Triple M group content director Mike Fitzpatrick was listening to his Melbourne station’s Hot Breakfast show this morning when Mediaweek caught up with him.
Hosts Eddie, Luke and Wil were paying tributes to long-time Triple M football commentator Danny Frawley who died suddenly yesterday.
Fitzpatrick said Frawley was a key part of the Triple M AFL team for close to a decade. As to how it was come contract time, Fitzy told Mediaweek: “Danny was always easy. He loved what he did, he loved being part of the station and he certainly loved being part of The Saturday Rub [Triple M’s midday Saturday preview show].
“For a long-time that was the highlight of everyone’s week. He was such a critical part of making that show successful. Middays at Saturday became a must-listen for footy fans all over south-eastern Australia.”
Fitzy said Frawley’s association started with Triple M while he was coaching Richmond when he was a guest on the panel. “After he left Richmond he joined the commentary team.”
On Frawley’s departure about three years ago, Fitzy said: “We had a chat at contract time and he told me he was leaving to go and work at SEN. Not because he didn’t love Triple M, but because he really wanted to diversify his sports broadcasting commentary skills. He had been attached to footy since he was a kid and Hutchy was giving him the opportunity to do basketball, netball and other sports. Something we couldn’t offer him at Triple M.
“I understand that. When people want to grow they can’t keep doing the same thing forever.”
Fizty said it is hard to identify what makes some former players successful in the media. “He certainly had an X factor and not everybody has. James Brayshaw has it, Eddie has it, Luke Darcy and Brian Taylor have it. Out of all the footballers out there only a certain number can crack it on radio.
“You also have to be authentic and not afraid to put yourself out there. How you are on the radio is generally a bigger version of who you are in real life. The think about Spud is you could listen to him on the radio and then run into him in the pub and it was the same bloke.
“He was a lovely man and I don’t think anyone who ever met him would have walked away thinking he wasn’t. He had the amazing ability to make anyone laugh, put a smile on their face, and that comes through the speakers.”
“He liked to pull back the radio curtain and expose the backstage to the radio audience. We don’t shy away from that and that is where much of the fun comes from.
“Radio features people with big media personalities and he had fun with their on air personas. He would talk about what they were like on air, but then reveal what they just did off air. He had fun exposing people for what they were really like.”
There will be special memories about Frawley during The Saturday Rub this week. “There is no one who works at Triple M Footy who hasn’t worked with Spud in some capacity. The news yesterday was such a loss for everybody,” added Fitzpatrick.
• Mediaweek talks marketing strategy with Cartoon Network’s Robi Stanton
By Trent Thomas
Robi Stanton, Vice President & General Manager for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Territories has been at Turner for over 10 years filling multiple roles across the business in the region.
From 2013 to 2016 she ran all revenue streams in South East Asia while based in Singapore. This was followed by being part of the Turner team who launched Oh!K, Turner’s Korean general entertainment channel into Singapore and Malaysia. Her current role is based in Sydney with a regional scope across programming, sales and syndication. Before Cartoon Network, Stanton worked at MCN in advertising sales.
Stanton spoke with Mediaweek about how she manages the marketing and promotion of Cartoon Network’s international products for the Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Territory regions.
Stanton says that Cartoon Network has always tried to be forward thinking in engaging with its fanbase as a global kids entertainment brand. In the Asia Pacific region, together with its companion brands Boomerang and Pogo, it racked up almost 5 billion touchpoints in 2018 across TV, web, mobile, games, online video and events.
A key part of Cartoon Network’s marketing strategy is centred on collaborations. Stanton claimed that a major part of this is the company’s work with influencers, part of its 360 approach to engaging their audience,
“Collaborations with influencers allow us to connect with fans on a greater level. We understand that many younger viewers and families are engaging with social influencers, and we love that we can connect their favourite YouTube stars to their favourite cartoon.”
Some of Cartoon Network’s recent influencer collaborations include:
• Australia-based YouTuber CKN Toys partnered with Cartoon Network on a series of videos reviewing Ben 10 which generated over 338 million views.
• Cartoon Network teamed up with YouTuber Joe Sugg, the runner-up of 2018’s Strictly Come Dancing (UK), who lent his voice to The Amazing World of Gumball and posted behind the scenes content from his recording session.
• In a Cartoon Network first YouTuber Wengie voiced the character Bliss, the fourth power puff sister in The Powerpuff Girls.
