May 01 2016

Nine switches ties to Southern Cross

9_logo_2009_0002The biggest shake-up in Australian regional television since aggregation is set to unfold with the announcement that Southern Cross Austereo has secured a five-year affiliation deal with the Nine Network — essentially bringing an end to the 27-year partnership that Nine has had with WIN for carrying Nine’s programs to much of regional eastern Australia.

The move will similarly see Southern Cross Austereo — which operates the Southern Cross Ten brand in regional Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria and the ACT — abandon its 20+ year affiliation to the Ten Network.

brucegordon_2Under the deal SCA will pay Nine 50 per cent of its advertising revenue for access to Nine’s program and channel suite. Under its previous agreement, WIN was believed to be paying 39 per cent of ad revenue but Nine has long been seeking to increase that premium. The relationship between Nine and WIN has also been strained in recent times with WIN’s unsuccessful legal attempt to block Nine’s online portal 9Now from being accessed from regional markets. Bruce Gordon (pictured), the Bermuda-based billionaire who owns WIN, also has a 14.99 per cent stake in both the Nine and Ten networks.

The new affiliation deal for Southern Cross Ten in Queensland, Southern NSW/ACT and Victoria to take over Nine’s programming and identity is set for 1 July.

While WIN and Network Ten have yet to announce their plans for July onwards, it would be almost fair to assume that WIN will have little choice but to align to Ten for its program supply for its Queensland, Southern NSW/ACT and Victorian markets. WIN has very little of its own programming and production infrastructure and apart from a wealth of vintage material from the Crawfords Australia archive — which WIN owns — there isn’t much else in its programming vault unless it can strike a deal to purchase content from alternative sources.

Southern Cross has announced that it will maintain its relay of the Ten Network in Northern NSW and the Gold Coast as that region is already covered by Nine’s owned-and-operated outlet, NBN. The change of Southern Cross to Nine in the mainland eastern states is also not expected to alter the company’s Seven Network affiliation in Tasmania, Darwin and central/remote Australia, or likewise to change WIN’s arrangements with Nine in Tasmania and regional WA.

The move is also unlikely to have any impact in regional South Australia, where WIN and Southern Cross are commercial monopolies in their respective areas and already re-broadcast all three metropolitan networks to those areas.

What is unknown at this stage is how this new environment will impact on local news coverage in the regional areas. Regional viewers in many markets have seen local news service wound back or wiped out completely over the last 20 years across all regional operators. WIN has maintained local news bulletins through much of its NSW/ACT, Queensland and Victorian stations for a cost of around $20 million a year. With WIN potentially likely to adopt a Ten network feed, ratings and income will be lower and it is to be seen how this will impact on WIN’s ability to maintain the services it currently does. In the last year WIN has already shutdown news production facilities in Canberra and Ballarat and closed news bulletins covering Mackay and Mildura. Switching to Ten or other program sources may see WIN seek to reduce news production costs further.

southerncrosstenLikewise, Southern Cross Ten already operates only a basic drip-feed news service comprising of pre-recorded two-minute updates broadcast at various times of the day from a centralised news room in Canberra. With the added cost of aligning to the Nine Network the network will likely be looking for cost efficiencies elsewhere — although the centralised newsroom model probably does not leave much room for cost cutting and SCA is already only barely accounting for the local news content quotas demanded by the broadcasting regulations.

Source: The Age


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Apr 30 2016

1996: April 27-May 3

tvweek_270496Ray grabs Gold again!
A Current Affair host Ray Martin has won his fifth Gold Logie — and now an unprecedented four in a row — and has lashed out at his critics, specifically media commentator Phillip Adams and Media Watch host Stuart Littlemore. “Gee, Phillip Adams is going to be upset now, and there’ll be no Christmas cards from him or Stuart Littlemore,” Martin said in his acceptance. Both Adams and Littlemore were critical of ACA in recent times, in particular over the show’s reporting on unemployed teenagers the Paxtons. Martin also defended his award in the face of its critics. “There is an ongoing criticism of shows that rate or people or programs who get these awards,” he said. “I thought TV was about being a popular medium. That doesn’t mean we don’t do an interview with the Prime Minister, but, nevertheless we’ve got to do something that people like. Programs such as Blue Heelers, Burke’s Backyard and 60 Minutes are world-class programs and I don’t think we should apologise for them.”

Silver Logie winner, Blue Heelers star Lisa McCune said she had never prepared an acceptance speech, fearing it would jinx herself. “Speeches? I think they’re bad luck and I kind of like to think that they should be spontaneous,” she told TV Week. She dedicated her win to the cast and crew of Blue Heelers, but was mortified to later realise she had failed to mention former cast member Grant Bowler.  Meanwhile, former Home And Away star Dieter Brummer collected the Silver Logie for Most Popular Actor for the second year in a row. In his acceptance speech he paid special tribute to his ex-girlfriend, even though he has since been linked to another woman. “We had a lot of great times together and she’s been a major influence in my career,” he said. “I figured why not thank her, because without her support, who knows what may have happened?”

lisamccuneraymartinRay’s Logies laugh
Ray Martin act… I’d like to see that,” said Blue Heelers star John Wood. And with that introduction, the Logies audience was treated to Martin playing a policeman alongside Blue HeelersLisa McCune. Viewers also got to see some other unusual pairings — including GladiatorsVulcan hosting current affairs program Sunday, and Humphrey B Bear joining The Movie Show‘s David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz. 

TV Week Logie Award Winners 1996: Public Voting Categories:

lisamccunedieterbrummerGold Logie — Most Popular Personality: Ray Martin

Silver Logie — Most Popular Actor: Dieter Brummer (Home And Away)
Silver Logie — Most Popular Actress: Lisa McCune (Blue Heelers)

Most Popular Series: Home And Away
Most Popular Drama: Police Rescue
Most Popular Light Entertainment Program: Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush
Most Popular Light Entertainment Personality: Daryl Somers (Hey Hey It’s Saturday)
Most Popular Comedy Program: Full Frontal
Most Popular Comedy Personality: Magda Szubanski (Big Girls Blouse)
Most Popular Public Affairs Program: A Current Affair
Most Popular Lifestyle/Information Program: Better Homes And Gardens
Most Popular Sports Program: The Footy Show (AFL)
Most Popular Children’s Program: Agro’s Cartoon Connection
Most Popular New Talent: Nic Testoni (Home And Away)

TV Week Logie Award Winners 1996; Industry Voted Categories:

Gold Logie — Hall Of Fame: Maurie Fields (posthumously)

Silver Logie — Most Outstanding Actor: Richard Roxburgh (Blue Murder)
Silver Logie — Most Outstanding Actress: Jacqueline McKenzie (Halifax fp)

Most Outstanding Achievement In Drama Production: Blue Murder
Most Outstanding Documentary: Untold Desires
Most Outstanding Achievement In News: “Mururoa Protests”, Nine Network
Most Outstanding Achievement In Public Affairs: “Minor Surgery, Major Risk”, Four Corners
Most Outstanding Achievement In Comedy: Frontline, Episode 7: “Divide The Community, Multiply The Ratings”
Most Outstanding Achievement By A Regional Network: No Time For Frailty (Prime)


