Apr 20 2014

1994: April 23-29

tvweek_230494Logies: Back to back Gold for Ray
Ray Martin (pictured with Logies guest Michael Crawford) has won his third Gold Logie at the 36th annual TV Week Logie Awards. “I’m very proud. To beat the likes of, especially people like Gary Sweet and Daryl Somers. I thought it was Gary’s year, so I’m very pleased,” Martin told TV Week. And as host of the Logies, he was also pleased with the new Sunday night presentation. “I hope we’ve started something with Sunday night at the Logies,” he said. “It was exciting having the first ‘new look’ Logies.”

Logies: Sweet soul music
The 36th annual TV Week Logie Awards got off to a futuristic start with a reworking of The Heat Is On (as The TV’s On) with David Dixon and Abi Tucker. Soul singer Randy Crawford had the audience spellbound with her rendition of the ballad Imagine — and a line-up of stars including Gary Sweet, Jon English, Rebecca Gibney, Jane Hall, Shirley Strachan, Derryn Hinch (on drums), Matthew Krok and Marika (Mark Mitchell) revved up the crowd with the ’70s hit Most People I Know.

budtingwell_0001Logies: This one’s for you, Bud!
Through his 54-year career, Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell (pictured) has been an actor, director, writer, producer and teacher and has been a passionate supporter of the Australian industry. And he is now also the 11th inductee into the TV Week Logie Awards Hall Of Fame. Tingwell’s career started in 1941 as a cadet announcer at Sydney radio station 2CH. After serving in World War II he co-founded a theatre company and then scored the lead role in the 1947 film Always Another Dawn. His career later took him to the United Kingdom where he worked for the next 15 years on stage, film and television. He returned to Australia in the early 1970s, initially as a guest star in Division 4 and then an ongoing role with Homicide. From that point on Tingwell has worked almost continuously, both in front and behind the camera, on programs including The Box, The Sullivans, Skyways, Cop Shop and Prisoner. More recent credits have included directing five episodes of Newlyweds, starring in the final Seven Network episode of A Country Practice and as “Gramps” in the Charlie The Wonderdog sketches in The Late Show.

raymartinbananasTV Week Logie Winners 1994: Public Voting Categories:

Gold Logie — Most Popular Personality: Ray Martin (Midday)

Silver Logie — Most Popular Actor: Gary Sweet (Police Rescue)
Silver Logie — Most Popular Actress: Sonia Todd (Police Rescue)

Most Popular Series: Home And Away (Seven Network)
Most Popular Drama: Police Rescue (ABC)
Most Popular Light Entertainment Program: Hey Hey It’s Saturday (Nine Network)
Most Popular Light Entertainment Personality: Ray Martin (Midday)
Most Popular Comedy Program: The Late Show (ABC)
Most Popular Comedy Personality: Ruth Cracknell (Mother And Son)
Most Popular Public Affairs Program: Real Life (Seven Network)
Most Popular Lifestyle Information Program: Burke’s Backyard (Nine Network)
Most Popular Sports Program: AFL Grand Final (Seven Network)
Most Popular Children’s Program: Agro’s Cartoon Connection (Seven Network)
Most Popular New Talent: Melissa George (Home And Away)

garrymcdonaldruthcracknellTV Week Logie Winners 1994: Industry Voting Categories:

Gold Logie — Hall Of Fame: Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell

Silver Logie — Most Outstanding Actor: Garry McDonald (Mother And Son) (pictured)
Silver Logie — Most Outstanding Actress: Ruth Cracknell (Mother And Son) (pictured)

Most Outstanding Achievement In Drama: Phoenix 2 (ABC)
Most Outstanding Documentary: Labor In Power (ABC)
Most Outstanding Achievement In News: Sydney 2000 Announcement (Nine Network)
Most Outstanding Achievement In Public Affairs: “Ships Of Shame”. Sunday (Nine Network)
Most Outstanding Achievement In Comedy: The Late Show (ABC)
Most Outstanding Achievement By Regional Television: Rest In Peace (Prime)


  • It seems not everyone has a sense of humour about Nine‘s new gotcha series Just Kidding — with threats of legal action from some of the show’s victims.
  • Graham Harvey, who played Michael Sturgess in E Street, is playing the part of a gay lover in the play Straight And Narrow at the Sydney Opera House, but it is not the first time he has played a gay character. He won acclaim for his portrayal of the lover of a man dying of AIDS in GP.
  • Rumours around the production of Olivia Newton-John‘s new series Human Nature indicate that the star is looking for a loophole in her contract to make an exit from the project.
  • A Country Practice has been relaunched by Network Ten with a function at the Collingwood Children’s Farm in Melbourne, complete with a bush band and special ACP gumboots the required footwear.

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here

Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell‘s name is not one that has been up there every year when the various Logie Awards categories have been announced, yet he has been part of the backbone of the showbusiness industry in Australia. And it is a credit to him that young performers such as the D Generation, who were seen to be at the cutting of TV last year with The Late Show, sought his services. Behind the scenes, Bud has been just as active over several decades as a writer, director and producer. His TV Week Logies Hall Of Fame Award is richly deserved and, from all here, our warmest congratulations to him. Those congratulations also go to the winners of each and every category in this year’s Logies.”

petatoppano_0001Program Highlights (Melbourne, April 23-29):
Saturday: NBL Mitsubishi Challenge (11.35pm, Ten) features a delayed telecast of Melbourne versus Sydney from the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

Sunday: Peta Toppano (pictured) joins the cast of Heartbreak High (6.30pm, Ten). Sunday night movies are The Naked Gun 2 1/2 (Seven), Memoirs Of An Invisible Man (Nine) and Alien 3 (Ten).

Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Doug (Terence Donovan) and Pam (Sue Jones) rush Gaby (Rachel Blakely) to hospital. Politician Cheryl Kernot is a guest on The Talk Show (7.30pm, SBS).

Tuesday: In Blue Heelers (7.30pm, Seven), the fate of a small boy hangs in the balance due to a maze of untruths. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Peter (Dominic Elmaloglou) falls for his teacher, but his interest soon changes when he learns she is HIV positive.

Wednesday: In A Country Practice (7.30pm, Ten), Harry (Andrew Blackman) is marooned at Melbourne Airport with an attractive young woman after they both lose luggage. This week’s Under The Skin (8pm, SBS) drama is Old Sam, Jasper And Mr Frank, the story of an elderly pensioner (played by Alwyn Kurts), bullied by local kids, who strikes up an unexpected friendship with his six-year-old neighbour. Nancye Hayes hosts the special Once In A Blue Moon: A Celebration Of Australian Musicals (8.30pm, ABC).

Thursday: The Big Byte (7.30pm, SBS) looks at a computer game which teaches children how to deal with diabetes. In Beyond 2000 (7.30pm, Ten), Andrew Waterworth examines a new machine for cooking and unlike the microwave oven, has no radiation; and Iain Finlay investigates a new system for scuba divers.

Friday: Alan Jones Live (7pm, Ten) presents a one-hour special edition, The Great Bank Debate. In Rex Hunt’s The Great Outdoors (7.30pm, Seven), Frankie J Holden goes formula one yacht racing on Sydney Harbour, Bridget Adams travels to Cowra to visit a Japanese garden, and Penny Cook reviews a book that will give a good start to scouting, camping and bushcraft.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  23 April 1994. Southdown Press.



Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/04/1994-april-23-29.html

Apr 17 2014

Jack Benny and JO’K in 1964 Good Friday Appeal

jackbennyLegendary American comedian Jack Benny (pictured) was the special guest at the Sporting Globe-3DB-HSV7 Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal in March 1964.

Benny, visiting Australia for a series of stage shows in Sydney and Melbourne plus a TV special, appeared on the annual telethon during the afternoon as well as being the star attraction for The Celebrity Hour, the highlight of the evening component of the all-day appeal.

Also featuring in The Celebrity Hour were Johnny O’Keefe, French-Canadian singer Vicki Benet and personalities from HSV7 programs Sunnyside Up, The Delo And Daly Show and Variety 7.

O’Keefe and performer Lorrae Desmond were co-stars with Benny on his stage shows as well as the follow-up special, The Jack Benny Show In Australia, which was taped at ATN7, Sydney, and screened in April that year.

Ten years later, the 1974 Good Friday Appeal was preceded the night before by a half-hour special, After The Tears. The documentary took viewers behind the scenes at the hospital that tends to thousands of sick children each year, not just from Victoria but from around Australia and overseas.

Special guests at the 1974 telethon were Johnny Farnham and Colleen Hewett, performing songs from the stage musical Pippin, and British actor George Layton from the series Doctor In Charge.

briannaylor_0001Newsreaders Brian Naylor (pictured with a hospital patient) and David Johnston hosted the telethon, with football commentator and Penthouse Club co-host Michael Williamson and John D’Arcy in the phone room and Mal Walden presenting progress updates for the regional centres.

Reporter Dan Webb conducted interviews with staff and patients at the hospital, and appearing on the telethon were Seven Network personalities including Mary Hardy and Shirlene Clancy from Penthouse Club, Tony Barber and Barbara Rogers from Temptation, Blind Date host Bobby Hanna plus Paul Hogan, Happy Hammond, Zig and Zag and cast members from Homicide and Class Of ’74.

The 1974 telethon raised around $900,000 — a considerable boost from the previous year’s total of $778,019.

rch_2013_0002This year’s appeal, hosted for the first time at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, will hope to break last year’s record total of $16,405,534.65.

This year marks the return of the prime time charity concert — featuring performances by Taylor Henderson, Samantha Jade, Mark Seymour, Nathaniel, Kate Ceberano, Daryl Braithwaite, The Collective, Joe Camilleri and Boom Crash Opera.

Seven personalities to appear during the day include Peter Mitchell, Jennifer Keyte and Tim Watson from Seven News, David Koch, Sam Armytage and Mark Beretta from Sunrise, The X Factor’s Luke Jacobz, The Morning Show‘s Larry Emdur and Deal Or No Deal host Andrew O’Keefe plus cast members from Home And Away, A Place To Call Home, Winners And Losers and Better Homes And Gardens.

Since the appeal’s launch in 1931 more than $260 million has been raised for the Royal Children’s Hospital.

The Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal is supported by the Herald and Weekly Times, HSV Seven and radio stations 3AW and Magic 1278.

Royal Children’s Good Friday Appeal.  Friday 18 April, from 9am. Seven (Melbourne) and Prime7 (Regional Victoria).  

Source: TV Times, 25 March 1964. TV Times, 6 April 1974. The Age, 11 April 1974.

