Thursday November 22, 2018

Mediaweek TV

This week on Mediaweek TV James Manning spoke with James Taylor, Managing Director, SBS. Tune in to Mediaweek TV at 2.30pm on Your Money (Foxtel 601 and 95 FTA).

Longtime SBS managing director Michael Ebeid left just last month after seven years running the broadcaster. He was replaced by his COO James Taylor who has been with SBS nearly as long as Ebeid was. Taylor hosted his first major SBS event this week – the 2019 Upfronts. The new TV leader talked to Mediaweek’s James Manning about his old boss, his management style, the efficiency review currently under way and what we should look forward to on our screens next year.

Seven West Media’s statement on Tennis Australia & ASIC investigation

Seven West Media has made a short statement on the matter, noting that it is before the courts:

Insofar as false suggestions have been made by others, it is important to clarify that Seven cooperated in the ASIC investigation as required of it and no allegations have been made by ASIC against Seven executives or directors.

SWM had the tennis rights for 40 years, during which time we helped build the sport to what it is today. We are proud of our relationship with Tennis Australia.

See also: ASIC commences Federal Court action against former directors of Tennis Australia

Our contract with Tennis Australia provided for an exclusive negotiating window which we pursued in good faith. In accordance with expectations Tennis Australia had to similarly engage in good faith negotiations during that period, not only because of the contractual obligation but also because of the longstanding relationship.

There was a material step up in the rights fee agreed and we reached agreement within that exclusive period. We didn’t receive any confidential information and nor was it put to us by ASIC that we had.

The emails ASIC has made public were sent six months prior to when the contract for the 2015-19 rights season was actually agreed and signed at the end of May 2013.

Seven’s [broadcast rights] offers increased all the time during the negotiations and needed to be constantly referred to the SWM board. In addition, SWM cooperated with Tennis Australia’s desire to take the production back in-house, which had previously been a source of revenue for Seven and represented a further value shift to Tennis Australia to use its new dedicated facility at Melbourne Park.

Ultimately the negotiations for the final deal were conducted with the full executive team in intensive sessions over several days, with lawyers in attendance for both sides, and the deal was approved by the full Tennis Australia board.

Red Room ARIA Week Show #1: Vera Blue at The Lansdowne

Universal Music and Island Records Australia recording artist Vera Blue was a smart choice to launch Nova Entertainment’s latest ambitious Red Room extravaganza.

Five shows in five days (let’s not count the weekend) might be a little easier when they are in the one city instead of crisscrossing the US, but music marketing director and Red Room guru Claire Marshall and her Nova Entertainment team face a challenging few days.

They ticked the box big time on the first night of the Red Room ARIA Week. The venue for some of the shows is Sydney’s legendary Lansdowne Hotel and the crowd crammed into the upstairs performance space for what was another memorable Vera Blue set were very appreciative of their unique access to the rising star.

The exclusive show attracted a mix of listeners and Nova staff, all eager to see Vera Blue in action.

Nova’s Smallzy again hosted the Red Room while Australia’s #1 drive talent Marty Sheargold was also in the room. The bedrock of Nova’s Kate, Tim and Marty team is in Sydney for a number of reasons this week and is enjoying a couple of days in the studio with his colleagues after doing the occasional show interstate.

Nova Entertainment’s group program director Paul Jackson was also watching the performance in between chatting with colleagues and Universal Music executives. The gig started almost as soon as Jackson walked in the room (he has that much power!), accompanied by head of programming Nova 96.9 and smoothfm network Peter Clay and former Nova executive and now head of music at iTunes and Apple Music Australia Andy Milne. Also in Sydney for a few days is Nova Entertainment publicity director Jane Elliott working with her growing team of comms staff.

Also taking an interest in what has already been a bust week of ARIA Week (and-a-bit) events was ARIA CEO Dan Rosen. He was joined by Universal Music managing directors Darren Aboud and Michael Taylor plus UMA’s general manager, media & strategy Ben Facey.

Performance highlight was easily the current single All The Pretty Girls, sure to be a track on her next album, which might drop mid-2019.

