• McGarvey talks 2019, what happened to 10’s Pointless and hopes for The Project
Network 10’s chief content officer Beverley McGarvey has been working for the network for 13 years. She started as network head of programming alongside David Mott, then took over as chief programming officer in 2012 when he departed, later becoming chief content officer in 2016.
Mediaweek has spoken to McGarvey every year since she joined 10. She joined us for a 2019 survey season preview this week.
Is the start to 2019 more money than 10 has ever spent on content?
This is the biggest investment we have ever made in our entertainment schedule.
In previous years we have had the Big Bash League cricket. This is the first time we have launched our year with an entertainment schedule.
Can you call moving I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! earlier a success?
We are incredibly happy with the result and it did exceptionally well in those early weeks against the sporting competition. Since the other reality big guns have kicked in the overnight ratings have dropped, but our digital business has really picked up. Overall the series is up 8% and that is a really good result for us.
It is a strategy that is very long term and we are just at the beginning of it.
Is there an upside to Nine getting huge numbers to nightly reality?
It is brilliant for the industry that Married At First Sight can attract big audiences. Big audiences will come to big shows and there are always big shows on FTA TV. It is great for the business generally be able to get those numbers and it is good for all of us.
Did the Kerri-Anne v Yumi debate lift Studio 10 ratings?
The show’s ratings did go up and 10 Daily did exceptionally well too. Over the years certain types of television have become sanitised and a little bit vanilla. It is good there is a place for open debate and you will see that story continue in the following weeks on Studio 10.
Kate Miller-Heidke has been crowned the winner of the first ever Eurovision – Australia Decides during the live TV final on SBS on Saturday.
The win means, after a number of years partnering with SBS and providing Australian artists to perform at the Song Contest, Sony Music has not supplied the Australian entrant this year.
Miller-Heidke is a former Sony Music artist, but she left the recording company several years ago to release her own material. She maintains a publishing deal with Sony/ATV.
SBS took the opportunity on Saturday to unveil its new brand position to the big Eurovision audience, “a world of difference”, encouraging all Australians to embrace and celebrate difference, and reinforcing SBS’s commitment to contributing to an inclusive society.
Jane Palfreyman, director of marketing at SBS, said: “As we’ve grown up as a nation, so too has SBS, speaking to and representing all Australians. Along the way, we’ve become one of the most trusted Australian brands and an ingrained part of this country’s culture.
“Our new brand identity reflects SBS’s evolution while beautifully articulating our fierce dedication to go beyond simply showcasing diversity to celebrating our collective differences. We want to live in the skin, walk in the shoes of others, because we believe it actually makes for better entertainment.”
During Eurovision – Australia Decides, Miller-Heidke performed her song Zero Gravity, alongside some of Australia’s biggest artists and the scores of the viewing public and jury were combined for the official results.
After winning over the Australian public with 87 points and a jury of industry experts with 48 points, Miller-Heidke has been selected to represent Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, to be held in Tel Aviv, Israel and broadcast exclusively on SBS in May.
Electric Fields took out second place with their song 2000 and Whatever being awarded 114 points overall, while Sheppard came in third place with On My Way on 87 points.
Creative director of Eurovision – Australia Decides Paul Clarke said:
“It’s a win for out of the box brilliance, which Eurovision devours. It’s a standout song with mesmerising staging. Kate is a total original and Eurovision will love her. Electric Fields delivered a stellar performance, and came so close, but it was Kate’s night. I want to thank all the artists who made the first ever selection show a spectacular success and all the fans that got behind them. The road to Eurovision 2019 has begun!”
Two semifinals will be played on Thursday and Friday this week on Seven and Fox Cricket.
Big Bash League finals week for Seven and Fox Cricket
The final Big Bash League match before the finals was played on Sunday. The one-sided clash saw Melbourne Stars easily account for Sydney Sixers.
The two semifinals will be played on Thursday and Friday this week on Seven and Fox Cricket. The final will be broadcast on Sunday evening.
Seven’s best Big Bash League audience so far during this extended season was for a Perth v Adelaide match in the last week of December when both innings drew an audience close to 700,000.
Network 10’s audience for the Big Bash League final broadcast in January last year was just over 1m metro for the second innings.