UPDATE @ 12.15AM AEST 19.4.2014: The 2014 Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday has signed off with a record-breaking final total of $16,846,396.09


Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/04/jack-benny-and-jok-in-1964-good-friday-appeal.html

Apr 13 2014

1994: April 16-22

tvweek_160494Logies: Who’ll walk away with Gold?
TV Week previews the 36th annual TV Week Logie Awards, to be hosted by Ray Martin (pictured) from the World Congress Centre, Melbourne. International guests include Michael Crawford, Grant Shaud (Murphy Brown) and Randy Crawford. The presentation is set to open with a space-age performance featuring David Dixon, Abi Tucker (Heartbreak High) and Caroline O’Connor. A total of 23 Logies will be handed out on the night, culminating with the Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality on Australian Television. The Logies after party will feature top acts from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Nominations: TV Week Logie Awards publicly-voted categories:

Gold Logie — Most Popular Personality: Daryl Somers, Ray Martin, Gary Sweet, Dieter Brummer

Silver Logie — Most Popular Actor: Dieter Brummer, Shane Porteous, Gary Sweet

Silver Logie — Most Popular Actress: Melissa George, Rebecca Gibney, Sonia Todd

Most Popular New Talent: Kimberley Davies, Melissa George, Jo Beth Taylor

Most Popular Lifestyle/Information Program: Australia’s Most Wanted, Burke’s Backyard, Talk To The Animals

Most Popular Children’s Program: Agro’s Cartoon Connection, Play School, Vidiot

Most Popular Public Affairs Program: A Current Affair, Real Life, Hinch

Most Popular Sports Program: AFL Grand Final, The Ashes, Rugby League State Of Origin

Most Popular Light Entertainment Personality: Andrew Denton, Ray Martin, Daryl Somers

Most Popular Light Entertainment Program: Hey Hey It’s Saturday, The Late Show, Midday With Ray Martin

Most Popular Series: A Country Practice, GP, Home And Away

Most Popular Drama: Law Of The Land, Police Rescue, Snowy

Most Popular Comedy Performer: Ruth Cracknell, Garry McDonald, Daryl Somers

Most Popular Comedy Program: Hey Hey It’s Saturday, The Late Show, Mother And Son

TV Week Logie Award industry-voted categories:

Gold Logie — Hall Of Fame, Most Outstanding Actor, Most Outstanding Actress, Most Outstanding Achievement In Drama, Most Outstanding Achievement In News, Most Outstanding Achievement In Comedy, Most Outstanding Achievement In Public Affairs, Most Outstanding Documentary (Single Program or Series), Most Outstanding Achievement By Regional Television.


  • andrewwilliamsFormer E Street and Neighbours star Andrew Williams (pictured) has landed a role in the popular US series Melrose Place. Williams makes his first appearance in the end-of-season episode and is expected to continue in an ongoing role. William’s casting follows news that Australians Cameron Daddo and Kylie Travis will be appearing in the Melrose Place spin-off, Models Inc.
  • Shane Withington, best known from A Country Practice, is returning to TV — but not as an actor. He will be a commentator on soaps for ABC‘s TVTV program. “I’m not reviewing, I’m not a critic,” he told TV Week. “I’m just giving an update on what’s happening in the world of the soapies. It’s totally tongue-in-cheek.”
  • Recent talk show pilots hosted by radio sex therapist Dr Feelgood (Sally Cockburn) have impressed Seven Network executive Des Monaghan, who is set to give an ongoing series the green light. Rumoured timeslot for the new show is Mondays at 10.30pm.


Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here

logies_1994_0002“The Logie Awards Official Program, which comes free with this issue of TV Week, mentions several firsts for the awards, not the least being the Sunday night timeslot. The program itself also is a first. It is the same program that invited guests will find on their seats in the John Batman Theatre at the World Congress Centre. A lot of fun in putting the program together revolved around the questions on Page 10. To go back over their history, particularly those formative years when television itself was just finding its way, is a fascinating exercise. For instance, until we started delving into the archives I hadn’t realised that the 1963 awards were postponed because the overseas guest didn’t turn up.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, April 16-22):
Saturday: Saturday night AFL includes 90 minutes of highlights of the day’s matches (6pm, Seven), later followed by live coverage from Perth of West Coast Eagles versus Fitzroy (8.30pm, Seven).

Sunday: Radio presenter Neil Mitchell hosts Talking Melbourne (5pm, Nine). In Heartbreak High (6.30pm, Ten), when Irini (Elly Varrenti) dies, George (Nick Lathouris) gives in totally to his grief, while Nick (Alex Dimitriades) withdraws emotionally. Sunday night movies are Wayne’s World (Seven) and Die Hard 2 (repeat, Ten) — up against the 36th annual TV Week Logie Awards (8.30pm, Nine), hosted by Ray Martin.

Monday: In Talk To The Animals (7.30pm, Seven), Mike Lester goes behind the scenes at a dog show, Dr Harry Cooper visits Melbourne Zoo to assist in the vaccinations of some meerkats, and Steve Oemcke looks at dog sled races with Siberian huskies and Alaskan malamutes. In Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten), Lyn Talbot has advice for people buying computers, and Tonia Todman makes an unusual garden gift.

julienihillTuesday: In Blue Heelers (7.30pm, Seven), when her ex-husband is supposedly found dead, no-one is more surprised than Chris (Julie Nihill, pictured) when she finds that he is very much alive. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Zoe (Janelle Owen) gets a taste of the workforce and responsibility when she a lands a part-time job.

