Oct 01 2014

Television.AU October Update

election_1975Some updates of new Classic TV Guides and reminders of some blog posts that appeared during September










pattihumphrey_0001A reminder of some of the blog posts that appeared during September



Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/10/television-au-october-update.html

Sep 29 2014

1994: October 1-7

tvweek_011094Silver Sofie’s golden opportunity
Sofie Formica (pictured) has only just started her new role as co-host of Just Kidding for the Nine Network, but she is already looking at long term ambitions. “I have totally itchy feet,” she told TV Week. “That’s why I’ve done so many shows, because I could think of nothing worse than doing the same show year in, year out. That may change as I get older, but at the moment I’m always thinking about the next project.” Just Kidding is Formica’s first project for the Nine Network since leaving Seven, where she had appeared on Saturday Disney, Now You See It, The Great Outdoors and Home And Away. “Home And Away was great, because the character I played was so unlike me that no-one could compare me to her in a million years.” She is keen to pursue production opportunities in the longer term. “I want to leave being in front of the camera before it leaves me. I’ll stay in front as long as I can, but you have to realise in this business when to move.”

Young guns hit Ramsay Street
The arrival of the Kennedy family into Neighbours‘ Ramsay Street is set to bring in some new talent. Benjie McNair, Kym Valentine and Jesse Spencer make up the younger generation Kennedys. McNair plays eldest son Malcolm who gets into some early trouble when he accidentally puts a bullet into Lou Carpenter’s (Tom Oliver) leg. McNair has had guest roles in GP and Home And Away and was given three days notice to pack his bags to move from Sydney to Melbourne for the Neighbours role. Valentine’s arrival into Neighbours reunites her with former My Two Wives co-star Brett Blewitt.

Good cop, bad cop!
Fans of Gary Sweet who are used to seeing him as good-guy cop Sgt Mickey McLintock in ABC‘s Police Rescue may be shocked to find a stark contrast with his latest role. In the new series of Seven‘s Cody telemovies, Sweet admits that the character of rebel cop Cody may not be entirely likeable. “I don’t think people have to like him,” Sweet told TV Week. “As an actor I just want people to react to him — that doesn’t mean liking him. Mickey is such a gregarious and affable bloke so it’s great to play someone like Cody who has a bit of a dark past and someone who is a bit dangerous.” The first of three Cody telemovies screens this week — co-starring Robert Mammone and Heather Mitchell. Sweet is already onto filming a new series of Police Rescue and is committed to further Cody telemovies next year.


  • The Nine Network has denied rumours that it is working on a new sketch comedy series for 1995 but sources claim that producer Chris Fife is at the helm of the pilot which is due to be produced shortly. “It’s a pilot for a new sketch comedy and they’re hoping it’ll develop into a prime-time show for next year,” TV Week was told.
  • Actor Marcus Eyre has a string of acting credits to his name but is probably most famous now as the cola-guzzling, chain-smoking editor Hugh Tabbagh in ABC‘s Frontline. “As a film editor, Hugh lives in a darkroom in the bowels of a building,” Eyre told TV Week. “I had to seek a lot of information about life as an editor before I started the role because I don’t come across editors very often myself. From the feedback I’ve been given, the whole show seems pretty close to what goes on in the real world of current affairs. I think the team behind Frontline has been very brave in tackling a show like it.” Eyre will soon appear on screen again in a very different role — as a cop in the Nine Network telemovie The Feds.
  • kellypummeroyTalk To The Animals reporter Kelly Pummeroy (pictured) has visited Emman Zoo in the Netherlands to film stories for a two-hour special episode to coincide with “Zootober” and World Animal Day (5 October). “Emman Zoo is like a garden full of animals,” she told TV Week. “There are no cages.” This is in contrast to London Zoo. “London is so archaic. A lot of the cages are National Trust buildings and can’t be changed because of their historical significance. But that’s not fair on the animals.”