Cartoon Network considers an important indicator of franchise success to be consumer products, and one way that company has boosted these sales is through collaborations with commercial partners such as the “Peter Alexander, The Powerpuff Girls” clothing range or Adult Swim’s “Blackmilk, Rick and Morty” line. They also have a retail agreement for We Bare Bears and Adventure Time merchandise with retailer Miniso in Australia.
Stanton says that these partnerships are beneficial for both parties as it provides their mutual fanbases with new products and increases brand awareness,
“We believe brand collaboration and partnerships where there is a shared or overlapping fan base is an incredibly powerful way to bring joy to the fans of the products and to widen the appeal of both brands respectively.
“The Temuera Morrison collab was a very special project for us, not only because we got to work with an amazing actor on We Bare Bears, but we also love being a part of such an important initiative as Maori Language Week. We have also previously engaged one of Australia’s biggest YouTubers – Wengie, who voiced the fourth Powerpuff Girl, Bliss. In addition to these influencers we also engage with CKN Toys on a regular basis who loves to play with Ben 10 toys for example and we love working with Georgia Productions, who was out our launch party of our Powerpuff Girls x Peter Alexander sleepwear range.”
Stanton says that not every influencer is the right fit for Cartoon Network, and identifying a passion for the brands is the key to a successful campaign,
“Cartoon Network fans often cross over with influencers and besides, most influencers are fans of our shows! We never engage with influencers who are not genuinely excited about that particular show. Fans can tell if a collaboration is not authentic.
“And that is critically important, so not all influencers are a good fit for Cartoon Network and vice versa. But if you’re careful to respect each brand’s integrity (we also see influencers as brands in their own right) and there is a natural fit, then it is possible to achieve incredible results for both brands.
“Wengie, for example, is a huge fan of The Powerpuff Girls and she jumped at the opportunity to work with Cartoon Network.”
However, it’s not just Cartoon Network that Turner utilises influencer based campaigns for with companion network Boomerang also benefitting from the strategy.
Stanton explained the rewards that can be found with pairing influencers with older brands: “Axl Rose recently collaborated with Looney Tunes for a special episode and we have an amazing slate of talent for our newest Scooby-Doo series Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? which launches in September. The new series features Australia’s very own Sia and Ricky Gervais, Chris Paul and Leila Ali to name a few.”
The Unicorn is here and she is ready to leave her magical mark on The Masked Singer stage when the part-guessing game, part-music extravaganza premieres on Monday, 23 September at 7.30pm.
The program’s judges worked the media this morning as 10 revealed the show’s launch date. Jackie O was on air at KIIS FM when she revealed the start date of the TV show that marks her return to TV.
Meanwhile, her judging colleague Dave Hughes was on air on Triple M explaining that despite the show launching against The Brownlow Medal count on Seven, he expected a big audience.
Another judge Dannii Minogue was on social media telling her 1m+ followers about the launch.
Guest US judge Lindsay Lohan was doing the same thing to her 16m+ followers.
The show is hosted by Osher Güunsberg and made 10 by Warner Bros Australia.
Executive producing for 10 is Stephen Tate who has squeezed the series in between his duties on Australian Survivor and The Amazing Race.
Each week The Masked Singer will feature celebrities facing off against one another with one major twist: each singer is disguised head-to-toe in an elaborate costume to conceal their identity.
With each sensational performance, the host, panellists, viewers and even the other contestants are left guessing who is singing behind the mask.
From hit makers to legendary athletes, not every celebrity will have a musical background, but each competitor will have the eye of the tiger working towards the ultimate goal of becoming the last singer to be unmasked.
On commissioning the series, Network 10’s chief content officer Beverley McGarvey said: “We are so thrilled to have The Masker Singer on 10. It is genuinely original, addictive and a little bit bonkers. It is not that often that you get to launch something that feels so unique and exciting. We cannot wait to get going and have the whole country playing along.”
Warner Bros. Australia CEO, Michael Brooks, said: “Australian TV audiences are screaming out for something fresh, exciting and original. The Masked Singer is not a singing show, it’s an addictive guessing game that will have the entire country asking one question…who is behind the mask?”
A flurry of interviews and reviews bordering from disappointing to delighted weren’t able to bump up the ratings though for the first program to air.
The network placed the series up against the final days play of the fourth Ashes Test, which turned out to be the day the fate of The Ashes were decided.
And 9pm Sunday night is not the friendliest of timeslots on any week – ask the producers of Glitch how the final season is performing in that slot on the ABC.
