‘Mystery’ men in pop song festival
As TV Times went to press, the 0-10 Network was still to determine which songs or performers will appear on the seventh annual Australia Popular Song Festival which takes place at the end of the week. More than 2000 entries had been submitted to the contest, and organisers have had to cut that back to eight for the telecast. On the judging panel will be representatives from the Australian Performing Rights Association and radio stations 3XY and 2SM, Countdown presenter Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum, two executives from the Yamaha Foundation and journalists Kevin Sadlier and Pat Bowring. The festival winner will go on to represent Australia in the World Popular Song Festival in Japan later in the year.
Redcoats, rebels, rum and romance
Eric Scott takes a look behind-the-scenes at the production of the Seven Network‘s upcoming mini-series Against The Wind (pictured), a thirteen-part series set in 18th century Australia, that is costing a million dollars to produce. Researcher and writer Bronwyn Binns created the series, and was joined in production by former Crawford Production colleagues Henry Crawford and Ian Jones. Production is expected to be completed at the end of August.
The world of the Glumps
The Glumps (pictured) is a family of plasticine creatures and the subject of a new 26-part animated series for producer Lyle McCabe. Cameraman Mark D’Arcy-Irvine created the characters and with a friend spent six months making the series of six-minute cartoons. The Glumps is to be aired in Australia on the 0-10 Network and is expected to be sold overseas.
Recipes for the ‘ideal’ TV show
Sydney’s three commercial TV program managers have given their definitions of the ‘ideal’ TV show. While all three managers were unanimous in their definition, in that it is essentially a program that has all the audience watching for the whole time it’s on, they all had different ideas on how they would execute it. Glen Kinging of ATN7 suggested an action-adventure series, given the popularity of early westerns, cop shows and private-eye characters, and the new trend towards science-fiction and space-adventure. Gordon French of TCN9 believes that programs with a broad format and family appeal would be ideal to capture the maximum audience, and names The Wonderful World Of Disney, a program that just happens to screen on his channel, as the perfect example. And over at TEN10, Ron Heynes says that anything with John Wayne in it would be an instant success, and given that the situation comedy MASH is already doing well for the network, suggested putting John Wayne into MASH, and just for good measure (with his tongue firmly in cheek) have him try to save a wheelchair-bound nun (“nuns make for great ratings”) from prison in order to rescue Graham Kennedy. Guaranteed to be a ratings hit!
New faces for The Restless Years
Diane Craig and Michael Smith have joined the cast of the 0-10 Network soap The Restless Years. Craig is to play a 35-year-old schoolteacher Gail Lawrence, who looks like becoming involved with one of the show’s younger characters. But the actress has admitted that she only joined the show because “there was nothing else offering”. Twenty-one-year-old Smith comes into the series as Shane Archer, cousin to Alan (Sonny Blake) and described as wild and unpredictable. Smith joins The Restless Years after a stint with another series Glenview High.
Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor
“Many thanks to ATV0 for screening the Australian-produced adventure series Chopper Squad. It is a great pity the series was removed after a comparatively short period because of low ratings.” L. Znaminko, VIC.
“Instead of cursing CTC7 Canberra for showing mostly a lot of garbage plays, I must congratulate them for the excellent films of Aspen and Roots. Let’s have more of these fine films, especially at weekends.” M. Knight, NSW
“I wish to voice my disapproval of the TV commercials which advertise Stayfree Napkins. Honestly, with all the sex and nudity being shown on TV, is nothing private and personal anymore? Although I must admit the ad is done tastefully, this type of advertising is completely unnecessary.” G. Robins, VIC.
What’s On (July 22-28)
ATV0 on Tuesday night presents a one-hour special The Barry Humphries Show, taped during the performer’s recent tour of the UK. Appearing in the special are Humphries’ alter-egos Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson.
ABC presents the return of The Inventors for its ninth season with compere Geoff Stone and panelists Diana Fisher, Leo Port and Vic Nicholson. Following The Inventors is the special presentation of the Prince Philip Prize For Australian Design. Thirteen commercial and domestic products which won the Australian Design Award during 1977 will be presented to a national panel of judges, with the winning product being announced by HRH Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh, via satellite.
Thursday night, ABC presents Quentin Crisp In Australia. Dubbed “England’s most famous homosexual”, the 70-year-old Crisp is in Australia to preach on the subject of ‘style’, and this half-hour special also looks at Australia’s response to its first ‘travelling, performing homosexual philosopher.’
On Friday night, ABC presents a half-hour Commonwealth Games Preview, hosted by Peter Meares with Norman May, Gordon Bray, Dick Mason, Cedric Smith and Bill Long. The program will discuss Australia’s chances at the upcoming Commonwealth Games to be played in Edmonton, Canada. Also on Friday night, ATV0 presents the Australian Popular Song Festival, hosted by Barry Crocker.
Source: TV Times (Melbourne edition), 22 July 1978. ABC/ACP