Friday November 27, 2020

Farewell Friday: Eddie, Darc, Byron sign off from Melbourne’s SCA

The final day of radio ratings for 2020 means the last day of the year for most metro FM radio shows around the country. Some of the AM shows continue for at least another week.

For some broadcasters it was not just their final shows of the year, but their final shows for the time being as stations refresh their breakfast offerings.

The biggest changes in one market have been made by Southern Cross Austereo at its Melbourne stations where after a challenging year Triple M is replacing its breakfast show and The Fox is changing a team member.

There has been no detail yet about a show to replace The Hot Breakfast, despite speculation Marty Sheargold could be part of the plan. Guests on the final show with Eddie McGuire, Luke Darcy and Rosie included Lindsay Fox and former team member Mick Molloy. Last song on the show – The Angels with Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again. Rosie played a very moving message from Collingwood great Peter McKenna just before 9am.

At The Fox, the partnership of Fifi Box and Byron Cooke is being split again. Years ago they were crucial parts of The Shebang drive show and more recently key drivers of Fifi, Marty and Byron. The show’s Best of 2020 tape had some extra bits to add after Cooke revealed yesterday on air he would be departing. After a Covid-impacted year, Hit Network is replacing Cooke with Triple M Brisbane’s Nick Cody. Cooke said he would be getting drunk after Friday’s show. “Five years with these people has been wonderful. Get behind the new show next year which will be great,” said Cooke.

There is one major change in Sydney radio breakfast. The annual musical chairs at 2Day sees a new breakfast show coming into the market in 2020 – Hughesy, Ed and Erin. The team met in Sydney on Monday for a quick photo op and a signwriter managed to misspell Hughesy’s name in the skies above the Harbour Bridge yesterday. Let’s hope it doesn’t prove to be an omen.

ARN has its key breakfast talent – Kyle and Jackie, Jonesy and Amanda – locked into long-term deals. Jonesy and Amanda hosted their biggest ever Backyard JAM event at Blacktown’s Skyline Drive In last night. Kyle brought Santa into the KIIS studio on Thursday followed by the NSW Premier (“Are you bikini-ready for summer,” asked Sandilands) while the final show boasted Shawn Mendes and Robbie Williams.

Likewise Nova is happy to stick with its Nova and smoothfm teams. Fitzy and Wippa farewelled the year with their regular guest, Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Triple M Brisbane this morning saw Nick Cody almost tear-up as he bid his colleagues and listeners farewell. A big final week at Ash, Kip, Luttsy and Susie O’Neill saw them give away $50,000 twice on the one show this week.

Mix Adelaide rocked the market with the break with long-time breakfast co-host Jodie Oddy just last week. Elsewhere in the market it was a big day at Fiveaa today with their annual Variety Australia Radiothon. Breakfast hosts David and Will were fielding calls from businesses this morning who got free ads in return for donations to the appeal. Highlight of the day though at Fiveaa was the return of Bazz and Pilko to the airwaves. From 12.30pm today (SA time) Barry Ion and Tony Pilkington will be hosting the afternoon shift and the Radiothon continues.

Barry Ion and Tony Pilkington

Changes in Perth see Steve and Baz handing over the 6PR breakfast shift to morning host Gareth Parker in 2021. Basil Zempilas departs the Nine-owned station while Steve Mills becomes the station’s afternoon host.

Today is the last Friday for 92.9 as SCA flips the frequency to Triple M Perth which launches next Tuesday, December 1. The station has yet to reveal who will be taking over the breakfast show when ratings resume in January 2021. That means a farewell to outgoing 92.9 breakfast hosts Xavier, Juelz and Pete.

Nick McKenzie
Nick McKenzie on competition between Nine and News Corp newsbrands

Multi-award-winning journalist Nick McKenzie was the special guest on this week’s episode of the Don’t Shoot the Messenger podcast and he had a few words to say how competition between Nine and News Corp news brands impacts journalism.

Don’t Shoot the Messenger is the weekly podcast hosted by journalist Caroline Wilson and journalist-turned-bookseller Corrie Perkin. It is one of the series of podcasts published by Sports and Entertainment Network.

McKenzie is the Walkley-Award winning investigative reporter for The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and 60 Minutes.

