Monday August 26, 2019

Disney+ announces new series and films at D23 Expo 2019 in LA

Fans inside Hall D23 at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, were the first to learn of six new series in development for Disney+ and discover key details about the highly-anticipated streaming service.

The star-studded event featured in-person and video appearances from the stars of Disney+’s slate of originals from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic, and included sneak peeks, trailer premieres and exclusive news about the service and its upcoming projects.

Here are the highlights from the Disney+ reveal:

“With less than three months until launch, Disney+ will soon entertain and inspire audiences of all ages for generations to come, and we’re excited to preview some of the amazing original content being created for the service exclusively from our world-class brands today at the D23 Expo,” said Kevin Mayer, chairman of Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment.

“Storytelling is the cornerstone of The Walt Disney Company and we’re thrilled to unveil a new slate of original shows from the Star Wars and Marvel cinematic universes, along with popular television franchises set to return with all-new series streaming only on Disney+.”

Today’s presentation was hosted by one of the stars of the Disney+ original film Lady and the Tramp, Yvette Nicole Brown, and featured some of the creative minds behind Disney+’s content slate including Sean Bailey, president, Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Productions; Kevin Feige, president, Marvel Studios; Kathleen Kennedy, president, Lucasfilm; and Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channel Worldwide.

With the streaming service set to debut on November 12, many of the stars, filmmakers and creatives behind Disney+’s original movies and shows that will be available at launch were in Hall D23 today for the first public preview of the eagerly anticipated content.

Disney has also revealed details about its forthcoming Disney+ app:

Guests at D23 Expo 2019 had the opportunity throughout the three-day event to experience the Disney+ app, complete with features and functionality confirmed for the global launch dates in November.

The Disney+ app experience, available to consumers on November 12, will feature:

Unlimited Downloads: Subscribers have access to unlimited downloads of shows and movies on the Disney+ app to watch offline later on up to 10 mobile or tablet devices, with no constraints on the number of times a title can be downloaded per year. Once downloaded, subscribers can watch on the go and without an internet connection. The number of titles stored at one time on a device is dependent upon the available storage space on a subscriber’s device.

High-Quality Viewing: Subscribers will enjoy an ultra-high-definition viewing experience with up to 4K Ultra HD video playback in Dolby Vision ultra-vivid imaging, HDR10 and Dolby Atmos immersive audio on supported devices for available programming.

Commercial-free Viewing: Subscribers can access unlimited viewing of Disney+ content without having to watch a single commercial.

Profile Customisations: Subscribers can set up to seven different profiles and choose an avatar tailored to their favorite Disney, Pixar, Marvel or Star Wars characters, with over 200 avatars available.

Concurrent Streaming: Disney+ allows subscribers to concurrently stream video content on up to four registered devices with no up-charges.

Multiple Languages: At launch, Disney+ will offer support for English, Spanish, French and Dutch languages, including both user interface as well as audio support and/or subtitles for library content, with additional languages available for Disney+ Originals.

Accessibility: The app offers support for closed captioning, descriptive audio and navigation assistance to help subscribers with disabilities discover and enjoy their favourite stories.

Disney+ download: New content premiering on streaming platform

• Disney+ details seven reasons why you will want their streaming app

Six new trailers were seen for the first time at D23 Expo 2019, along with a first look at an animated shorts series from Pixar.

Here are the details of new content coming to Disney+

The Mandalorian



As Lucasfilm ventures into Star Wars episodic live action for the first time in history, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy told Disney fans, “It’s both exhilarating and liberating to be able to tell stories that expand beyond two hours, and the quality of our episodic series for Disney+ will be identical to our feature films.”

Brand-new Disney Legend Jon Favreau and his fellow executive producer Dave Filoni were joined by series stars Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers and Giancarlo Esposito—as well as Taika Waititi, who brings the droid IG-11 to life – to premiere the teaser trailer for the first-ever Star Wars live-action series, The Mandalorian.  Additionally, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger also announced that new Disney Legend Ming-Na Wen will join the cast of the series. Set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order, the series follows the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series



Ahead of a screening of the first episode of the 10-episode scripted series at D23 Expo 2019, the cast of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series performed the multi-platinum hit song “We’re All In This Together” to kick off the Disney+ presentation in Hall D23. The series, set at the real-life East High, where the original movie was filmed, follows a group of students as they countdown to opening night of their school’s first-ever production of High School Musical.

Lady and the Tramp



The canine stars of the film – Rose (“Lady”) and Monty (“Tramp”) –helped premiere the first trailer from the original film. In the timeless re-telling of the 1955 animated classic, a pampered house dog and a tough but lovable stray embark on an unexpected adventure and, despite their differences, grow closer and come to understand the value of home.




Stars Anna Kendrick and Billy Eichner unveiled a trailer for the film that will premiere on Disney+ on November 12. In the upcoming holiday comedy, Kris Kringle’s daughter is full of Christmas spirit and holiday fun, but wishes she could do something “important” like her beloved brother Nick, who will take over from their father this Christmas. When Nick is about to crumble like a gingerbread cookie from all the pressure, Noelle suggests he take a break and get away… but when he doesn’t return, Noelle must find her brother and bring him back in time to save Christmas.

The World According to Jeff Goldblum



Goldblum, the series’ star and host, offered a sneak peek into the upcoming series from National Geographic… where nothing is ever as it seems.




From executive producer Kristen Bell, Encore! brings together former castmates of high school musicals for a reunion like you’ve never seen before, as they re-create their original performance years after they last performed it.

