Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019: Best Reality TV

• The Australian version of the UK format has been a big hit in Australia

After winning 2018 Mediaweek Industry Award for Best Television reality, Gogglebox Australia has followed it up again with another win in the same category. Its been a good year for the show also being crowned the Most Popular Entertainment program at the 61st TV Week Logie Awards.

The Australian version of the UK format has been a big hit in Australia ever since Endemol Shine Australia launched the series on both Foxtel and Network 10.

As the commissioner of the format, Foxtel’s Lifestyle channel gets first play every week on a Wednesday night for the 20 episodes over two seasons that are produced every year. Network 10 gets its crack at it the following night on the Thursday.

The returning Goggleboxers were Greek best friends Anastasia and Faye; married couple Lee and Keith; the Jackson Family; the  Delpechitra Family; best mates Adam and Symon; dealers in Indigenous Art Mick and Di; the Dalton Family; married couple Matty and Sarah Marie and their friend Jad; brother and sister Tim and Leanne; and the three generations of women in the Silbery Family.

Ratings wise the show was successful again on both channels with it outrating the 7:30 pm slot on 10 featuring The Bachelor, and The Bachelorette (starring former Goggleboxer Angie Kent) on several occasions. 

Coming second this year is Australian Survivor which broke not just alliances but audience records across all platforms – television, online and social – outperforming 2018’s record-breaking season.

Read more: TV ratings guide: Australian Survivor 2019

In the important advertising demographics, Australian Survivor was a challenge beast and across its run was the #1 show in under 50s and all key demos (16 to 39s, 18 to 49s and 25 to 54s).

One of the most memorable parts of the season was thanks to the third runner-up Luke Toki, who lost the game but left with $500,000, the same amount as the show’s prizemoney thanks to a Go Fund Me set up on his behalf.

In the penultimate episode of this year’s season Luke was considered the favourite until he lost an immunity challenge making him vulnerable to elimination, and in an emotional scene on the beach, Luke asked Pia to vote for Baden, which would force a tie so the two could battle it out in a fire challenge. Pia was genuinely conflicted and was left to decide whether she would vote with her head or her heart.

At tribal council, Luke gave a heartfelt pitch to the tribe for a second chance but in the end, Pia, Harry and Baden all voted for Luke and he became the 21st person voted out of the game. Due to his family situation of two young sons with autism and a baby with cystic fibrosis Australians opened their hearts and wallets to assist him in one of the feel-good stories of the year.

Network 10’s chief content officer Beverley McGarvey said: “From the gameplay to the blindsides, the contestants to the challenges, we’ve really enjoyed bringing this season to audiences.

“The contestants gave it their all, right until the end. The final endurance challenge was the longest we’ve had across all seasons – six hours and 40 minutes. Congratulations to Baden Gilbert who secured his place in the final two after winning the challenge. And congratulations to our 2019 winner, Pia Miranda, for outwitting, outplaying and outlasting our phenomenal group of contestants.”

In third place is Lego Masters which has had a strong first year with the unique format seeing Henry and Cade named the inaugural champions after a 28-hour grand finale free build, taking home the LEGO trophy along with $100,000 in prize money.

Hosted by Hamish Blake, eight teams undertook different Lego challenges for the chance to win the ultimate prize of $100,000. They were tests on their design and engineering skills as well as their storytelling ability with 2.5 million Lego bricks at their fingertips.

Blake was joined by judge and resident Lego expert Ryan “The Brickman” McNaught who is one of only 14 Lego-certified professionals in the world and the only one in the Southern Hemisphere.

Each episode attracted a total average national viewing audience of 2.216 million, including regional audiences, encore screenings and streaming on 9Now.

Lego Masters premiered with a massive national average audience of 2.134 million, making it the highest rating launch episode of any series this year.

It is also the only program on Australian television in 2019 to have an overnight metro audience of more than one million viewers for every episode.

The Finale started with a metro audience of 1.249m metro, the winner announcement set a new high for Lego Masters with 1.493m.

The Melbourne audience was more invested than anyone else with over 500,000 watching the Winner Announced with 394,000 in Sydney.

Michael Healy, director of television for Nine, said: “Lego Masters is wholesome viewing that appeals to the entire family and we’re thrilled that it has been so warmly embraced by Australian viewers. The show boasts a great array of characters, the likes of which we haven’t seen on other programs.

“At its core, Lego Masters is a celebration of creativity, showcasing the power of imagination. We can’t wait to see what our teams create for viewers in 2020.”

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