Reg Grundy

Award 2022


The Reg Grundy Award is back, giving every Aussie TV fan the chance to create their own unscripted show!

If you’re one of the millions of Aussies who spend their evenings calling out the answers to quiz shows in the living room, judging the execution of cooking, theatrical performances, and bedroom renovations, or preparing for chats about the latest ‘social experiment’ style television show around the water cooler, then the AACTA Reg Grundy Award is for you.

Now in its third year, the AACTA Reg Grundy Award is open to any Australian with an original idea for the nation’s next favourite unscripted television show. With $50k on offer, comprised of $20,000 in cash and $30,000 in development funding, the prize is the largest of its kind in the world!

Reg Grundy pioneered the international trade of television formats, allowing Australian unscripted television shows to be adapted and enjoyed around the world. Just last week, Sydney-based production company Northern Pictures took out three Emmy Awards for the US adaption of their original Australian format, LOVE ON THE SPECTRUM. Other original Australian formats sold internationally include THANK GOD YOU’RE HERE, HAVE YOU BEEN PAYING ATTENTION? and THE PROJECT.

Australian adaptions of international formats MASTERCHEF, SURVIVOR, THE CHASE, BIG BROTHER, and FARMER WANTS A WIFE make up regular nightly programming. And while we do enjoy an adaption, our homegrown unscripted television shows are among the nation’s favourites. Original Australian productions SPICKS AND SPECKS, STEVE IRWIN’S THE CROCODILE HUNTER, BONDI RESCUE, MUSTER DOGS, YOU CAN’T ASK THAT, and THE BLOCK demonstrate the success of unscripted television that possess a distinct Aussie flavour.

In partnership with Reg Grundy’s wife, Chairman of RG Capital, author and businesswoman Mrs Joy Chambers Grundy, the Reg Grundy award asks Australians from all walks of life and across all experience levels to pitch an idea that is original, viable and possesses a shimmer of Grundy ‘magic’.

The recipient of the Reg Grundy Award is determined by a judging panel made of up industry experts. Debbie Cuell, Head of the newly formed Sparkle Pictures, and previously Head of Entertainment at the ABC and an AACTA Award winning executive at Endemol Shine Australia (OLD PEOPLE’S HOME FOR 4 YEAR OLD), and Steve Oemcke, co-founder of WTFN, one of Australia’s most successful, innovative and prolific content businesses (POSTCARDS, BONDI VET) join returning judges Sharon Wheeler (Award-winning Senior Entertainment Executive), Marion Farrelly (Speaker, Consultant, Creative Strategist), and Ian Hogg (Media CEO, Advisor, Australian Idol, Australia’s Got Talent, Family Feud).

“I had the great pleasure of working for Grundy in the early 2000’s - when I hosted iconic game show Wheel of Fortune. I learnt a lot about Reg Grundy and his genius with formats, which helped ignite my creative passion,” said 2022 AACTA Reg Grundy Award Judge, Steve Oemcke. "I’m really excited to join this group of highly regarded industry experts, to help mentor the next generation of format creators. As the content world explodes across countless new global platforms - there’s never been a better time to be in the ideas business."

Previous recipients include Jason Chong, who took out last year’s top prize for his winning concept Stealing Second, and inaugural recipient Geraldine Coy and Bryan Cockerill were the beneficiaries of the first edition of the Award for the highly lauded concept Seven Pups. Stealing Second went on to be considered by the development department at Banijay and the pilot and sizzle reel, funded by the Reg Grundy Award, is ready for domestic commissioners.  

Think you have Australia’s favourite show on your hands? Round 1 entries call for your show’s title, a logline (1 – 2 sentence description), and a synopsis that’s up to 1 page long by 5pm AEDT Friday 14 October 2022.




Debbie Cuell is a creator and Executive producer of Documentary and Factual Entertainment programs.

In her recent role at Endemol Shine Australia Debbie looked after the slate of factual programs, including Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds Series 1.Broadcast on the ABC, it touched the hearts of Australian viewers and shone a light on our often-forgotten older Australians. The series was critically acclaimed in Australia and internationally winning an AACTA for Best Documentary or Factual Program and the 2020 International Emmy Award for best Entertainment Program.

Debbie then went on to Develop and Executive Produce Series 2 of Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds. It too critically acclaimed winning the 2021 AACTA for Best Documentary or Factual Program, and GRAND GOLD at the New York TV and Film Awards for Documentary Social Issues.

Debbie’s other recent credits include Look Me In The Eye SBS, One Born Every Minute TEN, Ambulance Australia Ten, Lost For Words SBS, Great Australian Spelling Bee TEN.