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

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Just Kidding Nine Tue 2065000
2 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1969000
3 Money Nine Wed 1813000
4 Our House Nine Wed 1770000
5 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1768000
6 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1742000
7 Lois & Clark The New Adventures Of Superman Seven Mon 1718000
8 Home Improvement Seven Wed 1667000
9 Getaway Nine Thu 1612000
10 National Nine News Nine Sat 1592000
11 Hey Hey It’s Saturday Nine Sat 1574000
12 National Nine News Nine M-F 1548000
13 Sale Of The Century Nine M-F 1486000
14 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1465000
15 Full Frontal Seven Thu 1457000
16 Healthy Wealthy And Wise Ten Mon 1445000
17 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1442000
18 Hangin’ With Mr Cooper Seven Thu 1433000
19 Seven Nightly News Seven Sat 1385000
20 Seven Nightly News Seven M-F 1356000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, October 1-7):
Saturday: The AFL Grand Final (Seven) dominates the day — with the overnight Grand Final Football Marathon ending at 8am, followed by the Grand Final Breakfast (8am), the Juniors Grand Final (9am) and the VSFL Grand Final (11am) from the MCG. Bruce McAvaney heads the live coverage of the AFL Grand Final between Geelong and West Coast Eagles (2pm, Seven). Seven will have 25 cameras around the MCG to catch all the action, and the telecast is expected to be beamed to 60 countries.

Sunday: Race car driver Peter Brock is vying for his 10th win and a $100,000 bonus at Bathurst in this year’s Tooheys 1000 — with ten hours of coverage starting at 8am (Seven). Sofie Formica and Tina Thomsen host the Rock Eisteddfod (2pm, Nine). In Banjo Patterson’s Man From Snowy River, Anita Hargreaves (Victoria Tennant), an old love of Matt’s (Andrew Clarke), returns after 25 years. Sunday night movies are Cody — A Family Affair (Seven), Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (repeat, Nine) and To Dance With The White Dog (Ten).

Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Debbie (Marnie Reece-Wilmore) gets scared when she realises that she mentally blocked out the events of Julie’s (Julie Mullins) death. In Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm ,Ten), Lyn Talbot travels to Yerranderie, south west of the Blue Mountains; Iain Hewitson talks to the experts about different coffee equipment; Tonia Todman takes some arty inspiration from the bakehouse; and Ross Greenwood looks at how to turn disasters into dollars.

nicholashopeTuesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Pippa (Debra Lawrance) and Michael’s (Dennis Coard) relationship is on rocky ground. In Blue Heelers (7.30pm, Seven), Tom (John Wood) is puzzled when he sees Father Leary (Nicholas Hope, pictured) talking to con artists Matthew (Ken James) and Nadia Balfour (Lynne Nicol), leading to suspicion that Leary may be involved with them. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Julie (Denise Roberts) learns that her parish priest (Bob Baines) has been harbouring a guilty secret for 20 years. In Law Of The Land (9.30pm, Nine), a man convicted of wife bashing returns to town.

Wednesday: In Heartbreak High (7.30pm, Ten), Nick (Alex Dimitriades) and Effie (Despina Caldis) move in with the Bordinos, and Steve (Corey Page) is smitten with Lucy (Alexandra Brunning) and Danielle (Emma Roche) is jealous. In Wedlocked (8pm, Seven), after receiving a death threat, Ainslie Barton (Terry Gill) decides to move in with Chris (Brandon Burke) and Susie (Dina Panozzo).

Thursday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Jack (Daniel Amalm) and Curtis (Shane Ammann) believe they have uncovered a revealing secret about Fisher (Norman Coburn). Beyond 2000 (7.30pm, Ten) looks at the world’s first mobile decompression chamber, that can be transported by boat or helicopter. In Janus (8.30pm, ABC), Rob Griffin (Felix Nobis) takes on the prosecution of a man accused of sexually assaulting his nieces when they were children.

benjiemcnairFriday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), the Kennedy family think Malcolm (Benjie McNair, pictured) is a fool for playing with guns, after Lou (Tom Oliver) cops a bullet in the leg. In Rex Hunt’s The Great Outdoors (7.30pm, Seven), guest reporter Lee Kernaghan experiences the National Music Muster in Gympie, Ernie Dingo visits Milson Island, and Frankie J Holden shows a new pop-up camper trailer.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 1 October 1994. Southdown Press


Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/09/1994-october-1-7.html

Sep 26 2014

Studio 10 goes back to Romper Room

misshelenaMiss Helena, one of the many presenters on Romper Room over its long run and various versions in Australia, was this morning’s guest panellist on Network Ten‘s Studio 10.

In remembering Romper Room viewers were not only reminded that fellow guest panellist Dan Ilic had featured on the show as a child, but a young James Mathison was also in one episode.

Romper Room, first created in the US in 1953, was first franchised in Australia in the early 1960s. Various versions were produced, including from ATN7 Sydney and QTQ9 Brisbane. Another series, from SAS10 Adelaide, was also broadcast in Melbourne and ran for ten years — while Newcastle station NBN3 produced one of the few (if not only) regional versions.

