to see Ten put its coin into programming.

“Ten is entirely dependent on independent producers,” confirmed the network’s drama chief Sue Masters — it just doesn’t feel compelled to impress them.

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