New rules will create further havoc for TV

While more shows under threat, it's time to remember those working behind the scenes....

Heightened rules around travel and crowds announced today will impact further on Television production, already at a fragile state around the country.

The government has instructed Australians not to travel overseas.

This will immediately impact (but not limited to) the following:

ABC News,
Foreign Correspondent,
Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery,
Four Corners

Seven News,
Olympic Games,
Holey Moley,

Nine News,
60 Minutes,
A Current Affair,
Love Island Australia,
Travel Guides (2021)
Married at First Sight (2021)

10 News First,
The Project,
Australian Survivor,

Eurovision Song Contest,
Who Do You Think You Are?,
Every Family Has A Secret ,
Tour de France

SKY News
Wentworth Con (Chicago  / New Jersey)

There is a ban on more than 100 people indoors, however workplace arrangements may continue. While no studio audiences are proceeding, normal television production can continue with crews & talent. However as we’ve seen in recent days there are no guarantees any production underway or commencing will be completed on time.

Further, the rule on handshaking, hugging and social distancing will likely impact on numerous shows -including Drama and Reality: The Bachelor, Dancing with the Stars, The Block, Neighbours, Wentworth, The Amazing Race Australia, Harrow, Home and Away, Five Bedrooms, RFDS, Back to the Rafters, The Secrets She Keeps, The Bureau of Magical Things, With Intent and more…

It is clear that large numbers of working Australians in the sector will lose work and livelihood as a result of an evolving situation.  ilostmygig.net.au is estimating 380,000 people affected in the Entertainment sector.

One crew member told me, “I feel like the whole TV industry is only just seeing the tip of then iceberg and there’s a lot of people, especially given we are a huge freelance industry, really starting to worry about what the next few months will bring. Unlike some people who are full time at a network, most production crew, (and I’m talking from a drama production perspective), can not work from home and if we shut down or go into hiatus, not one knows when our next jobs will happen. And if we don’t work we don’t earn, so the level of uncertainty is very high amongst the whole freelance industry.”

This is also a good time to remind readers of the expectation for respectful comments on TV Tonight. While humour is useful in times of crisis, please be considerate and remember there are hard-working Aussies on all of these shows, whether such shows are to your personal taste or not.

I also note that many readers are looking to Television for entertainment and escapism at this time, with feedback that there is a news overload on screens. It reminds me to keep a balance of stories here too (especially as we look for more binge titles) as we work through this News phase.

Meanwhile there are many shows that have completed production and will continue to roll out across our screens in coming weeks and months.

They include Travel Guides, Lego Masters, Between Two Worlds, Bachelor in Paradise, Rosehaven, Hungry Ghosts, Celebrity Name Game, Farmer Wants a Wife, Hard Quiz etc.

We all share a passion for TV. It’s why we’re here. Now is the time to support those who make it for you.



Wentworth to halt filming from Monday March 23.
The Block will continue for now.

18 Responses

  1. This is what you won’t her from our sensational news services.
    These are the facts.
    There have been 6 deaths in Australia so far and the youngest has been 77 years old.
    According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, ‘In Australia, influenza on average causes 3,500 deaths, about 18,000 hospitalisations and 300,000 GP consultations each year.’
    News just loves hyping things up.
    Remember Y2K?

  2. Mr DK I agree with being nice. Thank you. It’s not only the industry affected; today found out another production I worked with closely as a contractor. It’s a hard industry if you don’t have a permanent gig (am one of those). These guys are usually looking for another one as they start one as it’s usually a 3 mth tenure.
    But no matter what – let us support eachother and help out when we can. A casual/ contractor/freelance role are always appreciated and we don’t take it as a grain of salt – but appreciate every, every job we do. Sometimes industries don’t give us a choice what job/role we do – but we are passionate and try to make people’s lives happier.

  3. I think sport like the AFL and NRL may be the outlet many people are looking for and this is where TV or Fox come to the rescue players want to play for this very same reason “Their Fans”

  4. Such a devastating development. So many people are being affected by this and it in my
    opinion is far worse than any terrorist attack or event we’ve spent years obsessing over or planning for. This virus is not just a mass killer of people, it’s killing their mental health, their livelihoods and there’s no sign relief.

  5. Watching the news this morning and not trying to be clever but at the rate all airlines are cancelling flights including domestic, TAR Australia might become just that, as in a car race around Australia as the way things are going that will be the only mode of long distance travel available.

  6. As a deaf viewer, i am very concerned by lack of captioning in all channels, and will impact on deaf people’s mental health if they are isolated.

    Live captioning is still not good, with mistakes made and slow showing.

    1. Totally agree i have a hearing impairment so i use captions where available combined with wireless headphones I feel very sorry for deaf people every single show on tv should be closed captioned 24/7 no exceptions and live captions needs improving

  7. I wonder if last year’s failed Changing Rooms will ever make the light of day. Desperate times, call for desperate measures. In all seriousness, I think our networks should be looking to US\UK\NZ\Canada content which they can quickly get rights to and fill possible gaps in the schedule. Between lifestyle content, one-off documentaries, and short run series, we should have FTA being able to find a solution.

  8. Thanks for the article DK. I know that this month has been a very turbulent time with the COVID-19 pandemic, but safety is the number 1 priority. Many shows have gone audience free without any clapping.

  9. Putting aside News content… I can’t think of hardly any TV production that wouldn’t involve either large groups of people, or plenty of travel – often both.
    The only productions relatively safe right now are those that have already filmed and are in post-production.

    There’s going to be a big gap in delivery of all types of TV production between now and the rest of the year. Those productions will all have staff on contracts that need honouring (to a greater or lesser extent) despite there being no end product – all of which means some productions will go over budget to ensure completion, and some will never be completed.

    The next 12 months will see this play out and see a lot of hard conversations take place around who pays… producers, broadcasters, insurance companies??? I don’t think anyone knows yet.

  10. Maybe add The Amazing Race Australia to the list of 10 shows that cannot go on because… well they travel a lot.
    But yeah I don’t know how Australian TV will go on with this law – and I hope that COVID-19 goes away soon because it is causing so much havoc! :/

  11. So whats the impact to the flagship 6pm news? I’m assuming for example, if Melbourne’s Peter M or a crew member contracts the virus the entire studio is out? Therefor playout comes from either a secondary crew + studio or from interstate? I wonder how many studios there are for these circumstances. I ask this question, as I read yesterday and entire NAB building was cleared due to a staff member possibly positive to it. Either way, what a challenging few months ahead

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