Other singles in the set included Settle from 2016, Private, Mended and Regular Touch from last year and Lady Powers from earlier this year.

Sadly for the fans crowding the front of the stage, Smallzy nearly ended the gig early, coming out to say goodnight before Vera Blue shooed him away explaining there was one more tune to go.

Drama search: Stan and Film Victoria launch development fund

• New two-year drama development fund seeks bold stories and fresh perspectives for streaming platform

The search for bold, disruptive high-end drama developed by Victorian writers and producers has commenced, thanks to new funding from Australian streaming platform, Stan, and Film Victoria.

Announced this week at Screen Forever in Melbourne, the Stan and Film Victoria Development Fund is a two-year program developed to discover new perspectives and fresh, original stories, leveraging local and global audience demand for premium drama.

The initiative, which will fund the development of up to four high-end projects per year for Stan’s commissioning consideration, is not restricted to a single genre, and is accessible to up-and-coming creative talent, as well as established players in the industry.

Projects funded via this initiative will add to Stan’s library of original productions if commissioned.

The Stan Originals roster includes two gripping seasons of the award-winning Wolf Creek, the multi-Logie winning series Romper Stomper, Stan’s first Original series No Activity, which has since become a hit US series starring Will Ferrell and Bob Odenkirk, and the upcoming No Activity Christmas Special, reuniting the Australian cast.

Stan’s slate of innovative drama also includes the Film Victoria-supported Bloom, premiering New Year’s Day and starring Jacki Weaver, Bryan Brown, Phoebe Tonkin and Ryan Corr.

Mike Sneesby, Stan’s CEO, said: “Victoria’s world-class creatives, locations and facilities have already become an intrinsic part of our slate of Stan Original productions through Romper Stomper and Bloom. This new partnership with Film Victoria and the Victorian production sector is an important step in further developing the local production industry. The new Stan and Film Victoria Development Fund embodies our commitment to the continued development and production of high-end drama in Australia for a global audience.”

Caroline Pitcher, Film Victoria CEO, said: “Film Victoria is thrilled to partner with Stan on this exciting new initiative. We’re searching for disruptive, original story concepts that feature diverse and authentic characters set in imaginative locations. We want global audiences hooked on Victorian screen stories. In a short space of time, Stan has become renowned for cutting edge drama, and we’re proud to support this via our important new development initiative.”

Applications for the Stan and Film Victoria Development Fund will be open from December 14, 2018 to January 29, 2019. Projects selected for commissioning consideration will be notified in March 2019.

For more information, visit:

Hit Network’s Hughesy & Kate launch men with pups 2018 calendar

With rising ratings at the Sydney Hit Network show Breakfast with Grant and Ed, the network’s national drive show has been working hard in the Sydney market.

Broadcasting again from Sydney this week, Hughesy and Kate launched their latest initiative.

Hughesy’s wife Holly keeps buying the Sexy Firemen and Their Puppies calendar. Hughesy decided he’s had enough so he’s got to work on his own calendar – Men & Mongrels – starring average, everyday men and their rescue dogs.

Hughesy and Kate held photoshoots all over the country and the results were revealed this week on the 2Day FM World Famous rooftop. There were also performances from Amy Shark, Conrad Sewell and Guy Sebastian on the special calendar reveal show.

TV Ratings Analysis: November 21

• Seven’s mix of dramas and ob docs secures a midweek win
• Adam Hills’ tribute from London for Pellegrini’s Sisto Malaspina

By James Manning


Home And Away lifted to a week high of 641,000 after audiences of 616,000 and 577,000 on the first two nights of the week.

The ob docs occupied the next hour with Emergency Call on 624,000 followed by Border Security Australia on 642,000.

The US drama 9-1-1 did 548,000 after 498,000 last week.

Criminal Minds was then on 289,000 and then 143,000 for a repeat.


A Current Affair drifted below 700,000 for the first time this week to 671,000 with a worrying story on distracted drivers.

An hour of Young Sheldon saw audiences of 547,000 and 447,000 – the new episode up a little week-on-week and the repeat steady on last week’s number.