  • Nine‘s recent ratings success with Ray Martin‘s interview special featuring Robin Williams has seen some red faces at Seven. Apparently Seven had done a deal for Williams to be interviewed on the first Witness program with Jana Wendt and to appear on a special hosted by Andrew Denton. But then Seven decided it didn’t have room for the Williams interview in the first Witness show, so the deal was dropped and Williams subsequently appeared on Nine.
  • Plans for the new aviation drama Big Sky are now back on track with a deal set to be done by producer Southern Star Xanadu with Network Ten. Meanwhile, Peter Phelps is now no longer being considered for the cast, but producers are still keen on Jeremy Callaghan joining Gary Sweet in the project.
  • Seven‘s Blue Heelers celebrates its 100th episode this week. Cast member Martin Sacks, who has been with the series since day one, is amazed at the show’s success. “When the show started, we all said, ‘Well, let’s see how long this is going to last’. And there have been times we wondered if it would continue,” he told TV Week.
  • Rumours around the industry indicate that Nine‘s Eddie McGuire is going to join Optus Vision.
  • davidrobertsABC‘s long-awaited drama Mercury begins this week. The 13-part series is set in a newspaper office, starring Geoffrey Rush, Victoria Longley, David Roberts, Susan Lyons, Julie Forsyth, Michael Veitch, Robin Ramsay, Sue Ingleton and Ann Burbrook. Guest stars include Robert Grubb, Pamela Rabe and Alan Dale. Although the series is regarded as fictional there are parallels to be found with real life. “It’s about a Sunday broadsheet in an Australian state with a conservative government. You can read what you like into that,” Roberts (pictured) told TV Week.

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

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 2411000
2 Our House Nine Wed 2147000
3 ER Nine Thu 2079000
4 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 1977000
5 JAG Seven Mon 1956000
6 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 1885000
7 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1871000
8 National Nine News Nine Sat 1838000
9 National Nine News Nine M-F 1831000
10 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1819000
11 Weddings Nine Wed 1798000
12 Ellen Seven Thu 1739000
13 Robin Williams Unplugged Nine Wed 1731000
14 Lois & Clark The New Adventures Of Superman Nine Tue 1689000
15 Sale Of The Century Nine M-F 1668000
16 Grace Under Fire Seven Thu 1648000
17 Gladiators Seven Sat 1613000
18 National Nine News Nine Sun 1598000
19 Seven Nightly News Seven Sat 1564000
20 The Nanny Ten Sun 1528000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, April 27-May 3):
Saturday: In Sweat (6.30pm, Ten), Monique’s (Natalie Saleeba) temporary coach, handsome diving champion Paul Steadman (Simon Baker Denny), allows her to believe that he is in love with her. Saturday Night Football (8.30pm, Seven) features Sydney Swans versus Hawthorn, live from the Sydney Cricket Ground.

kristieraymondSunday: AFL Sunday includes Brisbane Bears versus Fitzroy (1pm, Seven), live from Brisbane, followed by highlights of St Kilda versus Footscray (5pm, Seven) from Waverley Park, Melbourne. In Banjo Paterson’s Man From Snowy River (6.30pm, Nine), Matt (Andrew Clarke) and Danni (Kristie Raymond, pictured) have a major disagreement over his plans to send her to finishing school. Sunday night movies are China Moon (Seven), Roswell (Nine) and A Few Good Men (Ten).

Monday: In Water Rats (7.30pm, Nine), Kevin Holloway’s (Jeremy Callaghan) car is found still with the keys in the ignition at The Gap — a notorious suicide spot; and Goldie (Catherine McClements) is served with court papers seeking to cut off access to her son. Andrew Daddo hosts the special 40 Years Of Comedy (8.30pm, Seven), looking at the history of comedy on Australian television, featuring The Mavis Bramston Show, Fast Forward, Dame Edna Everage and The Naked Vicar Show.

Tuesday: In GP (8.30pm, ABC), a child appears to have the symptoms of conduct disorder. In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), Mt Thomas police station finally gets the replacement they’ve been waiting for just in time to help them deal with a rodeo cowboy who seems to be sending his young son out to steal.

Wednesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Michael’s (Dennis Coard) body is found. In Fire (9.30pm, Seven), Nugget (Danny Adcock) confronts Greta (Fiona MacGregor) over her involvement in the sexual harassment case, while Pru (Angela Punch McGregor) comes under from the media over the inquiry. In Pacific Drive (11.40pm, Nine), Joel (Adrian Lee) makes Amber (Christine Stephen-Daly) an offer she can’t refuse; while Adam (Mark Constable) gives Georgina (Kate Raison) the wrong idea about their friendship.

Thursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Rob Evans’ (Graham Harvey) job offer to Jo (Emma Harrison) stirs up gossip between Cheryl (Caroline Gillmer) and Marlene (Moya O’Sullivan). In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Summer Bay gets together to pay respects to Michael (Dennis Coard). In the debut episode of Mercury (8.30pm, ABC), a mysterious fax from an unknown source sets the Sunday Mercury’s political reporter on to an investigation that threatens to overturn the inner sanctums of the government.

Friday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Chloe (Kristy Wright) bids a sad farewell to her mother. Friday Night Football includes Sydney Swans versus Essendon (7.30pm, Seven), live from Sydney, followed by a delayed telecast of Geelong versus North Melbourne from the MCG.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 27 April 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.

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Apr 27 2016

1996: April 20-26

tvweek_200496Angel’s baby — it’s a girl!
Home And Away‘s newest addition is born in episodes to go to air this week. Angel (Melissa George) gives birth to daughter Shane — named after the baby’s recently-deceased father. Of course, the baby’s birth — already 10 weeks premature — is in dramatic circumstances. Summer Bay is hit by a flood and attempts to get Angel to hospital are hampered by the rising waters. She manages to get to Pippa’s in time to give birth, just as Pippa (Debra Lawrance) receives the news that her husband Michael (Dennis Coard) has died in the flood. “It was all very intense and amazing,” George told TV Week of the episodes. “We had three night shoots in a row until 6am, and it was very exciting, and in the end it came out a masterpiece.”

mauriefields_0001Memories of Maurie
The late Maurie Fields (pictured), who passed away in December 1995, is to be inducted into the TV Week Logie Awards Hall Of Fame. Fields, whose wife Val Jellay will accept his award, had a showbusiness career dating back over 50 years and appeared on television from its very early days. A performer on variety show Sunnyside Up, Fields later moved into acting, with credits including Hunter, Homicide, Bellbird, Division 4, Matlock Police, The Sullivans, Bobby Dazzler, A Town Like Alice, Skyways, Prisoner and Neighbours. He starred alongside Jellay in the long-running series The Flying Doctors. Since Fields’ sudden passing, Jellay has been overwhelmed by the public response. “The overseas fan clubs — particularly the European ones (where The Flying Doctors was a hit) — are still writing. And the number of cards and flowers that have arrived is just amazing,” she told TV Week.

Logies online!
The 38th annual TV Week Logie Awards is going online! The website, designed and hosted by Melbourne-based company InfoWeb, is best viewed on the Netscape 2.0 browser using either Windows 95 or Windows NT. The website features photos and information about all the nominees for the upcoming Logies presentation, plus a Logies history and a sneak peek at this year’s telecast. Java technology has also been used to build an interactive game, with successful players entered into the draw to win a personal home page and a 12-month subscription to TV Week.

martinhendersonSusie makes Martin sweat!
Swimming champion Susie O’Neill has taken some time out of her pre-Olympics training schedule to offer some tips to actor Martin Henderson (pictured), who is playing the part of swimmer Tom Nash in the new Network Ten series Sweat. “He looks pretty good,” she told TV Week. “But his butterfly needs a bit of work.” The 13-part series debuts on Network Ten this week. “The timing is perfect with the Olympics coming up,” Henderson told TV Week. “I learned a lot about the lives of athletes. My character’s life is based on winning, but often his relationships suffer as a result.”