The ATN7 franchise, which ended up going national through the Seven Network, continued until 1988. An estimated 32,000 children appeared on the show during its long run and as well as Miss Helena there were a number of other Miss Romper Rooms — including Miss Susan, Miss Patricia, Miss Judy, Miss Colleen and Miss Megan.


Source: Sydney Morning Herald, 21 February 1983. Forty Years Of Television, ATN7, 1996.
YouTube: Studio 10




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/09/studio-10-goes-back-to-romper-room.html

Sep 24 2014

Obituary: Tony Dickinson

tonydickinsonFormer TV newsreader Tony Dickinson has passed away following a battle with cancer.

Originally working in radio, Dickinson was newsreader at Sydney radio stations 2UW and 2UE. At 2UE he was the first newsreader to break the news of the Granville train disaster on the morning of 18 January 1977. He also had a stint as program manager at Brisbane talkback station 4BH and as news director at 2KY in Sydney.

In television he fronted Adelaide’s first one-hour news bulletin, Eyewitness News on SAS10 (now Seven) in the early 1980s and also had a stint at ATV10, Melbourne.

Friend and former colleague Scott Mayman has written a tribute to Tony Dickinson at Radio Today.


Source: Radio Today, TV Tonight




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/09/obituary-tony-dickinson.html

Sep 23 2014

1994: September 24-30

tvweek_240994Cover: Tim Allen, Patricia Richardson (Home Improvement)

Helen investigates the cost of success
Helen Wellings has come a long way since making her TV debut in The Mike Walsh Show in 1974. “I came into this industry very gradually from being an interviewee. I could go back to my desk in the public service and see television for what it was and is — a medium of communication rather than a medium of adulation.” She was approached by Nine Network producer Gerald Stone to join the original 60 Minutes team in the late 1970s but she felt too strongly about consumer affairs to consider a broader career in journalism — though the idea of travelling was appealing! For ten years she has hosted ABC‘s consumer affairs program The Investigators but admits that her TV success has impacted her health. “I still have an enormously strong work ethic and sometimes that rides into my personal life and I have to sit up and ask who I am,” she told TV Week. “My career has also infringed on my health. I found at the end of last year I’d thrown myself into it too much.”

markmitchell_0002Critically injured!
Mark Mitchell (pictured) has responded to some of the fierce criticisms being levelled at him since taking over as co-host of ABC‘s TVTV. “The fact I am doing TVTV has generated some of the most vitriolic reaction I have ever known in my career,” he told TV Week. “I think I made the sin of transgression. I moved outside my preferred position in terms of the way people like to classify me. The critics become secure and confident in the way they like to classify performers. The success of the comedy has tended to eclipse anything that went before or comes after. I knew that would be a problem — maybe that is the case with TVTV now.” Mitchell has also been criticised for his recent hosting of Seven‘s Fawlty Towers screenings. “Don’t ever believe that someone on TV does not take the criticism seriously. We take it to heart and very personally. It does matter and it does hurt,” he said. “I love doing TVTV because it is all about an industry I love, television. I am amazed when I read that the show is a ‘wretched flop’. I have been in some wretched flops, so I know what it feels like. It doesn’t feel like it this time.” Aside from TVTV, Mitchell has also completed 78 episodes of an upcoming series of children’s show Lift Off and will soon be seen in ABC telemovie Fallout as New Zealand Prime Minister David Lange.

Aussie on the beach
Another Australian actor has scored a role in the US series Baywatch. Sydney model Rebecca Cross, whose acting credits include Hey Dad! and the film Exchange Lifeguards, is featured in five episodes of Baywatch as a love interest for Mitch Buchannon (David Hasselhoff). She joins fellow Aussie actor Jaason Simmons in the series.


  • Blue Heelers star Lisa McCune (pictured) has braved her first on-screen kiss, with guest star Richard Huggett (pictured). “I managed to get through this with sweaty palms. On the morning of shooting I cleaned my teeth twice! For me it’s nice to play this side of Maggie. She’s a lonely girl in Mount Thomas, so it’s good to see her getting close to somebody.”
  • Former Getaway presenter David Reyne and ex-Crowded House drummer Paul Hester have hosted a pilot for a new music show for the Seven Network. Titled Walkabout, it is aimed at mature music fans.
  • Former E Street star Brooke ‘Mikey’ Anderson has knocked back a small role in the Hollywood film Act Of Honour to return to Australia to star in a new Nine Network series, Glad Rags. The $2.8 million 13-part series features Anderson as Lizzie, a teenager with an overactive imagination. She hopes to return to the US next year in time for the busy TV pilot season. Glad Rags has already been sold to the BBC.