Forky Asks a Question



The 10-short series from Pixar Animation Studios is centred around craft project-turned-toy Forky from Toy Story 4, who ponders questions about how the world works, such as: What is love?… What is time?… And even, what is cheese? Actor Tony Hale, who voices the title role, premiered the first short in the series, “Money”.

Looking beyond the November launch date, six new titles were announced for Disney+:

• An untitled Obi-Wan Kenobi series in development from Lucasfilm will star Ewan McGregor, who made a surprise appearance on the Hall D23 stage to announce his return to the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

• Marvel Studios is developing three new live-action series from Marvel comics. Kevin Feige announced that Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and SheHulk are coming to the streaming service. “The opportunities that Disney+ is bringing to the MCU [Marvel Cinematic Universe] to grow and to evolve and to expand are tremendous,” Feige said.

• An all-new Lizzie McGuire series will once again feature Hilary Duff in the role that she made famous. Terri Minsky, who created the original Lizzie McGuire, returns for the new series.

• Muppets Now will star Kermit the Frog, along with Miss Piggy and the Muppets gang, who bring their own special blend of mayhem and laughter to Disney+ in the unscripted short-form series.

Post-launch, content planned for Disney+ includes:

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made

In a first look, fans met the quirky Timmy Failure, who operates his own detective agency in Portland – with the help of his 1,500-pound polar bear, as well as a very unique, deadpan sense of humor. Launching in early 2020, Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made is directed by award-winning filmmaker Tom McCarthy from a screenplay by McCarthy & Stephan Pastis, and based on the best-selling book series by Pastis.

Togo (Launching in early December)

The untold true story  is an exhilarating and uplifting adventure set in the winter of 1925 across the treacherous terrain of the Alaskan tundra. Togo stars four-time Oscar® nominee Willem Dafoe, along with Julianne Nicholson, Christopher Heyerdahl, Richard Dormer, Michael Greyeyes, Michael McElhatton and Michael Gaston. Ericson Core directs from a screenplay by Tom Flynn. Kim Zubick is the producer.

Diary of a Female President (Premiering in January)

Gina Rodriguez executive produces (and is a recurring guest star) on the half-hour single camera series that follows a 12-year-old Cuban-American girl’s journey through the trials of middle school, which set her on the path to ultimately become president of the United States. Tess Romero stars as Elena.

Stargirl (Launching in early 2020)

Series stars Grace VanderWaal and Graham Verchere introduced the coming-of-age film based on the critically acclaimed New York Times best-selling young adult novel of the same name by Jerry Spinelli. Julia Hart directs from a screenplay by Kristin Hahn and Julia Hart & Jordan Horowitz; Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Lee Stollman and Kristin Hahn are producers. Karan Brar, Maximiliano Hernandez, Darby Stanchfield and Giancarlo Esposito also star.

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (Launching in 2020)

Following the events of Marvel Studios’ Avenger: Endgame, Falcon and the Winter Soldier (played by Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, respectively) team up. During today’s presentation, Kevin Feige revealed that Emily VanCamp will reprise her role as Sharon Carter, and introduced Wyatt Russell, who will portray John Walker—a Marvel Comics character—for the first time on screen. The series is directed by Kari Skogland and Malcom Spellmen serves as head writer.

Monsters At Work

The new series from Disney Television Animation takes fans back to Monstropolis and follows a new cast of monsters—including Tylor (played by Ben Feldman) and Millie (played by Aisha Tyler)—in the series inspired by Disney and Pixar’s Oscar®-winning feature film Monsters, Inc. Monsters At Work will feature special appearances from the film’s beloved buddies, Mike and Sulley, who will again be voiced by Billy Crystal and John Goodman. Today, Feldman and Tyler shared a special look at their characters with fans at D23 Expo 2019.

WandaVision (Premiering in 2021)

As Vision and Wanda Maximoff, Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen play two super-powered beings trying to live ideal suburban lives… until they begin to suspect that things are not as they seem. Kat Dennings and Randall Park will reprise their roles from Thor and Ant-Man and The Wasp, and they’ll be joined by Kathryn Hahn (who will play a new character in the series). Matt Shakman serves as director, with Jac Schaeffer on board as head writer.

Loki (Debuting in 2021)

Tom Hiddleston returns to play the fan-favorite villain Loki in a series set after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Kate Herron directs the new series centered around the god of mischief, with Michael Waldron as head writer.

What If…? (Premiering in 2021)

The animated series from Marvel Studios’ focuses on different heroes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and imagines what happens if the events in the films had different outcomes. Haley Atwell, who will voice Peggy Carter in What If…? joined director Bryan Andrews and head writer Ashley Bradley today in Hall D23.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Premiering in February 2020)

The Emmy® award-winning animated series will return with 12 all-new episodes and will mark the return of classic characters Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and  fan-favorites Ahsoka Tano and Captain Rex.

A second Lucasfilm live-action series

Diego Luna (Cassian Andor) and Alan Tudyk (K-2SO) reprise their roles from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in this, the second live-action series from Lucasfilm for Disney+. The series, currently in development, follows Andor’s adventures as a rebel spy during the formative years of the Rebellion, before the events of A New Hope.

Prime Media hopeful Boomtown will help stem regional ad decline


• Revenue $191.8m, down 4.7% on the prior year
• Operating costs down $3.2m or 5.9% on the prior year
• $14.0m impairment of television broadcast licences and other intangible assets
• Statutory profit after tax of $7.3M, up 159.9% on prior year

Prime Media Group Limited (Prime) has confirmed its core net profit after tax for the 2019 financial year of $17.2m is within market guidance.

Prime reported a statutory profit after tax of $7.3m, representing an increase of $19.6m or 159.9% on the prior year.

