Jul 01 2016

Regional TV winners and losers

SCA_newchannels_0001Image: Southern Cross Austereo

At midnight last night television history was made with the biggest upheaval to regional television since aggregation kicked off almost 30 years ago.

The catalyst for the change was Southern Cross Austereo, which operated a Network Ten affiliate in much of the eastern states, had signed a deal to change its affiliation to the Nine Network in the markets of Regional Queensland, Southern NSW/ACT and Regional Victoria.

win_2008As a result of Southern Cross Austereo’s move, rival network WIN, which had been primarily a Nine Network affiliate since the late 1980s, had forged a new agreement with Network Ten for the same markets as above but also for Mildura, Tasmania, Griffith and Regional Western Australia.

The changes were seen on-air from midnight last night as digital channel 5 changed from Ten programming to Nine, WIN channel 8 started carrying Network Ten programs, and a whole lot of swapping around with the multi-channels including 9Gem, 9Go, 9HD, One and Eleven.

Northern NSW, which includes the Gold Coast and Central Coast, Spencer Gulf/Broken Hill, Darwin and remote central Australia were about the only regional markets not touched by any changes.

But while all these changes were taking place some losers emerged. Viewers in regional Western Australia were to lose programming on their third commercial network, West Digital Television, as it had failed to come to an agreement with Nine over program supply details. West Digital, a joint venture between Prime7 and WIN, had been previously carrying the Network Ten signal but with WIN taking over Ten on its channel this left West Digital with having to agree to new terms with Nine. Negotiations were not to come to a resolution by midnight, so instead of switching to Nine programming, West Digital’s channels were left no option but to switch to screening a continuous loop of tranquil scenes of rural Australia — a glorified test pattern.

The same scenario was likely to have also taken place in Tasmania, where WIN took over the Network Ten signal, leaving Tasmanian Digital Television to strike up a deal with Nine. An agreement between TDT and Nine was very late in the making, with a deal being done late last night to ensure that Nine programs would continue to be shown in Tasmania.

In a statement issued by Prime Media Group and WIN on behalf of West Digital, the joint venture owners will endeavour to negotiate terms over the coming days to have Nine Network programming reinstated in regional Western Australia.

In the meantime viewers who are not seeing Nine Network programs can access them online via Nine’s viewing portal 9NOW.

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/07/regional-tv-winners-and-losers.html

Jun 30 2016

1996: June 8-14

tvweek_080696Cover: Nicky Buckley (Sale Of The Century), Sam Newman (The Footy Show, Melbourne)

Damian’s alcohol abuse warning
This week’s episode of Blue Heelers sees Constable Adam Cooper (Damian Walshe-Howling) deeply distressed by the alcohol-related death of a teenage boy. “A group of young people, bored with living in a country town, get stuck into the alcohol one night,” Walshe-Howling told TV Week. “In a drunken dare, one of them falls from a high place, and died.” Adam is devastated by the death, and his inability to cope with it himself leads him to question whether he is cut out to be a policeman. “Adam has seen death before, but this one triggers off something in him. He goes through shock, denial and anger, and he doesn’t realise that in trying to hide his feelings, he’s actually becoming quite aggressive towards other people. He’s stressed out, and doesn’t know what to do. He learns through this episode that it’s okay to express emotions in whatever way they come out.”

marycoustasBig hair woman!
Effie (Mary Coustas) is returning to TV in a one-hour “docu-comedy” being produced for Network Ten. The project, produced by filmmaker and ABC presenter Don Parham, features Effie (pictured far right) travelling around Papua New Guinea during its 20th anniversary of independence celebrations. It is a shift away from Parham’s usual projects that have covered heavy topics such as domestic violence, divorce and homelessness. “All the documentaries I’ve done have been personally inspired, but this one is just a project that fell out of the sky and hit me in the head,” Parham told TV Week. “When I got the idea of Effie something sort of clicked in my mind. I had the impression that she had a kind of intelligence about her that would work in a really interesting way.” Parham faxed Coustas a 10-page outline of his idea. “Mary said to me later that the idea was so totally off the wall and ridiculous, and something that she would never dream of doing that she just had to do it.” The title of the program, Pig Bilong Big Hair Woman, came from the locals dubbing Effie “Big Hair Woman” and giving her a pig as a present in return for hairdressing tips. The special is due to air on Ten later in the year.

colinfriels_0001Frank’s final fling?
Water Rats character Sgt Frank Holloway (Colin Friels, pictured) is getting his life back together after the death of his brother, and is involved in a blossoming romance with colleague Sen-Constable Caroline Cox (Mary Regan). But things take a dramatic turn when Sgt Holloway is shot in the line of duty after stumbling into an armed hold-up. The shooting scene makes up only a few seconds of airtime, but the co-ordination and filming takes an entire morning, requiring Friels to replay the action over and over again, falling on to asphalt as a stunt car speeds away just metres from his head. “I’ve never had a problem doing the physical stunts,” Friels told TV Week. “In fact, that’s an easy part for me. And there’s always a stuntman on hand to do the hard ones.”

