TV Week announces Logies return

The TV Week Logie Awards, cancelled last year amidst the pandemic, will be back later this year.

In a statement issued earlier today, Are Media (publisher of TV Week) has confirmed that the 62nd annual awards presentation will take place on 28 November 2021 at The Star Gold Coast.

TV Week editor Amber Giles said: “TV Week is thrilled to have landed on a date we know we can deliver a spectacular show on. After spending way too much time on the couch in stretchy pants over the past 12 months, it’s important to us and our partners that we come together at a time when we can all frock up and be in the same room. We can’t wait to head back to The Star Gold Coast to celebrate and honour the best in Australian TV in the style for which we’re famous.

“On November 28, we look forward to seeing on the red carpet all those who have kept us entertained and informed during trying times.”

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk welcomed the awards’ long-awaited return: “We’ve made Queensland the home of the Logies and I look forward to welcoming back the television industry for a week of events that we’ve worked with organisers to build around the awards night.”

The 62nd TV Week Logie Awards will be telecast on the Nine Network and streamed through 9Now.


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Classic TV Guides: Meet Prince Philip

In March 1971, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, toured Australia as part of the golden jubilee celebration for the Royal Australian Air Force.

The half-hour special Meet Prince Philip, was telecast live from Adelaide with the Prince interviewed by reporters from each of the four networks.

Seven and Nine followed up the interview with a documentary, Now Or Never, narrated by Prince Philip.

Meet Prince Philip is among the latest addition of Classic TV Guides:




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WIN returns to Nine affiliation

The Nine Network and regional operator WIN are to become affiliate partners again in a new deal announced earlier today.

From 1 July 2021, WIN will again become a Nine Network affiliate. This reverses the changeover in 2016 which saw WIN aligned to Network Ten and Southern Cross Austereo connect with Nine for program supply to the regional operators.

The new deal with Nine, set for a minimum seven-year term, will see WIN pay a significant share of advertising revenue, around 50 per cent, for access to Nine’s programming and channel suite for its regional markets including Tasmania, regional Western Australia, Victoria, Queensland and Southern NSW/ACT. The deal also allows for airtime on WIN’s radio and television to promote Nine’s media assets such as Stan and its network of radio stations.

WIN will also provide a sales representation service for Nine in Northern NSW and Darwin for a period of time.

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), which carries the Nine Network programming and channels to its markets in Victoria, Southern NSW/ACT and Queensland, has little option but to negotiate a new deal now to reconnect with the Ten network for program supply in those markets.

Nine News, which as part of Nine’s current agreement with SCA produces regional news services for broadcast in the aligned SCA markets, has subsequently announced that with the change to affiliation partners it will cease the regional news service from 30 June 2021. When Nine launched the regional bulletins in 2017 it setup news gathering and production for bulletins covering 15 SCA regions across Victoria, Southern NSW/ACT and Queensland.

Nine is expecting to redeploy around 20 staff affected by ceasing these services

WIN currently provides local 6.00pm news services to its markets in Victoria, Southern NSW/ACT, Queensland and Tasmania. These are expected to continue with the switch back to Nine but may change to the 5.30pm timeslot to accommodate the relay of Nine’s capital city news bulletins at 6.00pm.

Source: Nine, ABC, Southern Cross Austereo


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Samantha Armytage farewells Sunrise

After eight years as co-host of Sunrise, Samantha Armytage today gave a tearful farewell as she presented her last show.

She announced her decision to leave the show on Monday: “The time has come for the sun to set on my time at Sunrise. I have always been brave and fearless in my career and this decision is no different.

“I want to take a break and find some peace and calm. I go out of this job at a time of my own choosing and on top of the ratings, which not many people on television can say they do.

“I cannot thank you all enough for having me in your lounge rooms all these years.”

