Not many broadcasters hold launch parties for programs these days, but Seven has maintained its tradition of a January function to celebrate the start of a new season of My Kitchen Rules.
The venue for these events change each year. With Seven head office recently relocated to Sydney’s inner-west, it made sense to be nearby. The launch function this year was held at Acre Eatery at Camperdown Commons.
Master of ceremonies this year was Seven veteran Larry Emdur. He started hosting duties by telling the assembled audience of media, Seven stars and executives plus MKR contestants that he once had an idea for a cooking show.
“I went to Seven chief executive Tim Worner and asked if I could pitch him an idea. When he invited me in I told him the show would be called The Rice Is Right. Competing teams would steam rice and the best rice wins.”
The look on Worner’s face indicated he still didn’t think much of the idea.
Emdur then talked about what a success a good idea for a cooking show had become over the past decade – over 420 MKR episodes so far with the show being seen in over 160 countries.
He then called hosts Pete Evans and Manu Feildel onstage and discussed what they have in store for season 10. He later asked Colin Fassnidge to join them.
They reminisced how the series had started life with just 15 episodes in season one and had subsequently grown to close to 50 for each of the past few years. Evans and Feildel have been hosts throughout the journey, with Fassnidge joining in 2013.
CEO Tim Worner led the Seven team, joined by chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette and key leaders from the sales team. They hosted agency and client guests including people from Wavemaker, Coles, Virgin and Finder. Also from head office was Seven’s commercial director Bruce McWilliam, publicity guru’s Susan E Wood and Kate Amphlett plus head of corporate affairs Stephen Browning.
The key executives behind the success of My Kitchen Rules were also on hand. The program started under executive producer Rikki Proost who went on to help launch the format internationally as Seven’s head of unscripted. He returned for season 10 in a more hands-on role.
Guiding the series are executive producers Joe Herdman and David Dutton.
Seven had four of the teams from this year to meet guests, and they looked like they’d already had good media training as they worked the room.
Seven talent out to support the 10th season included Sunrise’s David Koch and Sam Armytage. Kochie was with his wife Libby as they celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary this month.
Also on hand were Melissa Doyle and Matt Doran from Sunday Night, Sally Bowrey plus Ada Nicodemou, Emily Symons and James Stewart from Home and Away.
Top Photo: Seven CEO Tim Worner with MKR host Manu Feildel, chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette and Therese Hegarty, director content distribution & rights
Cast and crew will be marching to celebrate equality and inclusiveness, and to thank the LGBTQI community. Neighbours will also have a presence at Mardi Gras’ community event, Fair Day.
In 2018 Neighbours made history with the first same-sex marriage for an Australian television drama following the landmark change to the Marriage Act when its much-loved characters Aaron (Matt Wilson) and David (Takaya Honda) took their vows. Their wedding celebrant was played by marriage equality activist and legendary comedian/actress Magda Szubanski.
Chris Oliver-Taylor, CEO Asia Pacific, Fremantle, said: “This is such an important moment for Fremantle and Neighbours. We are elated to be a partner of Mardi Gras and to proudly share our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusiveness. We’re humbled by the opportunity to celebrate with the LGBTQI community.”
Terese Casu, CEO, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to see LGBTQI representation on one of Australia’s most iconic TV shows, Neighbours. It’s so important that our community are able to see themselves in popular culture, and we’re looking forward of course to seeing the Mardi Gras Parade become a part of the Neighbours cannon.”
Jason Herbison, executive producer, Neighbours, said: “Everyone is welcome on Ramsay Street. We can’t wait to stand among our brothers and sisters at Mardi Gras and share our commitment to equality. Television is powerful and we’ll also be filming a storyline around the parade. Love is love and it’s here to stay on Neighbours.”
Fremantle noted a unique and ground-breaking element of the Neighbours and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras partnership will be the opportunity for Neighbours to shoot scenes during the Parade festivities for a storyline that will feature in upcoming episodes. This will be amazing show content for Neighbours and showcase Mardi Gras to Neighbours’ global audience.
Neighbours introduced the first regular gay character to Ramsay Street in 2011 and has maintained diversity in the regular cast ever since, currently with three core characters from the LGBTQI community.
Top Photo: Neighbours couple David (Takaya Honda) and Aaron (Matt Wilson)
Animal Planet has greenlit season two of Crikey! It’s The Irwins, as announced on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in New York overnight.
