Jul 28 2015

Former Prisoner star to fight sex charges

maggiekirkpatrickMaggie Kirkpatrick, best known for playing the role of prison officer Joan “The Freak” Ferguson in the long-running series Prisoner, has been charged with child sex offences.

News reports indicate that the alleged offences dated back to the 1980s and involved a 13-year-old girl.

Kirkpatrick, now based in Sydney, has denied the allegations and will face the Melbourne Magistrates Court on 19 August.

“I need to go to court to have this ridiculous situation quashed,” she told News Corp Australia. “Allegations have been levelled at me, yes. Are they true? Absolutely not. The evidence is in the court. I don’t think it’s appropriate that I say any more.”

Kirkpatrick, now 74, started her acting career in the theatre in the 1960s, later adding film and television roles to her credit. She rose to international fame upon playing the role of corrupt prison officer Joan “The Freak” Ferguson in Prisoner from 1982 through to the series conclusion in 1986.

After Prisoner she played the part of Ivy Hackett in the Network Ten soapie Richmond Hill.

Other TV roles have included guest appearances in Hey Dad!, Home And Away, GP, Blue Heelers and All Saints.

Kirkpatrick in later years reprised the role of Joan Ferguson in the SBS comedy series Pizza and in the stage production Prisoner Cell Block H: The Musical in the UK.

Source: The Age, IMDB


Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/07/former-prisoner-star-to-fight-sex-charges.html

Jul 28 2015

Prime7 extends racing channel coverage

prime7Prime7 has today commenced transmission of Victorian horse racing.

The new service, a simulcast of the online stream from racing.com, is operating on Channel 68 within Prime7’s coverage areas of regional New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia (GWN7), the ACT and the Gold Coast.

Local viewers may need to do a re-scan of their tuner to receive the new channel which is the equivalent to Channel 78 being broadcast via the Seven Network in the major capital cities and the regional Queensland aggregated market.

The Channel 68 service, like the 78 service, is being broadcast in the MPEG4 format which should be compatible with all tuners made since 2009. Any older tuners may not support the MPEG4 standard and viewers may need to upgrade or add an additional set top box.

Transmission of Racing Victoria’s online stream is only an interim measure to give viewers access to seeing Victorian races following the blackout by pay TV service Sky Racing, pending the launch of a full service racing station scheduled for 29 August.

Racing Victoria says it is continuing negotiations to have the racing channel’s coverage extended to Tasmania, the Northern Territory and regional South Australia and to restore broadcast via Sky Racing.

Source: Racing.com




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/07/prime7-extends-racing-channel-coverage.html

Jul 27 2015

Ten chief Hamish McLennan steps down

hamishmclennanNetwork Ten has announced that Hamish McLennan (pictured), who has filled both CEO and Chairman roles for the company, will be stepping down from the network effective immediately.

He joined Ten as Chief Executive Officer in February 2013 and was elected by the board to add the role of Executive Chairman in March 2014, following the departure of Lachlan Murdoch.

Ten has appointed Paul Anderson, the company’s Chief Financial Officer, to the CEO role and Non-Executive Director David Gordon to the role of Chairman.

In a statement issued today, McLennan said that following recent strategic announcements regarding Foxtel‘s investment in Ten and partnership with sales group MCN, he regarded his role as “complete”:

“The strategic arrangements announced on June 15, including the proposed investment by Foxtel in Ten and the transformative agreement with MCN, mean that my role is complete.

“An independent Chairman is needed to lead the Board through the next phase of the Company’s development. David Gordon has been an exceptional Director and his contribution has always been of the highest standard. He will represent all shareholders very well.”

Incoming chairman Gordon has been in various senior and executive roles at Ten since joining the company in 2003. He has said that McLennan will continue to work with the new management in ensuring a “seamless transition”:

“The Board thanks Hamish for his contribution during what has been a
challenging period in Ten’s history. He has led a strong and talented management team to effect a turnaround in the Company’s performance.

“Hamish will work with myself and Paul Anderson on a seamless transition and he will continue to advise and assist the company until the end of the year.

“Ten is in an important and exciting phase, as we continue to build our revenue on the back of strong audience growth since mid-2014 and transition our sales activities to Multi Channel Network (‘MCN’); and maintain our clear focus on growth and efficiencies.”

Source: Ten Network Holdings

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/07/ten-chief-hamish-mclennan-steps-down.html

Jul 26 2015

Seven Adelaide turns 50

sas10_1965_0001Adelaide’s SAS Seven today turns 50. The station has a history that has spanned two networks, initially launching as SAS10 — part of the Independent Television System (what is now Network Ten).

SAS10’s arrival marked the completion of the roll-out of an additional TV station to each of the five major capital cities.

The licence for the new Adelaide station was awarded to South Australian Telecasters Ltd in February 1964. The company was one of three applicants for the licence. Shareholders included Ansett Transport Industries (owner of ATV0, Melbourne, and later part-owner of TVQ0, Brisbane), United Telecasters Limited (TEN10, Sydney), John Martin and Co Limited and Adelaide Steamship Co Limited.

bobotheclownThe new station’s premises were being built in the suburb of Gilberton with a transmitter based on Mount Lofty. Meanwhile, management had gone on a recruiting drive and secured some high-profile appointments. NWS9 newsreader Roger Cardwell, also host of Nine’s national Country And Western Hour, was signed up to be SAS10’s newsreader and station personality, while NWS9’s production manager John Trost had joined the new station as program manager. Trost had also been producer of NWS9’s long-running variety show, Adelaide Tonight, and had earlier worked in Melbourne.

SAS had also ‘poached’ NWS9’s children’s personality Bobo The Clown. Bobo, played by theatre performer Hal Turner, had a popular following in Adelaide and was to front the new channel’s after school programs.