Her final show included highlights of her years on Sunrise, including the serious and not-so-serious moments. There were well wishes from politicians and celebrities, and a video call from her sister and niece, who are in lockdown in London. She was also joined on set by her husband, Richard Lavender, whom she married just recently.

In her farewell messages, thanking production staff, reporters, make up artists and fellow colleagues, Armytage also gave a parting shot in response to some of the negative press she has received in recent times: “I do want to say that I never fully understood some of the scrutiny and the snarkiness and bullying from some aspect of the media but today we move on from that because there is a new chapter starting.”

Armytage joined Seven in 2003, after working at WIN and Sky News in Canberra, as reporter and news presenter. In 2007 she replaced Lisa Wilkinson as co-host of Weekend Sunrise, after Wilkinson left to go to the Nine Network, and was appointed co-host of Sunrise in 2013.

Future plans for Armytage, who remains at Seven, remain unannounced. Likewise, her replacement at Sunrise is also yet to be known.

Source: 7News, Wikipedia.




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Matlock Police: TV’s country cops


Grigor Taylor, Michael Pate, Paul Cronin, Vic Gordon

With the disappointment of The Long Arm behind it, in 1971, Melbourne’s ATV0 continued to pursue options for a police drama to rival Homicide and Division 4.

While The Long Arm was produced in-house, the station reached out to Crawford Productions — producers of Homicide and Division 4 — to develop a police drama series for them.

Crawford Productions came back with Matlock Police, a weekly drama centred around the fictional country town of Matlock. With a reported cost of $24,000 per episode — in 1971 dollars — the series took a different viewpoint to its popular rivals which were largely focused on stories based in the city.

Assembled to lead the cast of Matlock Police was Michael Pate, Vic Gordon, Grigor Taylor, and Paul Cronin as motorcycle cop Gary Hogan.

(click to enlarge)

In the first episode, broadcast on ATV0 on 25 February 1971, the town matriarch, Grace Falconer (Sheila Florance) is brutally attacked and robbed. Meanwhile, a group of hippies are in town and become involved when a local girl’s horse is shot, and a couple of hunters are caught trespassing and shooting on private property.

YouTube: robbie czajka

The opening episode also featured the hippies in a nude swimming scene. Nudity was not to be a regular feature of the series, and its appearance in the first episode attracted later criticism from Crawfords’ managing director Hector Crawford. “The nude bathing scene in the first program overstepped the bounds,” Crawford conceded to TV Times shortly after. He did, however, defend criticism about any violence depicted in the series. “The purpose was to achieve a great degree of realism,” he said. “Our writers spent time studying various large rural communities so they could reflect the right attitudes and I believe in this they succeeded. Even if children did see the program, the violence in cartoons far exceeds that in Matlock Police. I think Tarzan is terrifying.”

Despite Crawford protesting the nudity from the first episode, two years later nudity was to become a trademark on two fellow 0-10 Network dramas — Number 96 and The Box. Crawford, who also produced The Box, then had Matlock Police have a glimpse at nudity again in its 100th episode, with three couples shown to be swimming and frolicking on a riverbank. The same episode also promised a love scene between a couple played by Ross D Wyllie and Lynda Keane. Despite the hype leading up to its broadcast, the end product was largely inoffensive and was allowed to be broadcast in the show’s regular 7.30pm timeslot.

Ron Thomas, Sue O’Keefe, Clive Davies, Jannie Brown

As Matlock Police progressed through the early ’70s, Grigor Taylor was to leave the show, replaced by Tom Richards (pictured, below). Michael Pate also eventually left and was replaced by Peter Gwynne. As with the other police dramas, Matlock Police also featured a steady stream of guest stars over its 200+ episodes, representing a who’s who of the acting fraternity at the time.

The series also gained international attention, of sorts, when an accountant from the real life English town of Matlock found about the show after a chance meeting in France with Australian actress Queenie Ashton, who had appeared in various guest roles in Matlock Police. The local newspaper then researched the town’s fictional namesake and reported on the similarities between the two.