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here

HG and Roy have not let us down. They have balls — soccer balls, tennis and table tennis balls, Aussie Rules, rugby league and cricket balls, basketballs and even the orb known as the lawn bowl. And if you watch their program, Boys And Balls (ABC, Sunday), you’ll see balls from every possible angle and, at times, in startling close-up. You also will hear a remarkable array of high-profile male sporting types talking about their balls and how much they enjoy playing with them. (Oh, come on! Get your mind above the navel and give it a run out there in the packed stadium, please. This is nothing to do with smut, for goodness’ sake! This is serious, bloke stuff and there’s absolutely no room for sniggering behind your hand.)”

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 4 September):

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Very Best Of The World’s Worst Drivers Nine Tue 2161000
2 Looking Good Nine Wed 1980000
3 Movie: Back To The Future Part III Ten Sun 1917000
4 Australia’s Best For The Bush Concert Nine Wed 1898000
5 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1892000
6 Our House Nine Wed 1884000
7 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1871000
8 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1846000
9 Home Improvement Seven Wed 1845000
10 Getaway Nine Thu 1758000
11 Seven Nightly News Seven Sun 1691000
12 Sale Of The Century Nine M-F 1664000
13 National Nine News Nine M-F 1632000
14 Home Improvement Seven Sun 1606000
15 Married With Children Nine Tue 1573000
16 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1553000
17 Hey Hey It’s Saturday Nine Sat 1540000
18 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1537000
19 National Nine News Nine Sat 1534000
20 Seven Nightly News Seven M-F 1530000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, September 24-30):
Saturday: The special The History Of Bathurst (12pm, Seven) traces the 25 year history of Bathurst, with race highlights and previously unseen footage from 1969 to 1993. In A Country Practice (5.30pm, Ten), Jess (Jane Hall) helps a young boy save his pet rabbit.

Sunday: Ray Warren, Peter Sterling and Paul Vautin head Nine’s live coverage of the NSW Rugby League Grand Final (1pm). Sandy Roberts hosts That Was The Season That Was (1pm, Seven), a look back at the AFL season in the lead-up to the grand final. The VFA Grand Final is broadcast live (2pm, ABC). Banjo Patterson’s Man From Snowy River (6.30pm, Nine) settles into its new weekly timeslot following last Friday’s two-hour premiere. Sunday night movies are Father Of The Bride (repeat, Seven), Unforgiven (Nine) and ET The Extra Terrestrial (repeat, Ten).

Monday: Sale Of The Century (7pm, Nine) begins the Battle Of The TV Shows — over the course of the week contestants include Eddie McGuire and Trevor Marmalade of The Footy Show (AFL), Elle McFeast (Libbi Gorr) and Mark Warren of Live And Sweaty, and Denise Roberts and Michael Craig from GP. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Alf (Ray Meagher) witnesses a moment of passion between Curtis (Shane Ammann) and Shannon (Isla Fisher). Bruce McAvaney hosts the 1994 Brownlow Medal Count (8.30pm, Seven), live from the Radisson President Hotel in Melbourne.

Tuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Cheryl (Caroline Gilmer) believes her choice of Victoria (Mary-Rose Cuskelly) for a nanny was a good one until Serendipity (Raelee Hill) catches her neglecting Louise (Tessa Taylor). In Blue Heelers (7.30pm, Seven), two missing girls cause suspicion to be placed in an unfair direction when the Blue Heelers are looking for suspects.

scottmajorWednesday: In Heartbreak High (7.30pm, Ten), the arrival of new teacher Sam Robinson (Kym Wilson) provokes a strong reaction, especially from Rivers (Scott Major, pictured). In Wedlocked (8pm, Seven), Susie (Dina Panozzo) challenges Chris (Brandon Burke) to attend a weekend encounter session for sensitive males.

Thursday: Beyond 2000 (7.30pm, Ten) looks at how top secret military surveillance systems are helping keep track of whales; and reports on a new era in animation — turning actors into cartoon stars. In Janus (8.30pm, ABC), a youth is charged with attempted murder when he tries to run a policeman down. Eddie McGuire and Sam Newman host a special two-hour Grand Final edition of The Footy Show (8.30pm, Nine), featuring Jason Dunstall, Doug Hawkins, Craig Kelly, Wayne Carey, Billy Brownless and Paul Roos.

