The host of Network 10’s new format The Masked Singer, Osher Günsberg, is predicting good things for the series launching in a few days. But he admitted with four primetime TV jobs, he is possibly at maximum hosting.
By James Manning
“It’s a cracking format and so much fun,” Günsberg told Mediaweek.
Just how the busy TV host, twice a week podcaster and new father managed to fit this into his schedule requires explanation.
“It was a lot of people jumping through a lot of hoops to make sure all of us could be in the same room at the same time to make the show.”
The schedule meant sometimes they would shoot until 11pm and then be on call for 9am the next morning. “I’d tell myself that was ok because when I get to work there will be fireworks and dancers…I can do that.”
Günsberg said he has the same motivations as most people when it comes to signing on for a new project. “I have a mortgage. I have kids and I have to put food on the table and pay school fees.
“Between the TV shows and the podcasts that is about all I can manage and keep a relationship with my wife. I am very grateful to have the amount of work I have got, and the ability to work with a great team. I don’t want to do too much more because my work could start to suffer and I am quite proud of what I do deliver when I show up for work and I want to ensure I maintain that.”
There were key elements in The Masked Singer that made Günsberg want to be involved.
“It’s big, it’s shiny floor, there’s fireworks, it’s bonkers and it is so simple. It is classic storytelling of a mystery and how we solve it.”
Günsberg gets to use some of the skills he developed during his years hosting Australian Idol for 10 on this and his other work. “This is definitely an area I know about. The skillset I bring from live television I use all the time on The Bachelor where you can only get an authentic, emotional response once when you drop some big news.”
The Masked Singer is shot at Fox Studios in Sydney, which Günsberg calls “his room” after shooting Australian Idol there for a number of years.
“It’s been fantastic to go back and work with many of the same crew I have worked with before. I am just one person of over 100 working on The Masked Singer. Many of them are people I have worked with for a long time. We have made a really, really fun show that I hope people will enjoy with their family.”
The Masked Singer see Günsberg working again with Warner Bros Australia that also produces the three Bachelor franchises he hosts. “Shaun Murphy [Warner Bros head of TV] has an incredible team and he is such a great boss to work for. So are my EPs Janine Cooper and Judy Smart who are both great people.
“During much of my shooting I was days and then hours from my wife having a baby. The incredible generosity and grace given to us by the network and the production company was incredible. I was so humbled by the support they gave us to make sure Audrey and I could have that experience.”
Günsberg also has praise for busy Network 10 head of entertainment and factual, Stephen Tate. “That guy is the busiest man in television,” said a TV host who should be able to recognise a packed schedule.
“He has given me a career twice now. He gave me Australian Idol and then when I was unemployed he gave me The Bachelor. I owe everything to him.”
The host reckons The Masked Singer should work for 10. “It’s silly and it’s fun…and fun to play along with. It’s such a simple game to play along with and it’s brilliant.
Günsberg laughed when asked if he had to use his “filling” skills at all given that there are not a lot of celebrities and a lot of time to, er, fill. The host was the master of building anticipation at the end of each episode of Australian Idol when the audience was waiting to find out which competitor had been voted out.
“I have been in television for 20 years after starting at Channel [V] in 1999 and am grateful to have had a career gaining so much experience. I have developed skills to draw on and I used everything. I think that’s why they hired me. There are so many variables, so many things that need to go right in such a short period of time. We only had a handful of days to film the whole season.
“The producers were dealing with the schedules of a lot of famous people who are very busy.
“There were times when I had to draw on past experiences. I am glad I know all that stuff because I was able to help out when required.
“But the whole crew has an entire career’s worth of experience that is drawn on to make the show.”
Network 10’s The Masked Singer premieres on Monday, September 23 at 7.30pm.
Top Photo: The Masked Singer host Osher Günsberg (right) with judges Dannii Minogue, Jackie O, Hughesy and Lindsay Lohan
Nova Entertainment chief executive Cathy O’Connor has led the company as it remembers a colleague who has died unexpectedly after a short illness.
In a statement, O’Connor said: “We are deeply saddened to hear the news of the sudden passing of Jamie Martinovich, Nova Entertainment’s Perth commercial director and market lead, yesterday.