By 1975, police dramas were losing favour with the networks. Nine had axed Division 4 after six years. And just as Hector Crawford was hoping to sell Matlock Police on the overseas market, by mid-1975 Matlock Police was axed by the 0-10 Network, with Seven to axe Homicide shortly after that. Crawford announced that production of Matlock Police would wind up in September but a backlog of episodes would see it airing through much of 1976.

The popularity of the show’s motorcycle cop Gary Hogan, played by Paul Cronin, saw that character lead a spin-off series, Solo One. The 13-episode drama saw Hogan relocated to the real-life town of Emerald, and the series taking on a more family-friendly tone than its predecessor. “There are no murders, sex scenes or violence. It’s the first Australian adventure series for a long time that is honest-to-goodness family entertainment, and I think it’s a credit to Crawfords,” Cronin told TV Times. The Seven Network ended up picking up Solo One but eventual plans for any renewal of the series were stalled when Cronin instead took up a lead role in the upcoming series The Sullivans.

Matlock Police continued to appear in re-runs until well into the 1980s, and in 2015 it was released on DVD.

Source: Listener In-TV, 20 February 1971. TV Week, 26 February 1972, 8 July 1972, 14 April 1973, 19 April 1975. TV Times, 14 April 1971, 29 January 1972, 12 July 1975, 22 November 1975. TV Eye — Classic Australian TV. IMDB

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Obituary: Trisha Noble

Trisha Noble, one of Australia’s first teenage pop stars in the 1960s, has died at the age of 76.

Born Patricia Ann Ruth Noble to showbiz parents, comedian Buster Noble and dancer Helen de Paul, she made her stage debut at the age of two.

But it was as a teenager that Patsy Ann, as she was then, caught the attention of promoter Lee Gordon. She then became a support act for touring pop star Ricky Nelson, and appeared on The Bobby Limb Show. She was then signed up as a regular performer on the pop music show Bandstand.

In 1962, she won a TV Week Logie Award for Best Female Singer. Her career then took her to the United Kingdom, where she continued recording and appeared on various variety shows. She made her acting debut in the film Death Is A Woman.

Later credits in the UK included The Dick Emery Show, Danger Man, Mickey Dunne, Who-Dun-It, Z Cars and Up Pompeii!

She then became known as Trisha Noble and moved to the US, performing a season in Las Vegas but was better known there for her acting roles, appearing on various American series including The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father, Baretta, Columbo, Matt Helm, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, McMillan And Wife, James At 15, Fantasy Island, Buck Rogers In The 25th Century, The Love Boat, Executive Suite and Flamingo Road.

With her father in ill health, Noble returned to Australia in the early 1980s and starred in the Nine Network telemovie Body Business. She later appeared in Water Rats and All Saints and in the film Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. She also appeared in a number of stage productions, including Shout! and Ladies In Black.

Source: Noise11, TV Tonight, IMDB, Golden Years Of Australian Variety. TV Times, 12 January 1961, 21 October 1978.

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Ratings 2020: The final scorecard

OzTAM, the official ratings ‘umpire’, has released its final reports for the calendar year 2020.

The reports include consolidated audience figures for the Top 20 programs, Top 20 multi-channel programs, the most time-shifted programs and where each free-to-air network and channel ended the year. Plus there are rankings for the Top 20 Subscription TV programs and time-shifted programs.

Free-to-air reports cover Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Subscription TV reports are national.