An hour of The Big Bang Theory did 466,000 and then 448,000.

The US drama Manifest then did 257,000.


Take That were live from London on The Project while boxer Danny Green was live in the studio with 422,000 at 7pm, just enough to make the OzTAM top 20.

Jamie Olivier in Italy came via Jamie & The Nonnas at 7.30pm with 396,000 watching.

Not a superb lead-in for Blind Date’s new timeslot. The episode featured KIIS FM Sydney’s Brooklyn Ross searching for a date. Not all the Kyle and Jackie O team stayed up to watch, they admitted this morning. That didn’t help lift the audience of 256,000.


Hard Quiz must be loving the competition with one of its biggest audiences of 741,000 – 100,000 clear of Border Security in second place at 8pm.

Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell then did 683,000, down slightly on last week.

Tomorrow Night was then on 457,000 after 506,000 last week.

The final of the short series of The Set did 162,000 – surely a show that should be on another night.

Adam Hills The Last Leg featured an Aussie barbecue and he had a tribute to Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar co-owner Sisto Malaspina in the form of a coffee cup on his desk. The episode did 154,000.


The final of Child Genius should have pushed the numbers higher – and it did, slightly. After 193,000 on Tuesday, the final attracted 206,000.

Week 47 TV: Wednesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 14.6% 7 21.2% 9 17.6% 10  9.5% SBS One 4.7%
ABC 2 2.7% 7TWO 3.9% GO! 3.4% 10 Boss 3.7% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 3.5% GEM 3.1% 10 Peach 2.7% Food Net 1.5%
ABC NEWS 2.0% 7flix 2.2% 9Life 1.8%     NITV 0.2%
TOTAL 19.9%   30.8%   25.9%   15.9%   7.6%
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 13.1% 7 21.9% 9 15.6% WIN 7.3% SBS One 4.1%
ABC 2 3.7% 7TWO 5.0% GO! 3.6% ONE 4.6% VICELAND 1.3%
ABC ME 1.2% 7mate 3.4% GEM 4.4% ELEVEN 2.8% Food Net 2.1%
ABC NEWS 2.0% 7flix 1.6% 9Life 1.5% Sky News  on WIN 0.6% NITV 0.3%
TOTAL 20.0%   31.9%   25.1%   15.3%   7.5%


81.0% 19.0%


  1. Seven News Seven 911,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 888,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 844,000
  4. Nine News Nine 839,000
  5. Hard Quiz ABC 741,000
  6. Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell S9 ABC 683,000
  7. ABC News ABC 679,000
  8. A Current Affair Nine 671,000
  9. 7.30 ABC 663,000
  10. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line Seven 642,000
  11. Home And Away Seven 641,000
  12. Emergency Call Seven 624,000
  13. 9-1-1 Seven 548,000
  14. Young Sheldon Nine 547,000
  15. The Chase Australia Seven 538,000
  16. The Big Bang Theory Nine 466,000
  17. Tomorrow Tonight ABC 457,000
  18. The Big Bang Theory (R) Nine 448,000
  19. Young Sheldon – (R) Nine 447,000
  20. Hot Seat Nine 429,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line Seven 147,000
  2. Emergency Call Seven 138,000
  3. Home And Away Seven 117,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 111,000
  5. 9-1-1 Seven 109,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line Seven 218,000
  2. 9-1-1 Seven 209,000
  3. Emergency Call Seven 206,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 199,000
  5. The Big Bang Theory – (R) Nine 193,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line Seven 264,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 247,000
  3. Emergency Call Seven 247,000
  4. Young Sheldon Nine 244,000
  5. Nine News Nine 244,000
WEDNESDAY Multichannel
  1. Wanda And The Alien PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 153,000
  2. Andy’s Wild Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 146,000
  3. Floogals AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 144,000
  4. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 144,000
  5. Waffle The Wonder Dog PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 143,000
  6. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 140,000
  7. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 139,000
  8. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 139,000
  9. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 138,000
  10. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 137,000
  11. Fireman Sam AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 135,000
  12. Dino Dana ABCKIDS/COMEDY 134,000
  13. Becca’s Bunch PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  14. Rosemary & Thyme PM 7TWO 129,000
  15. Luo Bao Bei ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  16. Judge John Deed PM 7TWO 127,000
  17. Neighbours 10 Peach 126,000
  18. Shaun The Sheep ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  19. The Justine Clarke Show! AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 122,000
  20. Hey Duggee AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
WEDNESDAY Subscription TV
  1. Live: Australia Twenty20 Post Game FOX CRICKET 360,000
  2. Live: Twenty20: Aus V Ind Game 1 FOX CRICKET 338,000
  3. Live: Twenty20: Aus V Ind FOX CRICKET 298,000
  4. 2 Nations, 1 Obsession FOX CRICKET 295,000
  5. Live: The Big Break FOX CRICKET 277,000
  6. Love It Or List It Australia LifeStyle Channel 25,000
  7. Live: Australia Twenty20 Pre Game FOX CRICKET 75,000
  8. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 69,000
  9. Victoria People’s Forum Sky News Live 62,000
  10. Grand Designs LifeStyle Channel 51,000
  11. Selling Houses Australia LifeStyle Channel 47,000
  12. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 43,000
  13. Credlin Sky News Live 38,000
  14. PML Overtime Sky News Live 36,000
  15. The Little Drummer Girl BBC First 34,000
  16. Sofia The First Disney Junior 33,000
  17. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 32,000
  18. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 31,000
  19. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 30,000
  20. Peppa Pig 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

