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Fore! A second season of the mini golf competition show “Holey Moley” is coming up the fairway

10, October 2019

By Will Thorne


ABC has renewed the show for a second outing, with Stephen Curry, Rob Riggle, Joe Tessitore and Jeannie Mai all set to return. 

Season 1 saw a whole host of self-proclaimed mini-golf lovers from around the country on the tee, putting their miniature golf skills to the test on a course with supersized holes. Every episode of “Holey Moley” consists of three rounds of golf, culminating with three finalists taking on the daunting “Mt. Holey Moley” finale in a three-way contest. Ultimately, one winner per episode takes home the $25,000 prize, along with “The Golden Putter” trophy and coveted “Holey Moley” plaid jacket.

Curry serves as the resident golf pro on the course, while Riggle and Tessitore act as commentators, and Mai is feauted as a sideline correspondent. Variety reported exclusively back in April that Curry was ditching his familiar basketball for a seven iron.

In its second season, eight competitors will test their skills on the “Holey Moley” course every week, and the Disney-owned network promises that the season two course will be “bigger and better than ever,” featuring all-new holes. The show debuted to solid ratings this summer, averaging a 0.7 among adults 18-49 and around 3.2 million total viewers per episode.

“Holey Moley” hails from Eureka Productions and Unanimous Media. Curry, Chris Culvenor, Paul Franklin, Wes Dening, Charles Wachter, Michael O’Sullivan, Jeron Smith, and Erick Peyton serve as executive producers.

Original Article

Hollywood Reporter

TV Ratings: 'Holey Moley,' 'Spin the Wheel' Start Solidly

JUNE 21, 2019

by Rick Porter


Game shows continue their strong run in the early part of the summer, with ABC and Fox leading Thursday's 18-49 ratings.

Stephen Curry didn't win a fourth NBA title with the Golden State Warriors, but as a consolation prize, the ABC show he executive produces got off to a solid start Thursday.

Holey Moley, Curry's extreme miniature golf competition, delivered a 1.0 rating in adults 18-49 — the best of the night on the broadcast networks — and 4.82 million viewers (virtually tied with a Big Bang Theory rerun  at 4.84 million for No. 1). That's was the best performance for a regular ABC summer program in the time period since 2015, the network says.

The rest of ABC's Thursday premieres didn't perform quite as well. Family Food Fight scored a 0.6 in the 18-49 demographic, and scripted series Reef Break opened with a 0.5, on par with the premiere of Take Two a year ago.

Game show Spin the Wheel pulled in pretty good premiere numbers for Fox with a 0.8 in adults 18-49, tops in the 9 p.m. hour and good for second among all network shows for the night, and 3.45 million viewers. Masterchef drew a 0.7, on par with Wednesday's episode.

The final two episodes of Life in Pieces went 0.6 and 0.5 in the 18-49 demo for CBS. Elementary drew a 0.4, down a little bit vs. a week ago. iZombie and In the Dark both came in at 0.2 for The CW.

Fox led primetime among adults 18-49 with a 0.8 rating, narrowly beating ABC's 0.7. CBS and Telemundo tied for third at 0.5. NBC, which aired repeats, and Univision also tied at 0.4. The CW trailed with a 0.2.

Bookmark for more ratings news and numbers.

Original Article


Watch the First Trailer for Steph Curry's New Extreme Mini-Golf Competition Series

May 10, 2019

By Maria Pasquini

You’ve never seen mini-golf like this before!

NBA star Stephen Curry is teaming up with ABC for Holey Moley, an all-new competition series where mini-golf lovers will face off against each other on an absolutely epic course — and PEOPLE has the exclusive first look at what to expect when the show premiers on June 20th.

Giving viewers a sneak peek at the unique course, the promo begins by highlighting some of its most extreme features, which range from a hole located on a spinning platform, a series of spinning windmills, and an elevated (and nearly vertical loop).

“Enter a world where miniature golf is extreme. Played in the largest, most dangerous course ever devised,” a voiceover advises. “And winning is everything.”

As if navigating the unique course wasn’t enough, the series also has an obstacle course element to it — which means contestants will have to put their physical skills to the test, dodging rolling logs, zip-lining across an expanse of water, and more.

Each of the show’s 10 episodes will feature 12 contestants putting their best putt forward on a larger-than-life course with supersized holes. At the end, three finalists will tackle Mt. Holey Moley for a chance at $25,000, a “Golden Putter” trophy and a special plaid jacket.

Curry, 31, will serve as both executive producer and resident golf pro.

He’ll also have some help from comedian and actor Rob Riggle, who will provide color commentary, Monday Night Football’s Joe Tessitore, who will cover the play-by-play, and The Real’s Jeannie Mai, who is on hand as sideline correspondent.

Holey Moley will also include various celebrity guest appearances.

“Everyone has a favorite memory of playing miniature golf, whether it was as a child with your family, with a group of friends as a teenager, or on an awkward first date,” Rob Mills, SVP alternative series, specials and late night at ABC Entertainment, said in a press release announcing the series. “Take that feeling, add high stakes competition and out-of-this-world challenges, and we have no doubt Holey Moley will stand alongside other golf classics like Caddyshack, Happy Gilmore and The Legend of Bagger Vance.”

ABC will air the show in collaboration with Eureka Productions and Unanimous Media, the company Curry co-founded in 2018.

Holey Moley premieres Thursday, June 20th at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Original Article


Steph Curry To Produce ‘Holey Moley’ Mini-Golf Competition At ABC

APRIL 03, 2019

By Dino-Ray Ramos

Stewart Cook/Shutterstock

Stewart Cook/Shutterstock

Are you ready for some putt-putt?! NBA Superstar Steph Curry is set to executive produce the ABC extreme mini-golf competition series Holey Moley from Eureka Productions and Unanimous MediaRob Riggle (Night School, Midnight Run)  and Joe Tessitore (Monday Night Football) will offer up their play-by-play and commentary for the show while Jeannie Mai (co-host of The Real) will serve as a sideline correspondent.

As the first series of its kind, the 10-episode mini-golf competition will showcase self-proclaimed mini-golf lovers from around the country as they compete head-to-head through an unparalleled, epic obstacle golf course. In addition to being executive producer, Curry will be the resident golf pro of the Holey Moley course and appear in every episode.

Holey Moley will focus on the family-favorite game of mini-golf with a twist. In each episode, 12 contestants will put their miniature golf—and physical—skills to the test and face off in never-before-seen challenges on a larger-than-life course. Mini-golf experts of all ages and backgrounds will try their luck on Holey Moley’s supersized holes. Every episode will consist of three rounds of golf, culminating with three finalists taking on the daunting “Mt. Holey Moley” in a three-way contest. Ultimately, one winner per episode will take home the $25,000 prize, along with “The Golden Putter” trophy and coveted “Holey Moley” plaid jacket. Uniquely themed holes will be featured every week, along with special celebrity guest appearances and other surprises along the way.

Holey Moley is created by Eureka Productions and produced by Eureka Productions and Unanimous Media. Chris Culvenor, Paul Franklin, Wes Dening, Charles Wachter, Michael O’Sullivan, Jeron Smith, Erick Peyton and Stephen Curry serve as executive producers. Production begins this month in California. The show’s premiere will be announced at a later date. Holey Moley is an original format created by Chris Culvenor of Eureka Productions.

Original Article

Rapid TV News

Thrones 360 sets the scene on Foxtel ahead of GOT return

March 11, 2019

By Rebecca Hawkes


Foxtel is gearing up to launch Australia’s companion series to Game of Thrones, Thrones 360, ahead of the final season of HBO’s multi award winning fantasy TV series.

Hosted by the former Channel [V] and Australian Idol host James Mathison and rising media star Stephanie ‘Hex’ Bendixsen, Thrones 360 will air from 18 March in the lead up to the **release of series eight in Australia on 15 April.

Each Monday evening, Game of Thrones (GOT) superfans James and Stephanie will recap, dissect and rejoice in the last seven seasons of the show, said Foxtel.

The 11 x 60-minute series will also feature interviews with Game of Thrones cast members, and special behind-the-scenes footage.

“Thrones 360 promises to be a fan favourite and the ultimate companion show to the final season of Game of Thrones. It will be a must-watch every Monday night! We are also delighted to welcome James Mathison back home to Foxtel,” said Brian Walsh, executive director of television, Foxtel.

“James has enjoyed a highly successful and varied career since his early days with Channel [V] and is one of Australia’s most gifted television presenters. Securing him for Thrones 360 is a great coup.

“Stephanie Bendixsen is a star on the rise and I am delighted she has signed with Foxtel to take the next step in her burgeoning career. Stephanie is smart, funny, talented and her audition blew us away – she has a big future ahead of her. I’m excited to see what Stephanie will bring to the set of Thrones 360,” said Walsh.

