Record number of Logie nominations
No longer is the ABC a Logies bridesmaid, having scooped a record 44 nominations, including two for the coveted Gold Logie, in the most recent edition of the annual event. The haul surpasses 2017's unprecedented 41 nominations. Gardening Australia host Costa Georgiadis and Hardchat's Tom Gleeson are surprise nominees for the Gold Logie, alongside actors Eve Morey and Rodger Corser, Living Room presenter and radio personality Amanda Keller, Project co-presenter Waleed Aly and Sunrise weather man Sam Mac. The ABC is rarely a stranger in the news and current affairs categories, but this year several ABC dramas, among them Mystery Road, BBC co-pro The Cry and Rosehaven, are also well represented in both the popular and peer-voted outstanding awards. Winners will be announced on June 30 on Nine, broadcasting for the second year from the Logies' new home on the Gold Coast.
Gold Logie nominees (left to right) Tom Gleeson, Sam Mac, Eve Mprey, Amanda Keller, Rodger Corser and Costa Georgiadis.Credit:AAP
'Bonkers' singing show for Ten
From the annals of shows we never thought we needed comes an announcement from Ten of a local version of The Masked Singer, in which celebrities wear head-to-toe costumes to conceal their identities, sing to a panel of judges and finally reveal their identities when they are voted off. The US version premiered in January and was successful enough for two further seasons to be commissioned. Among the celebrity singers were Donny Osmond, Gladys Knight, talk-show host Rikki Lake, comedian Tommy Chong and NRL player Antonio Brown. Critical reception was mixed, ranging from "one of the craziest reality shows of our time" to "weirder, sillier, and stupider" than other music competitions. Ten's content boss Beverley McGarvey calls it “genuinely original, addictive and a little bit bonkers". It is expected to premiere in the last quarter of 2019.
Scripts get a helping hand
A screenplay based on the life of General Sir John Monash, to be directed by celebrated veteran Bruce Beresford, is among a handful of new projects to share $700,000 of Screen Australia script development money. Other projects include: Cage in the Wild, a thriller penned by Jasper Jones writer Craig Silvey; The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, based on the award-winning book of the same name; crime comedies Fat Lady and Partners in Crime, the latter by Hannah and Eliza Reilly (Sheilas, Growing Up Gracefully) and Secret Threads, a six-parter set in Melbourne's Hmong-Laos community and partly drawn from playwright Michelle Lee's own cultural background.
Second Pilot Week experiment
Of the eight shows Ten commissioned for its inaugural Pilot Week experiment last year, four spawned full series. So the network is giving the concept another spin. There are reality programs about "crazy rich Asians", senior citizens renting rooms to young flatmates and a fly-on-the-wall show about headline-grabbing PR maven Roxy Jacenko. Casey Donovan, winner of Australian Idol’s second season, will host Catfish Australia, an adaptation of a US format in which everyday online daters set out to find if they've been "catfished" by someone with less honest intentions. The sole scripted series in Ten's pilot week, which will air in September, is Part Time Privates. It features two mothers who start an investigation business from home, but soon find themselves juggling school pick-ups with threesomes and insurance fraud.
Ghost in the machine
Matchbox Pictures has begun production of four-part drama Hungry Ghosts for SBS. Clare Bowen (Nashville), Bryan Brown, Justine Clark, Ryan Corr and Susie Porter are among the ensemble of what is described as a ghost story about three generations of Vietnamese-Australian families haunted by the trauma of war.
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