Articles on Australian TV

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Adaptations are a learned skill – can Australian cinema do it successfully? The Dressmaker/Universal Pictures

Do film adaptations boost Australian movies at the box office?

With the success of films like The Dressmaker, book adaptations are giving a much needed boost to the Australian box office. So why are there so few? And why isn't adaption a compulsory part of screen studies?
The creator of Neighbours has passed away at 92…past and present cast members take a selfie at the 30th anniversary party in 2015. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Five ways Reg Grundy changed Australian TV (for better or worse)

Reg Grundy, who has died at 92, was an Australian TV mogul who never owned a TV station. He did for TV content what Ford did for car production - marketing a product of proven appeal to people around the world.
The Ten newsroom is already stripped down to minimums - The Project, for all its merits, is still mostly opinion about news. AAP/ Channel Ten

The end is nigh for full service, free-to-air television in Australia

Out the hotel window in Istanbul, the minarets of the Blue Mosque were visible over the roof tops and, on TV, a choice of 600 channels awaited me. Yet, not one of those channels resembled the full service…
A fundamental aspect of drama is the need for rising tension. Maria

Tepid TV? Australia needs to sharpen its cutting edge

A special thing happened in August this year: Foxtel launched BBC First, a premium channel showcasing the best of contemporary British television drama. As a global channel that chose Australia as its…
Death in Paradise has proven a rating’s hit for the ABC – why would that be? ABC

Australia’s screen industry workers should watch more TV

Television is a voracious medium – and yet I would argue many of those commissioning screen content in Australia have little appetite for experimentation. Australia’s digital free-to-air service, in metropolitan…
The reimagining of previous Prisoner characters brings depth and empathy to a world of female criminals. FOXTEL

Why Wentworth is raising the bar in Australian TV drama

There’s no escaping it. Wentworth, FremantleMedia’s reimagining of the Reg Grundy cult classic TV series Prisoner, is packing a punch far above its weight – and probably all industry expectations. A project…
Surf, sand and unthreatening bush? Not here, thanks. ABC

Dr Blake … and cinematography as a screen character

Most Australian TV drama series are full of light … and full of surf, sand and suburbs or endless horizons and unthreatening bush. But one series that returned to ABC TV last month has a distinctive and…
TV ratings are starting to factor in viewership on iPads and other mobile devices. Irish Typepad/Flickr

TV ratings are on holidays, but viewing isn’t

Having the numbers is a matter of life or death for both subscription and free-to-air commercial television broadcasters. So when it was revealed Oztam, the television ratings agency, would factor into…
There’s something very Melbourne about Jack Irish: Bad Debts. AAP Images;ABC Television, Lachlan Moore

Location, location, location: a key character in good TV drama

Television is always located somewhere, even if the place is imaginary. And programs such as Dr Who move effortlessly between real and imagined worlds. Once, mid-Pacific (or mid-Atlantic) was a term for…
Casting stars such as Rachel Griffiths isn’t enough to overcome a broken distribution system. Paul Miller/AAP

The horror at the heart of Australian cinema

There’s more than one reason the new Australian film Patrick – released last month – is a horror story. Sure, it’s a fright flick, based on the 1978 orginal, in which a creepy coma patient uses telekinesis…
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy’s response to the Convergence Review includes significant benefits for commercial free-to-air broadcasters. AAP

Free-to-air broadcasters win big in government’s media reforms

Late on Friday 30 November, the day after the last parliamentary sitting day for the year, the government released its first official response to the Convergence Review. Seven months after the Review’s…
Most of us cringe, but the type of Australia portrayed in the new show, The Shire is very telling. AAP Image/Supplied by Network Ten, Nigel Wright

Botox, McMansions and whitewashing: the glossy neoliberalism of The Shire

The first episode of The Shire ran last night on Channel 10. Described as “dramality” – a combination of drama and reality television – the show purports to show the lives of young people living in Sutherland…
ABC’s The Slap investigates the complex and very personal views of those at the heart of a smacking case. ABC

The legality of ‘The Slap’

In last night’s ABC program, The Slap, an impulsive slap changed everything. A man struck someone else’s child at a barbecue provoking a legal challenge. In real life, that would be an assault, though…
Australia’s classification system has been updated to ensure the audience can judge whether content is appropriate for them. Flickr/kennymatic

Bringing media classification into the digital era

Media classification in Australia is being dragged into the digital world. At the moment it’s based on analog legislation, unsuited for today’s convergent media. But proposals unveiled today will transform…

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