Dec 16 2014

1994: December 17-23

tvweek_171294Number One show but Sofie quits!
Just Kidding may have been topping the ratings but co-host Sofie Formica (pictured with co-host Steven Jacobs) has decided that the third series about to go into production will be her last. “As far as me personally (returning for a fourth season), it is highly unlikely that I’ll do anymore,” she told TV Week. Having been on an extended holiday in the US, Formica returned to Australia for taping of the third series of Just Kidding and to marry boyfriend Scott Wilkie. The pair will then be headed back to the US.

Jason’s set to shoot
Jason Donovan is set to return to Australian television screens in the new year, starring in the two-hour telemovie The Last Bullet. The Australian-Japanese co-production, timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, will be shot almost entirely on location in Queensland. The Last Bullet will screen on the Nine Network.

mikelester‘How the Chamberlain case changed my life’
TV reporter Mike Lester (pictured) tells TV Week he is still haunted by the Lindy Chamberlain case. A journalist with the Nine Network for 11 years, Lester covered the two inquests and trial over the disappearance of baby Azaria Chamberlain from a campsite at Ayers Rock in August 1980. “But I certainly wasn’t proud to be a member of the media for much of the case when I saw what was being broadcast, printed, presented on radio and television,” he said. “There were some reporters who treating it as a bit of a joke.” Lester said he made himself known to both Lindy and Michael Chamberlain and became sympathetic towards them when he saw the tactics employed by the prosecution. “I didn’t like the way the NT Government was out to get this lady — and it seemed they were going to get her, right or wrong. I had been told what the finding of the second inquest would be before it began.” He admits that the case led to him getting out of covering hard news. He later moved to the country and has since been covering stories of much different kind for the Seven Network‘s lifestyle-magazine show Talk To The Animals. (Lindy and Michael Chamberlain’s convictions were quashed by the NT Court of Criminal Appeal in 1988)


  • Alison Peters, the reporter from Nine‘s Money who quit the show to move to Melbourne, is tipped to join Burke’s Backyard which has a vacancy for a Melbourne-based reporter.
  • Australian actress Kylie Travers, one of the stars of the US series Models Inc, is coming back home to Perth for Christmas and will also be visiting Sydney and Melbourne to promote the show for Network Ten.
  • Some of the actors signed up to appear in the upcoming series of Halifax fp telemovies include Colin Friels, Ben Mendelsohn, Alyce Platt and former Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes.
  • The Nine Network is believed to be planning a showbiz-themed program to replace the recently-axed Midday.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 27 November): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 National Nine News Nine Sun 1785000
2 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1733000
3 Our House Nine Wed 1621000
4 National Nine News Nine M-F 1602000
5 Money Nine Wed 1561000
6 Sale Of The Century Nine M-W 1541000
7 Movie: Walker Texas Ranger Nine Wed 1538000
8 MacGyver Seven Wed 1519000
9 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1478000
10 Re-Bjorn: ABBA 94 Seven Mon 1471000
11 The World Around Us Seven Tue 1381000
12 Getaway Nine Thu 1362000
13 National Nine News Nine Sat 1342000
14 Seinfeld Ten Tue 1305000
15 Full Frontal Seven Thu 1297000
16 Talk To The Animals Seven Sun 1290000
17 Movie: Action Jackson Seven Mon 1279000
18 Super Bloopers And New Practical Jokes Seven Sun 1255000
19 Baywatch Ten Sun 1251000
20 Blossom Seven Thu 1250000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, December 17-23):
Saturday: Gordon Bray and Peter Donegan host live coverage of the Coolum Classic Golf (1pm, Ten), from Coolum Resort, Queensland, while ABC covers the Australian Women’s Masters Golf (3pm) from the Gold Coast. Rob Guest hosts Carols In The Domain (8.30pm, Seven), featuring performances by Tina Arena, Rick Price, Julie Anthony, Jeffrey Black, The 4 Trax, Jackie Trent, Gina Jeffreys, Miriam Gormley, the cast of Cinderella, The Sydney Children’s Choir, The Wiggles, The Simpsonic Sisters, The Sydney Youth Orchestra and The Sydney Philharmonic Choir.

Sunday: Ten returns to Coolum for the Coolum Classic Golf (1pm), while ABC crosses to the Gold Coast for Day Four of the Australian Women’s Masters Golf (2pm). Sunday night movies are The Secret (repeat, Seven) and Ghost Dad (Ten). Sunday Stereo Special (8.30pm, ABC) features Nutcracker, choreographed for the Australian Ballet by Graeme Murphy.

Monday: A Current Affair (6.30pm, Nine) presents a special one-hour edition for the Christmas Toy Challenge.

Tuesday: Jennifer Keyte’s World Around Us (7.30pm, Seven) presents the first of a two-part special, The Charm Of Britain, featuring Greg Grainger‘s tour of the diverse British countryside and sampling its rich traditions, history and culture.

Wednesday: In the special The Australian Geographic Show (7.30pm, Ten), Pip and Dick Smith go on an aerial adventure of discovery, meeting bush characters and experiencing the remote wilderness in a way it has not been seen before.

Thursday: The UK documentary The Team They Wouldn’t Play (8.30pm, SBS) looks at the sporting boycott which banished South Africa from international cricket for 14 years.

ianparmenterFriday: Gordon Moyes and Kathryn Greiner host the Darling Harbour Christmas Pageant (7.30pm, Seven), recounting the events of that occurred in Bethlehem 2000 years ago and with a cast of over 2000, including camels, donkeys and sheep. Featured artists include Genevieve Davis and David Lemke from the Australian Opera. Chef Ian Parmenter (pictured), presenter of series Consuming Passions, hosts his own Christmas special, A Taste Of Christmas (8pm, ABC), filmed in Western Australia’s Margaret River region.