Paul Griffiths, formerly of RVN2 in Wagga Wagga, had joined SAS as its booth and commercial announcer.

sas10_opening_0002SAS10 was originally scheduled to open on 12 July 1965 until a dispute with its eastern state network partners over bulk program purchases saw SAS have to postpone its launch. The channel instead adopted a different programming strategy centred around movie double features every night plus alternative programs sourced independently. “We refuse to be bullied into taking inferior shows to secure a few good ones,” station general manager David Hall told TV Week at the time. “Our original opening date had to be altered because of a disagreement over a program package of shows we did not want. It was a case of being offered ‘all or nothing’ and we don’t want to do business that way.”

sas10_opening_0001Some of the programs withdrawn from the tentative schedule included popular US shows Bewitched, Bonanza, Gilligan’s Island, Petticoat Junction and The Ed Sullivan Show. Subsequent program listings for the channel indicate that some of these titles did eventually appear on SAS10 but others had been picked up by rival channels.

And despite SAS10’s revised plans having a heavy reliance on movie titles, it had also come to an agreement to split its allocation of 200 Paramount studio movies from the ITS network package with rival channel NWS9. “We frankly never wanted them all and we were relieved when we found out we could buy just half. We’re very happy about the way things turned out,” David Hall told TV Times.

SAS eventually did launch on Monday, 26 July 1965. Because of the uncertainty over its program line-up, very few details were published in TV magazines leading up to the launch and advance program listings included disclaimers that titles may change before airtime.

sas10_opening_0003SAS10’s opening day kicked off at 4.00pm with Bobo The Clown and Penny Ramsey (daughter of actress Lois Ramsey and later an actress in her own right) hosting The Bobo Show, including The Magic Circle Club from Melbourne. Serials Sword Of Freedom and Rescue 8 led into the channel’s first news bulletin, fronted by newsreader Roger Cardwell and weather presenter Gail Spiro. The station’s official opening followed at 7.00pm during a half-hour special preview of the upcoming feature film My Fair Lady. Then followed Ten’s first movie double feature, Sabrina and Appointment With Danger, before closing transmission for the night.

sas10_openingThe next day, SAS launched another children’s program to lead into The Bobo Show. Romper Room was a local franchise of the format developed in the US and which had also been adopted by some interstate stations. Miss Michelle (Michele Kenny, a former schoolteacher) presided over Adelaide’s Romper Room youngsters for almost a decade.

Within its first year SAS had expanded into morning television, producing a six-day-a-week breakfast show, The Today Show, while its older rivals didn’t start their days’ programming until lunchtime. The Today Show, with presenters including Noel O’Connor and Warwick Prime, continued for five years. For the show’s 1000th episode in 1969, presenters from rival channels ABC, Seven and Nine were invited to appear as special guests.


SAS10’s first birthday: Roger Cardwell, Gail Spiro, Penny Ramsey, Bobo The Clown, Michele Kenny, Paul Griffiths

Prime also hosted SAS10’s local talent quest, New Faces, and O’Connor also hosted pop music program In Time and later The Saturday Tonight Show.

deadlyearnestBy the end of the decade SAS10 had launched its long-running morning show Touch Of Elegance. Initially hosted by Jaye Walton, the weekday program continued for over 20 years with Walton later making way for Margaret Glazbrook and Pam Ellis. Meanwhile, SAS10 adopted the custom of its interstate partners in having the ghoulish Deadly Earnest hosting the late night horror movies — with actor Hedley Cullen (pictured) playing the part for Adelaide viewers for over five years.

sas10_1970sDespite its efforts to gain an edge over the competition, SAS had accumulated losses of $830,000 over its first five years and had yet to pay investors a dividend. South Australian Telecasters then became the subject of a takeover by TVW Enterprises, owner of TVW7 in Perth.

SAS10’s new partnership to TVW7 led to some program initiatives being shared between both channels. TVW7 children’s character Fat Cat was adopted by SAS10, initially joined by Veronica Overton, also from Perth, appearing on shows like Earlybirds and Children’s Channel Ten. Fat Cat would also go on to bid goodnight to junior viewers every night at 7.30pm for many years.

helencuttingThe news service, which had been discontinued a couple of years earlier, was reinstated with former TVW newsreader Terry Willesee, and TVW supplied the channel with an outside broadcast van. Helen Cutting (pictured) became the station weathergirl. She was seen but never heard as the newsreader would read out the forecast while Cutting, usually in a short skirt, would be subject to some less than subtle camerawork as she wrote the temperatures on a large map of Australia. She was later replaced by model Peta Peter — but times had changed, for Peter was allowed to speak and even gained a diploma in meteorology so she could know what she was talking about.

bunneybrookepatmcdonaldThe Seventies saw SAS10 launch its annual Christmas Appeal telethon, raising funds for children’s medical research. The telethon, hosted for many years by Garry Meadows, featured personalities from around Australia (including Number 96 stars Bunney Brooke and Pat McDonald, pictured with a young performer at the 1976 telethon) as well as from SAS10’s local rival channels.

South Australian premier Don Dunstan was called in to flick the switch to official colour transmission in 1975. In the same year the Birdman Rally made its first appearance. The following year, SAS10 and TVW7 presented a joint outside broadcast from the South Australia-Western Australia border. In Eucla Tonight commemorated the completion of the sealed highway linking Adelaide and Perth.

Fat Cat was elevated to national status with Fat Cat And Friends, co-hosted by Jane Reilly. The show continued for 15 years. Young viewers were also catered for with Junior Jury, The New Earlybirds and Crackerjack.

sas10_1986The Eighties saw Adelaide’s perennial favourite Anne Wills join SAS10 as host of Movie Scene, which ran for 17 years, and later became weather presenter. “Willsy”, who continued her winning streak of Logies for popularity with local viewers, would present the weather for over a decade and later co-hosted the station’s new morning show AM Adelaide with Steve Whitham.

Local productions during the decade also included game show You Don’t Say, music shows Trax and Simulrock and children’s program 10 Out Of 10.