Included in the statutory profit are non-cash impairments of the television licences and other intangible assets of $14.0m in the current year and $51.7m in the prior year. The impairment charges reflect the ongoing decline of the regional free-to-air television advertising markets and the contracted increase in program supply arrangements with the Seven Network.

Advertising revenue fell 4.7% in the reporting period reflecting the absence of major events in the current period and difficult trading conditions in the lead up to, and during the Federal Election.

Prime’s revenue in regional New South Wales and Victoria declined 5.0%, compared to the market decline of 4.1%. Gains from the Federal election did not match the uplift from the Commonwealth Games in the prior year. Prime’s 3AGG market audience share improved by 0.6 of a share point to a 41.0 share for the 2019 financial year.

The group’s net cash flow from operating activities of $22.5m declined $9.6m or 30.0% compared to the prior year due to the continued decline in advertising revenues, the increase in affiliate fee rate under the new program supply agreement with the Seven Network and the payment of spectrum licence fees totalling $6.2m under the new licensing regime.

Chief executive officer Ian Audsley (pictured) said, “Advertising in regional Australia faltered in the second half of the 2019 financial year as advertisers paused in the lead up to, and during the Federal Election. Despite the difficult trading conditions, our sales teams continued to maintain their industry-leading revenue share of 41.5% in a market that declined 4.1%.”


Audsley added, “Overall, the regional television advertising market is subdued. Revenue pace for July and August was behind that of the prior period(s), throughout September however Prime typically experiences a late run for placement within the AFL Finals series.

“We have limited visibility into the second quarter. Gains in certain national advertiser categories were softened by reduction in others, reflecting the current retail environment and soft consumer sentiment. However, discussions with advertisers point to an improvement in demand for Prime’s major markets throughout the latter months of this calendar year.

“At local level, TV ad markets are soft and look challenged going forward with consumer confidence impacted by prolonged drought conditions and the arrival of tech giants Google and Facebook in what have traditionally been ‘local media’ advertising markets.

“Despite these market gyrations Prime continues to have positive conversations with dormant & under indexed advertisers off the back of the Boomtown initiative, which has introduced a number of new advertisers to Prime and seen a number of old friends return. We expect that over time, Boomtown will deliver a growing shift of advertising spend to Prime.

“Prime expects trading conditions to improve in the second half in the lead up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. However, as a result of the continued decline in regional markets and increased affiliation fees, Prime’s earnings before interest tax depreciation & amortisation (EBITDA) for the 2020 financial year is forecast to be $23.0m to $25.0m, while core net profit after tax is forecast to be $8.0m to $10.0m.”

WPP AUNZ results impacted by account losses, and weak media spend

• WPP Australia/New Zealand has announced its financial results for the half year ending 30 June 2019.

Financial summary

• Results impacted by weakness across key segments:
• Net sales of $405.6 million, down 2.6% (2018: $416.3 million)
• Headline EBIT of $43.6 million, down 12.6% (2018: $49.9 million)
• Operating margin 10.7% (2018: 12.0%)
• Advertising and Media segment impacted by global and local account losses and a weak media market, with earnings 16.6% behind the prior year.

Commenting on the results John Steedman, WPP executive director and interim chief executive officer said:

“We experienced a mixed performance across our portfolio of companies. Data Investment Management, Public Relations and Specialist Communications all achieved organic earnings growth in the first half, while the Advertising and Media segment faced headwinds due to global and local account losses, and a weak media spend market.

“In order to deliver integrated solutions to our clients, we are progressing our strategy to simplify the business. In the first half of the year and post the half-year end, we have entered into agreements to reduce the portfolio by 20 businesses through closure, merger of brands to enhance services to clients, or sale. This includes the recently announced proposed transaction to sell Kantar.

“Within the business, we continue to bring our agencies together as part of our ‘campus’ strategy; where our goal is to integrate operations, facilitate collaboration amongst our people and present the best of WPP to clients in one place. In the first half of the year, we piloted ‘One Kent Street’ which formalises a working relationship across 12 businesses and over 500 people working within a campus and is already delivering pleasing incremental annualised net sales growth. We also invested in a new Brisbane Campus, bringing together 4 agencies and 110 people. Further consolidation will take place in the Sydney market in 2019.

“As I’ve said before, attracting and retaining the best people in our industry is vital. To achieve this, we know our workplaces must be open, inclusive, respectful, collaborative and diverse in every sense. To this end, we have set a goal to have an equal gender representation in senior leadership roles by 2021. We have also established a Diversity and Inclusion Council comprising a cross section of representatives from around the company whose objective is to drive cultural change. I’m also very pleased that we committed to an industry leading parental leave policy as part of a revamped talent and retention plan.

“At the Annual General Meeting we had forecast a flat earnings per share growth for the year. Based on trading results in the subsequent quarter we are now forecasting a decline in earnings per share of 5%-10% for FY19. The earnings of the company are traditionally weighted towards the second half of the year so we still expect a strong result for the second half. Our forecast is based on an expected improvement in performance from the Large Format Production segment as operational efficiencies begin to deliver earnings upside; and incremental earnings from new business wins in the Advertising and Media segment achieved in the first half of the year. Our trading result for July was ahead of forecast and the prior year comparison. We are however, conservative in our outlook given the heavy weighting of earnings in the second half.”

Nikki Warburton named Chief Customer & Marketing Officer at Audi Australia

Nikki Warburton has been appointed Audi Australia’s chief customer & marketing officer, a newly created role at the motor vehicle importer. It’s been a big week for the Warburtons after Nikki’s husband James rejoined Seven West Media as CEO.