Antony Catalano reveals plans for $800m Fairfax asset sales

Fairfax Media would embark on asset sales worth more than $800 million and try to partner with Seven West Media and ANZ to focus on real estate services such as mortgages and insurance under plans drawn up by former Domain boss Antony Catalano, reports The Australian’s John Stensholt.

Details of Catalano’s plans for Fairfax were shared with supporters of his last-ditch legal bid to halt Fairfax’s $4 billion merger with Nine Entertainment ahead of the Federal Court potentially giving the green light to the deal next Tuesday.

Catalano’s plan would include selling Fairfax’s Macquarie Radio stake for $180 million-$200m, streaming provider Stan for up to $300m, offloading New Zealand assets and Australian rural assets in a series of sales that could reap more than $200m, and disposing of some newspaper mastheads, forecasting service Weatherzone and other holdings such as property.

[Read the original]

GroupM appoints Mediacom and former TV exec to Finecast team

GroupM this week appointed Nicole Turley (pictured) to the Finecast Australia team. Finecast is the Addressable TV business launched by GroupM in October 2018.

Turley has been the chief investment officer for MediaCom for the past five years, most recently holding the title chief investment and growth officer. She has previously held senior sales roles at Seven Network and Network Ten and is an advisory board member for the Sony Foundation.

She is joining the Finecast/GroupM investment team as client consultant to leverage opportunities in this space at group level.

Over the past five years, Turley has led MediaCom’s investment team, building a strong leadership group with world class understanding of the traditional and digital mediums. She played a key role in driving the evolution of how the agency plans and buys media.

In this new role, she will work with Finecast managing director Brett Poole and the Finecast team as well as GroupM CIO Nicola Lewis and the GroupM investment team and each of its agencies to leverage investment strategies.

Mark Lollback, GroupM Australia and New Zealand CEO, said: “Since launching to the market Finecast has been received incredibly well by clients and the team has been doing an incredible job. To keep up that pace, ensure continued growth and make sure that we are able to deliver for our agencies and clients, and the business, we are expanding the team.”

Brett Poole, Finecast Australia managing director, said: “Nicole is one of the best TV buying talents in Australia and we’ve been lucky to have her within GroupM at MediaCom. We are thrilled to have someone of her calibre join the team to supercharge our growth and support the team.”

Nicole Turley said: “Addressable TV is where television advertising is going and GroupM and Finecast are at the bleeding edge of this innovative space. This is an incredible opportunity to be part of that, work with our broadcast partners at Seven, Nine, Ten, MCN/Foxtel and SBS and drive the growth and expansion of addressable TV in Australia.”