Nine Network ended the year on 27.8% (down 1.3 from 2019), followed by Seven Network (26.9%, down 1.9), ABC (18.4%, up 1.5), Network Ten (18.0%, up 0.9),  and SBS (8.9%, up 0.8). (6pm-12mn, 5 cities, Consolidated 28-days)

At individual channel level:

Nine (19.3%, down 0.8)
Seven (18.1%, down 0.9)
ABC (12.9%, up 0.9)
Ten (11.7%, up 0.2)
SBS (5.3%, down 0.1)
10 Bold (3.8%, up 0.4)
7Two (3.4%, down 0.1)
7Mate (3.3%, down 0.4)
ABC Kids/ABC Comedy (3.1%, up 0.3)
9Gem (2.9%, down 0.5)
9Go (2.7%, down 0.8)
10 Peach (2.4%, up 0.2)
9Life (2.0%, down 0.1)
7Flix (1.9%, down 0.2) and ABC News (1.9%, up 0.5)
SBS Viceland (1.4%, down 0.1)
SBS World Movies (1.1%, up 0.2) and 9Rush (1.1%, debut)
SBS Food (0.9%, down 0.1)
ABC Me (0.6%, down 0.1)
10 Shake (0.5%, debut)
NITV (0.2%, =)

During the year, Nine launched reality and documentary channel 9Rush and Ten launched youth entertainment channel 10 Shake.

Channels not included in the survey include  shopping channels  TVSNSpree, Extra and OpenShop, racing channel and community TV stations C31 (Melbourne) and 44 (Adelaide).

Top 20 programs on Free-to-Air for the year 1 January to 31 December 2020 (Consolidated. 5 cities, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth):

	TITLE	                                             NET   TOT	        SYD	MEL	  BNE	  ADE	  PER
1	SEVEN'S AFL: GRAND FINAL: RICHMOND V GEELONG	     Seven 3,016,000	417,000 1,609,000 383,000 268,000 337,000
2	SEVEN'S AFL: GRAND FINAL: PRESENTATIONS              Seven 2,294,000	272,000	1,279,000 275,000 197,000 272,000
3       SEVEN'S AFL: GRAND FINAL: ON THE GROUND              Seven 2,192,000    267,000 1,226,000 280,000 176,000 244,000
4       NRL GRAND FINAL DAY -MATCH                           Nine  2,106,000    848,000 610,000   493,000 75,000  80,000
5       STATE OF ORIGIN RUGBY LEAGUE QLD V NSW 3RD -MATCH    Nine  1,894,000    769,000 302,000   620,000 106,000 98,000
6       2020 AUSTRALIAN OPEN D8 -NIGHT                       Nine  1,874,000    456,000 785,000   343,000 165,000 125,000
7       THE BLOCK -WINNER ANNOUNCED                          Nine  1,838,000    500,000 688,000   354,000 168,000 128,000
8       LEGO MASTERS -WINNER ANNOUNCED                       Nine  1,692,000    418,000 584,000   349,000 133,000 209,000
9       STATE OF ORIGIN RUGBY LEAGUE NSW V QLD 2ND -MATCH    Nine  1,658,000    741,000 207,000   561,000 88,000  60,000
10      NEW YEAR'S EVE 2020: MIDNIGHT FIREWORKS-EM           ABC   1,614,000    860,000 452,000   159,000 80,000  63,000
11      STATE OF ORIGIN RUGBY LEAGUE QLD V NSW 1ST -MATCH    Nine  1,606,000    727,000 223,000   518,000 84,000  54,000
12      MASTERCHEF AUSTRALIA - THE WINNER ANNOUNCED          Ten   1,592,000    414,000 664,000   255,000 141,000 119,000
13      MARRIED AT FIRST SIGHT -FINALE                       Nine  1,562,000    461,000 514,000   292,000 149,000 146,000
14      2020 AUSTRALIAN OPEN D14 -MEN'S FINAL                Nine  1,531,000    377,000 605,000   278,000 126,000 144,000
15      SEVEN'S AFL: GRAND FINAL: PRE MATCH ENTERTAINMENT    Seven 1,487,000    163,000 855,000   204,000 117,000 148,000
16      LEGO MASTERS -LAUNCH                                 Nine  1,479,000    385,000 492,000   291,000 135,000 175,000
17      THE BLOCK -GRAND FINAL                               Nine  1,470,000    405,000 542,000   292,000 142,000 90,000
18      MARRIED AT FIRST SIGHT -THE FINAL DINNER PARTY       Nine  1,447,000    424,000 495,000   246,000 146,000 136,000
19      LEGO MASTERS -FINALE                                 Nine  1,432,000    361,000 484,000   300,000 117,000 170,000
20      MELBOURNE CUP CARNIVAL: MELBOURNE CUP-RACE           Ten   1,412,000    321,000 701,000   211,000 82,000  98,000