Hollywood heads Down Under
It was a big night for Aussie celebrities as they mingled with Hollywood stars at the opening of Australia’s first Planet Hollywood restaurant in Sydney. Among the overseas guests were Jean-Claude Van Damme, Cindy Crawford, Charlie Sheen, Danny Glover, Jackie Chan, Bill Paxton and Anna Paquin — joining Planet Hollywood key partners Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone. Local stars at the event included Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Julian McMahon, Georgie Parker, Barry Crocker, Melissa Tkautz, Steve Bastoni, Melissa George, Derryn Hinch, Dieter Brummer, Barry Otto and Home And Away stars including Nic Testoni, Isla Fisher and Tempany Deckert. The Sydney restaurant is the 32nd in the Planet Hollywood franchise worldwide.


  • simonwestaway_0003Viewers will have a chance to former Janus star Simon Westaway (pictured) in a role far removed from the gun-toting cop days, with a guest appearance in this week’s GP, where he plays the part of a lieutenant-colonel struggling with a changing army and deteriorating relations with his wife (played by Kim Lewis). “It’s an army story, but there’s no guns, no violence, which is to GP‘s credit,” Westaway told TV Week. “I think that is the appeal of GP. It tells unique stories and goes down new roads.”
  • Sam Newman, co-host of Nine‘s The Footy Show in Melbourne, is also kept busy with other media commitments including a weekly segment on Today, appearances on the Brisbane-based The Footy Show, live crosses to National Nine News bulletins in Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane, and as a panellist on the Sunday edition of The Footy Show in Melbourne. Newman has also revealed that he was made an offer, indirectly, by the Seven Network to swap networks. Even though Seven has the rights to AFL coverage, Newman wasn’t to be persuaded. “Sadly, some of the people at Seven wouldn’t know if the bandwagon carrying them to some sort of success, otherwise known as the AFL football machine, actually ran over them.”

TV’s National Top 10 (Week Commencing 19 May 1996):
Source: AC Nielsen Australia Pty Ltd

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 State Of Origin: NSW v QLD Nine Mon 2357000
2 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 2285000
3 Movie: Cliffhanger Ten Sun 2237000
4 ER Nine Thu 2198000
5 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 2093000
6 Our House Nine Wed 2012000
7 The Nanny Ten Sun 1997000
8 National Nine News Nine Sun 1954000
9 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1945000
10 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 1930000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, June 8-14):
Saturday: In Sweat (5.30pm, Ten), Tom (Martin Henderson) performs brilliantly when he stands in for an injured member of the Aussie swim team. The NBL Mitsubishi Challenge (8.30pm, Ten) features the Melbourne Tigers versus South East Melbourne Magic, from Flinders Park in Melbourne. The Euro ’96 football championship begins with live coverage of the opening ceremony from Wembley Stadium (10.30pm, SBS), followed by the first match, England versus Switzerland (12am, SBS).

Sunday: AFL Sunday includes Fremantle versus Hawthorn (2pm, Seven), live from Perth, followed by an early edition of Seven Nightly News (5pm, Seven) before crossing live to Adelaide for Adelaide Crows versus West Coast Eagles (5.30pm, Seven). In Banjo Paterson’s Man From Snowy River (6.30pm, Nine), Montana (Gabrielle Fitzpatrick) is arrested for murder and an extradition order is issued. Nightly coverage of Euro ’96 begins with a one-hour highlights program (7pm, SBS) and live match coverage (11pm, SBS). Sunday night movies are Born Yesterday (Seven), Falling Down (repeat, Nine) and Night Of The Twisters (Ten).

Monday: The Queen’s Birthday public holiday includes live coverage of the Brisbane Cup (3.40pm, Nine) from Eagle Farm racecourse. In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Libby (Kym Valentine) cops flack for her article in the newspaper. Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten) features Lyn Talbot‘s report on the range of CD-Roms currently available. In Pacific Drive (11pm, Nine), Amber (Christine Stephen-Daly) masquerades as Sonia’s ghost to send Aunty Georgina (Kate Raison) around the twist.

damianwalshehowling_0001Tuesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Simon (Julian Garner) returns and is obviously in love with Angel (Melissa George). In Better Homes And Gardens (7.30pm, Seven), John Jarratt builds a free-standing mirror, and Belinda Jeffery creates a chocolate cake… with potato. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Henry (Steve Bisley) learns through watching his old army buddy succumb to stress that leaving the service was the best decision he ever made. In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), Adam (Damian Walshe-Howling, pictured) struggles to cope after he and Nick (William McInnes) discover the body of a teenager who died as the result of a drunken dare.

Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Libby (Kym Valentine) is excited at the prospect of running an article in the Erinsborough News about Cheryl’s (Caroline Gillmer) kidnapping. The two-hour comedy special Comic Relief (8.30pm, Nine) features some of Australia’s best comic and celebrity talent as they raise funds for Community Aid Abroad. Included in the program are Elle McFeast (Libbi Gorr), Gerry Connolly, Tim Ferguson, Magda Szubanski, Peter Moon, Trevor Marmalade, Russell Gilbert, Glenn Robbins, Jane Hall, Mary Coustas and Shane Bourne. In Pacific Drive (11.15pm, Nine), Amber (Christine Stephen-Daly) and Trey (Lloyd Morris) are briefly united, while Laura’s (Simone Buchanan) fear of flood deepens.

victorialongley_0001Thursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Lou (Tom Oliver) receives a parcel sent by a mystery caller. Getaway (7.30pm, Nine) features Rebecca Harris‘ tour of the Sydney 2000 Olympic site. In Mercury (8.30pm, ABC), Bill Wyatt (Geoffrey Rush) and Georgi Singer (Victoria Longley, pictured) are on opposite sides when industrial trouble affects the Sunday Mercury.

Friday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Jesse (Ben Unwin) runs from the police, and Alex (Nick Freedman) is rushed to hospital.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 8 June 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/06/1996-june-8-14.html

Jun 30 2016

1996: June 1-7

tvweek_010696Cover: Katrina Hobbs, Nic Testoni, Isla Fisher, Emily Symons (Home And Away)

‘I wanted to be the next Ray Martin!’
Former model Nic Testoni is enjoying current success in Home And Away, having scored a TV Week Logie Award earlier in the year, but recalls his start in the industry was far from glamorous. “I thought, ‘If I try (with community TV), maybe I might get somewhere. I’ll host my own show. If Ray (Martin) can do it, why can’t I?’,” he told TV Week. Testoni’s early days in community TV saw him work as a camera operator but also made on-screen appearances. “There were all kinds of people who would come in just to get a taste of the industry. We’d all dream about working for a network some day,” he said. “I reviewed television programs such as Home And Away… even then I knew it was a great show. It was like living out a fantasy of being Ray Martin,” he said. Testoni’s move into commercial television followed with Network Ten‘s short-lived Level 23 and a role in Seven‘s comedy-drama Over The Hill. His appearance in Over The Hill caught the eye of Home And Away producers and a three-month guest stint in the series has turned into a permanent role.

markmitchell_0004I dream of Genie
Mark Mitchell (pictured) says his latest role in the new series The Genie From Down Under is one of the most horrible he has ever played. “Otto van Meister is an appalling man,” he told TV Week. “He’s one of my favourite characters. It’s a dream role. I love it!” Otto is an Outback tour guide in the 13-part series produced by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation and BBC, and which debuts this week on ABC. The series also stars Monica Maughan, Rhys Muldoon, Fletcher Humphreys, Kylie Belling, Ian McFadyen, Glenn Meldrum and British actors Alexandra Milman and Anna Galvin.

Dash it, Tasma!
Western Australian-born actor Tasma Walton has beaten hundreds of applicants for the role of new constable Dash McKinley in Blue Heelers. It is actually Walton’s return to the series, having appeared once before in a guest role. “It’s going to be really challenging. It’s one of the best shows in Australia to work on,” she told TV Week.


  • The Nine Network has given the green light to a second series of Water Rats. “Our decision to proceed was easily reached when you consider Water Rats has consistently performed better than any other Australian drama in its first series,” Nine’s director of drama Kris Noble told TV Week.
  • Former Police Rescue star Jeremy Callaghan was in line for a role on Network Ten‘s new aviation drama Big Sky, but the network has told producers John Edwards and Sandra Levy that it does not want any former Police Rescue stars (other than Gary Sweet, who is already confirmed for the show) in the cast.
  • Aussie actor Julian McMahon is making the move from US daytime to prime time with a role in a pilot, Profiler. The NBC network has already ordered three episodes of the new series.
  • Good Morning Australia with Bert Newton (pictured) has celebrated 1000 episodes.


TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 12 May 1996): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 2253000
2 ER Nine Thu 2173000
3 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 2135000
4 Our House Nine Wed 2027000
5 National Nine News Nine Sat 1969000
6 National Nine News Nine Sun 1922000
7 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 1907000
8 Ellen Seven Thu 1866000
9 JAG Seven Mon 1847000
10 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1833000
11 National Nine News Nine M-F 1814000
12 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1804000
13 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1758000
14 Seven Nightly News Seven Sat 1735000
15 Hey Hey It’s Saturday Nine Sat 1735000
16 Grace Under Fire Seven Thu 1733000
17 The X Files Ten Wed 1676000
18 Chicago Hope Seven Wed 1670000
19 Money Nine Wed 1631000
20 Home And Away Seven M-F 1629000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, June 1-7):
Saturday: AFL Today (6pm, Seven) features the State Of Origin match, Victoria versus Allies, from the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Comedians Lano and Woodley (Colin Lane and Frank Woodley) are guest hosts on Hey Hey It’s Saturday (6.30pm, Nine).