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




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Dec 11 2014

1994: December 10-16

tvweek_101294Cover: Heather Locklear (Melrose Place)

Drama behind bars
Deborra-Lee Furness has won the lead role in ABC‘s upcoming drama series Correlli. The character of Louisa Correlli is a young mother who is a clinical psychologist at Blackstream Prison, where her task is to help inmates deal with their problems in the hope that they will lead more productive lives when they are released. Furness’ previous TV credits include Stark, Singapore Sling, Halifax fp and GP. She will also be seen in the upcoming Seven Network series Fire.

derrynhinch_0003Let’s call it a day!
For the normally unflappable Derryn Hinch it was an emotional day as Nine‘s Midday came to an end. Hinch, who offered his resignation rather than see Midday axed, says that Nine has erred in dropping the show in the belief that it was no longer relevant to a Nineties audience. The last show served as a 90-minute celebration, including Anthony Warlow singing You Are My Sunshine, which featured a cast of Midday favourites including Jeanne Little, Paul Vautin and Simon O’Donnell and guest stars Engelbert Humperdinck and Lucky Grills. Hinch’s predecessor Ray Martin also came back to bid the show farewell. Hinch managed to hold it together until about twenty seconds before the curtain came down. “Those last seconds weren’t too good,” he said. “I think the music got to me.” The end of Midday also spelled the end of an era for the show’s legendary composer Geoff Harvey. “It really is absolutely appalling,” he said. “It’s like losing an arm or something.” Midday began as The Mike Walsh Show on the 0-10 Network in 1973. It made the transition to Nine in 1977 and was succeeded by Midday in 1985 when Ray Martin took over as host.

eddiemcguire_0003Flagging support
Some of the biggest names in Australia showbusiness have been appointed as ambassadors for the Australian Republican Movement (ARM)… or have they? Since ARM announced its 39 celebrity ambassadors in October a number of the names listed have distanced themselves from the movement. Kate Ceberano, one of the 39 names, denies having any involvement with it. “When I was approached to lend support to the Australian Republican Movement, I requested to be given briefing material about the whole subject,” she told TV Week. “I did not agree to be an ambassador at that stage, nor since.” ARM chief Mark Ryan said Ceberano’s situation is a case of miscommunication. “We were dealing with one of her representatives, and believed we had got the nod from them,” he said. “Someone must have got their wires crossed.” Other prominent names who have been appointed ambassadors but appear reluctant to speak up for the cause include Mary Coustas, Jane Kennedy, Max Gillies and GP actor Michael Craig. More open in their support for a republic are former Neighbours star Brenda Webb (“If we become a republic, it recognises not only Aboriginal people, but also all the other cultures in Australia”) and the Nine Network‘s Eddie McGuire (pictured) (“Having just come back from England myself, I’ve seen how even they are questioning the role of the monarchy in their own day-to-day life. I understand the sentiment involved in Australia, but there comes a time when you have to throw out your favourite pair of jeans”). Actor Gary Sweet also spoke in favour of a republic: “People say this is a snub to Britain and the royal family. It’s not. It’s a way of thanking them for bringing us along. Now we feel it’s time to cut the apron strings and venture into the outside world.”


  • The plug might have been pulled on ABC‘s late night Live And Sweaty, but Libbi Gorr (aka Elle McFeast) points out that she and producer Mark FitzGerald will be working a new project in the new year. “We are going to be developing a totally different show. We are making sure the project will also leave us the space to do more documentaries, given the fantastic success of Sex, Guys And Videotape.”
  • The Seven Network is developing a new 6.30pm current affairs show to replace the axed Real Life. Melbourne news reporter Ian Hyslop is moving to Sydney to work on the new show, and Naomi Robson, currently hosting the fill-in program Summer Diary, may also be involved. Real Life host Stan Grant has been ruled out for hosting the new show but will remain at the network.
  • Artist Services, Steve Vizard and Andrew Knight‘s production company, has finalised its portfolio for the Seven Network for the year ahead. Full Frontal, Jimeoin and Big Girl’s Blouse will all be back. Vizard has also confirmed that Seven is talking to Richard Stubbs about a possible new 10.30pm show.
  • Graeme ‘Shirley’ Strachan has quit Nine‘s Our House following failed negotiations with Nine over financial matters. Strachan is now a co-host of the breakfast show on Brisbane radio station Triple M.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 20 November): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Just Kidding Nine Tue 2086000
2 Movie: The Last Of The Mohicans Seven Sun 1979000
3 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1840000
4 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1792000
5 National Nine News Nine Sun 1718000
6 Getaway Nine Thu 1714000
7 Midday: End Of An Era Nine Fri 1620000
8 National Nine News Nine Sat 1608000
9 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1588000
10= Home Improvement Seven Wed 1568000
10= Money Nine Wed 1568000
12 Movie: Turner And Hooch Seven Wed 1564000
13 National Nine News Nine M-F 1521000
14 Lois & Clark The New Adventures Of Superman Seven Tue 1506000
15 Our House Nine Wed 1498000
16 Sale Of The Century Nine M-Th 1493000
17 Married With Children Nine Tue 1479000
18 Baywatch Ten Sun 1476000
19 Naughty Commercial Collections Ten Tue 1474000
20 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1471000

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here

Over The Hill is a character-based romantic comedy. So begins material released by the Seven Network to promote its summer series, and therein lies the problem — the characters. The pivotal couple, Don and Sandy Spencer (Nicholas Eadie and Georgie Parker), are meant to start out as yuppie Nineties types, successful in careers and wise in the ways of the big city, yet they soon show themselves to be infuriatingly inept. Eventually domiciled in rural Cedar Creek despite themselves, the Spencers then go from inept to very inept. Don has a daughter, Melissa (Belinda Cotterill), from a previous marriage. From the look of him — and this is strictly complimentary — he must have been 12 when she was born. Melissa’s command goes right across the lexicon from “This really sucks” to “This really sucks, y’know”. The regulars at the Cedar Creek pub are written as suspiciously inbred, a sort of disturbing cross-between Dad, Dave and Deliverance.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, December 10-16):
Saturday: The Benson And Hedges World Series Cricket (10.20am, Nine) is live from Adelaide Oval. Tim Webster hosts the Young Achiever Awards (5.30pm, Ten).

Sunday: To commemorate UNICEF Children’s Day Of Broadcasting, ABC devotes four hours (from 12pm) to children’s programs from various nations. Sunday night movies are Stakeout (repeat, Seven) and Batteries Not Included (repeat, Ten) up against the debut of mini-series Heaven And Hell: North And South 3 (Nine). Sunday Stereo Special (8.30pm, ABC) features the Opera Australia production of Handel’s Julius Caesar. Religious current affairs series Compass (10.20pm, ABC) begins a six-part series, Inside The Vatican.

Monday: 7.30 National (ABC) begins as the summer replacement for The 7.30 Report, hosted by Ellen Fanning. In Over The Hill (7.30pm, Seven), Don and Sandy (Nicholas Eadie and Georgie Parker) are excited when they learn they are to accommodate six Japanese directors from a large travel company.