“Over the past 14 years, Jamie has been a highly respected member of Nova Entertainment. Jamie joined the business in October 2005 as Perth commercial director and in April 2018 took on the additional responsibility of market lead. During this time, Jamie made a significant contribution to the culture and success of the business.
“Jamie will be sorely missed and our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to his partner Christine, children Elli, Nixon and Ben, friends and colleagues.”
Martinovich took the top job at Nova in the Perth market after Gary Roberts resigned in 2018.
• Australians young and old consuming much more video
The average person will spend 100 minutes each day watching online video in 2021, up from 84 minutes this year, according to Zenith’s Online Video Forecasts 2019 report, published today. That’s the equivalent of watching 25 continuous days of video in 2021.
The amount of time people spend viewing online video has grown rapidly across the world, at an average rate of 32% a year between 2013 and 2018, boosted by improvements in display sizes and quality of mobile devices, faster mobile data connections, and the spread of connected TV sets.
China and Sweden have the keenest online video viewers, with the average person in each country expected to spend 103 minutes a day watching online video this year. These are the only countries where online video viewing exceeds 100 minutes a day, but by 2021, Zenith expects Canada, India, Mexico, the UK and the USA to join the list.
“The consumption of online video is growing rapidly, and the average person will spend half as much time viewing online video as they spend viewing conventional television this year,” said Jonathan Barnard, head of forecasting at Zenith. “This fast-expanding supply of audiences is fuelling rapid growth in demand from advertisers, making online video the fastest-growing digital channel by advertising expenditure.”
In Australia, more people across all demographics are consuming video, approximately 25hrs 40mins per month, with the trend expected to continue well into 2021. As of June 2019, there has been a 5% year-on-year increase of people aged 18+ streaming video.
However, Zenith Melbourne’s head of digital, Joshua Lee (pictured), said: “While it’s not surprising that younger age groups are spending more hours watching video – up to 48 hours a month – what’s more significant is the increased uptake from Australians aged 65+, which has grown 18% since last year, demonstrating that video consumption is healthy across all demographics.”
This year has also seen the average number of screens people are using to view online video increase from 6.3 to 6.6 (Q3 2016 vs. Q3 2018), creating more viewing experiences both at home and on-the-go.
Lee said: “The majority of Australians across all demographics prefer watching short-form video on mobile, which resonates strongly among younger audiences aged 18-24 and 25-34. YouTube is a prime example where 76% most of its viewing time occurs on smartphones and tablets. Conversely, for longer-form content the TV screen is still essential, with 8.1 million Australians accessing internet content via a TV screen, and half of connected TV (CTV) viewers mostly or always watch with someone else. As a result, CTV remains a big focus and point of differentiation for publishers and content creators.”
Meanwhile, new research from Roy Morgan reveals that almost 14 million Australians aged 14+ have subscribed to a paid service, up 7.9% from last year. Cross-device usage and on-demand consumption have been prominent drivers of online video growth, but Lee says with increased content sources and subscription services, consumers will base their decision-making around content quality, competitive pricing and value.
“With the imminent arrival of Disney+ and Apple TV+, there’s been much market speculation around their potential impact on Netflix and Stan’s user base, which until now have shown year-on-year growth of 17.6% and 43.2% respectively. From a broadcast video on-demand (BVOD) perspective, time spent has dramatically increased by 76% year-on-year. So we’re seeing a continued positive trend and opportunity for advertisers seeking out premium environments to reach their audience and align their brand with,” Lee said.
From the silver screen to the big screen Downton Abbey can seem to do no wrong as it converts its small-screen success into over $3m at the Australian box office in its opening weekend. This follows a four-year hiatus from screens after the English historical period drama previously aired from 2010-2015 for six seasons.
By Trent Thomas
It is not alone as the only newcomer to the top five as it is joined by The Angry Birds Movie 2. This new blood means that two long term members of the top five have to give way with the record-breaking The Lion King (10 weeks, $63.03m) and Fast & Furious: Hobbs and Shaw (seven weeks, $18.68m) dropping down the chart.
Overall, the Australian box offices revenue went down 2% after making $10.65m which is one of the 10 lowest totals of the year despite the two new releases joining the top five.
Australian movie goers have shown that the show’s audience has not deteriorated in its absence with the prim and proper Crawley family still drawing a sizeable crowd with an average of $6,412 on 502 screens making it the most screened film in the country this past weekend.