Sandy Roberts departs Fox Footy, calls time on TV career
Australian broadcast icon Sandy Roberts (pictured) is retiring from television commentary following a distinguished career spanning 46 years and more than 1,100 VFL/AFL games.
Joining the Fox Footy family in 2014, Roberts has been an integral and universally admired member of the network’s commentary team after he crossed from the Seven Network.
Roberts’ television portfolio has seen him play a central role in eight Summer Olympics, three Winter Olympics, tennis, golf and racing alongside AFL.
“I want to thank all the viewers for welcoming me in to their lounge rooms for almost five decades. It’s an absolute honour to call live sport on TV for a living and to share that excitement with fans. It’s now time to hand over the commentary box keys to young guns,” said Roberts.
“Sandy has been a vital member of the Fox Sports team for almost five years, and he will be missed by all. He’s an icon of sport and it has been such a privilege for us all to work alongside him and learn from the master,” said head of Fox Sports’ Peter Campbell.
Roberts plans to continue commentating AFL on radio and will sign off from Fox Footy with an interview by his great friend Mike Sheahan on Open Mike airing Tuesday March 19.
Optus screening UEFA and Europa Leagues on YouTube, Twitter
Optus Sport, the exclusive home of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) and UEFA Europa League (UEL) in Australia, is kicking off the year trialling a new digital arrangement to extend its football coverage to give fans the chance to watch selected Optus Sport matches via Twitter and YouTube.
The arrangement will see Optus Sport transmit a total of 10 matches between February and April 2019 on the Optus Sport channels through the social media platforms.
This will include six live UEL matches on Twitter and four live UCL matches on YouTube, starting with the live broadcast of Tottenham against Dortmund in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League on the Optus Sport YouTube channel.
“These exciting collaborations with YouTube and Twitter mark a major opportunity to leverage the world’s biggest international club competitions and amplify our incredible live programming of these tournaments,” Optus’ head of TV and content Corin Dimopoulos said.
Dimopoulos added while similar types of partnerships have been rolled out overseas, it is the first time that regular competitive football matches will be made available this way in Australia.
“Optus Sport is illustrating continued innovation by opening our Optus Sport broadcasts through our YouTube and Twitter channels,” he said.
The two separate arrangements will run from February 2019 through to April 2019 as follows:
• UEFA Champions League: Optus Sport YouTube channel – two games from round of 16 phase and two games from the Quarter Finals transmitted live
• UEFA Europa League: Optus Sport Twitter page – two games from round of 32, two games from round of 16 phase, and two games from the Quarter Finals transmitted live
“Football is one of the biggest drivers of conversation on Twitter in Australia, so we’re excited to collaborate with Optus Sport to bring these live matches from the UEFA Europa League to Twitter,” said Olly Wilton, Twitter Australia head of sports partnerships.
Optus Sport games available live on Optus Sport Twitter page and Optus Sport YouTube channel broadcast schedule (10 games in total):
UEFA Champions League Round of 16 on Optus Sport YouTube channel
• Tottenham v Dortmund 14 February 7am AEDT
• Real Madrid v Ajax March 6 7am AEDT
UEFA Europa League Round of 32 on Optus Sport Twitter page
• Malmo v Chelsea 15 February 7am AEDT
• Valencia v Celtic 22 February 4.55am AEDT
UEFA Europa League Round of 16 on Optus Sport Twitter page
• One game 8 March*
• One game 15 March*
UEFA Champions League Quarter-finals on Optus Sport YouTube channel
• One game 10/11 April*
• One game 17/18 April*
UEFA Europa League Quarter-finals on Optus Sport Twitter page
• One Game 12 April* 10. One Game 19 April*
*Games and times to be announced post draw
• Singles: Billie Eilish close to the top, but Ariana rules again
• Albums: Billie Eilish v the soundtracks – soundtracks win!
By James Manning
US singer-songwriter Billie Eilish had a good crack at top spot this week with Bury A Friend debuting in the top 10. Ellish had a stab at grabbing top spot, but she couldn’t get past either Post Malone or Ariana Grande. The latter’s 7 Rings spends its third consecutive week at #1 after three weeks on the chart. Watch for Ariana to shake up the album chart next week with the release of Thank U, Next.
Ellish’s arrival in the top 10 gives Universal Music the top four tunes this week.
Ellish was making a mark also via Lovely with Khalid, which was an ARIA bullet performer, jumping from #43 to #34.