Tuesday: The Benson And Hedges World Series Cricket (2.20pm, Nine) gets limited coverage in Melbourne due to it being hosted at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

ellemcfeast_0003Wednesday: The Live And Sweaty team (including Elle McFeast, aka Libbi Gorr, pictured) present their own Christmas special, A Very Sweaty Christmas (8.30pm, ABC). Performer Gordon Chater (The Mavis Bramston Show) discusses his life and career in A Life (9.30pm, ABC).

Thursday: The Benson And Hedges World Series Cricket (2.20pm-6pm and 7pm-10pm, Nine) is live from the Sydney Cricket Ground. Donna Mieklejohn presents the last edition of Backchat (9.20pm, ABC) for the year.

Friday: News program Eleven AM (11am, Seven) presents its last show for the year.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 10 December 1994. Southdown Press

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Dec 10 2014

Hey Hey and Frontline headed for binge viewing

heyhey_0001Some classic Australian television is being made available online, just right for the current trend towards binge viewing and to provide fans some alternatives to non-ratings TV fare.

Hey Hey It’s Saturday, the Saturday morning cartoon show of the 1970s that became one of Nine‘s most successful prime time brands of the 1980s and 1990s, is being relaunched with clips from the archive and the more recent 2009 and 2010 shows being made available via its website,

Certain clips of the show, mostly from the 1990s, are available to view free but a subscription fee will apply to view the 2009 and 2010 specials and other classic episodes as they are released online — though it would seem unlikely that there will be much material from the show’s early years as many were lost from the archive.

Meanwhile, ABC‘s iView has announced that it will be making available a range of Australian comedy titles available for online viewing, for 60 days starting this weekend.

The list of titles include recent series The Moodys, Upper Middle Bogan, It’s A Date, Ja’mie Private School Girl, Jonah From Tonga and Laid but will also feature two seasons of the classic current affairs satire Frontline.

frontline_0001Frontline, a creation of the team behind The D Generation and The Late Show, took a satirical, though frighteningly accurate, view of tabloid current affairs television. Although some of the names of that era are different, much of what the series tackled then will still ring true today.

Frontline starred Rob Sitch as current affairs presenter Mike Moore, Jane Kennedy as the ambitious reporter Brooke Vandenberg, and Tiriel Mora as hard-nosed journalist Martin di Stasio.

The series also starred Santo CilauroAlyson Whyte, Bruno Lawrence, Pip Mushin, Genevieve Mooy, Trudy Hellier, Lynda Gibson, Steve Bisley and Kevin J Wilson and featured cameo appearances by celebrities including Glenn Ridge, Nicky Buckley, Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell, Amanda Kellar, Don Burke, Anne Fulwood, Rosemary Margan, Pete Smith, Greg Evans, Eddie McGuire and Sam Newman.

Source: IMDB,


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Dec 03 2014

1994: December 3-9

tvweek_031294Cover: Pamela Anderson (Baywatch)

Josephine’s Singapore surprise!
Josephine Byrnes, best known from period mini-series including Shadows Of The Heart and Brides Of Christ, is making a move into playing a present day character as the female lead in the Nine Network series of Singapore Sling telemovies. Byrnes will be playing the part of assassin Carla Singer. “I don’t think I’ve ever played the villain before and it’s great fun playing a self-composed autonomous woman,” she told TV Week, adding that she will also be working alongside her childhood hero, John Waters. “John Waters has been my hero since I was a little girl. Thursdays and John Waters were my favourite things when I was little, because he was on Play School and Thursday was dress up day. He’s going to hate me saying that!” Singapore Sling will also star Simon Bossell, Gemma Wilkes and American actors Pat Morita and Michael Ironside. The production has a budget of $5.8 million and will be filmed over 12 weeks.

georgieparkernicholaseadieGeorgie takes to the hills
Having been one of Australia’s busiest actors over the past 18 months, with roles on stage and television, Georgie Parker is ready for a break. “I need a break — a mental sigh,” she told TV Week from Brisbane where she is staying while shooting new action drama Fire. But viewers will see her back on TV this week with comedy-drama Over The Hill. The new series, from Hey Dad! creator Gary Reilly, features Parker and Nicholas Eadie (pictured) as a yuppie North Shore couple who head to the country for a new life as owners of a ramshackle pub — with dreams of turning it into a upmarket tourist trap. “I thought it was a really nice change to approach comedy from a uniquely Australian viewpoint as opposed to comedy with an American aftertaste,” she said.

A new stage in Julie’s life
Since farewelling the character of Betty Wilson with the demise of Hey Dad! earlier in the year, actress Julie McGregor has embarked on a new phase in her career — starring on stage in a Christmas pantomime. “Really, it is great to be doing something different after a long time doing the same character,” she told TV Week. “When you take on this life, you accept that in this business (acting) you never really know what’s coming next.” The pantomime, Pavlova: Queen Of The Desserts, was written by Tony Sheldon and Garry Scale and co-stars Scale and Three Men And A Baby Grand‘s Phil Scott.


  • Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show host Jo Beth Taylor will be appearing on rival network Seven‘s Carols In The Domain later this month. Taylor will be appearing in her capacity as the star of the pantomime Cinderella.
  • Showbiz veteran Colleen Clifford celebrated her 96th birthday with a party including friends, colleagues and fellow showbiz identities. The night was hosted by Ray Martin and highlights from the event will form a special report in an upcoming edition of A Current Affair.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 13 November): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Just Kidding Nine Tue 2026000
2 Hey Hey By Request Nine Mon 1907000
3 Home Improvement Seven Sun 1848000
4 National Nine News Nine Sun 1833000
5 The World’s Greatest TV Commercials Seven Sun 1773000
6 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1767000
7 Movie: Forever Young Nine Sun 1742000
8 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1729000
9 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1658000
10 Money Nine Wed 1643000
11 Getaway Nine Thu 1622000
12 Our House Nine Wed 1553000
13 National Nine News Nine M-F 1539000
14 Home Improvement Seven Wed 1515000
15 Married With Children Nine Tue 1512000
16 Fast Forward’s Funniest TV Send Ups Seven Wed 1497000
17 Sale Of The Century Nine M-F 1438000
18 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1418000
19 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1398000
20 Movie: When Harry Met Sally Seven Wed 1373000

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here

jonfaine“It came as a surprise to me to discover that, in Australia, there are between 40 and 50 cases each year of children “divorcing” their parents. This whole concept was the subject of a blaze of publicity when when it first came before the courts some years ago, but since then it seems to have just disappeared… from public view, at least. But the fact that it is so prevalent does not surprise Tom, who left home when he was 12; or Luke, who is in the process of “divorcing” his entire family, because he’s “sick of their s****”. They are just two of the teenagers you’ll hear speak their minds on matters regarding young people and the law on a new ABC series called Wise Up. Hosted by lawyer and radio personality Jon Faine (pictured) — his first foray into regular television, to my knowledge — Wise Up starts on December 7. My biggest bitch about the show is that it will go to air at 10.30pm. No, I am not naive enough to believe that most teenagers have had their warm milk and are tucked in by then, but the timeslot is not one that will help Wise Up attract the audience it probably deserves, nevertheless.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, December 3-9):
Saturday: The Greg Norman Holden Classic (12pm, Seven) continues from Royal Melbourne Golf Club and concludes on Sunday afternoon.

