New series of youth variety show Couch 44 premieres

Premiering Thursday 4 May at 8pm, a new series of Couch 44 is a dive into Adelaide youth culture, exploring scenes across film, music, sport, activism and more on Channel 44 and CTV+.  

Six weekly episodes provide a platform for local creatives to tell their stories, share insights into their scenes and inspire young people to get involved. Couch 44 series two includes interviews and profiles on creatives from theatre group The CRAM Collective to First Nations artist Mali Isabel and costume designer Victoria Perry, to Renegade Records CEO Bianca Nilsson, Paralympian Matt Cowdrey and Afghan Cultural Association head Behishta Anwar.

Field reports explore uniquely South Australian cultural experiences including the Adelaide Fringe, our best and enduring live music venues, celebrations of multiculturalism through events like the Unmasked African Festival, and even some medieval merriment in the Barossa.

Plus, there are live music performances from ten of Adelaide’s hottest emerging bands, including dancehall artist Sokel, punk rockers Lola and indie-rockers Mums Favourite.

Watch Couch 44

Stream all episodes now on CTV+

The production of Couch 44 has also been an invaluable experience for its creators. Led by Flinders University alumni Madison Siegertsz, a crew of over twenty current and recent Flinders University students got the very rare opportunity to produce a full series for TV, with the mentorship of accomplished professionals, and gain the hands-on experience vital to a career in the screen industry.

Since beginning as a segment by student interns, shot on a couch in the C44 office, Couch 44 has grown to become a fully fledged TV show with the support of the Community Broadcasting Foundation, Flinders University and C44. 

A first series, featuring interviews and stripped-back live music performances, was created with a small crew in the Sturt Theatre at Flinders University. Following positive responses from audiences and those who participated in making it, a second series was commissioned. Series two, shot in the ABC Collinswood studio, has built on the format again, adding on-location stories, field reports and full live performances by some of Adelaide’s hottest emerging bands.

“To create a TV series on this scale, to lead a team of emerging screen makers to make something that celebrates  local youth culture — that’s been an invaluable opportunity,” says series producer Madison Siegertsz. “I want Couch 44 to highlight the best of Adelaide and get everyone’s work seen. I hope more opportunities for emerging filmmakers like this arise.”

Dr Tom Young, Senior Lecturer (Screen) at Flinders University said, “I am proud to see so many Flinders University alumni and local emerging creatives joining forces to deliver a highly entertaining and engaging TV show. A must watch in 2023!”

Lauren Hillman, Channel 44 General Manager said, “We are so excited to premiere this new series of Couch 44 in collaboration with Flinders University and the Community Broadcasting Foundation. Enormous credit to the whole cast and crew, made up of mostly volunteers and emerging creatives, for producing such a high-quality variety show on such a large scale with minimal resources. Couch 44 is an impressive youth-focused series and definitely one to watch.” 

Couch 44 premieres at 8pm Thursday 4 May on Channel 44 Adelaide and will be available on-demand on community TV streaming platform CTV+ at ctvplus.org.au.


Episode 1 (4 May): Creatives. Join host Payton Hogan to meet theatre makers The Cram Collective, First Nations artist Mali Isabel and George Rex Comics creator Georgina Chadderton. Explore the Adelaide Fringe with field reporter David Doherty and then tear up the lounge room to live sets by dancehall/reggae artist Sokel and indie-rockers Busseys.

Episode 2 (11 May): Film. Join host Nathan Hamilton to meet Jeremy Kelly-Bakker and Tom Phillips from We Made A Thing Studios, costumer Victoria Perry, and multi-disciplinary artist Dave Court. Explore Holly Winter’s film and storytelling workshops with field reporter David Doherty and tear up the lounge to live sets by indie-rockers Normal Behaviour and punk-rockers Lola.

Episode 3 (18 May): Music. Join host Henry Buckley to talk with CEO of Renegade Records Bianca Nilsson about the realities of the music industry and take a visit to tranquil Adelaide Hills studio Forest Range Studios, a favourite place for Adelaide musicians to write and record. Explore Adelaide’s best live music venues with field reporter David Doherty and tear up the lounge room to live sets by indie-rockers Mums Favourite and pop-roots band The Meristems.

Episode 4 (25 May): Activism. Join host Demi Formato to meet Melanie Tate, Founder and CEO of Puddle Jumpers, and learn more about the non-profit’s work in supporting underprivileged and at-risk kids. Explore the Unmasked African Festival, an event that celebrates African culture, arts, food, music and performance. And join field reporter David Doherty on the Freedom for Iran march, a movement dedicated to the memory of Mahsa Amini and spreading global awareness of the Iran Government’s regime. Then tear up the lounge room with a live set by indie-pop duo Mum Friends.

Episode 5 (1 June): Sport. Join host Stanley Browning to meet the most successful Paralympian of all time, Matt Cowdrey, professional baseballer Jess Malin and K-pop dance group ABK Dance Crew. Experience the thrills and spills of roller derby with field report David Doherty at the The Great Southern Slam and tear up the lounge room to a live set by punk-rockers Rat Tamango.

Episode 6 (8 June):Culture. Join host Demi Formato to meet Behishta Anwar, head of the Afghan Culture Association of South Australian, to hear her story of escaping Taliban rule in Afghanistan. Then it’s off to Urban Dessert to learn more about the tricks of the sweet pastry trade and field reporter David Doherty steps back into a time of knights, archery and cooking over fire at the Barossa Medieval Fair. Plus live sets by indie-pop artist Maisie B and a powerful piano ballad by Meena De Silva.

Image: Emily Eilers