In a week devoid of many big moves, the only other top 50 debut was Look Back At It from the US rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie at #45. The album this comes from, Hoodie SZN, was a big mover this week too from #45 to #26.
There was a respite briefly from soundtracks at the top last week, but we warned they hadn’t dropped far from the top. And they are back…with a vengeance, taking three of the top four spots.
A Star Is Born has returned to #1, also moving up are Bohemian Rhapsody to #2 and The Greatest Showman to #4.
Queen is also having another chart moment with three albums back in the top five, all of them climbing this week.
Billie Eilish is the biggest album mover with her debut EP Don’t Smile At Me lodged in the top 10 at #6, up from #14 in its 21st week charting.
The highest new entry is Resist at #13 from Dutch symphonic rockers Within Temptation.
Just two other albums found their way into the 50 on debut:
#17 New Zealand brother and sister duo Broods with Don’t Feed The Pop Monster.
#50 Kidz Bop Kids with Kidz Bop 2019, a compilation of compilations.
The (extremely) long-awaited Kingdom Hearts III has finally arrived after nearly 15 years of spinoffs, prequels, and what appears to be at least one interquel.
By Cam Shea, editor in chief, IGN Australia
And that’s not counting several bewilderingly-named HD compilations, like Kingdom Hearts HD II.8 Final Chapter Prologue… yes, that’s a decimal place on a Roman numeral). Kingdom Hearts III was announced back in mid-2013.
Square’s long-running RPG love letter to the worlds of Disney and Pixar may look like an impenetrable library of software published, renamed, republished, and then republished again across a dozen platforms, but there’s no denying it has plenty of fans.
Late last week Square Enix reported that Kingdom Hearts III has already shipped over 5 million units worldwide, making it the fastest-selling game in the history of the Kingdom Hearts series. On that note, it’s really not a surprise to see it atop the charts in both Australia and New Zealand. IGN’s review found Kingdom Hearts III is still full of heart.
The top-notch Resident Evil 2: Remake drops to second spot, but this well received reimagining of Capcom’s original 1998 PlayStation classic is obviously still doing well at retail. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe continues its run as the “best of the rest”, hanging in there in third ahead of the same spread of mass-market blockbusters and past chart-toppers that we’ve been seeing for some months.
The sudden new presence of Minecraft at number 10 on the retail charts in both Australia and New Zealand is an odd coincidence, especially considering the game has been available on current generation hardware since 2014.
In terms of summer share, Nine won the most weeks. For the 10 weeks of summer schedule, four fell at the end of 2018 with six at the start of 2019.
Nine managed to rank #1 in primary and combined channel share for the first two weeks of summer in December, and then it has has won the final four weeks of summer 2019, giving it a total of six weeks on top.
Seven has managed to label its summer survey performance as a “record-breaking summer” thanks to fulfilling its ratings prediction.
In a release on the weekend, Seven commented:
The Seven Network has confirmed that it has delivered on its promise to secure a 40%+ commercial FTA share of 06:00–24:00 viewing across summer, having secured a 41% share across the ten summer ratings weeks.
In total, Seven enjoyed 39 days with a commercial FTA share in excess of 40% – the most ever achieved by any network.
Seven’s fresh and innovative coverage of Test and Big Bash Cricket has resulted in year on year audience growth in key demos with P25-54 up 5.8 share points, P16-39 up 6.1, and M25-54 up 23.3, between 06:00 and 24:00.
In addition, Seven has grown its commercial FTA share in total people and in key demographics throughout the day and in primetime.
Highlights of Seven’s Cricket coverage include:
Total reach of over 16.1m Australians nationally, including 13.2m for the Tests and 13.3m for the BBL
Average daytime commercial share of 54.4% during Test broadcast days
Even greater shares seen in key demos, with shares of 61.7% for P16-39, and 65.2% for M16-54
Average primetime commercial share of 37.6% during BBL broadcast days. Even greater shares seen in key demos, with shares of 38.6% for P16-39 and 41.5% for M16-54
Seven West Media’s chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette said: “We said we would deliver a 40+ commercial share and that’s exactly what we have done. We have comfortably exceeded all our ratings projections and delivered share and audience growth in every key demographic.
“We knocked it out the park for our partners and sponsors, along with our spot buyers. All were keen to make the most of being immersed in-between overs, which are among the most energetic, high engagement zones available to advertisers in live sports coverage.