Sliding down to second spot in its second week of release the conclusion of the tale originally told in the novel of the same name by Stephen King continues to spook Australian audiences fittingly on the weekend of Friday the 13th, as it had the highest average per screen of $8,684 on 363 screens. The film now has a total of $11m as it continues chasing the total made by IT (2017) which made over $27.m.
Originally based on the smartphone game Angry Birds, the second film adaption will be hoping to capitalise on the success of its predecessor The Angry Birds Movie (2016). However, ranking third at the Australian box office in its first week of release is not the start it would have wanted and it will be hoping for an extended run if it will match the 2016 iteration of Angry Birds which made over $18m at the Australia box office.
After five weeks and $19.45m Quentin Tarantino’s tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden era continues to draw in Aussie audiences making $2,451 on 335 screens.
The second sequel to Olympus Has Fallen narrowly edged out The Liong King ($321,073) for the final spot in the top five after averaging $1,614 on 233 screens.
• Kitchens sell houses: Important week for The Block’s property prices
• Luke’s Survivor departure leaves Mia, Dirty Harry and Baden in finale
• Seven News 1,023,000/1,007,000
• Nine News 922,000/962,000
• A Current Affair 845,000
• ABC News 667,000
• 7.30 618,000
• The Project 271,000/529,000
• 10 News First 382,000
• The Drum 194,000
• SBS World News 140,000
• Sunrise 302,000
• Today 199,000
Home and Away launched its week with 692,000, one of its better recent audiences. The show averaged 612,000 last week.
The ob doc hour featured Highway Patrol on 536,000 and then Motorbike Cops on 513,000.
The Rookie followed on 364,000 and the S.W.A.T. on 262,000.
A Current Affair was on 845,000 after averaging 735,000 last week.
It’s a big week for The Block with work on the rooms that can impact the sale prices of the properties – the kitchens. The Monday episode was on 940,000 after 977,000 on Monday last week.
This Time Next Year then did 543,000 after 510,000 a week ago.
The preliminary final week edition of Footy Classified was on 133,000 with 83,000 in Melbourne.
The NRL show 100% Footy lifted with the finals underway with 79,000 watching, 48,000 in Sydney and 24,000 in Brisbane.
What a recovery. After a very soft Sunday, 10 struck back to be #1 channel and #1 network under 50 and there should be more good news to come tonight.
The Project pushed above half a million with 529,000 after 7pm. Highlight of the show was a very reflective and candid Brad Pitt talking with Carrie Bickmore in another all-too-short interview.
The numbers watching Australian Survivor surged to a season high of 926,000 for the penultimate episode of the season. It was also the biggest episode ever outside of the finale episodes. As soon as Luke lost immunity he was shattered as he realised he would be the next out. The scene is set now for the three unlikely finalists to battle it out for the cash tonight in the finale.
Have You Been Paying Attention? benefited from the strong lead-in with 826,000, the show’s best audience in just over a year.
Producer Greg Hassall delivered the first of two great episodes about Paul Hogan last night and the audience loved it. The show had close to its biggest audience of the year with 790,000 with contributors ranging from Delvene Delaney to Mediaweek’s Andrew Mercado and social commentator Jane Caro.
Four Corners followed with 489,000. Media Watch was on 435,000 and Q&A was on 333,000.
Elizabeth performed strongest with 154,000 with 24 Hours In Emergency not far behind on 147,000.
The new Let’s Talk About Sex was on 116,000 after 9.30pm.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.2%||7TWO||3.0%||GO!||1.9%||10 Bold||3.2%||VICELAND||1.1%|
|ABC ME||0.7%||7mate||3.6%||GEM||2.3%||10 Peach||2.4%||Food Net||1.4%|
|7Food||0.5%||SBS World Movies||0.7%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.6%||7TWO||3.6%||GO!||3.2%||WIN Bold||3.0%||VICELAND||1.3%|
|ABC ME||1.4%||7mate||4.2%||GEM||4.4%||WIN Peach||1.9%||Food Net||0.9%|
|ABC NEWS||1.0%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.7%||9Life||1.8%||Sky News on WIN||2.1%||NITV||0.1%|
|7food (QLD only)||0.2%|
|MONDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top Five
18-49 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
Twenty years of good work can disappear in the blink of an iPhone, thanks to 20 characters on Twitter. Well-regarded professionals have had their public standing and good name disappear overnight as a result of just one errant tweet, comments News Corp columnist Susie O’Brien.