SAS10 celebrating its 15th birthday in 1980

SAS10 celebrating its 15th birthday in 1980

tonydickinsonjanereillyIn January 1982, SAS10’s Eyewitness News, with newsreader Tony Dickinson and Jane Reilly (both pictured), had expanded to a one-hour bulletin, though at that stage was still only a Monday to Friday service. It would be the mid-1980s before a half-hour weekend bulletin was added. Dickinson was later succeeded by others including Graeme Goodings, Guy Blackmore and current weekday newsreaders Jane Doyle (who has been with the station since 1989) and John Riddell.

SAS10 and rival station ADS7 created a piece of TV history in 1987, brought about by the circus of media takeovers and regulatory changes that had occurred over the 12 months beforehand. ADS7 had come under the control of Kerry Stokes, who had interests connected to the Ten Network, while SAS10 continued to be owned by TVW7, which had firmed ties with the Seven Network. The decision was made to switch the channel frequencies and network affiliations between SAS and ADS to match them up to their interstate partners. So from 27 December 1987, SAS10 became SAS7 and joined the Seven Network. The technical transition was relatively straightforward as both channels 7 and 10 broadcast from the same tower, so it was almost literally a case of swapping SAS’ connection to the 7 transmitter and ADS to the 10 transmitter in the early hours of the morning.

sas7_1988The changeover to Seven however sparked almost a complete rework of the channel’s program inventory, now sourced via the Seven Network, and on-air presentation. Local program Touch Of Elegance continued but now would be seen on Seven, and local presenters associated with Ten previously had suddenly “moved” to Seven. The change also saw SAS’ Gilberton studios adopt production of the game show Wheel Of Fortune, previously taped at ADS, for the Seven Network.

Fat Cat And Friends was consigned to history after a government committee reviewing children’s television deemed the Fat Cat character unsuitable for young children. The show was replaced by The Book Place, produced for many years from SAS7.

The Adelaide version of Today Tonight began from SAS7 in 1995 and is still going today even though eastern states versions of the program have been long gone.

sas7_0002The Gilberton studios which had housed SAS since its inception in 1965 ceased production in 2007. The station now operates from new premises (pictured) in the inner suburb of Hindmarsh.

As well as Seven News and Today Tonight, SAS also produces local coverage of SANFL, magazine shows SA Life and Out Of The Blue plus the broadcast of the annual charity football match, Slowdown, and other one-off specials and events. The station has recently announced that it will be broadcasting the SANFL Magarey Medal and South Australian Football Hall Of Fame presentation later this year.

SAS has been celebrating its 50th anniversary with a series of special reports last week on Today Tonight, while tonight (Sunday) it presents Flashback: 50 Years Of Channel Seven at 5.30pm (also relayed through South Australian regionals WIN7 and Southern Cross GTS/BKN).

Source: The Sun, 28 February 1964. The Canberra Times, 28 February 1964. TV Radio Guide, 7 February 1965. TV Radio Guide, 9 May 1965. TV Week, 17 July 1965. TV Week, 24 July 1965. TV Times, 28 July 1965. The Canberra Times, 10 September 1970. TV Guide, 20 November 1976. TV Radio Extra, 16 August 1980. TV Radio Extra, 16 January 1982. Adelaide Remember When. WA TV History




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/07/seven-adelaide-turns-50.html

Jul 24 2015

1995: July 22-28

tvweek_220795Cover: Teri Hatcher (Lois & Clark The New Adventures Of Superman)

Hanging out for Big Girl’s Blouse!
Magda Szubanski, Jane Turner and Gina Riley were as much in the dark as viewers were about whether or not Seven was going to screen the remainder of their sketch comedy series Big Girl’s Blouse. The series kicked off back in February but was pulled from the schedule after only three of the planned eight half-hour episodes had gone to air. “We didn’t know what was going on,” Szubanski told TV Week. “It could have disappeared into the black hole of programming. But it didn’t matter — it was only the culmination of 35 years’ work!” The Seven Network has now finally decided to screen the entire series from the beginning — as four one-hour episodes while fellow comedy series Full Frontal takes a break. “At least now I can shut up everyone in the street who keeps coming up to me and asking when the show’s going to be on,” Szubanski said.

stevebisley_0001Steve goes for the doctor
The arrival of actor Steve Bisley (pictured) to the cast of GP marks a new look for the long-running series. “I had been offered other stuff, commercial stuff, but I guess it was just a matter of me sitting down and looking at things,” he told TV Week. “I really like the integrity of the show (GP) and I like the issues that they tackle.” The series will take on a new look, with tougher storylines and a more bustling feel than the soft suburban look of the past. “It has a new look, certainly, in terms of energy. It was decided that, if the show was to go on, there had to be a possibility of change,” Bisley said. His character, ex-army doctor Henry King, is the replacement for Martin Dempsey (Damian Rice) and brings a certain amount of personal baggage. He is separated from his wife, Jenny (Anne Tenney), and his children. “He’s a vulnerable bloke, and I hope there’s a warmth to him,” Bisley said. “He stands for what a lot of men are going through.”

deborraleefurnesshughjackman_0001Flat out Furness!
Returning to Australia after ten years in the US has been a huge career boost for actress Deborra-Lee Furness. “I’ve never worked so hard before in my life,” she told TV Week. Since coming back to Australia she has starred in Fire for the Seven Network, Halifax fp and Singapore Sling for the Nine Network, the feature film Angel Baby and now in ABC‘s new series Correlli. “I’m loving being back in Australia and being able to work in my own accent,” she told TV Week. In Correlli she plays the lead role of prisoner psychologist Louisa Correlli, who has returned to work after taking time off to raise her children. “She’s idealistic and wants to make a difference,” she said. “I wanted to make her three-dimensional. She’s confident and strong, but also insecure. She can’t do everything, although she likes to think she can.” Much of the drama in Correlli centres on the relationship between Louisa and prisoner Kevin Jones (Hugh Jackman, pictured with Furness). “It’s an interesting relationship. It’s a meeting of minds, which they both recognise immediately, even though he’s a criminal. Louisa must deal with the fact that she is becoming involved and she must decide where the borderline is.” Furness will not comment on suggestions she has been romantically linked to Jackman, other than to say that they are friends. “It’s been a joy to work with him,” she said.


