Wednesday April 18, 2018

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Foxtel live: Selling Houses Australia takes hosts on the road

In all the hoopla surrounding the importance of live sport and Foxtel’s daring raid on cricket rights, it is easy to overlook the power of some of Foxtel’s other audience magnets.

By James Manning

None are any stronger than the Lifestyle group, which has built a library of brands that resonate with subscription TV viewers and keep them coming back for more all year.

The flagship of the Lifestyle group is the Beyond-produced Selling Houses Australia, which is midway through its 11th season. The formula is simple and has remained unchanged across the years – real estate, design and gardening gurus Andrew Winter, Shaynna Blaze and Charlie Albone turning an unsellable house into a marketable property.

To celebrate its 11th season, Foxtel’s Lifestyle organised a number of dinners where the show’s biggest fans had the chance to meet the hosts, asks questions about the series or their own renos, and even get a photo with the award-winning TV hosts.

Foxtel’s Stephen Baldwin and Hannah Barnes with the Selling Houses Australia Allstars

Lifestyle has held two dinners in Sydney this week at Olio restaurant where the TV series met some of its fans.

The general manager of Lifestyle and Hannah Barnes hosted both the fans and the show’s supporters at the second of the two dinners this week.

Barnes also acted as MC at the event, displaying considerable talent working the room and interviewing Andrew, Shaynna and Charlie.

The Foxtel executive spoke with Andrew Winter about the early days of the show as he recalled the memorable first episode, which featured the makeover of a property just south of Sydney.

Foxtel’s Andrew Mulready (right) with the TV hosts and Lifestyle channel supporters

Speaking about the latest season, the hosts revealed their favourite series 11 episodes. Andrew nominated Campwin Beach, Shaynna chose Tahmoor and Charlie opted for Balgownie. The Tahmoor and Balgownie episodes won’t screen until May.

Joining Barnes at the Lifestyle dinner were Foxtel head of channels and operations Stephen Baldwin and Foxtel GM of advertising and brand partnerships Andrew Mulready.

Top photo: Entertaining the guests at the Selling Houses Australia dinner [L-R]: Andrew Winter, Hannah Barnes, Shaynna Blaze and Charlie Albone

Nadine Garner stepping into lead role as governments invest to keep December Media drama on air

Film Victoria and Screen Australia are investing with Seven in a new direction for the drama series rebranded The Blake Mysteries.

The 90-minute telemovie being made by December Media will now skip three years ahead and focus on The Doctor Blake Mysteries character Jean Beazley (Nadine Garner, pictured above) who will take on the central role in the drama.

Not returning in his lead role is Craig McLachlan, who has been the subject of harassment allegations. In late January producer December Media conducted an investigation and reported there were no findings of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or workplace bullying by Craig McLachlan or any other person on the series.

A statement from Film Victoria yesterday claimed Federal and State government support of the popular and successful Victorian-made series will deliver strong economic benefits to regional Victoria and screen businesses, while shoring up employment for approximately 200 Victorian screen workers.

Film Victoria CEO Caroline Pitcher said: “Our commitment to The Blake Mysteries is an investment in Victorian screen businesses, crew and associated services who rely on this production for employment and skills development.

“We support new and diverse storylines and have great confidence that December Media, who mirror our commitment for ensuring safe and supportive workplace environments, will produce a high-quality and entertaining telemovie.”

Film Victoria recently released its updated Victorian screen industry Code of Conduct. The updated Code reflects a zero tolerance approach to unsafe workplace practices and behaviours including discrimination, harassment and bullying.

Screen Australia matched Film Victoria’s investment in The Blake Mysteries in an out-of-rounds special funding commitment.

“Screen Australia is generally only a direct investor in early seasons of television shows. However, due to the prospect of the Blake franchise not proceeding and the resultant sudden job losses, in this instance we will fund the telemovie as a one-off,” said Sally Caplan, head of production at Screen Australia.

“It is essential for Screen Australia to support the cast and crew in this unique situation, and there is no doubt audience demand for this Australian story remains. The Blake Mysteries will offer viewers the chance to see this beloved tale through Jean Beazley’s eyes and we’re proud to support this new direction.”

The Blake Mysteries is a December Media and Gambit Media production for Seven with principal production investment from Screen Australia and Film Victoria.

Gary Roberts leaving radio industry after 50 years, 16 of them running Nova 93.7

Nova Entertainment has announced that Gary Roberts, managing director of Nova 93.7 Perth, has tendered his resignation effective from 2 July. Roberts let staff know of his intention this morning.