Read more: Seven West Media leadership change: James Warburton back, now CEO

The chief customer & marketing officer role now draws in the product planning, customer experience and digital innovation areas, as well as the existing marketing communications, corporate communications and experiential marketing functions that already comprised the marketing communications team.

Paul Sansom, managing director of Audi Australia said: “This realignment is all about a more dedicated focus on the most important person in our business: the customer.

“Nikki’s experience, enthusiasm and success in her first 12 months in the CMO role at Audi made her the obvious candidate to lead the expanded team.

“This realignment is a natural progression for our company as we head into a highly anticipated wave of new products that will arrive here in the next 12-18 months. These will be pivotal for Audi as we take the brand into an exciting new era of premium mobility.”

Nikki Warburton commented: “I am thrilled to take on this broader responsibility, and I feel very energised by this incredible opportunity to lead our effort to become a more customer-centric business.

 “The new team brings together so many elements including the way we talk to customers, the way we interact with them and the way we offer them the very best products in the premium automotive market.

“There’s so much to come from Audi that brings enormous opportunity in the premium mobility space, and we can’t wait to bring our customers with us on this exciting journey.”

Q&A EP Peter McEvoy to farewell the ABC after three-decade career

Peter McEvoy, the creator and Executive Producer of the ABC’s Q&A, has announced he will leave the broadcaster at the end of 2019.

After a three-decade career at the ABC, including creating Q&A 12 years ago and working to see it established as Australia’s leading current affairs discussion program, McEvoy said he was ready to move on to other challenges.

“In 2007 we set out to make an innovative, audience-focused program that would challenge, explain and shape national discourse,” he said. “I’m proud of the way we have achieved that consistently and in such an entertaining way over that period.”

ABC managing director David Anderson described McEvoy as a respected journalist and broadcast professional in the eyes of his ABC colleagues and across the industry.

Q&A is the most successful discussion-based national affairs program in ABC history,” Anderson said. “Peter has made an incredibly significant contribution to public broadcasting and national current affairs.

“Within the ABC he is renowned and respected as a journalist and creative program-maker. He has mentored many younger journalists and producers in their careers, and I know his departure from the ABC will be felt by many of us.”

Q&A started in May 2008 with recently elected Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as its first guest. Since then more than 400 episodes have been broadcast, featuring politicians and leading public figures – including Indigenous leaders, authors, religious leaders, scientists, philosophers and analysts – as well as ordinary Australians who auditioned to become “People’s Panelists”.

Peter McEvoy with Bob Hawke

McEvoy said: “The aim was to create a live, nationally televised event that brings political leaders face to face with Australian voters and allows interaction with hundreds of thousands in the viewing and online audience as well as the hundreds in the studio audience.

“We not only achieved that but have seen Q&A become a weekly part of the national agenda.”

Peter McEvoy first joined the ABC in the late 1980s at Triple J and went on to work as a reporter and producer for ABC TV and ABC Radio, in Alice Springs, at Radio National, on programs including RN Breakfast, Late Night Live, Background Briefing and Four Corners, and as EP of Media Watch from 2000-2006, before creating Q&A.

He has received numerous awards for his journalism, among them five Walkley Awards, including the Gold Walkley.

“It’s been a great run and I want to thank to ABC for three decades of opportunity,” he said. “I want to especially thank the wonderful team I have worked with over the last 12 years.

“The inimitable Tony Jones of course, but also the faces you don’t see. The indefatigable audience production team who recruit a balanced and engaged audience every week. The senior producers who share the editorial load. The studio team who make the show look great whether we’re in Mackay, Launceston, Garma or Shanghai.

“A flagship program like Q&A is only possible at an ambitious public broadcaster with the skills and enthusiasm of hundreds of my ABC colleagues who have been part of this great project over the last 12 years.

“I look forward to watching Q&A as it continues to evolve in the future.”

Week 34 TV: Nine unstoppable with The Block and the biggest bash

Nine’s ability to show primetime Ashes cricket alongside episodes of The Block and NRL live this week has helped Nine to another clear victory. The only primetime cricket available outside of Seven/Fox Cricket’s The Big Bash has also started Nine off well in week 35 too.

The ratings pendulum year-to-date moved enough this week to push Nine to first place in all people network share with 29.7% to Seven’s 29.6%. Nine already had the edge in key demos.

In all people numbers for the week Nine was 2.0 ahead of Seven in primary primetime, while 25-54 the margin grew from 2.0 to 4.8.
Nine was dominant in combined share too, well ahead in both all people and 25-54 with 41.4%.
In the top 10 all people Nine had six shows, with The Block Sunday the biggest attraction with 1.11m metro viewers.

Different nights and timeslots of Seven News at 6pm and 6.30pm were the channel’s most-watched programs.
In addition to its dominance in breakfast and mornings, Seven continues to rule 5-7pm.
Australia’s Got Talent was the channel’s #1 non-news show and only entry in the top 10 in that category. This week AGT posted a season high with 865,000.
If you extend the list to the top 20, Seven was also represented by the new Celebrity Chase and Home And Away

The biggest all people 10 audience belonged to Australian Survivor Tuesday with 794,000. With no all people entry in the top 10, two Survivor episodes were top 20 along with Have You Been Paying Attention?
In the 25-54 demo however 10 looked much more competitive with five of the top 10 and seven of the top 12. HYBAP? ranked #3 25-54, only beaten during the week by two episodes of The Block in that demo.
If you fine tune the demos further, 10 had six of the top shows under 50 and 18-49, and seven of the top 10 16-39.

In 7 day catch-up numbers, the August 13 episode of Australian Survivor recorded the series highest ever 7 day BVOD audience on 10 Play (87,000) – the fifth time the record has been broken this season.

