Feb 08 2016

New channel 7flix debuts 28 February

7flix_0001During last night’s debut screening of mini-series Molly, the Seven Network unveiled its new channel, 7flix.

7flix, to broadcast on channel 76, debuts on Sunday 28 February. The channel promotes a heavy emphasis on movies with some TV titles thrown in — including Once Upon A Time, The Amazing Race, Grey’s Anatomy, The Muppets and Seinfeld. No mention of any Australian content making up the schedule.

Unlike recent channel launches 9Life and Food Network, Seven has not entered into a specific content arrangement for programming its new channel, instead just tapping into its existing program contracts.

At this point Seven’s major regional affiliate 7Prime (covering regional New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and the ACT) has advised its viewers that it has no current agreement to extend 7flix to its local markets.

samueljohnsonFor the first night of the official ratings season, as well as unveiling 7flix, it was a big night for Seven. Molly (starring Samuel Johnson, pictured, as Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum) topped the ratings with 1,793,000 viewers across the 5 cities, followed by My Kitchen Rules (1,399,000) and Seven News (1,068,000). Nine’s top programs for the night were Nine News (967,000), Australia’s Got Talent (884,000) and 60 Minutes (607,000). British drama Doc Martin (1,004,000) topped ABC’s night, followed by ABC News (867,000) and Vera (688,000). Ten’s best numbers last night came from I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! (600,000 and elimination 626,000), The X Files (556,000) and Modern Family (463,000).

With Seven NewsMy Kitchen Rules and Molly keeping viewers tuned to Seven for almost five hours, Seven Network recorded a network share of a huge 39.2%, followed by Nine (22.4%), ABC (17.9%), Ten (14.8%) and SBS (5.7%). Seven’s primary channel rated 34.4%, followed by Nine (15.0%), ABC (13.8%), Ten (10.7%) and SBS (4.3%).

Multi-channel results saw Nine’s GO top the list with 3.3%, followed by 7mate and One (2.7% each), 9Life (2.6%), ABC2 (2.3%), 7TWO (2.2%), Gem (1.6%), Eleven and ABC News 24 (1.4% each), SBS2 (0.7%), SBS Food (0.6%), ABC3 (0.4%) and NITV (0.1%).

Data © OzTAM Pty Limited 2016. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of OzTAM. Program performance and ranking information subject to change when not based on final program logs.




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/02/new-channel-7flix-debuts-28-february.html

Feb 07 2016

1996: February 3-9

tvweek_030296Cover: Nicole Kidman

The gang of four
60 Minutes producer John Westacott insists that, despite Jana Wendt leaving the program to join the Seven Network, “We’re still the winning team!” Westacott concedes that losing Wendt is disappointing but still has full confidence in his team of reporters — Tracey Curro, Richard Carleton, Charles Wooley and Jeff McMullen. “They are the best television journalists in the country. So I am unconcerned about whoever may stack up against us. Clearly Jana is a great talent, but I wont think it (her leaving) will have any effect on the overall product or the stories we are covering.” Westacott also denied press reports that he was still looking for a fifth reporter to replace Wendt. “I don’t think we need to think about an extra body,” he said. Seven has yet to announce its plans for Wendt’s new much-talked-about current affairs program.

samanthakumeSamantha and Babe!
Wild Life reporter Samantha Kume (pictured) can no longer keep it a secret… she is having a baby. Kume, who also reads the weekend National Nine News in Brisbane, credits clever camerawork for her baby bump to have gone unnoticed by the public. “The cameras have been kind,” she told TV Week. “I am amazed we have been able to keep it a secret.”

Aussie stars stalked in LA
Former Home And Away stars Julian McMahon and Alistair MacDougall have become the target of a stalker while living in LA. The incident occurred just before Christmas when the pair were sharing a flat in Hollywood. “We were sitting at a restaurant and there was a guy sitting next to us. He was a psycho — a freaky looking guy,” MacDougall told TV Week. “He was staring at us the whole meal and when we left he was parked across the street and ran so quickly to get to his car he nearly got hit.” The pair drove off, and their stalker followed them home. “We were getting seriously scared.” Although both actors managed to score some high profile roles when first arriving in LA, the last 12 months have been quieter. “It’s hard, but LA is definitely home,” McMahon told TV Week. “You’ve got to keep plugging away and wait for that big one.”

TV Turns 40: Daryl’s Saturday Night Fever

darylsomersossieostrich_0002“Long-running hit show Hey Hey It’s Saturday would never get off the ground today, according to its host, Daryl Somers. Daryl, who has hosted the show since it began 25 years ago, says the concept is too risky for today’s networks. “If you walked into a producer’s office and told them what the show was about, you’d have no hope.” Daryl said it was Graham Kennedy who inspired him to follow a career into television. “I used to watch Graham on In Melbourne Tonight in the Sixties, and I’d think, ‘Gosh, what a great job. He looks like he’s having so much fun’. And he was, of course. I never, ever though then that I would end up being in a similar situation on a TV show where I could have so much fun for 25 years.” Daryl started on Hey Hey It’s Saturday appearing between cartoons. “I was the Sophie Lee of the Seventies!” he says. “Eventually the banter between Ossie (Ostrich) and me took over the show and we got rid of the cartoons,” Daryl says. “The show sort of fell together! John (Blackman) happened to be rostered on as a voice-over man one weekend. It was a three-hour show then and I used to ask what the weather was like outside. John came up with some pretty funny answers, so we made sure he was rostered on every weekend from then on!”.”