  • Seven Network weatherman Mike Bailey (pictured) is an avid collector of TV Week magazines — so much so that he’s only missed two issues since the magazine was first published in 1957. Because of this he put the call out on Seven’s Missing Pieces program to try and track down the two missing magazines!
  • ABC is to begin production on two new mini-series before the end of the year. The first project, The Bite, follows the story of an international drug conspiracy and is to be filmed in Melbourne, Asia and the UK. The second series, Mercury, is set behind the scenes of a Sunday newspaper in Melbourne.
  • Barry Humphries is to host a new four-part series, Flashbacks, featuring his various comic creations taking a look back at the modern history of Australia.
  • Former Police Rescue star Tammy MacIntosh will be guest starring in one of the upcoming The Feds telemovies for Nine.
  • Actor Bryan Brown is working as producer a new project, Twisted Tales for the Nine Network. The series of 12 episodes will feature unusual stories with a twist, chosen from submissions from independent scriptwriters.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 2 July): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 National Nine News Nine Sun 2273000
2 Home Improvement Seven Sun 2077000
3 ER Nine Thu 2047000
4 A Current Affair Nine M-F 2043000
5 Movie: Assassin Nine Sun 2020000
6 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1969000
7 Our House Nine Wed 1948000
8 National Nine News Nine M-F 1939000
9 Sale Of The Century Nine M-F 1919000
10 Getaway Nine Thu 1891000
11 Lois & Clark Seven Mon 1890000
12 Money Nine Wed 1876000
13 World’s Greatest Commercials Seven Sun 1808000
14 Seven Nightly News Seven Sun 1802000
15 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1800000
16 The Footy Show Nine Thu 1790000
17 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1758000
18 National Nine News Nine Sat 1753000
19 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1735000
20 The Nanny Ten Wed 1720000

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here

Correlli — the latest effort from the ABC‘s Melbourne drama unit — has many strengths, but leaving this viewer with that warm, fuzzy feeling is definitely not one of them. Or should that, perhaps, be counted as its greatest strength? Locations including a now decommissioned prison at Geelong, Victoria, give the series a realistically foreboding overall look. The casting of some of the leading characters and many of the more minor roles of prison officers and inmates is so good as to be totally convincing. And, if aspects of the basic narrative are just a touch incredible, hey, this is television!”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, July 22-28):
Saturday: The Bledisloe Cup (12pm, Seven), Australia versus New Zealand, is live from Eden Park, Auckland. Beyond 2000 (5.30pm, Ten) looks at the special effects employed in the latest Steven Spielberg movie, Casper. Saturday Night Football (8.30pm, Seven) includes Sydney Swans versus Footscray, live from the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Sunday: AFL Sunday (1pm, Seven) includes Brisbane Bears versus Hawthorn, live from Brisbane, followed by Fremantle versus Richmond, live from Perth, and highlights of the Collingwood versus Carlton match played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. In Heartbreak High (5.30pm, Ten), Rose (Katherine Halliday) has agreed to marry Jack (Tai Nguyen), but she hasn’t told anyone and the wedding day is getting nearer. The Sunday night movie is Accidental Hero (repeat, Nine) up against mini-series The Elizabeth Taylor Story (Seven) and Stephen King’s The Stand (Ten).

Monday: Sale Of The Century celebrates its 15th anniversary with a one-hour special (7.30pm, Nine). In the series return of Frontline (8pm, ABC), ratings are down and Frontline’s executive producer, Brian (Bruno Lawrence), is given the sack, while his temporary replacement, Ed Forbes (Andrew Clarke) fails to endear himself to the team. (In reality, actor Bruno Lawrence was ill with cancer and unable to appear in the returning series. He passed away a few weeks before this episode went to air)

Tuesday: In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), following the shooting at the pub, Tom (John Wood) is taken to the hospital unconscious. When Dean (Stig Wemyss) finally confesses and gives the police the location of the farmhouse where the others are hiding, they find Olive (Katherine Mathers) and her injured lover have escaped. Football identity Ted Whitten, ill with cancer, is paid tribute in the special Mr Football: Tribute To A Legend (8.30pm, Nine).

correlliWednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Ren (Raelee Hill) has her romantic dreams about Luke (Bernard Curry) analysed by Joan Hanger on a TV show. In the debut of Correlli (8.30pm, ABC), Louisa Correlli (Deborra-Lee Furness) takes on the challenge of being a clinical psychologist at Blackstream Prison, counselling some of the most hardened criminals.

Thursday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Shane (Dieter Brummer) finds himself left out of Angel’s (Melissa George) new life when her modelling career takes off.

Friday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Libby (Kym Valentine) stirs Billy (Jesse Spencer) about his newfound romance. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Chloe (Kirsty Wright) asks Jack (Daniel Amalm) if they can be friends, and Angel (Melissa George) decides to give up modelling. Friday Night Football (9.30pm, Seven) includes delayed coverage of North Melbourne versus Melbourne at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 22 July 1995. Southdown Press




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/07/1995-july-22-28.html

Jul 22 2015

ABC News 24 turns 5

abcnews24_0001ABC News 24, Australia’s first free-to-air 24 hour dedicated news channel, turns five years old today.

The channel, based at ABC‘s Ultimo headquarters in Sydney, launched on 22 July 2010 at 7.30pm (AEST) during the Federal Election campaign

Although ABC News 24’s daily ratings share rarely lifts above a single per cent, the broadcaster claims that the channel has an audience reach (metropolitan and regional) of four million viewers each week.

The channel has recorded ratings peaks at times of major or breaking news, such as a 7.5% daytime share (OzTAM, 5 cities) earlier this year when covering the South Australian bushfires, and 6.4% prime-time share (OzTAM, 5 cities) on the evening of the 2013 Federal Election.

