Mediaweek editor James Manning’s highlights from the fourth GfK Radio Ratings survey of 2018.
• 2GB and WSFM strengthen their hold and remain market leaders
• Kyle & Jackie O remain #1 FM, but drive hurts KIIS share
• 3AW and Gold keep top spots, Fox stays in the hunt
• Listeners warm to Christian O’Connell’s new Gold breakfast
• Nova holds at #1 10+ and in breakfast as 97.3 backs off
• Mix holds top spot, but Penbo and Will take over breakfast
• Shoot-out in the West sees Nova #1 overall and in breakfast
Top photo: Gold’s Jack Post and Christian O’Connell (credit: SDP Media)
By James Manning
The joint 9Go!/9Now commission saw the show’s cross-platform audience nationally average 511,000 across television and digital driven by Nine’s audience-first approach. The tradition TV average audience was just over 250,000 while the video player measurement (VPM) audience was just under 250,000. When people watched live they chose the TV with just an average of 16,000 for VPM live.
According to Nine data Love Island Australia smashed previous records for digital with episode one now passing the 300,000 mark on 9Now. There were also more than 20 episodes with 200,000+ viewers on 9Now and some episodes recorded more than 60% of their combined overnight/BVOD (broadcast video on demand) audience via digital. The program also set records for live streaming numbers, in some instances exceeding 10% of the linear TV audience.
Nine program director Hamish Turner explained to Mediaweek why he and his team were trumpeting their success with the format so loudly: “The reason we are pushing it hard is because initially some people weren’t sure how to approach it. It was a co-commission for 9Go! and 9Now. There was an educational process that needed to take place in order to explain who the audience was and where they were watching.
• How a student completing year 12 in Sydney landed a major supporting role in HBO drama
By James Manning
The launching pad for Foxtel’s new drama strategy (see below) is the new HBO series, Sharp Objects, from the director of Big Little Lies – Jean-Marc Vallée.
One of the key cast members is relatively unknown 19-year-old Australian actress Eliza Scanlen.
The psychological thriller stars five-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams and based on the novel of the same name by bestselling author Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl), premiered on Foxtel’s showcase channel this week.
Sharp Objects co-stars Patricia Clarkson, Chris Messina, Elizabeth Perkins and Matt Craven alongside Scanlen.
Speaking to Mediaweek in Sydney shortly before the launch, Scanlen said: “My character Anna is a 15-year-old girl living in Wind Gap, the half-sister of Camille [Amy Adams], who is the journalist who returns to her hometown to write about mystery murders. Anna is troubled and suffers from issues at home where her mother is very doting. Anna wants to explore her womanhood and that leads her to do that outside of her home. She has a dual personality – at home she is quite demure and docile and abides by what her mother tells her to do. When she’s away from home she is precocious and rebellious and gets involved in things that are less than savoury.”
Foxtel has announced what it labels a bold new programming strategy, which will see a new or returning drama series launch every single week.
The move highlights the incredible lineup of television drama available to Foxtel customers, both on demand and across its suite of linear channels.
Foxtel said the announcement secures the platform as Australia’s home of drama, featuring a collection of brand new scripted drama series from Australia and around the world.
Kicking off the new strategy is the much-anticipated HBO series Sharp Objects, starring multi-Oscar nominee Amy Adams, and from the director of the Emmy Award-winning series Big Little Lies.
Foxtel’s director of channels Stephen Baldwin said: “Foxtel is the home of must-watch drama series and we are committed to bringing our customers a diverse range of content, both locally and from around the world.
“Our partnerships with HBO, FX, BBC and many other renowned distributors enable us to provide our customers with an exciting new drama series every week of the year, via our streaming service and linear channels.”
The weekly drama lineup commences with the following:
HBO’s highly anticipated thriller series Sharp Objects premieres this week, streaming on demand and screening on showcase on Mondays at 11am, with a primetime encore at 8.30pm. Starring Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson and Australia’s own Eliza Scanlen in her breakout role as Adams’s half-sister, the eight-part series, based on the book by Gillian Flynn (bestselling author of Gone Girl) tells the story of reporter Camille Preaker (Adams) who returns to her small hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri to cover the murders of two young girls. Trying to put together a psychological puzzle from her past, she finds herself identifying with the young victims a bit too closely.