  • Former Blue Heelers star Grant Bowler has made a surprise move to a role in Nine‘s late-night soap Pacific Drive. He plays the part of Garth Stephen, the brother of Adam (Mark Constable). “Garth is a mysterious character, who arrives in Pacific Drive, leather-clad, on a motorbike,” a Nine Network spokesperson told TV Week.
  • Foxtel‘s new soap opera parody Shark Bay is set to feature a host of celebrities making cameo appearances. The first is set to be Vulcan from Gladiators — according to a keen viewer who spied the lycra-clad star doing publicity shots with the show’s cast at a Melbourne beach.
  • katefischer_0002The Nine Network has ordered another ten episodes of the lifestyle program Time Out For Serious Fun. The series, produced by Don Burke‘s production company and hosted by Kate Fischer (pictured), is expected to also feature London-based Jonathan Coleman.
  • Gloria Reuben, from the hit US series ER, is to join Hollywood actress Holly Hunter as a celebrity guest at this week’s TV Week Logie Awards.
  • Beyond 2000, noted a few weeks ago as being quietly bumped out of Ten‘s Saturday evening schedule, has since returned at the even earlier time of 3.30pm.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 31 March 1996): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 2404000
2 National Nine News Nine Sun 1809000
3 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1790000
4 JAG Seven Mon 1767000
5 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 1761000
6 National Nine News Nine M-F 1686000
7 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1663000
8 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 1625000
9 Our House Nine Wed 1622000
10 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1601000
11 Chicago Hope Seven Wed 1600000
12 Pride And Prejudice ABC Sun 1572000
13 The Nanny Ten Sun 1567000
14 Lois & Clark The New Adventures Of Superman Nine Tue 1563000
15 National Nine News Nine Sat 1535000
16 Weddings Nine Wed 1523000
17 Sale Of The Century Nine M-F 1511000
18 Movie: Major League Ten Sun 1452000
19 Seven Nightly News Seven Sun 1439000
20 Gladiators Seven Sat 1419000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, April 20-26):
Saturday: In the series debut of Sweat (6.30pm, Ten), swimmer Tom Nash (Martin Henderson) has to face the reality of losing a race because he was over-confident, while also contending with his budding relationship with gymnast Tats (Inge Hornstra).

logies_1996Sunday: AFL Sunday includes West Coast Eagles versus Geelong (2pm, Seven), live from Perth, followed by highlights of Richmond versus Sydney Swans (5pm, Seven) from the MCG. Daryl Somers hosts the 38th annual TV Week Logie Awards (8.30pm, Nine) from the Melbourne Park Function Centre. The awards presentation features guest star Holly Hunter and performances by John Farnham and Kate Ceberano. Sunday night movies are the 1963 classic The Great Escape (repeat, Seven) and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Ten). Nightly coverage of highlights of the Olympic Swimming Selection Trials begins from Homebush, Sydney (11.05pm, Nine).

Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Karl (Alan Fletcher) tries to come to terms with the fact that Tom (Bob Hornery) is not his real father; while Andrew (Christopher Uhlmann) confides with Susan (Jackie Woodburne) about his relationship with another man. In Water Rats (7.30pm, Nine), the woman whose boyfriend was shot dead by Rachel Goldstein (Catherine McClements) is released from jail on parole and keeps turning up wherever Goldie happens to be.

Tuesday: In The Great Outdoors (8pm, Seven), Frankie J Holden enjoys the quiet pleasures of a Perth wine tasting cruise about the ship Mystique. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), a school teacher is accused of having a sexual relationship with a ten-year-old student.

Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Andrew (Christopher Uhlmann) faces innuendos from students about his homosexuality. Lucky Grills (Bluey) guest stars in Fire (9.30pm, Seven).

angryandersonThursday (Anzac Day): Special Anzac Day programming includes live coverage of the Anzac Day March (9.05am, ABC); and later a special one-hour edition of A Current Affair (6.30pm, Nine) featuring a team of celebrities, led by Angry Anderson (pictured) and including Colette Mann, Grant Kenny, Dr Kerryn Phelps and Dermott Brereton, retracing the 100 kilometre Kokoda Trail. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Fisher (Norman Coburn) proposes marriage to Marilyn (Emily Symons). Science and technology series Quantum (8pm, ABC) makes its return.

Friday: Friday Night Football (8.30pm, Seven) features Fremantle Dockers versus Melbourne, live from Perth.

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




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Apr 20 2016

1996: April 13-19

tvweek_130496Dieter’s Logies challenge
In the lead up to the 38th annual TV Week Logie Awards, Sale Of The Century is to feature a week-long contest, the Logies Special Challenge. The week of special shows includes various TV Week Logie Award winners from throughout the decades — including Don Lane, Johnny Young, Bobby Limb, Jeanne Little, Jimmy Hannan, Tommy Hanlon Jnr, Jamie Redfern, Richard Huggett, Barbie Rogers and Dieter Brummer. Former Home And Away star Brummer (pictured with Sale co-host Nicky Buckley) says there is a certain irony in his appearance on the show. “Sale screens opposite Home And Away,” he told TV Week. “My parents still watch it (Sale Of The Century) quite often — even though Home And Away is on at the same time!”

Summer Bay watch
A cast of familiar faces from Australian soaps feature in the new Foxtel soap parody Shark Bay. The new series, to debut in July, is based on the premise that it’s already been running for 24 years and over 8000 episodes, so is exploiting every soap opera cliche in the book. The sun-soaked beach setting of Shark Bay is meant to resemble the Gold Coast, but in a nod to the classic soapie dud Holiday Island, is being filmed on location in the industrial suburb of Port Melbourne. The cast line-up includes Rowena Wallace (Sons And Daughters), Dieter Brummer (Home And Away), Zoe Bertram (The Restless Years, Paradise Beach), Raelee Hill (Paradise Beach, Neighbours), Tina Thomsen (Home And Away) and Kate Gorman (Neighbours). Shark Bay also features Tiriel Mora (Frontline) and Canadian actor Doug Penty (Paradise Beach). Brummer plays the part of nerdish computer guy Brad — a far cry from the often-shirtless Shane he played in Home And Away. “It’s hysterical,” Brummer told TV Week. “Brad is such a nerd and never takes his shirt off… it’s someone else’s turn this time!”