With nearly 50 years’ experience in broadcast media, including 16 years as managing director for Nova 93.7, Roberts has made a major contribution to Nova Entertainment and the radio industry.

Before joining Nova 93.7, to launch the iconic Nova radio station in 2002, Gary held long-term positions as managing director at Austereo’s Mix 94.5 and 92.9fm in Perth. He also served on the CRA board for eight years, three of them as chair of Commercial Radio Australia between 1998 and 2000.

Cathy O’Connor, Nova Entertainment CEO, said, “It is hard to sum up Gary’s contribution to both Nova Entertainment and the radio industry in a single sentence. Gary has been an industry icon and a tireless leader for our very successful Perth team. We sincerely thank him for his contribution over many, many years.”

Commenting on his decision to depart, Roberts aid: “It is with sadness that after 16 years, I am leaving an incredible team and station. I am so proud to have been part of building Nova 93.7 from the ground up. We’ve put together a world-class team, both on and off air, and created a high performing business that continues to deliver record ratings and revenue. After 50 years in the radio industry, for me, it’s time for a change.”

Jamie Martinovich, Nova 93.7 Perth sales director, will take on the additional interim role of acting general manager until a decision is made about Roberts’ replacement.

Matchbox Pictures’ Mustangs FC sold to CBBC and Universal Kids

Mustangs FC, Matchbox Pictures’ children’s comedy drama, has been snapped up by CBBC in the UK and Universal Kids in the US.

The series is focused on a group of girls who abandon the sidelines to start their football club’s first all-girl team. The show features Emmanuelle Mattana (Marnie), Ashleigh Marshall (Liv), Monique Heath (Lara), Molly Broadstock (Bella), Gemma Chua-Tran (Anusha) and Celine Ajobong (Ruby), along with Jacek Koman as their coach Danny, Pia Miranda as Marnie’s mother and comedian Celia Pacquola as narrator.

Mustangs FC has women taking the lead in every key creative role behind the camera and has given opportunities to young female talent at the start of their careers. More than 60% of the cast and crew are female, with women taking the lead in writing, directing, casting, cinematography, production design, costume and editing.

Producers Amanda Higgs and Rachel Davis said: “When we were developing Mustangs FC, we didn’t just set out to make a show aimed at girls. We wanted to make a show that would empower girls and celebrate female friendship in all its complexity. We wanted something that could run for many series and continue to promote female-focused stories, as well as the creatives and crew who make them happen. We are immensely proud of this show and to have it going out in such important territories is really exciting.”

Mustangs FC (which is known as Mighty Mustangs in US) is produced by Matchbox Pictures for ABC Television with production investment funding from Screen Australia in association with Film Victoria. The series is produced by Amanda Higgs and Rachel Davis and is executive produced by Matchbox Pictures’ Debbie Lee and ABC’s Libbie Doherty and Jan Stradling. Season one was written by Michael Miller, Kirsty Fisher, Rae Earl, Warren Clarke and Magda Wozniak. The show is directed by Tori Garrett, Roger Hodgman, Corrie Chen and Fiona Banks.

Top photo: Mustangs FC cast [L-R] Monique Heath, Molly Broadstock, Ashleigh Marshall, Emmanuelle Mattana, Gemma Chua Tran and Celine Ajobong

TV Ratings Analysis: Tuesday April 17

• As anticipation builds about the blowup, MKR records another 1.3m
• Seven well in front as Interview added to winning Tuesday schedule
• The Voice gets a sore throat as audience declines – are more streaming?
• SBS audiences climb for return of Who Do You Think You Are?

By James Manning


Two nights of Home and Away this week recorded audiences of 784,000 on Monday and 746,000 last night.

The audience has been waiting for this My Kitchen Rules blowup for ages. The much-anticipated expulsion finally happens tonight and the drama has built solid audiences this week with 1.31m last night. The war between MKR princesses Jess and Emma and queens Sonya and Hadil fired up after another scathing attack. As the table drama escalated, so too did the scores for the food with siblings Henry and Anna shooting to top place on the leaderboard with a 10/10 lemon tart. They have a total of 86 points, 34 ahead of second-placed Jess and Emma.

There had also been much anticipation about the return of Andrew Denton to Seven. The social media commentary was mixed during and after the show. If there was any recurring theme it was that people were happy to have Denton back but perhaps disappointed with the guests on the first episode. The first episode still managed to win its timeslot. Although 500,000+ at that time of night is a reasonable number, the show had a 1.3m lead-in and the audience numbers dropped significantly across the hour, just as they would though on most programs now at that time of night.