The series shares the work of the Irwin family – Terri, Bindi and Robert – as they continue Steve Irwin’s mission to bring people closer to animals and inspire people to become Wildlife Warriors, with their messages of wildlife conservation.
Their aim is to ensure an abundance of wildlife for generations to come. The season one finale of Crikey! It’s The Irwins will air in Australia, Saturday 2 February at 6.30pm.
“I’m so excited for the opportunity to film season two of Crikey! It’s the Irwins with Animal Planet,” said Terri Irwin. “I am incredibly honoured to be continuing Steve’s legacy and to be encouraging everyone to take a stand to help protect wildlife and wild places.”
“Our audiences have a front row seat for the Irwin family’s wildlife adventures, immersed in the sights and sounds of so many incredible animals,” said Susanna Dinnage, global president of Animal Planet. “We are delighted to be sharing their new and inspiring stories later this year with viewers all over the world.”
In the first season on Crikey! It’s The Irwins, audiences met a wide range of animals including a giraffe named Scarlett whom Terri transported 2,000km to participate in a breeding program – part of Australia Zoo’s conservation efforts; Cedar, a rescue koala that gave birth to a rare set of twin joeys, closely watched and cared for by Bindi and the team; and Graham, a huge crocodile originally rescued by Steve.
After months of croc-wrangling training, Robert finally got to feed Graham live at the Crocoseum at Australia Zoo, to the delight of visitors. The show also documented the family travelling to South Africa on visits to Balule and Entabeni Game Reserves; the Great Barrier Reef; and to the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve on Queensland’s Cape York for an annual crocodile research trip.
Crikey! It’s The Irwins launched globally on Animal Planet in more than 205 countries and territories and reached an estimated global audience of 36.2m – more than any other globally launched Animal Planet series.
The series is produced for Animal Planet by Sydney-based Eureka Productions, a company founded by TV producers Paul Franklin and Chris Culvenor.
The Walking Dead has been named the most in-demand TV show in the world for 2018 at Parrot Analytics’ Global TV Demand Awards.
At the NATPE Miami international content market and conference this week, Parrot Analytics, the global TV analytics firm, announced that The Walking Dead was the most in-demand TV series in the world for 2018. The announcement was made during the inaugural Global TV Demand Awards. The Walking Dead cast members Josh McDermitt and Pollyanna McIntosh and producer Denise Huth were on hand to accept the award.
“This is the first time a TV series has been bestowed an award on the basis of true demand for that show globally. It’s a reflection of how radically content consumption has been impacted by technology,” said Adriana Cisneros, CEO, CISNEROS Media and board member of Parrot Analytics in her opening remarks.
“The TV business is now a $500 billion industry and outdated audience measurement systems simply don’t tell the complete story. Parrot Analytics provides the most accurate determination of what content people actually want in an ever-expanding multi-platform world. Global TV Demand Awards is a celebration of those content creators and distributors who are getting it right.”
“Parrot Analytics owns the world’s largest first-party content consumption dataset, enabling the company to award the most comprehensive global ‘people’s choice award’ ever given to a TV show,” said Wared Seger, CEO, Parrot Analytics.
In addition to the Most In-Demand Show in the World, Parrot Analytics also revealed that the Most In-Demand Digital Original Series in the World for 2018 was Stranger Things (Netflix).
The Global TV Demand Award winners were determined using Parrot Analytics’ global audience demand measurement system, the TV industry’s only system capable of measuring how much a TV series is wanted in 100+ markets around the world, across all platforms. The company captures over 1 billion new data points each day across the consumer activity spectrum, including video consumption (streaming and downloads), social media engagement (hashtags, liking, sharing) and research actions (reading about shows, writing about shows, etc.).
Meanwhile in the TV Demand charts for the week ending January 19, Game Of Thrones is now #1 in Australia and New Zealand on the Overall TV Show chart. Titans and Supernatural were new to the Australia chart this week.
Titans is #1 in both markets on the Digital Originals chart. The DC Universe series is available via Netflix in Australia and New Zealand. Supernatural in on Stan.
Moving up to second place is You which has been doing massive business for Netflix.
Also attracting a lot of attention is Sex Education from Netflix with the show #9 in Australia, but it has yet to chart in New Zealand.