Finding a safe and “easy” timeslot is just not possible. What you can control is your lead-in though and the first Pilot Week program had a shocker with a long episode of Ambulance attracting 249,000 viewers in the 7.30pm timeslot.
A week prior an episode of Survivor did 752,000 in that timeslot.
Mediaweek will chart the 2019 performance of the Pilot Week programs here after each episode screens.
Sydney’s Crazy Rich Asians
Produced by Screentime, a Banijay Group company. Screentime executive producer Johnny Lowry. Network 10 executive producer Paul Leadon.
National 254,000 (Metro 175,000 Regional 78,000)
Here is a reminder of how the shows screened during Pilot Week in 2018 performed:
The adjusted metro numbers after all eight programs screened:
Kinne Productions & Big Yellow Taxi Productions
Trial By Kyle
Bring Back…Saturday Night
Nine has revealed the coverage of the finals day’s play in the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford in Manchester has set a number of ratings records.
The final day’s play was broadcast around the metro markets on 9Gem.
A total of 3.212 million viewers (Metro: 2.211 million / Regional: 1.001 million) tuned into Nine’s broadcast of the fifth day of the Fourth Test between Australia and England.
With an overnight total share of 17.8% on 9GEM, The Ashes helped the channel once again record the highest share for a multichannel in ratings history.
9Gem was the #1 multichannel channel on Sunday across the 5 City Metro with the following metro shares:
People 25-54: 18.9%
People 16-39: 22.6%
GS + Child: 21.2%
Total People: 17.8%
National peak audience: 1.514 million (5 City: 1.071 million / Regional: 443,000)
National average audience: 1.113 million (5 City: 810,000 / Regional: 303,000)
National peak audience: 906,000 (5 City: 634,000 / Regional: 272,000)
National average audience: 636,000 (5 City: 477,000 / Regional: 159,000)
The Sunday audience makes the first session coverage the third-highest rating program ever on 9Gem, and the highest-rating program on any multichannel this year.
After a static week at the Australian box office last week, there is new blood at the top of the charts with IT: Chapter 2 debuting in top spot. While it wasn’t able to match the $7.46m made by IT in 2017 it was still comfortably ahead of the closet competition in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood which was the only other film to crack the $1m threshold this week.
By Trent Thomas
The weekend box office isn’t the only top five to have some movement this weekend with the all-time Australian box office being shaken up by The Lion King which has moved past Avengers: Age of Ultron to sit in fourth spot as one of the four highest-grossing movies in Australian history with $62.59m.
Ne Zha was the only film to drop out of the top five this week which was pushed out by aforementioned IT: Chapter 2. Overall the Australian box office had an improvement of 15% making $10.93m with over half of that provided by IT.
The big release of the weekend didn’t disappoint as it shook up a top-five which hadn’t moved for two weeks, making more than triple any other film while also making the highest average ($11,786) on the most screens (501).
It’s three week run on top has ended after slipping down to second in its fourth week of release. Quentin Tarantino’s latest film has proven to have legs after making $18.21m so far for its release in Australia. It averaged $3,164 on 438 screens which were both the second-highest for those metrics in Australia this weekend.
After nine weeks the Disney remake is continuing its record-breaking run and once again it has produced a sub 50% decline this week decreasing by only 37% as it shows incredible staying power. This past weekend it made $2,495 on 283 screens as it hopes to take its top five streak next week into double digits.
Slipping from second spot is the second sequel to Olympus Has Fallen which brought its total to $4.83m in its third week of release, after averaging $2,638 on 261 screens.
A low total for a top five film but nonetheless the ninth Fast & Furious film makes it six weeks in the top after averaging $1,853 on 198 screens.
• Reality creating buzz: Scotty on The Block, Janine on Survivor
• Death of Danny Frawley darkens Monday night for many in media
• Fox Footy, Footy Classified & Talking Footy remember a colleague
By James Manning
• Seven News 1,066,000/1,052,000
• Nine News 967,000/1,021,000
• ABC News 751,000
• 7.30 594,000
• The Project 299,000/515,000
• 10 News First 432,000
• The Drum 194,000
• SBS World News 131,000
• Sunrise 276,000
• Today 213,000
Home and Away started the week on 674,000 after averaging 574,000 last week.
Seven’s ob doc hour was ranked fourth in the hour after 7.30pm with Highway Patrol on 499,000 followed by Motorbike Cops on 485,000.
Tow hours of US dramas again then with The Rookie on 384,000 and then S.W.A.T. on 254,000.
