Reg Grundy in 1973.

The field for this year’s AACTA Reg Grundy Award has been announced, bringing together new concepts across gameshows, competition reality, and quizzes.

Australian Graffiti, Boomerang, Pass it On!, Real Teams, and The Second Best Game Show will battle it out for the $50,000 prize, which is designed to grow Australia’s unscripted entertainment through helping fund new formats.

In addition to the $20,000 in cash and $30,000 in development funding offered in 2020, $10,000 will be given to someone under 25 with a TV show pitch that impresses the judges.

Launched in partnership with Grundy’s wife, RG Capital chairman Joy Chambers-Grundy, the award honours the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of the late media icon, whose legacy includes the local production of formats such as Sale of the Century, Blankety Blanks, Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud, The Price Is Right and Perfect Match, as well as the creation of drama series Sons & Daughters, Prisoner and Neighbours.

Each entrant will pitch their original concepts to the judging panel made up of experienced industry figures in the local and international television industry, available for all to view as part of AACTA’s ScreenFest program on Tuesday, December 7, on AACTA TV.

This year’s judging panel comprises Shine USA president of unscripted Eden Gaha, Banijay Rights CEO Cathy Payne, senior entertainment executive Sharon Wheeler, producer Marion Farrelly, and media CEO Ian Hogg.

Gaha said they had fielded “terrific submissions from such a diverse group of candidates”.

“I’d love to see all of these finalists on our screens one day,” he said.

“From fresh genres we’ve not yet seen in competition reality, to new twists on game shows, to celebrating underrepresented communities, these five finalists show the breadth of talent that is coming through in unscripted television.”

Steve Bedwell, Bryan Cockerill, and Geraldine Coy were the inaugural recipients of the award, with the funds going towards their winning entertainment concept, Seven Pups.

The 2021 AACTA Reg Grundy Award finalists are as follows:

Australian Graffiti – Neil Singh

Australian Graffiti is a modern reality competition where talented street artists put their skills and creativity to the test. They will compete in a series of unique and inventive challenges. Challenges that will help transform a town in need into a captivating outdoor gallery. The artists will hope to impress industry icons enough to go on and win the ultimate prize.

Boomerang – Kevin Brumpton and Angus Fitzsimons

A game show where the players throw the questions away… but they keep coming back. Family viewing in an original and distinctive take on the classic game show format.

Pass it On! – Tylah Pratt

A challenge-based comedy show in which six personalities work in pairs to compete in a series of outlandish tasks, whereby one team member is given a rapid masterclass on a random subject and required to pass the lesson on to their teammate as best they can to then execute the task in a real-world scenario with the team judged by the end result.

Real Teams – Ross and Rochella Calia

Teams of athletes, each made up of people with and without disability, undertake challenges of strength and skill as they work together to battle each other for crowning glory.

The Second Best Game Show – Jason Chong

Want to win this quiz? Finish second. The Second Best Game Show takes the quiz show format and destroys it by asking one question: “What would happen if it’s the person in SECOND PLACE that takes home the prize money?”

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