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21 April 2011

Network Nine Beats ABC To Paper Giants; Packer And Ita, by Greg Tingle - 21st April 2011

Famous Australians, the late Kerry Packer, and living media icon Ita Buttrose, will be portrayed in an new Aussie telemovie coming to the box later this month: 'Paper Giants - The Birth Of Cleo'. Cleo the magazine, not the slot folks. In the latest development, Network Nine powers that be, close to the Packers', have snatched the series away from the ABC. Media Man and Gambling911 cut to the chase on what may or may not have happened between the late gambling king KP and former magazine queen, Ita, plus offer a few candid comments with this special probing report...

Nine Snatches Kerry Packer - Ita Buttrose Sequel From ABC; Nine Plays On Packer History...

Packer and Ita fans - you'll love this...the sequel to Paper Giants is going back to Network Nine, after ABC got first pickings. The ABC's hit drama about the media and gambling king, Ita Buttrose and Cleo mag, will not be on the national broadcaster, but on Kerry Packer's former network, Nine. It wasn't long after the first episode of Paper Giants, a two-part mini-series, hit on Sunday night, the chief executive of Nine, David Gyngell, made a play to get the second part. The late Packer and Gyngell were mates and rather like family we understand. He remains good friends with Packer's son and Ten shareholder, James Packer. The sequel will cover Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket, which changed the game forever, including giving sweet paydays for players. Network Nine broadcast the competitions and owns the footage and associated programs and promotional material. It has a long association with some of the key players, including the present-day commentators Richie Benaud, Tony Greig and Ian Chappell. Securing the special comes at a most important time for Nine heads, which is in a ratings battle against Channel Seven and is also preparing to float on the sharemarket to return some of the $5 billion its private equity owners spent buying Nine and ACP Magazines. The ABC had first thought Paper Giants was the first stage in a three-part story of Packer's and Ita's life. It was interested in the entire collection, but would commit to only one stage at a time. The ABC director of television, Kim Dalton, expressed his disappointment at losing the series: "We were very enthusiastic about the opportunity, and it would've worked very well on ABC TV. But them's the breaks." The first instalment of Paper Giants on Sunday night captured 1.2 million viewers in the five main cities for the ABC. A further 150,000 tuned in for the second half on Monday night. The ABC called the production company behind the series, Southern Star, to confirm it wanted another lot, but Channel Nine also made contact. Gyngell was not available for comment, but Channel Nine secured the rights for roughly $2.5 million. The Southern Star chief executive, Rory Callaghan, said the ABC was given the chance to secure the rights in October. Asked if he was happy for the sequel to go to Nine, he said: "We're a production company, we're just trying to do our best."

Australian's Kerry Packer and Ita Buttrose In New Cleo TV Show...

Gambling and media fans. You won't have to wait much longer. The late Kerry Packer (played by actor Rob Carlton) will be returning to Australian TV screens (and internet). Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo, promises to be a quality production that will also show some of the more intimate details of the relationship between the late Packer and Ita, as well as show us a bit of our mate, Jack Thompson (in a Cleo spread no less). Jack is understood to be pleased with the choice of model just quietly. Yeah, we're going to get some nudity boys and girls. The telemovie stars Asher Keddie as Ita Buttrose and will tell the story of the magazines' rise in the Australian media circa 1970s. The viewer will also get some solid insight into the lives of Packer and Buttrose. What do our friends at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation have to say about it? "In early 1972, 30 year old journalist and editor, Ita Buttrose (Asher Keddie) and 35 year old Kerry Packer (Rob Carlton), heir to what was then Australia's most ruthlessly powerful and influential publishing family, got together to create a magazine that became one of the most dramatic sensations in Australian publishing history. CLEO went on to help define women, Australia and the relationship between the two." Buttrose, who first cemented her place as the magazine's editor, was a consultant on the production. "If there was a supposed affair it didn't happen in this timeframe. I have no idea if there was, we didn't raise it with her," said producer John Edwards. A 2007 feature article by The Sydney Morning Herald revealed on Packer - Buttrose: "He soon proposed marriage and, despite rumours to the contrary, she accepted him. But she was less committed to the idea of marriage than he was. She already had one failed marriage behind her," we were told. That marriage to Alasdair Macdonald produced Buttrose's two children, Ben and Kate. "After Ita accepted Kerry's proposal, Kerry told his wife Ros, who knew about the affair anyway. She threatened to take half his wealth and deny him custody of his children, Gretel and James. Kerry found himself weighing up the loss of half of his riches and the loss of his children and finally had a change of heart. He didn't want to lose either." Actor Carlton says he approached the role of Packer with "an equal dose of terror and exhilaration. Like most encounters with Kerry Packer, I'm told". The two-part telemovie will go to air at 8.30pm, Sunday 17 April (and) the same time on Monday, 18 April, on ABC1. News media is speculating is the son of the late KP, James Packer, may get any positive spin offs or PR's from the telemovie which is being touted to be the talk of 'Sin City' Sydney, and perhaps even across Australia, such is the interest in Packer and Buttrose. Buttrose is managed by the Harry M. Miller Group, and Packer is well... not easy to get in touch with, but the right approach to Crown Casino directly can sometimes work wonders. No, please don't ask us for more information on how to, and no, we don't manage them either, but offer online profiles on the two for folks who are interested. From the leaks we've got on Paper-Cuts so far; 4 out of 5 stars. "It's 1972. Skirts are up, pants are down". Spin to win with Cleo, the telemovie, not the slot!

Profiles

Kerry Packer
http://www.mediamanint.com/profiles/packer1.html

Ita Buttrose
http://www.mediamanint.com/profiles/buttrose.html

Jack Thompson
http://www.mediamanint.com/profiles/thompson.html

Cleo (the slot, not the mag)!
http://www.mediamanint.com/profiles/cleo.html

As always, know the odds, bet with your head, not over it, and have fun. Good luck.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming.

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