No doubt Sunrise presenter Edwina Bartholomew is sweating on a tweet she sent about Channel 9 reporter Seb Costello.
The tweet, which can’t be reproduced here for legal reasons, is the kind of offhand bitchy dig that one drunk person says to another on the couch. And yet, Bartholomew – who’s pregnant and a DrinkWise ambassador – was unlikely to be drunk.
The tweet was sent in response to a fairly mundane story by Costello about a security scare at the Victorian state parliament.
She replied: “Surprisingly articulate for a (censored)”.
Thanks to social media, bitchy comments can become career-ending moments. Swimmer Stephanie Rice took years to recover from a late-night homophobic tweet in 2010 after watching a rugby game.
SBS presenter Scott McIntyre was also sacked for posting “inappropriate and disrespectful” comments about Anzac Day.
Columnist at The Age Catherine Deveny was also fired after making disparaging remarks about Bindi Irwin, who has only 11 at the time.
As always, it pays not to tweet under the influence – whether it’s stupidity, tiredness, drugs or alcohol. If you can’t think of anything nice to say, don’t use Twitter to say it.
On Monday morning on Brisbane’s HIT105, an out of this world proposal came true, with local couple Christian and Ella winning a $20,000 diamond ring, after it was fired into space on Friday from Goondiwindi in the far west of the state, and landed in the lucky spot!
In the past, Hit105’s Stav, Abby & Matt have taken over the skies of Brisbane for Cashnado, and the mighty Brisbane River for their famous Goon Race, but their next adventure went into outer space.
Last Thursday, the Brisbane SCA station’s breakfast hosts Stav, Abby & Matt travelled to Goondiwindi in two Apollo Motorhomes with three couples who are ready to take the next step in their relationships and put a ring on it – but only after that ring was rocketed into space with the help of the brains at Australian Rocketry! Goondiwindi is the best place in Queensland to launch a rocket.
While in the region, Stav, Abby & Matt visited drought-affected farmers. Goondiwindi is part of the drought declared areas in what is officially the worst drought on record. Goondiwindi Mayor Graham Schue gave the breakfast hosts a tour of the town so they can experience the life of the locals.
On Friday 13 September, the rocket containing a $20,000 engagement ring from Xennox Diamonds was launched into space. The area where the rocket could possibly land was divided into three sections – one for Stav, one for Abby and one for Matt; each of them representing one of the three couples, and the winning couple was Christian and Ella.
The couple from Banyo started off as flatmates, which quickly turned into much more. Christian told the show how Ella moved from being ‘The Girl Downstairs’ to ‘The Girl Upstairs’ in just a few months! His stubbornness along with many missed opportunities mean that Christian still hasn’t proposed to Ella, even though they have a little bub!
Australia’s SLR Productions has announced the creative team for its new original CGI animated series Space Nova in association with Malaysian studio Giggle Garage.
SLR Productions’ Australian creative team will be headed by CEO and executive producer Suzanne Ryan.
Emmy-nominated director for Beat Bugs Pablo de la Torre has been named the series director along with Cindy Scharka and Gie Santos as first time episodic directors.
The series is produced by Suzanne Ryan and SLR Productions’ head of production Yasmin Jones.
The team will also be made up of SLR Productions’ Emmy Award-winning creative director Jo Boag, with multi-Australian Writers’ Guild Award winner Thomas Duncan-Watt announced as the head writer. Thomas will lead some of Australia’s most prolific writers including Melanie Alexander, Charlotte Rose Hamlyn, Georgina Love, John Armstrong, Joel Slack-Smith and Ben Levin.
The Giggle Garage team will be made up of executive producers Juhaidah Jeomin, Zeno Gabing and Sandra Khoo as creative director.
The Australian voice cast led by voice director Jo Boag stars Zachary Fuller (Jet Nova), Adelaide Tustian (Adelaide Nova), Stephen James King (Hugo Nova), Michelle Doake (Josie Nova), Darren Sabadina (G9), Rae Johnston (Janali Banks), Ash Ricardo (Aubrina Eridani), Christian Charisiou (Sol Erdani) and Jason Chong as (Andy Ling).