“This is just the first summer of a multiyear partnership, and we already have ideas to further grow audience next season, when we’ll be starting in November. This will give fans earlier test match cricket and advertisers more powerful audiences to connect with in the lead in to Christmas, and then throughout summer as part of our always on strategy.”
Without any sport this summer, Network 10 started being competitive in week three 2019 when I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! launched and managed to rank #1 that week with a launch episode over 1m. It wasn’t until the end of the first week of the Australian Open that another broadcaster managed to crack the 1m mark.
10’s best share of the summer was for the launch of Celebrity and then in week 6 for its Thursday combo of Celebrity and the return of Gogglebox.
The final week of summer survey has seen Nine a clear winner in both primary and combined channel share.
Nine finished the week on a primary share of 22.3%, 2.0 ahead of Seven in second place.
Nine has won the final four weeks of the six weeks of summer survey to fall in 2019. Seven won the first two.
Nine’s audience magnet this past fortnight has been season six of Married At First Sight. The format supplied the four most-watched shows in week six with all of them over 1m metro viewers. The biggest audience was on Wednesday with 1.28m watching the first dinner party.
Nine News and 60 Minutes also found a home in the week six top 10.
Seven’s best were its 6pm news bulletins and then My Kitchen Rules. The cooking show just made it to 800,000 or slightly better this week. The biggest of the four episodes was broadcast on Monday to 840,000.
The instant kitchen episodes featuring the first group are down significantly year-on-year. In week six 2018, the four episodes of My Kitchen Rules screened were the four most-watched shows of the week with all of them over 1.1m.
The biggest audience on 10 was watching I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! on Thursday. It did 835,000 for part of the episode and helped the channel win the night, its second victory so far in 2019.
10’s second best program also screened on Thursday, the FTA season launch of Gogglebox, which did 701,000.
The broadcaster split the show into two for the ratings and both parts performed well:
The Songs: 377,000 (Metro 282,000, Regional 95,000)
The Votes: 359,000 (Metro 261,000, Regional 98,000)
Those are bigger audiences than the broadcaster had for the Eurovision semifinals last year.
It also gave SBS a share of 8.5% on Saturday night, its best result since the 2018 World Cup.
Top photo: Nine’s first Married At First Sight dinner party
• Formal ratings year under way with two 1m+ audiences
• Married At First Sight records second successive 1.25m+
• Audience flocks back to MKR with season high 1.04m
Week 7 2019 – Survey day one – 279 more days to go
By James Manning
FTA TV news/current affairs
• Seven News 951,000
• Nine News 940,000
• ABC News 645,000
• Insiders 364,000
• The Project 176,000/298,000
• 10 News First 244,000
• Offsiders 135,000
• SBS World News 120,000
• Sunrise 244,000
• Today 186,000
Week 7 Reality Battle
Married At First Sight
• Sunday 1,263,000
My Kitchen Rules
• Sunday 1,046,000
I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here
• Sunday 544,000/625,000
The great news for Seven as survey officially gets under way is the surge in viewing for My Kitchen Rules. After two weeks of episodes and a previous high of 840,000, MKR has crashed through the 1m mark. Doing a poor job in their instant kitchen last night were brothers Josh and Austin who got a lecture from Manu after they took over four hours to deliver the main course which managed a score of just 1 out of 10 from Pete and Manu.
The much-hyped Operation Live followed with a birth that seemed to have been pre-recorded. Watching a pre-record is fine for some viewers who get too nervous with the thought of something going wrong during a live procedure. The audience was 544,000, which was well behind Nine’s 60 Minutes.
A commitment ceremony and a C-bomb brawl were two of the attractions on offer with another bumper crowd tuning into Married At First Sight. The audience of 1.25m+ should ensure Nine is well placed again for another good ratings week.
Nine has now won four consecutive Sundays in the winning streak that started with the first Sunday of the Australian Open.
Helping keep Nine’s numbers strong was 60 Minutes, which started with a Scientology investigation and ended a profile of Nine star Hamish Blake and his wife Zoë Foster. The episode did great business with 904,000 after 856,000 a week ago.
It was time for Natasha Exelby to leave the jungle on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! last night. The episode did 544,000 and then 625,000 after 596,000 and 690,000 on Sunday a week ago.
