Finalists For 2015 ASTRA Awards Announced

Finalists For 2015 ASTRA Awards Announced

Nominees representing more than 30 Australian subscription television channels have been shortlisted as finalists in the 2015 ASTRA Awards announced today.

An AFL reality program, a documentary series traversing the Australian coastline and a crowd-funded chat show are among the finalists for this year’s awards.  Major drama productions Wentworth and Devil’s Playground have each received multiple nominations, between them securing all nominations in the acting and Australian drama categories.

Demonstrating the diversity of nominees, in the category of Most Outstanding Reality Program, the ASTRA Awards will see Australian productions The Real Housewives of Melbourne, Outback Coroner and AFL football show The Recruit up against US shows Deadliest Catch and Gold Rush.

Small and independent channels have been highlighted in the awards, including the community channel Aurora. The decade-old channel has secured its first-ever ASTRA nomination through program creator and host Phyllis Foundis. Phyllis has been nominated as Most Outstanding New Talent for her crowd-funded men’s chat show, Foundis, which screened on Aurora.
In 2015 – also for the first time – a large number of leaders from the wider creative industries joined subscription television executives on judging panels, determining finalists and winners.

“The finalists announced today represent the best content on Australian television,” ASTRA CEO Andrew Maiden said. “The inclusion of independent as well as industry judges has produced a wider range of nominees and seen the inclusion of lesser-known programs, which is bound to produce some surprises on the night.” Winners will be announced on the evening of Thursday March 12, at the largest-ever ASTRA Awards in the 20-year history of Australian subscription television. The awards will be staged at The Star in Pyrmont.

The list of finalists in 17 categories follows, with finalists in the Channel of the Year category announced separately.


Most Outstanding Performance by an Actor – Female

  • Celia Ireland (Wentworth, season 2: SoHo)
  • Nicole da Silva (Wentworth, season 2: SoHo)
  • Toni Collette (Devil’s Playground: showcase)
  • Pamela Rabe (Wentworth, season 2: SoHo)
  • Danielle Cormack (Wentworth, season 2: SoHo)

Most Outstanding Performance by an Actor – Male

  • Aaron Jeffery (Wentworth, season 2: SoHo)
  • Andrew McFarlane (Devil’s Playground: showcase)
  • Don Hany (Devil’s Playground: showcase)
  • Simon Burke (Devil’s Playground: showcase)
  • Robbie Magasiva (Wentworth, season 2: SoHo)

 Most Outstanding Presenter – Female

  • Naomi Sequeira (Hanging With Adam and Naomi: Disney Channel)
  • Nina Stevens (First Edition: SKY NEWS)
  • Shaynna Blaze (Selling Houses Australia: The LifeStyle Channel)
  • Tara Rushton (Sunday Shootout: FOX SPORTS)
  • Kelli Underwood (Back Page LIVE, Breaking Ground: FOX SPORTS)

Most Outstanding Presenter – Male

  • Danny Clayton (The Riff: Channel [V])
  • Paul Murray (Paul Murray LIVE: SKY NEWS)
  • Charlie Albone (Selling Houses Australia: The LifeStyle Channel)
  • Andrew Winter (Selling Houses Australia: The LifeStyle Channel)
  • Eddie McGuire (Ed and Derm’s Big Week In Footy: FOX FOOTY)

Most Outstanding New Talent

  • Morgan Evans (CMC)
  • Jarin Towney (Devil’s Playground: showcase)
  • Phyllis Foundis (Foundis: Aurora TV)

Most Outstanding Performance by a Broadcast Journalist

  • Kieran Gilbert (AM Agenda: SKY NEWS)
  • Celina Edmonds (SKY NEWS)
  • Ahron Young (SKY NEWS)
  • David Speers (PM Agenda, The Nation: SKY NEWS)


  • Most Outstanding Drama – Australian
  • Devil’s Playground (showcase)
  • Wentworth (season 2: SoHo)

Most Outstanding Drama – International

  • Game of Thrones (season 4: showcase)
  • Gracepoint (Universal Channel)
  • The Walking Dead (Channel FX)
  • The Honourable Woman (BBC First)
  • Peaky Blinders (BBC First)

 Most Outstanding Children’s Program

  • Monster Beach (Cartoon Network)
  • Adventure Time (Cartoon Network)
  • Disney Cup International (Disney XD)
  • Camp Orange: Force 10 (Luke and Wyatt: Nickelodeon)

 Most Outstanding Music Program

  • 5 Seconds of Summer LI[V]E: Q & HEY! (5 Seconds of Summer, Billy Russell, Danny Clayton: [V] HITS)
  • The Molly Meldrum Story (Molly Meldrum: MAX)
  • SLIMEFEST (Nickelodeon)

 Most Outstanding Sports Program

  • The Code – The Road To The Final (Adelaide Thunderbirds Netball Team: FOX SPORTS)
  • Jeep Saturday LIVE on FOX (FOX FOOTY)
  • NRL Super Saturday (FOX SPORTS)
  • Search4Hurt (ESPN)

Most Outstanding News Program

  • PM Agenda (David Speers: SKY NEWS National)
  • Richo + Jones (Graham Richardson, Alan Jones: SKY NEWS National)
  • Paul Murray LIVE (Paul Murray: SKY NEWS National)
  • News Stream (Kristie Lu Stout: CNN International)
  • Witness to Umbrella Movement (Kristie Lu Stout, Andrew Stevens, Ivan Watson, Will Ripley, Salma Mohsin, Paula Newton: CNN International)

Most Outstanding Reality Program

  • Gold Rush (Discovery Channel)
  • Deadliest Catch (Discovery Channel)
  • Outback Coroner (crime + investigation)
  • The Recruit (season 1: FOX8)
  • The Real Housewives of Melbourne (season 1: Arena)

Most Outstanding Factual Program

  • The Memorial: Beyond The Anzac Legend (Neil Oliver: HISTORY)
  • Coast Australia (Neil Oliver: HISTORY)
  • Hillsborough (ESPN)
  • Louis Theroux: LA Stories (Louis Theroux: BBC Knowledge)

 Most Outstanding Lifestyle Program

  • Paddock to Plate (Matt Moran: The LifeStyle Channel)
  • River Cottage Australia (Paul West: The LifeStyle Channel)
  • Grand Designs Australia (Peter Maddison: The LifeStyle Channel)
  • Selling Houses Australia (Andrew Winter, Shaynna Blaze, Charlie Albone: The LifeStyle Channel)

 Most Outstanding General Entertainment Program

  • Oprah: Where are they now? (Oprah Winfrey: TLC)
  • Top Gear (BBC Knowledge)

Channel Achievement Award

  • SKY NEWS Business
  • SKY NEWS Weather
  • Arena
  • TVH!TS
  • MTV Networks Australia

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