By James Manning
Seven’s track record with new arrivals on the schedule in 2020 has been pretty good this year – if we overlook Plate of Origin! It has successfully kick-started the formats Farmer Wants a Wife and Big Brother, and now it hopes to make it three from four with the launch of SAS Australia.
The format arrives in Australia after seven seasons on Channel 4 in the UK. The series is being made for Seven by Screentime and the executive producers are Sylvia D’Souza for Seven and Johnny Lowry for Screentime.
Media that had access to the first episode were giving it good reviews. It was a diverse group that included Mediaweek’s Andrew Mercado to KIIS FM’s Jackie O and Brooklyn Ross.
When Seven executive producer D’Souza was assigned to SAS Australia the program had abandoned the original plan to film in New Zealand and had settled for a location in New South Wales.
The selection of 17 recruits had also taken place. D’Souza was more than happy with the selection though, telling Mediaweek “it is a great cast”.
D’Souza worked alongside Screentime’s executive producer Lowry and they didn’t waste time once everything was ready. This was the first time the two producers had worked together on a program. “The shoot took about two weeks with a couple of extra days at the beginning to test all the cameras. We had about 40 fixed cameras to set up and we had to make sure they were working and in the best positions.”
The recruits’ base camp where some of those cameras were focused was a modification of a building that already existed.
All those had cameras had to be operational any time the recruits were in action. D’Souza: “This was unlike other reality shows where if you miss the recording of something you just do it again. That wasn’t something we could do. This wasn’t a game.”
An example of how little the producers interfere with the challenges is the boxing in the first episode. Part of the scene involves a female recruit choosing to box against a male recruit, and the producers stood back and let things unfold.
One factor they had to deal with was the weather. “It is one of the few shows where bad weather is actually good for the production,” said D’Souza. “We had a real mix of weather and it did get pretty cold at times.” Temperatures at base ranged from a minimum of -5°C to a maximum of 8°C.
The producers had a range of aerial assistance during the filming – choppers for activities involving the recruits, and a set of four different drones to capture overhead vision of what was happening on the ground.
D’Souza and Lowry were mainly focused on keeping a group of four people happy during production – and they weren’t any of the recruits. Instead they needed to make sure conditions were just right for the elite team of ex-Special Forces soldiers – Chief Instructor Ant Middleton and his DS (Directing Staff) Mark “Billy” Billingham, Jason “Foxy” Fox and Ollie Ollerton from the hit UK version of the series. The same directing staff have overseen the seven seasons in the UK.
Unlike other reality shows there is no winner declared, there is no prize, just recruits who manage to finish the course and are then judged on whether they are good enough to have passed. Simply completing the course is not enough.
During the first episode of this season there is a voluntary withdrawal in the first episode. “That’s not something that has happened often,” admitted D’Souza. “In one of the UK seasons Katie Price did leave early though. It’s not surprising that someone did leave early because it’s very tough and they have to take on challenges on a really hard course.”
The contestants prepared for the show in different ways. Some seemed to be relatively unprepared for what lay ahead, while D’Souza singled out Merrick Watts who went to great lengths to improve his fitness, including long hikes with a heavy backpack. He has a steely determination at the start of the series indicating he is very serious about completing the course.
No game, no really!
SAS Australia is not a game stress the producers. There is no winner; there is no prize. Most recruits will reach breaking point and withdraw. Who has what it takes to tough it out to the end?
What is a Bergen?
Recruits are issued with everything they need for the duration of the course on arrival – clothing, footwear and a full backpack, also known as their Bergen (the ‘house on your back’).
The Bergen contains every item recruits need to navigate and survive in the outdoors including helmet, chest harness, sleeping mat, tarp, towel, water bottle, knife, mess kit, mug, toilet roll, sanitising wipes, sunglasses, head torch, notebook, pencil, toothpaste, toothbrush, belt, armband, whistle, watch, sleeping bag, compass and two sets of clothing.
Top Photo: Ant with his recruits in SAS Australia
By James Manning
After a little confusion as to when the new Sydney sports radio station 1170 SEN would start, the recently rebranded Sports Entertainment Network (SEN) confirmed yesterday day one would be Thursday October 22.