Hollywood legend Ellyn Burstyn was a special guest on The Sunday Project with 298,000 after 7pm, down from 358,000 a week ago.
The channel got into the survey mood with two launches last night.
The first of the new series was the three-part doco series Magical Land Of Oz from Northern Pictures, which started with a look at oceans and islands with 552,000 watching.
The second episode of The Cry then did 486,000 after launching with 574,000 a week ago.
The other new series was Mrs Wilson starring Ruth Wilson, which did 391,000 with its 9.40pm start.
Share dropped below 4% for only the second time in two weeks.
The channel’s best audience was for SBS World News at 6.30pm with 120,000 tuned in.
A second doco on sinkholes in two weeks didn’t quite make it to 100,000 at 7.30pm.
|ABC 2||3.3%||7TWO||3.5%||GO!||3.9%||10 Bold||3.3%||VICELAND||1.3%|
|ABC ME||0.7%||7mate||3.2%||GEM||2.8%||10 Peach||2.9%||Food Net||1.2%|
|ABC 2||2.8%||7TWO||3.9%||GO!||5.1%||10 Bold||1.7%||VICELAND||1.5%|
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||4.0%||GEM||3.2%||10 Peach||2.5%||Food Net||1.2%|
|ABC 2||2.7%||7TWO||2.1%||GO!||3.3%||10 Bold||2.5%||VICELAND||0.6%|
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||3.0%||GEM||2.3%||10 Peach||2.8%||Food Net||0.9%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC 2||2.9%||7TWO||2.4%||GO!||3.6%||WIN Bold||2.1%||VICELAND||0.8%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||2.4%||GEM||5.0%||WIN Peach||2.5%||Food Net||1.3%|
|ABC NEWS||1.4%||7flix||2.3%||9Life||2.2%||Sky News on WIN||0.3%||NITV||0.1%|
|SUNDAY METRO ALL TV|
Friday Top 10
Saturday Top 10
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
Google’s plans to create an audio news service similar to existing radio networks should alarm not just media companies but society as a whole, writes News Corp Australia executive chairman Michael Miller in The Australian.
The way the tech giant is pursuing its intentions demonstrates how it exploits its market power so selfishly, and highlights why regulators in the US, Europe and Australia are now focused on creating a fairer, more equitable digital landscape.
Over the past two decades, Google has caused severe destruction and disruption to the journalism business model.
Not a lot has been written about Google’s plans to change the way we listen to news but I believe it is time for media publishers to start taking notice and to take a stand.
Audio news is one of the new growth areas for media – smartphones and smart speakers are encouraging consumers to seek out information in different ways, and millions now listen to news and podcasts digitally in their homes, cars or on public transport.
Google intends to revolutionise how news is consumed on its smart speaker, Google Home, and AI-powered mobile app, Assistant.
Google has tried to portray its audio proposals as a collaboration with publishers on the future of audio news.
But it’s no collaboration if the process is one-sided and unfair.
Media companies cannot be sued over defamatory comments made by the public on their official Facebook pages if they are not aware the comments are there, a Sydney court has heard, reports The Australian’s Deborah Cornwall.
Barrister James Hmelnitsky SC told a landmark hearing in the NSW Supreme Court yesterday a defamation action filed against three Australian media companies by Dylan Voller, a former inmate of the notorious Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in Darwin, posed a critical and “novel” challenge for the courts.
Hmelnitsky, for the media companies, said his clients could not be held liable for 20 allegedly defamatory comments about Voller that appeared on their Facebook pages between late 2016 and mid-2017 because they had never seen them. Nor were they notified they were there.
The media outlets being sued include The Australian, Sky News, The Bolt Report, The Centralian Advocate and The Sydney Morning Herald.
Network 10 chief executive Paul Anderson has put on a brave face after a difficult summer period saying the free-to-air broadcaster had “dodged a bullet” by not buying the cricket rights and was “thrilled” about the network’s performance so far this year, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke.
Seven West Media and News Corp’s Foxtel knocked out other media companies with a $1.2 billion multiyear joint deal last year for the rights to broadcast Test cricket, formerly on Nine Entertainment Co for four decades, and Big Bash League, which had become popular on Ten.
