The <i>Studio 10</i> panel:  Jessica Rowe, Joe Hildebrand, Ita Buttrose and Sarah Harris.

The Studio 10 panel: Jessica Rowe, Joe Hildebrand, Ita Buttrose and Sarah Harris.

Flab-blaster 3000 one minute, non-stick stone cookware the next and a Spanx imitator a little later on - morning television is not for the faint-hearted. Featuring more advertising than your free weekly community newspaper, the three ''lifestyle chat'' shows on commercial TV have, in one incarnation or another, been a staple on our screens since 1992. And though Bert Newton and ''now, here's Moira!'' are no longer with us, there's a new kid on the block worth a bit of attention.

While more established competitors Mornings (Channel Nine, 9am) and The Morning Show (Channel Seven, 9am) are truncated for sports coverage and showing ''best of'' summer series, the newest of the three is airing new episodes in a bid to establish an audience. Studio 10 (Channel Ten, 8.30am) comes hot on the heels of, and in a similar vein to, its predecessor, The Circle.

There are four panellists in a round formation - in this case, journalists Jessica Rowe, Joe Hildebrand, Ita Buttrose and Sarah Harris  - and topical issues are discussed each morning. But despite the presence of the oh-so-dreary advertorials, without which these programs could not exist, Studio 10 is fun and extraordinarily engaging. There's less of the Hollywood gossip and banter - it usually comes after the first half hour - and more conversation on topics that you wouldn't be surprised to see on the ABC's flagship current affairs show, 7.30.

The chemistry between the four hosts is so strong that it would surely be the envy of other teams and, in a short space, each has been able to establish their own presence and voice in a tough environment. It's easy to have one more recalcitrant than the others in any group setting, let alone on national TV. Rowe and Harris, in particular, are brilliant and neither are afraid to wear their hearts on their sleeves.

Those pesky advertorials, which are usually a trigger to change channels or switch off, are presented live-to-air by former Wonder World and radio host Jono Coleman, who brings an impish, if slightly daggy, sense of humour to these flog-offs of products that probably don't help your life at all. Who really needs a vacuum cleaner that can pick up a bowling ball, even if you can have it in four easy payments of $125.95?

My slightly dark sense of humour is tickled every time the studio audience - a good addition to a show like this - is urged to applaud for the infomercial presenters or the products. It's not always enthusiastic, even if the audience gets a freebie or two.

Studio 10 works and thank goodness it does. There's little evolutionary about it but it is a fresh take on a well-established genre.