Network Ten‘s morning show Studio 10 had a special episode on Friday to pay tribute to the year 1977.
It was a time of loud fashions, glamorous hairstyles, disco music, emerging technology and some dubious facial hair. Studio 10‘s hosts — Natarsha Belling, Joe Hildebrand, Denise Drysdale, Ita Buttrose and Jessica Rowe (pictured) — and guest panellist, former pop star and TV host Ronnie Burns were all decked out in their best 1970s finery while they revisited some of the highlights of 1977.
TV historian Andrew Mercado and Number 96 star Deborah Gray remembered the era of Number 96, which came to a close in 1977, and its ample displays of nudity, mostly provided in 1977 by Gray (pictured with co-star Harry Michaels prior to taping the series’ final episode). Showbiz reporter Craig Bennett also recalled Number 96 and its Melbourne-based counterpart The Box, while also remembering The Restless Years and US shows like Happy Days, The Love Boat and Laverne And Shirley.
There were flashbacks to the Studio 10 cast as they were in 1977… including baby pictures of Belling and Hildebrand and a young Jessica Rowe. Denise Drysdale was reminded of her portrayal of a busty nurse (pictured with co-star Garry Meadows) in the 1970s prison comedy The Bluestone Boys, and Ita Buttrose revisited her days as editor of The Australian Women’s Weekly and remembered the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations that year.
Studio 10 reporter David Robinson — still yet to be born in 1977 — was in classic ’70s garb as he hosted the Studio 10 remake of game show Blankety Blanks — the top-rating Australian-made program of 1977. Jonathan Coleman took on the role of resident Blankety Blanks panellist Ugly Dave Gray and some of the dubious humour that made the original show famous at the time.
We were reminded of some of the big news events of the year — including the Granville rail disaster in Sydney that claimed the lives of 83 people — and some of the cutting edge technology making its way into everyday lives, with advertisements of early Apple computers, colour televisions, gaming consoles and VCRs.
Segments from the episode of Studio 10 are currently available on TenPlay.
Meanwhile, some of the other significant TV events of 1977:
- The Seven Network successfully bids for exclusive Australian rights to televise the 1980 Olympic Games from Moscow. The network paid $1 million in the deal, outbidding rival offers from ABC and Nine.
- Countdown celebrates its 100th episode.
- Roots, the multi-million dollar US mini-series, receives the highest ratings of the decade.
- Seven televises the VFL Grand Final live to Melbourne for the first time.
- The final episodes of drama series Homicide, The Box, Number 96 and Bellbird.
- Hotel Story, a Crawford production for the 0-10 Network, begins production in Melbourne. The series was axed before the first episode had even gone to air.
- The Federal Government investigates a proposal to establish a domestic satellite system, enabling instant transmission of television and other communications across Australia and in particular to remote areas.
- The Nine Network’s World Series Cricket launches in opposition to the traditional test cricket coverage on ABC.
- Don Lane (The Don Lane Show) and Jeanne Little (The Mike Walsh Show) won Gold Logies at the TV Week Logie Awards.