Calling his involvement in the show a “dream gig”, James Mathison added: “I’m a massive fan of Game of Thrones, so when I was asked to be a part of Thrones 360, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. The fact that there are so many twists and turns in every season, plus the fact that everyone has a theory about what’s ahead, means the show is not only brilliant to watch, but also endlessly fascinating to dissect and pull apart.”

Thrones 360 is a Eureka Production for Foxtel. Sophia Mogford, John Karabelas and Howard Myers are serving as executive producers.

Original Article

The New York Times

Netflix Finally Brings Romance to Reality TV

March 8, 2019

By Amanda Hess

I almost swiped past it. “Dating Around,” Netflix’s latest reality show, is based on an unremarkable premise: In each episode, “one real-life single navigates five blind dates,” in search of “one match worthy of a second date.” This is the kind of conceptual void that reality television producers typically pad with gimmicks. They make their daters go bikini skiing, or mud wrestle their romantic rivals, or kiss in old-age makeup. But on “Dating Around,” two strangers just get together for dinner and drinks, and this scenario supplies all of the necessary drama. It is the rare dating show that takes dating seriously.

That is a pleasant surprise. Previous iterations of the multiple-blind-date format — early aughts offerings like “Next,” “Dismissed” and “ElimiDate” — subsisted on canned one-liners and bitter judgments. The camera always seemed to be looking down on everyone. Even “The Bachelor,” which styles itself as so hopelessly romantic that each season is designed to culminate in an engagement, is a fundamentally cynical exercise. But by lowering the stakes about as far as they can go, “Dating Around” has managed to dial up the excitement and possibility of the dreaded first-date experience.

The six episodes of “Dating Around” are named for their central singletons — Luke, Gurki, Lex, Leonard, Sarah and Mila — and the show handles them delicately, bathing them in low light and summoning close friends to introduce them via voice-over. Reality dating shows often draw from the aesthetics of beauty contests and sports, but this one is produced like prestige television, filming dates as if they were scenes between character actors.

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The editing style recalls the “Master of None” episode “First Date,” in which Aziz Ansari’s Dev embarks on a series of app-mediated encounters that are spliced together into a single narrative. And it feels like a distant relative of “Russian Doll,” except that these New Yorkers are fated to blind-date over and over again, eating at the same restaurants and sidling up to the same bars, until some unexpected element sends their lives in a new direction.

Reality television editing has a bad reputation. It is the nefarious tool that carves regular people into villains and fools. (One “Bachelor in Paradise” contestant was edited to look as if she spoke to raccoons.) If the editing of “Dating Around” is manipulative, it is a constructive kind of interference. Its montage technique injects mystery into an otherwise rote exercise. Though our daters are often following the same lines of questioning — where are you from, what do you do, what do you want? — the edit destabilizes our perspective, so that we never know exactly who is on the other end of the conversation at any given moment. This converts the mildest of emotions into suspense: When a dater looks smitten or miffed, we hold our breath until we discover who produced the feeling.

“Dating Around” has an eye for romance, and not just because it lingers on its daters’ coy glances. It zooms in on the most optimistic moment in a relationship (you met someone you might actually like!) and cuts away before the letdown (nevermind, he’s terrible!).

Each episode ends with a shot of the single person, shown now in the bright light of day, heading out for a second date with the chosen match, whose identity is revealed at a heart-stopping final moment. When the widowed private investigator Leonard, a coffee in each hand, spots his choice across the street — it’s the sign-language-fluent divorcée Dianna! — I gave my screen a standing ovation. And that’s it: The actual second date is not filmed. An anticlimactic reunion episode published on YouTube details the disappointment we’d encounter if we followed these relationships any further: Each one fizzled and faded.

That “Master of None” episode took a satirical approach to dating apps, and it’s one that’s shared by many of their users. Tinder, Bumble and Hinge offer vast playing fields but slim pickings, so daters survive by wearing cynicism as armor, telling themselves that nothing matters and that they really don’t care. But “Dating Around” dispels the nihilism haunting the dating app experience. By replicating its process and filming it for television, the show imbues it with great significance.

Not all of the dates are good — Gurki, an Indian-American divorcée, has a harrowing run-in with Justin, a white guy who berates her over her relationship history — but they do matter. When Justin storms out, Gurki exhales and presses a hand to her heart, as if to make sure it’s still there.

This represents a dramatic mood shift for the genre. The stud of the television dating scene is “The Bachelor” and its spinoffs, and though it is sheathed in the trappings of romance — red roses, votive candles, diamond rings — it plays most of its love-seekers as fools, assigning them job titles like “pantsapreneur” and “twin” and scoring them with dopey circus music. Then it drives the rest of its contestants mercilessly toward marriage even though it knows that most of its engagements are soon broken. (The fact that the show has promoted suitors with histories of racism and sexual assault only heightens the cynicism; it’s not clear how a series as sincere as “Dating Around” would weather such a scandal.) While there are pleasures to be found there — its spectacle of gender stereotypes scratches a kind of itch — it is only natural to yearn for a deeper connection.

The level of interference in “Dating Around” feels similar to that found on dating apps; whether by producer or by algorithm, strangers are selected to meet. In place of the brittle gender roles of “The Bachelor,” “Dating Around” offers a mélange of identities: There are people on the show who identify as straight, gay, bisexual, soft-aggressive, femme, dominant and stud; more than one has a drag persona. And if a dater shows up with an expertly waxed mustache or some underdeveloped flirtation skills, these quirks are not edited to loom grotesquely over their entire personalities; dates are awkward enough as they really are.

The show’s queasiest moments come when daters appear to be operating in a different reality television universe. One does not get the sense that Justin was sincerely chosen as a remotely likely love match for Gurki; Sarah, a technology recruiter, spits lines that feel so fastidiously rehearsed that they would not seem out of place on the “Next” bus.

Critics of reality television harp on how unreal it all is. It can feel like the smart and knowing move for a show to lean into its artifice. Placing itself at a cynical remove pre-emptively guards against criticism. Nothing matters, and it doesn’t really care. But “Dating Around” embraces its vulnerability, dangling in the space between documentary and drama.

Maybe the rise of dating apps has helped us come to terms with a touch of meddling in our romantic lives, and a little bit of performance in our courtship rituals. “Dating Around” may be staged, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

Original Article


“Dating Around,” Reviewed: Courtship Drama and a Delicious Tingle of Voyeurism.

february 14, 2019

By Troy Patterson

‘Dating Around’, on Netflix, is a dating show that plays like a glossy docu-fiction. Each instalment sends an eligible person on five blind dates, each at the same venue, and the editing cuts among all five rendezvous as they progress through the night. The costume scheme has the central character repeating the same outfit, which helps to achieve a texture of simultaneity and to shade the dates as chemistry experiments in which sartorial expression is a variable held constant. The setting is New York City; while young suckers for the romance of Gotham will thrill to the show’s views of the Flatiron Building, locals will appreciate its inadvertent heads-up on the most exciting new restaurants to avoid.

Our first bachelor is Luke, a powerfully bland twenty-seven-year-old. In an introductory voice-over, a friend testifies, “He looks like a model. . . . but Luke can also be a little mysterious.” The model thing makes sense if you imagine a stock image licensed to promote a fully furnished rental apartment. The mystery concerns the alien origins of the life-form that has snatched Luke’s personality from his passably handsome shell. He’s a basic bro in a skinny suit, a nonfat flat white of a man. What do you do for work, Luke? “I’m in real estate. So, I’m on the brokers’ side. My main focus is working with buyers and sellers.” He says it’s been eight or nine months since his last relationship: “I’ve been more on a personal journey myself.”

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There are three acts to each courtship drama. First, our daters enjoy (or at least ingest) drinks and make small talk. They proceed to a dinner table, where they trade personal histories and explicate their tattoos and probably split the spring rolls. In a segment labelled “After Hours,” they may share a nightcap, perhaps chasing it with polite lies about how they had such a great night, perhaps swapping spit in the back of the Lyft. An epilogue reveals which of the five aspirants has advanced to a second date. Then they go walk the High Line or something.

It may surprise you to hear that this programming is gripping, even when Luke is around. (“You’re such a real-estate guy,” his date Ashley says, foreshadowing her early exit.) But how could you not stick around to see whether Luke succumbs to the charms of Betty, who salsa dances with him on the sidewalk? How can you turn away from the slow-motion car crashes of obvious mismatches? And, settled Gen X-ers in the audience, how can you fail to tingle not only with voyeurism but also Schadenfreude? How delightful not to be on the marriage market in an age when going on a first date is like interviewing for a fellowship, or sitting for a deposition, with its “So, tell me about your last girlfriend,” and so forth. When you hear, in another introductory testimonial, that “Sarah is constantly falling for the wrong type of guy,” you simply must start wagering whether Sarah’s type is John or Antonio or Adrian or Matt or perhaps John, who works as “a real-estate agent.” Real-estate guys are to “Dating Around” what pharmaceutical-sales reps are to “The Bachelor.” I am uncertain whether to understand their superabundance as a comment on hyper-gentrification or simply a consequence of it.