Sunday: The Benson And Hedges World Series Cricket (1.20pm-5pm, 5.30-8.30pm, Nine), Australia A versus Zimbabwe, is live from Perth. Sunday night movies are The Rocketeer (repeat, Seven), The Fisher King (repeat, Nine) and Radio Flyer (Ten). Sunday Stereo Special (8.30pm, ABC) features the Opera Australia production of Pagliacci.

Monday: A Current Affair (6.30pm, Nine) presents a special one-hour edition, Starlight Foundation Challenge, hosted by Mike Munro. In the series debut of Over The Hill (7.30pm, Seven), when Don Spencer (Nicholas Eadie) is retrenched from his marketing job in the city, he and his wife Sandy (Georgie Parker) decide to buy a pub in the country.

Tuesday: The Benson And Hedges World Series Cricket (2.20-6pm, 7pm-10.30pm, Nine), Australia versus England, is live from the Sydney Cricket Ground. Author Anne Summers hosts a new interview series, Six Aussie Men In Conversation (10.35pm, ABC), discussing the impact the feminist movement has had on masculinity, fatherhood, sexuality and differences in the workplace.

Wednesday: Baywatch‘s Pamela Anderson hosts the Coca-Cola Australian Music Awards (7.30pm, Ten), from the Hordern Pavilion, Sydney — featuring Bon Jovi, John Farnham, Jimmy Barnes, Wendy Matthews, Terence Trent D’Arby and Toni Childs. Documentary Untold Desires (8.30pm, SBS) looks at the issue of people with disabilities and their struggle to be recognised as sexual beings.

sucruickshankThursday: Benson And Hedges World Series Cricket (9.50am-1.30pm, 2pm-6pm, Nine), Australia v Zimbabwe, is live from Hobart. TVTV (6.30pm, ABC) presents its last show for the year. Performer Su Cruickshank (pictured) debuts her interview show Three’s Company With Cruickshank (10.35pm, ABC).

Friday: Country music show Stampede (6pm, ABC) and The 7.30 Report (7.30pm, ABC) presents their last shows for the year.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 3 December 1994. Southdown Press




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Dec 01 2014

Seven wins 2014

7_2000sThe television ratings have ended for another year. While Seven has claimed the main prize, it is a contest where Nine and Ten also find something to celebrate.

Nine claims it has won the contest for the advertiser-friendly younger demographics and for the 6.00pm news battle.

Ten, which just scraped ahead of ABC after being beaten by them last year, claims to again be #1 in daytime (9am-6pm) as well as recording the best prime time growth of all networks in the 25-54 age group.

Seven has claimed victory in prime time (6pm-12mn) for the period from 9 February to 29 November (excluding the two weeks surrounding Easter) — the official survey periods declared by ratings agency OzTAM, covering the capital city markets of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

Seven’s network share of 30.4% (down slightly from 2013) is followed by Nine (29.2%), Ten (17.9%), ABC (17.4%) and SBS (5.2%).

Broken down to individual channels — Seven (21.8%) defeated Nine (21.2%), followed by ABC1 (12.7%), Ten (11.9%), 7TWO and GO! (4.6% each), SBS One (4.1%), 7mate (4.0%), GEM (3.4%), One and Eleven (3.0% each), ABC2 (2.7%), ABC News 24 (1.1%), ABC3 and SBS2 (0.9% each) and NITV (0.1%).

(These figures are based on preliminary results and may vary slightly when delayed viewing for the last survey week is added but is unlikely to change the finishing order.)

mykitchenrules_0002Seven continued to have success with My Kitchen Rules (“The Winner Announced”, pictured, watched by 2.712 million across 5 cities) and even House Rules, which started on shaky ground in 2013, ended its second series on a high (with “The Winner Announced” scoring 2.07m). Further down the list was the winner’s announcement for The X Factor (1.419m) — while The Big Adventure and The Amazing Race: Australia Versus New Zealand showed that reality formats, as adventurous as they might be, do not necessarily always translate into ratings gold. Even Dancing With The Stars, which concluded its 14th series last week, has had some of the shine taken off its ratings mirror ball (grand final: 1.063m).

The AFL Grand Final (2.828m) topped Seven’s list of sports coverage, followed by the Melbourne Cup (the race watched by 2.184m), the Men’s Final of the Australian Open (1.687m) and Bathurst 1000 (1.357m)..

Among the list of regular series titles, Seven had success with A Place To Call Home (1.154m) — though this was not enough to save the show from the axe, only to have it picked up by Foxtel for 2015 — and overseas shows Downton Abbey, The Blacklist and Revenge. Winners And Losers was bumped around the schedule but surprisingly managed a series average of just over 1 million viewers.

inxsnevertearusapartTelemovie The Killing Field (1.405m) drew a strong audience and is to be followed up with a spin-off series, Winter, in 2015. But the network’s biggest drama hit was the mini-series INXS: Never Tear Us Apart (Part One: 2.243m) which kick-started Seven’s ratings season back in February.

Sunrise continues its dominance in the breakfast timeslot, and Sunday Night (1.805m) has beaten 60 Minutes (1.722m), though the two shows were rarely directly up against each other.

9_logo_2009_0001Nine’s year was topped by The Block: Glasshouse‘s “Winner Announced” (2.687m) followed by the NRL Grand Final (2.621m) and NRL State Of Origin (Match 2: 2.6m).

The series return of The Voice (2.229m) rated well but figures dipped for the show’s grand final (1.663m). The TV Week Logie Awards suffered a ratings blow (992k) up against an episode of My Kitchen Rules (2m), not helped by the awards telecast’s usual custom of being delayed and edited and still managing to almost stretch to almost midnight on a Sunday night.

lovechildNew drama series Love Child (1.466m) was a ratings hit, while the Underbelly franchise that wasn’t, Fat Tony And Co (1.214m) still fared admirably. Just scraping above the one million viewers mark was House Husbands (1.06m).

