Meldrum, Mauboy, X Factor on Seven’s 2016 slate
Network Seven’s 2016 slate includes a number of music-themed shows.
Following on from Seven’s runaway ratings success of the INXS and Peter Allen mini-series comes Molly, the long awaited two-part biopic on Ian “Molly” Meldrum.
The Liz Doran and Matt Cameron-penned script covers the “friend of the stars” lifestyle of the influential broadcaster and record producer but also the behind-the-scenes story of the fight to get Countdown on air. It draws heavily on his autobiography The Never, Um … Ever Ending Story co-written with journalist Jeff Jenkins
Media speculation initially had the lead role assigned to Grant Piro who played Meldrum in the INXS mini-series. But Sam Johnson landed the role, getting positive reviews from a trailer that Seven issued last month.
His depiction also got the thumbs-up from the high IQ man in the hat, whose start in ‘60s pop magazine Go Set got him his nickname for being a “band moll” who hung around musicians. The trailer suggests cameos from Madonna, Skyhooks, Kiss and AC/DC among others, which will help the series’ planned sale to the United States.
Molly is executive-produced by Michael Gudinski and Mark Morrissey with John Molloy as producer and Kevin Carlin as director.
Singer actress Jessica Mauboy plays a part-time country pub singer who falls in love with a wealthy hotelier in “contemporary family drama” The Secret Daughter. The role was written for The Sapphires star, the network said, drawing heavily on her singing and her indigenous background.
Filming starts in December by Australia’s Screentime and French Banijay production house, initially as a 10-part series, after Mauboy wraps her fourth album for Sony Music Entertainment Australia. Mauboy, who says she wants The Secret Daughter to be an inspiration to “young indigenous Australians”, is also listed as a producer.
The X-Factor is also confirmed for a return, after this year’s rebooted show proved a consistent small screen draw. Tuesday night’s episode, which saw In Stereo booted off, drew over 1 million and ranked fourth most popular show of the night.
Dancing With The Stars, despite its ratings drop this year, will also return.
Sunday Night Takeaway is a light entertainment version of the Ant & Dec-hosted UK show Saturday Night Takeaway. It combines celebrity pranks with studio audiences getting the chance to win products being advertised during the breaks.
Seven’s CEO Tim Worner said that with traditional TV viewers declining as they found new devices with which to consume small screen content, the network "has changed more in the last 18 months than in the last 18 years" with more streaming options.