At times Interview felt like watching a floating set with either the camera or the set moving as the Campbells spoke. The Robert Plant segment was our favourite with Denton teasing before an ad break: “Is it true Bjorn from ABBA actually took you to a Swedish sex club?”

Grey’s Anatomy followed on 144,000.


Blowing a $200k inheritance on drugs and clothes plus supermarket technology were the most intriguing stories on A Current Affair, which did 839,000 after 859,000 on Monday.

Episode three of The Voice saw the series deep into the Blind Auditions with a former contestant creating a bit of a fuss last night. The numbers have dropped significantly each night this week and are down also from week one last year where all made it over 1m. Indeed it wasn’t until episode 12 in 2017 that the audience dipped (just) below 1m. The crowd last night was the smallest ever for the format.

• Nine EP John Walsh on The Voice 2018 and 25 years of Getaway

The numbers for the first week of The Voice 2018:

Sunday 1.02m
Monday 930,000
Tuesday 822,000

Episode seven of Date Night then did 239,000.

The 2006 Jennifer Aniston movie The Break-Up followed with 117,000.


Daniel Ricciardo and Tommy Little were telling their stories on The Project with the Tuesday episode on 560,000.

Episode 11 of Bachelor In Paradise featured Jarrod and Keira’s first date with 660,000 watching after 676,000 a week ago and 676,000 on Monday.

Hughesy, We Have a Problem then did 459,000 followed by two NCIS: Los Angeles episodes on 264,000 and then 166,000.


Under the consumer microscope on The Checkout were issues around buying a mattress and transaction fees for online shopping. The episode did 387,000 after 417,000 a week ago.

The final episode of Employable Me Australia did 434,000 followed by a repeat of Louis Theroux: Drinking To Oblivion, which did 255,000.


A new local series of Who Do You Think You Are? launched at 7.30pm with Noni Hazlehurst featured. The series returned with an audience of 430,000, which is the best SBS audience so far this year.

An episode of Insight subtitled Weddings, Dollars and Dowries then did 267,000.

Week 16 TV: Tuesday
ABC Seven Nine Ten SBS
ABC 10.6% 7 24.9% 9 18.3% TEN 13.4% SBS One 6.1%
ABC 2 2.4% 7TWO 2.8% GO! 3.2% ONE 2.2% VICELAND 0.8%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 3.2% GEM 3.4% ELEVEN 2.3% Food Net 0.6%
ABC News 1.2% 7flix 1.4% 9Life 2.0% NITV 0.2%
TOTAL 14.9% 32.4% 26.9% 18.0% 7.8%
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates Ten Affiliates SBS
ABC 10.1% 7 25.5% 9 15.6% WIN 10.4% SBS One 5.0%
ABC 2 3.0% 7TWO 4.0% GO! 4.4% ONE 2.1% VICELAND 0.9%
ABC ME 1.0% 7mate 4.1% GEM 4.9% ELEVEN 2.7% Food Net 0.7%
NEWS 24 1.4% 7flix 1.8% 9Life 2.0% NITV 0.2%
TOTAL 15.5% 35.4% 26.9% 15.2% 6.8%
86.4% 13.6%
Tuesday FTA
  1. My Kitchen Rules Seven 1,317,000
  2. Seven News Seven 1,031,000
  3. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 1,002,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 948,000
  5. Nine News Nine 940,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 839,000
  7. The Voice Nine 822,000
  8. Home And Away Seven 746,000
  9. ABC News ABC 725,000
  10. Bachelor In Paradise Ten 660,000
  11. Interview Seven 578,000
  12. The Chase Australia Seven 576,000
  13. The Project 7pm Ten 560,000
  14. 7.30 ABC 492,000
  15. Hot Seat Nine 488,000
  16. Hughesy, We Have A Problem Ten 459,000
  17. Ten Eyewitness News First At Five Ten 450,000
  18. Employable Me Australia ABC 434,000
  19. Who Do You Think You Are? SBS 430,000
  20. The Checkout ABC 387,000
Demo Top Fives

16-39 Top 5

  1. Bachelor In Paradise Ten 321,000
  2. My Kitchen Rules Seven 275,000
  3. Hughesy, We Have A Problem Ten 195,000
  4. The Project 7pm Ten 182,000
  5. Seven News Seven 155,000


18-49 Top 5

  1. My Kitchen Rules Seven 490,000
  2. Bachelor In Paradise Ten 423,000
  3. The Voice Nine 318,000
  4. The Project 7pm Ten 282,000
  5. Hughesy, We Have A Problem Ten 267,000