The series is rife with opportunities to question the personality defects of the contestants and the judgment of the producers. Is Lex just a total horndog? (There is, after all, something simultaneously leering and belittling in his voice when Cory says, “I work in real-estate development,” and he replies, “Oh, shit, that’s fun!”) Or does his bravado mask a deep insecurity? Is Justin (“I had a friend tell me, ‘Hey, get your real-estate license,’ and I joined a really amazing team”) simply being a drunken jerk when he berates Gurki for her attitude toward her failed marriage—or is he a drunken jerk making an important point? How inadvisable was it to end an episode that concludes with a interracial match with a beat about a cup of coffee fixed with “brown sugar”?

This shamefully tasty hate-watch is also a study in human nature, a fine lowbrow opportunity both to marvel at the masks we put on and to examine how and why they crack. “Dating Around” is the fulfillment of the epiphanic dream Chuck Barris had (in the telling of the “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” screenwriter Charlie Kaufman) when he seized on the concept for “The Dating Game,” a show “about the craziest monkey of all: Monkius Humanius! . . . About people! About sex. About romance. About the bullshit of dating!”

Keep an eye out for the fourth episode, which stars Leonard, a widower whose only previous blind date occurred around 1970. His pentalogy of dinner dates occurs at Le Barricou. “So, do you have a big apartment?” Lauren asks. Her interest sharpens palpably when he replies, “Nineteen hundred square feet.”

With its tackiness enamelled in urbanity and its timbre attuned to the Tinder age, “Dating Around” is marvellously of the moment—a strong candidate for the sociocultural time capsule. It presents a fine contrast with “Temptation Island,” an early-twenty-first-century artifact with a fin-de-siècle vibe, which has recently recrudesced on the USA Network. Sexual politics have changed since “Temptation Island” first aired on Fox, in 2001, as an infidelity obstacle course hosted by Mark L. Walberg. But its enthusiastic tawdriness is still captivating, as attested by the reboot’s decent ratings. We are five episodes into a narrative about four heterosexual couples who have descended on a tropical locale and then parted ways, perhaps permanently; the ladies head up to the mountain villa, where they keep company with freelance casanovas. Last week, the entertainment included a luau. (“This is what I expected to do when I came to the island,” Jake, one of the tempters, said. “That and tempting women, obviously.”) The guys head down to the beach villa, which is stocked with single women; the ladies’ missions, as television personalities, include the lodging of entertainingly bizarre grievances. “He’s so sweet,” temptress Hannah says, of Javen. “The one thing that keeps girls from being more infatuated with him is the fact that he is so committed to his girlfriend, which is a bit of a hindrance.”

Original Article

USA Today

Netflix’s 'Dating Around' gets reality TV right for 2019

february 14, 2019

By Carly Mallenbaum

I’ve never actually enjoyed dating shows, but I’ve hate-watched plenty of them.

I’ve yelled “This is a boring conversation!” at the leading men on ABC’s “The Bachelor,”  rolled my eyes at the pun-filled narration on MTV’s late-2000s show “Next” and scoffed at the standards held by rich, single clients on Bravo’s “Millionaire Matchmaker.”

Netflix’s “Dating Around” is the first reality show I actually enjoyed watching because it is a beautiful, poetic series that doesn't mock its subjects.

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At a time when dating has become an exercise in app roulette, with infinite options to swipe but the same awkward first-date hurdles, “Dating Around” captures the uncertain search for connection: no smug host, cheesy music or probing confessionals required.

“We didn’t want (daters) to sit down and say something outrageous, like in a 2005 reality show,” co-creator Chris Culvenor says. Instead, producers told the cast: “This is a real first date: Think about who you are, the stories you tell, what you want to want to get across.” 

Here’s why “Dating Around,” the six-episode series now streaming, is the perfect 2019 reality show (unlike E!’s awful new “Dating: #NoFilter”), worth watching this Valentine’s Day.  

We can all relate to the premise

Real singles don’t spend their first dates in hot-air balloons or on shopping sprees. In “Dating Around,” blind dates meet at a bar, get food, and, if all goes well, maybe a nightcap.

You know, just like regular people who aren’t on a contrived dating show.

“It’s not ‘someone finding the love of their life and and proposing at the end,” Culvenor says. Instead, the show tries to capture a feeling of what it's like to date:  “a kaleidoscope about what it’s like to be single in the modern world.” 

Each episode centers on a single “hero,” as Culvenor calls the main girl or guy, from a quirky Caucasian tech recruiter to a hip “gaysian” set designer. Each goes on six first dates and chooses one for a second date – a decision made off camera with no explanation.

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Though set in New York City and featuring mostly beautiful people in trendy jobs, those close-to-typical folks are very relatable. They're on standard dates, searching for common ground, tensely trying buzzy banter, like that experienced by anyone who didn’t marry their high school sweetheart.

It’s beautifully shot and slickly edited

Because the aesthetic is more “Master of None” noir than “Real Housewives” soap, the show feels like a rom-com with authentic dialogue. The hero in each episode wears the same clothes and goes to the same restaurant for each of their dates, so it appears to be one long speed-dating session. Because first dates often have the same talking points – work, family, tattoos and the awful “why are you single” question – the format fits.

There’s diversity, and also plenty of real estate guys

Daters are gay, straight, bi, across the age spectrum and – remarkably for a reality show – not terribly self-conscious and desperate to marry.

Of course, there's still a cute, bland heterosexual white guy who works in real estate. But a cast that includes more diversity demonstrates how “coming out” stories can surface, how race comes into play in conversation and how chats can be more serious the older you get.

It emphasizes how elusive finding a connection is

First-date kissers or late-night dancers don’t always make it to Round 2.

As in real life, "Dating Around" shows that a pretty-good date can be forgettable when hundreds of faces await swipes. These days, messages and romantic possibilities are endless.

But most of the show's leads choose someone to see again, and sometimes those choices seem arbitrary. 

Senior widower Leonard,  trying to explain why he doesn’t want a second date with one woman, says,  “It’s just a feeling. Everything to do with me and not you.” 

And later: “I hate this (crap).”

Dating may be terrible; but “Dating Around” reminds viewers that there can be beauty in the search.

Original Article

The Guardian

Dating Around: the new reality show you’ll love to hate

FEBRUARY 11, 2019

By Stuart Heritage

Tidying Up taught you to clean your house. Queer Eye taught you to wear a lot of patterned short-sleeved shirts. And now Netflix’s latest unscripted series Dating Around is here to teach you to make meaningless smalltalk with a stranger with whom you share no obvious connection.

Make no mistake, Dating Around is almost certainly going to be the next big breakout Netflix hit. It serves no purpose whatsoever, but it’s such a concentrated punch of instantly disposable gratification that you will gobble the whole thing up in one sitting and only realise how bad you feel about it once it’s been processed and expunged from your system.

Here’s how it works: a person goes on five first dates with five different strangers. At the end they choose the one they like the best and there’s an off-screen second date. It is, by this measure, exactly the same as a million other dating shows.

The masterstroke of Dating Around, though, is that all these dates are chopped up and spliced together, so they appear to unfold concurrently. If you remember the Master of None episode First Date, you’ll understand the notion. So, in episode one, we meet a handsome blank of a man named Luke. He introduces himself to his date, a hesitant woman who works in the food industry. In the next scene he does the same to another woman. And then another woman. And then there’s a sequence where each of them will pore over the menu, and a sequence where they toast each other. All five dates play out at exactly the same time, in effect.

This is what gets you hooked, because the whole thing immediately becomes a horse race. Within three minutes, you’ve automatically ranked all the dates in terms of suitability. We meet someone pretty but dull. We meet someone else whose opening gambit is “Guess how old I am”, falling at the first hurdle. We meet someone charming and vivacious who’d very obviously be perfect for Luke. But, oh no, coming up on the inside is a beautiful Colombian student who doesn’t speak very good English or have a particularly wonderful personality but is absolutely beautiful. It’s neck and neck between Vivacious and Colombian. Colombian is mounting a good challenge, but Vivacious is edging it by a nose. It looks like Vivacious is going to … WAIT, Guess How Old I Am has got drunk and forced her tongue down Luke’s throat! An extraordinary comeback! It’s anyone’s game now.


This goes on for the duration of the meal. But then we also follow the dates outside, where we watch them either catch fire or wither in a mess of unfinished sentences. There’s a moment in the first episode where a woman is rejected with a simple “But, um …” and it feels like you’ve seen someone get stabbed in the heart. It’s shockingly brutal, and only slightly offset by all the other footage of another date that definitely ends in sex.