  • The Great Outdoors reporter Bridget Adams and radio man Rob Elliott (pictured) have been signed up to host Seven‘s new interactive entertainment show, Talking Telephone Numbers. Based on a UK program, the live show features variety acts which will be used to generate numbers. Viewers will have the chance to win up to $50,000 if the seven numbers generated during the show match the last six digits of their telephone number in any order.
  • Weddings host Jane Hall has not had her contract renewed for hosting Foxtel‘s Breakfast Time program. It was earlier suspected that Hall would lose the Weddings gig on the back of hosting the Foxtel show with former E Street star Scott McRae… when actually the reverse has happened. Alyssa-Jane Cook is tipped to replace Hall as McRae’s co-host.
  • Filming has begun in Perth on Network Ten‘s new drama Sweat. The series, based on a group of young Aussie athletes with hopes of Olympic gold, features Martin Henderson (Echo Point), Melissa Thomas (E Street), Inge Hornstra (Heartbreak High) and newcomer Heath Ledger. Sweat is a production of Barron Films, which is also working on a series of telemovies for the Seven Network as a spin-off from the 1988 Australian film Shame.
  • A Frontline cast member tells TV Week that the popular ABC series, with two seasons under its belt, won’t be back in production until 1997.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 14 January 1996): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 National Nine News Nine Sat 2081000
2 Cricket: Australia v Sri Lanka (night) Nine Tue 1654000
3 National Nine News Nine M-F 1637000
4 The X Files Ten Wed 1597000
5 Cricket: Australia v Sri Lanka (night) Nine Thu 1580000
6 Cricket: Australia v Sri Lanka (day) Nine Sat 1558000
7 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1530000
8 Cricket: Australia v Sri Lanka (night) Nine Sun 1422000
9 The Mommies Seven Mon 1420000
10 Home And Away Seven M-F 1395000
11 Seven Nightly News Seven Sun 1386000
12 National Nine News Nine Sun 1378000
13 Sale Of The Century Nine M-F 1360000
14 Movie: Days Of Thunder Seven Sun 1311000
15 Cricket: Australia v Sri Lanka (night) Nine Sat 1299000
16 The Simpsons Ten Wed 1279000
17 Seven Nightly News Seven M-F 1270000
18 Ellen Seven Mon 1260000
19 University Hospital Ten Tue 1244000
20 Grace Under Fire Seven Thu 1190000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, February 3-9):
Saturday: The Mercantile Mutual Cup (9.59am, Nine), Tasmania versus Queensland, is live from Hobart.

Sunday: Current affairs programs Business Sunday (8am, Nine) and Sunday (9am, Nine) return for the new year. The Mercantile Mutual Cup (11am, Nine), NSW versus South Australia, is live from Sydney. Indigenous activist Lois O’Donoghue is featured in Australian Biography (7pm, SBS). Sunday night movies are Men At Work (repeat, Seven), Flashback (repeat, Nine), Mississippi Burning (repeat, Ten) and A Month In The Country (ABC).

Monday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Irene (Lynne McGranger) tells Marilyn (Emily Symons) that she wants a baby. Sandra Sully hosts the special John Howard: True Colours (7.30pm, Ten), a profile of Opposition Leader John Howard, featuring interviews by Paul Bongiorno. In Pacific Drive (11.15pm, Nine), with the inquest into the death of Sonia Kingsley well underway, Trey Devlin (Lloyd Morris) continues to criticise the beach patrol.

Tuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Danni (Eliza Szonert) decides to drop out of school after a shocking first day. Last night’s John Howard special is followed up tonight with Paul Keating: True Colours (7.30pm, Ten), featuring Prime Minister Paul Keating, hosted by Sandra Sully with interviews again by Paul Bongiorno.

Wednesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Joanne (Kimberley Joseph) destroys Steven’s (Adam Willits) chances with Lindsay (Kate Agnew). Documentary Shifting Sands (7.30pm, SBS) features Arabic women in Australia sharing their experiences with dance, art, sex, marriage, racism, stereotyping and politics.

Thursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Luke (Bernard Curry) is on cloud nine after a romantic evening with Nadia (Dale Stevens).

Friday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Shane (Dieter Brummer) is in a life threatening situation. Footy season is almost back, with the AFL Centenary Lightning Premiership (7.30pm, Seven) starting with Round One matches North Melbourne versus Melbourne, Fitzroy versus Collingwood, St Kilda versus Hawthorn and Brisbane versus Carlton, live from Waverley Park, Melbourne.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 3 February 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.



Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/02/1996-february-3-9.html

Feb 05 2016

1996: January 27-February 2

tvweek_270196Kimberley’s hush-hush UK deal
Former Neighbours star Kimberley Davies has been playing to packed houses in the UK in the pantomime Goldilocks And The Three Bears. And when panto season is over, Davies is expected to stay in the UK to work on a top secret TV project. “I’ve got something else here (in England) that I’m not really allowed to talk about because it’s not definite yet,” she told TV Week. “I’m going to stay here for a little while then I’m coming back to Australia for a couple of things.” But although she’s remaining in the UK for the time being, Australian viewers will see her back on screens shortly in a new series of Just Kidding. Davies has replaced former co-host Sofie Formica which she says is part of her plan to diversify her career. “I think it’s good to do lots of different things,” she said. “That’s the reason I’m doing panto — doing live theatre is a different experience.” Davies has also not ruled out doing another series of Just Kidding should it continue to rate well. “Steve Jacobs (pictured with Davies) is so great to work with. He’s just hilarious.”

kimberleyjosephadamwillitsSummer Bay’s bad girl is back!
Gladiators co-host Kimberley Joseph is set to make a return visit to Seven‘s Home And Away, reprising the role of Angel’s (Melissa George) bitchy old school-chum, Joanne. This time around, Joanne is suspected of selling drugs to local school children and there is romance on the horizon with school teacher Steven (Adam Willits, pictured with Joseph). “She gets her just desserts, but, who knows — there is every possibility she could be back,” Joseph told TV Week. As well as Home And Away, Joseph’s profile in the UK has been boosted by her hosting of the international series of Gladiators and she is about to star in a stage production of Only When I Laugh, co-starring with Keeping Up Appearances actor Geoffrey Hughes.