Sunday: AFL Sunday (2pm, Seven) features the State Of Origin, South Australia versus Western Australia, live from Adelaide. In Banjo Paterson’s Man From Snowy River (6.30pm, Nine), a mysterious American stranger brings danger to Patersons Ridge. Sunday night movies are The Vanishing (Seven), Judicial Consent (Nine) and Groundhog Day (Ten).

Monday: New children’s series The Genie From Down Under (5pm, ABC) makes its debut. In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Cheryl (Caroline Gillmer) has been taken hostage and Lou (Tom Oliver) expects the worst, while trying to handle his fear and grief as best he can. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Alex (Nick Freedman) is blinded by the explosion. In Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten), Jim Brown visits the Future Farming Energy Expo, and Cherie Di Haas has some old-fashioned remedies for winter colds. Daryl Somers hosts Hey Hey By Request No.4 (8.30pm, Nine), another collection of clips from the Hey Hey It’s Saturday archive; followed by delayed coverage of the Rugby League State Of Origin, New South Wales versus Queensland (9.30pm, Nine).

anniejones_0002Tuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Lou (Tom Oliver) decides to appear on television to try and help Cheryl (Caroline Gillmer) and Toadie (Ryan Moloney). In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Yasmin’s (Leah Vandenberg) relationship with her lawyer boyfriend is compromised beyond redemption when she learns he is a fraud. Former Neighbours star Annie Jones (pictured) guest stars in Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven). The Crocodile Hunter special Return To The Wild (8.30pm, Nine) features Steve Irwin and his wife Terri returning to the wild to hunt and capture rogue crocodiles, the world’s deadliest snakes and large lizards.

Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Toadie (Ryan Moloney) and Hannah (Rebecca Ritters) may have found a pot of gold under the Kennedy house. In Pacific Drive (11.15pm, Nine), Trey (Lloyd Morris) is held hostage and narrowly escapes death.

catrionarowntree_0001Thursday: In Getaway (7.30pm, Nine), Catriona Rowntree (pictured) goes rafting in the caves and lakes beneath the Nullarbor Plains, and later travels over the River Kwai in Thailand. A special episode of Quantum (8pm, ABC) — titled I Compute, Therefore I Am — looks at the possibility of a conscious robot.

Friday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Danni (Eliza Szonert) is shocked when she learns that Luke (Bernard Curry) will not continue his chemotherapy sessions. Friday Night Football (9.30pm, Seven) features a delayed telecast of Footscray versus North Melbourne from the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 1 June 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.



Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/06/1996-june-1-7.html

Jun 30 2016

1996: May 25-31

tvweek_250596Cover: Gillian Anderson (The X Files)

The Don opens up
Ray Martin talks to Sir Don Bradman in a two-hour special to go to air this week. Martin travelled to South Australia to talk to Sir Don for four hours at the Adelaide Oval — scene of many memorable moments from Bradman. The publicity-shy cricketing great agreed to the interview after Nine Network owner Kerry Packer offered to stage a national prime-time telethon to raise up to $1 million for the completion of the Bradman Museum being built in Bradman’s home town of Bowral, NSW.

louisecrawfordTemporary Tempany
Home And Away star Tempany Deckert has had to take time off from the series due to suffering from glandular fever. With scripts and production schedules planned far in advance it was not possible to write out her character, Selina. Producers have since cast Louise Crawford (pictured) as Deckert’s temporary replacement. Crawford was last seen on the Network Ten soap Echo Point and her first episodes as Selina are due to go to air in July. Replacing an actor temporarily is not all that new. Only recently, Neighbours had to temporarily cast Colette Mann for the role of Cheryl Stark after actor Caroline Gillmer fell ill.

wendystrehlowBlazing start for kids’ series
Children dodging burning trees and fallen logs as a fire rages through the bush sounds like a dramatic sight — but it’s all in a day’s work for the production of Seven‘s new children’s series The Adventures Of The Bush Patrol. The 26-part series stars former A Country Practice star Wendy Strehlow (pictured) as national park head ranger Maggie Dean, with her two children played by Lisa Laird and Steele Sciberras. “The series is not overly educational,” Strehow told TV Week. “There’s a subtle message in dealing with issues from conservation to the problems of growing up. It’s entertaining and realistic. Park rangers are amazingly dedicated people. The people and issues they come up against are unbelievable. For instance, the stupidity of people who deliberately light fires is what this episode is about.” The Adventures Of The Bush Patrol is being produced by Oscar Whitbread and Zelda Rosenbaum and a second series has already been given the green light by Seven.

wendymooneyMiss Wendy’s new hit
Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush co-host Miss Wendy (Wendy Mooney, pictured) has been working on a top secret pilot which describes as “light-hearted and fun, with a lot of ad-libbing”. But she has been tight-lipped about any other details. “I can’t say too much about it, not even which network it will be on, but it’s looking good.” Meanwhile, she denies rumours that Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush has been axed. “They (Nine) do want it to come back next year, especially now that it won the Logie.”