Her appointment is effective immediately.

Publicis.Sapient appoints Sarah Adam-Gedge as Australian MD

Publicis.Sapient, the digital business transformation hub of Publicis Groupe, has appointed Sarah Adam-Gedge as managing director, Australia.

Adam-Gedge has three decades of executive experience at leading technology and consulting firms in the market. She joins from Avanade Australia, where she was managing director, and was previously managing partner and vice president of Global Business Services at IBM, as well as holding senior roles at PwC and Arthur Andersen.

In her new role Adam-Gedge will be responsible for building relationships to create exponential value for clients by unlocking growth and increasing efficiency. She will be tasked to drive forward Publicis.Sapient’s reputation in the market for delivering clients’ transformation initiatives through its combination of technology, data sciences, creativity and industry expertise.

Adam-Gedge will report to Nigel Vaz, CEO of Publicis.Sapient International and Publicis Groupe Global Lead for digital business transformation. She joins the Publicis.Sapient International Leadership Team and will work with the existing Publicis.Sapient Australia leadership.

“Sarah is an exceptional talent with a strong reputation for building and growing Australian businesses. Her experience and strengths in technology and consulting, strong C-level relationships and personal reputation in the market make her the perfect person to take Publicis.Sapient to the next level in Australia and to accelerating our clients’ businesses by ensuring they successfully transform for the digital age. I’m excited for the experience and diversity of perspective she will add to our team,” said Vaz.

Sarah Adam-Gedge commented: “I’m delighted to join Publicis.Sapient at such an important time in its evolution, and to help build on its reputation for helping businesses to reinvent and transform themselves to keep pace with a rapidly changing world. As part of Publicis Groupe, with its commitment to creativity and technology in service of superior customer engagement, I look forward to helping make a significant impact for our clients.”

Photo: Sarah Adam-Gedge with Nigel Vaz

ABC chief wants financial freedom to match editorial independence

The executive who is vying to become the new managing director of the ABC has called for the national broadcaster to be given “financial independence” to match its editorial independence, reports The Australian’s Stephen Brook.

David Anderson, the ABC’s acting managing director, made his provocative call yesterday in front of the newly formed ABC Alumni, a lobby group of former staff members at the ABC headquarters in Ultimo, Sydney.

They included former Foreign Correspondent presenter George Negus, former Four Corners and Australian Story presenter Caroline Jones, and former NSW premier Bob Carr, who once worked as an ABC Radio current affairs journalist. “While we have editorial independence, our financial independence is also important to me,” Anderson said. “It is one of those issues I am calling out… the need to have a sustainable budget that we can rely on into the future so we can continue to provide our services for now and for ever more.”

Kerry O’Brien, the former host of Four Corners and The 7.30 Report, said the independence of the ABC board was paramount. “Not the appearance of it, not the bullshit version, but real, arm’s length independence. And the government that can’t guarantee that is a government that should be judged by all ABC (supporters) around the country as a government that is found wanting.”

[Read the original]

Harold Mitchell quits Free TV, ready to defend ASIC allegations

Free TV Australia announced yesterday that Harold Mitchell had decided to resign from his position as chairman.

Free TV CEO Bridget Fair said: “It is with great regret that Free TV announces that Harold Mitchell has taken the decision to resign as Chairman of Free TV. Harold’s contributions to the industry cannot be overstated. Over the past five years he has overseen some of the most significant developments in the commercial television sector and delivered superb leadership and advice, for which we are sincerely grateful.

“Harold’s expertise, experience and commitment will be very much missed throughout the organisation. He leaves a lasting and important legacy at Free TV, having significantly changed the industry for the better in his time as chairman.”

Free TV noted Mitchell has played a key role during his tenure as chairman include the historic repeal of the media ownership laws, the removal of commercial television licence fees, the transition to digital-only television, defeating the proposal to increase SBS advertising time limits and maintaining the anti-siphoning list.