TV Turns 40: Aussie TV Grows Up

jackthompson_0001“Country towns, war zones, tough suburban schools, the Gold Rush era, and the navy have all been locations for Australian dramas, but they all had one thing in common — their popularity. Like their cousins, the soaps, Australian dramas feature a mix of storylines, characters, and social issues. Where they differ is in their conclusion — the threads of the stories are tied up in a nice little package at the end of an episode, while in a soap the saga goes on. From there the line blurs, with quality soaps like A Country Practice (1981-94) focusing on the lives of the people of Wandin Valley, medical conditions and social issues. Guest actors were also gainfully employed in the Seven Network‘s Rafferty’s Rules (1987-90), where a pre-Blue Heelers John Wood took the role of a tough but fair stipendiary magistrate. Catherine Wilkin, who played public prosecutor Pauline Grey in Rafferty’s Rules, went on to star in Embassy (1990-92), which had the distinction of being the first Grundy series sold to the ABC. Set in the fictitious south-east Asian country of Ragaan, the show revolved around the lives of the staff of the Australian embassy. Everybody remembers The Sullivans (1976-82) brought our grandparents’ sepia-toned memories of “The War” to our screens in living colour. And before The Sullivans came Spyforce (1971), featuring Jack Thompson (pictured), and later Nick Tate, as an Aussie commando battling the Japanese in World War II.”


  • Reading The Phone Book is among the projects on ABC‘s drama slate. The series of six monologues, inspired by the BBC‘s Talking Heads, is in the early stages of development, with producers talking to Magda Szubanski, Robyn Archer, Reg Livermore and John Clarke about starring roles.
  • Stefanie Powers and Robert Wagner are set to star in yet another Hart To Hart reunion telemovie… but this time the action takes place in Australia. Wagner has been in Sydney auditioning actors for the 15 roles in the telemovie, which will eventually screen here on the Ten Network.
  • Actor John Hargreaves, star of many Australian film and television productions, has died at the age of 50 from an AIDS-related illness. The actor. who had appeared in TV dramas including Young Ramsay, The Dismissal, The Heroes, The Leaving Of Liverpool, Blue Murder and GP, is remembered for his resilience and humour. David Elfick, who had hired Hargreaves to play the part of a farmer in the recent film production No Worries, was aware that Hargreaves was unwell during filming. “It’s an insidious and debilitating disease, but you were completely unaware of this with John,” Elfick told TV Week. “He just went ahead with his work.”

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 7 January 1996): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 National Nine News Nine Sun 1828000
2 National Nine News Nine M-F 1750000
3 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1658000
4 Cricket: Australia v Sri Lanka (night) Nine Fri 1545000
5 Cricket: Australia v Sri Lanka (night) Nine Tue 1437000
6 Full Frontal Seven Thu 1413000
7 Cricket: Australia v Sri Lanka (night) Nine Wed 1412000
8 Cricket: Australia v Sri Lanka (day 4) Nine Sun 1380000
9 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1375000
10 The Mommies Seven Mon 1360000
11 The Nanny Ten Sun 1310000
12 National Nine News Nine Sat 1282000
13 Grace Under Fire Seven Thu 1265000
14 Ellen Seven Mon 1263000
15 The Great Outdoors Seven M-F 1255000
16 Movie: Pacific Heights Seven Sun 1243000
17 Heartbeat ABC Sat 1217000
18 Party Of Five Ten Sun 1179000
19 Seven Nightly News Seven M-F 1173000
20 Movie: Supergrass Ten Mon 1146000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, January 27-February 2):
Saturday: The Third Test: Australia v Sri Lanka (11.20am, Nine) continues through to Monday, live from Adelaide. The Australian Open (1pm, Seven) featured the Women’s Singles and Men’s Doubles Finals matches, live from the National Tennis Centre, Melbourne.

Sunday: The Australian Open (12pm, Seven) comes to a close with the Men’s Singles Final and Women’s Doubles Final. Sunday night movies are Mr Saturday Night (Seven), Mona Lisa (repeat, Nine) and The ‘Burbs (repeat, Ten).

brigitteduclosMonday: The 30th NFL Superbowl (10am, ABC) is live from Phoenix, Arizona. Brigitte Duclos (pictured) takes over as host as chat show Monday To Friday (3.30pm, Ten) returns for the new year. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), time is running out for Irene (Lynne McGranger) to save Selina (Tempany Deckert). In the series debut of drama Pacific Drive (9.30pm, Nine), Sonia Kingsley sets off on her ritual morning jog and by the time she realises the beach vehicle is speeding towards her it’s too late. The series then continues with regular episodes at 11pm Monday and Wednesday nights.

Tuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Karl (Alan Fletcher) and Susan (Jackie Woodburne) are upset that Libby (Kym Valentine) had to seek help from a counsellor. Lifestyle show Better Homes And Gardens (7.30pm, Seven) and travel series The Great Outdoors (8pm, Seven) return for a new year.

Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Annalise (Kimberley Davies) leaves Ramsay Street and shares a sad goodbye with Sam (Richard Grieve).

Thursday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Shane (Dieter Brummer) and Angel (Melissa George) decide it’s time to leave Summer Bay. Wild Life With Olivia Newton-John (7.30pm, Nine) reports on the fight to defend the habitat of the sloth in Brazil; the baboons of the rugged Drakenberg Mountains in Africa; and the tracking and filming of the hatching eggs of the jabiru in Queensland.

Friday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Luke (Bernard Curry) notices an attraction between Brett (Brett Blewitt) and Judy Bergman (Merridy Eastman).

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 13 January 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.



Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/02/1996-january-27-february-2.html

Feb 01 2016

TV Extra bumps into magazine market

newideatvextra_0001New Idea magazine has today announced the launch of TV Extra, a 16-page TV magazine insert devoted to covering the latest TV gossip and previews.

The first issue of TV Extra includes features on My Kitchen Rules (a key promotional partner in TV Extra) and new dramas Wanted and Molly — all productions of the Seven Network.

New Idea is published by Pacific Magazines, which comes under the Seven West Media banner — and which also includes the Seven Network — so don’t expect much coverage of other network programs if this launch announcement is of any indication.

TV Extra is a modest re-entry into the TV magazine market for Pacific. In 2002 the company tried to tackle rival magazine TV Week head on with What’s On Weekly. The battle of the mastheads was also matched by a legal battle over which magazine had control of the Logie Awards. ACP Magazines (now Bauer Media) claimed that it had purchased the rights to the Logies when it bought TV Week out of the joint venture it had with Pacific, while Pacific claimed that the Logies were not included in the transaction and would remain tied to Pacific and its new magazine.


The battle was eventually won by ACP, where it was deemed that the Logies was property associated with TV Week. With that battle lost, What’s On Weekly had little else to offer in the marketplace and was off the shelves by the end of the year.

bertnewton_0010Women’s magazines introducing TV inserts is nothing particularly new. In 1980 The Australian Women’s Weekly launched TV Weekly, which later became the simple Your TV Magazine and then TV World. The TV guide continued as an insert in the Weekly until the magazine switched to a monthly publication in 1983.

tvday_251181Woman’s Day also tried to get in to the TV space with TV Day. The 16-page ‘zip out’ magazine was launched in November 1981 but failed to last even 12 months.



Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/02/tv-extra-bumps-into-magazine-market.html

Jan 30 2016

Studio 10’s salute to ’77

Network Ten‘s morning show Studio 10 had a special episode on Friday to pay tribute to the year 1977.


It was a time of loud fashions, glamorous hairstyles, disco music, emerging technology and some dubious facial hair. Studio 10‘s hosts — Natarsha Belling, Joe Hildebrand, Denise Drysdale, Ita Buttrose and Jessica Rowe (pictured) — and guest panellist, former pop star and TV host Ronnie Burns were all decked out in their best 1970s finery while they revisited some of the highlights of 1977.

deborahgrayharrymichaelsTV historian Andrew Mercado and Number 96 star Deborah Gray remembered the era of Number 96, which came to a close in 1977, and its ample displays of nudity, mostly provided in 1977 by Gray (pictured with co-star Harry Michaels prior to taping the series’ final episode). Showbiz reporter Craig Bennett also recalled Number 96 and its Melbourne-based counterpart The Box, while also remembering The Restless Years and US shows like Happy Days, The Love Boat and Laverne And Shirley.

denisedrysdalegarrymeadowsThere were flashbacks to the Studio 10 cast as they were in 1977… including baby pictures of Belling and Hildebrand and a young Jessica Rowe. Denise Drysdale was reminded of her portrayal of a busty nurse (pictured with co-star Garry Meadows) in the 1970s prison comedy The Bluestone Boys, and Ita Buttrose revisited her days as editor of The Australian Women’s Weekly and remembered the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations that year.

Studio 10 reporter David Robinson — still yet to be born in 1977 — was in classic ’70s garb as he hosted the Studio 10 remake of game show Blankety Blanks — the top-rating Australian-made program of 1977. Jonathan Coleman took on the role of resident Blankety Blanks panellist Ugly Dave Gray and some of the dubious humour that made the original show famous at the time.

We were reminded of some of the big news events of the year — including the Granville rail disaster in Sydney that claimed the lives of 83 people — and some of the cutting edge technology making its way into everyday lives, with advertisements of early Apple computers, colour televisions, gaming consoles and VCRs.

Segments from the episode of Studio 10 are currently available on TenPlay.

Meanwhile, some of the other significant TV events of 1977:

  • The Seven Network successfully bids for exclusive Australian rights to televise the 1980 Olympic Games from Moscow. The network paid $1 million in the deal, outbidding rival offers from ABC and Nine.
  • Countdown celebrates its 100th episode.
  • Roots, the multi-million dollar US mini-series, receives the highest ratings of the decade.
  • Seven televises the VFL Grand Final live to Melbourne for the first time.
  • The final episodes of drama series Homicide, The Box, Number 96 and Bellbird.
  • Hotel Story, a Crawford production for the 0-10 Network, begins production in Melbourne. The series was axed before the first episode had even gone to air.
  • The Federal Government investigates a proposal to establish a domestic satellite system, enabling instant transmission of television and other communications across Australia and in particular to remote areas.
  • The Nine Network’s World Series Cricket launches in opposition to the traditional test cricket coverage on ABC.
  • Don Lane (The Don Lane Show) and Jeanne Little (The Mike Walsh Show) won Gold Logies at the TV Week Logie Awards.



Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/01/studio-10s-salute-to-77.html

Jan 26 2016

Melissa Doyle and Lisa Wilkinson in Australia Day Honours

melissadoyleNetwork personalities Melissa Doyle and Lisa Wilkinson are among the many Australians to feature in this year’s Australia Day Honours List.

Doyle (pictured), currently a presenter for Seven News and Sunday Night, has been appointed a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia “for significant service to the community through representational roles with a range of charitable groups, and to the broadcast media.”

She is noted for her work with World Vision, Variety — The Children’s Charity, the Make A Wish Foundation, Alannah and Madeline Foundation and the Westmead Children’s Hospital.

She has been a journalist and presenter with the Seven Network since 1995, and prior to that was a journalist at Prime Television. As well as Seven News and Sunday Night her hosting credits have included over a decade with Sunrise plus Where Are They Now?, Australia Unites: Reach Out To Asia, The Zoo and TV Turns 50.

lisawilkinson_0001Today co-host Wilkinson (pictured) has been appointed Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia “for significant service to the print and broadcast media as a journalist and presenter, and to a range of youth and women’s health groups.”

As well as co-hosting Today since 2007, Wilkinson’s television career has also included Beauty And The Beast, The Morning Shift, Weekend Sunrise and Carols By Candlelight. In 2013 she presented the annual Andrew Olle Lecture for the ABC.

She is also noted for her extensive work in the print media, including senior roles at magazine titles Cleo, The Australian Women’s Weekly, Dolly and more recently for online outlet The Huffington Post Australia. She is an ambassador for various causes and charities including Barnardo’s, The Big Issue Women’s Subscription Enterprise, the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Murdoch Children’s Institute, Jamie Oliver’s Ministry Of Food and The Ingham Institute.

Also among the hundreds of Australians recognised in this year’s honours:

Richard Ackland — “For significant service to the print and television media industries, particularly through reporting on legal issues, and as a publisher.” Ackland has worked extensively in print media and for the ABC, including hosting Media Watch in 1998 and 1999.

Tina Arena — “For significant service to the music industry as a singer, songwriter, and recording artist, and as a supporter of charitable groups.” Arena began performing back in the 1970s as a cast member on Young Talent Time. Having been a successful recording artist and performer since graduating from the show in the early 1980s, her career came full circle in 2012 when she was a judge on the revived Young Talent Time. In 2015 she was inducted into the ARIA Awards Hall Of Fame.

Vincent Ball — “For service to the performing arts.” An actor since the 1940s, Ball’s television credits include Home And Away, All Saints, Grass Roots, Blue Murder, GP, The Flying Doctors, Bangkok Hilton, The Dirtwater Dynasty, Vietnam, Anzacs, The Last Bastion, Bodyline, A Country Practice, Homicide, The Young Doctors and Against The Wind.

Patsy Biscoe — “For significant service to the performing arts, and to the television industry, as a children’s entertainer, and to the community of the Barossa Valley.” Biscoe has been a children’s entertainer for over 30 years, featuring in television productions including Here’s Humphrey, Channel Niners and Fat Cat And Friends.

Harvey Broadbent — “For significant service to the literary arts as an author and publisher, to the television industry as a producer, and to tertiary education.” Broadbent was a producer and executive producer of various ABC productions between 1977 and 1999 — including Play School, Victory In The Pacific, Gallipoli 75th Anniversary, Timeframe and Encounter With Neptune.

samueljohnsonSamuel Johnson — “For service to cancer research support organisations, and to the performing arts.” Johnson has starred in television dramas including Home And Away, Blue Heelers, Something In The Air, Halifax fp, After The Deluge, The Secret Life Of Us, Rush, Underbelly and Paper Giants: Magazine Wars. He is soon to appear (pictured) as Molly Meldrum in the biographical mini-series Molly for the Seven Network. In 2014 he rode a unicycle 15,478kms around Australia to raise over $1.4 million for breast cancer research and awareness, following his sister’s diagnosis with the disease.

Brian Mallon — “For distinguished service to the community, particularly to children, through roles with medical and charitable foundations, and to the broadcast media industry.” Mallon was Managing Director of HSV7, Melbourne, from 1989 to 1997.

tvweek_220380Mike Walsh — “For significant service to the entertainment industry, and to the performing arts through support for young actors, theatre restoration and production.” Walsh’s career began in radio before moving to television — most significantly as host of The Mike Walsh Show, which ran for over 2000 episodes from 1973 to 1985. For two consecutive years in the late 1970s he won the Gold award at the Australian TV and Film Awards, the Sammys. He has won a total of 24 Logies, including the TV Week Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality On Australian Television in 1980, and was inducted into the TV Week Logie Awards‘ Hall Of Fame in 1999.

Source: Governor-General of Australia





Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/01/melissa-doyle-and-lisa-wilkinson-in-australia-day-honours.html

Jan 25 2016

Have we got TV Guides for you!

bobmaumill“Have we got a year for you!” — shouted the Nine Network‘s 1976 season launch. Nine’s campaign was fronted by Bob Maumill, a Perth identity who was part of TV’s new breed of “ocker” entertainers, and who was also to host a tonight show for the network.