The move comes after the station revealed its first ad campaign last Wednesday and then hosted a launch function that didn’t confirm the launch date last Thursday.
The first show on the new station will be Breakfast with Vossy which will go to air at 6am on Thursday.
SEN chief executive Craig Hutchison said at the station launch he is confident his team are building a station that will work. He noted some people predicted failure for the sports station after the flop of Macquarie Sports Radio and continued low ratings for Tabcorp-owned Sky Sports Radio.
After an introduction from Hutchison, he handed over 1170 Sydney launch event hosting duties to breakfast announcer Andrew Voss. The Fox Sports NRL caller then introduced many of the rest of the new SEN Sydney team including Katie Brown, Matt White, Greg Alexander, Gerard Whateley, drive hosts Joel and Fletch, Jimmy Smith, and Stephanie Brantz who is hosting an evening program.
Voss also spoke with Friday breakfast host Matty Johns about his return to radio. He even asked an awkward question about the name of his breakfast show. After a pause and a cheeky grin, Johns replied it was named after the Oasis song Morning Glory.
SEN bought the 2CH broadcast licence from reluctant seller EON Broadcasting earlier this year for over $11m. Later this week 2CH will flip to the DAB+ platform.
2CH staff had a lunch on Friday for some of their colleagues who are believed to be departing as the music station makes the switch. It is believed both Rob Duckworth and Kayley Harris could no longer be heard on weekends. SEN is believed to be keeping Tim Webster in the breakfast slot. Guests at the lunch included a who’s who of Sydney radio with Duckworth and Webster joined by 2CH GM Cherie Romaro, Ian Rogerson, Dave Gibson, Trevor Sinclair and Chris Kearns among others.
Independent media agency MediaSmiths has appointed senior media executive and former insights lead for independent agencies and direct clients at Nova Entertainment, Natalie Murray (pictured), as a new senior account planner/buyer.
Murray will be responsible for end-to-end management, planning and buying for several of the agency’s key clients, ensuring outcomes are delivered. She will report to Angela Smith, managing sirector and Michael Smith, business director.
Murray has 15 years’ experience in the media industry, specialising in account planning, buying and research. She has worked with a range of companies, including most recently as client response at Nova Entertainment, along with media buyer/planner and client implementation roles at Sandbox Media, Southern Cross Austereo and MTV. Murray was also involved in this year’s launch of the Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA).
Having worked across both media and agency channels, Murray has a detailed knowledge of the industry, and offers clients extensive media recommendations and quality insights that ensure results for brands.
“We are very excited to have Natalie join the MediaSmiths team. She comes with a wealth of experience, having worked across both media and agency sides in a diverse number of roles, which have enriched her career to date,” said MediaSmiths managing director, Angie Smith.
“Natalie’s expertise across planning and buying, as well as research, means she will deliver outstanding campaign results for clients, based on informed decisions. Her natural ability to build relationships, and desire to drive results will also ensure our clients are extremely well looked after by someone with many years of omnichannel experience.”
Commenting on her appointment, Murray said: “I joined MediaSmiths to be part of an established and reputable independent media agency that is doing work I believe in; with integrity and aligned values, while working alongside great leaders that support not only their clients but also their employees in achieving exceptional success in their careers.”
Murray’s appointment is effective immediately and she follows the appointment of Corey Eyre as senior account planner.
By James Manning
• Albums: 24Goldn again has #1 single, Linkin Park re-issue tops albums
• Singles: Quiet week for new releases with one new single, three albums
Just one piece of new music made it onto the chart this week – Levitating from Dua Lipa featuring Madonna and Missy Elliott debuted at #35. Dua Lipa, who performed at the 2019 ARIA Awards, has also charted this year with Physical (#9 in April) and Break My Heart (#7 April). Her track Don’t Start Now is just a fortnight away of spending a year on the chart, this week sitting at #34.
While Dua Lipa is no stranger to the chart, her vocal collaborators on the track haven’t been very active, at least with singles. Missy Elliott hasn’t been on the singles chart since WTF (Where They From) peaked at #45 in 2015. Meanwhile Madonna had a #2 album with Madame X just over 12 months ago, but her last hit single was Give Me All Your Luvin’ featuring Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. which peaked at #25 in 2012. Back in the 1980s, Madonna had a staggering 25 singles enter the chart.