  • Jana Wendt (pictured) has agreed to make a guest appearance on the ABC comedy series Club Buggery, hosted by Roy and HG (John Doyle and Greig Pickhaver). Wendt, host of Seven‘s Witness, is reportedly a big fan of the comedy duo.
  • It’s been a long time since it last appeared, but Bush Tucker Man is set to return with a new series — Bush Tucker Man Stories Of Survival — to debut on ABC in mid-June.
  • geoffreyrush_0001Mercury star Geoffrey Rush (pictured) has been gaining plenty of international attention with roles in two films — Shine and Children Of The Revolution. But even with Hollywood knocking on the door, Rush is not sure that’s where he wants to be. “Shine has sparked a lot of interest,” he told TV Week. “But I labour over my decisions quite carefully. Of course, I’ve got my children’s educations to think about, and acting’s an up-and-down thing.”
  • A romantic adventure for Home And Away‘s Shannon (Isla Fisher) and Alex (Nick Freedman) is set to end in disaster when the pair stumble on a cache of bombs in an old World War 2 base on the outskirts of Summer Bay. They return home to report their find to the army authorities, unaware that they had been followed to the site by Sam (Ryan Clark) and a friend, who trigger an explosion when playing at the base just as bomb disposal crews arrive.
  • Network Ten‘s new drama Sweat has been rating poorly in its Saturday evening timeslot. A second series appears unlikely.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 5 May 1996): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 2295000
2 ER Nine Thu 2182000
3 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 2135000
4 60 Minutes Nine Sun 2053000
5 JAG Seven Mon 2001000
6 Our House Nine Wed 1999000
7 National Nine News Nine Sun 1997000
8 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 1975000
9 Movie: The Firm Seven Sun 1948000
10 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1944000
11 The Nanny Ten Sun 1940000
12 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1914000
13 Ellen Seven Thu 1859000
14 National Nine News Nine M-F 1790000
15 National Nine News Nine Sat 1744000
16 The X Files Ten Wed 1728000
17 Grace Under Fire Seven Thu 1689000
18 Hudson Street Ten Sun 1677000
19 Money Nine Wed 1666000
20 Home Improvement Seven Sun 1666000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, May 25-31):
garyeckkatrinawarrenSaturday: Beyond 2000 (3.30pm, Ten) looks at the latest medical technique to control irregular heartbeats. Katrina Warren and Gary Eck (pictured) host the new series Candid Camera (6pm, Ten).

Sunday: AFL Sunday includes Sydney Swans versus Brisbane (1pm, Seven), live from Sydney, followed by Fremantle Dockers versus Richmond (4pm, Seven), live from Perth. In Banjo Paterson’s The Man From Snowy River (6.30pm, Nine), Matt (Andrew Clarke) is blinded in a mine explosion; with the incident leading to Colin (Brett Climo) revealing to Matt the circumstances of his mother’s death Sunday night movies are Hot Shots! Part Deux (Seven), Daisies In December (Nine) and A League Of Their Own (repeat, Ten).

Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Stonie’s (Anthony Engelman) efforts to win Catherine (Radha Mitchell) over with his environmental concerns don’t appear to faze her. In Water Rats (7.30pm, Nine), a well-known crime figure and an old enemy of Holloway’s (Colin Friels) is identified as the person responsible for a speed boat accident which killed a man. AFL Monday (9.30pm, Seven) features a replay of the Queen’s Birthday Holiday match between Collingwood and Geelong. In Pacific Drive (11.15pm, Nine), in the aftermath of Luke’s (Steve Harman) arrest for the murder of Sonia, Georgina (Kate Raison) tries to keep Adam (Mark Constable) from confessing.

Tuesday: In The Great Outdoors (8pm, Seven), Ernie Dingo takes a train trip through New Zealand’s Taeri Gorge; and Bridget Adams visits Hayman Island. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Maureen’s (Melissa Jaffer) relationship with her former neighbours is jeopardised when the husband makes a pass at her. In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), when Nick (William McInnes) tries to help star-crossed lovers, he stumbles across the solution to an unlikely house break-in.

Wednesday: Documentary series Australian Story (8pm, ABC) makes its debut. Ray Martin interviews cricket legend Sir Don Bradman in Don Bradman: 87 Not Out (8.30pm, Nine) — with the program also serving as an appeal to raise funds for the final stage of construction of the Bradman Museum in his home town of Bowral, NSW.

Thursday: In the series return of Getaway (7.30pm, Nine), Lochie Daddo visits the El Nido resort on the Miniloc Island in the Philippines, while Rebecca Harris reports on the Great Victoria Desert Ride — a four-day, 1600 kilometre 4WD and mountain bike trek from Kalgoorlie to Uluru. In Mercury (8.30pm, ABC), Nell (Susan Lyons) takes over the editor’s chair when Bill (Geoffrey Rush) goes to Western Australia.

carolinegillmer_0001Friday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Cheryl’s (Caroline Gillmer, pictured) disappearance is too much for Lou (Tom Oliver) and Danni (Eliza Szonert). The first annual Legends Of Football match (8.30pm, Nine), Victoria versus The Rest Of Australia, is broadcast from Whitten Oval, Melbourne. The match, a fund raiser for research into prostate cancer, is launched in tribute to former VFL great, the late EJ “Ted” Whitten, who died from the disease in 1995.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 25 May 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.



Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/06/1996-may-25-31.html

Jun 23 2016

Southern Cross to feature 9HD from 1 July

9HD_0001The transition of Southern Cross Austereo‘s regional network from Ten to Nine affiliation in regional Queensland, Southern NSW/ACT and Victoria will now include a local broadcast of 9HD in those markets from 1 July.

It was originally anticipated that 9HD, currently broadcast in those areas via WIN up until 30 June, would not be available in the relevant Southern Cross markets until August.

Rick Lenarcic, Head of Regional Media at SCA, said today in a statement:

“From Day 1 when we start broadcasting Nine programs in standard definition on channel 5 on the remote control, we will also be broadcasting 9HD on channel 50.”

“I am pleased to be able to advise viewers that the third State Of Origin on Wednesday 13 July will be in HD. In addition, in Queensland and NSW, all NRL Season games on 9, starting with the Storm versus the Broncos on 1st July will be in HD.”

“Recognising how much our viewers value the quality of high definition, our technical staff have been working tirelessly to get HD to air as quickly as possible. SCA would particularly like to thank Cisco who have assisted us in getting the channel to air well ahead of schedule.”

Southern Cross is also promoting its switch to Nine Network affiliation via the website Nine On 5.

Source: Southern Cross Engage




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/06/southern-cross-to-feature-9hd-from-1-july.html

Jun 23 2016

Vice is coming to SBS2

sbs_2008SBS and American company Vice Media have entered into a partnership to launch a new channel.

Vice, which formed in 1994, now has a cable channel Viceland  in the US and Canada and operates in 30 countries providing content and programming across multiple platforms. Vice Australia has been producing digital content since 2003. Its video series covering the Indigenous experience of incarceration in Australia, Over-Represented, has been acclaimed by industry awards including the Walkleys.

The new channel, which will operate on the SBS2 signal and be available on SBS On Demand, will tap into Vice’s vast library of content covering culture, music, sports, fashion, technology and more from around the world aimed at a young audience.

Existing SBS2 program The Feed is expected to continue as will popular imported program If You Are The One.

Current daytime screenings of foreign-language news bulletins under the Worldwatch banner will also continue.

Further information on the new channel will be released over the coming months with an expected launch date late in 2016.




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/06/vice-is-coming-to-sbs2.html

Jun 20 2016

Obituary: Paul Cox

paulcoxAcclaimed Australian filmmaker Paul Cox has died at the age of 76.

Although most of his work related to films, with titles including Kostas, Man Of Flowers, A Woman’s Tale and Innocence, Cox also made a contribution to television.

He directed The Paper Boy, an episode of the mid-1980s children’s series Winners, and The Gift, an episode of ABC‘s Touch The Sun.

Cox also directed the docu-drama Handle With Care, a production for the Ten Network that won a TV Week Logie Award in 1987 for Most Outstanding Single Documentary Or Mini-Series. The telemovie, which starred Anna Maria Monticelli and Monica Maughan, followed the story of two women diagnosed with breast cancer and followed the progress of their respective treatments.

Cox’s last film, Force Of Destiny, was loosely based on his own cancer battle before an 11th-hour liver transplant in 2009 saved him from death. Last year he told The Guardian that the cancer later returned and got into his new liver.

Source: ABC, The Guardian




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/06/obituary-paul-cox.html

Jun 19 2016

Seven to launch Gold Coast news

rodyoungThe Seven Network has announced the launch of a nightly news bulletin for the Gold Coast market.

The 5.30pm bulletin, to be presented by Seven NewsRod Young (pictured) on weeknights and Amanda Abate on weekends, debuts on 4 July.

Young, a former ABC newsman who has presented Seven News in Brisbane with Kay McGrath for 14 years, will step aside from his current weekend newsreading duties at Seven in Brisbane to front the Gold Coast-based bulletin.

Paul Birt and Liz Cantor will present weather reports.

Seven’s Gold Coast bulletin will be broadcast from new studio facilities at Surfers Paradise.

YouTube: Australian TV Fan

The Gold Coast market has a population of around 500,000. The area’s only other local TV news service is a 5.30pm bulletin offered for many years by Nine, currently presented by Bruce Paige.


Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/06/seven-to-launch-gold-coast-news.html

Jun 13 2016

Amanda Keller in Queen’s Birthday Honours List

amandakeller_0002Network Ten presenter Amanda Keller (pictured) is among the hundreds of Australians in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Keller, whose television career dates back to the 1980s, has been awarded a Medal of the Order Of Australia (OAM) “for service to the broadcast media, and to the community.” A former producer and researcher for Midday, Keller became known as a reporter for Beyond 2000 and later as a regular on Denton. Other television credits include Mondo Thingo, Housos, Swift And Shift Couriers and Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation. She has been a co-host of Ten’s The Living Room since 2012.