In her previous role in 2017 as Head of Entertainment at the ABC Debbie led a large national team and managed the production, and delivery of a mix of original content and formats, including Panel/Shiny Floor, Factual Entertainment, Observational Documentaries, and unscripted comedy.

In 2022 Debbie launched her production label “Sparkle Pictures” in an exclusive partnership with Dreamchaser.

Debbie is known for bringing integrity and heart to all that she produces.




Steve Oemcke has worked in the content industry for more than 30 years, beginning as a journalist and news reporter, before going on to present and host countless TV programs including ratings juggernaut Talk To The Animals, and Australia’s longest running game show Wheel Of Fortune. Twenty years ago, Steve co-founded highly regarded independent Australian production company WTFN, alongside industry stalwart Daryl Talbot. Known for its out-of-the-box thinking, WTFN had originated more than 60 series in that time. 

The company prides itself on mentoring new talent, with a reputation as a breeding ground for some of Australia’s most talented young content creators. 




Marion ‘Maz’ Farrelly, The CEO Whisperer, Speaker, Consultant, TV and Film Producer and Creative Strategist. If you’ve watched it, Maz probably made it and won an international award for it – the biggest brands in the world with the biggest teams, budgets and stars. She’s produced shows in London, LA and Australia – shows like BIG BROTHER, DANCING WITH THE STARS, THE X FACTOR, THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE, and she co-created Q&A for the ABC. Maz has spent decades at the pointy end of the media and is a regular guest on podcasts and TV shows which are then picked up by the international press. Maz started her career as a magazine journalist and stylist in London, has been executive editor of Format Entertainment at the BBC UK London, Director of Television Content, Fremantle Media Australia & Creative Strategist for BBCWorld-Wide. Maz now runs Maz Speaks, a company which does one thing – makes sure you get attention for all the right reasons. Maz believes all business is show business, and to cut through in this listening-deficient society, you have to nail your first minute – nail that and you’re in business – literally.




Sharon Wheeler is an Award-winning Senior Entertainment Executive, who has created more than 30 original series and Executive Produced over 2,000 hours of unscripted programming. Her shows have been licensed and produced in dozens of territories. As founder and President of Wheeler/Sussman Productions based in Los Angeles, her hit original formats include: MTV’s SINGLED OUT, Fox’s EXTREME-DATING, THE LAST RESORT, TRIVIAL PURSUIT: AMERICA PLAYS, JUDGE ALEX and REUNION TOUR.

As part of Reg Grundy’s U.S. production operations, she helped develop and adapt Grundy International Series for American audiences, including PRISONER: CELL BLOCK H, IT’S A KNOCKOUT, SCRABBLE, MANN O’ MANN and QUESTIONS POUR UN CHAMPION.




Ian Hogg is an awarded Media Industry Leader, entrepreneur and philanthropist with a Global Career spanning four continents across 25 years. Most recently, he led Fremantle as the Regional CEO for Australia and Asia Pacific and sat on the Global Operating Board. He is a passionate believer in idea generation and execution, storytelling, creatives, creativity, disruption and the power of media to deliver a narrative that can make a real difference in an industry that cannot, and will never, stand still.



Wednesday 14 September – Entries open! Round one starts.
Let us know your show’s title, a logline (1 – 2 sentence description), and include a synopsis that’s up to 1 page long.

See this video for some advice from Australia’s leading television entertainment professionals!

Friday 14 October – Round 1 entries close

Entries close 5.00pm AEDT on Friday, 14 October 2022. 

Monday 24 October – Top 10 first round finalists confirmed  Round 2 starts

In the second round, we’ll be asking our top 10 entrants to send us a video of them pitching their idea (up to 3 minutes in length), a pitch deck - which is a presentation of up to 4 pages/slides in length that expands upon the idea and provides more detail and reference, and a one minute video describing themselves. See the video below for advice from Australia’s leading television entertainment professionals on creating a pitch deck.

Monday 7 November – Round 2 ends

Round 2 entries close 5.00pm AEDT on Monday, 7 November 2022. 

Thursday 17 November – Top 5 finalists confirmed

Week commencing Monday 14 November – Individual Pitch meetings
Our top 5 finalists will have a chance to pitch their idea directly to each of our judges privately and receive constructive feedback and advice. See the video below for advice on how to pitch!


November 22 – The 2022 AACTA Reg Grundy Award Final will be held

Our top 5 finalists will have another chance to pitch – this time to the entire judging panel – and the person who has pitched the best idea will walk away with the $50,000 prize and a chance to see their idea become a reality.

AACTA Awards ScreenFest (date to be announced) 
AACTA Reg Grundy Award recipient is announced to the world!


  • Entry Fee $25 for AACTA Members $50 for non-members
  • Rules & Supporting Documents Terms & Conditions
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