#1 this week again still belongs to 24kGoldn featuring Iann Dior with Mood.
Two songs slip higher and into the top 10 – Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams moves from #14 to #4, while Pop Smoke’s What You Know Bout Love creeps up from #11 to #8.
ARIA notes when it was originally released, Dreams peaked at #19 in Australia in August 1977. The Fleetwood Mac album Rumours has moved six spots higher to #11.
#1: Linkin Park with Hybrid Theory: 20th Anniversary Edition. Although ARIA counts this as a reissue, spending a 65th week on the chart, we have referred to it as a new release, one of three this week, given this release of Hybrid Theory boasts over 50 unreleased tracks, B-sides, remixes, live performances and rarities. The album has been released with the older material to celebrate two decades since the album’s release. Upon its initial release in 2001, the album peaked at #8. A year later in reappeared at #2 and then in 2017, after the death of lead singer Chester Bennington, it also climbed to #2. During the past two decades the band topped the chart with the albums Minutes to Midnight in 2007 and then A Thousand Suns in 2010.
This week’s other chart debuts:
#3 Chillinit with Full Circle. A second top 10 appearance for the Sydney rapper’s third album after album #2 The Octagon peaked at #2 earlier this year.
#22 Headie One with Edna. The first album from the British Rapper which features collaborations from Stormzy, AJ Tracey, Drake, Skepta and Aitch. The album entered the UK charts at #1 this week.
Among the ARIA nominees announced this week who saw their albums climb higher were The Kid Laroi (F*uck Love up from #34 to #36) and Lime Cordiale (14 Steps to a Better You up from #47 to #32).
Top Photo: Linkin Park
A familiar pattern repeated itself this week with Nine winning the first four nights of the week to build a significant lead after Wednesday night. Thursday night was a close contest with Seven just ahead in primary share, but with a bigger lead in network share.
The difference though was Friday and Saturday where network shares of close to 40% thanks to big audiences watching AFL Preliminary Finals on both nights pushed Seven into first place for the week.
In metro market results driven by the two football codes, Nine was a clear winner for the week in Sydney and Brisbane, while Seven took the other metro markets.
ABC Week 42
Primary share: 12.9% (12.3%)
Network share: 17.5% (17.3%)
Multichannels: Kids/Comedy 2.5% (2.5%) ME 0.4% (0.5%) News 1.7% (1.9%)
The return of Gruen delivered big time for the ABC on Wednesday night with 934,000 the broadcaster’s biggest audience this year. It pushed the ABC primary share to 18.0%, one of its best this year, and was the reason station and network share climbed week-on-week.
Hard Quiz was next best on 757,000 while all the 7pm ABC News bulletins were under 700,000. The other two entries over 600,000 this week were the series finale of Anh’s Brush with Fame and Australian Story.
Seven Week 42
Primary share: 20.7% (18.7%)
Network share: 30.0% (28.3%)
Multichannels: 7TWO 3.3% (3.4%) 7mate 4.1% (4.2%) 7flix 1.9% (2.0%)
The big 1m+ audiences watching Friday and Saturday night AFL Preliminary Finals were key to Seven turning around another slow start to the week. The victories to Richmond and Geelong see them playing off in the first night Grand Final next Saturday. That match, together with Sunday’s Brownlow Medal coverage, could be enough for Seven to win its second consecutive week.
Seven’s surprise performance of the week was the Cruising – The Biggest Storm doco on Sunday which just missed a top 20 spot for the week with an audience of 658,000.
Seven’s only other non-news show over 500,000 was Home and Away on 511,000.
7mate was the highest rating multichannel with a share of 4.1%.
Nine Week 42
Primary share: 19.7% (20.5%)
Network share: 27.5% (29.4)%
Multichannels: GO! 2.4% (2.9%) Gem 2.3% (2.7%) 9Life 1.8% (2.1%) 9Rush 1.2% (1.2%)
The Block Sunday room reveal again kept Nine’s Sunday winning streak intact and it ranked the #1 show of the week, behind only Seven’s Saturday night AFL. Two of the other three episodes of The Block were over 800,000 with only the Wednesday episode below that mark on 744,000.
A Current Affair just missed an average of 700,000 while 60 Minutes was on 656,000.
