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Wentworth Season 4 in production to premiere on Foxtel’s SoHo channel in 2016

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The steam press is hissing, the dryers are tumbling and the cameras are rolling with production underway this week on season four of Foxtel and FremantleMedia Australia’s internationally acclaimed drama Wentworth.

The cast and crew are settling in to a new location and studio in Melbourne’s western suburbs to shoot the 12 episode season.

Wentworth’s S4 cast includes Danielle Cormack (Bea Smith), Pamela Rabe (Joan Ferguson), Kate Atkinson (Vera Bennett), Nicole da Silva (Franky Doyle), Celia Ireland (Liz Birdsworth), Shareena Clanton (Doreen Anderson), Katrina Milosevic (Sue “Boomer” Jenkins), Robbie Magasiva (Will Jackson), Socratis Otto (Maxine Conway), Tammy MacIntosh (Kaz Proctor), and Libby Tanner (Bridget Westfall).

As the story resumes, Bea and her cell-block mates are returning to Wentworth after the fire and rebuilding of H Block to find a new dynamic in play with a new contender for Top Dog. On the outside, Franky is trying hard to be a productive member of society. As always, no-one should underestimate “the Freak”.

Wentworth is a FremantleMedia Australia production for Foxtel with FremantleMedia Australia Director of Drama Jo Porter and Foxtel’s Head of Drama Penny Win as executive producers. Pino Amenta is series producer for season four. The directors are Kevin Carlin, Steve Jodrell, Jet Wilkinson, Adrian Russell Wills and Catherine Millar. The writers are John Ridley, Pete McTighe, Michael Lucas, Sam Winston and Marcia Gardner, who is both script editor and writer.

Jo Porter said: “Season four will see Wentworth prison rise again from the ashes of the closing hour of season three. We all love the new location and the subtle changes introduced by Pino Amenta and the Art Department.

“The writing team lead by Marcia Gardner has once again concocted a fantastic story arc for the series which will see new and old characters forced to decide what is and isn’t worth fighting for. While thematically, notions of love and obsession will underpin the season as the power base of Wentworth is redefined.”

Penny Win said: “The amazing cast and crew have raised the bar each season and with season four Wentworth will become Foxtel’s longest running Australian drama series.

“All of us at Foxtel and FremantleMedia Australia are very proud of Wentworth’s achievements in garnering both passionate fans and critical acclaim at home on Foxtel’s SoHo channel and around the world.”

Wentworth is distributed by FremantleMedia International and has been sold to 87 countries. Season three launched in the UK on Channel 5 last month and starts in New Zealand on TV2 on August 24.

ABC TV at the forefront of innovative content delivery

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As ABC iview continues to break records, ABC TV is setting the pace with its innovative content and delivery strategy. And audiences are responding.

ABC iview launched in July 2008. It was revolutionary for its time: ABC TV being the first Australian TV network to offer audiences an online catch-up service. Fast forward to 2015 and groundbreaking innovation continues to be at its core.

For adult audiences, ABC iview remains Australia’s most popular internet TV service1. July was iview’s most successful month to date, with a record 35.5 million program plays and a record 2.1 million visitors across the iview site and Apps.

So far this year, iview program plays are up 41% compared to the 2014 average2, with drama and digital-first content boosting viewing.

ABC TV’s recent bold six-part adult Australian drama, Glitch has become a hit with iview users, recording more than 1 million iview plays to date. With two weeks availability still to go, the series is already the number one ABC show on iview for 2015.

Other Australian productions making up the 2015 iview Top 10 include The Secret River, The Killing Season, Hiding, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and The Doctor Blake Mysteries3.

In March 2015, ABC KIDS iview, an app specifically designed for preschoolers, was launched. Since its launch it has served over 5 million plays, and has quickly become the leading video on demand service for children 0-4.

ABC Director of Television, Richard Finlayson says: “Our audience is changing the way it consumes content – challenging traditional broadcast TV norms.

“ABC TV is committed to making quality, unique Australian stories freely available to audiences when and where they want to access them. We’ve already started on this journey and by putting our audiences at the centre of our decision making, will continue to do so.”

September 1 sees the launch of ABC iview’s next programming event, when the entire six- part comedy series, Sammy J and Randy in Ricketts Lane, will be available to binge- watch on ABC iview first, before airing on ABC TV later in the year.

Please note: iview plays – Program plays represent a ‘click’ on a video, they do not represent individuals so cannot be directly compared to TV audience data.