Meanwhile The Australian reports Harold Mitchell will “vigorously defend” himself against accusations by the corporate watchdog that he breached his duties during a broadcast deal struck with Seven West Media while he was director of Tennis Australia.

Mitchell said he had been “forced” into making the decision to step down from his Free TV role following the “false accusations by (ASIC), which I intend to vigorously defend”.

See separate Seven statement regarding the ASIC investigation.

News Brands

CNN appoints former News Corp Aust exec head of digital Asia

CNN Digital has appointed Brett McKeehan (pictured) as director, CNN Digital Asia. Based in Hong Kong, McKeehan will lead the Asia-Pacific team and have editorial responsibility for content coming from teams across the region for CNN Digital’s global audience. McKeehan will work closely with CNN’s digital teams in London, Abu Dhabi, New York and Atlanta.

Before joining CNN, McKeehan worked at the South China Morning Post as online editor, where he expanded the team and helped significantly increase the publication’s reach across wider Asia and beyond. He also led the design, build and rollout of a multiplatform editorial CMS for content production.

Before that he was with News Corp in Australia after a stint with The Sun newspaper in the UK.

McKeehan’s roles in Australia included time at the Townsville Bulletin, The Daily Telegraph and most recently as editorial digital integrations manager in 2014.

Executive editor of CNN Digital International Inga Thordar said: “Brett’s editorial experience, understanding of the region and dedication to putting the audience at the core of everything we do position him for great success leading our Asia-Pacific region. His multiplatform skills perfectly complement the approach we are taking at CNN Digital internationally, and we are thrilled to have him join our team.”


Entertainment One legal counsel awarded Natalie Miller Fellowship

Miriam Katsambis (pictured), legal counsel at Entertainment One, has been awarded the Natalie Miller Fellowship for 2018.

Established in 2011 to recognise the contribution of screen industry pioneer Natalie Miller, the Fellowship is open to all women working in the Australian screen industry and aims to provide financial assistance to pursue professional development in their fields through attachments, internships, secondments, travel and other means in order to reach their full leadership potential.

This year’s recipient, Miriam Katsambis, has extensive experience in the Australian screen industry, having worked for over 12 years in various legal, advocacy and policy development roles across state and federal government screen agencies, guilds and industry bodies, and most recently as Legal Counsel at Entertainment One Films Australia, the Australian/New Zealand subsidiary of Entertainment One.

The Fellowship is the only grant of its kind in the country and offers up to $20,000 for a professional development program that will deliver significant benefits to the applicant and the wider Australian screen community. Earlier this year, Village Roadshow came on board as a co-sponsor, which sees the global entertainment company provide $50,000 over five years to support the Fellowship.

Since 2012, six other Fellowships have been awarded to Rachel Okine (Vice President of Acquisitions STX international), Harriet Pike (Head of Production & Development, WildBear Entertainment), Rebecca Hammond (Post Production Manager, Beyond Productions), Courtney Botfield (Film Distribution and Marketing Consultant/Producer), Sasha Close (Film Programming Manager, Wallis Cinemas) and Kristy Matheson (Director, Film Programs ACMI).


TV Demand Charts: Sabrina building a legacy as audience favourite

The Netflix series Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina and Foxtel’s The Walking Dead top the Digital Originals and Overall TV charts again this week.

It’s the third consecutive week at the top in Australia and New Zealand for Sabrina. It’s the second consecutive week on top for The Walking Dead in both markets. However, as we have noted many times, The Walking Dead is rarely off the chart, and ranked #1 for 19 consecutive weeks on the Overall TV Chart in Australia from January this year.

This week on the Digital Originals, Castle Rock and Ozark returned to the top 10 in Australia. In New Zealand, Narcos and Star Trek: Discovery were back in the top 10.

No new arrivals to the Overall TV chart in Australia, although Game Of Thrones surged higher in both markets.

MasterChef Australia honoured at International Emmys in New York

Australian TV shows MasterChef and the David Stratton cinema tribute have been honoured at the International Emmys festival and awards in New York, reports News Corp’s Brian Buchanan.

MasterChef Australia gained a medal for being in the final four in the Non-Scripted Entertainment category at the International Emmy World Television Festival.