The 7.30pm footy show Talking Footy on 7mate paid tribute to Danny Frawley with special guest Michael Roberts sharing some great memories from the years with Frawley at St Kilda. The episode started with close to 70,000 watching in Melbourne.
A Current Affair started its week on 827,000 after averaging 704,000 last week. The program tried to examine what was cheaper – taxis or Unber?
The Block highlight was the tension between host Scott Cam and Blockheads Mitch and Mark. However there was plenty of renovation going on as work was well underway on master ensuite week. The episode did 978,000 after 907,000 a week ago.
The latest episode of This Time Next Year was on 515,000 after 589,000 a week ago.
AFL states saw Footy Classified with a sombre introduction from Hutchy as he and co-hosts, joined by Damian Barrett last night, talked about Danny Frawley. The episode did 192,000 in metro markets with 134,000 in Melbourne.
The Project also reported on the death of Danny Frawley. Rachel Griffiths was a special guest later in the program with 515,000 watching. The 7pm average for last week was 437,000.
Australian Survivor was back after surrendering its Sunday timeslot. The channel’s primetime share was supercharged as a result – jumping from 6.5% to 16.9% from Sunday to Monday. Janine Allis was voted off the series in one of many blindsides this season. The producers have a real knack this season for carefully editing the pre-Tribal Council strategising to give the audience blockbuster surprises at the end of the episode. There could be another one brewing tonight too. The episode did 810,000 and won most key demos after 790,000 on Monday last week.
Have You Been Paying Attention? had a big night too with Amanda Keller among the guests this week. The episode did 819,000 after 747,000 last week.
The Monday night regulars started with Australian Story on 549,000 followed by Four Corners on 557,000.
Media Watch devoted nearly a whole episode to one of Karl Stefanovic’s controversial guests on 60 Minutes with 533,000 watching.
Q&A then dropped under 300,000 with 266,000 watching.
The repeat episode of Elizabeth had the biggest audience – 169,000.
Two episode of 24 Hours in Emergency averaged 152,000
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.4%||7TWO||3.0%||GO!||2.4%||10 Bold||3.3%||VICELAND||0.8%|
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||3.0%||GEM||2.9%||10 Peach||1.9%||Food Net||1.1%|
|7Food||0.6%||SBS World Movies||0.6%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.6%||7TWO||3.6%||GO!||2.8%||WIN Bold||3.5%||VICELAND||1.5%|
|ABC ME||0.9%||7mate||3.9%||GEM||5.0%||WIN Peach||1.6%||Food Net||1.1%|
|ABC NEWS||1.1%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||2.1%||9Life||2.1%||Sky News on WIN||1.6%||NITV||0.2%|
|7food (QLD only)||0.2%|
|MONDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top Five
18-49 Top Five
25-54 Top Five
Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM
Iflix, the Australian-founded streaming platform watched by 17 million people in 12 south-east Asian countries in May, had its after-tax loss blow out 30 per cent to nearly $US160 million in calendar 2018 as it spent up big on original local content, reports The AFR’s Michael Bailey.
Iflix reported $US28.7 million ($41.9 million) revenue, up from $US21.3 million in calendar 2017, according to accounts lodged with the corporate regulator last week.
However, the company has now racked up accumulated losses of $US378.5 million since it was founded in 2014 by University Of Sydney-educated accountants turned entrepreneurs Patrick Grove and Lucas Elliott, and former Nine digital boss Mark Britt.
The football world is in mourning after St Kilda legend Danny Frawley died in a single-vehicle crash on Monday, reports the Herald Sun.
Frawley, the former Saints champion turned Richmond coach, later went into broadcasting, where he became a favourite among footy fans.
Former teammates, rivals and media colleagues are among those taking to social media to express their grief.
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan shared his condolences to the Frawley family and colleagues across the whole industry.
“It is a devastating day for the wider football community, and Danny’s loss will be taken very hard by so many people within our industry, as well as within our own organisation,” he said.
“Danny was passionate about footy and passionate about people. He made such a positive and lasting influence on so many in our game.
Matthew Richardson, the former Richmond champion who played under Frawley during his reign as Tigers coach, said Frawley had an infectious warmth.
“More than anything for me ‘Spud’ was a charismatic character who you wanted to be around,” Richardson said.
“He made you feel good, made you laugh, made you smile, which made it an enjoyable environment in his first few years at Richmond.
As his friend and long-time Triple M colleague Brian Taylor said, Frawley’s family meant everything to him.
