Mediaweek Industry Awards 2019: Best Television Production Company

• The company’s biggest success is Have You Been Paying Attention?

The Melbourne-based production company Working Dog Productions has continued where it left off last year once again winning the Mediaweek Industry Award for Best Television Production Company.

The company was founded by the multi-talented Santo Cilauro, Rob Sitch, Jane Kennedy, Tom Gleisner, and production guru Michael Hirsh.

The company’s biggest success and biggest commission is the Network 10 Monday night comedy quiz format Have You Been Paying Attention? Hosted by Working Dog co-founder Tom Gleisner. The format has also won a Mediaweek Industry Award this year for Best Television Comedy.

Along with Have You Been Paying Attention? the biggest hits amongst a diverse Working Dog catalogue include Frontline, The Panel, and Utopia.

Endemol Shine Australia has finished in second place for the second year in a row. Run by joint CEOs Mark and Carl Fennessy, the company puts out an impressive amount of content that ticks both the quality and quantity boxes.

Some of their major productions for 2019 include MasterChef Australia, Australian Survivor, Gogglebox, Ambulance Australia, Australian Ninja Warrior, Married At First Sight, Lego Masters, One Born Every Minute, and Changing Rooms.

Earlier this year it was announced that the Banijay Group (owner of Screentime) had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of the equity of Endemol Shine Group, which was co-owned by Walt Disney and funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global in a deal valued at around $3 billion.

Once the acquisition has been completed it is expected the two Australian production companies will continue to operate separately.

Third place is tied with Roving Enterprises and Seven Productions sharing the honours. 

Roving Enterprises has had some highs and lows this year with the company celebrating it’s 10 year anniversary of it’s most successful show The Project, but saw the cancellation of co-founder Rove McManus’s new Saturday Night.

The show returned exactly a year after the initial pilot, the format was different, the team had been tweaked and there was some optimism the show might grow from there, and the audience for the first episode crept higher by the smallest of margins year-on-year.  But the audience for episode two of Saturday Night Rove dropped from 240,000 to 140,000, and the show was shortly cancelled after that.

Therese Hegarty

Seven Studios has had a year full of big announcements. In May, Therese Hegarty the director of content distribution & rights was appointed as chief executive. This was followed by the announcement of deals with Amazon and Facebook and the announcement of shows such as Secret Bridesmaid’s Business, Fam Time, How To Dad Bootcamp, The Unboxing, Date Keepers, Farmhouse Switch, and the return of Packed to the Rafters, or should we say Back to the Rafters for Amazon.

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