Where to now for Richard?
Actor Richard Grieve, who recently finished up on Neighbours, is now left unemployed after plans to work in the UK have been blocked by his work visa being rejected. The knock back follows an ongoing campaign by British Actors’ Equity to resist too many Australian actors scoring UK work. Grieve was set to play the lead role of Danny in the West End production of Grease, a role he had accepted while in the UK over Christmas. “My agent had been working for three months to get my visa through, and while I was always aware there could be difficulties in this area, it doesn’t lessen the disappointment,” he told TV Week. “Working on a project of this calibre — at an international level — is every actor’s dream. I love the show and I love singing and dancing.” Despite the UK disappointment, Grieve is not sorry to have left Neighbours. “I believe that two years is a nice amount of time to be in a show and I decided it was time to explore other opportunities.” Another former Neighbours star, Dan Falzon, had also been offered a part in Grease but similarly missed out on gaining a visa.

hugoweavingfrankgallacherTropical nightmare
ABC‘s new two-part mini-series The Bite screens this week… but the series had to overcome a massive setback leading up to its production. The Bite, set in Burma, was to be filmed in Vietnam on the basis of political unrest in Burma. Months of planning had gone into preparing for location shoots in Vietnam but the government in Hanoi withdrew its support at the last minute. “It was a political decision because The Bite is about drugs,” director Michael Carson told TV Week. The production crew had managed to secure alternative filming sites in Phuket, Thailand, at barely a week’s notice. “We’d usually have a month to organise everything. For this shoot we had one week.”  The Bite stars Hugo Weaving, Pamela Rabe, Rebekah Jay, Arthur Angel, Frank Gallacher (pictured with Weaving), Chris Simpson and British actress Lesley Manville.


  • sofieformica_0001Former Just Kidding co-host Sofie Formica (pictured) has filmed a guest role in the US series Murder She Wrote. The episode, based on the premise that Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) flew to Australia to solve a crime, was actually filmed in Los Angeles. Other Australians to appear in the episode include Nick Tate and Briony Behets.
  • No expense was spared in the lead up to the launch of Seven‘s new current affairs program Witness, hosted by Jana Wendt. Rehearsals for the first show were said to include a two-hour satellite link to Taiwan for Wendt to do mock story intros. Estimated cost for the exercise was a mere $30,000.
  • peterscarfSixteen-year-old Peter Scarf (pictured) is the first in the upcoming influx of new cast members into Home And Away. Scarf plays the part of rich brat Liam Tanner, who moves in with foster parents Pippa (Debra Lawrance) and Michael (Dennis Coard).
  • The Seven Network has said no to a third series of Fire, leaving the series producer, Liberty Films, to pursuing a new series for Network Ten. The medical drama has the working title of Adrenaline Junkies and various Fire cast members have auditioned for roles.
  • Former E Street star Simon Baker-Denny has scored a role in a Hollywood pilot, a Western called The Last Best Place In Town.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 24 March 1996): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 ER Nine Thu 1973000
2 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1874000
3 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 1696000
4 Ellen Seven Thu 1674000
5 JAG Seven Mon 1660000
6 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1640000
7 National Nine News Nine Sun 1634000
8 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1614000
9 National Nine News Nine M-F 1599000
10 Grace Under Fire Seven Thu 1594000
11 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 1580000
12 National Nine News Nine Sat 1580000
13 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1575000
14 Our House Nine Wed 1568000
15 The Nanny Ten Sun 1567000
16 Chicago Hope Seven Wed 1530000
17 Hudson Street Ten Sun 1504000
18 Movie: Forever Young Nine Sun 1497000
19 The X Files Ten Wed 1479000
20 Lois & Clark The New Adventures Of Superman Nine Tue 1469000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, April 13-19):
Saturday: Saturday Night Football (8.30pm, Seven) features Brisbane Bears versus Richmond, live from Brisbane.

Sunday: AFL Sunday features Sydney Swans versus Collingwood (1pm, Seven), live from Sydney, followed by Fremantle Dockers versus Carlton (4pm, Seven), live from Perth. Sunday night movies are The Last Seduction (Seven) and Terminator 2: Judgement Day (repeat, Ten).

Monday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Debbie (Kim Lewis) deliberately cuts herself to get Travis’ (Nic Testoni) attention; and Jeremy (David Stanley) is hauled out of class for cheating. In Water Rats (7.30pm, Nine), Goldie (Catherine McClements) and Holloway (Colin Friels) investigate the disappearance of a teenage girl they believe has been murdered by her father.

stevebisley_0001Tuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Luke (Bernard Curry) takes drastic action in a bid to keep his cancer diagnosis a secret from Ramsay Street residents. In The Great Outdoors (8pm, Seven), Frankie J Holden checks out the best surfing in the world in Western Australia. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), traumatised by Sonia’s (Zoe Carides) death, Henry (Steve Bisley, pictured) throws himself into his work.

Wednesday: Mini-series The Bite (8.30pm, ABC) tells the story of an unsuspecting couple forced into a living nightmare. Angela Punch-McGregor guest stars in Fire (9.30pm, Seven).

juliamorris_0004Thursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Grampa Tom (Bob Hornery) struggles to find a quiet moment with Karl (Alan Fletcher) to tell him the long held secret that could change their relationship forever. The special, Zoo Doctor (7.30pm, Nine) looks at the role of vets at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, hosted by Tracy Grimshaw. Sketch comedy Full Frontal (8.30pm, Seven) returns for a new series, featuring Eric Bana, Julia Morris (pictured), Kim Gyngell, Shaun Micallef, Daina Reed and John Walker. 

Friday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Kelly (Katrina Hobbs) is bitten by a funnel web spider. Friday Night Football (8.30pm, Seven) features Brisbane Bears versus North Melbourne, live from Brisbane.

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




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Apr 17 2016

Obituary: Bruce Mansfield

brucemansfield_0001Bruce Mansfield, prominent media identity in Melbourne for 50 years, has died at the age of 71.

Mansfield had been diagnosed with prostate cancer last year.

The nephew of popular 1940s and 1950s radio host Terry Dear, Mansfield’s first break in radio came in winning a competition for a junior announcing position at Melbourne station 3UZ.

He later presented on 3XY and did voice over announcing at GTV9. At around this time he first met Philip Brady, someone who he would become well associated with in years to come.

At GTV9, as well as announcing, Mansfield appeared in comedy skits on shows like Cartoon Corner with Daryl Somers and In Melbourne Tonight. But his career took a different turn when he moved across to rival channel ATV0 in 1973, initially as a booth announcer and warm up guy but later became newsreader. He presented the weekend news at first before being promoted to fronting the channel’s main weeknight bulletin in 1974. It was a role that he held for six years.

YouTube: Conniptions886

The change of management when ATV0 changed to ATV10 saw Mansfield move to voice over announcing and other duties such as hosting movie matinees. This led to a shift back to radio as part of the top-rating breakfast show on 3AW, working alongside John Blackman and later Darren James.

After a stint that followed at 3AK, Mansfield returned to 3AW in 1990 to host its weekly nostalgia program Remember When and talkback show Nightline, both with Philip Brady. Theirs was to be a successful partnership that, apart from a brief hiatus in 2000, continued until last year when Mansfield was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

While hosting Remember When and Nightline, Mansfield continued to make appearances on television, including Rove Live, Good Morning Australia and nostalgia special The Way We Were. He also presented Night Owl Theatre and Mansfield’s Melbourne in the early days of what is now C31. In more recent years he appeared in the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal telethon.

In 2014 there was a campaign for Mansfield to go back to read the news at Ten Eyewitness News for the channel’s 50th anniversary. The newsreading gig was not to be but he did appear in a report for the station’s birthday as well as on the special 50 Years Young.

Bruce Mansfield is survived by wife Jill, their children and grandchildren.

Source: 3AW. Tales From The Scrapbook, Bruce Mansfield and Philip Brady, 1993.