Wednesday: In A Country Practice (7.30pm, Ten), Maggie (Joan Sydney) and Claire (Claudia Black) are called in to keep the peace as the rush is on to have renovations completed in time for the official opening of the local health centre. The Melbourne International Festival Charity Gala (8.30pm, Seven), hosted by Wendy Harmer, features performers including the Tokyo Shock Boys, Bobcat Goldthwait, Jimeoin, Tania Lacy and the Del Rubio Triplets.

Thursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Doug (Terence Donovan) and Cody (Peta Brady) are at loggerheads over the sale of the house. In Heartland (8.30pm, ABC), Vincent (Ernie Dingo) realises that he must confront his past before he can face any future.

Friday: In The Great Outdoors (7.30pm, Seven), guest presenter Chris Mainwaring explores the Karajini National Park, and Frankie J Holden visits the Tasmanian town of Evandale which is hosting the annual Australian National Penny Farthing Bicycle Championships.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  16 April 1994.  Southdown Press.


Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/04/1994-april-16-22.html

Apr 06 2014

1994: April 9-15

tvweek_090494Cover: Nicki Buckley, Glenn Ridge (Sale Of The Century)

Practiced professionals
This week’s return of A Country Practice, now on Network Ten, sets the pace early, with a wedding, a reunion and a life-saving operation. And for Andrew Blackman, continuing his role as Dr Harry Morrison, the revived series gives him a bigger role now as Wandin Valley’s only regular GP. “The move to Ten has meant a huge change for me,” he told TV Week. “The only thing that’s the same is that my character is the same and there are a few familiar names and places in town.” Joan Sydney, who left the original ACP five years ago, is now back as Matron Sloan. “When I was first asked to come back in 1990, I turned them down because I was just finding my feet again with theatre,” she said. “But I said yes this time because I thought it would be nice to renew acquaintance with the old girl (Sloan).”

michaeltunn_0001Tunn turns it up!
Michael Tunn (pictured), host of ABC‘s The Afternoon Show, is now host of its replacement program, music show Loud. The new half-hour series includes music videos as well as movie and video game reviews. The 20-year-old says that despite being up against game shows, Loud‘s 5.30pm timeslot will make it very appealing for its youth audience. “5.30pm is a bit of a hard zone for teenagers, because there’s not a lot on for them. The game shows are aimed towards adults anyway,” he told TV Week. But he knows the show will be a challenge. “Youth television is the hardest television in the country at the moment — I think Level 23 discovered that. I think their timeslot (6.00pm) was a big factor for them… it’s pretty hard to convince mum and dad not to watch the news and to watch that program instead.” As well as hosting Loud, Tunn will continue his five-night-a-week shift on radio Triple J. “I’m really a radio person,” he said. “In TV, I’m sort of like a radio DJ on television, as opposed to a television presenter.”

michellereikenMichelle finds talkback a turn-off
Former Hinch reporter Michelle Reiken (pictured) says switching networks earlier this year is the best move she’s ever made. After Ten axed the Hinch program she knocked back an offer to join Ten’s Alan Jones Live as she felt the program lacked direction. “I had a lot of concerns about the direction Alan Jones Live would take,” she told TV Week. “I couldn’t get any answers to a lot of the questions that I asked about the format and the content. I was a little bit concerned that they didn’t seem to have it thought through.” But now as Brisbane bureau chief for Seven‘s Real Life, Reiken is pleased to be working on a program that relies less on foot-in-the-door journalism. “The audience grew very tired and cynical of that and I think Real Life has been the first program to offer an alternative.”


  • Sixteen-year-old Tempany Deckert (pictured) is Home And Away‘s newest cast member, as promiscuous student Selina, who has designs on teacher Luke Cunningham (John Adam). “She’s a tart but really fun, sad at the same time and a little bit mixed up,” she told TV Week.
  • Just as ABC has announced Scott McRae as Eden Gaha‘s replacement on game show Vidiot, Gaha has now left his role as host of Ten‘s Take 40 TV. Negotiations between Ten and Gaha failed after the network made the decision to feature more guest presenters on the show.
  • emmarossimaryrossiEmma Rossi, former Seven news reporter now working on Real Life, is following her mother’s footsteps into television. Her mum is Mary Rossi, one of the first female presenters on Australian television to challenge the stereotype of women on TV. As host of the ABC‘s Women’s World in the Fifties and Sixties, Mary challenged the view that women should retire from professional life when they have children. It was a topic that raised itself every time she would add to the Rossi clan — 10 children in all!

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here:

“It’s unmistakeably that time of year again. Well, it’s a little later than what has been that time of year in the past, but I suspect the TV Week Logie Awards would have a very special feel about them no matter what time they were held. One of the main reasons we decided to go later this year — April instead of the traditional March — was that it would better fit in with the hiatus taken by the US series, in theory, therefore, increasing the availability of international stars to be our special guests. Well, a bit of a rumble in the bowels of the Earth somewhere under Los Angeles soon fixed that. Not only did it cause death and destruction, but the earthquake also created havoc with the production schedules of many series and movies. That time, of course, has to be picked up.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, April 9-15):
Saturday: Katrina Lee hosts travel series Holiday (7.30pm, ABC).