Caro and Corrie spoke about McKenzie’s approach to his journalism and the pressure that comes with being an investigative journalist and what he loves most about pursuing and telling a story. Caro and Nick reflected on their time reporting on the Essendon Drugs saga as well which is where they first collaborated.

McKenzie revealed how he becomes obsessed with a story and will continue pushing, pushing and pushing. “I am hyper-competitive, perhaps that becomes from being the twin to a Jewish mother,” he joked.

While McKenzie likes competing with News Corp newspapers for stories, he revealed that the feud between the two publishers does have a negative impact too. He noted the competing newspapers each tend to ignore some of the big exclusive stories that are broken by their opponents which can harm journalism and harm the public interest.

During the podcast Caroline Wilson talked about the pressure Eddie McGuire is under as Collingwood president and how he has lost the support of the Herald and Weekly Times. “I have never seen the Herald Sun turn on Eddie the way it has in the past few weeks,” said Wilson.

McKenzie remembered the first time he met McGuire and added: “His ability to cultivate the press has been a secret to lots of his success. Eddie is not a guy who steps aside lightly – he’s a king who won’t take off his crown.

Elsewhere on the Podcast Caro’s ‘Crush of the Week’ was the Melbourne Food and Wine New Year’s celebrations – which will include open-air dining events unlike anything Melbourne has seen before.

In ‘BSF’, Corrie made a head start on her summer reading recommendations for listeners.

Listen to Don’t Shoot the Messenger here.

Top Photo: Caro, Nick McKenzie and Corrie

Mercado on TV: 2020 – A bad year delivered some great television

By Andrew Mercado

2020 was great for TV because in lockdown, there it was, hours and hours of great stuff and all of it guilt-free. And despite more TV to watch than ever, many returned to the comfort of old favourites like A Country Practice (7Plus).

There was a lot to watch in 2020 but nothing was better than a surprise package like Unorthodox (Netflix), The Comey Rule (Stan), The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix), Mrs America (Foxtel), Call My Agent (Netflix) and White House Farm (Foxtel).

Overseas docos included Freeman (ABC), Visible: Out On TV (Apple), Tiger King (Netflix) and Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind (Foxtel). Locally, Save This Shark (Nat Geo), Big Weather – and how to survive it (ABC), Addicted Australia (SBS) and Further Back In Time For Dinner (ABC) were standouts.

Best Aussie dramas of the year were Mystery Road (ABC), Halifax: Retribution (Nine), Wentworth: Redemption (Foxtel) and Operation Buffalo (ABC). Just quietly, my favourites were The Heights (ABC) which soared in its second series and The Beach (SBS) which was pure beauty.

Well done Neighbours (10Peach) for showing the rest of the world how to keep making TV in the age of coronavirus. The Bold and the Beautiful (Ten) went one step further by bringing in mannequins for kissing scenes. Now a mannequin that looks like Hope (Kim Matula) is telling Thomas (Matthew Atkinson) to kill Liam (Scott Clifton). Really.

With cinemas closed, streaming services brought us movies like Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (Netflix), The Very Excellent Mr Dundee (Amazon Prime), I Am Woman (Stan) and, the biggest streaming hit of the year behind Hamilton (Disney), Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Amazon Prime).

At Home Alone Together (ABC) was the first and best coronavirus satire show. Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun (Netflix), Regular Old Bogan (7mate) and LOL: Last One Laughing Australia (Amazon Prime) proved that political correctness has not killed Aussie comedy.

James Manning can remind me of everything I’ve forgotten when we do our final podcast for the year. But the show that defines 2020 for me is Schitts Creek (Netflix). That was the perfect place to escape to in lockdown. Have a good summer everyone. 

TV ratings: Thursday Week 48 2020

By James Manning

• Final week of survey: Seven #1 primary/network, 7mate #1 multi
• Home and Away helps Seven to a win, The Front Bar just makes top 20
• Paramedics and Scottish Vets other most-watched after 7.30pm

Primetime News
Seven News 884,000/867,000
Nine News 748,000/743,000
ABC News 627,000
10 News First 294,000/167,000
SBS World News 126,000

Daily current affairs
A Current Affair 565,000
7.30 516,000
The Project 229,000/403,000
The Drum 151,000

Breakfast TV
Sunrise 253,000
Today 219,000
News Breakfast 201,000

Late Night News
The Latest 220,000
Nine News Late 119,000
ABC Late News 94,000

Thursday TV 

Seven: Home and Away was the only entertainment show to make it to half a million – and then it was only just with 501,000 watching the three back-to-back episodes.