Maumill (pictured) was not to have a long TV career but continued in radio, back in Perth, where he can now be heard on Sunday mornings on talkback station 6PR.

On the evening of 25 January 1976, Bert Newton hosted a half-hour special, 1976: Have We Got A Year For You!, previewing some of the new and returning shows for Nine over the coming months.


The night of Nine’s new season launch features among the latest batch of additions to Classic TV Guides:


Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/01/have-we-got-tv-guides-for-you.html

Jan 24 2016

Obituary: Lois Ramsey

loisramseyLois Ramsey, the actress best known as “Mrs H” from the 1970s series The Box, has died at the age of 93.

Born in Adelaide, Ramsey appeared in a number of early TV productions including Consider Your Verdict, Adventures Of The Seaspray, The Battlers, Riptide and Homicide. She also appeared in the sketch comedy series The Mavis Bramston Show.

But it was her portrayal of tea lady Mrs Hopkins (or “Mrs H”) in the long-running series The Box that was to be her most prominent role. She played the character for the show’s entire four-year run as well as in the movie spin-off.

Last year, Ramsey appeared with The Box co-star Judy Nunn on Studio 10‘s tribute to the popular 1970s soap:

 YouTube: Studio 10

Later television credits included The Sullivans, The Truckies, A Town Like Alice, Carson’s Law, The Harp In The South and its sequel Poor Man’s Orange, A Country Practice, E Street, GP, Blue Heelers, Above The Law, All Saints, Always Greener and Rake.

She played two roles in Prisoner — first as social worker Agnes Forster and later as prison inmate Ettie Parslow.

Her appearance in the ABC series Grass Roots led to her winning an AFI Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Guest Role in a Television Drama Series.

Film credits included Undercover, One Night Stand, Road To Nhill, Crackerjack and Boy Town.

Source: IMDB, Wikipedia




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/01/obituary-lois-ramsey.html

Jan 18 2016

1996: January 20-26

tvweek_200196Ramsay Street revamp!
Neighbours returns to screens this week for its 11th year, and it does so with a fresh look, including new opening titles, in a bid to boost its image. “The great thing about Neighbours is that it’s constantly responding to change,” cast member Richard Grieve (pictured) told TV Week. “Just as Neighbours introduces new characters from time to time, it must change its look when necessary.” Co-star Emma Harrison (pictured) adds, “The new credits are fun and colourful and happy. They give the show a fresh look.”

melissatkautzandreeikmeierMelissa turns up the heat
Viewers will be seeing a somewhat more revealing Melissa Tkautz when she makes her return to TV in the new Nine Network drama Pacific Drive. Bedroom scenes between Tkautz’s character Bethany and her on-screen boyfriend Rick, played by Andre Eikmeier (pictured with Tkautz), are set to leave little to the imagination. “With Bethany and Rick, their whole relationship is based on sex,” Tkautz told TV Week. “The only time they talk is when they’re in the bedroom!”

lisahensley_0002Lisa lays down the law
Law Of The Land star Lisa Hensley (pictured) is taking an overseas trek, including India and Vietnam, after a hectic year which has included films Dating The Enemy and My Entire Life. “After an amazing work year, I decided I had to get away and go somewhere that wasn’t ‘western’,” she told TV Week. “It will be the biggest adventure or nightmare of my life.” Hensley is also pleased that the Nine Network has shifted Law Of The Land to the earlier 7.30pm timeslot (from 9.30pm). “I think it’s one of the few decent programs on air at the moment. I really believe that some of our great work appears in this series. There is a great episode where my character (Kate) finds out what happened to her mother. It’s been a bit of a mystery and when Kate learns the truth she becomes highly emotional.”

TV Turns 40: Supersoap Power!

“It was the cliffhanger of the century. In 1995, it spawned a Simpsons send-up. It was, of course, the question on every soapie fan’s mind in 1980: Who Shot JR? It was the major storyline in Dallas, the super soap of the Eighties. Just as Number 96 changed the face of Australian soaps nearly a decade before, Dallas revolutionised the worldwide soap scene. Since Peyton Place in the mid-Sixties, the American soap world had been dominated by daytime series, such as Days Of Our Lives, Search For Tomorrow and General Hospital. But Dallas, which started (in the US) on 2 April 1978, became a prime-time blockbuster, running for 13 years and leading to a spin-off series (Knots Landing) and a host of imitators (Dynasty, Falcon Crest and Flamingo Road).”