Top 20 programs on the Free-to-Air digital multi-channels (Consolidated. 5 cities, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth):

	TITLE	                                                    NET      TOT     SYD     MEL     BNE     ADE    PER
1	CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC: MELB STAGE 4 LOCKDOWN-PM              ABC NEWS 580,000 41,000  466,000 45,000  12,000 16,000
2       ICC WOMEN'S T20 WORLD CUP 2020 FINAL AUS V IND              9Gem     545,000 151,000 149,000 120,000 57,000 68,000
3       BLUEY-EV                                                    ABC K/C  530,000 118,000 162,000 119,000 56,000 76,000
4       BLUEY-AM                                                    ABC K/C  394,000 82,000  133,000 83,000  44,000 52,000
5       ICC WOMEN'S T20 WORLD CUP 2020 FINAL AUS V IND -PRE         9Gem     369,000 92,000  123,000 90,000  35,000 29,000
6       2020 AUSTRALIAN OPEN D9 -DAY -GEM                           9Gem     353,000 125,000 181,000 30,000  10,000 6,000
7       KANGAROO BEACH-EV                                           ABC K/C  351,000 91,000  93,000  80,000  21,000 66,000
8       USA VOTES: JOE BIDEN VICTORY SPEECH-PM                      ABC NEWS 326,000 64,000  152,000 56,000  30,000 23,000
9       PLANET AMERICA: USA VOTES SPECIAL-EV                        ABC NEWS 303,000 73,000  114,000 52,000  37,000 27,000
10      SEVEN'S AFL: TUESDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL                         7mate    299,000 34,000          61,000  76,000 128,000
11      PEPPA PIG: PEPPA'S PUMPKIN PARTY-AM                         ABC K/C  297,000 56,000  115,000 74,000  21,000 31,000
12      FIRE FIGHT AUSTRALIA CONCERT-MULTI                          7TWO     293,000 81,000  78,000  70,000  32,000 31,000
13      KANGAROO BEACH-AM                                           ABC K/C  293,000 75,000  71,000  66,000  23,000 58,000
14      THE SNAIL AND THE WHALE-PM                                  ABC K/C  287,000 53,000  73,000  66,000  38,000 56,000
15      BLUEY-PM                                                    ABC K/C  284,000 47,000  116,000 57,000  24,000 41,000
16      ABC NEWS SPECIAL COVERAGE: CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC-EV          ABC NEWS 281,000 82,000  88,000  49,000  30,000 31,000
17      USA VOTES: JOE BIDEN VICTORY SPEECH ANALYSIS-PM             ABC NEWS 272,000 52,000  142,000 33,000  25,000 20,000
18      SEVEN'S CRICKET: FIRST TEST - AUSTRALIA V INDIA D3 S2 MULTI 7mate    266,000 96,000  137,000 7,000   26,000 
19      THE MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS STORY-AM                     ABC K/C  261,000 66,000  71,000  34,000  49,000 41,000
20      STICK MAN-PM                                                ABC K/C  254,000 64,000  70,000  54,000  26,000 40,000

Top 20 Time-Shifted Free-to-Air Programs (Time Shift to 28 Days, Consolidated 28 Day % Increase on Overnight):