If Dating Around has a flaw, it’s that it is far too New York. Everyone – all the daters and datees, regardless or gender or sexuality – is a bit too generically millennial New Yorker, which means that 90% of all conversations are about the pressures of the city, or the dating life in the city, or how long they’ve lived in the city, or where they go jogging in the city, or how easy it is to be vegan in the city. This, combined with the natural tedium of all first-date small talk (example: “What do you do?” “I work in recruitment.” “That’s awesome!”) means that the actual meat of the dates can sometimes be a slog to get through.

But that’s a quibble, because it all fades away against the thrill of watching relationships thrive and crumble in real time. I’m not going to spoil the whole series, but there’s a flare-up in episode two that is positively Shakespearean in its emotional breadth, and it makes you realise what a fetid sewer the dating scene really is. It’s staggering and, if you’re as old as I am, it makes you profoundly grateful that your dating days are over.

You’ll discover that for yourself, though, because I guarantee that you’re going to chow through Dating Around like it’s an ice cream cake. It won’t do you any good, but you can worry about that in the morning.

Dating Around is available on Netflix from February 14.

Original Article


A dating show hater reviews Netflix’s ‘Dating Around’ (and likes it)

FEBRUARY 11, 2019

By Katie Ward

Netflix’s first foray into dating shows with Dating Around piqued the interest of a dating show hater enough to want to review it.

My reality television viewing habits are quite minimal, and my dating show viewing history is quite dismal. I’ve never been able to get past one episode of any dating show I’ve tried, but when Netflix decides to do their own version of something, you have to take a look.


Each episode of Dating Around has one single person go on five blind dates and pick one match who is worthy of a second date. After awkward moments, open conversations, shameless flirting, and even some tears, Dating Around shows just how fun, and not so fun, first dates can be.

Unlike other dating shows, Dating Around isn’t ‘extra.’ Despite the glossy look of how it’s filmed, it feels much more down to earth than other dating shows. For a start, the actual dates are nothing fancy. There are no ridiculous, staged activities to force drama. Dinner and drinks at a restaurant (albeit a trendy, low-key fancy New York City type restaurant) culminates in an after hours stroll through the city.

When it comes to the actual people, of course they’re all beautiful, as you would expect in a dating show, but they’re not over the top. Even the most colorful characters are within the realm of believability, as opposed to putting on an act for the camera. One of the things that personally makes watching dating shows so unappealing is how fake the singles behave. The exaggerated personalities is more grating to me than entertaining. Until now, those kind of performances were believed to be necessary to create drama and engagement, but Dating Around shows that genuine expression and subtlety can be just as riveting.

The dramatic subtlety is also conveyed through how it’s shot. Take a look at the trailer (below). If you didn’t know it was a reality show, you’d probably think it was a scripted romantic comedy movie. The shallower depth of field makes Dating Around feel more cinematic than your regular reality dating show, which is perfect for a dating show hater. As someone who’s much more into scripted dramas, this look is a subtle way to trick the mind into making this feel less like the cheap dating shows you’ve seen 100 times already.


Dating Around also attempts to eliminate the often scripted feel of your average dating show by not having any confessionals. It’s a pro and a con. On the one hand, without any commentary, there’s never an explanation for why the subject of Netflix’s show chose the person they chose for a second date.

On the other hand, not knowing what’s going on in the minds of the daters creates a different kind of drama and suspense. By not having clear verbal communication to say how much they’re enjoying themselves, if at all, you’re at the mercy of their expressions, body language, and tone of voice. You want to stick around to the very end, because it’s not necessarily obvious who they’re going to pick for a second date.

A lack of commentary also allows you to form a less biased opinion on each person. Though the dates are meant to be from the perspective of one person, it’s also from the viewer’s perspective. By not being told what someone else thinks of the five dates, we’re watching them without being influenced, which in turns makes it possible to form our own opinions. In addition, cutting between all five dates at once is a great way to compare how each communicates and reacts in similar conversations. In a way, Dating Around puts you in the main seat, asking who you would choose.

The ambiguity of the final decision is also aided by a lack of suggestive music and editing. For the most part, music is very subtle, used more for background ambiance than to suggest a particular mood. In this way, any awkward, funny, or romantic moment feels natural and not fabricated. Likewise, the editing does its best to remain neutral. It’s easy to create tension, romantic or uncomfortable, by lingering on a shot for too long, but for the most part this doesn’t happen.

Dating Around is so different than a traditional dating show that it may not be enjoyable for someone who’s used to something like The Bachelor. It’s a very dialogue heavy show, without the whizz and bang that usually accompanies dating shows. Those who are used to a faster pace and exuberant dates and personalities might struggle to stay awake through it.

Dating Around elevates the dating show bar in such a way that even typical dating show haters could find this a worthwhile watch. Without flashy dramatics, more down-to-earth ‘characters,’ and a production quality reflective of a movie, Netflix’s first dating show successfully tries something new in an otherwise oversaturated market. It’s possible this style could alienate the average dating show viewer, but it’s also likely to attract a new audience. Unlike other dating shows, Dating Around is more reflective of what first dates are truly like: awkward, funny, antagonistic, flirty, boring, and fun. And with so many different ages, ethnicities, and personalities depicted, there’s something here for everyone.

‘Dating Around’ will be released on Netflix February 14

Original Article


Oxygen Media, IPC and Eureka to explore dangerous world of cults

By Selina Chignall

JANUARY 31, 2019

NBCUniversal’s female-focused true crime network Oxygen Media is delving into the dark world of cults that kill in an upcoming limited series.


Deadly Cults (4 x 60 minutes) will explore the stories of cult leaders, the psychology behind them and how they instill fear and hatred into the hearts and minds of their followers, which often leads them to murder. The series recounts each case through interviews with the investigators, former cult members, and family and friends closest to the victims.

Produced by Industrial Media’s Intellectual Property Corporation and Eureka Productions, Deadly Cults spotlights the chilling tales of a self-proclaimed prophet who convinced his followers to murder an innocent family, and a vampire coven on the hunt for its next victim.

The premiere episode looks at a double homicide involving two parents and a missing girl that triggered a multi-state chase with one of the suspects claiming to be a 500-year-old vampire.

Deadly Cults is produced by Industrial Media’s Eli HolzmanAaron Saidman and Bill Pruitt. Paul Franklin and Chris Culvenor served as producers for Eureka Productions.

Deadly Cults premieres Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Oxygen.

Original Article


10 best new shows to watch on Netflix in February 2019

By Reed Gaudens

January 29, 2019

The 10 best shows to watch on Netflix in February 2019 including the original series One Day at a Time, Russian Doll, and The Umbrella Academy.

Ahead of the spring and summer rushes, Netflix gives us something of a breather with its new release television series in February. There’s aren’t handfuls upon handfuls of new original series premieres or new seasons of your small-screen favorites. Rather, we’re easing into the new year with a few buzzed-about debut series and a generous helping of unscripted content. Save some room on your watch list for true crime, a dating competition, and some superheroes.

To kick off February with a bang, Netflix unleashes its Amy Poehler co-created comedy series Russian Doll, which stars Orange Is the New Black standout Natasha Lyonne. The series has already picked up positive buzz, as has The Umbrella Academy,the comic book adaptation which stars Ellen Page and promises tons of action. Also premiering this month are new seasons of sitcom One Day at a Time and variety show Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj.

Meanwhile, February holds a few exciting surprises in store. If you’re a fan of Chef’s Table, get ready for a new volume full of food you’ll definitely want to eat. And if you’re a fan of Nailed It!, prepare for the Mexico edition full of food you’ll probably not want to eat. Also on the menu this month is true crime anthology Unsolved: Tupac and Biggie and Dating Around, Netflix’s original dating series that will drum up all the nostalgia for MTV’s once-classic programming.

Find your next series to binge-watch during the slow midseason with our comprehensive list of the 10 best TV shows coming to Netflix in February, and comment below with your favorite picks!

4. Dating Around

Season: 1

Release Date: Thursday, Feb. 14

Aside from singing competitions, dancing competitions, and survival competitions, the one genre of reality series that television fans can’t get enough of is dating competitions. Think about it, 20 some odds seasons in and The Bachelor remains one of the most talked about shows on TV, even though everyone willing accepts that it’s not all real. That series has spawned The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise, and it helped to inspire a number of reality dating series on the small screen. It’s high time Netflix got in the game.

The next natural step on Netflix path to total popular domination is a dating show. It’s Queer Eye, Nailed It!, Tidying Up, documentaries, dramas, comedies, and every other kind of show you could ever want to watch. But just in time for Valentine’s Day, the streaming giant will debut its first dating series, and it’s surely going to be an addictive sight to behold. In each episode of Dating Around, one single will attend five dates and determine which lucky individual will earn a second date. Can’t you already feel the magical, awkward exchanges?

Dating Around sounds more like the dating competitions you might have watched on MTV in the early 2000s like Next or Room Raiders than it does The Bachelor. Regardless, any kind of dating show is a fun, mindless, trashy treat for when you just need some simple escapism. The first season of Dating Around will feature six episodes, though if binge-watchers turn it into an instant sensation, we can expect more to rollout later this year. Whether you’re single or take, don’t miss your date with Dating Around this Valentine’s Day on Netflix.

