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22 April 2011

Network Nine Snatches Kerry Packer Series From ABC, by Greg Tingle - 22nd 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."


Kerry Packer

Ita Buttrose

Jack Thompson

Cleo (the slot, not the mag)!

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 is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming.

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