             TITLE                          CH/NET   TIMESHIFT TO 28 DAYS % INCREASE ON OVERNIGHT
1            BLUEY-EV                       ABC K/C  379,000              251.7%
2            BLUEY-EV                       ABC      372,000              318.9%
3            KANGAROO BEACH-EV              ABC K/C  288,000              456.1%
4            VERA-EV                        ABC      267,000              40.4%
5            VERA S9-EV                     ABC      261,000              41.0%
6            LEGO MASTERS -WINNER ANNOUNCED Nine     258,000              18.0%
7            ROADKILL-EV                    ABC      243,000              64.5%
8            LEGO MASTERS -LAUNCH           Nine     241,000              19.5%
9            LEGO MASTERS -TUE              Nine     240,000              23.2%
10           THE SALISBURY POISONINGS       SBS      237,000              92.3%
11           KILLING EVE-EV                 ABC      219,000              103.7%
12           LEGO MASTERS -MON              Nine     217,000              19.4%
13           WAR OF THE WORLDS (DRAMA)      SBS      213,000              100.8%
14           LEGO MASTERS -FINALE           Nine     212,000              17.4%
15           KANGAROO BEACH-AM              ABC K/C  209,000              248.0%
16           MARRIED AT FIRST SIGHT -THU    Nine     206,000              20.8%
17           FURTHER BACK IN TIME FOR DINNERABC      205,000              36.8%
18           HALIFAX-RETRIBUTION            Nine     205,000              40.6%
19           THE GOOD DOCTOR - TUE          Seven    200,000              55.6%
20           FREEMAN-EV                     ABC      196,000              27.6%

Top 20 Subscription TV Programs (national):

             TITLE                                CH          TOT
1            LIVE: T20: AUS V IND GAME 2          FOX CRICKET 469,000
2            LIVE: ODI AUS V IND GAME 2           FOX CRICKET 456,000
3            LIVE: T20: AUS V IND GAME 1          FOX CRICKET 452,000
4            LIVE: T20: AUS V IND GAME 2          FOX CRICKET 448,000
5            LIVE: T20 INNINGS BREAK              FOX CRICKET 416,000
6            LIVE: ODI AUS V IND GAME 1           FOX CRICKET 404,000
7            LIVE: T20 INNINGS BREAK              FOX CRICKET 398,000
8            LIVE: ODI AUS V IND GAME 2           FOX CRICKET 393,000
9            LIVE: AUS V IND 2ND TEST DAY 1       FOX CRICKET 392,000
10           LIVE: ODI AUS V IND GAME 3           FOX CRICKET 388,000
11           LIVE: AUS V IND 1ST TEST DAY 3       FOX CRICKET 383,000
12           LIVE: T20: AUS V IND GAME 1          FOX CRICKET 378,000
13           LIVE: AUS V IND 2ND TEST DAY 1       FOX CRICKET 377,000
14           LIVE: NRL: BRONCOS V EELS            FOX LEAGUE  371,000
15           LIVE: AUS V IND TEST TEA BREAK       FOX CRICKET 367,000
17           LIVE: NRL: ROOSTERS V EELS           FOX LEAGUE  363,000
19           LIVE: NRL: STORM V RAIDERS           FOX LEAGUE  355,000
20           LIVE: T20: AUS V IND GAME 3          FOX CRICKET 354,000

Top 20 Time-Shifted Subscription TV Programs (national) (Time Shift to 28 Days, Consolidated 28 Day % Increase on Overnight)