Friday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Selina (Tempany Deckert) is shocked by Irene’s (Lynne McGranger) decision to send her to deportment school. The eve of the AFL Grand Final features concert special The Grand Final Countdown (7.30pm, Seven) from the Victorian Arts Centre, hosted by Gary Sweet and featuring Andrew Denton, Tim Watson, Drew Morphett, Ron Barassi, Bob Davis, Robert Dipierdomenico, Tony Shaw, Leigh Matthews, Daddy Cool, Tina Arena, Rex Hunt, Nick Giannopoulos, Dr Feelgood, Colette Mann and The Dodgy Brothers. The traditional Grand Final Football Marathon (10.30pm, Seven) features an all-night parade of highlights and special moments from past seasons.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 24 September 1994. Southdown Press

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/09/1994-september-24-30.html

Sep 19 2014

Obituary: Elaine Lee

elainelee_0001Elaine Lee, the South African born actress best known to Australians as Vera Collins in Number 96, has died at the age of 75.

An established actress in South Africa, Lee came to Australia in 1970 with husband, actor Garth Meade. “I was going to do the housewife thing. I had no intention of acting at all,” she told TV Week in 1976. “But I got itchy feet and I had to do something. It was Garth who said I should get back into acting. He said I’d never be happy unless I was in showbusiness.”

One of her first TV appearances in Australia was in the drama series The Evil Touch.

In 1972 Lee was one of the original cast members in the groundbreaking series Number 96. She played the part of Vera Collins, a former prostitute turned fashion designer. While other characters at Number 96 were played for comedy, Vera was portrayed often as melodramatic and was frequently the hapless soap opera victim — a theme that also carried through Vera Collins’ main storyline in the Number 96 feature film in 1974,

She eventually left the series in 1976 with Vera finally finding love with Guy Sutton (Peter Whitford). Producers sought to reprise the character into a spin-off series, Fair Game, with a pilot worked into two episodes of Number 96, but it was not picked up.

tvweek_110574Given Vera’s earlier professional background and constant ill-fated romances in Number 96, Lee’s farewell present from the producers upon leaving the series was an award statuette. “It was presented to the ‘Best Horizontal Actress’!,” she said.

Lee also appeared in the 1000th episode special Number 96: They Said It Wouldn’t Last in mid-1976 and returned for the show’s curtain call at the end of its final episode in 1977.

She went on to a guest role in the ABC comedy series Who Do You Think You Are and played school principal Margaret Gibson on the Seven Network‘s Glenview High.

Later TV credits included Super Sleuth, Anzacs, A Country Practice, Bullpitt!, Heartbreak High, Bondi Banquet, All Saints and Home And Away.

In recent years Lee appeared in the featured extras and audio commentary on DVD releases of Number 96 and made guest appearances on Andrew Mercado‘s The Playlist on Foxtel.

Source: TV Week, 19 June 1976. IMDB, Sydney Morning Herald


Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/09/obituary-elaine-lee.html

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/09/obituary-barry-mcqueen.html

Sep 19 2014

What we watched: June 2000

watchtv2Another random snapshot of what we were watching on TV. This time it’s the week ending 3 June 2000.

We’d fought off the Y2K bug and the GST was just around the corner. The Games Of The XXVII Olympiad in Sydney were a few short months away.

And we were still watching analogue TV.

The Nine Network topped the prime time ratings (ACNielsen, 5 cities) for the week ending 3 June 2000 — scoring 31.4%, followed by Seven (30.0%), Ten (20.3%), ABC (15.2%) and SBS (3.0%). Nine won comfortably in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, while Seven won in Adelaide and Perth.

In the regional markets: Queensland was won by WIN (32.2%), Northern NSW was easily won by NBN (37.5%), WIN (32.9%) was top in Southern NSW and also in Victoria (36.4%). The Seven network affiliates in each market ranked second, while Ten affiliates ranked third in Queensland, Southern NSW and Victoria but fourth place in Northern NSW where it was beaten by ABC.

In Tasmania, Southern Cross Television (44.1%) was almost ten points clear of runner up WIN.


The Top 20 shows for Week 39 (May 28-June 3, 2000):
Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers*
1 Backyard Blitz Nine Sun 2436000
2 National Nine News Nine Sun 2379000
3 Special: Great Winter Ideas Seven Tue 2122000
4 Friends Nine Mon 1990000
5 Seven News Seven Sun 1985000
6 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1959000
7 Harry’s Practice Seven Sun 1887000
8 ER Nine Thu 1884000
9 Hot Property Seven Wed 1857000
10 Spin City Nine Mon 1847000
11 Blue Heelers Seven Wed 1833000
12 Movie: Austin Powers Nine Sun 1825000
13 Ground Force Seven Wed 1814000
14 Getaway Nine Thu 1809000
15 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1742000
16 Ally McBeal Seven Mon 1729000
17 National Nine News Nine M-F 1723000
18 National Nine News Nine Sat 1716000
19 Our House Nine Wed 1709000
20 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1692000
* Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth
Source: Mediaweek, as supplied by ACNielsen.