ARIA Chart:King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard debut #2, 7 times top 10

• Singles: Tones And I week 4 at # 1, 3 country-rap hits in top 10


Tones And I leads the chart for a fourth week after Dance Monkey took 10 weeks to get to top spot after first entering the ARIA Top 100 Singles. The Byron Bay-based Aussie pop sensation is making waves in the UK too where after initially debuting at #80, the song has subsequently climbed to #60 and is now at #48.

Two artists were new to the top 10:

Now at #8, in just a second week on the chart, Lil Tecca breaks into the top 10 from #15 with Ransom.

Now at #9, Marshmello has been patient climbing the chart and One Right Thing featuring Kane Brown makes the top 10 after nine weeks on the chart, up from #12 a week ago. It becomes the third country crossover hit in the top 10 with Blanco Brown’s The Git Up and Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road, which sits at #3 after 22 weeks on the chart.

Three new artists had songs debuting in the top 50:

#15 Taylor Swift with Lover, the fourth song and title track from her new album that will surely debut at #1. (If Slipknot can, Taylor can.)
#22 Miley Cyrus with Slide Away, a rock song with timely break-up lyrics.
#47 Normani with Motivation is a new single from the former Fifth Harmony singer and follows her collaboration with Sam Smith on

Dancing With A Stranger earlier this year.


Ed Sheeran reclaimed top spot after a temporary rest at #2 as Slipknot ranked #1 a week ago (#3 this week). This is week five at #1 for Sheeran’s No 6 Collaborations Project after six weeks on the chart.

The highest new entry belongs to the prolific (15 albums so far) King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard with their seventh top 10 album – Infest The Rat’s Nest. The Melbourne band have built a following internationally, although The Times dismissed their new release with a two out five score, saying they have turned to thrash metal to deliver “a treatise on environmental catastrophe and a dystopian vision of the near future”. Lots of love elsewhere though with NME rating it six out of 10, and Pitchfork calling it “a convincing display of metal muscle” with a rating of 6.7.

Three other artists released albums new to the chart this week:

#4 Killswitch Engage with Atonement. The Massachusetts metalcore masters celebrate 20 years together with their third top 10 album.
#14 Once Upon A Time In Hollywood soundtrack. Film director Quentin Tarantino’s slice of 1969 has managed to unearth some gems including his own edit of Vanilla Fudge’s You Keep Me Hanging On and Deep Purple’s Hush.
#34 Sleater-Kinney with The Center Won’t Hold. The ninth album from the indie veterans that many have listed as one of the great rock bands.

Top 10 Game Charts: Legacy Titles Rule the Charts

There’s so little going on in terms of retail video game releases at the moment that almost the entire top 10 this week is made up of legacy titles; games that are literally several years old.

By Cam Shea, editor in chief, IGN Australia

The only games from this year are Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled, which once again holds the top spot, Madden NFL 20 which has dropped a few places, and Super Mario Maker 2, which is still hovering around the mid-point of the charts.

The good news is that the other games in the top 10 are there for a reason – they’re classics. Minecraft, which recently celebrated its tenth birthday, is in fact so classic, that it made the list twice.

Next week we’ll likely see the very cool, and very weird, psychological shooter Control, which comes from Remedy Entertainment, the studio behind Max Payne, Alan Wake and Quantum Break, rocket into the charts. It’s out on August 27.

TV Ratings Analysis: August 25

• Ashes shock! England triumph keeps series alive for Nine
• 9Gem hits a six, pushes Nine to network share of 42.7%
• The Block master bedrooms reveal draws another 1m+ crowd
• Best of the rest: 10’s Survivor and Seven’s AGT semi-final

Sunday Week 35 2019

By James Manning

• Seven News 1,096,000
• Nine News 1,006,000
• ABC News 606,000
• The Project 228,000/377,000
• 10 News First 218,000
• Insiders 230,000
• Offsiders 173,000
• SBS World News 158,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 235,000
• Today 193,000


Six acts took the stage on an Australia’s Got Talent semi-final for a place in the Grand Final. Joel Creasy joined as a guest judge and one of the acts on offer was the knife-wielding Captain Ruin. The acts managed to keep an audience of 731,000 entertained, down from 865,000 a week ago when there were less distractions.

Sunday Night featured and iceberg climber and teenage millionaires. The episode did 477,000 after 543,000 a week ago.


Nine can boast a Sunday network share of 40%+ all people and 45.8% 25-54. 9Gem had an all people share of 15.8%, 25-54 was on 16.8% with the final day of the third test a major drawcard.

With master bedroom reveals on The Block and the third Ashes Test just a few wickets away from retaining the trophy, there was no way Nine was going to not start the week with a win. The only question was how big a victory.

The Block kept is audience over 1m for a second successive Sunday despite the nail-biting cricket climax on sister station 9Gem.

60 Minutes then did 624,000 after 644,000 the previous week.

The cricket was doing bumper business on 9Gem with a primetime share of 15.8% and audiences close to 700,000 and then 500,000 for the first two sessions. Nine’s Today show could get a bump as many people got the shock result and highlights reported by the rights holder this morning.


The Sunday Project managed 377,000 after 7pm with Natalie Bassingthwaighte previewing the forthcoming opening of Chicago.

Australian Survivor began with Abbey winning a sponsor’s car. Was this the first MG to land on the Fijian island? Later in the show David won immunity and Shaun was voted off, but he has to stay around as the first member of the jury. The Sunday audience was 735,000 after 652,000 the previous week.

Two episodes of Instinct did 272,000 and 133,000 for the repeat.