The eighth season of hit legal drama series Suits launches on July 19, screening on Universal TV on Thursdays at 8.30pm. Joining the series this season is Katherine Heigl, who stars as powerhouse attorney Samantha Wheeler. Suits centres on a Manhattan corporate law firm led by legendary lawyer Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), his intelligent but delicate partner, Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman) and secretary-turned-COO Donna Paulsen (Sarah Rafferty). After surviving leadership turmoil and the loss of key partners, the trio continue to tackle top corporate cases with the support of formidable Alex Williams (Dule Hill) and the talented Katrina Bennett (Amanda Schull). After muscling her way into the firm, Samantha Wheeler (Heigl) joins the ranks and challenges the status quo.
Brand new drama series Patrick Melrose starring Oscar-nominee Benedict Cumberbatch premieres on July 23, screening on BBC First on Mondays at 9.30pm. This five-part series is based on the acclaimed novels by Edward St Aubyn and tracks Patrick Melrose (Cumberbatch) from a privileged but deeply traumatic childhood in the South of France, through severe substance abuse in his 20s in New York and ultimately, towards recovery back home in Britain. At once harrowing and hilarious, Cumberbatch stars as the troubled, titular character.
The latest instalment in Ryan Murphy’s hit series, American Horror Story: Cult, launches on July 26. Screening on showcase on Thursdays at 8.30pm, the whole season can also be watched in its entirety on demand from July 26. The 11-part horror drama stars Sarah Paulson, Billie Lourde, Evan Peters and guest stars include Lena Dunham. The series is set in the fictional city of Brookfield Heights – a city that is left divided by the 2016 presidential election. Local resident Ally (Sarah Paulson) is distraught about Trump’s victory, while fellow resident Kai (Evan Peters) rejoices at the results. In the months following, Kai begins running for city government, while Ally is terrorized by masked clowns. Those close to her struggle to decide whether the attacks she alleges are real or merely anxiety-fuelled hallucinations.
The sixth season of the hit series Orange Is The New Black starts on July 27, streaming on demand and screening on showcase on Fridays at 5.00pm. The series follows engaged Brooklynite Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), whose decade-old relationship with a drug runner, Alex (Laura Prepon), results in her arrest and a 15-month-long detention in a federal penitentiary. To pay her debt to society, Piper must trade her comfortable New York life for an orange prison jumpsuit and a baffling prison culture where she is forced to question everything she believes about herself and the world at large.
Brand new 10-part fantasy series Siren premieres on July 30, streaming on demand and screening on Fox8 on Mondays at 8.30pm. Legend has it that Bristol Cove was once home to mermaids. Now, this coastal town has a mysterious new visitor named Ryn (Eline Powell), who may prove the stories to be true. Ryn catches the eye of local marine biologist Ben (Alex Roe), while other townfolk become suspicious of the new resident. The battle between man and sea then takes a dangerous route, as these predators seek to claim their birthright.
The third season of animated HBO series Animals premieres on August 7, streaming on demand and screening on The Comedy Channel on Tuesdays at 9.00pm. The brand new instalment in the edgy half-hour series focuses on the downtrodden creatures native to Earth’s least habitable environment: New York City. Whether it’s lovelorn rats, gender-questioning pigeons or ageing bedbugs in the midst of a midlife crisis, the awkward small talk, moral ambiguity and existential woes of non-human urbanites prove startlingly similar to our own.
Fear the Walking Dead 4B, the second half of the series’ fourth season, launches on August 13, streaming on demand and screening on showcase on Mondays at 1.30pm with a primetime encore at 7.30pm. In the back half of the season, the characters will explore who they are now – as individuals and as part of the greater group – and how they will forge ahead. They will find themselves pitted against new adversaries – human, walker, and even nature itself. Theirs will be a journey wrought with danger, love, heartbreak, loss, and ultimately, hope. The series stars Lennie James, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Colman Domingo, Maggie Grace and Jenna Elfman.
The sixth and final season of Foxtel’s hugely popular drama series A Place to Call Home premieres on August 19, streaming on demand and screening on showcase on Sundays at 8.30pm. The 10-episode season will take the much-loved characters into 1960 and will be brought to life by award-winning actresses Marta Dusseldorp and Noni Hazlehurst, along with Brett Climo, Abby Earl, Craig Hall, Sara Wiseman, Tim Draxl, Frankie J Holden, Deborah Kennedy, Arianwen Parkes-Lockwood and David Berry.