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Apr 09 2016

1996: April 6-12

tvweek_060496Cover: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson (The X Files)

Logies: The Famous Five
TV Week has announced the nominations for the upcoming 38th annual TV Week Logie Awards. In a change with tradition, each category will have five nominations and all but the Gold category will be narrowed to three nominations on the big night. Meanwhile, John Farnham has been announced as a guest performer on Logies night, three years after he took to the Logies stage with Tom Jones. “I get nervous about every big gig and the Logies is a big one,” he told TV Week. Kate Ceberano will also be performing at the Logies, singing the all-important opening number.  Producer Peter Wynne, working on his fourth Logies, says the emphasis will be on celebration. “Because it’s TV’s 40th anniversary in Australia this year, we’ll reflect on some elements of the past, but the show won’t be based on that,” he said. “In the presentation area, we’re going for a lot of people who are very humourous.”

Nominations: TV Week Logie Awards publicly-voted categories:

Gold Logie — Most Popular Personality: Dieter Brummer, Melissa George, Ray Martin, Lisa McCune, Daryl Somers

Silver Logie — Most Popular Actor: Dieter Brummer, Guy Pearce, Martin Sacks, Gary Sweet, John Wood

Silver Logie — Most Popular Actress: Tempany Deckert, Isla Fisher, Melissa George, Rebecca Gibney, Lisa McCune

Most Popular New Talent: Kate Fischer, Katrina Hobbs, Wendy Mooney, Nic Testoni, Vulcan

Most Popular Lifestyle/Information Program: Better Homes And Gardens, Burke’s Backyard, Getaway, The Great Outdoors, Talk To The Animals

Most Popular Children’s Program: Agro’s Cartoon Connection, A*Mazing, Bananas In Pyjamas, Play School, Spellbinder

Most Popular Public Affairs Program: A Current Affair, The 7.30 Report, 60 Minutes, Today, Today Tonight

Most Popular Light Entertainment Program: Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush, The Footy Show (AFL), The Footy Show (NRL), Gladiators, Hey Hey It’s Saturday

Most Popular Light Entertainment Personality: Ernie Dingo, Tim Ferguson, Sam Newman, Daryl Somers, Jo Beth Taylor

Most Popular Sports Program: AFL Grand Final, Australian Open Tennis, The Footy Show (AFL), The Footy Show (NRL), Gladiators

Most Popular Series: Blue Heelers, Fire, GP, Home And Away, Neighbours

Most Popular Drama: Banjo Paterson’s The Man From Snowy River, Fire, Halifax fp, Law Of The Land, Police Rescue

Most Popular Comedy Program: Frontline, Full Frontal, Hey Hey It’s Saturday, Jimeoin, Just Kidding

Most Popular Comedy Personality: Andrew Denton, Tim Ferguson, Jimeoin, Daryl Somers, Magda Szubanski

TV Week Logie Awards industry-voted categories:

Gold Logie — Hall Of Fame; Silver Logie — Most Outstanding Actor; Silver Logie — Most Outstanding Actress; Most Outstanding Achievement In Drama Production; Most Outstanding Documentary; Most Outstanding Achievement In News; Most Outstanding Achievement In Public Affairs; Most Outstanding Achievement In Comedy; Most Outstanding Achievement By A Regional Network

russellgilbertdermottbreretonJust for kicks
Russell Gilbert, currently working on Hey Hey It’s Saturday, is set to co-host a new football show for Foxtel. Footy Fever is to be presented by Gilbert and now retired footballer Dermott Brereton. Brereton is no stranger to television, having appeared for several years on In Melbourne Today and In Sydney Today and more recently as a panellist on The Footy Show in Melbourne.

The Crying Game
It was an emotional return to Blue Heelers for former cast member Ann Burbrook. After her character Roz Patterson was written out of the series in 1994, she is now returning following the death of Roz’s estranged husband, Wayne (Grant Bowler), to claim his body and arrange for its burial. “It wasn’t difficult at all for me to cry through the episode,” Burbrook told TV Week. “When I remembered the fun times Roz had had with Wayne and imagined him being in that box, the tears just flowed.” Since leaving Blue Heelers, Burbrook has worked on Law Of The Land and Banjo Paterson’s Man From Snowy River and is soon to appear in the new ABC series, Mercury.

garyeckkatrinawarrenLooking snappy!
The success of Nine‘s Just Kidding has led to Network Ten bringing Candid Camera back to TV. The new look to the classic format will be hosted by stand up comedian Gary Eck and Totally Wild‘s Katrina Warren. As well as featuring new gags, the new Candid Camera will include some of the classics from the American original dating back to the 1950s. “I’m the first to agree that the black-and-white shows are by far the best,” Warren told TV Week. “In the Fifties, people were so much more gullible.” The last time Candid Camera was attempted on Australian television was back in 1989, also on Ten, with the show hosted by Tony Murphy and Lisa Peers.


  • Jacqueline McKenzie is tipped to join Josephine Byrnes and Rebecca Gibney in the new Seven Network mini-series Kangaroo Palace. The mini-series, set in the Sixties, will be filmed in Melbourne and London.
  • Word from behind the scenes at Home And Away is that Michael (Dennis Coard) is to exit the series in dramatic fashion. The storyline is set to feature the return of Michael’s son, Haydn (Andrew Hill), for the funeral.
  • New sitcom project Skin Deep is to go to pilot stage for ABC later this month. Set in a beauty parlour, the series tells the story of two sisters (played by Jane Hall and Sandy Ireland) who are reunited after one was given up for adoption. Also cast for the project are John McTernan (Cop Shop, GP) and Robert Grubb (The Flying Doctors).

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 17 March 1996): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 World Cup Cricket: Australia v Sri Lanka Nine Sun 2555000
2 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1945000
3 JAG Seven Mon 1931000
4 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1877000
5 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1820000
6 Special: 40 Years Of Television Seven Mon 1800000
7 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 1741000
8 National Nine News Nine M-F 1713000
9 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 1678000
10 National Nine News Nine Sun 1667000
11 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1655000
12 Chicago Hope Seven Wed 1623000
13 Special: Nude Moments Seven Thu 1593000
14 The Nanny Ten Sun 1534000
15 Our House Nine Wed 1524000
16 Ellen Seven Thu 1495000
17 Lois & Clark The New Adventures Of Superman Nine Tue 1475000
18 Grace Under Fire Seven Thu 1470000
19 Home And Away Seven M-F 1460000
20 Sale Of The Century Nine M-F 1460000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, April 6-12):
Saturday: Gladiators‘ International Series (7.20pm, Seven) reaches its Grand Final, followed by Saturday Night Football (8.30pm, Seven), featuring West Coast Eagles versus Brisbane Bears, live from Perth.

graemeblundellSunday: Graeme Blundell (pictured) and Debra Byrne star in Cross Turning Over, the final episode of Naked: Stories Of Men (8.30pm, ABC). Sunday night movies are The Diamond Trap (Nine) and The Super (repeat, Ten).

Monday: In Water Rats (7.30pm, Nine), Frank Holloway (Colin Friels) is accused of taking a bribe when he is caught on film collecting an envelope containing a large sum of money that’s been left in a waterfront warehouse. In Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten), Ross Greenwood looks at the rights and obligations of shoppers and consumers; and Tonia Todman takes the humble tea towel and transforms it into a colourful decor item. In Pacific Drive (11pm, Nine), Callie (Danielle Spencer) walks out on Rick (André Eikmeier), but accepts his simple and heartfelt apology.

Tuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Libby (Kym Valentine) and Rupert (Tobi Webster) find themselves on the wrong side of the law. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Sonia (Zoe Carides) becomes entwined in a disastrous domestic situation. Jana Wednt‘s new current affairs program, Witness (9.30pm, Seven), debuts with reporters Graham Davis, Paul Barry, Mark Llewellyn, Tracey Bowden and Prue Lewarne.

Wednesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Fisher (Norman Coburn) and Marilyn (Emily Symons) resume dating. In Fire (9.30pm, Seven), Jean (Liddy Clark) finally uncovers evidence to break Jimmy’s (Kim Gyngell) insurance scam.

Thursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Debbie (Marnie Reece-Wilmore) confesses to Phillip (Ian Rawlings) that Rosemary (Joy Chambers) accused her of having an affair with her boyfriend.

Friday: Paul McDermott hosts the new panel show Good News Week (8pm, ABC), featuring Kate Fischer. AFL Live (8.30pm, Seven) features Adelaide Crows versus Geelong, live from Football Park, Adelaide.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 6 April 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.




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Apr 08 2016

Adelaide’s TV history on show

adelaidetvexhibitionThe early days of television in Adelaide are to be rediscovered in two exhibitions being presented by the State Library Of South Australia.

“Begin transmission: SA turns on the television” (9 April to 5 June, Treasures Wall) relives the memories of TV’s earliest days in Adelaide and goes back even further to rediscover the long road to get television to Australia.

“Channel Nine Adelaide – 1959 to now” (9 April to 19 June, Institute Building – Gallery and Ante Room) goes back to the beginning of Adelaide’s first TV station, NWS9, and remembers some of the early programs to come from the former studios on Tynte Street, North Adelaide, including Adelaide Tonight, The Channel Niners, Here’s Humphrey and The Country And Western Hour. Personalities like Lionel Williams, Kevin Crease, Roger Cardwell, Ian Fairweather, Anne Wills and children’s character Winky Dink are also featured.

The exhibition sheds some light on the difficulties faced in producing TV in the early days — and why NWS9’s opening night program was presented from the women’s dressing room!

Also on show is how TV news coverage has changed over the decades as well as reliving some of the big news stories and remembering some of the faces that have presented the news over that time.

The State Library Of South Australia is located at North Terrace, Adelaide.

Source: State Library Of South Australia


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Apr 06 2016

Waleed got nominated for the Gold Logie. So what?

logies_2016_nomineesThis week’s announcement of the nominees for the 58th annual TV Week Logie Awards has triggered some astounding reaction for an award that many Australians would otherwise normally declare that they have no interest in.

waleedalyThe nomination of The Project‘s Waleed Aly and SBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin for the top award, the Gold Logie, has brought on some staggering if not confusing commentary from that beacon of journalism, The Daily Telegraph, and a sister website, Rendezview. (Although the latter’s review is actually less than clear if it is being serious or satirical) And, in turn, some of their supporters are seemingly happy to jump on the outrage bandwagon at the thought that TV’s most prized trophy might (remember, there are four other nominees) go to someone who is less than white.

The fact that it has taken 58 years for Australia’s viewing population to acknowledge talent from a diverse background is telling enough. The reaction is even more disappointing… especially given most of the critics most likely never voted nor cared for an award that they now seem so passionate about. (And with all due respect to TV Week, at the end of the day — it is a Logie award. Not a knighthood or the Nobel Peace Prize)

leelinchinNo doubt the nomination of Aly and Chin is a largely youth-led choice, given Aly’s profile as co-host on The Project and Chin’s self-parody perpetuated by youth current affairs program The Feed. And, no doubt, their respective profiles are boosted by social media — even though Aly avoids it but his content from The Project has certainly gone viral — which in turn has impacted on what is essentially a popularity poll.

Critics have labelled their popularity as not in line with ratings. But the Logies have never been about ratings. The Project reaches more viewers than Today, for which Karl Stefanovic won Gold a few years ago — and whose win was also on the back of a considerable social media campaign. And Aly’s on-air partner Carrie Bickmore won the same award last year. She is also nominated again this year.

Other Gold Logie winners have included stars of daytime TV — names like Mike Walsh, Ray Martin, Jeanne Little, Hazel Phillips and Maggie Tabberer — which also rates lower than its prime-time counterparts.

tvweek_200376One year the Gold Logie was even awarded to a fictional character: Norman Gunston. And from the ABC, no less. Again, not a result in line with traditional ratings but, perhaps like Chin’s self-parody profile, was aided by Gunston’s (Garry McDonald) public campaigning for votes.

Media outlets such as The Daily Telegraph should be thrilled to see younger Australians engaging with heritage brands like the Logie Awards at a time where every traditional media outlet is facing the challenge of appealing to a generation that has so many other media options available to it. This shows that there is hope for “old media” among the millennials.

The Logie Awards have often been accused of being a relic of the past. But these nominations show that it, and its voters, are more contemporary than many might now care to admit.

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Apr 04 2016

TV Week Logie Awards — Nominations

leelinchinSBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin (pictured) is a surprise nomination — and the first ever for SBS — for the Gold Logie at the 58th annual TV Week Logie Awards.

Nominations for the event were announced at a ceremony in Melbourne last night.

Also nominated for Gold this year are The Project’s Carrie Bickmore and Waleed Aly, The Block’s Scott Cam, Miss Fisher Murder MysteriesEssie Davis and Network Ten‘s Grant Denyer.

All Gold Logie nominees, bar Davis, have also been nominated for Best Presenter. Davis has, however, also been nominated for Most Outstanding Actress.

Chin, an SBS newsreader for over 20 years, has gained popularity through her self-parody appearances on SBS2’s The Feed, which began two years ago. The social media campaign to gain her a Gold Logie nomination has paid off well.

And with Aly, of Egyptian decent, and Indonesian-born Chin among the nominees, this year looks to be the most culturally diverse Gold Logie field ever.

The Seven Network mini-series Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door has scored a nomination for Most Outstanding Mini-Series Or Movie, with lead actor Joel Jackson (who also starred in the Foxtel series Deadline Gallipoli) being nominated for Best New Talent and also being announced as the winner of the new category for Most Outstanding New Talent — Actor. Ky Baldwin, who played the young Peter Allen in the mini-series, was announced as the winner of the Graham Kennedy Breakthrough Star Of Tomorrow (formerly the Graham Kennedy Award For Outstanding Newcomer).

The Logie for the new category of Most Outstanding New Talent — Actress was won by Melina Vidler from the Seven Network drama series 800 Words.

This year also marked debut nominations for streaming service Stan, with three nominations for comedy series No Activity, including Most Outstanding Comedy Program and individual nominations for Dan Wyllie and Tim Minchin.

The recipient of the TV Week Logie Awards‘ Hall Of Fame is to be announced.

The 58th annual TV Week Logie Awards will be held on Sunday 8 May at Crown Entertainment Complex in Melbourne and telecast on the Nine Network.