The 7.40pm slot was filled by the doco Judi Dench’s Wild Borneo Adventure on 411,000.

Les Norton did 353,000 after 398,000 a week prior.

Glitch returned at the unusual time of 9.25pm and rated accordingly – 142,000 watching the series three premiere.


The repeat episodes of Who Do You Think You Are? at 7.30pm continued with Ernie Dingo’s turn last night attracting 124,000.

A repeat of the doco on pro-wrestler André the Giant followed with 134,000.

Week 34-35 TV: Friday-Sunday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 9.1% 7 21.8% 9 23.9% 10  8.3% SBS One 4.1%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.0% 7TWO 2.4% GO! 3.8% 10 Bold 2.4% VICELAND 0.6%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 3.6% GEM 7.2% 10 Peach 2.1% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 1.2% 7flix 2.6% 9Life 1.8%     NITV 0.6%
    7Food 0.4%         SBS World Movies 0.8%
TOTAL 13.0%   30.7%   36.7%   12.7%   6.9%


ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 9.0% 7 18.7% 9 22.1% 10  6.4% SBS One 4.4%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.5% 7TWO 2.6% GO! 4.4% 10 Bold 2.4% VICELAND 0.6%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 6.3% GEM 9.4% 10 Peach 2.1% Food Net 0.7%
ABC NEWS 0.9% 7flix 3.1% 9Life 2.0%     NITV 0.3%
    7Food 0.4%         SBS World Movies 0.8%
TOTAL 13.1%   31.1%   38.0%   11.0%   6.8%


ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 8.2% 7 16.4% 9 21.4% 10  11.9% SBS One 3.5%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 1.7% 7TWO 2.6% GO! 3.6% 10 Bold 2.4% VICELAND 0.6%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 3.1% GEM 15.8% 10 Peach 2.0% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.0% 7flix 1.6% 9Life 1.9%     NITV 0.1%
    7Food 0.4%         SBS World Movies 0.4%
TOTAL 11.4%   24.1%   42.7%   16.3%   5.5%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 9.1% 7 17.1% 9 19.4% WIN 7.9% SBS One 3.5%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.0% 7TWO 4.2% GO! 4.5% WIN Bold 2.6% VICELAND 0.7%
ABC ME 1.1% 7mate 4.1% GEM 13.1% WIN Peach 2.3% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.3% 9Life 2.5% Sky News  on WIN 0.8% NITV 0.2%
    7food (QLD only) 0.3%            
TOTAL 13.5%   28.0%   39.5%   13.6%   5.4%


All People Ratings

Friday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven 868,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 788,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 698,000
  4. Nine News Nine 693,000
  5. ABC News ABC 548,000
  6. Seven’s AFL: Friday Night Football Seven 528,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 517,000
  8. The Chase Australia Seven 496,000
  9. Better Homes And Gardens Seven 480,000
  10. The Mid-Year Ashes: Third Test -ENG V AUS-Session 2 -D2 Nine 439,000


Saturday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven 724,000
  2. Nine News Saturday Nine 681,000
  3. ABC News ABC 613,000
  4. The Mid-Year Ashes: Third Test -ENG V AUS Nine 455,000
  5. Seven’s AFL: Saturday Night Football Seven 440,000
  6. The Mid-Year Ashes: Third Test -ENG V AUS Nine 390,000
  7. Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None ABC 390,000
  8. The Mid-Year Ashes: Third Test -ENG V AUS 9Gem 350,000
  9. M- Mrs. Doubtfire Seven 329,000
  10. Weekend Sunrise Seven 283,000
Sunday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 1,096,000
  2. The Block Nine 1,094,000
  3. Nine News Sunday Nine 1,006,000
  4. Australian Survivor 10 735,000
  5. Australia’s Got Talent Seven 731,000
  6. The Mid-Year Ashes: Third Test -ENG V AUS-Session 1 -D4 9Gem 696,000
  7. 60 Minutes Nine 624,000
  8. ABC News Sunday ABC 606,000
  9. Seven’s AFL: Sunday Afternoon Football Seven 523,000
  10. The Mid-Year Ashes: Third Test -ENG V AUS-Session 2 -D4 9Gem 514,000
  11. Sunday Night Seven 477,000
  12. The Mid-Year Ashes: Third Test -ENG V AUS-Lunch -D4 9Gem 455,000
  13. Judi Dench’s Wild Borneo Adventure ABC 411,000
  14. The Sunday Project 7pm 10 377,000
  15. Les Norton ABC 353,000
  16. Instinct 10 272,000
  17. The Mid-Year Ashes: Third Test -ENG V AUS-Session 3 -D4 9Gem 265,000
  18. Sunday Afternoon NRL Live Nine 262,000
  19. Killer In The Family Nine 260,000
  20. Weekend Sunrise Seven 235,000
Sunday Multichannel
  1. The Mid-Year Ashes: Third Test -ENG V AUS 9Gem 696,000
  2. The Mid-Year Ashes: Third Test -ENG V AUS 9Gem 514,000
  3. The Mid-Year Ashes: Third Test -ENG V AUS 9Gem 455,000
  4. The Mid-Year Ashes: Third Test -ENG V AUS 9Gem 265,000
  5. The Mid-Year Ashes: Third Test -ENG V AUS 9Gem 195,000
  6. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 170,000
  7. Nella The Princess Knight AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 156,000
  8. School Of Roars AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 149,000
  9. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  10. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 143,000
  11. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line -7ETPW.3OPM (R) 133,000
  12. Play School AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  13. Pixels 9GO! 128,000
  14. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  15. Motorsport: 2019 Motogp Live 10 Bold 114,000
  16. The Hitman’s Bodyguard 9GO! 112,000
  17. Chris Tarrant’s Extreme Railways PM 7TWO 112,000
  18. M- Alien: Covenant PM 7mate 111,000
  19. Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 104,000
  20. Go Jetters ABCKIDS/COMEDY 102,000
Sunday STV
  1. Live: NRL Raiders V Sea Eagles FOX LEAGUE 256,000
  2. Live: AFL Richmond V Brisbane FOX SPORTS 503 214,000
  3. Live: AFL Western Bulldogs V Adelaide FOX FOOTY 172,000
  4. Live: NRL Storm V Titans FOX LEAGUE 150,000
  5. Live: Supercars The Bend FOX SPORTS 506 132,000
  6. Live: Bounce FOX FOOTY 113,000
  7. Live: Sunday Night With Matty Johns FOX LEAGUE 104,000
  8. Live: Supercars The Grid FOX SPORTS 506 99,000
  9. Live: AFL Port Adelaide V Fremantle FOX FOOTY 88,000
  10. Live: Supercars South Australia Supports FOX SPORTS 506 84,000
  11. Live: Supercars Live FOX SPORTS 506 77,000
  12. Live: Supercars The Bend FOX SPORTS 506 73,000
  13. Live: Supercars Trackside FOX SPORTS 506 66,000
  14. Outsiders Sky News Live 62,000
  15. Outsiders Sky News Live 61,000
  16. Live: Supercars Live FOX SPORTS 506 61,000
  17. Live: Supercars South Australia Supports FOX SPORTS 506 42,000
  18. Live: Motogp Great Britain FOX SPORTS 506 40,000
  19. The Back Page FOX SPORTS 503 39,000
  20. Robin Hood Foxtel Movies Premier 38,000

Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

Disney's plans to conquer Australia: Streaming content & staff

The Walt Disney Company has unveiled an aggressive plan to penetrate Australia with its streaming service Disney+, including a local hiring spree, bespoke content and a wave of original Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar series, reports The AFR’s Patrick Durkin who travelled to Los Angeles with Disney. [See separate feature for content announcement.]

Disney direct-to-consumer and international division head Kevin Mayer told The Australian Financial Review on the sidelines of the D23 fan event the Australian market, being launched just a week after the US, was strategically key to its plans.

Mayer said former Netflix executive Matt Brodlie was also recently hired on a mission to deliver local content for the Disney+.

“He has a mission to find and create content in markets where we need it,” Mayer said.

Disney also confirmed the company has been on a hiring spree in Australia headed by managing director Kylie Watson-Wheeler locally.

More than a dozen staff are joining the existing 400 employees in Melbourne, Sydney and New Zealand to work on Disney+, including former ABC iview head Sally O’Donoghue.

[Read the original]

Potential partners pitching to Disney ahead of streaming launch

Disney is in talks with Australian telcos and local media players to promote and integrate its new app, as the global giant prepares to remove its content from streaming platforms, reports The Australian’s Leo Shanahan.

Disney could withdraw its branded content from local platforms as early as its November launch and was willing to “go it alone” for several months before turning to local partners to promote the Plus app and events.

Local companies are already pitching to Disney as it looks for partners to promote its app within about six months of its launch.

Australian partners would not be limited to media companies, and telcos like Telstra and Optus are believed to be gauging the ­interest of Disney.

[Read the original]

TEG enters Europe with UK-based MJR Group takeover

Australian ticketing, live events and data analytics business TEG is making its first push into Europe with its biggest ever acquisition of UK-based promoter and venue operator MJR Group, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

TEG chief executive Geoff Jones declined to comment on the financial terms of the deal, but said it was his company’s largest. MJR Group promotes and runs more than 2000 shows, owns and operates four venues and holds stakes in six others, and owns a popular UK club night brand.

“It’s an ideal acquisition for us. MJR is an integrated business like us, they own venues and manage venues and they’re a promoter,” Jones said.

“They’ve got a nice niche as a promoter in the what I call the mid-tier from the 1000 to 6000-seat venues.”

MJR Group has toured artists such as Sia, 50 Cent, Culture Club, UB40, Joan Collins and Hans Zimmer. It runs events at its own venues and has also operated shows at major European venues, including 02 Arena in London, Royal Arena in Copenhagen and Palais 12 in Brussels. MJR will be rebranded TEG UK.

[Read the original]

ABC seeks to put more content on Foxtel as part of new deal

The ABC is inching closer to a deal with Foxtel that would allow it to continue running channels and content on the subscription service and could include integrating the ABC iView app on Foxtel’s new platform, reports The Australian’s Leo Shanahan.

Despite a push from some within the ABC to end the $4 million a year content deal that allows for the ABC to play on Foxtel, there is likely to be agreement to renew the deal in the near future that would lead to more ABC content on the platform.

A new transmission deal is likely to give ABC iView a “tile” on the Foxtel’s new platform, making the large back catalogue of ABC content accessible and integrated into Foxtel’s app.

Despite preferring to pay nothing for Foxtel transmission, senior figures in the broadcaster are concerned that ABC viewership could be under threat if the deal is not renewed. Many in remote and regional areas also use Foxtel to access the ABC as it is easier to access via satellite.

[Read the original]


Gus Worland looks back on career in the Triple M breakfast chair

Ten years for the same station in the volatile world of breakfast radio is an achievement Gus Worland cannot have imagined when he got his start in the industry when he and wife Vicky were living in England, reports News Corp’s Mercedes Maguire.

Worland was home to promote one of the An Aussie Goes … cricket reality shows he’d made for Fox8 and was a guest on Triple M Melbourne’s brekkie show.