ABC has put together a package of highlights of ABC News 24’s first five years on air:

Source: ABC




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/07/abc-news-24-turns-5.html

Jul 20 2015

Perth’s Telethon hits the street

stevemummerytelethontvw7_telethon_68Telethon has been an annual tradition for Seven in Perth for almost 50 years, raising $179 million for local charities and children’s medical research since its inception in 1968 (pictured right).

Now, the telethon has a street named in its honour — Telethon Avenue, located near Wellington Parade in the city. It’s the culmination of an 18-month campaign which has had the support of prominent Western Australians — including Perth Mayor Lisa Scaffidi, health researcher Fiona Stanley, philanthropist Janet Holmes a Court and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop — but Telethon only became aware of the signage when it was spotted by one of their staffers.

Telethon chief executive Steve Mummery told The West Australian that “we are very honoured to have been recognised this way for a charity that’s a bit of an institution.”

This year’s Telethon will take place over the weekend of 17 and 18 October at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. It will be broadcast across Western Australia through TVW Seven in Perth and GWN7 in regional areas.

Source: The West Australian, Telethon




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/07/perths-telethon-hits-the-street.html

Jul 15 2015

1995: July 15-21

tvweek_150795The Sarge cops a bullet!
Dramatic scenes in Blue Heelers this week as Sgt Tom Croydon (John Wood, pictured with co-star Lisa McCune) is shot during a storyline which begins when internal investigations find a bong and some speed in his home. It is revealed that the bong belonged to Tom’s daughter, Susan (Beth Buchanan), but both she and Tom deny anything about the speed, while both are suspicious of each other. “Tom and Susan are not getting on real well,” Wood told TV Week. “Which is typical because they haven’t lived together for a long time.” The scene in which Tom is shot was distressing for all involved. “I was supposed to be shot in the collarbone, and there was a lot of bleeding,” he said. “We actually had advisors on set telling us how much ‘blood’ to use to look realistic. It was quite chilling to be lying on the floor with blood all down my arm. Some of the other actors were saying how shocking it was to run in and see me lying on the floor covered in all that blood.” It is only the third time in his 25 year acting career that Wood has been shot. The first was in Cop Shop — “My head was blown off!” — and the second was in an ABC drama, Catspaw. “If I’d been an American actor, I would have been shot six million times by now!”

Johanna joins Missing Pieces
Seven Network sports reporter Johanna Griggs is to co-host a one hour live-to-air special, Missing Pieces, billed as ‘Australia’s first interactive TV program’. To be co-hosted by Rob Guest (Man O Man), Missing Pieces will invite viewers to call in with challenges and clues to help solve some of life’s mysteries. The Seven Network has the option to extend Missing Pieces into a series.

Denise quits GP
Actress Denise Roberts, one of the original cast members of ABC‘s GP, is quitting the series. Roberts, who plays receptionist Julie Winters, will finish working on the show in October. “She feels she has gone as far as she can with her character,” an ABC spokesperson told TV Week. “She’s been there since day one and feels it’s time to move on.” Despite leaving GP, Roberts is still connected to ABC as associate producer and co-creator of its new drama series Correlli. The new 10-part series, starring Deborra-Lee Furness and newcomer Hugh Jackman, is now filming in Melbourne. As well as working behind the scenes, Roberts does make a guest appearance in Correlli as a security guard.


  • The Nine Network has announced plans to revive This Is Your Life with host Mike Munro. The announcement may have come at the wrong time for TIYL‘s former host Mike Willesee (he hosted an earlier version of the program in the 1970s), who was planning to pitch reviving the format to the Seven Network.
  • Former Home And Away star Matt Doran is returning to the popular soap, but viewers may barely recognise him as his character, Damian Roberts, returns from university with his hair all in dreadlocks.
  • The Ten Network will be hoping that signing up Melissa Tkautz (E Street) and Kate Fischer to Echo Point may trigger some ratings relief for the ailing soap. Meanwhile, former Home And Away star Nicola Quilter has been doing voice-over work for the show.
  • jadegattryanlappinJade Gatt and Ryan Lappin (pictured) have been announced as the hosts of Network Ten‘s new breakfast show, Cheez TV. Gatt recently had a role in the movie Billie’s Holiday and Lappin has a guest appearance coming up in Heartbreak High.
  • Aaron Pedersen, who has been replaced by Mike Hammond in the second series of Gladiators, is now doing voice-over work for a 26-part animated series, Croc-adoo.
  • Former model Emma Harrison has joined Neighbours as Johanna Hartman, the sister of Annalise (Kimberley Davies). Harrison has previously had small roles in Time Trax and Mission: Impossible and in the film Street Fighter.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 25 June): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Home Improvement Seven Sun 2155000
2 ER Nine Thu 2095000
3 Lois & Clark Seven Mon 2017000
4 The X Files Ten Wed 1961000
5 National Nine News Nine M-F 1918000
6 National Nine News Nine Sun 1898000
7 The World’s Greatest Commercials Seven Sun 1892000
8 Sale Of The Century Nine M-F 1826000
9 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1811000
10 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1803000
11 Our House Nine Wed 1779000
12 National Nine News Nine Sat 1779000
13 Seven Nightly News Seven Sat 1773000
14 The Footy Show Nine Thu 1770000
15 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1750000
16 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1750000
17 Getaway Nine Thu 1743000
18 Seven Nightly News Seven Sun 1720000
19 Money Nine Wed 1716000
20 Gladiators Seven Sat 1689000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, July 15-21):
The Women’s National Basketball League (5pm, ABC) features Sydney Flames versus Perth Breakers. Beyond 2000 (5.30pm, Ten) takes a ride in a giant-sized lobster; and takes a look at the latest innovations in sports shoes.