Network Ten‘s highest place in the weekly rankings was a Thursday night screening of The Simpsons, ranked at 38th spot with 1,336,000 viewers. The network’s highest rating Australian program was The Panel at #44 with 1,267,000.

ABC‘s top program was British series Monarch Of The Glen, ranked 24th with 1,652,000. Its top Australian program was the late news at #41 with 1,308,000, followed by drama series Seachange (#49, 1.206m).

SBS did not have any program ranked in the Top 100.

The weeknight 6.00pm timeslot was won by National Nine News (#17, 1.723m) followed by Seven News (#37, 1.366m) and Ten’s repeats of sitcom The Nanny (#75, 905,000).

At 6.30pm A Current Affair (#20, 1.692m) was well ahead of Seven’s Today Tonight (#48, 1.214m) and Ten’s Neighbours (#66, 1.021m). Neighbours even managed to outrate TT in Sydney.

homeandaway_0005Sale Of The New Century (#29, 1.546m) won at 7.00pm, ahead of Home And Away (pictured)(#35, 1.428m), ABC News (#59, 1.095m) and Seinfeld (#68, 988,000).

The battle of the Sunday night movies was won by Nine’s Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery (#12, 1.825m), followed by Ten’s Dante’s Peak (#65, 1.048m) and Seven’s Courage Under Fire (#93, 746,000).

wheeloffortune_0001Nine’s Burgo’s Catchphrase (#84, 789,000) beat Seven’s Wheel Of Fortune (pictured)(#92, 749,000) in the 5.30pm game show battle.

Other notable rankings include Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (#21, 1.688m), All Saints (#32, 1.459m), Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show (#33, 1.444m), Water Rats (#50, 1.200m), the Grand Final of talent quest Starstruck (#42, 1.297m), Ten News At Five (weeknights, #56, 1.120m) and The Footy Show: AFL (#97, 723,000).

The Seven Network special The Deep End, an interview between Andrew Denton and Ian Thorpe, was ranked #31 with 1,464,000 viewers.

backyardblitzIn Sydney the top show was National Nine News (Sunday, 673,000) followed by Backyard Blitz (670,000), Seven’s lifestyle special Great Winter Ideas (617,000) and Burke’s Backyard (603,000).

Melbourne’s top show was Sunday’s National Nine News (834,000) followed by Backyard Blitz (745,000), Harry’s Practice (682,000) and then local magazine show Postcards (679,000) which had been shifted from 5.30pm to 7.00pm to bridge the half-hour gap between Backyard Blitz (pictured) and 60 Minutes.

greatwinterideasIn Brisbane the top rating show was Backyard Blitz (451,000) followed by Sunday’s National Nine News (436,000), Great Winter Ideas (pictured)(371,000) and movie Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery (350,000).

While Adelaide and Perth were included in the national totals, local rankings were not included in the Top 100 list.

Source: Mediaweek, 13 June 2000, with ratings data supplied by ACNielsen.

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/09/what-we-watched-june-2000.html

Sep 16 2014

Margaret and David to retire; At The Movies to end

davidmargaret_0001The mere mention of the names ‘Margaret and David’ and anyone will know who you’re talking about — Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton from ABC‘s At The Movies.

The pair have announced that after 28 years of reviewing and not always agreeing over movies that they will present their last At The Movies show in December.

As a result, At The Movies will not be returning in 2015.

Stratton, who has just turned 75, said it was time to go:

“After 28 years reviewing films on television with Margaret, ten of them at the ABC, I feel it’s time to go. We’ve had a wonderful time, thanks to very supportive and encouraging audiences, throughout that period. And we’ve worked with wonderful teams, both at SBS and at the ABC, people who discovered movies alongside us, helped and assisted us, and in the process became valued friends. We couldn’t have done it without them.

“Most of all, working with Margaret, whose enthusiasm, commitment and passion has been amazing (and only occasionally irritating) has been a joy for over a quarter of a century. But, since I turned 75 last week, I look forward to less pressure and more opportunities to enjoy the movies I love, in the years ahead.”

Pomeranz added:

“As David says, it’s time to go from the small screen after a great innings, thanks to all our viewers and the fabulous teams we’ve worked with over the years. And thank you to the ABC and SBS. We’ve been lucky to work for two great public broadcasters, and long may they prosper.

