Network Ten reveals Pilot Week line-up with a handful of women

The cast of 'Taboo', one of the Pilot Week shows that has been commissioned.

The cast of ‘Taboo.’

There are a sprinkling of women in the casts of the eight shows which will premiere on Network Ten’s Pilot Week later this month.

That is highly unlikely to placate the many media identities who decried the paucity of female representation when Ten first announced the male-dominated shows.

Writer-producer-director Ana Tiwary was unimpressed, telling IF today: “Not good enough. If at least 50 per cent of the cast is not female or belonging to under-represented groups (POC, WOC, people with disability, LGBTQI etc) it is just not representative of Australia.

“And not just the cast but the creatives, crews, writers, decision makers and boards at our TV networks should reflect Australian society. Hoping that Network Ten will do much better in the future.”

The program line-up revealed by Ten includes Jenna Owen, Vita Carbone and Janis McGavin in sketch comedy Skit Happens, Greta Lee Jackson in Drunk History, Emily Taheny in Dave and criminal lawyer Anna Heinrich, who will team with Kyle Sandilands in Trial by Kyle.

Jane Kennedy, Meshel Laurie, Wendy Harmer, Magda Szubanksi and Em Rusciano were among many who lamented the lack of women.

That prompted Beverley McGarvey, Ten’s chief content officer, to stress the broadcaster’s commitment to gender and diversity. She said 62 per cent of Ten’s audience is female, more than any other primary channel, four members of her leadership team of seven are woman as are half of the creative leads in the team she manages.

She also acknowledged Ten erred in not revealing the full casts of the eight pilots and promised there will be another Pilot Week next year.

Audience reaction, social buzz and ratings will help decide which shows will return to Australian TV screens in 2019.

Skit Happens. Premieres Sunday, 19 August, 8 pm.

Nothing is safe from a Skit Happens parody, when the nation’s up-and-coming comedians including Jenna Owen, Heath Franklin, Vita Carbone, Stuart Daulman, Janis McGavin, Josh Glanc and Neel Kolhatkar join forces for Ten’s first sketch comedy in 12 years. Produced by CJZ.

Disgrace! Sunday, 19 August, 8.30pm.

The world is full of disgrace and outrage. Shunned politician Sam Dastyari and the team behind Gruen and The Chaser manage the latest outbreak of outrage in a half-hour of opinion, insight and laughs. CJZ.

Drunk History. Monday, 20 August, 9.30pm.

Rhys Darby and Stephen Curry pour themselves a drink in the international hit comedy format that takes Australia’s rich and often surprising history and re-tells it through the words of comedians and entertainers. Starring Gyton Grantley, Ryan “Fitzy” Fitzgerald, Anthony “Lehmo” Lehmann and Greta Lee Jackson. Eureka Productions.

Taboo. Tuesday, 21 August, 9.00pm.

Taboo has broken audience records in its country of origin, Belgium. Harley Breen spends five days and nights with members of a disadvantaged group in society and uses the experience to perform a stand-up routine about them – with the subjects sitting in the front row. Lune Media.

Kinne Tonight. Wednesday, 22 August, 9.00pm.

Comedian Troy Kinne ditches the stress of modern life in a fast-paced half-hour of laughter. Kinne Productions, Big Yellow Taxi Productions.

Trial By Kyle. Thursday, 23 August, 8.30pm.

Radio shock jock Kyle Sandilands will settle the toughest cases, biggest celebrities and genuine disputes, according to Ten. Former The Bachelor Australia star and criminal lawyer Anna Heinrich will assist in forensically analysing the evidence. Screentime.

Dave. Friday, 24 August, 8.30pm.

Comedian Dave O’Neil opens the doors to his crazy life with on-air wife Emily Taheny in a half-hour narrative comedy. Ten says: Expect laughter, tears and the appreciation of not being Dave. Studio Bento.

Bring Back… Saturday Night. Saturday, 25 August, 7.30pm.

Rove McManus sets out to reunite Australia’s greatest acts, bands, and television faces in a generation-bending live show where young performers will bring back the best of the past and old-school entertainers will be challenged with reinvention. Roving Enterprises.