It’s hard, nowadays, thanks to the proliferation of channels and streaming services, to realise just how big an impact one television show could have. When Neighbours broadcast the wedding of Scott (Jason Donovan) and Charlene (Kylie Minogue) on March 18, 1985, an astounding 19.6 million viewers tuned in worldwide. Hell, their nuptials even inspired the name of an Aussie rock band. Talk about a legacy.
Few Australian producers can lay claim such a global reach and enduring appeal as the work of the late, great Reg Grundy. For decades, he pumped out hit after hit while holding the door open for plenty to follow in his footsteps. He paved the way for women’s lock-up drama Wentworth (nee Prisoner) and charmed audiences worldwide with long-running soap Sons and Daughters. Not to mention coining a pretty penny with blockbuster gameshows like Wheel Of Fortune, Sale of the Century, Family Feud and The Price Is Right, the rights of which were snapped up again and again.
Now it’s your chance to see if you can come up with a world-conquering concept that can capture imaginations. The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) has announced the $50,000 Reg Grundy Award, intended to spark the next big Australian idea in the ever-expanding unscripted entertainment field, aka reality TV and game shows. It’s the largest prize of its kind in the world, and it’s designed to keep his entrepreneurial spirit alive and encourage the next generation of creative forces, kicking wide the doors of an oft-cloistered industry.
Think you’ve got what it takes to beat The Block? To burn My Kitchen Rules and leave Hard Quiz feeling soft? Pop your bright idea down on one page tops and enter it here. Don’t be jilted at the altar. You’ve got until Sunday, October 5 at 5pm to put a ring on it.