Original Article


Eureka making 2nd season of Crikey It’s The Irwins for Animal Planet

By Mediaweek


January 25, 2019

Animal Planet has greenlit season two of Crikey! It’s The Irwins, as announced on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in New York overnight.

The series shares the work of the Irwin family – TerriBindi and Robert – as they continue Steve Irwin’s mission to bring people closer to animals and inspire people to become Wildlife Warriors, with their messages of wildlife conservation.

Their aim is to ensure an abundance of wildlife for generations to come. The season one finale of Crikey! It’s The Irwins will air in Australia, Saturday 2 February at 6.30pm.

“I’m so excited for the opportunity to film season two of Crikey! It’s the Irwins with Animal Planet,” said Terri Irwin. “I am incredibly honoured to be continuing Steve’s legacy and to be encouraging everyone to take a stand to help protect wildlife and wild places.”

“Our audiences have a front row seat for the Irwin family’s wildlife adventures, immersed in the sights and sounds of so many incredible animals,” said Susanna Dinnage, global president of Animal Planet. “We are delighted to be sharing their new and inspiring stories later this year with viewers all over the world.”

In the first season on Crikey! It’s The Irwins, audiences met a wide range of animals including a giraffe named Scarlett whom Terri transported 2,000km to participate in a breeding program – part of Australia Zoo’s conservation efforts; Cedar, a rescue koala that gave birth to a rare set of twin joeys, closely watched and cared for by Bindi and the team; and Graham, a huge crocodile originally rescued by Steve.

After months of croc-wrangling training, Robert finally got to feed Graham live at the Crocoseum at Australia Zoo, to the delight of visitors. The show also documented the family travelling to South Africa on visits to Balule and Entabeni Game Reserves; the Great Barrier Reef; and to the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve on Queensland’s Cape York for an annual crocodile research trip.

Crikey! It’s The Irwins launched globally on Animal Planet in more than 205 countries and territories and reached an estimated global audience of 36.2m – more than any other globally launched Animal Planet series.

The series is produced for Animal Planet by Sydney-based Eureka Productions, a company founded by TV producers Paul Franklin and Chris Culvenor.

Original article


CTV Reveals the 30 Aspiring Artists Featured on Season 2 of Hit Music Series, THE LAUNCH


january 8, 2019

The Launch.png

Premiering January 30 on CTV, celebrity mentors and producers this season include: Bryan Adams, Jann Arden, Shaun Frank, Alex Hope, Max Kerman, Jon Levine, Sarah McLachlan, Bebe Rexha, Nile Rodgers, and Ryan Tedder –
– Season 1 artists have accumulated more than 400 million radio audience impressions to date.

CTV officially unveils today the 30 artists vying for their chance to record an original song on the upcoming second season of CTV’s smash-hit music series, THE LAUNCH, premiering January 30. Handpicked from thousands of applicants, these widely gifted artists represent some of the best talent that Canada has to offer across a variety of musical genres, including pop, rock, country, soul, folk, and more.

The six-episode second season of THE LAUNCH kicks off Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 8 p.m. ET/PT in super simulcast on CTV, VRAK, and the CTV app. Weekly episodes of THE LAUNCH will also air day-and-date with CTV on VRAK, subtitled in French. Encore presentations of THE LAUNCH air Saturdays at 8 p.mET/PT on CTV and Sundays at 11 a.m. ET on Much (visit and to confirm local listings).

Guiding artists through the audition, performing, and recording process are Scott Borchetta, world renowned music executive and CEO/Founder of Big Machine Label Group, and new permanent mentor Marie-Mai (STAR ACADÉMIE, LA VOIX), who join a weekly rotating panel of music industry powerhouse celebrity mentors and producers. Fan favourite entertainment reporter Liz Trinnear (ETALK) also joins Season 2 in a new hosting role.

Original article

The New York Times

What’s on TV Monday: ‘The Price of Everything’ and ‘Mars’

By Sara Aridi

November 12, 2018

An HBO documentary spotlights the role of art in the age of consumerism. And the space exploration series “Mars” returns on National Geographic.

What’s on TV

THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING (2018) 8 p.m. on HBO. What defines one painter’s success and another one’s failure? Is the commercialization of art a boon to the industry or its death knell? The answers to these and other questions raised in this documentary depend on whom you ask — at least that’s what the film suggests. As curators, artists, auction house executives and critics reflect on the value of art in the age of consumerism, we see that the issue is rarely black and white. “If the artists are the heroes, the auctioneers, collectors and dealers aren’t exactly the villains,” A. O. Scott wrote in The New York Times. “Their acquisitiveness might be an expression of love.”

CHINA FROM ABOVE 8 p.m. on Smithsonian. This new limited documentary series explores 40 locations across China with stunning aerial imagery, beginning with a look at dragon boat races that ring in the Chinese New Year and villagers who cross rivers by zip-lining.

MARS 9 p.m. on National Geographic. Season 2 of this part-fiction, part-documentary series that predicts how humans will come to live on Mars picks up in 2042, when astronauts have created a colony and need to turn to private funding. As the characters learn to cope with everyday problems on Mars, experts like Elon Musk, Bill Nye and Ellen Stofan explain how urgent issues we face on Earth today — glacial melting, a rising sea level — could crop up if humans build lives on Mars. The Season 5 premiere of STARTALK WITH NEIL deGRASSE TYSON, featuring Anthony Bourdain (who died in June), runs at 11.

THE CLEANERS (2018) 10 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). Delete or ignore. Those are the two options the content moderators profiled in this documentary have as they sift through endless posts for social media giants like Facebook and Twitter. The revelations here are plenty: The so-called “cleaners” are young employees in an outsourced company in the Philippines. Their work — searching through child pornography, art, videos of beheadings and more — can be traumatizing. And their decisions can lead to dramatic consequences like the spread of fake news. As the moderators open up about the demands of their jobs, Silicon Valley executives and activists point to the dangers of outsourcing such vital work.

What’s Streaming

THE HEART GUY on Acorn TVThis Australian drama returns with Hugh (Rodger Corser) ready to head back to Sydney after his probation is up. But when a tragedy befalls his family, he wonders if he can ever really leave his small town, Whyhope.

PICK, FLIP & DRIVE on Facebook WatchThe Montana auto expert Jim Eli finds rustic classic cars and gives them a second life in this new series. At the end of each episode, viewers can offer to buy the rides on Facebook Marketplace.

Original article here:


Facebook Watch sets car auction series for November

By Frederick Blichert

NOVEMBER 5, 2018

Facebook Watch will premiere its car-centric docuseries Pick, Flip & Drive later this month.


The Eureka Productions-made series follows auto auctioneer Jim Eli and his family as they seek out classic cars from barns and backyards across Montana to “flip” them — turning them into custom-designed works of art for sale.

After each episode, the cars featured, from vintage 50s trucks to 70s muscle cars, will be available for purchase on community sales space Facebook Marketplace. Each vehicle will be available for up to 48 hours after the episode, with the chosen buyer featured at the top of the following episode.

Vehicles featured include a 1958 Chevy Apache, a 1965 Mustang Coupe, a 1971 Oldsmobile Cutlas, a 1982 Corvette and even a 1999 Volkswagen Beetle.

Pick, Flip & Drive is executive produced by Eureka’s Paul FranklinChris CulvenorWes Dening and Matthew J. Braley. Dirk Gibson and Sam Wasserman executive produce for Inspired Entertainment and Wasserman Productions, respectively. Toby Faulkner and Jeffery Rich serve as EPs for Facebook Watch.

The series premieres Nov. 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Facebook Watch.

Original article here:

The Hollywood Reporter

Steve Irwin's Family Keeps His "Mission and Dream Alive" in New Series 'Crikey! It’s the Irwins'

By Ciara McVey

OCTOBER 29, 2018

"We’re able to take people on the journey with us, which is something very unique to our little lives. That’s what’s really special and something Dad was passionate about," Bindi Irwin said.

The Irwins and Animal Planet are teaming up once again.

Twenty-two years after Steve Irwin and his wife Terri captivated audiences with their wildlife adventures on The Crocodile Hunter, the family is continuing his legacy and conservation work at the Australia Zoo in their new show, Crikey! It’s the Irwins.

Terri, along with son Robert and daughter Bindi, sat down with The Hollywood Reporter In Studio to discuss reuniting with Animal Planet and keeping Steve’s mission alive.

“I think all the stars aligned and we kept in touch with each other as life went on and it was just perfect timing,” Terri said on working with the network.

The show takes viewers behind-the-scenes of the Irwin family’s Australia Zoo in Queensland, showcasing them caring for a variety of animals and educating on how to protect wildlife and the environment.