The NRL Preliminary Finals were not nearly as potent as the AFL clashes, with the NRL games on 550,000 on Friday and then 548,000 on Saturday.
10 Week 42
Primary share 11.3% (10.3%)
Network share: 17.5% (16.9%)
Multichannels: Bold 3.8% (3.5%) Peach 2.3% (2.4%) Shake 0.4% (0.4%)
Share was up 1.0 week-on-week for 10 and up 0.6 for the network.
Gogglebox and Have You Been Paying Attention? were the biggest hits with both over 600,000.
Also over half a million were the three launch episodes of Junior MasterChef which climbed each night following launch to a high of 576,000 on Tuesday.
The Bachelorette has slipped year-on-year with Wednesday the smallest audience ever of 468,000, but the numbers improved on Thursday to 534,000.
SBS Week 42
Primary share: 4.4% (4.9%)
Network share: 7.5% (8.1%)
Multichannels: Viceland 1.2% (1.2%) Food 0.8% (1.0%) NITV 0.1% (0.2%) World Movies 0.9% (0.9%)
The two biggest audiences came midweek with 233,000 watching Walking Britain’s Roman Roads followed by 230,000 watching the season launch of Australia Come Fly With Me.
* Figures in brackets are Week 41 shares.
By James Manning
• The Brownlow and The Block do battle on Sunday night
• The Block wins its slot and helps Nine hold as #1 network
• The Brownlow a clear Melbourne favourite with Seven #1 primary
Nine News 989,000
Seven News 984,000
ABC News 648,000
SBS World News 171,000
Daily current affairs
The Project 277,000/414,000
News Breakfast 176,000
Late night news
Nine News Late 258,000
Seven: The Brownlow Medal count took over primetime in two metro markets (Melbourne and Adelaide) on Seven and on 7mate in others. Helping the virtual count was Andy, Mick and Sam from The Front Bar. Brisbane’s Lachie Neale was unbeatable two rounds before the end of the count, he got another three votes in the last points of the night taking him well clear of the field with 31 points. As part of the virtual count with social distancing in place, he had to put the medal around his own neck at the presentation. The count had an audience of 683,000 with 481,000 in Melbourne.
Viewers in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth got to see World’s Most Extreme Airports on the primary channel with 214,000 watching and then three hours of the 2018 movie Aquaman screened at different times to 311,000.
Nine: The Block started with the end of work on the upstairs living space until Scott Cam ordered “tools down”. The judges Shaynna, Neale and Darren were very positive again about the work overall, but still found some attention to detail had been overlooked. Winning for the first time, and in a week where they complained again about the judges, were Sarah and George with 28.5, just half a point ahead of Harry and Tash. The Sunday audience was 1.009/1.082m after 994k/1.133m a week ago. After eight weeks Daniel and Jade top the leader board with Jimmy and Tam dropping to third place. This week on the show the teams will be finishing off their houses with things like, stairways, hallways and laundries. “Let’s just call it gyprock week,” said Scotty. Suncorp is providing a budget of $35,000. “The toughest week yet on The Block,” promised the host.
60 Minutes followed with reporter Nick McKenzie revealing extraordinary details about a five-nation investigation targeting wealthy Australians accused of tax evasion. Code-named Operation Atlantis, its aim is to recover hundreds of millions of dollars stashed away in faraway banks – money that has been ripped-off from ordinary Australians. The episode was on 524,000 after 656,000 a week ago.
10: The Project finished with a plug for MasterChef Australia preceded by a report on Jacinda Arden’s New Zealand election win on Saturday night. After 7pm the show had an audience of 414,000.
Junior MasterChef saw the contestants enter the MasterChef kitchen to see a giant-sized mystery box but no judges in sight. Inside are not ingredients was the judges, looking completely unrecognisable. The ingredients of the real mystery box were finally revealed and the contestants learnt that they had 75 minutes to create a sweet or savoury dish using one or more of the ingredients. The audience of 498,000 comes after the launch a week ago on 524,000.
Across the day 10 attracted its biggest audience for the coverage of the Bathurst 1000 with 671,000 from 11am until its end just before 6pm.