  • The Seven Network has launched a new early-morning news program, Sunrise. Presenting the 6.00am news bulletin is Peter Ford with former regional television newsreader Christine Bath.
  • Former Sportsworld reporter Kim Sporton has returned to the Seven Network after a three year break from television. “I’d been a journalist for 12 years with no time off,” she told TV Week. She will be returning to Sportsworld as well as being part of the Seven team covering the Australian Open tennis. “Working at the tennis is the most hectic time because it’s so intense and there’s so much adrenalin.”
  • Marcia Hines and her daughter Deni are rumoured to have been approached by Optus Vision for its new music channel. Also rumoured to have been in discussion with Optus Vision is Nine‘s Richard Wilkins, the former host of MTV.
  • jonbennettActor Jon Bennett (pictured) is set to drop more than just his image of the suntanned Speedo-clad bad boy of Paradise Beach — by appearing nude in the Melbourne production of Lady Chatterley’s Lover. “I was not proud of the Speedo thing, but I have no problem with the nudity or sex in this production,” he told TV WeekLady Chatterley’s Lover is to be performed at Melbourne’s Royal Botanical Gardens.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 31 December): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 National Nine News Nine M-F 1757000
2 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1668000
3 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1505000
4 National Nine News Nine Sat 1490000
5 The X Files Ten Wed 1418000
6 National Nine News Nine Sun 1402000
7 Mr Bean ABC Thu 1375000
8 Full Frontal Seven Thu 1342000
9 The Great Outdoors Seven M-F 1328000
10 Cricket: Australia v West Indies (night) Nine Mon 1326000
11 Ellen Seven Mon 1321000
12 Seven Nightly News Seven M-F 1300000
13 Cricket: Australia v West Indies (day) Nine Mon 1293000
14 The Simpsons Ten Wed 1281000
15 Grace Under Fire Seven Thu 1277000
16 MacGyver Seven Tu-W 1271000
17 Heartbeat ABC Sat 1236000
18 The Bill ABC Tu,Sa 1195000
19 Step By Step Nine Sat 1172000
20 Mysteries Of The Ancient World Seven Mon 1170000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, January 20-26):
Saturday: Daily coverage of the Australian Open (11am, Seven) continues all week from the National Tennis Centre, Melbourne. The Second Final of World Series Cricket (2.20pm, Nine) is live from the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Sunday: Sunday night movies are The Russia House (repeat, Seven), Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach (repeat, Nine) and DeepStar Six (repeat, Ten).

Monday: In the series return of Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Sam (Richard Grieve) is still reeling from the shock discovery of Annalise’s (Kimberley Davies) affair with Stonie (Anthony Engelman). In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), while Selina (Tempany Deckert) agrees to sleep with Saul (David Ritchie), Irene (Lynne McGranger) finds out that Saul is sterile; and Curtis (Shane Ammann) thinks Chloe (Kristy Wright) is stealing to buy drugs.

Tuesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Selina (Tempany Deckert) escapes from the commune.

Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Sam (Richard Grieve) discovers that Annalise’s (Kimberley Davies) affair with Stonie (Anthony Engelman) is common knowledge in Ramsay Street.

rachelfriend_0001Thursday: The Third Test: Australia versus Sri Lanka (11.20am, Nine) begins from the Adelaide Oval.  In the series return of Wild Life With Olivia Newton-John (7.30pm, Nine), Michael Beatty travels to Churchill, Canada, to look at the beluga whales which throng the river mouth every year; and Rachel Friend (pictured) joins a group as they capture and collar 20 female elk from a herd. Nell Schofield presents The Australian Collection (8.30pm, ABC), a series of short films.

Friday (Australia Day): The Third Test (11.20am, Nine) continues from Adelaide. Governor General Bill Hayden delivers the Governor General’s Australia Day Address (6.50pm, ABC). Tim Ferguson hosts the Australia Day Concert (8.30pm, Nine) from Sydney’s Domain, including performances by Christine Anu, Diesel, Past To Present, Kulcha and DIG.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 20 January 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/01/1996-january-20-26.html

Jan 12 2016

1996: January 13-19

tvweek_130196Battered, bruised and burnt!
Blue HeelersLisa McCune and Fire newcomer Tottie Goldsmith (pictured) are finding out the hard way about the physical demands of their jobs. McCune, referring to filming a dramatic two-part episode to go to air next month, told TV Week: “I had bruises all over my hips after shooting on Blue Heelers one day recently. I also missed the mat at one point and whacked my head really hard. I wanted to cry! But I couldn’t, because we were running behind schedule.” Goldsmith, who plays new character Tex in Fire, has also found the physical demands extreme. “The heat is extraordinary,” she told TV Week. “There’s one set we use where the temperature gets up to 50 degrees. We put gel on our skin to stop getting burnt, but if you miss any tiny place, it gets you. It was unbelievable.” She added, “I was being chased by a wall of fire that was being pulled by cables. Every time I turned around to see where the fire was, I felt the mascara melting on the ends of my eyelashes. It was frightening, but it was also very exciting.”

Bowler bows out
Blue Heelers star Grant Bowler is leaving the series after playing Constable Wayne Patterson for over two years. “This is a very good job and I’m not leaving it lightly,” he told TV Week. “It’s been a great run and I’m very fortunate. But I’m tired and I want to give series TV a rest for a while.” He filmed his last scenes with the show in December but will be seen on screen until April. Bowler is only the second of the show’s original cast to have left the series so far. The first was Ann Burbrook, who played Bowler’s on-screen wife. After Blue Heelers, Bowler, whose previous experience includes 18 months with the Bell Shakespeare Company, will be appearing in two stage plays in Sydney before taking a planned trip overseas.

johndeeksFeud for thought
Taking on the job of hosting Family Feud and moving away from the relative security of the Wheel Of Fortune announcer’s booth is John Deeks‘ (pictured) biggest career gamble. “I’ve been employed for 20 years by Seven and the Grundy Organisation, and what I do, I like to think I do well,” he told TV Week. “Doing Wheel for 10 years, I felt very much part of that show. John (Burgess) and Adriana (Xenides) and I just jogged along. No-one felt threatened by us. We were just a team who got in there and did it. With Feud, it is like putting my whole career on 13 weeks (one series) and saying, ‘Here you are, you’re going to be a star for 13 weeks, and then we’ll review it’.” Deeks said the offer to host Family Feud was completely unexpected but has paid tribute to former host Rob Brough, who is being kept on at the network. “Rob held it together for six years. To do a show for 13 weeks and have it stay on for another 13 is a big feat, but to tie it together for six years is another thing again.”