“Because we live right in the middle of the Australia Zoo and we have the most hands-on zoological facility on the planet, the idea is all the animals need to have a good day, they need to be having fun and interaction and it’s taking you on our journey of conservation and protecting the environment, as well,” Terri said.

Bindi added: “We’re lucky to do what we love, which is work with wildlife and be so involved with all our conservation work, but we’re also able to take other people on the journey with us, which is something very, very unique to our little lives. That’s what’s really special and something dad was passionate about.”

Crikey! It’s the Irwins is the family’s first show on a cable network since Steve’s death in 2006 after he was stung by a stingray. Steve and Terri have clearly passed on their passion for wildlife to Robert and Bindi, which they plan to do with their own children someday.

“I think it’s always been our biggest passion, wildlife and conservation, and it’s just always been a part of us. Having the upbringing and family that we’ve had, it’s impossible not to be passionate about wildlife,” Robert told THR.

He continued: “We just really, really live and breathe it every day and Bindi and I feel really blessed to be in a position where we can inspire so many people and really keep dad’s mission and his dream alive because he was totally the most passionate and enthusiastic person on the planet when it came to wildlife and he really instilled that passion in us.”

'Crikey! It's the Irwins' airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on Animal Planet. 

original article here:


The Irwin family returns to Animal Planet in new wildlife series

By Frederick Blichert

SEPTEMBER 13, 2018

The Irwin family is heading back to Discovery-owned Animal Planet for a new unscripted series set at the family-owned Australia Zoo in Queensland.

Crikey! It’s the Irwins follows mother Terri Irwin (pictured, left) and her children with the late Steve Irwin, Bindi (center) and Robert Irwin (right), as they look after the more than 1,200 animals at the zoo; oversee a wildlife hospital, the largest of its kind in the world; and go on wildlife expeditions around the world.


The family first appeared on Animal Planet via The Crocodile Hunter with Steve Irwin, who co-hosted with Terri and executive produced the series until he was attacked and killed by a stingray in 2006 while filming the feature doc Ocean’s Deadliest.

Steve Irwin’s legacy lives on in Crikey! It’s the Irwins, as son Robert learns to wrangle a crocodile, caught by Steve, with the help of Steve’s best friend Wes in the season premiere.

The season includes the transportation of a giraffe over 1,200 miles to be part of a breeding program as part of the zoo’s conservation efforts, and the release of rescued and recuperated wildlife back into the wild.

The series is produced for Animal Planet by Eureka, with Paul FranklinChris CulvenorWes Dening and Rod Parker serving as executive producers. Erin Wanner is executive producing for Animal Planet, and Sarah Russell serves as producer.

Crikey! It’s the Irwins will premiere Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Animal Planet, airing on the channel globally.

original article here:


Lionsgate Strikes Deal with Eureka Productions To Ramp Up Formats Business In Australia

By Peter White


Lionsgate is looking to ramp up its formats business down under by striking a deal with Australian producer Eureka Productions, run by MasterChef producer Paul Franklin and Restaurant Startup creator Chris Culvenor.

The U.S. studio has struck an exclusive partnership agreement with Eureka that will see the latter represent, sell and produce all Lionsgate entertainment formats and non-scripted series to broadcasters throughout Australia.


Eureka Productions has produced over 160 hours of programming in less than three years including The Chefs’ Line and The Employables for SBS and The Single Wives for Seven Network as well as remakes of The Voice for Nine Network, Australian Spartan for Seven and Drunk History for Network Ten. Eureka is also producing series in the U.S. including projects for Animal Planet and Oxygen.

It will work alongside Lionsgate’s EVP and Head of Worldwide Alternative Programming Jennifer O’Connell, and Lionsgate’s President of International Television and Digital Distribution Peter Iacono, and their creative and distribution teams.

Lionsgate unscripted slate includes Kevin Hart: What the Fit for YouTube, Music City on CMT, Norm MacDonald Has A Show, which will launch on Netflix later this month, and You Kiddin’ Me, Kim Kardashian West-exec produced prank show for Facebook Watch.

The deal was brokered by Lionsgate’s UK exec Paula Warwick and Stephanie Sanet of Dembitzer & Dembitzer LLP on behalf of Eureka Productions.

Franklin and Culvenor said, “We’re delighted to be working with Lionsgate, a visionary leader in the development of creative ideas, for a broad range of networks and platforms. When it comes to unscripted content, U.S. and Australian audiences share very similar sensibilities and we’re looking forward to bringing Lionsgate’s growing catalogue of formats to Australia.”

“We’re delighted to partner with world-class developers and producers Paul and Chris to bring our premium unscripted series to Australia,” said Lionsgate’s O’Connell. “Our diverse content will have great appeal in this territory as we continue to expand our nonfiction television business globally.”

Iacono added, “Paul and Chris have exemplary track records and key relationships in the development, production, and distribution of highly successful, non-scripted television in Australia. Our new affiliation will enable us to extend our existing formats and create new formats to bring back to the U.S. and other international territories.”

full article here: 

The Australian

In the business of self-growth

By Justin Burke

august 24, 2018

The Employables investigates how to turn business ideas into start-ups for the most marginalised group of jobseekers.


My first reaction on hearing the conceit for The Employables was fear on behalf of the participants.

The Employables.jpeg

The fact of the exploitation of vulnerable people in reality and factual series isn’t news, and SBS hasn’t been immune from such criticism, as was levelled at Struggle Street. (Although the recent episode of You Can’t Ask That on ABC suggested many former reality contestants would happily go again — even the guy from Sylvania Waters.)

But the notion that the unemployed, particularly those from marginalised groups — such as indigenous, immigrants or the disabled — should be encouraged into entrepreneurship seems like a solution a successful businessperson would come up with.

As the adage goes, if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

The Employables is a three-part series that features individuals representing the most marginalised groups of jobseekers in the Australian workforce who come together to turn their business ideas into start-ups.

They include an amputee who hasn’t been able to get a job since losing his leg in an accident, a chef who was shut out of the kitchen after losing his eyesight and a single mum who ended up homeless.

Creel Price is the resident business expert and, with his team of experts and coaches, the participants have eight weeks to turn their ideas into million-dollar businesses.

“It’s not necessarily just about creating a great business,” Price says. “It’s about personal growth. How do we help those who wouldn’t normally get a headstart and give them some new skills they can take through other parts of their life?”

The Employables, Wednesday 29th, 8.35pm, SBS.

Full article here: 

The Australian

Drunk History: a national narrative walks into a bar

By Justin Burke

august 20, 2018

Pick of the day: Drunk History, 9.30pm, Ten.

While there is debate over who coined the term in vino veritas (“in wine, truth”), there is no doubt the adage has been quoted by poets, philosophers and historians for millennia.

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That is not to suggest the Drunk History format has been inspired by anything highbrow. Rather, what began as a web series on Will Ferrell’s website Funny or Die, and later was picked up by Comedy Central for six seasons, offers no more or less than what it says in the title.

The monologues are inspired only loosely by historical facts, and often veer dangerously towards incoherence as each episode progress.

The original show has spawned several international versions: British, two Latin American (Spanish and Portuguese) and even Hungarian. Now, as part of Ten’s pilot week, we get our own adaptation, which seeks to tackle two of the big topics: Ned Kelly and Phar Lap.

Actor Stephen Curry (The King) addresses the former, with the help of Gyton Grantley, Aaron Chen, Greta Lee Jackson and Paul Fenech.

Later, Rhys Darby (Flight of the Conchords) retells the story of Australia’s most beloved New Zealand-born racehorse, Phar Lap (played by Ryan “Fitzy” Fitzgerald).

In short, it makes history amusing, which can’t be a bad thing.

Full article here: 


SBS Australia readies entrepreneurial docuseries "The Employables"

By Selina Chignall

jULY 24, 2018

Australian pubcaster SBS is preparing a three-part entrepreneurial docuseries that will showcase marginalized job seekers as they team together to form million-dollar businesses.

The Employables will feature individuals who come from a range of backgrounds who often face barriers to employment. Featured in the series are a Sudanese refugee; an amputee who hasn’t been able to find a job since losing his leg in an accident; a chef shut out of the kitchen after losing his eyesight; and a homeless single mother.


The hopeful applicants will pitch their business ideas to Creel Price, a self-made millionaire and Aussie serial entrepreneur, and his team of experts and coaches. After the 12 people are chosen, the contestants will head on to the next stage where they are put through their paces to find the six who will move on.

Under the guidance of Price and his team, the group will have eight weeks to transform their ideas into million dollar businesses. Along the way, they will share their personal stories with their teammates as they work together in the face of immense challenges.

The Employables premieres Aug. 22 at 8.30 p.m. on SBS Australia. Episodes will also be made available following their broadcast premieres via SBS On Demand.