Showcase: Ballers with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Premieres 15 September

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10-part comedy series starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

Airs Tuesdays at 7.30pm AEST starting September 15

One of Hollywood’s biggest action stars, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson makes his HBO series debut in the premiere of raucous half-hour comedy Ballers, premiering exclusively on Foxtel’s showcase channel on Tuesday, September 15 at 7.30pm AEST.

Marking HBO’s latest partnership between creator Steve Levinson (Entourage, Boardwalk Empire) and executive producer Mark Wahlberg (Entourage), this hilarious 10 x 30 minute series explores the whirlwind lifestyle and real-life problems of a group of past and present football players in and around Miami, Florida.

Leading the pack is Spencer (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson), a retired football superstar who is trying to find a foothold as afinancial manager to current and former players. Spencer’s inner circle includes a talented but volatile wide receiver Ricky (John David Washington), who seeks to balance his off-field antics with his passion for the game; Charles (Omar Miller), a reluctantly retired lineman who’s finding it hard to adjust to civilian life; and rookie sensation Vernon (Donovan Carter), whose promise never to forget where he came from brings scores of hangers-on into his life, and lands him in big financial trouble.

As Spencer tries to juggle his friends, he gets assistance from Jason (Troy Garity), a top-tier sports agent, and Joe (Rob Corddry), Spencer’s larger-than-life boss, who’ll do just about anything to close a deal. In an industry where the career span is unbelievably short, Spencer and his crew must figure out where the game ends and life begins, all while keeping their cool and having each other’s backs.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, also one of the show’s executive producers, played college football for the University of Miamiand, later, pro football for the Calgary Stampeders. Afterwards, he achieved widespread fame in the WWE/F pro-wrestling ranks as ‘The Rock’, leaving his wrestling career to achieve Hollywood success and starring in films including The ScorpionKing and Pain and Gain.

Ballers features cameos from pro-athletes and sports journalists and is executive produced by Mark Wahlberg, along withRob Weiss, Julian Farino, Denis Biggs (all Entourage alums), Evan Reilly (The Walking Dead), Dany Garcia (Snitch) andPeter Berg (State of Play), who also directed the pilot and appears in a recurring role.

AKAME GA KILL! BECOMES MOST WATCHED SERIES PREMIERE IN TOONAMI HISTORY

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Sentai Filmworks’ series, Akame ga Kill!, earned 1.8+ million viewers for its series premiere during the hugely popular Adult Swim™Toonami block.   TV By The Numbers reported that it ranked second among the Top 100 cable shows among adults 25-54 for the whole day.

Akame ga Kill! follows an elite team of assassins known as Night Raid, as they take on the brutal tyranny of a corrupt empire. The series airs Saturdays at 12:30am ET during the Toonami block.on Adult Swim.

Presto hacks into MR. ROBOT with Australian Premiere this month

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The new TV series infiltrating global networks

–      Australian premiere on Presto

ROBOT, one of the hottest and most talked about shows of the moment, will have its Australian television premiere on Presto after the SVOD streaming service secured rights to thedrama-thriller series from NBCUniversal under a joint deal with Foxtel.

In March, the first episode of MR. ROBOT premiered in the US at the South by Southwest Film Festival where it won the Audience Award for Episodic Television and then later aired on the USA Network on June 24. The first seven episodes of the critically lauded 10-part series from Universal Cable Productions will now be available to stream on demand for Presto TV and Presto Entertainment bundle customers beginning on August 14.  The remaining episodes of Season 1 will be added to the Presto service shortly after their US broadcast.

ROBOT has been described as “The Social Networkmeets ‘Occupy Wall Street’”, and has already won widespread critical acclaim – an “A”-rated review (Entertainment Weekly), the “most buzzworthy new show” (Ad Age), “a modern classic” (www.forbes.com), “one of the best shows of the summer” (www.nerdist.com) and “damn near perfect” (www.cinemablend.com).

The series follows Elliot (Rami Malek, The Pacific), a young computer programmer who works as a cyber-security engineer by day and as a vigilante hacker by night. A loner with a social phobia of being around most people, Elliot believes in using his computing skills to help those he cares about, as well as to punish those he believes are bringing harm to others.

However, Elliot finds himself at a crossroad when a mysterious leader (Christian Slater, The Adderall Diaries) of an underground hacker group recruits him to destroy the firm he is paid to protect. Compelled by his personal beliefs, Elliot struggles to resist the chance to take down the multinational CEOs he believes are running (and ruining) the world.

ROBOT also stars Portia Doubleday (Her), Carly Chaikin (Suburgatory) and Martin Wallström (Simple Simon).  Sam Esmail (Comet) is writer and executive producer. Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin (True Detective) and Chad Hamilton (Breakup at a Wedding) also serve as executive producers.