“In some ways, we’ve dodged a bullet because what’s proven now is that the audience has become extremely fragmented across both platforms but when you add them both together they’re significantly back on last year. Which is really just a shame for cricket,” Anderson said.
One of the big changes last year – which Anderson calls a “housekeeping year” – was the launch of subscription video platform 10 All Access (alongside an upcoming redesign of on-demand app 10 Play and podcasting arm 10 Speaks).
Ten has not positioned it as a competitor to Netflix, however, Anderson said it was clear broadcasters were partly “morphing” into streaming businesses and regulators needed to make sure there was a level playing field particularly around quotas.
The AFR’s Street Talk reports former Domain chief executive Antony Catalano is casting his eye over Nine’s regional publishing assets, which it inherited as part of last year’s mega deal. Nine owns 60% of Domain.
Sources said Catalano, who was spotted in Nine’s Melbourne HQ in January, has had an initial look at Australian Community Media, which includes titles such as The Newcastle Herald, The Canberra Times and the Illawarra Mercury.
With more than two decades of experience in and around Fairfax Media, Catalano has a lot of insight into his former company’s assets.
And he’s been making a number of investments in the real estate media space since leaving Domain, including purchasing a stake in Tomorrow Agency/Media Plus, one of Domain’s biggest advertising clients.
Sky News, Harvey Norman and Sony Music are teaming up with some of the country’s biggest music stars as part of the Paul Murray Live Our Town broadcast initiative touring the country in 2019.
Paul Murray Live Our Town will see the #1 Sky News program and its host Paul Murray visit 10 regional locations in 10 months, celebrating the uniqueness of each town while hearing from residents about the issues and challenges facing Australia’s heartland.
First stop on the Paul Murray Live tour is Toowoomba with the special episode broadcasting on Wednesday February 20 from 9pm AEDT on Sky News Live on Foxtel and on regional free-to-air channel Sky News on WIN.
As part of the initiative, principal partner Harvey Norman is joining forces with the Country Women’s Association (CWA) to help raise funds for families in those towns and nearby regions who are in need whether it be due to drought, flood, fire or other issues that have impacted on the area.
Katie Page, Harvey Norman CEO, said: “The Harvey Norman brand is in over 110 country towns Australia-wide. Through our franchisees we see first-hand how every rural city and town has a different profile and unique community experience. We are proud to partner with Paul Murray Live Our Town for 2019 – so together we can give these vital cities and towns the national platform they deserve.
“The first stop on the 10-stop tour is Toowoomba, Harvey Norman has been operating in this thriving regional city since 1988. Our franchisees and their staff are part of the local business and social networks. We know through our franchisees, their staff and associates that the surrounding districts have been hit hard by the drought. We will partner with the Country Women’s Association in every district on the Our Town tour to understand where we can make a lasting contribution to the women and children of the local area. Every town will be different, but we will leave it up to the experts – the CWA and our franchisees and their staff – to determine how we deliver real support.”
In each episode host Paul Murray will be joined by a Sony Music artist who will give a live, on location performance and interview during the broadcast. Artists joining the tour will include some of Australia’s biggest names in music and rising stars including Conrad Sewell, Jessica Mauboy, Samantha Jade, Daryl Braithwaite and Dami Im. Acclaimed country-music star Adam Harvey will join Paul Murray for the first Our Town show in Toowoomba.
Denis Handlin, Chairman & CEO, Australia & New Zealand and president, Asia, Sony Music Entertainment, commented: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Sky News and Paul Murray Live for this exciting new series, Our Town. This monthly show will be an enriching and emotional experience for both our artists and the people of regional Australia. We look forward to working with Paul Whittaker, Paul Murray and the brilliant team at Sky News to bring the power of our artists and their music to the communities that are very much the backbone of Australia.”
In a partnership first for Harvey Norman and Sony Music, the sponsorship extends across Sky News-owned assets including integrated broadcast content with amplification across Sky News digital and social platforms.
Paul Whittaker, Sky News chief executive, said: “We’re thrilled to have two leading brands partner with Sky News to bring Paul Murray Live Our Town to life. Together with Harvey Norman and Sony Music, this tour will not only have a positive impact on the local communities we visit, it will be must-watch TV.”