“The series shines a light on Australian minority groups who are more likely to struggle to find employment, and aims to give a voice to people who are often misunderstood,” said Price in a statement. “The Employables offers viewers a rare insight into the camaraderie, conflict and collaboration that emerge in the birth of a business. For all of the participants, the stakes have never been higher as the success of their start-up could mean a new life for themselves and their families.”

original article


Network Ten details pilot week and how audiences will choose

By Mediaweek

July 23, 2018

Gold Logie Winner grant Denyer and Studio 10 co-host Angela Bishop to host Pilot Week

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In an Australian television first, Network Ten will bring the unique and innovative concept of Pilot Week to Australian television audiences from Sunday August 19 on TEN and WIN Network.

Pilot Week will premiere eight original pilots of domestically produced television programs, across a number of different genres, broadcast in primetime across one week.

The programs Skit HappensDaveKinne TonightDrunk HistoryTabooTrial By KyleDisgrace! and Bring Back… Saturday Night are the programs that will premiere during Pilot Week with the channel hoping some of them will find a permanent home in the schedule.

Viewers will be encouraged to participate and share their feedback via tenplay and social media.

Audience reaction, social buzz and ratings will help decide what shows will return to Australian television screens in 2019.

Beverley McGarvey (pictured top), chief content officer Network Ten, said: “We are excited to be broadcasting such a fantastic array of unique and entertaining programs under the banner of Pilot Week.

“Involving Australian audiences in whether or not a program gets the green light via tenplay and other social initiatives provides a fantastic opportunity for Australian audiences to have their say in what they want to see on our screens in 2019.

“Pilot Week for us, represents a substantial investment in unique and local production, and further cements Network Ten’s role as the innovator of Australian commercial television,” she said.

Network Ten’s executive general manager, revenue & client partnerships Rod Prosser said: “We are the first commercial broadcaster to be doing anything like this. Pilot Week is an exciting initiative that propels Ten’s position as an innovator. With Pilot Week, we are actively taking audiences beyond broadcast, creating a path for them to continue their engagement with the programs across our digital and social channels.

“It continues our commitment to offering creative, multiplatform and innovative opportunities for advertisers and brands, and makes up part of our strongest schedule of programming over the coming months. It is a fantastic way for us to be supporting the local industry on and off screen.”

Network Ten’s TV Week Gold Logie Winner Grant Denyer and Studio 10 co-host Angela Bishop will be on hand to introduce the audience to each pilot as it premieres across the week.

TEN’s pilot week lineup:

Drunk History

Rhys Darby and Stephen Curry pour themselves a drink in the international hit comedy format that takes Australia’s rich, and often surprising, history and re-tells it through the words of our most loved comedians and entertainers. Drunk History is produced by Eureka Productions.

Full article found here: 


With Matthew Hussey, The Single Wives are looking for love in sensible places

By Louise Rugendyke

JULY 12, 2018

Seven, Wednesday and Thursday, 7.30pm

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Four single women are looking for love. Enter a world famous dating coach and you can guess the rest.

"Good lord, we've seen it all before!" I hear you cry.

"Yes, we have," I will sigh back at you. And yet, we haven't seen anything as genuinely useful as The Single Wives, Seven's surprisingly decent crack at the reality dating scene.

That's not to say it's perfect – it comes with the usual reality tics of repetitive updates, contrived scenarios and the inevitable "journey", but The Single Wives does wear its heart on its sleeve.

Its ace in the hole is casting. The four women – divorced Sunnie, Emma and Sheridan; and the widowed Nikki – all appear genuine, articulate and open to change; while dating guru Matthew Hussey is schooled in the art of affirmative action.

He claims to have coached more than 19 million women in the art of dating, and is a darling of the US TV talk show circuit, but god damnit if what he isn't spouting doesn't make good sense: create opportunities, listen to the other person, don't wait to be chosen and that rejection is better than regret.

It's all very proactive, and it's advice that anyone can apply to any aspect of their life – create that job opportunity, listen when your husband says he's got a weird rash and try that beetroot hot chocolate instead of regretting it all weekend.

For the most part, too, I was cheering the women on and cringing at behaviour I may have indulged in once or twice (in the end I took the lazy option, and met my husband at work).

But there was one thing that niggled at me through the first two episodes, as the women dressed up and did their best to snag a date: Why isn't there a show called The Single Husbands? Or, you know, Men?"

Why are women always the focus of these shows? Why aren't men getting help?

Yes, you could argue that blokes have Queer Eye to help them out on the dating front, but that's more of a whole-of-life change, not the nuts and bolts of how to date or communicate.

Single Wives.jpeg

British journalist Caitlin Moran recently wrote a great column called How to Tell the Bad Men from the Good Men in which she lamented that there was no safe space for men to discuss and analyse sex beyond "legendary shagging anecdotes".

"Where can a man ask an honest, open, scared question about sex?" she wrote. "We have not yet created a space for this. And so men just make do, with the scrappy cargo cult of sexual information they have received, and with dire consequences for everyone."

Well, Australian TV executives, there's your next reality show. Instead of telling women how to date/dress/talk/lower their standards better, why not give men a meaningful opportunity to learn how to relate to women in a respectful manner. Topics could include "How to have start a conversation"; "How to read signals"; "What should I do if a woman isn't interested" and "What is burrata and how do I eat it".

This is, honestly, not a cheap shot at men, because If there's one thing I've learnt from watching too much reality TV, is that we could all use a little help. After all, when the world regularly resembles a dumpster fire, a little happiness goes a long way.

original article here:

TV Tonight

Rumour: Drunk History for TEN

By David Knox

june 09, 2018

TV Tonight hears whispers TEN is proceeding with a local adaptation of US comedy Drunk History.

A pilot is rumoured to be produced by Eureka Productions for TEN’s upcoming Pilot Week, which will excitingly showcase new titles. Actor Writer Paul Michael Ayre (Soul Mates, Wham Bam, Thank You Ma’am, Legally Brown) will script with Dan Reisinger (Bondi Hipsters) directing.

The format, which airs in Australia on SBS VICELAND, sees a guest comedian recount an event from history after getting sozzled on plonk, with actors enacting their descriptions. The more ludicrous in the telling the better….

International versions have also been adapted for the UK, Brazil & Hungary,

The success of True Story with Hamish & Andy is doubtless a boon to Drunk History‘s local arrival.

TEN declined to comment on its Pilot Week due later this year.

Original article here: 


Oxygen bolsters programming slate with originals, Piers Morgan event

By Salina Chignall

APRIL 10, 2018

Cult of Killers (working title)

Produced by IPC and Eureka Productions with Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman serving as executive producers for IPC and Paul Franklin and Chris Culvenor serving as executive producers for Eureka.

This true crime series exposes the complex mystery behind a murder (or string of murders) committed by members of a vicious cult.

Each episode will zero in on the cult responsible for a homicide, and begin to unravel the cult’s genesis from the leader down to the individual members. Featuring access to law enforcement and former members, first-hand accounts will help explain the cult’s beliefs and how it drove its members to kill.

Original article found here



Canadian Singing Competition ‘The Launch’ Sees Out-the-Gate Success on iTunes

Scott Borchetta is lead mentor on the CTV series.

january 12, 2018

Big Machine Label Group head Scott Borchetta’s new Canadian singing show, “The Launch,” is celebrating its first No. 1 just two days after the series’ Wednesday night (Jan. 10) premiere on CTV.

Logan Staats, the first artist chosen by the program’s panel of mentors,  which includes Borchetta, who first signed Taylor Swift to BMLG, Shania Twain and noted songwriter and producer Busbee, saw his single, “The Lucky Ones” (co-written by Bebe Rexha) top Canada’s all-genre iTunes sales chart. (Watch his performance of the song above.)

“The Launch” offers a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to bring a new, original song to life. In the hours after it aired, the show was the top trending topic on Twitter.


“Launching Logan and ‘The Lucky Ones’ reinforces the premise of this show: it all starts with a great song,” said Borchetta, who also serves as executive producer. “Pairing that great song with the right artist creates a perfect storm – Logan’s haunting, powerful voice and sheer talent bring this song to life so beautifully. I’m so proud of our first ‘Launch’ artist and single.”

Each episode of “The Launch” begins with a hopeful’s audition before the panel, after which the mentors choose two artists to record the original song and prepare to perform it in front of a live audience. The mentors then choose which artist and recording will immediately be released across the country following the broadcast of the episode each week.

“The Launch” is co-developed and produced by Bell Media in association with Borchetta of Big Machine Label Group, Paul Franklin of Eureka (“Masterchef,” “The Biggest Loser”) and John Brunton and Lindsay Cox of Insight Productions (“The Amazing Race Canada”, “Canadian Idol,” “The Juno Awards”).

Next week’s mentor panel will include Borchetta along with Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland and OneRepublic frontman and acclaimed producer/songwriter Ryan Tedder.

Original article

Seven West Media

Big Dell and The Spartans

Wendell Sailor is AUSTRALIAN SPARTAN'S sideline reporter. 