Mark Fennessy, its executive producer and Endemol Shine Australia CEO, said it was a great honour for the show to be a finalist.

“For our market to take a food or cooking program into primetime had virtually never been done,” he said.

“It had lovely elements to it. It was feelgood, it was aspirational.

“It’s not just about the food. It is personal accomplishment.

“It is a personal thing (for the competitors) but it is shared with everybody as well.”

MasterChef transcended all cultures and languages, Fennessy said.

Producer Jo-anne McGowan and writer-director Sally Aitken accepted the medals for David Stratton’s Stories of Australian Cinema in the Arts Programming section.

[Read the original]

Bettina Arndt: SBS’s ‘sexism’ doco is just blatant propaganda

“Sexism is rife in Australia.” That’s the headline for promotion of a forthcoming SBS documentary Is Australia Sexist? to be shown on December 4. The network promises a “wake-up call for Australia”, writes Bettina Arndt in The Australian.

Instead, it’s just the usual ideological spin we have come to expect from public broadcasters.

But what’s odd about this documentary is that the independent Perth-based film company Joined Up Films, which did much of the filmmaking, intended to make a more balanced program about sexism.

Indeed, they encouraged me to take part because the survey results showed quite a different picture from the male-bashing dogma SBS is promoting.

The SBS sexism documentary is further proof that key players in these organisations are intent on stirring up trouble between men and women, in the face of evidence that most want a ceasefire.

[Read the original]

Knowing how to end a treasured TV show is never easy

There is literally no way to end a popular television series in a manner that will please everyone, and the more popular it is, the harder the job gets, writes Fairfax Media’s Ben Pobjie.

The makers of Netflix’s House of Cards found this out recently when their series finale was roundly panned by critics. HoC, of course, was up against it from the start of its last season, with the unfortunate circumstances of Kevin Spacey’s departure throwing plans into disarray, but even so, fans were disappointed by an ending to the Underwood saga that came across as both silly and unfulfilling.

The show’s writers were onto a hiding to nothing: there’s never been a universally acclaimed series finale, unless it was Six Feet Under’s epic decades-spanning montage, and even then you can bet some fans were spitting chips at the pretentiousness of it all.

Breaking Bad closed things off in what many, including this writer, considered a beautifully apt fashion, but there were others who found the whole thing ridiculously over the top, to the extent that they crafted theories about it all being a dream to salvage the show’s integrity in their own mind.

Likewise, many consider The Sopranos’ jarringly ambiguous cut-to-black finish a work of sheer genius, and many consider it a pathetic cop-out devoid of imagination.

Next year will bring possibly the most-anticipated finale in TV history: the end of Game of Thrones. The fate of the throne of Westeros, the armies of men and of the White Walkers, and the resolution of the various loves and hatreds of the epic fantasy series will be revealed, and the only thing guaranteed is that it will be met with howls of anger from the internet.

[Read the original]

Renewed: Foxtel Aussie drama hit will be back for two seasons

Hit Foxtel drama Wentworth is to be renewed for 20 new episodes, delighting thousands of fans who had feared the show was ending, reports TV Tonight.

Shooting will recommence next September for screening in 2020-2021.

The renewal comes on top of season 7 already completed earlier this year, taking the series to a total of 100 episodes.

Several months ago there was speculation the series was concluding, but Foxtel indicated discussions were ongoing.

TV Tonight understands discussions to continue the show took place between Fremantle CEO Chris Oliver-Taylor, Fremantle director of scripted Jo Porter, Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany, Foxtel executive director of television Brian Walsh, and Foxtel head of drama Penny Win.

[Read the original]


KIIS announcer sues station claiming discrimination for being gay

Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O’s top-rating radio show has been named in a lawsuit against media group ARN by one of its former personalities who has accused management of bullying, permitting a homophobic culture and that he was “discriminated for being gay”.

Former showbiz correspondent John Caldwell, who hosted the Celeb HQ show on KIIS FM, has launched the action with the Fair Work Commission, filing papers in Sydney on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for ARN said on Wednesday afternoon: “ARN is not aware of any proceedings commenced against KIIS FM or ARN by John Caldwell, and will rigorously defend any claims if they commence.