• Nadal victory at Australian Open helps Nine keep top spot
• Day-night Test against Sir Lanka lifts Seven to week high
Week 4 2019 – Summer schedule – Thursday
By James Manning
FTA early evening TV news
• Seven News 923,000 and 807,000 (No Perth at 6.30pm)
• Nine News 814,000 and 793,000
• ABC News 621,000
• 10 News First 425,000
• SBS World News 122,000
• Breakfast TV
• Sunrise 255,000
• Today 194,000
• ABC News Breakfast 112,000
Day one of the first Test against Sri Lanka was not only good news for the Australian cricket team, but also the FTA broadcaster.
Seven’s primary share lifted to a week high of 20.9% – the previous best was Wednesday’s 15.5%.
The average metro audiences for the three Test sessions were as follows:
• Session 1: 301,000
• Session 2: 439,000
• Session 3: 596,000
After the cricket, Seven viewers got more cricket –a Big Bash League game for the West. Session numbers for the Sydney Thunder v Perth Scorchers clash were:
• Session 1: 490,000
• Session 2: 271,000
The channel faced its toughest competition so far this week as primary share was on 23.9%, still better than Wednesday though when the marquee match wrapped early. Last night Rafael Nadal became the first player through to the men’s open final on Sunday with his semifinal win. The average audience for Nine’s evening session was 831,000.
See separate features at mediaweek.com.au this week with a deeper dive into the Australian Open TV ratings from both weeks of the tournament.
I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! managed to average around 700,000 again despite primetime Test cricket and the Australian Open. The big question now is how many of the viewers who have invested their time over the first fortnight in the program will stay loyal when offered with MKR and MAFS next week.
Escape From The City did 337,000 after 8pm.
Grand Designs Australia was then on 297,000.
A repeat of Secrets Of The Manor House was the channel’s best on 154,000.
Later in the evening Vikings did 133,000.
|ABC 2||1.9%||7TWO||3.4%||GO!||3.1%||10 Bold||3.8%||VICELAND||1.0%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||3.1%||GEM||3.4%||10 Peach||2.0%||Food Net||1.1%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC 2||3.1%||7TWO||5.5%||GO!||3.8%||WIN Bold||3.5%||VICELAND||1.6%|
|ABC ME||0.9%||7mate||2.9%||GEM||6.5%||WIN Peach||1.9%||Food Net||1.4%|
|ABC NEWS||1.2%||7flix||2.6%||9Life||1.6%||Sky News on WIN||0.1%||NITV||0.3%|
|THURSDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top Five
18-49 Top Five
25-54 Top Five
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
Shane Brennan has been elected president by the Australian Writers’ Guild’s national executive committee, and will assume the office effective immediately.
Brennan has been a member of the Guild for almost 40 years and is best known as the creator and showrunner of NCIS: Los Angeles. Since returning from a 14-year stint in Hollywood, Brennan has set up the not-for-profit, writer-focused organisation Scripted Ink, now in its third year of operation. Brennan and his wife Cathryn have also been responsible for other philanthropic ventures, including co-funding the Guild’s David Williamson Prize.
“I’m deeply honoured to step into the position of Guild president,” said Brennan, who replaces Jan Sardi who stepped down in January 2019.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Jan on behalf of all Guild members for his outstanding service as president over the past eight years,” Brennan went on to say. “The Guild owes Jan an enormous debt of gratitude for his generosity, steady leadership and his unflinching resolve to stand up for the rights of writers.”
Group CEO Jacqueline Elaine welcomed Shane Brennan to the role of president and also acknowledged the extraordinary contribution of Jan Sardi to the writing community.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for the Guild,” Elaine said of the future. ‘The calibre and commitment of the board members and the writers they represent is what makes this Guild great and I am honoured and privileged to work alongside them.”
After eight years of outstanding service to his fellow AWG writers as president, Jan Sardi will continue to serve writers having recently been elected chair of the AWGACS board.
BuzzFeed is planning to lay off about 15% of its workforce, according to people familiar with the situation, as the company seeks to reorient itself in a shifting digital-media landscape, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The cuts could affect around 250 jobs, the people said. The firm, among the most high-profile digital-native publishers, also is looking to realign its resources to invest more in promising areas of the business like content licensing and e-commerce, one of the people said.
The news comes amid reports Verizon is planning to cut hundreds of jobs from its media division which includes the former internet stars Yahoo and AOL.