Sunday: AFL Sunday (1pm, Seven) includes Brisbane Bears versus Collingwood, live from Brisbane, followed by West Coast Eagles versus Footscray, live from Perth. Sunday night movies are Malice (Seven), Almost An Angel (Nine) and Cape Fear (Ten).

davidreynetracygrimshawMonday: David Reyne and Tracy Grimshaw (pictured) host the debut of the new-look Midday (12pm, Nine). In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Angel (Melissa George) is accidentally launched into a modelling career. In Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten), Iain Hewitson is cooking beef at Janet Holmes a Court‘s vineyard in Western Australia, and Jim Brown discovers that penfriend relationships nowadays don’t just rely on pen and paper.

Tuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Mal (Benjie McNair) and Danni (Eliza Szonert) look for a boarder to help with the rent. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Vesna (Lenka Kripac) is unable to cope with the pressures of adult life after leaving school. In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), relationships begin to fray after unauthorised firearms are discovered at Wayne’s (Grant Bowler) house and a quantity of speed found at Tom’s (John Wood) place.

janehall_0002Wednesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Shannon (Isla Fisher) tells Pippa (Debra Lawrance) and Michael (Dennis Coard) that she is leaving. Jane Hall (pictured) hosts a new series of Weddings (7.30pm, Nine), going behind the scenes at the average and not-so-average wedding. The conclusion to Celluloid Heroes (8.30pm, ABC) looks at the history of Australian cinema between 1948 and 1971, and then to the present day. In Halifax fp: Lies Of The Mind (8.30pm, Nine), a beautiful heiress, destined to inherit $80 million on her father’s death, is suspected of committing his brutal murder. However, the young woman claims to have numerous personalities, any of whom could be responsible for the killing.

Thursday: Andrew Denton guest stars in the series final of game show Vidiot (5.30pm, ABC). In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Lou (Tom Oliver) and Cheryl (Caroline Gillmer) have a difference of opinion about the new direction for Chez Chez. In the series final of Police Rescue (8.30pm, ABC), Mickey (Gary Sweet) wounds a dangerous criminal during a violent rescue. Rob Guest and Johanna Griggs host the special Missing Pieces (8.30pm, Seven), covering a variety of human interest stories and inviting viewers to call in with clues to help solve various mysteries.

Friday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Angel (Melissa George) tries out for a modelling job which pays $10,000. Friday Night Football (8.30pm, Seven) features Adelaide Crows versus North Melbourne, live from Adelaide.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 15 July 1995. Southdown Press




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/07/1995-july-15-21.html

Jul 12 2015

1995: July 8-14

tvweek_080795Kimberley moves in
Gladiators co-host and former Paradise Beach star Kimberley Joseph (pictured with Melissa George) makes her first appearance on Home And Away later this month. She is playing the part of Jo, a former schoolmate of Angel (Melissa George) who becomes jealous when it appears Angel has been picked ahead of her for two modelling campaigns. “It was kind of fun being bitchy, because my character on Paradise Beach was so similar to Angel’s on Home And Away,” Joseph told TV Week. “It’s nice to play something different.” While there is the possibility that she may have an extended role in Home And Away, Joseph is committed to co-host the second series of Gladiators, which begins production this month in Brisbane.

aaronpedersenGladiators shake-up!
While Kimberley Joseph (as above) is signed up to co-host the second series of Gladiators, there are other changes taking place in the show’s line-up. Joseph’s hosting partner Aaron Pedersen, (pictured) who left the ABC to join Gladiators, is to be replaced by Mike Hammond. Series referee John Alexander has been forced to quit due to his annual Wimbledon commitments. He will be replaced by former cricket star turned TV reporter Mike Whitney. Rugby league star Mark McGaw, alias Gladiator Hammer, has also left the show due to other commitments. Two new Gladiators — Predator and Commando — will join the show. “We’re going to be fine tuning and trying to make the show slicker,” producer Anthony McClellan told TV Week. “They’ll be more emphasis on the sporting nature of the Gladiators. There will be more time for the show to breathe as a sporting element.” The new series of Gladiators is expected to go to air from September.

margdowney_0004Marg’s serious comeback
Former Fast Forward star Marg Downey (pictured) will be guest starring in this week’s episode of Blue Heelers. It is her second serious role on TV, having appeared in the 1992 telemovie Economy Class. In Blue Heelers she plays the part of a mother whose five-year-old daughter is abducted. Her character is a member of a religious sect and members of the community and some of the police suspect that the sect is somehow involved. As well as her TV comeback, Downey has been performing in theatre roles and doing voice-over work She has also been working on a 13-part animated series, The Silver Brumby. But despite her new dramatic roles she hasn’t ruled out a return to sketch comedy — but would be unlikely to revisit some of her former alter egos such as Jana, Janelle or the SBS lady. “If I did go back to sketch comedy, I’d like to start afresh and do a whole new batch of people,” she said.

vivianschenkerVivian’s new Insight
SBS‘ new weekly current affairs show, Insight, is being described by its host as diverse. “Current affairs on TV tends to focus on the needs of a narrow few,” host Vivian Schenker (pictured) told TV Week. “That is one of the problems of commercial TV — there is a narrow mould that is acceptable. They seem to go to the same faces for comment. They are usually white, Anglo-Saxon males, and that’s not the face of Australia any more. I’m not trying to push the ethnic thing here, but cultural diversity in current affairs is vital.”