ABC: Restoration Australia was in Inverell with the first part of a big convent rebuild. After the series launched with 484,000, last night’s ambitious and very successful renovation was on 496,000.
Grantchester was then on 431,000 followed by Doc Martin with 261,000 watching.
SBS: The final episode of Ancient Superstructures looked at Petra with 149,000 watching.
The rest of the night was devoted to the Boeing 747 with two repeat episodes of The Jumbo Jet: 50 Years in the Sky with an average of 121,000 watching both.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.4%||7TWO||3.2%||GO!||2.9%||10 Bold||2.6%||VICELAND||1.0%|
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||5.6%||GEM||1.9%||10 Peach||1.9%||Food Net||0.8%|
|ABC NEWS||1.9%||7flix||2.2%||9Life||1.6%||10 Shake||0.5%||NITV||0.2%|
|9Rush||1.2%||SBS World Movies||0.9%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.7%||7TWO||3.0%||GO!||2.7%||10 Bold||3.1%||VICELAND||0.6%|
|ABC ME||0.3%||7mate||5.4%||GEM||2.6%||10 Peach||2.1%||Food Net||0.7%|
|ABC NEWS||1.9%||7flix||2.1%||9Life||1.7%||10 Shake||0.4%||NITV||0.3%|
|9Rush||1.5%||SBS World Movies||1.0%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.1%||7TWO||1.6%||GO!||3.9%||10 Bold||2.7%||VICELAND||0.6%|
|ABC ME||0.3%||7mate||3.3%||GEM||3.6%||10 Peach||1.9%||Food Net||0.9%|
|ABC NEWS||1.7%||7flix||1.7%||9Life||1.9%||10 Shake||0.5%||NITV||0.1%|
|9Rush||0.8%||SBS World Movies||0.6%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.2%||7TWO||2.4%||GO!||4.3%||WIN Bold||4.2%||VICELAND||1.3%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||3.0%||GEM||6.1%||WIN Peach||2.3%||Food Net||0.8%|
|ABC NEWS||1.5%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||2.4%||9Life||2.0%||Sky News on WIN||1.7%||NITV||0.2%|
|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
Seven West Media chief executive James Warburton says the Kerry Stokes-controlled broadcaster had a solution for the troubles of regional media, before its merger deal with Prime Media was blocked by Antony Catalano and Bruce Gordon, who have now launched their own lobbying effort to remove laws preventing them from buying Prime, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
The Save Our Voices campaign is backed by Gordon’s WIN Corp, Catalano’s Australian Community Media, Prime and Southern Cross Austereo, and is aimed at removing legislation which prevents regional media companies from merging with each other.
“It’s ironic that two of the four parties spruiking ‘Save Our Voices’ blocked the Prime and Seven merger,” Warburton told The Australian Financial Review.
“ACM would have benefited in news gathering co-operation and on-air promotion for their newspapers, Prime would have got all the synergies with a full national operation and WIN would have benefited from a joint local sales effort that we would have looked to outsource.”
Catalano said he could not see any irony in ACM and WIN blocking the Seven-Prime merger or the Save Our Voices campaign.
“ACM voted against it because it was a shocking deal at the time, and now it would look even worse given where the Seven price sits currently. Prime shareholders would now be between 50 per cent worse off today. I think all Prime shareholders would be pleased that the deal was blocked,” Catalano said.
Media monitoring company Streem has struck a new licensing deal, which it says recognises the value of premium Australian news, as its two bigger rivals Isentia and Meltwater seek a cut in copyright fees, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.
The multi-year licensing agreement with not-for-profit organisation Copyright Agency, which represents hundreds of publishers including News Corp, Nine Entertainment and Seven West Media, gives Streem access to more than 2000 publications for its corporate and government clients locally and abroad.
Streem chief executive Elgar Welch says the new deal is a “win-win for both the publishers and media monitoring customers”.
“It’s a multi-year agreement that was reached by negotiation, and that’s always better than being in a court environment,” he said. “And frankly, it beggars belief that Meltwater and Isentia are still bickering over the price of content in court.”
Streem’s deal comes as Isentia and Meltwater, the nation’s two biggest media monitoring companies, prepare to return to the Copyright Tribunal on Monday after an abrupt adjournment last Wednesday. The case only got under way last Monday and is expected to run for three weeks.