“My gratitude goes to David who gave me credibility just by being prepared to sit by me and discuss film when I am just a film enthusiast, not the great walking encyclopedia of film that he is. He’s a grand person, a most generous, decent man, even if a little stubborn at times.

“We’ve seen Australian films continue to mature over nearly three decades on air and I look forward to a continued involvement in this wonderful industry of ours which explores and reflects our culture and our peccadilloes. It’s been such a privilege to have been on the sidelines, witnessing the talent that this country produces in all areas of film production.

“I’m very sad to have to call an end to our show, it started out as a very fragile thing and only survived because there are enough lovers of film in this country to support a specific program about cinema. Thank you all.”

margaretpomeranzdavidstrattonBoth Stratton and Pomeranz were employed at SBS when it began broadcasting as Channel 0/28 in 1980 — with Stratton as resident movie host and Pomeranz working behind the scenes as a producer. Six years later they co-hosted a new series, The Movie Show (pictured), initially with Silvio Rivier.

‘Margaret and David’ presented The Movie Show until they made the move from SBS to ABC in 2004, where they continued the same format under a new name — At The Movies.

ABC Managing Director Mark Scott paid tribute to their contribution to ABC and to the wider arts community:

“The fact that everybody knows them as Margaret and David demonstrates how much they are loved by the Australian public. Their passionate and enthusiastic championing of the cinema art form, their articulate and always entertaining reviews and their personal rapport on stage (not to mention those earrings) have defined them. Their contribution to the ABC and to the wider arts community has been enormous. We are so proud to have worked with them for over a decade at the ABC and we will miss them. I give them five stars.”

SBS have retrieved from the archive the first edition of The Movie Show that went to air on 30 October 1986:


At The Movies makes its final appearance on 9 December.

YouTube: ABC TV Australia




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/09/margaret-and-david-to-retire-at-the-movies-to-end.html

Sep 16 2014

1994: September 17-23

tvweek_170994Cover: Lisa McCune (Blue Heelers)

Tristan tugged in a new direction
Tristan Bancks, who has just left Home And Away, and former co-star Dieter Brummer have become business partners in a new television production company. Bancks, who played Peter “Tug” O’Neale, has recently been in the United Kingdom to discuss ideas for a new show while also making television appearances and signing to play Aladdin in an upcoming panto. “I’ve talked to agents over there about doing some theatre work and teeing up some long-term stuff,” he told TV Week. “I’m interested in production, but mainly from the viewpoint that I can’t stay in the vibe of the industry when I’m not working as an actor.”

jaasonsimmons‘No-one can stand me!’
Tasmanian actor Jaason Simmons (pictured) has moved on from the ill-fated Paradise Beach and joined the cast of the hit American series Baywatch. Simmons plays the part of lifeguard Logan Fowler who joins the squad as part of a lifeguard exchange program with Australia. “Basically I’m there to cause conflict,” he told TV Week. “I’m an unconventional lifeguard and people I work with may not like me, but I do my job well so that’s why I’m staying. In fact, now that I think about it, no-one can stand me!” Simmons had first made the move to Los Angeles three years ago, collecting garbage in order to pay for acting classes and managed to score a minor part in Beverly Hills 90210 that ended up on the cutting room floor. He returned to Australia where he picked up the role of Harry Tate in Paradise Beach and also a role in the short film Page 73. He was working on Page 73 when he was told he had the Baywatch part. “I was a bit concerned after seeing this show and wondering what everyone would be like,” he said. “People think that ‘beautiful people’ can be hard to get along with, but everyone welcomed me with open arms… it is like a family.” Simmons’ appearances in Baywatch are due to begin airing in Australia later in the year.

Family law
Husband and wife actors Denis Moore and Val Levkowicz often end up working together — but it’s always by coincidence. This time the pair are working beside each other in ABC‘s Janus, with Moore as County Court Judge Grossman and Levkowicz as his associate, Rose Lipski. Yet they auditioned for the roles separately. “When I went to audition for Janus, Denis read opposite me — not the same role he ended up getting,” Levkowicz told TV Week. Moore added, “She got her part, and then I was asked to audition for the role of Grossman.” The pair have also worked together as married couple Ross and Bev Roberts in the sitcom Newlyweds. “No-one on the Newlyweds set even knew we were married in real life until a few weeks after we started,” Moore said.