Also among this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List:

Annette Allison (OAM) — “For service to the community through a range of organisations.” Allison was a TV performer and presenter in Queensland in the 1960s and 1970s before moving to Melbourne to ATV0 (now Ten) in 1979 as newsreader and also co-host of Everyday (later Good Morning Melbourne). She continued at Ten until Good Morning Melbourne wound up in 1988. She more recently made a guest appearance in Kath And Kim in 2004.

Kate Ceberano (AM) — “For significant service to the performing arts, particularly music, as a singer, songwriter and entertainer, and to charitable organisations.” Ceberano is a former co-host of the SBS education series The Workshop and has also appeared on The X Factor, Dancing With The Stars, It Takes Two, Who Do You Think You Are?, Australian Music Awards, the TV Week Logie Awards and is a presenter on Getaway. She also hosted variety show Kate Ceberano And Friends for ABC in 1993-94.

frankiejholdenFrankie J Holden (OAM) — “For service to the arts as an entertainer, and to the community of the Sapphire Coast.” Holden has appeared on TV as a presenter on The Great Outdoors, In Melbourne Tonight and What’s Up Down Under. Acting credits include Prisoner, Special Squad, Round The Twist, Late For School, Embassy, Police Rescue, Blue Heelers, Something In The Air, Underbelly and A Place To Call Home.

Lynn Rainbow-Reid (AM) — “For significant service to the community through support for a range of cultural and charitable organisations, and to the performing arts as an actor.” As Lynn Rainbow, she was a founding cast member of the popular drama Number 96 and also starred in the feature film version of the series. Other TV credits include Homicide, Division 4, Matlock Police, Against The Wind, The Young Doctors, A Country Practice and Home And Away.

Rhoda Roberts (AO) — “For distinguished service to the performing arts through a range of leadership and advocacy roles in the development, promotion and presentation of contemporary Indigenous culture.” Roberts, currently Head of Indigenous Programming at the Sydney Opera House, is a former SBS journalist and was a host of the long-running current affairs program Vox Populi.

Debbie Spillane (AM) — “For significant service to media as a sports commentator and journalist, and as a role model for women in broadcasting.”  Veteran ABC sports journalist and radio presenter Spillane is a former panellist on Live And Sweaty.

Christopher Wharton (AM) — “For significant service to the print and television media in Western Australia as a senior executive, and to the community..” Wharton is the Chief Executive Officer of Seven West Media (WA) and is a former managing director of TVW7 in Perth.

Source: Governor-General Of The Commonwealth Of Australia




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/06/amanda-keller-in-queens-birthday-honours-list.html

Jun 11 2016

1996: May 18-24

tvweek_180596Cover: Heather Locklear (Melrose Place)

Simon’s US success
Aussie actor Simon Baker-Denny has landed a starring role in a pilot for an American series, plus a small role in an upcoming Hollywood film. Baker-Denny, whose Australian TV credits include E Street, GP, Naked and Sweat, has scored the lead role in The Last Best Place, co-starring with Academy Award winner Cliff Robertson.  His next role is in the film LA Confidential, co-starring with Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce. “It’s bizarre that it’s a Fifties LA story and there are three Aussies in the film doing American accents, but I’m looking forward to it,” he told TV Week.

paulcronin_0001Isn’t that Dave Sullivan?
After an absence of several years from television, former The Sullivans star Paul Cronin (pictured) is back — starring alongside Wendy Hughes in the new Network Ten telemovie State Coroner. “It feels tremendous to be back,” he told TV Week. “You don’t realise how much you miss it.” Since The Sullivans wound up in 1983, Cronin starred in the Network Ten telemovie Matthew And Son, and appeared with American actress Linda Lavin in the US mini-series A Place To Call Home. In the meantime, he had also pursued various non-showbusiness interests including investment in the Brisbane Bears AFL team. In State Coroner he plays Sgt Ted Ames, police prosecutor in the Coroner’s Court. Although the telemovie has yet to go to air, State Coroner is already expected to spin-off into a regular series.

scottmichaelsonDoing the time warp
Former Neighbours star Scott Michaelson (pictured) has been signed up for a guest role in the Foxtel soap opera parody Shark Bay. In Neighbours he played laid-back surfie Brad Willis, but in Shark Bay he stars as a smooth-talking private investigator. “The character is named Fletcher and he’s a bit of a rip-off of Agent Cooper from Twin Peaks,” Michaelson told TV Week. “Fletcher comes to town to investigate a murder. I’m having a lot of fun.” The interior scenes for Shark Bay are being filmed at the Nunawading studios where Neighbours is also based, so for Michaelson it’s been something of a time warp in revisiting his old stomping ground. “It’s a blast from the past, but I don’t know many of the cast anymore. It’s been two-and-a-half years since I worked on Neighbours.” As well as Shark Bay, Michaelson has been working on a number of film projects. One project in development is a film called Inshallah, about an English truck driver wrongly imprisoned in Morocco after being set up in a drug deal. “I’m doing it in association with the Australian Film Commission. They’ve given me development funding and I hope to shoot it next year.”