Media personality Basil Zempilas will be the next Lord Mayor of the City of Perth, reports WAtoday’s Marta Pascual Juanola.
The Seven West Media commentator won 29.44 per cent of the vote on Saturday night, defeating rival and former ABC journalist Di Bain by 284 votes in a nail-biting count.
About 6000 electors voted in the long-awaited election, the first since the troubled council was suspended in 2018 and became subject to an extensive government inquiry.
Zempilas was officially declared Lord Mayor just after 9.20pm.
In his first speech as Lord Mayor Zempilas thanked his family, campaign team, and supporters, adding Saturday night was a night “I’ll never forget”.
“This is a great opportunity for everyone, and it’s a great opportunity for the City of Perth to have the fresh start that it has so desperately been looking for,” he said.
“Everything we do from this point on is for the ratepayers and for the residents of the City of Perth. That’s who we are here for and that’s who we are here to serve.
“We now have the leadership and the elected council that the City of Perth has been missing for the last three years.”
Although he will be departing his role as 6PR’s breakfast co-host at the end of the year, Zempilas plans to maintain the rest of his existing media commitments – including his evening role anchoring the sports segment on Seven, writing a weekly column in The West Australian newspaper, and leading Seven’s AFL and Olympics commentary.
TV Tonight hears whispers that The Block is headed to the bayside suburb of Hampton in 2021, reported David Knox on Friday.
Nine’s renovation series is so far only confirmed for a cul-de-sac location next year but Bronte Court is rumoured as the likely destination.
At 14km south of Melbourne’s CBD, Hampton is between the suburbs of Brighton and Sandringham. A Hampton location would also keep the renovation series in a bayside suburb. It is also within the City of Bayside which is the local council involved with the current series -very important for planning and filming permits.
The Herald Sun followed up on Saturday:
Sleepy Hampton cul-de-sac Bronte Court will be home to next year’s series of The Block, reports Alice Coster.
Some residents are already doing their block over their street being used in the top-rating series.
Five properties were bought by The Block’s founding executive producer Julian Cress for the Nine Network after he doorknocked the owners with an offer too good to refuse.
Settlement is next month with the sixteenth series of the hit renovation show already filming in the Bayside area in New St, Brighton.
An email from concerned residents was sent out this week to Bayside Council Boyd Ward candidates about The Block moving into their backyard.
It’s understood one of The Block’s buyer advocates Nicole Jacobs has a property on the same cul-de-sac.
For the past few months, Karl Stefanovic has been working on the concept of a behind-the-scenes documentary featuring the Origin teams. Late last week, with the support of NSW Rugby League chairman George Peponis and his Queensland counterpart, Bruce Hatcher, a deal was struck for the project to go ahead, reports Nine’s Danny Weidler.
The Streaming company has backed the concept and it will be shot with the blessing of both states.
Stefanovic said: “The support of both NSW and Queensland is so important and I hope we can produce a product that is worthy of State of Origin – which is the best sporting product we have in this country.
“The idea is to be with the teams in this unique year where they are in a bubble and take rugby league fans to places they have not been. It’s a chance to see how the magic happens. It will be great for the sport and great for the fans and the sponsors.
“We have seen The Test on Amazon [about the Australian cricket team’s recovery from the ball-tampering scandal] and that was very good and now we can see this in league.’’
Stefanovic and Richard Weinberg are the executive producers and production house CJZ will be in charge of the project.
Australia’s most famous house is making headlines again but this time the drama isn’t happening inside, reports 7News.
On Saturday Big Brother production staff and host Sonia Kruger were evacuated from the site as a hazard reduction burn around North Head on Sydney’s Northern Beaches jumped containment lines.
The show is about to start filming a new season, but it’s understood housemates have not yet entered the house. The only people affected by the evacuation were producers, crew, and Kruger.
“Due to the impact of a prescribed hazard reduction burn at North Head, the Big Brother crew onsite were safely evacuated. Filming is yet to commence and production will resume when it is safe to do so,” an Endemol Shine Australia spokesperson said.
ABC iview viewers will be required to register their personal details to watch programs such as Four Corners, Australian Story and Bluey on the online video platform, a strategy that replicates its commercial free-to-air broadcasting rivals, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.