ESSIE DAVIS – Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, ABC
GRANT DENYER – Family Feud/The Great Australian Spelling Bee, NETWORK TEN
LEE LIN CHIN – SBS World News/The Feed, SBS
SCOTT CAM – The Block/ Reno Rumble, NINE NETWORK

Last year’s winner: Carrie Bickmore (pictured)

CRAIG MCLACHLAN – The Doctor Blake Mysteries, ABC
JOSH THOMAS – Please Like Me, ABC

Last year’s winner (Most Popular Actor): Stephen Peacocke

ESSIE DAVIS – Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, ABC

Last year’s winner (Most Popular Actress): Asher Keddie

GRANT DENYER – Family Feud/ The Great Australian Spelling Bee, NETWORK TEN
LEE LIN CHIN – SBS World News/The Feed, SBS

Last year’s winner (Most Popular Presenter): Carrie Bickmore

ADAM DOVILE – Better Homes And Gardens, CHANNEL SEVEN
JOEL JACKSON – Deadline Gallipoli/ Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door, FOXTEL – SHOWCASE/ CHANNEL SEVEN

Last year’s winner (Most Popular New Talent): Miranda Tapsell

A Place To Call Home, FOXTEL – SOHO
House Husbands, NINE NETWORK
Love Child, NINE NETWORK (pictured)

Last year’s winner (Most Popular Drama): Home And Away

Family Feud, NETWORK TEN
Gruen, ABC
Have You Been Paying Attention?, NETWORK TEN
The X Factor Australia, CHANNEL SEVEN

Last year’s winner (Most Popular Entertainment Program): Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year South America

60 Minutes, NINE NETWORK
The Project, NETWORK TEN

(New Category)

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, NETWORK TEN
MasterChef Australia, NETWORK TEN
My Kitchen Rules, CHANNEL SEVEN
The Bachelorette, Australia NETWORK TEN

Last year’s winner (Most Popular Reality Program): The Block

Marngrook Footy Show, NITV
Wide World Of Sports, NINE NETWORK

Last year’s winner (Most Popular Sports Program): The NRL Footy Show

Better Homes And Gardens, CHANNEL SEVEN
Gardening Australia, ABC
Selling Houses Australia, FOXTEL – THE LIFESTYLE CHANNEL
The Living Room, NETWORK TEN

Last year’s winner (Most Popular Lifestyle Program): The Living Room

Australian Story, ABC
Bondi Rescue, NETWORK TEN
Who Do You Think You Are?, SBS

(New Category)

ALEX DIMITRIADES – Matt Bashir, The Principal, SBS
HUGH DANCY – Ellis Ashmead Bartlett, Deadline Gallipoli, FOXTEL – SHOWCASE
PATRICK BRAMMALL – James Hayes, Glitch, ABC
SAM NEILL – Lang Hancock, House Of Hancock, NINE NETWORK

Last year’s winner: Luke Arnold

DEBORAH MAILMAN – Lorraine, Redfern Now: Promise Me, ABC
ESSIE DAVIS – Phryne Fisher, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, ABC
MANDY MCELHINNEY – Gina Rinehart, House Of Hancock, NINE NETWORK
PAMELA RABE (pictured) – Joan Ferguson, Wentworth, FOXTEL – SOHO
SARAH SNOOK – Anna Ivin, The Beautiful Lie, ABC

Last year’s winner: Danielle Cormack

DAN WYLLIE – Jimmy, No Activity, STAN
DAVID BERRY – James Bligh, A Place To Call Home, FOXTEL – SOHO
RYAN CORR – Corporal Macdonald, Banished, FOXTEL – BBC FIRST
TIM MINCHIN – Jacob, No Activity, STAN, AND Smasher Sullivan, The Secret River, ABC

(New Category)

CELIA IRELAND – Liz Birdsworth, Wentworth, FOXTEL – SOHO
EMILY BARCLAY – Sarah Hayes, Glitch, ABC
HARRIET DYER – Patricia Saunders, Love Child, NINE NETWORK
JENNI BAIRD – Regina Standish, A Place To Call Home, FOXTEL – SOHO
RARRIWUY HICK – Robyn Davis, Redfern Now: Promise Me, ABC

(New Category)

A Place To Call Home, FOXTEL – SOHO
Glitch, ABC
Wentworth, FOXTEL – SOHO

Last year’s winner: Wentworth

Deadline Gallipoli, FOXTEL – SHOWCASE
House Of Hancock, NINE NETWORK
Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door, CHANNEL SEVEN
The Beautiful Lie, ABC
The Secret River, ABC

Last year’s winner: Devil’s Playground

Gruen, ABC
Have You Been Paying Attention?, NETWORK TEN
The Weekly With Charlie Pickering, ABC
The X Factor Australia, CHANNEL SEVEN

Last year’s winner: The Voice

No Activity, STAN
Please Like Me, ABC
Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell, ABC
Utopia, ABC

Last year’s winner: Utopia

Bottersnikes & Gumbles, CHANNEL SEVEN
Bushwhacked!, ABC3
Little Lunch, ABC3
Play Along With Sam, FOXTEL – NICK JR.
Ready For This, ABC3

Last year’s winner: Nowhere Boys

2015 Australian Open, CHANNEL SEVEN/7TWO
Emirates Melbourne Cup, CHANNEL SEVEN
KFC T20 Big Bash League, NETWORK TEN
NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final, NINE NETWORK
Holden State Of Origin II, NINE NETWORK

Last year’s winner: 2014 FIFA World Cup

“Iraq-Syria War Coverage” – ABC 7pm News, ABC
“Liberal Leadership Crisis: Abbott V Turnbull”, FOXTEL – SKY NEWS LIVE
“Migrant Crisis – Special Report” – ABC 7pm News, ABC
“Paris Attack” – Seven News, CHANNEL SEVEN
“Parramatta Shooting” – Seven News, CHANNEL SEVEN

Last year’s winner: “Lindt Café Siege”, Seven News

“Catching A Monster” – 60 Minutes, NINE NETWORK
“Hitting Home” – Hitting Home, ABC
“Making A Killing” – Four Corners, ABC
“The Killing Season” – The Killing Season, ABC
“The Siege Survivors” – 60 Minutes, NINE NETWORK

Last year’s winner: ‘Banking Bad”, Four Corners

Source: TV Week




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Mar 31 2016

1996: March 30-April 5

tvweek_300396Blue Heeler’s tragic exit
Dramatic scenes in this week’s Blue Heelers will see Constable Wayne Patterson tragically killed, but actor Grant Bowler (pictured with Lisa McCune) is glad to be gone. “Part of the reason I left the show is because I thought I no longer had a lot to offer it creatively,” he told TV Week. “After two-and-a-half years I was burnt out. I wasn’t operating on all cylinders.” The episode sees Constable Patterson crossing paths with notorious criminal Joe Kenny (Anthony Lawrence). Kenny has escaped from prison, seeking revenge on Patterson for the brief affair he had with Kenny’s wife, Kate (Rebecca Rigg). Since leaving Blue Heelers in December, Bowler has been working on stage in Sydney and also runs a production company with two friends. “At the moment it’s very successful, and I’ll probably be travelling with the company later in the year,” he said.

danielamalmWhy I had to get out!
Daniel Amalm (pictured) has revealed the real reasons behind his decision to quit Home And Away. The 17-year-old, who had played Jack Wilson in the soap for three years, had become disillusioned and a little paranoid about the public attention that comes with soapie stardom. “Even just going out in public, I didn’t realise how seriously people take the show,” he told TV Week. “I don’t mind if girls come up and ask for your autograph, that’s cool. But you get a lot of people too who want to test your strength, because you’re on the show — the guys especially.” Amalm had also received death threats. “I had a couple of phone calls, death threats that said, ‘We’re going to shoot you’ and stuff like that. It doesn’t scare me because I don’t let it.” He also chose to leave the show because his profile was leading to so-called friendships that were not entirely genuine. “You find them doing something and you think, ‘They’re just hanging with me because I’m on television’,” he said. Home And Away producer Russell Webb was disappointed to lose Amalm from the cast but is hopeful to be able to lure him back for a guest role later this year.