The hastily-rescheduled telemovie Schapelle, shifted to capitalise on the Bali prisoner’s release on parole, didn’t fare as well (1.153m) up against the INXS series on Seven.

Hamish And Andy’s Gap Year South America (1.142m) might have been the last in the Gap Year series but showed that the pair still command a strong following.

Nine News (1.114m) claimed victory in the 6.00pm news battle, taking over from Seven News (1.087m), although the latter still commands a strong lead in Adelaide and Perth.

ten_2013Ten’s year started well with the Big Bash League and Winter Olympics and then with the XX Commonwealth Games in July-August. The Commonwealth Games in particular provided more pleasing results compared to the previous Games of 2010. The Australian FIA Formula One World Championship also delivered high ratings (race: 1.36m) in its simulcast between Ten and One.

MasterChef Australia was on the comeback trail after a disappointing 2013, and did so with pleasing results (“Winner Announced”: 1.749m). Ten didn’t have much luck, however, with other reality titles — with the revival of So You Think You Can Dance bombing in the ratings. The Biggest Loser also struggled in comparison to previous years but is set for a revamp in 2015.

The Bachelor worked itself up to a strong finale (“The Final Decision”: 1.44m) and the theatrics of the post-series affairs between bachelor Blake Garvey and some of the female contestants led to the show continuing to spark publicity well after it had wrapped up for the year. Subsequent appearances of Garvey and female contestants on Ten’s The Project saw that show reach its highest numbers since expanding to a one-hour format.

Just over a million viewers tuned in to see Michael Parkinson‘s interview with Ian Thorpe. US comedy Modern Family hit a ratings high with its Australian episode (1.2m) and the year’s final episode of Have You Been Paying Attention? scored a series high of 641k.

partytricksTen’s drama slate was headed by Offspring (final: 1.15m), and it is still unclear if it will be back in 2015, while the murder mystery Secrets And Lies failed to gain much interest despite the concept being picked up for an adaptation by US television. The political-themed Party Tricks (602k), headed by Asher Keddie and Rodger Corser (pictured), struggled despite promising reviews.

The long-awaited return of Puberty Blues (637k) and Wonderland (580k) were unable to maintain strong numbers, while long-running series Neighbours (soon to celebrate its 30th anniversary) is still plugging away over on Eleven. Its numbers often struggle to pass the 300k mark but still tops Eleven’s program rankings.

Probably the biggest surprise for many was the relative success of the mid-year launch of game show Family Feud. Possibly helped by Ten’s programming tactic of simulcasting it across all three of its channels each night, Family Feud has found a stable following (602k).

thelivingroomAnother show to be something of a quiet achiever for Ten has been The Living Room. The lifestyle-entertainment show (550k, and “The Hot List” special: 641k) managed to grow its audience despite the competition of Friday night sports coverage on other networks and Seven’s perennial favourite Better Homes And Gardens.

ABC’s year was topped by British dramas Doc Martin (1.242m) and Death In Paradise (1.173m) and the Australian series The Doctor Blake Mysteries (1.054m).

The two episodes of the recent Countdown tribute, Countdown: Do Yourself A Favour, scored 965k and 919k.

For SBS their biggest rating for the year came from the FIFA World Cup, including the Chile v Australia match scoring 1.74m viewers.

As of yesterday (Sunday) networks go into summer non-ratings mode, though viewing data is still collected by OzTAM and reported to networks over the non-ratings period.

The 2015 ratings year begins on 8 February and continues through to 28 November, with a two-week break over the Easter period.

Seven wins 20132012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007

Data © OzTAM Pty Limited 2014. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM.





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Nov 24 2014

Graeme Goodings leaves Seven Adelaide

graemegoodings_0001Veteran Adelaide newsreader Graeme Goodings has left Seven News.

He tweeted the news of his departure from Seven earlier today.

AdelaideNow reports that Goodings, Seven’s weekend news presenter, was offered a “reduced capacity” role but instead opted to resign.

He had been with the station since 1980 when it was SAS10. He was the main newsreader for SAS10’s Eyewitness News when the station made the switch to Seven in 1987.

In 2004 he stood down when he was diagnosed with cancer. After months of treatment he returned to Seven to read the weekend news. He has recently celebrated being cancer free for ten years.

Prior to working at SAS10/7 Goodings had worked at TNT9 in Launceston and in radio at 7LA Launceston, 5DN Adelaide and 3AW in Melbourne.

Source: AdelaideNow, Seven News, Graeme Goodings




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Nov 24 2014

ABC to cut 400 staff

ourABCOn the eve of the 2013 election, then opposition leader Tony Abbott succinctly promised “no cuts to the ABC or SBS”.

ABC staffers today learned that 400 jobs will go amid a restructure that will see television production wound down in the smaller capital cities.

The corporation is also embarking on a program of 40 efficiency measures to absorb some of the $200 million being cut from funding over the next four years, on top of the $120 million that was announced in May. This includes the sale of some properties, such as Lanceley Place in Sydney and some regional outposts, and possible amalgamation of some purchasing activities with SBS.

There will also be a change to foreign bureau arrangements, including setting up a Beirut post but restructuring or closing others.

In a statement issued today, ABC managing director Mark Scott said:

“We anticipate that more than 400 people – close to 10 per cent of our ongoing workforce – face potential redundancy as we adjust our activities over coming months.”

“We regard the changes as vital to securing the long-term health of the organisation but I acknowledge that is no comfort to those who will lose their positions.”

The key changes for the television platform include the axing of the state-based Friday editions of 7.30, the closure of non-news production from Adelaide and the winding down of non-news production from the other smaller capitals.

Lateline is being shifted from ABC to ABC News 24, while sports coverage across ABC television is to be reviewed with a focus on national sporting events, and the fleet of outside broadcast vans is to be rationalised.

Two new divisions will be created to enhance regional and online coverage.

Mr Scott will be visiting ABC branches in each state and territory over the coming days to brief staff on any changes and to answer questions.

Today’s announcement from the ABC come as public rallies have been held around the country to protest cuts to the national broadcaster following Mr Abbott’s prior pledge to not make any cuts to ABC or SBS.