Sunday: Sunday AFL includes live coverage of Sydney Swans versus Adelaide, from the SCG (2pm, Seven), followed by highlights of Collingwood versus Footscray (5pm, Seven) and Carlton versus Geelong (6.30pm, Seven). In Heartbreak High (6.30pm, Ten), the soccer team continues to perform dismally and low morale threatens to destroy the team. Sunday night movies are Black Robe (Seven), Basic Instinct (Nine) and Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom (repeat, Ten).

Monday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Shane (Dieter Brummer) plans to teach Jack (Daniel Amalm) a lesson he’ll never forget. In Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten), Tonia Todman has hints on making gifts for Mother’s Day, Ronnie Burns talks to the experts about termites, and Iain Hewitson visits a honey farm.

Tuesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Shane’s (Dieter Brummer) plan of revenge on Jack (Daniel Amalm) goes wrong, and Fisher (Norman Coburn) throws Irene’s (Lynne McGranger) plan to buy the beach house into turmoil. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), when Martin’s (Damian Rice) university mentor is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, he realises there is more to life than there seems. Ray Martin Presents (8.30pm, Nine) features an interview with Kevin Costner.

andrewblackmanWednesday: In the series return of A Country Practice (7.30pm, now on Ten), Harry (Andrew Blackman, pictured) receives some devastating news from wife Kate in China, and Ian (Paul Gleeson) enlists Esme Watson’s (Joyce Jacobs) help for a special Valentine’s Day dinner. Tina Bursill stars in Long Way Round, this week’s drama in Under The Skin (8pm, SBS). In documentary No Death In Brunswick (8.30pm, SBS), Father Anthony Bongiorno from Brunswick, Melbourne, talks about his faith and the future of the Church.

Thursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Lou (Tom Oliver) asks Brett (Brett Blewitt) to propose to Cheryl (Caroline Gillmer) on his behalf. In Beyond 2000 (7.30pm, Ten), Iain Finlay investigates how British Telecom and Apple Computers are trying to encourage people to lose their apathy towards computers. Sketch comedy series Full Frontal (8.30pm, Seven) is back with a new series.

Friday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Rick (Dan Falzon) is shocked when he discovers he has failed everything except Japanese for the first term. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Tug’s (Tristan Bancks) dyslexia causes a near disaster. Friday Night Football (7.30pm, Seven) features Sydney Swans versus Richmond, live from Sydney.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 9 April 1994.  Southdown Press.





Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/04/1994-april-9-15.html

Apr 05 2014

VOTE NOW: Best Australian Blog Competition

BB2014-PCA-voteTELEVISION.AU — The History Of Australian Television has been nominated in the Australian Writers’ Centre Best Australian Blogs Competition 2014.

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Both sites were amalgamated into the single platform in 2012.

Features on this website include:

To vote for this website in the People’s Choice Award please click on the above logo or here and follow the prompts. This site is listed under “T” for Television.AU.

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Apr 05 2014

1994: April 2-8

tvweek_020494Cover: Grant Show (Melrose Place)

Melissa’s sitcom haunt
Former E Street star Melissa Tkautz, recently seen in Paradise Beach, is rumoured to have reunited with E Street producer Forrest Redlich for a new sitcom pilot he is developing for the Nine Network. It is believed Redlich wants Tkautz to star in the new project, based on the story of a man who haunts his murdering wife and daughters.

Ray treads on hallowed ground
This year’s TV Week Logie Awards host Ray Martin admits he is nervous in taking on the big gig. “There are some very tough acts to follow,” he told TV Week. This year will also see the awards presented in a theatre setting, not the traditional cabaret style. “This year’s Logies will be more like the Oscars. There won’t be the usual distractions of people talking and waiters walking around.” International guests coming to the Logies include Michael Crawford, Randy Crawford and Murphy Brown star Grant Shaud. Executive Producer Peter Wynne isn’t giving much away about the show but hints that much of the budget will go towards a futuristic light show. “It will look as if the theatre has been transported out of this world, and that’s all I’m saying,” he told TV Week.

Hot cross bunny!
Comedian Jimeoin had a novel idea for when TV Week was coming to visit on set. He took inspiration from the cooking segment that features on his self-titled comedy show and adapted it to an Easter theme. A microwave, lots of melted chocolate and a (toy) rabbit… and, well you can imagine where this was going. It was silly, but for Jimeoin that was his basic recipe for putting together his show. “We don’t worry too much about production values, and that’s probably evident when you watch the show!,” he says. “We genuinely are enjoying ourselves. I really look forward to coming in here every week and doing the show.”


  • Former E Street star Scott McRae has been chosen to replace Eden Gaha as host of ABC‘s kids show Vidiot. Gaha is now host of Network Ten‘s Take 40 TV.
  • The future of Network Ten‘s youth magazine show Level 23 is looking grim. After a brief run at 6.00pm weeknights it was bumped to one hour on a weekend afternoon. The show is now on a two-week production break and is believed to be crunch time for the network to make a decision on its future.
  • Certain Home And Away starlets are seemingly none to happy about the star treatment being given to Seven‘s new star, Andrew Denton. Apparently one bone of contention is his lavish dressing room, and certain Home And Away stars think they should have the same.