“He loved his family and was an absolute gentleman. He also had a wide circle of mates,” Taylor said.
“There were the Triple M crew like Jason Dunstall, Bill Brownless, James Brayshaw and Garry Lyon, but he had kept his friends from his Ballarat days. ‘Spud’ was a straight-shooting knockabout country boy at heart.”
Australian football is mourning one of its fiercest competitors and most vulnerable souls after long-serving St Kilda captain, former Richmond coach and popular media personality Danny Frawley crashed his car into a tree on a quiet country road, reports The Age’s Chip Le Grand.
Frawley died about 1.30pm on Monday, the day after his 56th birthday, when his four-wheel-drive left a single lane road and hit a tree outside the western districts town of Millbrook, east of Ballarat.
Frawley had spoken candidly about his battle with mental health over many years. In recent weeks he confided in friends and family that his marriage was over and personal finances were under severe strain.
In recent months and weeks, Frawley’s poor mental health became acute.
He continued to work in the media, hosting Fox Footy’s The Bounce with Jason Dunstall.
AFL 360 hosts Gerard Whateley and Mark Robinson abandoned their regular program last night and paid tribute to their Fox Footy colleague Danny Frawley for much of the program. During the show they crossed to the hosts of On The Couch – Gerard Healy, Jonathan Brown and Paul Roos. Garry Lyon was unable to appear as he dealt with the loss of his good friend.
This statement last night from Patrick Delany, Foxtel CEO, and Peter Campbell, head of Fox Sports:
Words cannot convey our deep love and respect for Danny Frawley.
The Fox Sports family, and particularly Fox Footy, today lost one of its own – a leader, a man of incredible passion, insight and love for his family and for his game, AFL.
Our deepest love and wishes go to his wife Anita and their three daughters Chelsea, Danielle, and Keeley and to his many teammates, both in front and behind the camera.
It is a tragic time for all.
Danny gave us so many laughs and magic moments, from his playing days at St Kilda, coaching at Richmond and then his gifted touches at Fox Footy, as recently as Saturday night on his favourite program, Bounce.
Crocmedia released this statement Monday evening:
We are shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic passing of our great friend Danny ‘Spud’ Frawley.
The much-loved footy legend has been a cherished part of the Crocmedia and 1116 SEN families for many years and this news has rocked us all.
Spud was one of our original Off The Bench TV hosts, a key member of our AFL Nation broadcast team and a regular guest across our station.
His daughter Chelsea Frawley also works with us and our heart-felt sympathy goes out to her, Anita, Danielle and Keeley.
The St Kilda legend and former Richmond coach was a larger-than-life identity in both football, the media and the community more broadly – especially his beloved regional town of Ballarat.
In recent years, Spud revealed his personal battle with mental health issues which inspired many as he bravely shared his fight across many media channels.
Pacific Star Network managing director Craig Hutchison said the community at large was devastated by the news.
“Danny was simply loved. A true Australian character; a brilliant entertainer; a selfless father, husband and friend.
“He epitomised the spirit of the St Kilda football club and his football legacy as a player, coach, administrator and media performer is enormous.
“But his sense of community and the way he inspired others will be forever remembered.
“Like the entire football world, and the broader Victorian community, we are stunned and shattered at this extraordinary loss.
“He was simply everyone’s mate.”
Danny Frawley’s good friend and former Triple M colleague Damian Barrett joined the cast of Footy Classified last night as the program devoted the first segment of the show to remembering Danny Frawley.
Seven’s Monday AFL review program Talking Footy started with host Luke Darcy admitting they were not sure whether the program should go to air, so upset were the hosts.
Joining Darcy on the show was good friend and former St Kilda colleague Michael Roberts. Also remembering Frawley were Talking Footy regulars Tim Watson and Wayne Carey.
Danny Frawley had been currently employed by Melbourne sports station SEN and was part of their AFL Nation call. The station had been flooded with calls after the news of Frawley’s passing broke on Monday.
Speaking about their relationship with Frawley and what he did for football were Craig Hutchison, Andy Maher, Bob Murphy, Sam McClure and many others in the SEN family.
The station’s breakfast show started on Tuesday morning without Garry Lyon who was replaced on air by Jack Heverin co-hosting with Tim Watson. The program called on listeners to share memories of Frawley.
The show interspersed the calls with memories Heverin and Watson had with their friend and colleague. Hutchy and former Richmond coach Tony Jewell were guests on the show this morning.