simonbakerdenny_0001Simon’s LA story
To say Simon Baker-Denny‘s (pictured) time in Los Angeles has been eventful is quite an understatement. Since arriving in LA on Christmas Day, he has had his car broken into and witnessed how quickly violence can escalate in Hollywood — with one incident in a diner where the owner started shooting at two guys stealing beer. On a more positive note, he has been busy setting up his profile with producers. “I’ve had more appointments here in two months than in Australia in two years!,” he told TV Week. “In Australia, you’re lucky if you get a couple of meetings a month. And you don’t even call them meetings in Australia!” He was close to scoring a key role in the new Western series, Shaughnessy. The shortlist came down to him and one other actor. They chose the other candidate. “People say I was close, but you could probably go for 20 years in this town getting that close and never getting anything. It just sounds so bizarre.” Before leaving Australia, Baker-Denny had been doing an eight-week stint on Heartbreak High and had the lead role in the one-off drama The Blind Side Breakaway, an episode of the ABC series Naked: Stories Of Men that had screened recently. He will also be seen on screen later this year in two episodes of Network Ten‘s upcoming sports drama, Sweat.

Melissa’s AIDS drama
Melissa Tkautz has spoken out about her character Bethany’s HIV diagnosis in the new Nine Network series Pacific Drive. “It’s 1996 and it’s about time there was an ongoing HIV character on television,” she told TV Week. “I did ask in what context we were going to do it. I asked if I was going to be sick on the show, but they said, ‘Not at all. That is the whole reason why we are doing it. We want to show people that just because you are HIV positive, you’re not going to be sick in bed’. It’s about time more people understood the subject matter. They think, ‘If I sit next to an HIV person I’m going to get AIDS’.”


  • Hollywood actress Holly Hunter is the first international guest star confirmed for this year’s TV Week Logie Awards.
  • Southern Star Xanadu, the team behind Cody and Police Rescue, is working on a new aviation drama starring Gary Sweet. Big Sky is also set to star Jeremy Callaghan (Police Rescue, Water Rats) and Peter Phelps. Production of a pilot has been delayed due to to funding delays from the Film Finance Corporation, and no network has committed to the project as yet. Earlier discussions with Network Ten are believed to have fallen through.
  • Despite earlier reports, Sigrid Thornton will now not be starring in the planned Nine Network drama Murder Calls (originally titled Murder Calling). Melbourne-based Thornton was reluctant to relocate to Sydney for the production.
  • Rumours persist that Ten‘s failed soap Echo Point is to be reinstated. Producers Southern Star Xanadu have recently sold the series to Germany for a generous sum and there is talk of bringing the show back into production to cash in on the overseas market.
  • michaelveitch_0002Comedian Michael Veitch (pictured) is taking on the role of a gossip columnist in the upcoming ABC series Mercury. His character, the flamboyant Rocco Kostas, is based on a real Melbourne journalist. “But the real guy is not like this at all,” he told TV Week. “I went to his house and he’s really quite ordinary. What I’m portraying more is the image of what people think a gossip columnist is like.” Veitch will also be appearing as a cop in an upcoming guest role in Blue Heelers. “It was a straight dramatic role, and I loved it.”

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 10 March 1996): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Australian Grand Prix Nine Sun 2499000
2 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 2107000
3 National Nine News Nine Sun 1993000
4 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1976000
5 The X Files Ten Wed 1839000
6 World Cup Cricket: Semi Final (Australia v West Indies) Nine Thu 1766000
7 National Nine News Nine M-F 1749000
8 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 1718000
9 JAG Seeven Mon 1718000
10 World Cup Cricket: Quarter Final (Australia v Pakistan) Nine Mon 1717000
11 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1693000
12 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 1678000
13 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1577000
14 Ellen Seven Thu 1573000
15 Home And Away Seven M-F 1571000
16 Who Dares Wins Seven Wed 1536000
17 Babe, You’re A Star Seven Wed 1497000
18 The Nanny Ten Sun 1475000
19 Grace Under Fire Seven Thu 1408000
20 World Cup Cricket: Semi Final (Sri Lanka v India) Nine Wed 1408000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, March 30-April 5):
Saturday: Qualifying Day of the Gold Coast Indycar (12pm, Ten) is hosted by Bill Woods. The Victorian State Election is covered across ABC (6.30pm, with Ian Henderson, Barrie Cassidy, Antony Green and Beverley O’Connor), Seven (a half-hour wrap-up with David Johnston at 11.35pm, following Saturday Night Football) and Nine (6.30pm, with Ray Martin, Laurie Oakes, Paul Lyneham, Graham Richardson and former Victorian Premier Joan Kirner).  And for election night, Mal Walden presents a special Melbourne edition of Ten News (10.40pm, Ten).

Sunday: Sunday sport includes the Gold Coast IndyCar (11am, Ten), Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships (11am, Nine) and AFL Sunday: Fremantle versus West Coast Eagles (2pm, Seven). Live football continues with Adelaide versus Sydney (5.30pm, Seven), from Football Park, Adelaide. Sunday night movies are Peter’s Friends (Seven), Taggart: Flesh And Blood (repeat, Nine) and Major League (repeat, Ten). This week’s episode of Naked: Stories Of Men (8.30pm, ABC) is A Fallen Woman, the story of a man who lives in a house under the Harbour Bridge and lets out a room to a young couple.

Monday: Children’s game show Time Masters (4pm, Seven) debuts, hosted by Tony Johnston. In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Pam (Sue Jones) upsets the residents of Ramsay Street with her decision for Cody’s (Peta Brady) funeral to take place in Darwin.

lucybellTuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Toadie (Ryan Moloney) is head over heels in love with George (Petra Jared), but she admits she’s fallen for another man. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Lizzy (Lucy Bell, pictured), the temporary receptionist at Ross Street, has some major behavioural problems. In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), a notorious criminal escapes from remand at St David’s Prison, leading to a confrontation with Constable Wayne Patterson (Grant Bowler).

Wednesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Travis (Nic Testoni) is the first at the scene of the Yabbie Creek High School bus crash. In Fire (9.30pm, Seven), Seldom (Damian Pike) gatecrashes the wedding of Jimmy’s (Kim Gyngell) daughter in his bid to crack Jimmy’s insurance scam.

Thursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Danni (Eliza Szonert) and Cheryl (Caroline Gillmer) find themselves at odds over Danni’s relationship with Ben (Stephen Pease). The internet is the focus of the new technology program HTTP:// The Internet Show (9.20pm, ABC).

Friday (Good Friday): The annual Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal brings together stars of television, radio, theatre and sport to raise money for the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. The telethon kicks off at 9am (Seven), breaking for a half-hour Seven News (12pm), then continuing through to 6pm. The documentary special Miracle Babies (7.30pm, Seven), narrated by Martin Sacks, tells the story of the many babies from around the world who, fighting for their lives, come to the Neo-Natal Unit at the Royal Children’s Hospital. The appeal resumes in the evening with the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Variety Benefit (8.30pm, Seven), live from the World Congress Centre, before the telethon returns at 10.45pm ahead of the appeal close at midnight. In a special Good Friday edition of Compass (7.30pm, ABC), a report on the extraordinary life of Father Chu Van Chi, Catholic priest and composer. Other Easter programming includes Turn Round Australia (9.30am, Nine).

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 30 March 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.


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