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here

andrewdenton_0003“By the end of Week One of his debut season on a commercial network, Andrew Denton (pictured) had demonstrated his grasp of common sense and given a glimpse of what might be in this most interesting of television scenarios. The common sense was his choice of material for the second Denton. Or, rather, it was what he chose to leave out after, no doubt, a long post-mortem on Show One. During his second effort, I don’t recall one mention of the fact that Denton is now on a commercial network, a fact he flogged mercilessly during his opening show to the point of where it was becoming boring — not a word usually associated with Denton. His across-the-table chat with former Late Show comic Mick Molloy bordered on dull, save for a few quick grabs of Late Show sketches. Amanda Keller gave us an updated version of the “new and unusual products” segment Graham Kennedy and Bert Newton used to do 30 years ago, and Senator Cheryl Kernot confirmed that the “emergency guest” — actress Georgie Parker, shut away in a cage at the back of the set — would have been a sparkling interview by comparison.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, April 2-8):
Saturday: Tim Webster hosts a two-hour preview (3.30pm, Ten) of tomorrow’s James Hardie 12 Hour Race from Mount Panorama, Bathurst.

Sunday: Ten’s coverage of the James Hardie 12 Hour Race kicks off with the opening hour from 6.00am, then continues with race updates at 9am, 10am and 11am before live coverage resumes at midday, continuing through to 5.30pm. Sunday night movies are The Chain (Seven), Police Academy 3: Back In Training (repeat, Nine) and Star Wars (repeat, Ten).

Monday: For Easter Monday, Nine’s usual weekday afternoon line-up makes way for an afternoon of Wide World Of Sports (12pm), including coverage of the Stawell Gift and Autumn Racing Carnival. In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Brett (Brett Blewitt) is anxious about facing Stonefish (Anthony Engelman) at school, and Rick’s (Dan Falzon) obsession with Sally (Brenda Webb) continues.

rebekahelmaloglouTuesday: In The Bob Morrison Show (8pm, Nine), Steve (Andy Anderson) arrives home with a brand new ute and Lizzy (Nikki Coghill) is furious because it hasn’t been discussed with her. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), the wedding of William’s (Michael Craig) friend Alistair (David Baldwin) and Julie’s (Denise Roberts) friend Doreen (Valerie Bader) is plagued with disaster. The episode guest stars Rebekah Elmaloglou (pictured) and Briony Behets.

Wednesday: In Hey Dad! (7.30pm, Seven), Ben (Ben Oxenbould) has difficulty paying his board, and Betty’s (Julie McGregor) mum panics when she hears that Mr Russell (Mark Owen-Taylor) is now running the business.

Thursday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Sarah (Laura Vasquez) saves Angel (Melissa George) from being caught by the police, and Tug’s (Tristan Bancks) attempts to prove his maturity come unstuck. In Beyond 2000 (7.30pm, Ten), Iain Finlay reports on the chewing gum invented by dental scientists that cleans and polishes teeth without scratching the enamel, Dr Caroline West investigates virtual surgery in Boston, and Anthony Griffis looks at the world’s first three dimensional, animated, laser billboard.

Friday: In Rex Hunt’s Great Outdoors (7.30pm, Seven), Dieter Brummer gives some tips on budget accommodation, Ernie Dingo tries a new skateboard, Rex Hunt goes fly-fishing for trout in Cooma, and Shelley Taylor-Smith takes Frankie J Holden to Manly Dam where she prepares for ocean swimming competitions.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 2 April 1994.  Southdown Press.




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/04/1994-april-2-8.html

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Mar 31 2014

25 years since Aggregation

parliamenthouseIt was 25 years ago — 31 March 1989 — that Canberra and Wollongong overnight went from having one commercial television channel to three.

This was part of the implementation of the federal government’s aggregation policy — whereby individual regional areas of one commercial station would merge into one larger competitive market of three commercial stations.

Southern NSW and ACT was the first such aggregated market to launch, as Prime (Orange/Dubbo/Wagga Wagga), WIN (Wollongong) and Capital (Canberra) would be broadcasting across each other’s markets in competition.

In the lead up to aggregation Prime formed an affiliation to the Seven Network, WIN to the Nine Network and Capital (now Southern Cross Ten) to Network Ten.

The first stage in aggregation was Canberra gaining Prime and WIN, and Wollongong gaining Prime and Capital from midnight on 31 March 1989. Delays in communication infrastructure meant that WIN and Capital could not expand into Prime’s marketplace until December that year.

On the eve of their respective launches in Canberra and Wollongong, both Prime and WIN held lavish functions in Canberra — attended by celebrities from both Seven and Nine networks.

win_1989At the stroke of midnight, WIN made its on air debut in Canberra with opening speeches by Bruce Gyngell, the man who appeared on the first night of television in 1956, and Prime Minister Bob Hawke, who was seeing the fruition of his government’s aggregation policy. WIN’s first post-launch program was a special edition of MTV, hosted by Richard Wilkins from WIN’s launch party at the Lakeside Hotel.

primelogoPrime was launched on-air by the network’s chief executive Allan Hoy and company chairman Paul Ramsay.

Prime’s first program post-launch was the Seven Network’s midnight transmission of the US Today show from NBC.

Prime also presented a one-hour launch special on the evening of Friday 31 March.

In expanding to Canberra, Prime and WIN both launched their own half-hour local news bulletins supplemented with the Seven and Nine news bulletins from Sydney to compete with Capital’s one-hour bulletin of local and national news. Prime would later withdraw its local news bulletin in Canberra before re-launching it in 1993.

ctc7_0004Despite the advent of the two new commercial channels and the arrival or return of shows like Hey Hey It’s Saturday, Home And Away, Beyond 2000, 60 Minutes, A Current Affair, Today and Sale Of The Century, initial ratings for the new three-station market in Canberra saw many local viewers remaining loyal to their former incumbent, Capital. This went against the capital city trend at the time which had Capital’s parent network Ten down in third place.