Source: ABC


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Nov 23 2014

1994: November 26-December 2

tvweek_261194Cover: Tim Allen (Home Improvement)

Paul raises interest in money
Paul Clitheroe‘s Money program has been a ratings hit for Nine — but nobody was expecting much when the program was first proposed. Images of fawn-suited accountants, whiteboards and endless figures had the network’s creative heads cringing. But Money went on to be a ratings hit, and host Clitheroe attributes much of its success to the colourful, creative anecdotes used to illustrate the various case studies discussed in the program. He also has to admit that a lot of that creativity is not his. “I don’t have a creative bone in my body,” he told TV Week. “I’m a banker, for heaven’s sake. I’m not meant to be creative. I thought when Nine first rang me up that I would be standing in a blue suit and using a whiteboard. That certainly hasn’t been the case. I would have to say that, nine times out of 10, a story on Money would come from my knowledge of the subject, but the anecdotes come from my producer and the rest of the team.” Critics of the show say that Money must have a short life, that there are only so many finance stories to go around. “We will never run out of topics,” Clitheroe insists. “The economy is constantly changing, and with that there are always new things happening.”

alistairmacdougallAlistair’s American acting bonanza
Former Home And Away star Alistair MacDougall (pictured) moved to Los Angeles more than a year ago but has suddenly had the dilemma of choosing between two TV roles offered to him on the same day — a role in the spin-off series from last year’s Bonanza telemovie and another in a new series, Search And Rescue. Production schedules of both projects meant he couldn’t agree to both, but he had only been on a holding contract for Bonanza. With both Bonanza and Search And Rescue coming under the NBC network, MacDougall was able to be released from the Bonanza contract for the Search And Rescue role. His only regret is that in Bonanza he would have been working with Leonard Nimoy. “I would have been working with Spock!,” he said.


  • The British obsession with Neighbours continues, with Chris Lowe of the pop group Pet Shop Boys insisting on a walk-on role for him during the group’s Australian tour. Actors Equity rules prevented him for any major appearance, so he was only to appear in one scene driving through Ramsay Street in a sports car.
  • Michael Craig has denied rumours that he is leaving GP for an extended holiday in the UK. “I am contracted to GP through to October, 1995, and what happens after that is not up to me,” he told TV Week.
  • brianwenzelstuartwagstaffharrycooperWho are this bunch of unlikely performers giving their tribute to the hit film The Adventures Of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert? None other than Brian Wenzel (formerly of A Country Practice), Stuart Wagstaff and Talk To The AnimalsDr Harry Cooper — performing at the recent Telethon for Perth’s TVW7, which raised more than $2 million.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 6 November): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Movie: The Bodyguard Nine Sun 2146000
2 Just Kidding Nine Tue 2037000
3 National Nine News Nine Sun 1950000
4 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1790000
5 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1763000
6 Home Improvement Seven Sun 1732000
7 World’s Greatest TV Commercials Seven Sun 1730000
8 Money Nine Wed 1716000
9 Fast Forward’s Funniest TV Send Ups Seven Wed 1708000
10 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1689000
11 Home Improvement Seven Wed 1682000
12 Our House Nine Wed 1680000
13 National Nine News Nine Sat 1620000
14 National Nine News Nine M-F 1545000
15 Lois & Clark The New Adventures Of Superman Seven Mon 1522000
16 Halifax fp Nine Wed 1516000
17 Hey Hey It’s Saturday Nine Sat 1514000
18 Getaway Nine Thu 1497000
19 Sale Of The Century Nine M-F 1428000
20 SeaQuest DSV Ten Sun 1407000

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here

“I don’t recall another Australian state premier ever being asked on television whether he is “a half-caste Melanesian bastard”. That happened to Don Dunstan. Nor do I recall an Australian state premier — former or currently in office — being asked on television whether he is homosexual. That happens to Don Dunstan in A Life. You’ll have to watch the program if you don’t remember Dunstan’s answer to the first question, which was asked some years ago, or are fascinated about his response to the second. It is put to him by George Negus during an engrossing hour of television. No matter what your political persuasions, it is impossible not to regard Dunstan as one of the most interesting politicians of the modern era.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, November 26-December 2):

The non-ratings season means that a lot of titles are taken out of circulation for the summer, leaving viewers with delightfully few highlights during the week and plenty of re-runs.

kylieminogue_0001Saturday: The First Test (10.50am, Nine) continues from the Gabba, Brisbane, through until Tuesday. Kylie Minogue (pictured) makes a guest appearance in the last Hey Hey It’s Saturday (6.30pm, Nine) for the year. The Hollywood movie classic Gone With The Wind (8.30pm, Seven) runs for four-and-a-half hours.

Sunday: Current affairs program Meet The Press (11am, Ten) presents its last show for the year. Sunday night movies are Down And Out In Beverly Hills (repeat, Seven), The Colour Purple (repeat, Nine) and Always (repeat, Ten). Sunday Stereo Special (8.30pm, ABC) presents the Australian Opera production of Cavalleria Rusticana.

Monday: US sitcoms Major Dad (6.30pm, Ten) and Step By Step (7pm, Seven) begin as summer replacements for Neighbours and Home And Away respectively. Arts program Review (10pm, ABC) presents its last show for the year.

Wednesday: Russell Crowe hosts the special Nescafe Big Break (7.30pm, Ten), profiling the eight young Australians being awarded $20,000 grants to pursue their talent and ambitions. The Elle McFeast (Libbi Gorr) special Sex, Guys And Videotape (8.30pm, ABC) is given a re-run. In the movie-length series final of Heartbreak High (8.30pm, Ten), Nick (Alex Dimitriades) refuses to believe his relationship with Jodie (Abi Tucker) is over; Rivers (Scott Major) is the prime suspect when Deloraine’s (Stephen O’Rourke) office is broken into; and Rose (Katherine Halliday) goes into labour in the school’s science lab. In the return of interview series A Life (9.30pm, ABC), George Negus interviews former South Australian premier Don Dunstan.

Thursday: Sandy Roberts hosts live coverage of the Greg Norman Holden Classic (12pm, Seven) from Royal Melbourne; which continues through until Sunday. Getaway (7.30pm, Nine) and Beyond 2000 (7.30pm, Ten) present ‘best of’ stories from the year.

Friday: The One-Day International, Australia v Zimbabwe, is live from Perth (4.30pm-6pm, 7pm-8.15pm and 8.45pm-11.30pm, Nine). In the series final of The Great Outdoors (7.30pm, Seven), Ann Maree Biggar visits Glen Innes and discovers Australia’s very own Stonehenge — The Standing Stones; Frankie J Holden flies a stunt kite; Bridget Adams experiences the thrill of Jet Sprint Racing; and Neil Crompton road tests the Jaguar XJS.