  • Following recent reports that Georgie Parker was being pursued for the second series of Fire, she has since confirmed that she will not be reprising her role of “Mad Dog” Morgan Cartwright.
  • martinhendersonjessicanapierRatings for Ten‘s new soap Echo Point have improved slightly since being moved to the 6.00pm timeslot — taking it away from being in direct competition with Home And Away — but success is still a long way off. Producers are hoping that some steamy scenes between Zac and Edwina (Martin Henderson and Jessica Napier, pictured) might ignite some ratings improvement. Meanwhile, former Paradise Beach star Ingo Rademacher is to make a guest appearance in the series before returning to the US where he is pursuing further roles.
  • Word is that there is some upheaval to come at the Seven Network — with Denton, Mulray and current affairs shows Today Tonight and The Times all on shaky ground. It has also emerged that Seven had originally tried to lure Mike Munro across from Nine to host Today Tonight, but when the show’s plans went from being national to state-based it was not enough to convince him to make the move.
  • Antonia Kidman, sister of actor Nicole Kidman, has landed a job in the TV industry. She is working as personal assistant to Seven‘s Doug Mulray.
  • A recent segment on Burke’s Backyard about Italian tomatoes has sparked a huge response from viewers. Host Don Burke offered free seeds to the first 15,000 who wrote in. More than 110,000 letters piled in, leading to urgent requests to tomato buyers in Italy for more seeds.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 18 June): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 National Nine News Nine Sun 2289000
2 Home Improvement Seven Sun 2285000
3 Lois & Clark Seven Mon 2032000
4 The World’s Greatest Commercials Seven Sun 2017000
5 ER Nine Thu 2014000
6 National Nine News Nine Sat 1966000
7 National Nine News Nine M-F 1900000
8 Sale Of The Century Nine M-F 1848000
9 Seven Nightly News Seven Sun 1847000
10 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1830000
11 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1798000
12 Getaway Nine Thu 1784000
13 The X Files Ten Wed 1774000
14 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1765000
15 The Footy Show Nine Thu 1764000
16 Seven Nightly News Seven Sat 1759000
17 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1753000
18 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1707000
19 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 1702000
20 Money Nine Wed 1696000

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here:

“From Film Australia, and made in recognition of the centenary of Australian films, Celluloid Heroes will screen (this week) on the ABC. Australia was a pioneer in the film industry, with 20 features in the can before 1911. It was 1912 before the giant we now know as Hollywood started to awake, but just 10 years later it would be producing 90 per cent of the films shown in Australia. Written and directed by Robert Francis and narrated by TV Week Logie Awards Hall of Fame inductee Bryan Brown, Celluloid Heroes contains a great deal of archival material which can only be described as remarkable. Diverse events such as Newhaven winning the 1896 Melbourne Cup and Australia becoming a federation on January 1, 1901, were captured on film which still exists. In this era, when movie budgets resemble telephone numbers and the leading companies are run by massive multi-national corporations, it is interesting to note that one of the major players in the early days of the Australian film industry was the Salvation Army. By 1905, in fact, the Salvos were the largest producers and exhibitors of movies in Australia.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, July 8-14):
Saturday: Beyond 2000 (5.30pm, Ten) features a new type of artificial skin for burns victims; and saving wildlife from oil spills with an automatic bird-washing machine.

Sunday: The Rugby League Test (1pm, Nine) — Australia versus New Zealand — is live from the Sydney Football Stadium. AFL Sunday (1pm, Seven) includes Sydney versus St Kilda, live from Sydney, followed by Fremantle Dockers versus Melbourne, live from Perth. In Banjo Paterson’s The Man From Snowy River 2 (6.30pm, Nine), when Frank (Rodney Bell) changes the course of the river, the McGregors lose their water supply. Sunday night movies are Royce (Seven) and White Men Can’t Jump (Ten), up against the debut of two-part mini-series Children Of The Dust (Nine). Wimbledon (10.30pm, Nine) comes to an end with the Women’s Doubles Final and the Men’s Singles Final.

Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Danni (Eliza Szonert) and Mal’s (Benjie McNair) new home changes from being a love-nest to a party house. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Shannon (Isla Fisher) visits the doctor who confirms her worst fears about anorexia.

Tuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Jen (Alyce Platt) decides between Brook (Felix Nobis) and Phil (Ian Rawlings). In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), the brother of a missing five-year-old girl claims that they are both being beaten up by older kids because of their family’s religious beliefs. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Julie’s (Denise Roberts) class reunion forces to examine her life and confront her loneliness. The Derryn Hinch special No Means No (9.30pm, Nine) looks at rape and the legal system.

Wednesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Irene (Lynne McGranger) goes over to tell Fisher (Norman Coburn) that Alf (Ray Meagher) has been charged. The debut of Film Australia documentary series Celluloid Heroes (8.30pm, ABC) looks at Australia’s fledgling film industry at the turn of the 20th century, concluding with the 1927 Royal Commission into the Australian Film Industry and the introduction of sound.

Thursday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Nelson (Laurence Breuls) and Sally (Kate Ritchie) share a special moment on the beach; while Pippa’s (Debra Lawrance) father, Bert (Peter Collingwood), arrives out of the blue. In Police Rescue (8.30pm, ABC), a troubled young girl blames herself for her brother’s death.

Friday: In Echo Point (6pm, Ten), Dean’s (Diarmid Heidenreich) scheming ways continue as he does a deal with Marty (Jack Ellis). Friday Night Football (9.30pm, Seven) includes delayed coverage of Richmond versus Essendon from the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 8 July 1995. Southdown Press




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/07/1995-july-8-14.html

Jul 07 2015

1995: July 1-7

tvweek_010795Kimberley’s death threats
Being in such a high profile role, Neighbours star Kimberley Davies (pictured) could expect to receive some form of unwanted attention, but for the young star it has taken its toll on her social life. “Most people who approach me are lovely, but you do get the odd person calling out, ‘Slut’ or stupid things like, ‘You think you’re so good’,” she told TV Week. “As a result of all this, I just don’t go out anymore. You become a homebody.” Some of the attention comes in the form of threatening letters. One correspondent threatened to kill her. “That’s just lovely,” she said. “It is a bit of a worry that someone will take the trouble to write that they want to kill you.” She attributes some of this behaviour to certain media outlets that have painted her in a negative light. “The problem with people who write stories like these is that they just don’t care how the public sees you. It really upsets me. I don’t like being made to look like an airhead.” Although she is happy being in Neighbours, Davies does have an inkling to get back to study. “It’s three years since I’ve studied. I still love acting but I’m thinking that at some point I’d like to study physiotherapy part-time.”

simonbossellA matter of life or death
Actor Simon Bossell (pictured) has played an impressive array of roles in his relatively short career. Upcoming TV appearances include Singapore Sling and Cody telemovies and Police Rescue. But possibly his most controversial role will be in this week’s episode of GP, tackling the topic of euthanasia. “I’m playing a gay guy, HIV positive, whose boyfriend, Jeremy (Stuart Bennett), is more of a concern than he is,” Bossell told TV Week. “Jeremy discovers he has a lymphoma on the brain which means he doesn’t want to risk being non compos mentis ever again. He wants to finish his life.” The two-part storyline also marks the series exit of Dr Martin Dempsey (Damian Rice) from the Ross Street surgery.