The first of two cricket special editions of The Front Bar saw Andy Lee stepping in for Sam Pang. Melbourne was the only market to support the show in any number with 132,000. In Sydney there was just 30,000 watching after 8.30pm. A metro audience of 274,000 saw the show just creep into the top 20.

The WBBL on 7mate helped boost that channel’s share with 136,000 watching the second semi-final. There was more watching the cricket on 7mate than The Front Bar on Seven in Sydney,

Nine: A Current Affair slipped under 600,000 for the first time this week.
An encore of Paramedics was on 350,000.

10: The Project just made it over 400,000 after 7pm.
Jamie’s Easy Meals for Every Day was then on 289,000 and 253,000.
Law & Order: SVU then followed with 215,000.

ABC: Scottish Vets Down Under was on 326,000 followed by a repeat episode of Griff’s Great Kiwi Road Trip on 306,000.

SBS: A repeat of Secrets of Britain was on 149,000. Portillo’s Hidden History of Britain, confusing referred to as Empire with Michael Portillo in some guides, then did 145,000 after launching with 215,000 a week ago.

Week 48: Thursday
THURSDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 12.1% 7 18.1% 9 16.2% 10  9.7% SBS One 4.5%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.2% 7TWO 4.1% GO! 3.1% 10 Bold 4.4% VICELAND 2.0%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 5.0% GEM 2.4% 10 Peach 3.0% Food Net 1.2%
ABC NEWS 1.9% 7flix 2.4% 9Life 2.9% 10 Shake 0.6% NITV 0.4%
        9Rush 1.0%     SBS World Movies 0.9%
TOTAL 17.9%   29.6%   25.7%   17.8%   8.9%

 

THURSDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 10.5% 7 19.1% 9 14.5% WIN 7.3% SBS One 4.8%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.1% 7TWO 6.2% GO! 3.4% WIN Bold 5.0% VICELAND 2.2%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 6.9% GEM 3.5% WIN Peach 2.8% Food Net 0.6%
ABC NEWS 1.8% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.8% 9Life 2.6% Sky News  on WIN 2.5% NITV 0.3%
                SBS Movies 0.7%
TOTAL 16.2%   34.1%   24.1%   17.6%   8.7%

 

THURSDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
86.1% 13.9%
THURSDAY FTA
  1. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 884,000
  2. Seven News Seven 867,000
  3. Nine News Nine 748,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 743,000
  5. ABC News ABC 627,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 565,000
  7. 7.30 ABC 516,000
  8. Home And Away Seven 501,000
  9. The Chase Australia Seven 422,000
  10. Hot Seat Nine 404,000
  11. The Project 7pm 10 403,000
  12. Paramedics -Encore Nine 350,000
  13. Scottish Vets Down Under ABC 326,000
  14. Griff’s Great Kiwi Road Trip (R) ABC 306,000
  15. Kings Cross Er Nine 302,000
  16. 10 News First 10 294,000
  17. Jamie’s Easy Meals For Every Day 10 289,000
  18. The Front Bar Seven 274,000
  19. Kings Cross Er -Ep 1 Nine 261,000
  20. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 260,000
Demo Top Five

16-39 Top Five

  1. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 92,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 91,000
  3. The Project 7pm 10 84,000
  4. Nine News Nine 81,000
  5. Jamie’s Easy Meals For Every Day 10 78,000

 

18-49 Top Five

  1. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 170,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 159,000
  3. The Project 7pm 10 156,000
  4. Nine News Nine 144,000
  5. Seven News Seven 142,000

 

