Cover Story: Marcia – The hard road to the hits:
Queen of Pop Marcia Hines has taken her show on a tour around Australia, with 86 concerts performed in as many towns and cities over fourteen weeks – claiming to be the biggest tour ever undertaken in Australia. In this double-page article, Hines’ manager Peter Rix recalls the highlights of the tour.

Mike Preston for new Grundy game:
Former In Melbourne Tonight and The Celebrity Game host Mike Preston is returning to TV to host a new game show The Better Sex. The new show, to be produced at STW9 Perth by the Grundy Organisation, will also feature former Miss World Ann Sidney. Sydney-based Preston will commute to Perth once a month for taping of the new show. Grundys are also producing another Perth-based game show Family Feud from the studios of TVW7 which has now been sold for screening on GTV9 Melbourne and TCN9 Sydney.

Chopper Squad’s overseas success:
Chopper Squad
, the new big budget series from the Grundy Organisation and the 0-10 Network, has been sold to Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines prior to its debut in Australia. The series, set around a rescue team who use a helicopter to rescue people in trouble, is being filmed around Sydney’s northern beaches and is expected to debut on 0-10 in March.

TV’s Success Story: The Soaps:
Since Number 96 began with a bang in 1972, the soap opera has become a viable program format in Australia. Despite Number 96 and its Melbourne counterpart The Box both being axed in 1977, there are signs that the soap genre is going to be around for a long time to come – with four series – Cop Shop, The Restless Years, The Sullivans, The Young Doctors – now in production.

Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor
“Why did ABC ruin December 16, 17 and 18 by putting cricket on all day? Besides the fact that cricket is one of the most boring and slow-moving games known, a whole day’s cricket could easily be put into an hour of highlights.” J.Taylor, NSW

“The memory of Number 96 remains, and with scriptwriters of this standard Australia can hold its own with the rest of the world.” G.Pattended, SA.

“Why are viewers of Sydney Channel 7 subjected to the blabberings of Rex Mossop? Why is he asked to comment on a multitude of sports about which he cannot hope to have had sufficient experience – to appreciate the finer points of, say, cricket or motor racing?” S.Ritchie, NSW

What’s On: January 21-27
Another weekend of cricket with the World Series Cricket (GTV9) and Gillette Cup (ATV0).

Sunday afternoons see a game show All Star Sweepstakes on ATV0 featuring host John Newman and panelists Tim Evans, Ron Blaskett, Gerry Gee and Chelsea Brown. Earlier in the day HSV7‘s This Week Has Seven Days celebrate the 21st anniversary of TV clowns Zig and Zag. Coincidentally(?), Seven’s movie that night is a suspense thriller called Zigzag.

GTV9’s Sunday night movie is They Shoot Horses Don’t They?, ATV0 presents The Nelson Affair and ABC’s Elizabeth R continues. All are re-runs as the new ratings year is still some weeks away.

January 26 is Australia Day, but you’d not know it to see the TV listings for the day. In fact, after the news and current affairs programs are out of the way the only Australian-made programming in the evening consists of a 10-minute Australia Day Message (ABC), Survival With Johnny Farnham (ABC), The Sullivans (GTV9), Blankety Blanks (ATV0) and a late-night documentary series Australians At War (ATV0).

Source: TV Times, 21 January 1978 (Melbourne edition). ABC/ACP

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