John cops a TV daughter
Blue HeelersJohn Wood gets to show a softer side to his character, Tom Croydon, with the return of Tom’s daughter Susan (Beth Buchanan). “The nicest thing about having Beth on the show for a few episodes is that it gives me, as an actor, the opportunity to relate to someone on a personal level, rather than ordering people around,” Wood told TV Week. Former Neighbours star Buchanan has been busy with theatre roles, with her only TV appearances being the few episodes of Blue Heelers last year and again now.

Real-life drama on ABC set
An explosion stunt during filming of ABC‘s Bordertown has seriously injured a production assistant. Despite crew being moved 100 metres away from the explosion site, a railway sleeper was thrown into the air and landed on an outside broadcast van, then fell and hit the assistant on the head. “Production was stopped, an ambulance called and she ended up having to have 20 stitches to her head,” an ABC spokesperson confirmed.


  • Sale Of The Century (with Glenn Ridge and Nicky Buckley, pictured) will celebrate its upcoming 15th anniversary with a one-hour special to go to air later this month. Since its debut in 1980, the show has presented almost 3300 episodes, given away over $45 million in cash and prizes and asked over 150,000 questions.
  • The Nine Network‘s planned new soap, Breakers, has been re-named Pacific Drive. No cast have been announced as yet but production is due to begin in August.
  • The Seven Network has picked up the Australian television rights to Kylie Minogue‘s new US film, Bio-Dome. But it will be two to three years before it will be able to be aired because it has to clear cinema, pay TV and video releases first. This timeframe is set to be the norm for film releases to make it to free-to-air television now that pay TV is in the equation.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 11 June): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Michael Jackson Special Nine Thu 2222000
2 Rugby League State Of Origin 3 Nine Mon 1933000
3 ER Nine Thu 1909000
4 Sale Of The Century Nine M-F 1881000
5 Money Nine Wed 1864000
6 National Nine News Nine Sat 1858000
7 Seven Nightly News Seven Sat 1855000
8 National Nine News Nine Sun 1848000
9 Lois & Clark Seven Mon 1806000
10 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1805000
11 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1792000
12 Our House Nine Wed 1791000
13 National Nine News Nine M-F 1784000
14 Gladiators Seven Sat 1784000
15 The Footy Show Nine Thu 1780000
16 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1776000
17 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1761000
18 Home Improvement Seven Sun 1742000
19 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1735000
20 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 1720000

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here:

“Funny, farcical and often downright charming, The Vicar Of Dibley has been an instant hit for the ABC. With (Dawn) French’s old partner in crime, Jennifer Saunders, due back in AbFab towards the end of this month — also on a Monday night — things could be looking up at the start of the week for a little while to come. The bad news is that the new series of AbFab is almost definitely the last. The good news is that Dawn French, having completed The Vicar Of Dibley, is working on another series of Murder Most Horrid.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, July 1-7):
Saturday: Beyond 2000 (5.30pm, Ten) features a solar-powered lawn mower that works automatically. Comedy-variety show Mulray (8.30pm, Seven) is back for a new series. Former Good Morning Australia and Hard Copy presenter Gordon Elliott hosts a new US talk show, screening on Ten (9.30pm).

Sunday: AFL Sunday (1pm, Seven) includes Sydney versus Essendon, live from Sydney, followed by Fremantle versus Carlton, live from Perth. In Heartbreak High (5.30pm, Ten), Southgate (Tony Martin) and Suzie (Belinda Giblin) call off their relationship. SBS begins 23 days’ coverage of the Tour de France, with a package of highlights each evening (6pm) and repeated late at night. Sunday night movies are Father Of The Bride (repeat, Seven), Assassin (Nine) and A Child Too Many (Ten).

Monday: Children’s series Ocean Girl (4.30pm, Ten) returns with new episodes. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Chloe (Kristy Wright) tries to apologise to Jack (Daniel Amalm) for her father’s racist behaviour. Wimbledon (10.35pm, Nine) resumes for its second week.

Tuesday: In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Martin (Damian Rice) is under investigation following allegations by Jeremy’s (Stuart Bennett) sister after his death by euthanasia.

Wednesday: Kerri-Anne Kennerley is guest host of Bert Newton‘s Good Morning Australia (9am, Ten). In Echo Point (6pm, Ten), Hopper (David Woodley) and Coral’s (Roxane Wilson) romance is nipped in the bud when an old girlfriend arrives. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Angel (Melissa George) and Shane (Dieter Brummer) buy their house. The special Peter Allen — The Boy From Oz (8.30pm, ABC) traces the career of the late Peter Allen, from his beginnings at a bush pub at age 11.

Thursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Brook (Felix Nobis) sets the challenge for Philip (Ian Rawlings) — may the best man win Jen’s (Alyce Platt) heart. In Police Rescue (8.30pm, ABC), a highly dangerous building demolition becomes the site of a tense rescue.

Friday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Selina (Tempany Deckert) tells Pippa (Debra Lawrance) she thinks Shannon (Isla Fisher) is anorexic. Friday Night Football (9.30pm, Seven) includes delayed telecast of Collingwood versus North Melbourne from the MCG.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 1 July 1995. Southdown Press




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2015/07/1995-july-1-7.html

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