The national broadcaster wrote in its new five-year strategic plan in June that it intended to introduce optional sign-in for users of ABC iview and other products like the ABC News app over the next five years. But ABC sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plans are confidential, said the broadcaster intends to make password-protected access compulsory from mid- next year.
ABC sources said compulsory log-in was designed to make the product more personal for viewers. But it could raise concerns about data privacy, a consideration which was taken into account in internal discussions.
Nicole Kidman is not long home after a tiring day shooting in Byron Bay for her upcoming television series, Nine Perfect Strangers, based on the Liane Moriarty book about a group of people who meet at a health resort, so it’s understandable she might feel a little jaded, writes The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Idato in a Good Weekend cover story.
With homes in Los Angeles, New York, Nashville and Sutton Forest, NSW, Kidman has set up temporary camp in Byron Bay while she films Nine Perfect Strangers, which also stars Asher Keddie and Melissa McCarthy. She drives herself to the set each day and spends her nights in a rented house she shares with her sister, Antonia Marran, and a mixed tribe drawn from Nicole’s two and Antonia’s six children.
Through her production house, Kidman has added the string of executive producer to her bow, and is part of a broad trend in which her peers, including actors Reese Witherspoon and Charlize Theron, have also launched successful production companies, resulting in a wave of content that has put women over 50, including Laura Linney (Ozark), Gillian Anderson (Sex Education), Jennifer Aniston (The Morning Show) and Laura Dern (Big Little Lies), into the No. 1 position on their call sheets.
The Block host Scott Cam has hosed down rumours he is set to depart the hit renovation show, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne.
Cam was the subject of a strange report in New Idea suggesting Jamie Durie, who was the original host of The Block, was being looked at to replace him on the Channel 9 show and that he was facing the chop.
It was news to everyone, including Cam.
“I am a bit surprised by that too,” he said.
“But I always take it with a grain of salt. They never contacted me, I don’t know where that story came from.
“I have been at Channel 9 for 21 years on a permanent basis and I have got a few good years left in some contracts, so I reckon I am staying put.”
The Block’s executive producer Julian Cress backed Cam.
“Every TV show is the sum of its parts, but with The Block the parts Scott Cam represents are both its heart and its soul,” Cress said.
At 5.30am this morning a Rolling Stones instrumental introducing Australia’s highest-rating breakfast show went a little longer than usual. Instead of the usual comforting tones of Ross Stevenson, his executive producer Kate Stevenson was the first voice listeners heard, welcoming co-host Russell Howcroft at the start of a new week.
Stevenson quickly explained that the croaky voice Ross had toward the end of last week had not improved and he had decided to be tested for Covid-19. A test which he took himself. He will be off air until he gets what will hopefully be a negative result and his throat recovers.
The two Stevensons (no relation to each other), appear together and separately on-air at the Nine-owned Melbourne station. They host the Saturday morning 3AW show The Moveable Feast together, and Kate often hosts breakfast survey breaks on weekdays alongside Network 10’s Stephen Quartermain.
They were pictured jetting into Byron Bay last week, for Hollywood actor Zac Efron’s 33rd birthday bash and Kyle Sandilands and Tegan Kynaston now have another reason to celebrate, reports News Corp’s Mibenge Nsenduluka.
The couple have won BWS’ Local Luvva campaign, beating out 300 independent winemakers, brewers and distillers across the country to secure shelf space for their Nueva Sangria and they’re both thrilled.
“I’m not much of a drinker, but I really do love this sangria. Typically, we have it when we have barbecues with friends. It’s a great refreshing drink in the afternoon and it can easily be matched with any food,” Sandilands said.
Kynaston, who is a co-owner of Nueva, added: “This is a great opportunity for us to take Nueva Sangria to a new level and give more people the opportunity to enjoy it. Our little surprise hit is all grown up and ready for the BWS shelves.”
Super Rugby union matches could be on free-to-air television live for the first time next year after Nine Entertainment Co lodged a $30 million bid for the broadcast rights aimed at wresting the game away from pay-TV group Foxtel, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.
Industry sources familiar with Rugby Australia’s discussions with media companies who requested anonymity said Nine had offered to pay about $30 million a year in cash and free advertising. The television, publishing and digital company decided late last week to offer more cash than free advertising to sweeten the deal. Nine declined to comment. RA declined to comment.