25-54 Top Five

  1. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 226,000
  2. The Project 7pm 10 198,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 197,000
  4. Seven News Seven 197,000
  5. Nine News Nine 183,000
Thursday Multichannel
  1. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 218,000
  2. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 165,000
  3. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 154,000
  4. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 149,000
  5. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 136,000
  6. Seven’s Cricket: Wbbl – Brisbane V Syd Thun – Semi Final 7mate 136,000
  7. Love Monster AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 131,000
  8. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 126,000
  9. Go Jetters PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000
  10. Dog Loves Books ABCKIDS/COMEDY 118,000
  11. Hawaii Five-O (R) 10 Bold 118,000
  12. Andy’s Wild Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 116,000
  13. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 116,000
  14. Unsellable Houses 9Life 111,000
  15. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective 9GO! 111,000
  16. Father Brown PM 7TWO 108,000
  17. Murdoch Mysteries PM 7TWO 107,000
  18. Fixer Upper 9Life 106,000
  19. Neighbours 10 Peach 106,000
  20. Hawaii Five-O Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 105,000
Thursday STV
  1. Live: WBBL: Sf2 Heat V Thunder FOX CRICKET 70,000
  2. Outback Opal Hunters Discovery Channel 69,000
  3. Live: The Blast Final Series FOX CRICKET 69,000
  4. Alan Jones Sky News Live 60,000
  5. Chris Smith Tonight Sky News Live 47,000
  6. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 47,000
  7. Credlin Sky News Live 47,000
  8. Ricky Zoom Nick Jr. 43,000
  9. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 41,000
  10. Love It Or List It Australia Lifestyle Channel 41,000
  11. Ready Set Dance Nick Jr. 38,000
  12. Blaze And The Monster Machines Nick Jr. 36,000
  13. Top Wing Nick Jr. 33,000
  14. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 33,000
  15. OC: Real Housewives Of Orange County FOX Arena 32,000
  16. The Flight Attendant FOX One 32,000
  17. PML Later Sky News Live 32,000
  18. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 31,000
  19. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 30,000
  20. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 30,000

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

Netflix to face local content quota under proposed Australian TV reforms

Netflix and other global streaming services could be forced to spend millions of dollars on Australian programs and films under major changes to media laws proposed by the federal government that could level the regulatory playing field with free-to-air TV networks, report The Sydney Morning Herald’s Lisa Visentin and Zoe Samios.

The government is also considering scrapping annual broadcast spectrum taxes for commercial TV networks and replacing them with a new licensing regime which could save broadcasters up to $12 million each year.

Federal Communications and Arts Minister Paul Fletcher, who will launch a green paper with the proposed reforms on Friday, said the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic had reinforced the need for regulatory action to help the TV industry.

“What we are proposing would rebalance Australia’s media regulations so that the industry can continue to support jobs, connect communities, and keep Australian stories on our screens regardless of whether they prefer to watch free-to-air television, subscription television or video-on-demand services,” Fletcher said.

In a joint submission to a federal government options paper earlier this year, Netflix, Stan, Prime Video and Disney Plus said: “we strongly believe that there is no market failure to address” and claimed each company “already makes a significant contribution to Australia’s screen production industry”.

[Read more]

Tech and Zoe Foster Blake on Financial Review Young Rich List

Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar tops the Financial Review 2020 Young Rich List with a record-breaking wealth of $17.77 billion that accounts for nearly half of the entire wealth of the Top 100.

The 100 wealthiest self-made young Australians in 2020  have a collective wealth of $39.6 billion – slightly down from $41.2 billion in 2019. The fall in aggregate wealth is driven by Mike Cannon Brookes retiring from the list, having turned 41 years of age.

In a year that has seen the acceleration of technology due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a staggering 81 per cent of the wealth represented by the Young Rich is linked to tech. 56 of the 100 people on the list have built fortunes from tech. It marks the first time since the Young Rich List was created in 2003 when a majority of people on the list are tech entrepreneurs.

With more than 30 million people now using Canva’s beginner-friendly graphic design software, founders Melanie Perkins and her fiancé Cliff Obrecht have taken #2 and #3 spots and are worth $3.43 billion. Their business partner Cameron Adams is #5 worth $1.12 billion. And thanks to a lockdown-induced online retail binge, Afterpay founder Nick Molnar is Australia’s youngest billionaire at 30-years-old, worth $2.22b and #4 on the list.

The Financial Review Young Rich List has tracked the wealth of Australia’s wealthiest people aged 40 and under since 2003. Young Rich Listers must not have inherited their wealth.