25-54 Top 5

  1. My Kitchen Rules Seven 549,000
  2. Bachelor In Paradise Ten 418,000
  3. The Voice Nine 348,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 314,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 313,000
Tuesday Multichannels
  1. Hey Duggee-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 170,000
  2. Peppa Pig-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 169,000
  3. Andy’s Baby Animals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 165,000
  4. Midsomer Murders 9Gem 161,000
  5. Fireman Sam-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 158,000
  6. Dinosaur Train-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 155,000
  7. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 155,000
  8. Thomas And Friends-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 155,000
  9. Play School Celebrity Covers ABCKIDS/COMEDY 154,000
  10. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 150,000
  11. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 149,000
  12. Neighbours ELEVEN 149,000
  13. The Justine Clarke Show! ABCKIDS/COMEDY 149,000
  14. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 146,000
  15. The 5th Wave 9GO! 142,000
  16. Shaun The Sheep ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  17. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 139,000
  18. Play School-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 133,000
  19. Charlie And Lola-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 131,000
  20. Highway Patrol E2 PM 7mate 130,000
Tuesday Subscription TV
  1. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 62,000
  2. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 58,000
  3. Open Mike FOX FOOTY 54,000
  4. Paul Murray Live SKY NEWS LIVE 52,000
  5. Family Guy FOX8 49,000
  6. NCIS TVH!TS 46,000
  7. The Bolt Report SKY NEWS LIVE 46,000
  8. Jones & Co SKY NEWS LIVE 46,000
  9. The Simpsons FOX8 45,000
  10. Live: Back Page FOX SPORTS 501 43,000
  11. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 43,000
  12. Family Guy FOX8 41,000
  13. Escape To The Country LifeStyle Channel39,000
  14. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 39,000
  15. Bones TVH!TS 39,000
  16. The Vicar Of Dibley UKTV 39,000
  17. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 38,000
  18. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 38,000
  19. Credlin SKY NEWS LIVE 38,000
  20. Walks With My Dog LifeStyle Channel 37,000

Media News Roundup

Business Of Media

Seven West Media reveals Kurt Burnette’s impressive form as forecaster

On Friday October 27, Mediaweek was covering the Seven West Media Allfront from the Glasshouse in Melbourne.

After CEO Tim Worner spent several minutes promising that after “11 years in a row on top – we are going to make it 12 years in a row”.

Worner said Seven’s message to advertisers was Content – Audience – Connection.

Chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette then came on:

“Let me introduce you to lightning strike moments, moments that are the exact opposite to the most overused word in media – fragmentation.

“We have created the perfect storm.

“The largest investment in content this company has ever had.”

See Mediaweek’s coverage of Seven’s 2018 Allfronts.

Burnette then made a number of predictions about the size of Seven audiences across those lightning strike moments.

Yesterday Seven reminded the market about those predictions and how they had actually all been reached or bettered.

Burnette didn’t get them all right – he managed to underestimate some. Seven reached 2.5m more people than it promised on day one of its Commonwealth Games coverage.

Southern Cross Austereo promotes Nathan Soulsby – head of TV sales Sydney

Southern Cross Austereo has promoted Nathan Soulsby to head of TV sales – Sydney.

The announcement comes after Kristen Budd’s move to general manager of SCA’s Central Coast office.

Caretaking the role during Budd’s maternity leave, SCA said Soulsby has been a key contributor to the consistent share and revenue growth that has put SCA ahead of the market.

Previously group sales manager, Soulsby has been with SCA for just under two years.

SCA’s national head of television sales Will Allen said: “Nathan’s experience and passion for leadership will see him build upon Kristen’s great work, and lead the team to even greater heights.

“Nathan’s appointment highlights our ongoing focus on promoting passionate and driven SCA staff who can provide great insights, solutions and service for our customers while leading a team who share the same mindset.”

Soulsby’s appointment takes effect immediately.

News Brands

Publisher can’t win: MEAA criticises Daily Mail after it sacked a young reporter

The journalists’ union has slammed the Daily Mail over its sacking of a young reporter who “accidentally” published an obscenity, reports The Australian’s Dana McCauley.

MEAA spokeswoman Katelin McInerney blamed the news and entertainment website’s lack of editorial oversight for the faux pas, which saw an article describing a reality television contestant as a “vapid c-” published on Sunday – remaining live for more than two hours.

Daily Mail Australia executive editor Lachlan Heywood hit back, saying the publisher was “a significant employer of young – and senior – journalists in Australia at a time when the industry is suffering from widespread cutbacks”.