DECEMBER 10, 2017

Dual code rugby legend Wendell Sailor has been confirmed as sideline reporter for Channel 7’s upcoming event TV program, AUSTRALIAN SPARTAN.


Joining previously announced hosts Edwina Bartholomew and Hamish McLachlan, Sailor will bring viewers all the action as it happens from Australia’s finest athletes as they tackle the world’s toughest obstacle competition. “I’m excited to be in this great show and love seeing people being challenged, working as a team.” Wendell said. A proud Queenslander, Wendell excelled in both Rugby League (playing over a combined 200 games for Brisbane Broncos and Illawarra Dragons) and Rugby Union (over 50 games with Queensland Reds and NSW Waratahs). He also played 37 tests for the Wallabies.

No stranger to Channel Seven, he has appeared on both Dancing With The Stars and Australia’s Greatest Athlete. Inspired by the global fitness phenomenon, AUSTRALIAN SPARTAN is impossible to complete alone, the only way to conquer it is to work together as a cohesive unit of three. Raising the bar on team competitions, groups of friends, families and workmates must join forces to race through a specially-designed spectacular Spartan course engineered to challenge their determination, endurance and will.

The format rights for Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge are held by NBCUniversal International Formats and will be distributed worldwide by NBCUniversal International Distribution.

Original article

Seven West Media

september 29, 2017

Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge heads to Australia


Inspired by the global fitness phenomenon, Spartan Race, this is the world's toughest team-based obstacle course. Impossible to complete alone, the only way to conquer it is to work together as a cohesive unit of three.

Raising the bar on team competitions, groups of friends, families and workmates must join forces to race through a specially-designed spectacular Spartan course engineered to challenge their determination, endurance and will.

Seven’s Director of Production Brad Lyons, said: "It's no secret family entertainment is attracting big audiences and AUSTRALIAN SPARTAN will be the toughest and biggest obstacle course ever seen here. It’s so big and tough that you cannot conquer it alone and we will be pitting teams against each other. This will bring added drama as each member of the team relies on each other to make it through this beast of a course."

Chris Oliver-Taylor, MD Matchbox and Chris Culvenor, CEO Eureka said "We are delighted to combine the talents of Matchbox Pictures and Eureka Productions, to bring AUSTRALIAN SPARTAN to Channel 7. This family series will highlight the strength and stamina of some of the toughest and fittest people in the country. It’s a true test of teamwork."

Over the course of this massive television event, the extreme obstacles will escalate to truly test the most outstanding athletes in the country. In the end, only one team will triumph and rise to become the ultimate Australian Spartans.

With the second hit season of the American format currently broadcast on NBC, the popular competition has also seen a localised version commissioned in Denmark.

The format rights for Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge are held by NBCUniversal International Formats and will be distributed worldwide by NBCUniversal International Distribution.

Media Week

APRIL3, 2017

SBS gets first series from Eureka TV: The Chefs’ Line

The two partners of the production company Eureka TV have been busy juggling a handful of projects they have managed to have commissioned over the past few months.

It has been a hectic first year for the business which was only formally announced in January 2016.

Chris Culvenor and Paul Franklin have worked together for almost 10 years, Culvenor told Mediaweek on a visit to their new Sydney offices. In addition they have opened up in Santa Monica, California.

They first worked together at FremantleMedia Australia and then later at Shine Australia before they both moved to Shine America. Culvenor launched 10 new series during his time at Shine America, where he was executive VP development, more than tripling production output. Franklin is best known as the MasterChef man, the key creative architect behind the MasterChef format changes that were exported globally. He also worked on more than 10 series and worked as executive VP programming at Shine America.

Original article


The Australian

April 3, 2017

SBS turns up the heat with new cooking contest, The Chefs’ Line

Today at 6pm, SBS launches a bold experiment in its crucial lead-in timeslot to the news — but one of the creators of this innovative cooking contest, The Chefs’ Line, won’t be on hand to celebrate.

Chris Cul­venor, co-founder of the production company Eureka, will be half a world away in Cannes selling the format for The Chefs’ Line to the world at the MIPTV festival, backed by global giant FremantleMedia.

One year ago, Eureka had two staff, its founders Culvenor and Paul Franklin, former Endemol Shine executives. They based the company in Los Angeles.

One year later and Eureka, backed by FremantleMedia’s international division, has a thriving Sydney office producing The Chefs’ Line, co-producing The Voice with ITV and soon to air on Channel Nine, and working on a new show for Channel Seven, ­Behave Yourself.

The pair, who previously worked at FremantleMedia Australia, have experience on a slew of unscripted programs including Project RunwayThe Biggest Loser and MasterChef.

Original article

JANUARY 28, 2016

Ex-Endemol Shine Execs Launch Company, Partner With FremantleMedia

Unscripted veterans Chris Culvenor and Paul Franklin, most recently Endemol Shine’s SVP of Development and EVP of Programming, have formed Eureka, a production company in partnership with FremantleMedia.

The duo has worked together for a decade, including a stint at FremantleMedia Australia. They’ve developed, adapted and produced franchises such as MasterChef, MasterChef Junior, The Biggest Loser, The Voice, Fake Off, The Apprentice, Restaurant Startup, The Face, Project Runway and Minute to Win It.

Eureka, which opened a Los Angeles office in January, has three projects set up at cable networks. Culvenor and Franklin will open their Sydney office in March and will staff up in both locations.

“Chris and Paul are two of the industry’s most highly regarded creatives,” said Rob Clark, Director of Global Entertainment, FremantleMedia. “Their track records in production, development and sales complement our businesses in the US and Australia and we’re looking forward to creating and sharing ideas across our international network.”

Eureka is repped by WME and Ziffren Brittenham.

Original article


TBI Vision

JANUARY 29, 2016

Ex-Endemol Shine execs pact with Fremantle

Former Endemol Shine Group producers Chris Culvenor and Paul Franklin have created an unscripted prodco with FremantleMedia.

The pair, who have worked together for more than a decade, will lead Eureka Productions, which launched this month in Los Angeles. A Sydney office will open in March with “top appointments” for the creative team coming over the next few months.

Three projects with “top tier” cable networks are in development already.

Eureka said it would work with FremantleMedia, which has been building up a new slate of creative talent over the past 12 months with acquisitions and prodco launches, to develop and produce projects that its network of creators, producers and sales teams can “optimise”.

Culvenor and Frankling were most recently Endemol Shine’s senior VP of development and executive VP of programming, respectively, but have also worked together at FremantleMedia Australia. Their credits include local versions of MasterChef, MasterChef Junior, The Biggest Loser, The Voice and The Apprentice.

“At Eureka we’re very excited to bring together the talented creative community that we have collaborated with over the last decade to create series that captivate and surprise audiences,” said Franklin.

“Chris and Paul are two of the industry’s most highly regarded creative,” said FremantleMedia’s director of global formats, Rob Clark. “Their track records in production, development and sales complement our businesses in the US and Australia and we’re looking forward to creating and sharing ideas across our international network.”

Eureka becomes the latest investment for FremantleMedia, following a spate of deals for new indies that have come in the last year.

Original article

Tv Tonight

JANuary 30, 2017

New production company Eureka set for unscripted

Former Endemol Shine unscripted execs Chris Culvenor and Paul Franklin have formed a new LA-based production company Eureka, and are set to open a Sydney office in March.

The duo, who previously worked at FremantleMedia Australia, have formidable credits including MasterChef, Junior MasterChef, The Biggest Loser, The Voice, The Apprentice and Project Runway.

They have also partnered with FremantleMedia (International) to develop and produce projects.

“At Eureka we’re very excited to bring together the talented creative community that we have collaborated with over the last decade to create series that captivate and surprise audiences,” said Franklin.

Rob Clark, Director of Global Entertainment, FremantleMedia, added, “Chris and Paul are two of the industry’s most highly regarded creatives. Their track records in production, development and sales complement our businesses in the US and Australia and we’re looking forward to creating and sharing ideas across our international network.”

Original article

Tv Tonight

JULY 29, 2016

New producers take on The Voice

ITV Studios Australia will co-produce Season 6 of The Voice, formerly produced by Endemol Shine, with Paul Franklin’s Eureka Productions.

Franklin has previously produced The Voice in 2015 and will serve as Supervising Executive Producer on the upcoming season.

CEO and Managing Director of ITV Studios Australia, David Mott said, “Paul is simply one of the best creative talents in the business and highly regarded both here and overseas. I am delighted he will be working alongside ITV to lead the production team of The Voice Australia, his expertise will take The Voice to a new level.”

Franklin, who recently launched Eureka Productions with Chris Culvenor, previously held key executive positions at FremantleMedia and Shine.

“Eureka is extremely excited to be working with the team at ITV, the Nine Network and Executive Producer Leigh Aramberri to supercharge The Voice for a big year in 2017,” said Franklin.

Original article