The source said the cuts amounting to 7% of the workforce are being made “to focus the business and realign teams” at the Verizon Media unit, which also includes news sites such as HuffPost, TechCrunch and Engadget.
The exact number of cuts was not clear, but the Wall Street Journal said it would amount to around 800 positions at the unit, which was rebranded as Verizon Media after a brief period in which it had been branded as Oath.
The BBC is considering Brussels as the location for a new EU base after Brexit to allow it to continue to broadcast across the continent, reports The Guardian.
Belgium’s prime minister, Charles Michel, has disclosed that he held discussions on the possibility in Davos with the BBC’s director general, Tony Hall.
“Belgium is often on the shortlist of companies eager to anchor in the European Union after Brexit,” Michel said from the Swiss town hosting the World Economic Forum.
It is understood that the BBC is also looking at the Netherlands and Ireland as potential sites for the new offshoot.
The BBC will need EU-based licences for its international channels – which include BBC World, BBC Entertainment, BBC First, and BBC Earth – if it wishes to have them broadcast across the rest of Europe either after 29 March, if the UK leaves without a deal, or after the transition period, should Theresa May’s agreement be approved by parliament.
Julie Bishop yesterday said visiting American fashion icon Anna Wintour had made some “pretty pertinent points” after the powerful media executive launched an extraordinary attack on Scott Morrison and Australian tennis legend Margaret Court over gay rights, reports The Australian’s Glynis Traill-Nash and Joe Kelly.
While the former foreign minister backed the famously demanding fashion editor, Tony Abbott defended the Prime Minister, saying Wintour had her “facts wrong” and gave “ignorant lectures”.
“Like so many of you, I have been alarmed by your Prime Minister’s record on LGBTQ rights, which seems backward in all senses,” the British-born editor said in a keynote speech at the Australian Open Inspiration Series brunch.
She said the rest of the world “sang in celebration” with Australia at the passing of same-sex marriage two years ago, but singled out Mr Morrison over the rights of same-sex and transgender children in schools.
Chris Kenny comments in The Australian:
Anna Wintour, unknown to many of us until yesterday, is a legend in the world of fashion and obviously wanted to impress her Australian audience with her chic take on our body politic.
Perhaps she was informed by fashion writers or took her views from The Guardian, but whatever her excuse, her claims about expelling gay students from Australian schools were top-grade fake news.
Anna Wintour should get her own house in order before lecturing Australia, writes News Corp’s Miranda Devine.
The Vogue America editor-in-chief has been here five minutes and she’s lecturing us like some dowager duchess come to the colonies to instruct the natives on etiquette.
For a snob who fancies herself as the style queen of the world, Wintour couldn’t have been ruder when she attacked one of our greatest tennis champions.
Like all preening moralists, Wintour is playing a game of psychological projection. She criticises others to hide her own flaws. Ignore her.
New research commissioned by BBC Global News provides valuable insight into the population’s sentiment towards local media content and the news that’s available to them, according to the broadcaster.
The study reveals that 74% of Australians believe that there has been an increase in agenda driven news over the last five years, with 59% now worried that this will lead to a loss of impartial journalism and credible news.
The research found 87% of Australians think it is the media companies’ responsibility to give them news they can trust, yet 64% feel news organisations are more concerned with their own commercial objectives than they are with providing fair and impartial news to their audiences.
Jamie Angus, BBC World Service global editorial director, said: “Now more than ever, content is being influenced by various agendas, which isn’t just an issue in Australia, however a high percentage of Australians (68%) believe that some news organisations’ agendas are driven by governments, or commercial owners resulting in biased news coverage. This perception is driving concern among the public as to where they can obtain balanced, impartial news. The independence of our editorial at the BBC is critical and is embodied in our purpose and values, demonstrated by the separation of our editorial and commercial teams. It is imperative that Australian audiences continue to have access to trusted news sources which are vital to informed decision making and civil rest.”
The majority of all gender, state and age groups surveyed stated that there’s been an increase in agenda driven news sites in recent times, yet 42% also admitted that they weren’t always aware when a news organisation had an agenda.
Jay Savage, BBC Australia online editor, added: “Audiences shouldn’t have to feel ‘worried’ or ‘unsure’ about their news providers, which is what this research clearly reveals. The fact that 42% state that reporting seems biased to one side of the story, and 25% believe that reporting seems more sensational than factual, shows Australians do not fully trust the credibility of some of the content that is being offered to them.