Frawley’s former radio home was Triple M and Eddie McGuire and Luke Darcy started their breakfast show paying tribute to Frawley and also taking calls about the AFL great. When Wil Anderson joined the show after 7am, he talked about Frawley the comedian and the station put together several clips of Spud at his best.
David Michod’s take on Shakespeare’s so-called “Henriad” – the plays Henry IV: Part 1, Henry IV: Part 2 and Henry V – has been deemed eligible for the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts awards despite not yet screening in Australia, with no plans for a local cinematic release, reports The Age’s Karl Quinn.
The King, written by Animal Kingdom’s Michod and Joel Edgerton, has been scheduled for release on Netflix on October 11.
It made its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival last Monday, where it reportedly received an eight-minute standing ovation.
Under AACTA’s rules, the film would ordinarily not be eligible because it has not screened in Australia on general release or at a qualifying film festival.
“The King has been such a hot play that no Australian film festival can get it,” said AACTA chief Damian Trewhella. “We hadn’t foreseen this circumstance – this one has come in at a level above that.”
When Que Minh Luu pitched a new comedy to her boss at the ABC, she asked a seemingly contradictory question: “Can I make a TV show that you can’t show on TV?”
The answer was yes, writes Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore in The New York Times [also republished in The Age/SMH].
Content, which premiered worldwide on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram this week, is billed by the ABC as the first scripted comedy shot from the perspective of a phone. Viewers are encouraged to watch the show, a vertical video series, on their smartphones.
The comedy, which seems to play out in real time, was mostly shot on an iPhone held by the two actresses. In the first episode, a woman’s livestreaming of her car crash goes viral, a satirical premise that has already proved plausible: A short clip of the car crash’s livestream did go viral on Twitter this week, with many users apparently convinced that it was real footage.
Content is the latest attempt by television producers to reach younger viewers on digital platforms rather than a television screen or laptop.
“We were convinced there was a story to be told about people’s online lives that we hadn’t seen yet,” said Luu, who is an executive producer for the ABC. “Our phones reveal our most intimate secrets.”
Set over seven episodes of seven to 15 minutes long, Content follows a wannabe influencer, 23-year-old Lucy (Charlotte Nicdao) as she tries to gain followers. As she becomes increasingly obsessed with her online image, her relationship with her real-life best friend, Daisy (Gemma Bird Matheson) falters.
There’s very little that can shock me on reality TV. I’ve chortled my way through cheating and tantrumming, name-calling and wine-chucking. More often than not it’s simply harmless entertainment: stupid people willingly doing stupid things, writes Alex Carlton at news.com.au.
But Sunday night’s episode of Channel 9’s The Block – along with its Monday night teaser – was something else entirely.
Host Scott Cam’s confrontation with gay contestants Mitch and Mark is gearing up to be one of the ugliest altercations I’ve ever seen on 21st century television.
Earlier in the series, Sydney-based couple Mitch and Mark, who have been renovating houses together for most of their 14-year relationship, decided to convert the terrace on their top floor into a third living area, or entertaining space. The architect’s plans had originally earmarked it as a master bedroom.
But over time, an uncomfortable pattern has developed whenever host Scott Cam, the judges or even the other contestants spoke about this specific area. This, everyone said over and over, was Mitch and Mark’s “party house” designed “for people like them”. There was a snigger to it. A nudge. A condescension.
When it kept happening, over and over, particularly in the broader context of the way Mitch and Mark were portrayed by the show in several other ways, the implication became clear.
The gay boys from Sydney were making a big, noisy, clichéd gay disco for themselves and other frivolous gays just like them.
When ABC first announced Black B*tch, a provocative working title, last November at its 2019 programming highlights it was the standout project, reports TV Tonight.
ABC unveiled a drama about an Indigenous woman entering federal politics with Deborah Mailman and Rachel Griffiths, from Redfern Now, Mabo & Deep Water producers Blackfella Films. In March casting and production were confirmed.
But it’s amazing how even a simple title change can shift perceptions.
Yesterday ABC surprised by revealing the working title was no more. The newly-titled Total Control would screen in October.
That’s despite Black B*tch having its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last week.
An ABC spokesperson said, “Black B*tch was a working title and while we support its deliberate calling out of the racial slur by a proud Indigenous woman, it can also be taken, and used, in a negative way. We want to ensure this excellent show is viewed and talked about by as broad an audience as possible for the great story it tells. To ensure the focus is on the story, not the name, the ABC will broadcast the series with the title Total Control, which aptly describes the central character’s fight for power over her life and politics.”