             TITLE                                CH/NET      TIMESHIFT TO 28 DAYS % INCREASE ON OVERNIGHT
1            BLUEY                                CBeebies    177,000              1761.3%
2            BLUEY                                CBeebies    156,000              802.7%
3            THE UNDOING                          FOX SHOWCASE154,000              1271.3%
4            THE UNDOING                          FOX SHOWCASE145,000              508.7%
5            BAD EDUCATION                        FOX SHOWCASE144,000              1009.7%
6            BLUEY                                CBeebies    143,000              3083.5%
7            BLUEY                                CBeebies    141,000              3055.6%
8            THE UNDOING                          FOX SHOWCASE141,000              611.0%
9            BLUEY                                CBeebies    136,000              3377.7%
10           THE UNDOING                          FOX SHOWCASE132,000              465.0%
11           BLUEY                                CBeebies    131,000              631.9%
12           BLUEY                                CBeebies    130,000              5271.4%
13           BLUEY                                CBeebies    129,000
14           THE UNDOING                          FOX SHOWCASE128,000              562.4%
15           BLUEY                                CBeebies    127,000              7878.0%
16           BLUEY                                CBeebies    127,000              479.1%
17           MCMILLION$                           FOX SHOWCASE121,000              612.6%
18           THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT                 FOX One     118,000              733.1%
19           BLUEY                                CBeebies    118,000              445.8%
20           PAW PATROL                           Nick Jr.    115,000              625.1%

Data © OzTAM Pty Limited 2021. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of OzTAM.

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30 years since Chances

In the decade following the end of The Sullivans and The Young Doctors, the Nine Network had little success in establishing a successful serial drama. The TV graveyard of the 1980s and early ’90s is littered with Nine’s drama corpses — Starting Out, Kings, Possession, Prime Time, Taurus Rising, All The Way, Family And Friends.

Nine’s next gamble in the genre was Chances — an adults-only drama with salaciousness not seen on Australian TV since the days of Number 96 and The Box. The series presented an opportunity for production company Beyond International (Beyond 2000) to diversify its portfolio to include drama.

Chances was based around a suburban family, the Taylors, whose lives are changed forever following a $3 million lottery win at the end of the first episode, airing on 29 January 1991. The original cast included John Sheerin, Brenda Addie, Jeremy Sims, Natalie McCurry (pictured), Cathy Godbold, Tim Robertson, Ann Grigg, Deborah Kennedy, Rhys Muldoon, Dennis Miller, Mercia Deane-Johns, Mark Kounnas, Michael Caton, Leverne McDonnell, Yvonne Lawley and Simon Grey.

YouTube: Robert Pugsley

Playing out at two one-hour episodes a week at 8.30pm, what followed was a procession of stories surrounding the Taylor family and their various connections as the windfall is being splurged, interspersed with affairs and glimpses of boobs and bums. The frequent appearance of the buttocks of scheming advertising executive Alex Taylor (Sims) became regular comic fodder on sketch comedy Fast Forward.

Although Chances‘ ratings started off strong, audience interest soon faded. The casual nudity was not enough to keep people tuned in. A murder mystery was introduced to bump off one of the main characters, but it was not enough to keep viewers interested.

YouTube: tapesalvage

Nine soon chopped the show’s budget, trimming it from two episodes a week to one and a shift to a later timeslot. This led to a lot of the regular cast being written out, with an increased focus on the adventures of Alex Taylor (Sims pictured with guest star Annie Jones). This seemed to give the producers licence to largely dispense of the serious drama and ramp up their imaginations, creating bizarre storylines almost to a level of parody. Vampires, secret agents, underworld figures, ‘hands on’ sex therapists, amorous pool boys and Egyptian goddesses all became par for the course.

But the fun was over after two years, with Nine axing the show towards the end of 1992 and the remaining episodes played out at 11.00pm.

A selection of episodes from Chances‘ more bizarre era was released on DVD.

Source: Super Aussie Soaps, Andrew Mercado. TV Week, 19 January 1991. Broadcasting In Australia, Australian Broadcasting Tribunal, 1991.

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Lorrae Desmond in Australia Day Honours

Actress and performer Lorrae Desmond has been awarded a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia in the 2021 Australia Day Honours List. Her honour is in recognition of “significant service to the performing arts as an actor, entertainer and singer”.

Desmond, who was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1970, has worked in the United Kingdom and Australia, and in the 1960s entertained Australian troops in Vietnam, the Middle East, Malaysia, Singapore, Kenya and Somalia.