Foxtel pays between $30 million to $40 million a year for the rights but was hoping to renegotiate price in the same way it landed new deals with the AFL and NRL.
Foxtel, Ten and BSkyB are at the end of a $285m five-year deal with RA signed in 2015.
Rugby league will head to Hollywood by way of a galaxy far, far away with cutting edge technology to deliver a Dally M experience unlike any other in the game’s history, reports News Corp’s Nick Campton.
With COVID-19 forcing a change to the regular Dally M Awards, Fox League will employ new hologram technology to create a virtual world for rugby league’s night of nights.
Life-sized holograms will be projected next to hosts Yvonne Sampson, Lara Pitt, Jess Yates and Hannah Hollis to recreate the usual awards experience as closely as possible.
“We’ve engaged a company called Big Picture who have used this technology with Disney before on Star Wars: The Mandalorian,” Fox League executive producer Jamie Lockyer said.
The technology has been used for the Winter Olympics and during this year’s US Open but will be making its Australian debut at the Dally M’s.
For the first time, Fox Sports will fire up all three of its studios in order to bring the awards show to the viewers like never before.
Seven’s Bruce McAvaney was finally due to be in the same broadcast studio as Brian Taylor at the Adelaide Oval for Friday night’s Port Adelaide-Richmond AFL preliminary final, reports News Corp’s Glenn McFarlane.
It was the first time that has happened since March.
Then the pair – and the rest of the commentary team – were due to fly to Brisbane for Saturday’s Lions-Cats preliminary final at the Gabba, where a specially-built small studio will allow McAvaney to be a part of the network’s racing coverage of the Caulfield Cup and the Everest.
He’s excited – and grateful – to be back calling at venues.
After missing a trip to Tokyo for the Olympic Games this year, he is hopeful of being there next year.
A phone call at the end of every year with Seven Melbourne managing director Lewis Martin ratifies McAvaney’s plans for the following year.
It’s the television equivalent of a handshake agreement based on respect and trust.
“Lewy rings me and says ‘Macca, what do you reckon?’ I say to him ‘Lewy, what do you reckon?’, and we go from there,” he says. “He has been wonderful for me.
“It is a fluid arrangement surrounded by trust and a relationship that has been there for a long time. “I can categorically say that I am not going to be working for anyone else. My broadcasting career will be finishing at Seven and that’s the way it should be.”
Importantly, lessons learnt in the pandemic might have paved the way to extend McAvaney’s calling longevity.
“When you get towards 70, and that’s what I am getting towards now, you do get to a moment where you have to say ‘OK, how much longer can the network want me and how much longer would I want to do this?” he says.
“I think it (calling remotely) may have opened the door to give me a longer life as a broadcaster.
“You would never call a Grand Final remotely, or an Anzac Day game, or a blockbuster Friday night game. But there may be an opportunity where I don’t have to get on a plane every week of the year.”
The Marsh Sheffield Shield returns to television screens around Australia from today with Fox Cricket to show matches from Karen Rolton Oval over the next three rounds.
The news comes after the opening round of the Marsh Sheffield Shield in South Australia which was streamed on Kayo Sports, cricket.com.au and the CA Live app.
It will be the first time in almost 20 years that a regular season Marsh Sheffield Shield match has been televised in full.
The trio of Fox Cricket matches begins with South Australia’s clash with Tasmania, featuring current Australian Test stars Travis Head and captain Tim Paine, from Monday October 19.
Stephanie Beltrame, Cricket Australia’s executive general manager, broadcasting & commercial, thanked Foxtel for their commitment to domestic cricket.
“What a win for cricket fans across Australia,” Beltrame said. “We’re delighted to bring the Marsh Sheffield Shield back to television screens around Australia from Monday.
“Some cricket fans would remember First Class matches being televised in the early 2000s. With the help of Foxtel, we’ll be bringing the competition into homes around Australia once again, in addition to the successful opening round streams on Kayo, cricket.com.au and the CA Live app.
“We thank Foxtel for their ongoing support of Australian Cricket and look forward to tuning into the Marsh Sheffield Shield on Fox Cricket.”