MR. ROBOT is daring piece of television which tackles the controversial subject of hacking. It has critics and audiences raving, especially about the standout performance of Rami Malek as Elliot, and we are delighted to make the series available first in Australia as a premiere to Presto subscribers,” Presto Interim CEO Shaun James said.

 

MR. ROBOT is a truly unique, contemporary and culturally relevant drama series. Since its premiere a few months ago, the show has already achieved great success, both with viewers and in the media, and we are proud to partner with Presto and bring this series to Australian audiences,” said Chris Taylor, VP, NBCUniversal International Networks & Distribution, Australia & New Zealand.

The first seven episodes will be available from Friday, August 14 with the remaining episodes of MR. ROBOT available to stream on demand each week on Presto shortly after they air on the USA Network.

For new subscribers, Presto is currently offering a free 30-day trial of the Presto Entertainment bundle subscription.

Celebrity Apprentice Back In Business on Channel 9

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Filming began today on a new series of the Nine Network’s Celebrity Apprentice.

In Celebrity Apprentice some of Australia’s most well-known and controversial celebrities work towards raising money for their various charities.

Mr Mark Bouris, one of the country’s most successful high-profile businessmen and Chairman/Co-Founder of wealth management company Yellow Brick Road, is back to helm the series.

 Joining Mr Bouris in the boardroom in 2015 (in alphabetical order) are:

Esther Anderson: Popular Aussie actress. 

Mel Greig: Radio DJ.

Gabi Grecko: Mrs Edelsten.

Gina Liano: Real Housewife.

Tegan Martin: Miss Universe Australia.

Sophie Monk: Aussie “It” girl.

Matt Cooper: NRL Superstar.

Tim Dormer: Big Brother winner.

Geoffrey Edelsten: Aussie Tycoon.

Blake Garvey: The Bachelor.

James Mathison: Aussie TV music presenter.

Richard Reid: Hollywood Gossip Guru.

In series four, Mr Bouris will have two new advisors to be his eyes and ears on the ground: television personality and charity aficionado Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Shelley Barrett, CEO and founder of ModelCo.

Celebrity Apprentice will bring audiences the same robust conflict, comedy, characters and cleverness we know and love, while also keeping focus on business. Our celebrity contestants will need to rely on more than just their black books to get through these challenges. As always, in Celebrity Apprentice the ultimate goal is to raise much-needed funds for deserving charities, as nominated by each of the celebrity contestants.

Celebrity Apprentice is a FremantleMedia Australia production for the Nine Network.

Country Music Star Sam Mcclymont Joins The Farmer Wants A Wife

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Sam McClymont of Australia’s number one country group, The McClymonts, was today announced as host of the new season of The Farmer Wants a Wife.

In her first television presenting role, Sam will guide six lovelorn farmers on their quest to find a wife: Lachlan from south of Sydney, Adam from Victoria, Julz and Jedd from South Australia, Matt from outback Western Australian, and Lance from Far North Queensland.

Sam, with her sisters Brooke and Mollie, grew up in Grafton in northern NSW. Their dad was a butcher and their mum a hairdresser and they raised their daughters on a music diet of country and Top 40 radio.

The girls showed early on that they had more than a passing interest in music and their raw talent quickly developed. They were soon travelling far and wide on the talent quest circuit, and word spread around the country music community about the sisters from Grafton with voices of angels and hearts of gold.

Sam was signed to Universal Music in 2006 after she won the Toyota Star Maker talent contest at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. The award-winning McClymonts, with Sam on bass and vocals, have gone on to release multiple top-selling albums and tour extensively throughout Australia and the USA, where they have opened for some of the biggest names in country music, including Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan.

Sam McClymont said: “I am thrilled to be joining Farmer Wants a Wife. I’ve been a fan since it began. The thing that has struck a chord with me, and I think the TV audience, is that the men and women going on this show are genuinely looking for real love.

“Being newly married, I look forward to helping these farmers and ladies find that special someone, and hopefully we can add some more marriages and babies to the show’s amazing success rate.”

Nine’s new production executive, Stuart Clark, said: “We are thrilled to have Sam on board helping our six farmers on their quest for true love. She’s a country girl, a great musical talent, and the perfect host to guide our famers through the trials and tribulations of finding love on the land.”

Production will commence next week on Australia’s most successful reality dating program. With eight marriages and 10 babies already to its name, The Farmer Wants a Wife will return soon to Channel Nine.

