Russell Crowe is to play the disgraced late Fox News boss Roger Ailes in a new television series. The series is based on Gabriel Sherman’s book The Loudest Voice in the Room. Ailes died in 2017. According to the trade publication Variety, the series will “tell the story of Ailes and his fall from atop Fox News amid sexual harassment allegations”. The series has been commissioned by the US cable channel Showtime; the first episode of the series will be co-written by Sherman and Spotlight screenwriter Tom McCarthy. The series will air in Australia on the streaming platform Stan.
Geoblocks lift leads to relaunch
The ABC has relaunched its international television service as ABC Australia. The service, which was previously known as ABC Plus, is delivered to audiences in Asia and the Pacific; the move follows the national broadcaster lifting geoblocks on its ABC News 24 streaming video channel and YouTube channel, effectively opening up much of its locally produced content to international (and expatriate) audiences. The ABC Australia service carries news, current affairs content including The World, The Drum and The Business, AFL coverage and new programs, including Matter of Fact with Stan Grant and The National Wrap with Patricia Karvelas.
Case in point
The Ten Network has commissioned a new studio format, Pointless, which will be hosted by former The Block contestant and Breakfast co-host Andrew Rochford and former The Feed satirist Mark Humphries. Based on an international format which has been produced in Germany, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy and Poland, the series pits two teams against each other in a race to the bottom; the winning team must score as few points as possible. Endemol Shine Australia chief executive Mark Fennessy described the format as “brilliantly inventive, highly entertaining, humorous and stupidly addictive.”
Right on the money
The Nine Network is to launch a new channel on the sliver of spectrum presently occupied by the shopping channel Extra. (Cue tears of retail mourning.) The new channel, Your Money, is a joint venture between Nine and Australian News Channel, which produces the cable Sky News. The channel will offer a mix of “financial services, real estate, travel, luxury and consumer [content]”. Your Money will air as part of Nine’s digital suite on channel 95 and Foxtel’s channel 601; it will also be available on the streaming platforms Foxtel Now and 9Now. The channel’s full content line-up will be released later this year.
Picnic up for an AWGIE
Foxtel’s critically acclaimed adaptation of Picnic at Hanging Rock is among the nominees at this year’s Writer’s Guild AWGIE awards. Along with The Wrong Girl, Fighting Season and Mystery Road, the series is nominated for best television series or miniseries. Three programs – Riot, Safe Harbour and Sunshine – are nominated for best telemovie or miniseries. And Home and Away and Neighbourd are both nominated in the best television serial category. Five series – F-cking Adelaide, Get Krack!n, Mr Inbetween, Ronny Chieng: International Student and Rosehaven are nominated for best situation or narrative comedy. The winners will be announced in August.