  • Funding has been approved for a 26-part children’s series titled The Wayne Manifesto. The comedy series, to be produced by Artist Services (Steve Vizard and Andrew Knight) for ABC, is based on the Wayne series of children’s books.
  • Former E Street star Marcus Graham leads the cast of the new Nine Network series Good Guys, Bad Guys. The 13-part police drama starts filming in July.
  • The first episode of Bryan Brown‘s new series, Twisted Tales, is now completed for the Nine Network. Eleven more episodes are to follow. The series of “television dramas with a twist” features a star-studded cast including Claudia Karvan, Richard Roxburgh, Dee Smart, Kate Fischer, Kimberley Davies and Brown’s wife Rachel Ward.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 28 April 1996): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 2273000
2 ER Nine Thu 2224000
3 National Nine News Nine Sun 2164000
4 National Nine News Nine Sat 2075000
5 Our House Nine Wed 2057000
6 Movie: A Few Good Men Ten Sun 2045000
7 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1950000
8 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1947000
9 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 1943000
10 National Nine News Nine M-F 1891000
11 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1864000
12 The Nanny Ten Sun 1853000
13 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 1850000
14 Seven Nightly News Seven Sat 1830000
15 JAG Seven Mon 1792000
16 The X Files Ten Wed 1754000
17 Ellen Seven Thu 1751000
18 Grace Under Fire Seven Thu 1739000
19 Home Improvement Seven Sun 1733000
20 Hudson Street Ten Sun 1728000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, May 18-24):
Saturday: Beyond 2000 (3.30pm, Ten) reports on how fighter pilots control their planes with a speaking cockpit, and how faster drug testing is possible using samples of hair. In Sweat (6.30pm, Ten), Snowy (Heath Ledger), unsure about his sexuality, goes on a disastrous date with Sandy (Melissa Thomas) — not only jeopardising his friendship with her, but when Danny (Matt Castelli) finds out his best friend is gay, he is unable to accept it.

ginagSunday: AFL Sunday includes Adelaide Crows versus St Kilda (2pm, Seven), live from Adelaide, followed by highlights of Footscray versus Essendon (5pm, Seven) from the MCG. In Banjo Paterson’s Man From Snowy River (6.30pm, Nine), Emily (Sheryl Munks) and Colin (Brett Climo) want to adopt a boy whose parents died in a fire. Australian-born pop star Gina G (pictured) is representing the United Kingdom in the delayed telecast of the Eurovision Song Contest (8.30pm, SBS), taking place in Oslo, Norway. Sunday night movies are The Christmas Box (Nine) and Cliffhanger (Seven) and the debut of mini-series Danielle Steel’s Zoya (Seven). Meanwhile, singer-songwriter Christine Anu is profiled in the one-hour special Saltwater Soul (8.30pm, ABC), featuring 13 of her songs, with five recorded live.

Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Phil’s (Ian Rawlings) novel appears to be crossing over into Hannah’s (Rebecca Ritters) life. In Water Rats (7.30pm, Nine), the body of a teenage boy is found in the boot of a car. There are similarities between this murder and that of another boy 13 years earlier. Comedy series The Glynn Nicholas Show (9.30pm, ABC) makes its debut, starring Glynn Nicholas with Alison Whyte, Merridy Eastman and Wayne Hope. The first game of the rugby league State Of Origin series between NSW and Queensland is on delayed telecast (9.30pm, Nine).

frankiejholdenTuesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Irene (Lynne McGranger) leaves for America, hoping to return pregnant. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Becky (Dee Smart) a patient suffering trauma over the death of her baby son is referred to a hypnotherapist, but while under hypnosis Becky all but confesses to drowning the child. In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), PJ (Martin Sacks) makes a difficult choice when he finds proof that Jack (Frankie Holden, pictured) has falsified evidence.

Wednesday: First Person (8.30pm, SBS) is a new six-part documentary series focusing on the lives of six ordinary Australians told from their own perspective.

Thursday: In Wild Life With Olivia Newton-John (7.30pm, Nine), Olivia Newton-John talks to Mikhail Gorbachev, the founder of Green Cross, about his hopes for the 21st Century and how the environment can be protected and restored; and reporter Alison Peters goes whale-watching in Argentina. In Mercury (8.30pm, ABC), there are rumours that the owner of the Mercury newspaper is to be taken over by a Western Australian businessman.

Friday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Mal (Benjie McNair) seriously rethinks his academic future. Friday Night Football (9.30pm, Seven) features delayed coverage of North Melbourne versus Footscray at the MCG.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 18 May 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.


Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/06/1996-may-18-24.html

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