There are 18 debutants on the list, including Zoe Foster Blake worth an estimated $36 million thanks to the success of her Go-To skincare label, and the founders of Sleeping Duck, Selvam Sinnappan and Winston Wijeyeratne, are worth $150 million each.

The Financial Review Young Rich List 2020 Highlights

TOP 10 (worth a collective $24.54 billion)

1   Scott Farquhar, 40, $17.77 billion (up from $13.22b) – Atlassian
2&3   Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht,34 & 32, $3.43 billion (up from $1.35b) – Canva
4    Nicholas Molnar, 30, $2.22 billion (up from $564 million) – Afterpay
5    Cameron Adams, 40, $1.12 billion (up from $452 million) – Canva
6    Laurence Escalante, 39, $919 million (up from $57 million) – Virtual Gaming Worlds
7    Peter Greensill, 39, $788 million (up from 745 million) – Agribusiness, Fin Services
8    Ori Allon, 40, $695 million (down from $747 million) – Compass
9    Mitchell Harper, 38, $694 million (up from $86 million) – Technology
10   Ruslan Kogan, 37, $685 million (up from $332 million) – Kogan

Entertainment/Public Figures

Miranda Kerr, 37, $120 million (up from $98m) – Manufacturing/Retail (#41 on YRL)
Chris Hemsworth, 37, $90 million (up from $66m) – Arts (#47)
Jennifer Hawkins, 36, $60 million (up from $35m) – Manufacturing/Retail (#60)
Margot Robbie, 30, $55 million (up from $35m) – Arts (#64)
Zoe Foster Blake, 40, $36 million (debutant) – Retail/Beauty (#84)

News Brands

Nine news chief pleads guilty after he was caught drink-driving

Nine’s director of news and current affairs Darren Wick pleaded guilty to one count of drink-driving on Thursday at Hornsby Local Court after returning a blood alcohol reading of more than 0.2 this year, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Laura Chung.

Wick came to the attention of police after they observed a black Jeep Cherokee 4WD driving northbound on Willoughby Road, Willoughby, on October 16, 2020, at 6.25pm.

The vehicle mounted the left-hand footpath before returning to the roadway. It then grazed the gutter as it turned into another street.

Wick did not appear in Hornsby Local Court on Thursday when his matter was adjourned until January 20.

[Read more]

Radio

Brigitte Duclos was axed but co-host Lehmo survived

Brigitte Duclos has opened up about her brutal radio sacking, admitting it is still traumatising to think about her ruthless dismissal from Melbourne’s GOLD FM, reports News Corp’s Jackie Epstein and Nui Te Koha.

Duclos said they removed the “old from GOLD” when she was suddenly given her marching orders in November 2015 after that day’s show with co-host Anthony “Lehmo” Lehmann.

“I thought it was all going along swimmingly,’’ Duclos tells the Sacked: Showbiz podcast.

“If you get sacked as a team, it’s one thing, to take one person out of a team it’s so hard to get your head around. So gut-wrenching. That’s what was difficult about it and I didn’t see it coming.

“They replaced me with Jo Stanley, who is younger and also was a lot more socially connected. I wasn’t great on social media. I wonder now still to this day whether that was why. Now I look back and I think, just be very grateful I had such a good long career. But still traumatised a bit when I think about it.”

[Read more]

Publishing

Nextmedia pulls the plug on TV Soap magazine, final edition on sale

A short statement on the nextmedia site signals the end of the magazine TV Soap which has managed to survive several near-death experiences over the years after its initial appearance in 1984.

The statement says:

TV Soap, Australia’s number 1 magazine for lovers of TV Drama, gossip and glamour is celebrating its final issue (cover date 7th December 2020).

After what has been an amazing journey, the difficult decision has been made to cease publishing TV Soap in December 2020. The team would like to thank its loyal fans and readers who have made producing this magazine a reality over the last 30 years.

The magazine’s founding editor was Ben Mitchell who was the driving force behind the title when it first appeared at Magazine Promotions, later to be rebranded Fairfax Magazines.

The magazine stopped and started several times over its 36-year journey with Vesna Petropoulos editing the magazine during its time at Horwitz Publications which then became nextmedia.