Paul Murray added: “I’m excited and honoured that organisations of the class and standing of Harvey Norman and Sony Music are backing us up for Our Town. They, like Sky News, are both deeply invested in the communities, little towns and big cities that make Australia the special place this is. We are all committed to making this a celebration of those places and a night to remember in every town we are showcasing. I can’t thank Katie Page and Denis Handlin enough for their passion and drive to make Our Town something special.”
Nearly 11 years after Q&A first burst on to our TV screens, host Tony Jones has confirmed to The Australian the ABC’s worst-kept secret: that he will reluctantly give up his role as the show’s main host before the year is out, reports Nick Tabakoff.
Jones will head to Asia with his wife, departing Four Corners host Sarah Ferguson, to accompany her in her new role as the ABC’s China bureau chief.
“I love doing Q&A,” Jones tells The Australian. “But going to China is an opportunity that is too good to miss.”
Jones is still negotiating a few short stints on Q&A for 2020 and beyond, which ABC insiders say could mean up to 15 shows for him next year.
10’s new Australian contemporary mystery series My Life Is Murder commences filming in Melbourne today, Monday February 11.
Leading the cast is Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess, Spartacus, The Code) as Alexa Crowe, a compelling, charismatic and complex homicide detective.
Fearless and unapologetic, Alexa’s unique insights into the darker quirks of human nature allow her to prod, provoke and push every felon’s right and wrong buttons as she unravels the truth behind the most baffling and bizarre crimes.
Joining Lawless and rounding out the power trio behind the My Life Is Murder throne are Bernard Curry (Home and Away, Wentworth) and newcomer and NIDA graduate Ebony Vagulans.
Network 10’s head of drama Rick Maier said: “A star vehicle for Lucy, the best actors in the country guesting each week and Bernie and Ebony completing the dream cast for this dream project. Should be a ton of fun.”
CJZ’s head of drama development Claire Tonkin said: “What a joy to be working with Lucy, Bernard and Ebony, a spectacular guest cast and a creative team of this calibre as we bring these characters and stories to life.”
My Life Is Murder is a CJZ production for Network 10.
Principle production investment from Network 10 in association with Screen Australia. Financed with support from Film Victoria.
International distribution will be handled by DCD Rights.
A sixth season of ITV Studios (ITVS) Australia’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! has been commissioned by Network 10 following a record-breaking fifth run which is still in production and will air its finale on 17 February.
Created in the UK by ITV Studios Entertainment, I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! has run for 18 seasons on ITV winning multiple awards. Rounding out its most-watched season ever, the 18th season finale was the third highest-viewed program (live TV Viewing) across the entire of 2018 (behind two World Cup fixtures) with a peak audience of 12.1m and a 56% share.
The number one entertainment show in Germany also, I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! recently enjoyed its 13th successful run on RTL, peaking with 6.4m viewers.
Produced in a total of 12 territories worldwide a new season of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! will go into production for TF1 by ITV Studios France in the coming months.
Listen to 10’s chief content officer Beverley McGarvey talk about Celebrity here.
The BBC has commissioned three major series on the natural world, as it fights to stop staff who make its popular natural history shows – including David Attenborough – being poached by deep-pocketed rival Netflix, reports The Guardian.
Perfect Planet, Frozen Planet II and Planet Earth III will be shown on the BBC over the coming years, building on the success of 2017’s enormously popular Blue Planet II, which helped push the issue of plastic recycling to the top of the political agenda.
The announcement comes after senior staff left the BBC’s Natural History Unit, lured to the commercial sector by the prospect of working for rapidly-growing streaming services, which can offer bigger budgets.
Attenborough, who is synonymous with the BBC’s natural history output, has already agreed to provide the voiceover for a forthcoming Netflix series named Our Planet which is due to be released in April and has involved 600 crew members filming for four years around the world.
Despite its name, the program, produced by former Natural History Unit staff, is not part of the official BBC Planet series and the similarity is thought to have angered the corporation’s bosses.
Brendan Fevola has emerged as The Footy Show’s ultimate survivor and will have a significant role in Channel 9’s yet to be announced new footy-tainment offering, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne.
Fevola is part-way through a two-year deal with Nine and, while the network is yet to confirm the line-up for its new show, to go head to head with Channel 7’s The Front Bar, Fevola will be one of the panellists.
Footy tragic turned polo commentator Anthony “Lehmo” Lehmann has tested for the show and was spotted back at Nine last week, suggesting he is firming as a favourite for one of the other roles on the show.