  • Attitude reporter David Hannam (pictured) thought he had become a fully-fledged celebrity when he was asked for an autograph by a crowd of schoolchildren in Adelaide. His ego bubble was soon burst when he realised that the excited crowd thought he was AFL footballer Ben Hart to whom Hannam bears a striking resemblance.
  • Alex Dimitriades, the leading star of Ten‘s Heartbreak High, will be making his last appearance in the series at the end of the year. With co-star Sarah Lambert also leaving it means the movie premise that inspired the series — the teacher and the lovestruck pupil — will no longer be in the show.
  • Kym Wilson, Simone Buchanan and Marcus Graham are tipped to star in the upcoming Melbourne production of the play Desire. The show’s Sydney season starred Dee Smart (ex-Home And Away) and Chris Mayer (ex-Hey Dad).
  • This week marks the debut of Banjo Patterson’s Man From Snowy River. The 13-part series cost $11 million to produce — reported to be the most expensive drama produced in Australia to date.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing August 28):

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 World’s Greatest TV Commercials Seven Wed 2218000
2 Home Improvement Seven Wed 1957000
3 Australia’s Funniest Home Videos Nine Tue 1841000
4 Hey Hey By Request Nine Tue 1795000
5 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1794000
6 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1785000
7= National Nine News Nine Sun 1778000
7= Our House Nine Wed 1778000
9 Hangin’ With Mr Cooper Seven Thu 1726000
10 Getaway Nine Thu 1671000
11 National Nine News Nine M-F 1643000
12 Looking Good Nine Wed 1607000
13 Hey Hey It’s Saturday Nine Sat 1597000
14= National Nine News Nine Sat 1581000
14= Sale Of The Century Nine M-F 1581000
16 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1565000
17 SeaQuest DSV Ten Sun 1518000
18 Eyewitness News Ten Sun 1488000
19 Seven Nightly News Seven Sat 1481000
20 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1471000

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here

“It suddenly dawned on me just the other day (these things can take a while) that I have now seen 15 hours of the British series Between The Lines. I have been hanging around this page — and this business — for one or two days now and, in that time, I don’t recall a one-hour series completely hooking me as this one has. Obviously I’m not the only one, either. In this office, where we are lucky enough to get access to tapes in advance of episodes going to air on the Seven Network, we have a dedicated band eager to follow the latest pursuits of the show’s anti-hero, the internal investigations copper Tony Clark, played by Neil Pearson. There’s a less-than-orderly queue formed each week… after, of course, I’ve pulled ranked and had first look.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, September 17-23):
Saturday: The Women’s National Basketball League Grand Final is live from Melbourne (5pm, ABC). In A Country Practice (5.30pm, Ten), Jess (Jane Hall) befriends a little girl with a dream to become a vet, while Maggie (Joan Sydney) discovers the art of making plaster moulds and Ian (Paul Gleeson) makes the perfect model.

Sunday: The Preliminary Final of the Winfield Cup Rugby League is broadcast live (2.50pm, Nine) with highlights later in the day (6pm, ABC). Our World With Glenn Ridge (6.30pm, Nine) presents a documentary on the Great Ocean Road, presented by Melbourne newsreader Brian Naylor. Sunday night movies are The Addams Family (repeat, Seven), White Hunter, Black Heart (Nine) and Shining Through (Ten).

Monday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Jack’s (Daniel Amalm) luck with his string of girlfriends finally runs out.

Tuesday: In Blue Heelers (7.30pm, Seven), a farmer’s niece returns to Mount Thomas to help her family retain their property which they could lose due to an ancient law. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Kate Morrison (Deborra-Lee Furness) consults William (Michael Craig) seeking a double mastectomy as a preventative measure against breast cancer. In Law Of The Land (9.30pm, Nine), Clive (Richard Moir) questions Ray (Mike Bishop) about lying the night he was at the hotel.

Wednesday: In Wedlocked (8pm, Seven), Lex (Richard Piper) gets romantically involved with a member of the Salvation Army.

raymartinolivianewtonjohnThursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Debbie (Marnie Reece-Wilmore) has become more withdrawn and believes she can’t face Julie’s (Julie Mullins) funeral. Australian Biography (7.30pm, SBS) focuses on author Nancy Cato, whose most famous works include All The Rivers Run. Ray Martin Presents (8.30pm, Nine) features an interview with Olivia Newton-John (pictured with Ray Martin) who reveals the highs and lows in her personal and professional life, including her recent battle with breast cancer. Alyce Platt guest stars in legal drama Janus (8.30pm, ABC).

andrewclarke_0002Friday: Drama series Banjo Patterson’s Man From Snowy River (8.30pm, Nine) debuts with a two-hour episode, starring Andrew Clarke (pictured), Wendy Hughes, Guy Pearce, Victoria Tennant, John Stanton and Brett Climo.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 17 September 1994. Southdown Press




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