Television

Stan’s A Sunburnt Christmas – whether you've been naughty or nice!

Summer in Australia is primetime for Nine’ streaming platform Stan as it releases it biggest Australian originals every December and January. The first summer treat Stan is dropping for viewers will be released on December 11 – the seasonal movie A Sunburnt Christmas.

Created and written by Elliot Vella, Gretel Vella and Timothy Walker, and directed by Christiaan Van Vuuren (Bondi Hipsters, The Other Guy), this very Australian comedy is not your typical cliché Christmas movie. A Sunburnt Christmas is a wild, hilarious and heartfelt story about a single mum and her kids doing it tough on their outback farm until a runaway criminal dressed as Santa Claus crashes into their property and their lives.

Daniel Henshall (Daryl) with director Christiaan Van Vuuren

In the lead role as Daryl the kindly crim, Daniel Henshall (Snowtown, Bloom, Acute Misfortune) is mistaken for the real Santa by the young and fearless Daisy, played by new talent Lena Nankivell. Other newcomers Eaden McGuinness and Tatiana Goode take on the roles of Daisy’s older siblings, her anxious brother Tom and wily teenage sister Hazel who sees Daryl as an opportunity to get her family back on track.

Sullivan Stapleton (Animal Kingdom, Ride Like A Girl, 300: Rise of an Empire), also stars as Dingo, the mobster on the hunt for Daryl, with Ling Cooper Tang (The Secrets She Keeps, Stan Original Series The Gloaming) as the children’s mum rounding out the multi-generational cast of diverse characters.

“I hope this movie is a Christmas present to all Australians after such a hard year,” said director, Christiaan Van Vuuren.

A Sunburnt Christmas is produced by Every Cloud Productions, in association with Highview Productions, with major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Stan and financed with assistance from the South Australian Film Corporation. Lisa Scott, Highview Productions, is producer, with executive producers Fiona Eagger and Deb Cox for Every Cloud and Mike Jones co-producing.

Season 2 of WTFN’s Larry The Wonderpup launching on Seven

 

At a time when producers of both Australian scripted content and kids shows are especially feeling the squeeze, WTFN has announced Larry the Wonderpup, its Melbourne-produced, fully scripted series for kids, co-produced with Chocolate Liberation Front, is back for an extended, second 20 x 30 run. 

Commissioned by Seven for its 7TWO channel and with additional funding support from Film Victoria and Fred Media, WTFN’s international distribution arm, Larry the Wonderpup gets its premiere at 7am on 30th November.

A mix of live action and animated adventures, Larry the Wonderpup sees rescue pup Larry and his best pal, 11-year-old Sasha, tackle themes like friendship, community and the importance of being yourself, while getting into all manner of crazy, madcap and sometimes subversive situations.

For this new season, WTFN created a writers’ room featuring a number of talented young female writers. This included Lorin Clarke (daughter of respected comedian John Clarke), who also created the award-winning ABC RN fiction podcast The Fitzroy Diaries, and Nicolette Minster, a writer on Erinsborough High. Nicolette is also an actor, playing Mrs Crotchetby in the Larry series, and she is also known for her various characters in Kinne Tonight, and for appearing in Neighbours. Joining Lorin and Nicolette in the writers’ room was Neighbours and Erinsborough High writer Libby Butler, who has just written and produced her own Screen Australia funded web series, Love in Captivity, as well as comedian, performer and writer Vidya Rajan – recently signed to comedy agency Token, and Mel Sano.

Timothy Powell, WTFN producer, said: “We are often told that working with children and animals is a recipe for disaster but producing Larry the Wonderpup is a genuine joy. We have a talented young cast, a Larry (who’s actually a female dog called Trinnie) with perfect timing and enviable acting skills and an ingenious team of young female writers who have made this new series funnier than ever. WTFN is thrilled to be supporting emerging Australian writers in this way and proud to now showcase their extraordinary creative talents, not just to viewers at home but also in the international market.”

Season one (18 x 30) of Larry the Wonderpup was a hit overseas, with Fred Media licensing the show to the US (NBCUniversal), Russia and CIS (1HDTV), the Middle East (beIn Neo/Al Jazeera) and across Asia (ABC International). It also had a second window at home on ABC iview and ABCME.

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