Her ABC variety show, The Lorrae Desmond Show, earned her a TV Week Gold Logie in 1962. She was the first female, and the first ABC personality, to be awarded a Gold Logie.

Later credits included In Melbourne Tonight, Jimmy, Jack Benny In Australia, The Graham Kennedy Show, Number 96, Arcade and then a decade as Shirley Gilroy in the Seven Network series A Country Practice.

Other familiar TV names included in this year’s honours list include:


Greg Chappell MBE — “For distinguished service to cricket as a leading player, captain, coach and administrator at the elite level, and to a range of charitable foundations.” Chappell is a former cricket commentator for the Nine Network and in the 1980s was a documentary presenter on TVQ0, Brisbane.


Craig Foster — “For significant service to multiculturalism, to human rights and refugee support organisations, and to football.” Foster is a football commentator and analyst for SBS.

The late Maureen Anne Kerridge — “For significant service to the television industry, to the arts, and to charitable organisations.” Formerly Maureen Plavsic, she was the first woman to become head of a television network in Australia, as Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director and Executive Director, of the Seven Network from 2000 to 2003. She passed away late last year.

Valerie (Val) Lehman — “For significant service to the performing arts, and to wildlife conservation.” Lehman came to fame as ‘top dog’ inmate Bea Smith (pictured) in Prisoner. She won three TV Week Logies for the role of Smith. Other TV credits included A Fortunate Life, Tandarra, Power Without Glory, The Flying Doctors, Blue Heelers, Something In The Air, Neighbours and I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here.

Graham Ross — “For significant service to the broadcast media, particularly to horticulture, and to the community.” Ross was an ABC presenter in the 1970s and ’80s, and since 1995 is a presenter on Seven’s Better Homes And Gardens.


Vicki Tiegs — “For service to the community of the Illawarra”. Tiegs is a former publicity manager and executive at WIN Television in Wollongong and Rockhampton.

Glenn Wheeler — “For service to the broadcast media, and to the community.” Wheeler is a former segment presenter on Seven’s The Morning Show.

Katie Woolf — “For service to the broadcast media in the Northern Territory.” Woolf is a former segment presenter from Ten Darwin.

Former ABC journalist Kerry O’Brien (pictured) was initially to be awarded an AO in this year’s honours. He has since written to the Governor-General to reject the honour in protest at the elevated recognition of tennis champion Margaret Court, a winner of 24 Grand Slam tournaments.

Court, who retired from tennis in the 1970s, was honoured for her sporting achievements in 2007. She is to be elevated this year to the higher ranking of Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), again in recognition of her tennis career. Court has been a controversial public figure in more recent times for divisive and discriminating comments aimed at the LGBTQ+ communities.

O’Brien said that Court’s higher honour, while a recognition of her sporting achievements, “may serve to erode the hard-fought gains made over decades in reducing the impact of discrimination against members of the LGBTQ+ community.”

Court’s honour was also criticised by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan, and a former Order of Australia recipient, Dr Clara Tuck Meng Soo from Canberra, has handed back her 2016 award in protest.

A total of 844 Australians have been recognised in this year’s Australia Day Honours.

Source: The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald, ABC

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Obituary: David Evans

David Evans, former regional television and ABC radio presenter, died on New Year’s Eve at the age of 78.

He began his media career at radio station 2VM in Moree, NSW, in the early 1980s.

He moved to television in 1984, as newsreader at NEN9 (now Prime7) in Tamworth in 1984. He stayed in the role until 1999.

He then presented Saturday Breakfast on ABC Local Radio until his retirement in 2014.

In 2007 he was honoured with an Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours, for service to the community, particularly as a contributor to the establishment of the Tamworth Waler Memorial.

David Evans is survived by his former wife Judy, his sisters Joan and Barbara and his brother John.

YouTube: Australian TV Fan

Source: ABC, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

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