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Amazon goes rafting back to the future

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“Art pop auteur” Montaigne and alternative artist Didirri are the latest musicians to join the line-up of Eurovision – Australia Decides, the pre-show play-off where Australia’s entry to the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest will be decided. Sydney-based, 24-year-old Montaigne received an ARIA award for Best Breakthrough Artist and a nomination for Best Female Artist on her debut album Glorious Heights. Rising talent Didirri’s debut EP Measurements has recorded more than 30 million streams. They will sing-off against previously announced artists Vanessa Amorosi, Casey Donovan, Mitch Tambo and iOTA.

Mr Inbetween recognised

For how much longer will a list of “international” shows make sense, when US companies such as Amazon, HBO and Netflix are producing TV all over the world, asks New York Times critic Mike Hale? The Australian show, Mr Inbetween, makes Hale’s cut of the 10 best shows of 2019, alongside Mexican mini-series (The 43), a South Korean historical adventure (Kingdom), Israeli kidnap drama Our Boys and a slew of British shows (Killing Eve, Fleabag, Manhunt and Gentleman Jack).

The first season of actor and creator Scott Ryan’s Sydney-made black comedy about a hitman who develops a conscience, was made for Foxtel, before FX came to the party with a season 2 offer which expanded six episodes to 10. For decades, US studios and TV productions have dominated the TV schedules of most of the English-speaking world, but how things have changed.

Feast becomes famine

As flagged in last week’s Networking, the Seven Network’s 7Food channel will cease transmission before the end of the year. Seven launched the channel a year ago in partnership with US Food Network, but its schedule of mostly American, second-run content didn’t capture a large audience. A new channel is expected to take its place.

Aussie-UK thriller collaboration

“Sister channels” Ten and UK’s Channel 5 will join forces to produce a four-part thriller Breathless, the networks’ first joint production since the completion of the CBS and Viacom merger. Former East Enders star Charlie Brooks and local actor

Brett Tucker (The Americans) play a couple seeking a fresh start in Australia after infidelity rocks their marriage, before the arrival of a yet-to-be-cast nanny who isn’t as innocent as she seems. The series is created by Jason Herbison and will be shot early next year at Fremantle’s Neighbours studio in Melbourne. Ten and Channel 5 previously collaborated on a spin-off Neighbours: Erinsborough High, which premiered on their respective streaming services.

Kavalee is radio active

Hit Network has confirmed that Ed Kavalee will become Dave Hughes’ permanent drive-time co-host next year. The Have You Been Paying Attention? panellist has been filling in for Kate Langbroek, who has extended her stay in Italy by 12 months. In other end-of-year radio news, 3AW stalwart Denis Walter will vacate the afternoon seat he has occupied for 11 years to do the Nights show.

This is the final Networking column for 2019. It will return in January.



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