Top photo: Amy Adams in Sharp Objects
• Cooks causing chaos: MasterChef closes in on Ninja Warrior
• Nine’s biggest property drops again for second 2018 episode
By James Manning
Lots of promos for the new week of Home And Away. After a week 27 average of 720,000, the new week started on 723,000.
On House Rules Josh and Brandon topped the leaderboard with 31 after episode 38. They had the smallest of leads over Mel and Dave just a point behind. After 835,000 on Sunday, the Monday episode was on 768,000. A week ago the Monday episode did 851,000.
Leila McKinnon was hosting A Current Affair and she had an interview with Beaconsfield miner Todd Russell about being trapped underground. After a week 27 average audience of 737,000, the new week started on 855,000.
It was another night of many disappointments on Australian Ninja Warrior. Zoe Featonby made it further than any other female last night, but she crashed out into the water after just one minute on the course. After a 2018 launch audience of 929,000 episode two was down to 831,000. It seems the big numbers from last year could become a memory unless there is some surprise turnaround.
The Project covered the Thailand cave rescues and then spoke with Perth pop star Troye Sivan about his music and famous friends. After a week 27 average of 490,000, the 7pm half of the program was on 559,000.
The MasterChef challenge was TV dinners as the episode came very close to knocking off episode two of Ninja Warrior. MasterChef was a clear winner in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. The metro audience was 830,000, down from 873,000 a week ago.
Have You Been Paying Attention? dropped week-on-week too. After 809,000 in week 27, it did 696,000 last night. Both TEN programs after 7.30pm however were clear leaders in all key demos.
Back Roads had another guest presenter as ABC News presenter Joe O’Brien visited the tiny Queensland town of Thallon. The episode did 619,000.
Four Corners was called Off Track for an episode about Australia’s horse racing industry. The episode was hosted and reported by a busy Michael Brissenden. After 614,000 last week, the episode did 530,000.
Media Watch then looked at NW magazine talking to a number of former staff who talked about fabricating stories and images, or as Media Watch put it, “more cheating and lies from NW magazine”. The episode did 447,000.
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||4.3%||GEM||3.6%||ELEVEN||2.1%||Food Net||0.7%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||Ten Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||4.8%||GEM||5.2%||ELEVEN||2.3%||Food Net||0.7%|
|MONDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top 5
18-49 Top 5
25-54 Top 5
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
Casino billionaire James Packer has quit the board of his family investment company, Consolidated Press Holdings, as he continues his struggle with mental-health problems, report The Australian’s Ben Butler and Damon Kitney.
His decision leaves the company, which was founded by Packer’s father Kerry, without a member of the family on the board for the first time since at least 1960.
“Mr Packer has stepped off the CPH board as he continues his recovery,” a CPH spokesman said.
It follows his departure from the board of his casino company, Crown, in late May, because he was “suffering from mental-health issues”, and caps five years of personal and business turmoil.
Despite the name, CPH has had little to do with publishing since 2007, when Packer sold media holdings, including the Nine network, to private-equity group CVC Asia Pacific.
CPH holds Packer’s 46.1%stake in Crown, worth $3.2bn, and his half of the family’s rural spread, Ellerston, in the Hunter Valley, where his father is buried.
Former Labor powerbroker Graham Richardson and former Labor leader Mark Latham have traded insults in an fiery exchange on live television, reports The Australian’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.
As panellists on the Paul Murray Live program on Sky News, Richardson said Latham’s former Labor supporters would be “rolling in their graves” and called him a “king rat” and a “shyster”.
“You don’t believe anything that comes out of the Labor Party any more – the party that built you, the party that made you. Those people in Green Valley who contributed to you when you were going to university, they’re either rolling in their graves or they’re shaking their heads if they’re still alive,” Richardson said.
Angry viewers have led a boycott of Seven’s Sunday Night around the hashtag #NotMyAustralia, over a segment about African gangs “wreaking havoc” in Victoria, reports Fairfax Media’s Robert Moran.
The Sunday Night story was described as “racist propaganda” by online commenters, with some even shaming corporate advertisers who aired commercials during the segment.
