Big win for Melbourne writer
Australian writer Joe Brukner has won the Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award, which is handed out annually by the International Television Academy, the industry body that oversees the International Emmy Awards. Brukner, who is based in Melbourne, won the award for his half-hour script Transplant. Australia has an unusually strong track record with the award; in the past decade five of the 10 winners have been emerging Australian writers. Meanwhile, Australia has secured just one nomination for the International Emmys, which will be held in November. The Seven Network's Wanted, which stars Rebecca Gibney, was nominated in the outstanding drama category, against programs from Brazil, Norway and Japan.
Producer David Lyle dies
The television producer David Lyle, a familiar face in these pages, particularly during his career at the Nine Network, has died. He was 67 years old. Lyle held positions at Ten and the ABC as well as Nine, and later relocated to the US where he held senior posts at Fremantle Media, the Fox Reality Channel and the National Geographic Channel. Lyle also headed up the format rights advocacy group FRAPA, which sought to fight the theft of intellectual property in unscripted programming, and more recently another unscripted content industry body, NPACT. In front of the camera he is best remembered as the host of The Golden Years of Television in the 1980s. He is survived by his wife Janne and children Sam, Polly and Joanna.
ABC does a Gruen on TV content
The ABC has commissioned a television series that will dissect television content in the style of The Gruen Transfer. The series, Screen Time, will be hosted by The Chaser's Chris Taylor. According to reports the series will feature celebrity guests, including Mark Fennell, Nakkiah Lui and Benjamin Law, described by the ABC as "avid consumers of screen content", and will tackle both on-screen content and behind-the-scenes industry trends. It is not the national broadcaster's first foray into the genre; in the 1990s it launched the groundbreaking TVTV, produced by Todd Abbott. The first season of 10 episodes will launch in late October.
Seven lives It up
In one of the least surprising (if not most disturbing) programming moves, both Stan and the Seven Network have dusted off the miniseries It, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, and will screen it in October. The move itself is unsurprising: the newly minted film reboot of the story has clocked almost half a billion at the box office (and rising) from a $35 million budget. The television miniseries, which is remembered mostly for Tim Curry's performance as Pennywise the Clown, includes both the present and flashback events of the novel; the new film focuses only on the time period when the main characters were children. (The other half of the book was saved for the sequel, due out in 2019.) It is streaming on Stan; the Seven will air it on the 7flix channel on October 8.