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




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Nov 18 2014

On TV: 18 November 1964, Melbourne

raymondwestwellAn ambitious local production of Shakespeare’s Othello (starring Raymond Westwell, pictured) was the highlight of ABC station ABV2‘s program schedule in Melbourne on Wednesday 18 November 1964, as reported in both TV Week and TV Times..

Television that day didn’t kick off until late morning — with the first program of the day being For The Juniors, a schools program on ABV2 at 11.05am. It was a 20-minute program, and ABV would not resume until the next schools program at 1.25pm.

HSV7 and GTV9 both started their day at 11.30am with brief news updates, then it was over to English series Interpol Calling on Seven and American series The Case Of The Dangerous Robin on Nine.

Lunchtime movies started at 12.30pm on both Seven and Nine — with the 1941 film The Great Lie, starring Bette Davis, on Seven and Man With The Gun, with Robert Mitchum and Angie Dickinson in one of her earliest roles, on Nine. After the movies, Seven went onto series Hawaiian Eye, while Nine competed with game shows It Could Be You (with Tommy Hanlon Jnr) and Take The Hint (with Frank Wilson). Corinne Kerby hosted ABV2’s afternoon magazine show Matinee.

Seven’s afternoon variety show Time For Terry followed at 3.00pm.

The new kid on the TV block, ATV0 started its broadcast day at 3.30pm with a documentary film before Romper Room for the pre-schoolers. Then it was the battle of the after school shows — Video Village and The Happy Show on Seven, The Tarax Show on Nine and The Children’s Show (Nancy Cato and Michael Boddy) on ATV0. ABC’s after school line-up included Andy Pandy and Wonderbox.

The evening started with Texas Rangers on Seven, Bomba The Jungle Boy on Nine and Invisible Man on 0, while ABV2 debuted Canadian adventure series Forest Rangers.

Jimmy Hannan presented his Top Pop Of The Day at 6.25pm on Nine — and it was a three-way battle for news at 6.30, with Brian Naylor reading the news on Seven, Eric Pearce on Nine and Brian Wright and John Royle on 0.

At 7.00pm, Seven’s quiz show Coles £3000 Question (with Roland Strong) was up against US comedies My Three Sons on Nine and Grindl on 0, while ABC had its news at 7.00pm.

ABC’s post-news line-up includes English comedy The Marriage Lines, followed by the 5-minute Export Action then Gerald LyonsPeople ’64.

On the commercial channels, the evening continued with new sitcom The Addams Family on Nine, up against Zorro on Seven and Burke’s Law on 0. Seven’s midweek movie at 8.00pm was Mrs Miniver, the 1942 film starring Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon.

ATV0 had only been operating three months but had just overhauled its 8.30pm timeslot in response to dragging ratings. From early in November the station had changed its schedule to have a movie every night of the week at 8.30pm. The film on this particular evening was Misfits, starring Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift and Eli Wallach.


abv2_othelloABC’s 2-hour-and-20-minute broadcast of Shakespeare’s Othello featured English actor/director Raymond Westwell in the title role, joined by co-stars Keith Lee, John Gregg, Judith Arthy, Frances McDonald (pictured with Westwell), Terry Norris, Kenric Hudson, Don Crosby and Joan MacArthur. Westwall had played other characters in Othello in overseas productions but this was his first time playing the lead role in a full-scale presentation of the play. The performance was produced by Patrick Barton and was taped at the ABV2 studios in Ripponlea over four days, utilising four large-scale sets. While it was not the first Shakespeare play to be staged by ABC, the production had encountered some challenges — such as make-up artists unable to obtain in Australia the special make-up to give Westwell just the right complexion to play Othello as an Arab. They later found four colours which, when blended, produced the right shade.

Wardrobe supervisor Keith Clark also remarked it was the largest costume job he had ever done, explaining that he had to make quilted sleeves and pad and quilt all the trousers and some improvisation was needed for other costumes. “We made one set of armour out of felt and leather,” he told TV Week.

ABV2’s production of Othello was later seen on ABC stations in other states — with the program airing in New South Wales and the ACT the following February.

Meanwhile, Joff Ellen was the main guest star on Graham Kennedy‘s In Melbourne Tonight at 9.30pm, while 0 had US variety show The Steve Allen Show at 10.00pm and Seven had British variety show Big Night Out at 10.25pm.

After IMT, Eric Pearce was back to read the late news, then Zane Grey Theatre (including an appearance by Australian-born actor Michael Pate) and Seven’s quiz show Answer Please (hosted by Geoff Raymond) battled for late night viewers. Neill Phillipson presented a late news summary on ATV0 before it signed off for the night at 11.25pm.

Source: TV Week, 14 November 1964. TV Times, 18 November 1964. Sydney Morning Herald, 3 February 1965.









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Nov 16 2014

1994: November 19-25

tvweek_191194Talk To The Animals in Africa
While filming for Talk To The Animals in Africa, reporter Steve Oemcke was convinced he was going to die when an elephant charged at him. He was using a video camera to tape the crew bravely filming the elephants at close range: “I was filming this elephant, then swinging to film the crew, then back to the elephant. All of a sudden, I realised the elephant was looking right at me! The crew was now filming something else. His ears were right out, and he was stamping the ground. Then he started running towards me. I thought, ‘It’s going to kill me’.” The elephant suddenly pulled up, allowing Oemcke time to run back to the vehicle and jump in. Fellow reporter Kelly Pummeroy (pictured) also had a close call with a rhinoceros that has a 24-hour bodyguard. During filming, the rhino suddenly charged at the camera crew: “The cameraman ran one side of the tree and the sound recordist ran the other. I was standing there with a handful of lucerne, and I didn’t know what to do… so I offered the lucerne to him to try to calm him down. Apparently that was a very stupid thing to do, and I was lucky he didn’t go for me.” She at least looks a little more relaxed while posing for TV Week‘s cover photo at Melbourne’s Werribee Zoo, but noted the large rhino behind her: “You will tell me if he moves towards me — at all — won’t you?”