Doctor Who – The War Machines

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BBC DVD / Region 4

Featuring William Hartnell, Peter Purves, Anneke Wills, Michael Craze

One of the final William Hartnell stories and the final story for the third season of the show, this is classic era Who at its very best, a brilliant story by Ian Stuart Black (based on an original idea by Doomwatch creator Kit Pedlar). This was actually the very first Who story set in the present day. In it The Doctor is battling a super computer known as WOTAN, which is kept in London’s Post Office Tower, it has sinister plans for world domination.

WOTAN (which stands for Will Operating Thought ANalogue) is due to be linked to a group of other super computers, has apparantly decided that humans are no longer good enough to run the planet and that he should now be in charge.

There is some great glimpses of swinging London in this crisp and still exciting serial, with mentionings of “fab gear” and nods to shows such as The Avengers (which was huge at the time). We also get the departure of one companion (Jackie Lane as Dodo) and the arrival of two new ones who will go on to make quite an impression on the series. These two Anneke Wills as Polly and Michael Craze as Ben help bring a nicely modern sixties touch to the series.

A must have for fans especially including as it does the great array of extras that always accompany these doctor who releases, including snippets from the venrable Blue Peter, a Now and Then location feature, a look at the restoration of the serial, radio times pdf billings and photo galleries.

Doctor Who – Series Four Volume Four

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BBC DVD / Region 4

Featuring David Tennant, Freema Agyeman, Billie Piper

The fourth season of the best show on TV comes to an explosive climax in this fourth collection of episodes released this month by BBC DVD and what a thrill fest it is, tying up lots of loose ends and definitely leaving us wanting more. Turn Left opens up precedings and is very much a two hander between Donna and Rose, writer and series head honcho Russell T. Davies gives us a nice central conceit of what would have happened if Donna never met the Doctor, well apparently the whole world would have been in danger of exploding, luckily though Rose in on the scene to get through to Donna and by the end of the episode things are (mostly) back to normal.

The Stolen Earth and Journey’s End is the big two part season finale and sees Doctor-Donna arriving on Earth on a nice Saturday morning only to have the whole planet (along with 26 others) disappear on them. It soon becomes apparant that this is yet another devious plot by The Daleks, who are hellbent on taking over the universe once again. With the doctor seemingly out of action it is up to companions and friends, both past and present, in the shape of Captain Jack and much of the Torchwood team, Rose and Martha, Sarah Jane and even prime minister Harriet Jones to pull together and combat the Dalek menace. Without revealing too much in the way of spoilers, this is satisfying stuff indeed.

Davies has all the stops very much pulled out here, this trio of episodes deserves to be watched in one mammoth sitting, as Davies pulls together a huge amount of stuff that has previously been set in motion and definitely something to keep us going until the Christmas special. Don’t miss this.

David Lynch Collection

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Umbrella Entertainment / Region 4

As the man who has done more to expose the strange and dark underbelly of American suburbia, David Lynch has long been one of the most important and at the same time idiosyncratic directors so this box set looking at his work with short films over the years (as well as featuring his first feature Eraserhead and a featue length) is certainly more than welcome.

Lynch himself grew up in the kind of small town, white picket fence environment, that he likes to pick apart so much and he has often said that his child hood years were the happiest of his life but it was at art college in Philiadelphia (which he apparently hated intensely) that he first discovered film making, moving from painting to animation with his first short The Grandmother (included here). Over the next five years he continued to make shorts whilst also working on his incredible debut eraserhead, filmed in black and white (to cut down on processing costs) and telling the distinctly Kafka-esque tale of a man (with amazing hair!) looking after a small monster. Incredibly strange and also very poignant, Eraserhead can be seen at its heart as a study of someone having trouble coming to terms with impending fatherhood, the movie made a major impression on aficianados and although wasn’t widely seen at the time certainly made Lynch’s name as someone to watch out for. The collection also includes a feature length interview with Lynch on the making of the movie and the original trailer.

The Short Film Collection features 6 short Lynchian masterpieces, from his earliest The Grandmother right up to the 1980s, whilst Dynamic 01 again focuses on his short films, this time later productions including fully realised works that up to now have only been available on his website, latterly, especially over the last few years, Lynch has been devoting more and more time to internet projects including Dumbland, his startling and bizarre animation series (also featured here of course) that is drawn (very crudely in black and white line drawing style) by Lynch as well as being mixed, scored and voiced by him too.

FInally there is Lynch (one) a fantastic feature length documentary, some two years in the making, focusing on Lynch as he made his last film Inland Empire (he actually had to release this movie himself as no major studio wanted to get involved incredibly). This also includes some behind the scenes featurettes, galleries and trailers.

A fantastic collection of rarely seen material from one of America’s most individual directors. Well worth checking out.