“Barely a week goes by when they’re not in the news. African gangs running riot, terrorising, robbing, wreaking havoc,” went presenter Alex Cullen’s fiery opening, blaming “political correctness” for police reluctance to “admit there’s a problem”.
When Fairfax Media reached out to Seven for comment, the network stated it was happy with how the show came across. “Sunday Night stands by every element of the story published in last night’s program,” the statement read.
Another day, another searing Karl Stefanovic tabloid slap-down, reports News Corp.
The outspoken Today co-host has this time taken aim at Australian women’s magazine Woman’s Day, calling out the publication for printing false stories and being “bullies”.
“Another week another BS cover. Enough is enough,” Stefanovic, 43, wrote on Instagram, alongside a picture of the latest cover, featuring him and fiancée Jasmine Yarbrough.
The latest take-down comes after the weekly magazine, published by Bauer Media, claimed that Stefanovic’s bosses at Channel 9 banned Yarbrough from walking the Logies red carpet with him.
“Jas was invited to the Logies and the red carpet by Nine. We had a wonderful time. These mags are bullies, hurtful and always wrong. Pls stop [sic],” he wrote.
Web series Sheilas, created by Hannah and Eliza Reilly, will launch its premiere episode on YouTube and www.sheilas.tv on Tuesday August 21.
The four-part online series has been funded under Screen Australia’s Gender Matters: Brilliant Stories initiative that recognises, celebrates and supports storytelling by women and gives female Australian creators a platform for growth. It is the first Gender Matters project to go into production.
Combining re-enactments, comedy and history, Sheilas sees the series’ creators, writers, directors and sisters – Hannah and Eliza Reilly (pictured – Growing Up Gracefully, ABC TV) – on a mission to revive the forgotten stories of the badass women of Australian history.
Sheilas showcases the tales of four daring, pioneering, tough-titted ladies who hiked up their petticoats and fly-kicked down the doors of opportunity for modern Australia – Nancy Wake, Mary Ann Bugg, Merle Thornton and Fanny Durack.
Each of the four episodes has been crafted with a unique feminist perspective that sets out to educate, inform and inspire young people (and the young at heart).
Sheilas is a Giant Dwarf production for YouTube and www.sheilas.tv. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with Giant Dwarf.
Could there two different series making their mark on the TV Demand charts this week?
The Handmaid’s Tale has taken over this week as the final episode looms in markets around the world after it screens in the US on July 11. The MGM Television production now sits at #1 on the Digital Originals charts in Australia and New Zealand, and it is also #1 on the Overall TV chart in New Zealand. The only place it hasn’t topped the chart is on the Overall TV chart in Australia, but it got close, sitting at #2. The series has topped the Digital Originals chart in both markets for three successive weeks.
The final week of Love Island Australia has seen the ITV production for the Nine Network jump to #1 on the Overall TV chart in Australia and it sits at #2 in New Zealand. Both the Australian and UK versions are top three in both countries.
On 8 June 2018, Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) announced that Southern Cross Television in Tasmania would be renamed Seven Tasmania from July 1, 2018, the company has noted in a release. That won’t be happening now as it explains:
Due to unforeseen circumstances and subsequent contractual negotiations with Seven, SCA has altered the timeline. However, changes will be fulfilled imminently.
As part of the original rebrand strategy, it was stated that the local news bulletin, Southern Cross News Tasmania, would be renamed Seven News Tasmania. SCA would like to inform viewers that this will not be happening. A new name for the news service will be announced in due course.
House of Cards star Robin Wright has broken her silence on the subject of the show’s sacking of actor Kevin Spacey last year, reports Fairfax Media’s Michael Idato.
“Kevin and I knew each other between action and cut and in between setups where we would giggle,” Wright told the US Today show. “I didn’t really, I didn’t know the man.”
It is the first time Wright has spoken publicly about the Spacey scandal.
“We were coworkers, really,” Wright said. “We never socialised outside of work.”
The 52-year-old Dallas-born actress said the two costars shared a “respectful, professional relationship”.
“He was so great with me, he was never disrespectful to me, so that’s my personal experience,” she said. “That’s the only thing that I feel I have the right to talk about.”
Since the scandal broke, Wright confirmed to the Today program she had not communicated with Spacey.
“I haven’t heard from him and I don’t even know how to reach him,” she said.