Soap wedding hoax!
This year’s final episode of Neighbours for the year will reveal that the wedding of Mark Gottlieb (Bruce Samazan) and Annalise Hartman (Kimberley Davies) is not meant to be. A Network Ten source confirmed that “they don’t even walk down the aisle, let alone say ‘I do’.” The last minute drama comes as Mark decides he wants to become a priest. Samazan’s contract to Neighbours allows him two months off to travel to the UK, so this storyline allows his character some time away from Ramsay Street.

dalestephensThe force is with Dale
Actress Dale Stevens (pictured) is accustomed to playing crooks, but now she’s on the right side of the law as trainee detective Rose Egan in Blue Heelers. In researching for the role, Stevens spent time at a real police station. “It was great to hear from the sergeant there how much the Victorian police like Blue Heelers, and that they appreciate the attention to detail in the show,” she told TV Week. After working and studying in London, Melbourne-born Stevens went to New Zealand to work in films and appear in drama series Shortland Street — but one of her favourite roles was here in Australia, in Col’n Carpenter… as Col’n’s transvestite brother. “It was a real hoot, and I was amazed at how much I looked the part — in fact it was frightening!”


  • The Home And Away wedding between Shane (Dieter Brummer) and Angel (Melissa George) is not expected to appear on screen until next April, but TV Week has heard of a twist to the story. Angel is set to be involved in a car accident, leaving her unable to walk. But in true soapie style, she will get up out of the wheelchair on her wedding day just in time to walk down the aisle.
  • andrewblackmanWith A Country Practice now axed (again!), Andrew Blackman (pictured) who plays Dr Harry Morrison is now set for a role in The Feds for the Nine Network.
  • Former Home And Away star Mat Stevenson will soon be seen in a guest role in Blue Heelers, playing the part of an assault victim. The case becomes complicated when the attacker, to be played by Terry Serio, is found out to be HIV positive.
  • Rumour is that Andrew Denton won’t be back on the Seven Network in the new year. Ratings for his late night program Denton haven’t been brilliant.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 30 October): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Movie: Crocodile Dundee 2 Nine Sun 2499000
2 Just Kidding Nine Tue 2201000
3 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1909000
4 Getaway Nine Thu 1842000
5 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1818000
6 Our House Nine Wed 1746000
7 A Current Affair Nine M-Th 1730000
8 Money Nine Wed 1718000
9 National Nine News Nine M-F 1657000
10 Home Improvement Seven Wed 1639000
11 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1625000
12 Lois & Clark The New Adventures Of Superman Seven Mon 1619000
13 Fast Forward’s Funniest TV Send Ups Seven Wed 1584000
14 Home Improvement Seven Sun 1578000
15 Movie: The Witches Seven Fri 1537000
16 Sale Of The Century Nine M-Th 1534000
17 ABBA Revival Nine Mon 1508000
18 The World’s Greatest TV Commercials Nine Sun 1507000
19 Blossom Seven Thu 1497000
20 Full Frontal Seven Thu 1488000

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here

bertanddon“There’s no doubt that the Very Latest Rage on television is nostalgia. In recent weeks we have revisited that redoubtable old cop show Homicide (Seven); we’ve remembered what it used to be like in the days of live variety with The Very Best Of The Don Lane Show (Nine); and with the Countdown 20th anniversary tribute show (ABC), we’ve recalled the days before Molly wore a hat, when he was just plain Ian. The Countdown special had more publicity than the rest of them put together, but, inexplicably, did not generate the public response the ABC — and I agreed with them — had expected. Even Network Ten, which is the young whippersnapper of the commercial networks in comparative terms, is getting into nostalgia. When Melbourne’s ATV10 (formerly ATV0) chalked up its 30th anniversary in August, it was allowed to pass with what amounted to only cursory recognition. Sydney’s TEN10 turns 30 next April and, with nostalgia running rampant in the ratings, it will be interesting to see what happens then.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, November 19-25):
Saturday: In the final (ever) episode of A Country Practice (5.30pm, Ten), Esme Watson (Joyce Jacobs) suffers a stroke and the prognosis is not good; Harry (Andrew Blackman) attempts to fight for and win Jess (Jane Hall) back; and Danny (Vince Colosimo) and Claire (Claudia Black) finally get engaged.

Sunday: In Banjo Paterson’s Man From Snowy River (6.30pm, Nine), everyone is excited that the railway is coming to Paterson’s Ridge, except Kathleen (Wendy Hughes), because it run through her property. Sunday night movies are The Last Of The Mohicans (Seven) and The Heartbreak Kid (Ten), with three-part mini-series Scarlett making its debut (Nine).

abigailjoehashamMonday: Model Rachel Hunter hosts Weddings (7.30pm, Nine), providing a close-up look at three couples as they plan their big day. In the year’s final episode of Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten), Jim Brown looks at the most popular sport in Australia — lawn bowls; Iain Hewitson makes a summer recipe using pears; Lyn Talbot looks at the benefits of massage; and Peter Wherrett explains why car enthusiasts are having Austin Healys restored. The classic ’70s Aussie drama Number 96 is remembered in the special Number 96: They Said It Wouldn’t Last (8.30pm, Ten), originally produced in 1976 to commemorate the show’s 1000th episode — featuring segments hosted by Abigail (pictured with Joe Hasham), Elaine Lee, James Elliott, Elisabeth Kirkby, Johnny Lockwood, Philippa Baker and Bettina Welch.

Weddings. YouTube: Vaxman80

Tuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), with the kids away, Karl (Alan Fletcher) and Susan (Jackie Woodburne) try to have a second honeymoon. In the series final of Blue Heelers (7.30pm, Seven), Maggie’s (Lisa McCune) hopes of being made trainee detective take a nosedive when she finds out that PJ (Martin Sacks) promised he will give Constable Rose Egan (Dale Stevens) a trial go.

Wednesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), the children are forced to make a decision between Christmas with Pippa (Debra Lawrance) or Michael (Dennis Coard).

Thursday: Getaway (7.30pm, Nine) presents its Top Five special — naming Australia’s top five beaches, bushwalks, camping sites, caravan parks, islands and romantic holidays. Full Frontal (8.30pm, Seven) and Denton (10.30pm, Seven) present their last shows for the year. The Best Of The Footy Show ’94 (9.30pm, Nine) takes a look back at some of the highlights from The Footy Show during the year.

Friday: The First Test, Australia versus England, begins in Brisbane (10.50am, Nine). Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten) and Home And Away (7pm, Seven) present their last episodes for the year. Man O Man (7.30pm, Seven) presents a Footballers’ Special for its final show for 1994 — including a cast of Aussie Rules, Rugby League and Soccer stars.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 19 November 1994. Southdown Press




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