“John Caldwell’s contract was ended in October. Due to privacy reasons we don’t comment on individual contracts. However, John was given the reasons for his contract ending.

“ARN prides itself on its passionate work in the area of diversity and inclusion, particularly with LGBTQI initiatives and the broader community.”

[Read the original]

Scott Menz move: Triple M’s Big Breakfast to Brisbane music director

Scott Menz, executive producer of Triple M Brisbane’s The Big Breakfast with Marto, Robin & The Moonman (the city’s #1 breakfast show), has accepted a new role as music director with the station. Menz, who has been the breakfast EP for three years and is currently also the assistant content director (ACD), will retain his ACD duties as well as working inside the new Triple M network music hub, providing his expertise to the network.

He’s going to be busy, but at least he can wave goodbye to 4am starts.

Triple M Brisbane’s previous music director, Ben Wood, recently moved south to take on a new role as operations manager at Triple M Melbourne.

Menz has worked as an assistant music director at Nova Melbourne, content director/music director for Star 104.5 on the Central Coast and in operations at Triple M Adelaide.

Triple M Brisbane content director Rex Morris said, “Scott works brilliantly with all personality types both on and off the air and enjoys a deep respect from all his team members. He has been an integral part of the show’s most recent record-breaking success, and so this promotion is richly deserved.”

Menz wraps up his duties with The Big Breakfast at the end of the year and the recruitment for his replacement begins immediately.

Kyle and Jackie O’s Brooklyn Ross finds a hot date on Blind Date

He’s most well-known for being The Kyle and Jackie O Show’s resident newsreader.

But Wednesday night, Brooklyn Ross popped up on the small screen, looking for a date on Network Ten’s Blind Date, reports Daily Mail Australia’s Alisha Buaya.

Brooklyn explained he was looking for a man who he can have fun with, that he didn’t mind someone with long hair and was hoping to date someone “exotic” and not Caucasian like him.

His nerves appeared to dissipate as soon as he got into the seat and began asking his three handsome suitors questions about themselves.

The 30-year-old told host Julia Morris he was ready to settle down and have kids.

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Sports Media

Media blasted for its role in Bulldogs’ Mad Monday scandal

Canterbury players Adam Elliott and Asipeli Fine are expected to plead guilty to charges of wilful and obscene exposure, despite the lawyer acting for the latter blasting the media for its role in the Mad Monday scandal, reports Fairfax Media’s Adrian Proszenko.

The Bulldogs players were charged after being photographed nude at the Harbour View Hotel at the Rocks during the traditional end-of-season bonding night. The incident has been a costly one for the club and the players involved. The NRL suspended half of its $250,000 fine of the Bulldogs, although the full amount will be deducted if the club breaches the governing body’s code of conduct over the next 24 months.

Fine’s high-profile lawyer Elias Tabchouri said his client was likely to plead guilty but blasted the “prying eyes” of the media for his predicament.

“This shouldn’t be before the courts,” Tabchouri told Fairfax Media. “These guys don’t drink all year. They have one day of the year to do this. It is done in the private confines of an organised function by the club. Then these people come intrusively with telescopic lenses to invade that privacy and somehow judge them for conduct in a circumstance where these guys are not aware they are being watched.”

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Junk time: Health groups slam fast food ads on Grand Final day

Junk time in the AFL has taken on a whole new meaning after a new analysis of the AFL Grand Final telecast found unhealthy food and drink advertising was visible for more than a quarter of the match, reports News Corp’s Grant McArthur.

Health groups are calling on the league to junk the promotion of the unhealthy foods that clubs would prevent their players eating and drinking.

The review of the 2017 Grand Final telecast found fast food marketing and promotions appeared 452 times, or 36 minutes of advertising.

Obesity Policy Coalition executive manager Jane Martin said more than 322,000 viewers under 15 were bombarded by junk food and soft drink marketing that would be outlawed on children’s programs.

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