Southern Cross Austereo’s then CEO Guy Dobson was in a cab when Worland came on air as a guest and, as the story goes, would not get out of the cab, despite the running meter, until Worland had finished his captivating story.

“A week later I got a call in the middle of the night from Dobson’s PA who asked if I could come in for a meeting.

“I had to tell her I was in Lincolnshire and it was 1am. The next day I got on a plane back to Australia and I was offered the spot on The Grill Team with (cricketer) Stuart MacGill and (NRL’s) Mark Geyer.”

A year later, Matthew Johns replaced MacGill and the enduring partnership began.

[Read the original]

Andrew Bolt on Alan Jones: No time for voices to be silenced

For 15 years, Alan Jones has been Sydney’s most popular broadcaster. The latest ratings survey confirms how very many listeners still want him, writes News Corp’s Andrew Bolt.

Yet Jones’ career could soon be over, thanks to a few activists and journalists who believe they should decide what other Australians may be permitted to hear.

Oh, and let’s not forget corporate Australia – the advertisers too weak to defend our freedom to decide for ourselves what to listen to.

I find it chilling that corporate weaklings, spooked by largely anonymous trolls on social media, should connive at this closing down of debate by conservatives.

How healthy is it that someone that many Australians want to hear could be taken off the air, just because corporate Australia gets spooked by a few online haters?

[Read the original]


Netflix commissions Clickbait amid pressure for more Australian content

Two months after Netflix opened its first Australian office, the American streaming giant has commissioned Clickbait, a new Australian drama series, reports News Corp’s Wenlei Ma.

The announcement comes as the streaming platform is increasingly under pressure from a more competitive marketplace and a campaign demanding local content quotas.

Clickbait is light on detail at the moment and Netflix hasn’t announced any casting, but it sounds much more promising than the previous two shows Netflix has made in Australia.

What has been announced is that it will be a “character-based thriller which explores the ways in which our most dangerous and uncontrolled impulses are fuelled in the age of social media, and reveals the ever widening fractures we find between our virtual and real life personas”.

The eight-part TV show will be produced by renowned Australian writer and director Tony Ayres, who has previously worked on The Slap, Home Song Stories, The Family Law and is currently filming the Cate Blanchett series Stateless.

Clickbait will be the fourth Australian Netflix Original, following Hannah Gadsby’s stand-up special Nanette, supernatural soap Tidelands and Chris Lilley comedy Lunatics.

[Read the original]

Mixed reception for first episode of 10’s Saturday Night Rove

10 has unveiled Saturday Night Rove, the first of six live entertainment specials hosted by the Gold Logie winner, reports TV Tonight.

10 piloted a Saturday night format last year, and staged the new series in its Sydney studios, with guests Jessica Mauboy, Luke McGregor, Anthony Callea and Venezuelan comedian Ivan Aristeguieta.

Many were happy to see a return to Saturday entertainment with a familiar face. It was an intimate grab-bag of segments and ideas, removed from the traditional Tonight show, which made for an uneven start.

Points to 10 for bringing back live Saturday telly…will six weeks be enough to find its feet?

On social media the response was divided, with some questioning the timeslot suitability.

[Read the original]

ITV Studios hoping Drag Race Australia will premiere in 2020

TV Tonight reveals ITV Studios Australia has landed the local format rights to the hit reality contest, made famous by RuPaul’s Drag Race, from Passion Distribution and World Of Wonder.

Producers are about to begin discussions with Australian broadcasters, with a view to a 2020 contest.

The hunt for the best drag queen is now in is 11th season in the US, where it has won 9 Emmys, and spawned RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK – all three editions screen in Australia on Stan.

Former Australian Idol artist Courtney Act (aka Shane Jenek) was also runner-up in the 2014 US series.

When approached for comment by TV Tonight, CEO David Mott confirmed, “ITV Studios Australia have secured the rights to arguably one of the biggest formats globally at the moment.

“With Drag Race UK about to launch and already a major hit in the US and other territories we are set to shantay onto Australian screens in 2020.”

Sports Media

Nine set to dump Thursday night football in next NRL TV deal

The NRL’s free-to-air broadcaster, Channel Nine, may try to get two exclusive games as part of the next deal and sacrifice the Thursday night game. It will be interesting to see if Fox Sports believes that six exclusive games will be enough to drive subscriptions, reports Nine’s Danny Weidler.

Channel Nine saw the benefits of an exclusive broadcast during the Australian Open tennis this year. It had every platform to itself and it would like to revisit that concept for the NRL in the next deal.

As we revealed last week, NRL ratings are tumbling, especially on free-to-air television. Last weekend was the worst of the year with another massive drop-off. There is no question the Ashes is stripping viewers away from league with huge numbers watching the cricket. Some 800,000 viewers are believed to have turned away from league compared with the same weekend last year.

[Read the original]

Mike Brady, John Williamson & maybe Hugh Jackman for Grand Final

Two champions of Australian music are set to thrill the crowd at this year’s Grand Final with a 100,000-strong chorus guaranteed for their performances, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne.

Mike Brady is understood to be returning to the MCG for the AFL’s biggest day next month to perform footy’s most-loved anthem, Up There Cazaly.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the song; a milestone worth celebrating.

Meanwhile is understood John Williamson will also be part of the pre-match festivities. Williamson, best known for his song True Blue, is expected to perform Waltzing Matilda.

Various radio stations were bubbling on Friday with rumours that “The Greatest Showman” Hugh Jackman would be the star attraction. Sources yesterday said no act had been locked in as yet.

[Read the original]

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