Heywood said the union had not contacted the Mail “to find out the full details” before releasing its statement. However, he did not offer any specific clarification.

[Read the original]


Michael Idato with Elisabeth Moss: “I am attracted to strong, complicated characters”

Fairfax Media’s Michael Idato talks to Elisabeth Moss ahead of the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale coming to SBS on April 26:

Moss is cautious about the label “feminist” when it comes to the performances she has given and the characters she has played. “I feel like any time you’ve got to play a strong, complicated woman, then it tends to start [being labelled] a feminist role and, actually, it’s just a strong woman,” she says.

“Obviously in Mad Men there’s a very specific feminist story there, and then, of course, with The Handmaid’s Tale, you can’t get much more feminist than that,” she says.

“I guess I am just attracted to strong, complicated characters and I think that, unfortunately, we’ve been living in a man’s world for so long so our challenges are often overcoming the patriarchy. That’s a lot of our drama sometimes, unfortunately, so that is going to be kind of main thrust of the story.”

[Read the original]

More c-word controversy as Fairfax reports Tonightly gets new season, new EP

The ABC has renewed the comedy series Tonightly, with a second run expected to hit television screens in just two months’ time, reports Fairfax Media’s Broede Carmody.

Tonightly came under fire from Communications Minister Mitch Fifield last month after broadcasting a controversial skit that saw an Australian Conservatives candidate labelled a “c—” on national TV.

Dan Ilic revealed on Monday he had been appointed Tonightly’s new showrunner. The comedian has been a satirist for Al Jazeera and hosted popular web series That Startup Show.

[Read the original]

TV Demand charts: Netflix shows dominate, Kardashians back on AUS & NZ charts

The cross-platform TV Demand charts as measured by Parrot Analytics are largely unchanged this week.

Keeping Up With The Kardashians

Stranger Things and The Walking Dead remain locked at #1 on the Digital Original and Overall TV Shows charts in Australia and New Zealand.

Programs streamed by Netflix in both markets fill nine of the top 10 spots on the Digital Originals charts – Amazon’s The Grand Tour is the odd one out.

A familiar brand that returned to the Overall TV Shows chart in both markets this week was Keeping Up With The Kardashians. The chart resurgence comes just days after Khloe Kardashian claimed she would be leaving the popular TV show and as she gave birth to her first child.

James Weir: Bachelor In Paradise producers throw rule book into the South Pacific

In an attempt to fix what has turned out to be a mess of a series, Bachelor In Paradise producers have thrown the rule book into the South Pacific ocean and are now just making it up as they go along, comments News Corp’s James Weir.

After three contestants decided to leave on a whim during Monday night’s episode, it was too late to cancel that evening’s rose ceremony so we also waved goodbye to Canadian intruder Thomas. He arrived on the island only about 30 minutes before the ceremony but he wasn’t given a rose and we don’t make the rules, we just enforce them. So, Monday night saw a mass culling.

[Read the original]

SBS Radio changes: Channel refresh plus two new stations for Asia region music

SBS Radio has launched two new digital radio stations and refreshed its SBS Radio 3 channel, all available on digital television from today. The two new stations are SBS PopAsia and SBS PopDesi.

The two new 24-hour music channels celebrate music from different genres for Australian audiences. SBS PopAsia will focus on Asian pop, including from Korea (K-Pop), Japan (J-Pop) and China (C-Pop). SBS PopDesi will feature a selection of Indian music hits from bhangra to Bollywood.

Meanwhile, the SBS Radio 3 refresh will see the channel broadcast news from the BBC World Service (previously airing on SBS Radio 4), as well as special events coverage.

Following the introduction of these new digital radio stations, VAST (Viewer Access Satellite Television) audiences will have access to all SBS Radio services – SBS Radio 1, SBS Radio 2, SBS Radio 3, SBS Arabic24 and music channels SBS PopAsia, SBS PopDesi and SBS Chill.

All Foxtel satellite and cable platform users will have access to SBS Radio 1, SBS Radio 2 and SBS Chill.

SBS Director of Audio and Language Content Mandi Wicks said: “SBS continues to explore new ways to connect diverse audiences with our distinctive multiplatform services. With the inclusion on digital television, all the SBS Radio services will now be accessible to our audiences, Australia wide.”

Some viewers may be required to retune their televisions in order to receive the newly launched channels. Other televisions will automatically detect changes to the channels and retune. Most televisions, set-top boxes, personal video recorders (or PC tuner cards) purchased from 2009 onwards will be compatible.

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