Endemol Australia
FormerlyHanna-Barbera Pty, Ltd. (1972–1983)
Taft-Hardie Group Pty. Ltd. (1983–1988)
Southern Star Group Pty, Ltd. (1988–2013)
Television production
Founded1972 (1972)
FounderNeil Balnaves
FateMerged with Shine Australia
SuccessorEndemol Shine Australia
HeadquartersSydney, New South Wales
Key people
Mark and Carl Fennessy (CEO)
ParentTaft Broadcasting (1972–1988)
Hamlyn Group (50%) (1974–1978)
James Hardie Industries (50%) (1978–1988)
Independent (1988–2004)
Southern Cross Broadcasting (2004–2007)
Fairfax Media (2007–2009)
Endemol (2009–2015)

Endemol Australia[1] (formerly known as Southern Star Group, Southern Star Productions, Southern Star/Hanna-Barbera Australia & Taft-Hardie Group Pty. Ltd.) was Australia's largest independent television production and distribution group. On 26 July 2017, the company was merged with Shine Australia to form Endemol Shine Australia.[citation needed]


Former Southern Star Group logo, used from 1989 to 2013.
Former Southern Star Group logo, used from 1989 to 2013.

The company began in 1972 as Hanna-Barbera Pty, Ltd. (Australia), an Australian division of Hanna-Barbera. In 1974, the Hamlyn Group's Australia division managed by Kevin Weldon acquired 50% of Hanna-Barbera Australia and appointed Neil Balnaves as managing director. In 1978, James Hardie Industries acquired the Hamlyn Group, and in 1979, Balnaves was promoted to managing director of the entire Hamlyn Group.[2]

In 1983, James Hardie Industries and Hanna-Barbera corporate parent Taft Broadcasting reorganized the division as Taft-Hardie Group Pty. Ltd. In 1984, the company established a division in Los Angeles known as Southern Star Productions, headed by Buzz Potamkin. Programs produced by this division would be animated at Hanna-Barbera's studios in Sydney, and carried the name Southern Star/Hanna-Barbera Australia. It co-owned CIC Video's Australian video unit called CIC-Taft Video, and launched a video label THG Video in 1984, then renamed to Taft Video in 1987.

In 1988, Neil Balnaves led an A$11 million management buyout of Taft-Hardie, reorganizing the company as Southern Star Group. The home video division was renamed to Southern Star Video in 1989. The Sydney animation facilities were also sold, while the Los Angeles division continued to operate until 1991 when it was sold to Turner Broadcasting System.

In April 2004, the company was acquired by Southern Cross Broadcasting and in 2007, by Fairfax Media.

In January 2009, Endemol acquired Southern Star Factual from Fairfax Media in a transaction worth A$75 million,[3][4] forming a division known as Endemol Southern Star.

On 11 December 2013, Southern Star announced it would re-brand as Endemol Australia.[1] Chief Executive Officer, Janeen Faithfull,[5] stated "As Endemol Australia we’ll continue to build on the heritage and successes of Southern Star."[1]

On 15 November 2016, Mark and Carl Fennessy were appointed joint CEOs of Endemol Australia as well as its current parent company, Endemol Shine Australia.[6]

The company's popular shows for kids are Bananas in Pyjamas (for ABC), The Adventures of Bottle Top Bill and His Best Friend Corky (for ABC and Five (UK)), Child's Farm, Ketchup: Cats Who Cook (for NHK), Gordon the Garden Gnome (for BBC, ABC and Cartoon Network), Faireez (For Ten), Classic Tales (for ABC) and The Toothbrush Family (for Ten and Nine).


Prime-time drama

As Hanna-Barbera Pty, Ltd./Taft-Hardie Group Pty. Ltd.[edit]

As Southern Star[edit]



As Hanna-Barbera Pty, Ltd./Taft-Hardie Group Pty. Ltd.[edit]

As Southern Star[edit]


See also


  1. ^ a b c "SOUTHERN STAR ENTERTAINMENT TO BECOME ENDEMOL AUSTRALIA". Endemol distribution news. 26 December 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  2. ^ "Endemol Shine Australia".
  3. ^ Prior, Alex (21 January 2009). "Southern Star: sold to Endemol (apart from some bits)". Screen Hub. Archived from the original on 1 January 2014. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  4. ^ Tabakoff, Nick (21 January 2009). "Berlusconi to own Fairfax's TV producer". The Australian. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  5. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (22 February 2012). "Australia's Southern Star Names TV Industry Vet Janeen Faithfull To CEO Post". Deadline. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  6. ^ Endemol shine names Fennessy brothers as Joint Heads of Australian Unit, 15 November 2016, hollywoodreporter.com
  7. ^ "Fred's little league". The Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney NSW. 15 May 1978. p. 25.