Capital won the survey with 38.5 per cent market share, followed by WIN (25.5%), ABC (16.8%), Prime (16.6%) and SBS (2.3%). Capital’s dominance was largely underpinned by its 6.00pm news hour, which drew in as much as 65 per cent market share, while Prime and WIN’s new local news bulletins were down to single figures. With such a lead at the start of the evening, viewers stayed with Capital into prime time.

In Wollongong, WIN (42.5%) was miles ahead of second placed ABC (14.0%), followed by Capital (10.0%), Prime (9.4%) and SBS (1.4%). Even though the three commercial networks were now broadcast via local outlets, Wollongong viewers still showed some favour to the distant Sydney channels, with ATN7 (7.9%), TCN9 (7.1%) and TEN10 (6.7%).

By the end of the year, at a time when the Ten Network was in a dire financial situation, Capital was still leading in Canberra — with 37.9 per cent market share, followed by WIN (23.6%), Prime (22.5%), ABC (13.8%) and SBS (2.1%).

In Wollongong at the end of the year, WIN (39.5%) was ahead of Prime (17.7%), Capital (12.9%), ABC (10.4%) and SBS (1.1%), with the three Sydney channels on a combined 18.5%.

As time went on and as local viewers became more accustomed to their new choices and adapted their sets to receive the new channels on UHF, viewing patterns in the aggregated markets would begin to closer resemble those of the capital cities.

Source: Parliamentary Education Office. The Canberra Times, 31 March 1989, 29 June 1989, 2 November 1989.
YouTube: jmoul79

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/03/25-years-since-aggregation.html

Mar 27 2014

Lachlan Murdoch exits Ten

lachlanmurdochLachlan Murdoch has stepped down as a Director and Chairman of the Ten Network to take up a co-chairman role at News Corp and its sister company 21st Century Fox, working alongside his father, Rupert.

For the younger Murdoch it’s a return to the family business since they parted ways in 2005.

Murdoch’s tenure at Ten is not likely to be remembered as a high point in the network’s history. Under his management — which included a stint as acting CEO — Ten embarked on a brutal cost-cutting regime, including a number of high profile redundancies. The sports-themed channel One HD was reworked into a general entertainment channel, while the main Ten channel has swung its focus between key demographics, at times in conflict with its own secondary channel, Eleven.

Ten lost its position as joint broadcaster of AFL and failed in its bid to secure rights to the NRL. On a slightly more positive note, the network did gain rights to Big Bash League cricket and the 2014 Winter Olympics. Both events scored well in the normally quiet summer non-ratings period but have not translated to long term ratings gain.

Murdoch was instrumental in hiring New Zealand presenter Paul Henry for the ill-fated Breakfast program.

Video Hits, The Circle and Ten Late News were axed — only to have all three replaced with similar formats.

New programs such as The Bolt Report, Being Lara Bingle, Everybody Dance Now, The Shire, Don’t Tell The Bride and I Will Survive have done little to help Ten’s position in the marketplace. Long running current affairs show Meet The Press was outsourced to Murdoch’s News Limited but has since vanished without trace.

There were high profile executive appointments — and departures — including former Seven executive James Warburton, whose signing to Ten sparked a legal fight from Seven which saw his arrival at Ten delayed by several months. Warburton was let go from Ten after only 14 months in the role.

More recently, a similar legal stoush has been triggered by the signing up of veteran TV programmer John Stephens from Seven, leading to Seven making him a counter-offer not to move. The situation has yet to be resolved.

The network’s fortunes have plummeted. So too has the share price.

The most telling sign of Ten’s performance is in the ratings. Market share is at historic lows not seen for decades, if ever. Since the last quarter of 2012, Ten has fallen from its traditional (though profitable) third place on the ratings ladder to fourth, behind ABC. This year some of Ten’s key properties, such as the The Biggest Loser and the revived So You Think You Can Dance Australia, have even swung perilously close to the ultimate commercial humiliation — being beaten by SBS.

Current Ten CEO Hamish McLennan has been elected to take over as Executive Chairman.

Deputy Chairman Brian Long welcomed McLennan to the new role:

“Hamish will make an excellent successor to Lachlan as Chairman. He combines deep international experience in advertising and media, along with a broad business understanding. The Board looks forward to Hamish leading Ten as Executive Chairman.”

Murdoch will continue to serve as Chairman for the Nova Entertainment Group, which includes the Nova and Smooth radio networks.



Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/03/lachlan-murdoch-exits-ten.html

Mar 25 2014

1994: March 26-April 1

tvweek_260394Blue Heelers’ red hot cops!
Blue Heelers stars Lisa McCune and Martin Sacks (pictured) might clash on screen as their alter egos Maggie Doyle and PJ Hasham, but in real life they are much better mates. “Martin’s like a big brother to me,” McCune told TV Week. “He’s a mate, and he’s such a gentleman! He’s so chivalrous, very polite and sensitive.” Both actors are now also learning how to cope with being recognised in public. While Sacks has been acting since the late 1970s, Blue Heelers is his first leading role. “Although I’ve had a lot of work, it’s never been in something where I was recognised much in public,” he said. Before Blue Heelers, McCune was best known from a series of TV commercials for the Coles supermarket chain. “It’s so nice now I’m starting to be recognised as Maggie, although people still say to me, ‘You’re the Coles girl, aren’t you?’,” she said.

georgieparkerLook who’s talking about a chat show!
Former A Country Practice star Georgie Parker, (pictured) soon to appear in Seven‘s new series Over The Hill, has been asked to host a prime time chat show being developed by Don Burke‘s CTC Productions. Parker was a recent guest star on Burke’s Backyard and instantly impressed Burke. “Georgie and I had never met, but after two sentences, I knew she was perfect for the show,” he told TV Week. “We’ve had this project on the backburner for four or five years because we couldn’t find the right person.” The talk show project, intended for a mid-evening timeslot, would be a “classy program featuring interesting Australians”.

neilmercerNeil moves with The Times
This week marks the launch of Seven‘s long-awaited weekly current affairs program, The Times. Hosted by former Four Corners reporter Neil Mercer (pictured), The Times features reporters Marie Mohr, Anne Johnson, Tim Stott and Seven’s political editor Glenn Milne. “The show won’t be glamorous,” Mercer told TV Week. “We won’t be in the studio wearing suits and ties and made up for the cameras. There will be no voice-overs, but there will be a lot of graphics.” Mercer is currently also hosting Seven’s daytime news program Eleven AM until regular host Ann Sanders returns from maternity leave.


  • Denise Drysdale (pictured), long rumoured to have been feuding with Daryl Somers since her split from Hey Hey It’s Saturday, will be a guest host of the program next week as Somers will still be in London.
  • The Nine Network is negotiating to secure Hollywood actor Kevin Costner for an upcoming interview special to be hosted by Ray Martin. The special will coincide with the upcoming release the Costner-produced film, Rapa Nui.
  • Canadian singer kd Lang will be a special guest at this year’s ARIA Awards, to be hosted by Richard Stubbs and broadcast on the Nine Network. Other international acts to appear include Willie Nelson, Don McLean and Urban Cookie Collective. 

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here

“A couple of months ago I wrote a glowing column about an American show called Grace Under Fire, which is now one of the hottest series in the US. It stars a comedienne named Brett Butler, and I was absolutely bursting with enthusiasm for it. But that piece has never seen light of day because, just before we were about to go to press, Network Ten called to say Grace Under Fire had been removed from their schedule for no apparent reason. Well, I’m pleased to report that it is coming soon… on the Seven Network.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, March 26-April 1):
Saturday: Wide World Of Sports (12pm, Nine) includes coverage of the Australian 500cc Grand Prix Trials. The AFL premiership season commences, with highlights of the day’s Round One matches (6pm, Seven). The Price Is Right host Larry Emdur is guest host of Hey Hey It’s Saturday (6.30pm, Nine).

Sunday: Ken Sutcliffe and commentators Darrell Eastlake and Barry Sheene host live coverage of the Australian 500cc Grand Prix (11.45am, Nine) from Eastern Creek. AFL coverage includes Brisbane Bears versus Sydney Swans (2pm, Seven), live from Brisbane, and Adelaide Crows versus Carlton (5.30pm, Seven), live from Adelaide. Sunday night movies are Dead Or Alive (Seven), Perfect Witness (Nine) and Harry And The Hendersons (repeat, Ten).

Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Pam (Sue Jones) has to face Doug (Terence Donovan) over her relationship with Tom (George Mallaby). In Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten), Ross Greenwood has advice for people involved in fund raising, Ronnie Burns learns all about home brewing, and Iain Hewitson cooks up a classic dish — chicken and ratatouille.

Tuesday: In GP (8.30pm, ABC), the safety of Ian (Tony Llewellyn-Jones) and his family is put in jeopardy when one of his patients takes revenge. Guest stars Kim Lewis and Peter Kowitz.

Wednesday: In Hey Dad! (7.30pm, Seven), Betty’s (Julie McGregor) cousin Coral (Emma Jane Fowler) comes to visit. Norman Kaye and Rosa Tommasini star in A Little Love, this week’s drama in the Under The Skin series (8pm, SBS). Richard Stubbs hosts the ARIA Awards (8.30pm, Nine). Neil Mercer hosts the debut of current affairs show The Times (10.30pm, Seven).

Thursday: In Beyond 2000 (7.30pm, Ten), Andrew Waterworth is in Scotland to learn about a new ovary transplant technique to help cancer sufferers, Dr Caroline West reports on a portable solar power station, and Iain Finlay reviews Sony’s latest CD player. Diane Craig hosts Love Rules (8.30pm, Nine), a new series examining the issues that affect our relationships with partners, children and parents.

Friday (Good Friday): Seven’s annual Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal kicks off at 9am, breaking only for Seven News (12pm and 6pm), Real Life (6.30pm) and Home And Away (7pm), and continuing through to midnight. The appeal’s evening variety concert (8.30pm) from Melbourne’s World Congress Centre includes performances by Jimeoin, Jack Jones, Amazing Jonathon, the cast of A Chorus Line and Buddy, Franciscus Henri and Franklin Ajaye. Christina Koutsoukos presents a special Good Friday edition of Compass (7.30pm, ABC).

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 26 March 1994.  Southdown Press.



Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/03/1994-march-26-april-1.html

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