“With younger audiences in particular growing more and more skeptical of media content, it’s essential that news providers focus on offering trustworthy stories, through high-quality, diverse journalism.”
Seven West Media’s My Kitchen Rules joins rare air this year as one of just a few current Australian reality TV shows to make it to 10 seasons, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
“Having a program where the finished take of the local version works really well for prime broadcasters who will pay internationally, as well as having local versions made, is a really healthy business model,” said Seven director of contribution and rights Therese Hegarty.
Seven wants to create more shows that resonate at home and can be sold widely abroad – but it’s no easy task. Hegarty said Seven Studios, which has grown its earnings before interest and tax to $56.1 million (nearly a quarter of the metropolitan broadcaster’s overall EBIT) is a core part of the company’s future strategy.
This year Seven has produced an additional MKR series, to be aired in the fourth quarter. Details are limited, but when asked whether there could be too much MKR in one year, executive producer Joe Herdman shrugged off any concerns.
“I think after 10 years we have a trusted brand – a brand people will tune in to. A lot of things have been taken into account,” he said.
If you thought the feud between Sam Dastyari and Pauline Hanson might have come to a peaceful end… well, you’re dead wrong, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Genevieve Rota.
In a quick behind-the-scenes chat with I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! campmate Shane Crawford on Thursday, Dastyari made it very clear he’s still no fan of the controversial Queensland senator, describing her politics as “very, very simple”.
When Crawford confirmed he did indeed like Pauline Hanson, Dastyari was quick to jump in and share his feelings.
“Oh, God,” he said. “I despise her with a passion.
“I actually made a rule. I don’t go on air with her anymore.”
Suits is hanging up its jacket and tie on USA Network, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
The NBCUniversal-owned basic cable network has renewed the legal drama from Aaron Korsh for an abbreviated ninth and final season. The final round of 10 episodes will air sometime in 2019.
The decision to wrap up the series starring Gabriel Macht arrives as showrunner/creator Korsh has Pearson, a spinoff fronted by original star Gina Torres. A premiere date for the spinoff has yet to be determined. The second half of season eight of – produced by Universal Cable Productions – premiered this week.
Suits becomes the latest network-defining scripted series to wrap this year, joining heavyweights including Game of Thrones, Orange Is the New Black, Veep and Big Bang Theory, among others.
The partnership of Ken “KG” Cunningham and Graham “Cornesy” Cornes will return to Fiveaa on the Saturday Sports Show from 9am on Saturday January 26 – Australia Day.
KG moved to Fiveaa in 1991, teaming initially with David Hookes (KG and Hookesy’s Sports Show, 1991–1994) and then with Graham Cornes (KG and Cornesy’s Sports Show, 1995–2008). KG and Cornesy’s drive sports program dominated the Adelaide airwaves for over 13 years. The duo were synonymous with covering all sport, especially South Australian teams, and the return of their partnership will see all the passion and parochialism of everything sport on Saturdays on Fiveaa.
KG said: “I am just so excited and can’t wait to get back on air with my old mate, Studley … looking forward to Saturday!”
Saturday Sports Show with KG & Cornesy starts 9am – 12noon on Saturday 26th January.
Triple J’s Hottest 100 is the countdown that brings Australia together – even if the date it airs on divides the nation, comments News Corp’s Cameron Adams.
Last year, the national broadcaster moved what is officially the world’s biggest music poll from January 26 after a majority of their listeners told them they preferred a more inclusive date.
Make no mistake, the Hottest 100 is event radio. In a world where people listen more and more to podcasts than live radio and streaming services effectively let you be your own radio station, event radio is a big deal.
Commercial radio would kill to have the engagement Triple J and the Hottest 100 have with their audience.
Triple M even tried to launch a rival Hottest 100 last year on Australia Day, the “Ozzest 100”. The station stated: “The taxpayer funded (Triple J) has decided that there’ll be no soundtrack for Australia Day. Let’s face it, that’s usually full of hipster or kids making music on a Mac (computer).”
This year, they’re playing it safer with their Ultimate Aussie BBQ Soundtrack all weekend rather than a countdown and other stations seemed to have bypassed the countdown option – smooth FM start a Feel Good Favourites! listener-voted countdown on Monday.