taylerkane_0002Tayler’s grief over Grievous
Fire star Tayler Kane (pictured) is set to leave the Seven Network drama when filming on the second series is completed, following heated discussions with management over the ongoing portrayal of his character, Grievous. “I had a lot of arguments with the producers because they were telling me I grew him (Grevious) up too quickly,” Kane told TV Week. “I don’t think it’s justified not to change Grevious.” Kane also looks back on the semi-nude scenes that he was often called on for in Fire‘s first and second series. “I didn’t have the self confidence then to say no. I thought I was contractually obliged,” he said. “But I mean, if anything it’s detrimental to your career as an actor, because it’s all superficial.” Kane, who before Fire had previous starred in 200 episodes of the UK soap Families, had also been working on a movie role in between the two Fire series. In the film Turning April, Kane plays Donny, “a quasi-leader of a gang of homeless bums, criminals, off-beat harmless people”. “It’s very different from the character I play in Fire, and it’s easy to see the difference. It really restored my love for acting, because I was proud of what I did and proud to be a part of it.”

joehashamabigailTV Turns 40: Blood, sweat and tears!
TV Week‘s look back at 40 years of television (started last week with Bert Newton‘s interview) this week covers the soaps: “We cried when Molly (Anne Tenney) died on A Country Practice, we were shocked when Don came out of the closet in Number 96 and we were dismayed when the nasty Charlie plunged to his death on Bellbird. The ABC‘s Bellbird is regarded as Australia’s first major television soap. Bellbird showed that for soaps, baddies are good. The show enjoyed its best ratings when Charlie Cousens (Robin Ramsay) fell to his death from a wheat silo. Other soaps later embraced the baddies concept: bisexual reporter Vikki Stafford (Judy Nunn) in The Box; ‘Pat the Rat’ (Rowena Wallace) on Sons And Daughters; Vera “Vinegar Tits” Bennett (Fiona Spence) on Prisoner; and, topping them all, Mr Bad (Vince Martin) on E Street. In terms of content, Number 96 was a ground breaker. Its opening night on the 0-10 Network in 1972 has been called “the night Australian television lost its virginity”. The then head of the Nine Network, Bruce Gyngell, said: “This program will not last”. But during the next six years and 1218 episodes, viewers were exposed to Abigail‘s breasts, numerous bedroom scenes, drug taking episodes and Australian soap’s first homosexual character, young solicitor Don Finlayson, played by Joe Hasham (pictured with Abigail).”


  • Former Home And Away star Mouche Phillips has been doing a guest stint on Nine‘s upcoming drama series Pacific Drive, but word is that she will be kept on to join the series’ regular cast. Pacific Drive debuts later this month.
  • Matt Healey, the eight-year-old poet featured on Hey Hey It’s Saturday‘s Red Faces segment, is joining pay TV network Foxtel. Healey will appear on the children’s program Fox Kids.
  • Cricketer Michael Slater has impressed Nine Network executives with his contributions to The Cricket Show that they have signed him up to join the network’s cricket commentary team.
  • simonpalomaresFormer Acropolis Now star Simon Palomares (pictured) has moved on from the “ethnic humour” made famous by the series and is not joining his former co-stars in the film version of the stage show Wogs Out Of Work — the show which led to Acropolis Now. “I was doing serious acting for a long time before I was doing comedy, but the wog thing is what I am best known for,” Palomares told TV Week. “But there are other issues in life apart from being ethnic.” He is soon to return to Spain, where he lived until he was 10, to work as a writer on a late-night TV talk show.

Program Highlights (Melbourne, January 13-19):
Saturday: Tennis continues with the Peters International (11am, Seven), live from White City, Sydney, and the finals of the Colonial Classic (9.30pm, Seven) from Kooyong, Melbourne.

Sunday: More tennis with the finals of the Peters International (1pm, Seven) in Sydney, and the Oz Charity Day (2pm, ABC) from the National Tennis Centre, Melbourne. World Series Cricket (1.20pm to 5pm, 5.30pm to 9pm, Nine) features Sri Lanka versus West indies, live from Perth. Sunday night movies are Days Of Thunder (repeat, Seven), No Retreat No Surrender (repeat, Nine) and Mo’ Better Blues (Ten).

Monday: The Australian Open (11am to 5.30pm, 8.30pm to 12.30am, Seven) begins two weeks of daily coverage, from the National Tennis Centre. Sale Of The Century (7pm, Nine) returns for the new year. In the series return of Home And Away (7pm, Seven), while Shane (Dieter Brummer) lies in a coma, Angel (Melissa George) panics about her unborn baby.

Tuesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Angel (Melissa George) prays beside Shane’s (Dieter Brummer) bed. Discussion show Wise Up (9.30pm, ABC) looks at the topic of Homeless Students.

Wednesday: In Law Of The Land (7.30pm, Nine), an unconventional psychiatrist is accused of indecent assault by one of his delusional patients with sexual fantasies.

Thursday: The first final of World Series Cricket (2.20pm, Nine) is live from the Melbourne Cricket Ground — with only two hours of coverage allowed into Melbourne. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Jack (Daniel Amalm) decides to go back to his real family. The special First Day (8.30pm, ABC) looks at the different experiences of a range of five-year-olds as they prepare for their first day of school.

Friday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Jack (Daniel Amalm) finds out the truth about his mother’s sudden love; and Kelly (Katrina Hobbs) discovers that she can’t face AIDS on her own.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 13 January 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.


Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/01/1996-january-13-19.html

Older posts «