Space Nova, an original SLR Productions program commissioned by Super RTL, ABC Australia and Nine Network, has received major production funding from Screen Australia and is also financed with support from Create NSW.
With development funding from Super RTL, ABC Australia and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF), Space Nova will be distributed worldwide by ZDF Enterprises, excluding Australia and New Zealand, which is being handled by ACTF.
Space Nova comprises 26 x 24 minute episodes for a global six to nine year old audience.
Netflix has won won the rights to all 180 episodes of Seinfeld, which will come to Netflix globally in 2021, reports Bloomberg.
Sony Corp’s Sony Pictures Television, the distributor of the show, currently has a deal with Walt Disney Co’s Hulu.
Stan currently has the rights for all nine seasons of Seinfeld for Australia.
The bidding war for the show follows battles over the rights to The Office and Friends– two shows that Netflix is losing to streaming rivals. The Seinfeld deal shows that Netflix still has options to acquire popular library content even as Disney and AT&T Inc’s WarnerMedia pull back their most popular content to focus on their own streaming services.
“Seinfeld is the television comedy that all television comedy is measured against,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said. “We can’t wait to welcome Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer to their new global home on Netflix.”
The Los Angeles Times reports:
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but since the rights are for worldwide distribution, Netflix paid far more than the $500 million NBCUniversal paid for “The Office,” and the $425 million WarnerMedia shelled out for “Friends”, people familiar with the deal said. Both of those five-year deals were for streaming rights in the U.S. only.
The ownership of “Seinfeld”, produced by the defunct studio Castle Rock, is spread among several entities, including WarnerMedia, CBS, Seinfeld and his co-creator, Larry David. All will share in the revenue from the Netflix deal after Sony receives a significant percentage as the show’s distributor.
Australia marched into the second of three Emmy Awards events in Los Angeles with nominations in six categories, recognising the work of our best cinematographers, production designers, musicians, producers and graphic designers.
We walked out empty handed, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Idato.
Barely an hour into the ceremony, the bulk of the brutal work was done: cinematographers Zoe White (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Germain McMicking (True Detective) had lost their Emmys to Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs Maisel and HBO’s Chernobyl.
Adding insult to injury, nominees Jasper Leak (Quincy), Patrick Clair and Raoul Marks (True Detective) and Anna Dokoza (Special) lost to, respectively, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, Game of Thrones and the Sundance series State of the Union.
Then the final blow came as the period or fantasy production design Emmy, which has been the virtual property of Australian Game of Thones designer Deborah Riley for the past few years, was lost to Chernobyl.
Samantha Armytage has hit out at Woman’s Day after a story, “Samantha Armytage officially meets her new boyfriend’s daughters”, reports TV Tonight.
The magazine included paparazzi photos of a private lunch with unnamed sources weighing in.
The clearly unimpressed Sunrise host tweeted, “There’s a special place in hell for the people who work @WomansDayAus” and took to Instagram, adding Daily Mail into the mix.
She added, “Not looking for sympathy here, just setting the record straight”.
Armytage, like a number of other morning TV presenters, is frequently in the crosshairs of magazine gossip and has previously hit back at headlines before at Woman’s Day, Daily Mail and News Corp (there’s no word of New Idea published by Seven West Media’s Pacific Mags).
In 2016 she was issued an apology by Daily Mail.
Talks are continuing with the national broadcaster, the ABC, which could see A-League games telecast on prime-time free-to-air television as well as on the sport’s long-term partner, Fox Sports, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Lynch.
The FFA has kept its own counsel about reports suggesting that a deal could be imminent, which would see the Saturday early evening (5.15pm) matches shown on the ABC as well as on the pay television network.
With the A-League season due to kick off on October 11 (when Adelaide United host champions Sydney FC), time is running out to iron out an agreement that would satisfy all parties.
Getting the A-League back onto a mainstream broadcaster with a national footprint would be a significant achievement and one that would enhance its appeal to supporters and, crucially, sponsors and investors.
News Corp’s Tom Smithies reports:
Talks with the ABC began after a mooted deal with the 10 Network – which would have involved two games being shown exclusively on 10’s main channel – fell victim to the merger of 10’s parent, CBS, with Viacom in the US.
Detailed negotiations in recent days have centred on ABC taking Fox Sports’s production of the game, with hopes it will deliver an audience well into six figures after several years of dramatic decline in TV ratings for A-League games.