The Ten Network has announced that its nightly news bulletin will be replaced by an hour of static accompanied by a high-pitched buzzing noise.
Network spokesman James Maneri says that if the experiment is successful other shows could be replaced by so-called "minimal sensory stimulation programming".
"We're certainly trialling different things. For example, this week's episode of Rove was canned in favour of a continuously looped twenty second video of a polar bear excreting a garden gnome. The ratings were actually higher than Rove's recent figures, while the quality yield remained much the same with far less cost to the network. Our research indicates that many viewers felt that footage of a large mammal expelling a garden ornament from its anal sphincter made for a refreshing change from Rove's tiresome schtick."
Maneri says that despite the changes, Ten is still devoted to delivering a high quality news service.
"Our commitment to journalism hasn't changed; what has changed is our approach. The era of tv news as a slick, researched, scripted package of coherent sounds and images presented by authoritative newsreaders and trained reporters is over, and the era of the high-pitched buzzing sound has begun. This is going to be good for Ten, good for television, and, I think, bloody good for Australia."
Ten's High-Pitched Buzzing Noise News will broadcast at 5pm weeknights from next Monday. Network insiders describe the noise as "Eeeeeeeeee!"