Today marks the 57th anniversary of the official launch of HSV7, Melbourne, the first station in what we now know as the Seven Network.
The channel, operated by the Herald and Weekly Times newspaper group, was officially opened at 7.00pm on Sunday 4 November 1956 by the Victorian Premier Henry Bolte and Melbourne Lord Mayor Sir Frank Selleck.
At 7.15pm HSV’s first program was a 45-minute variety special from the Tivoli Theatre in Melbourne.
Other programs that evening included the panel show I’ve Got A Secret, hosted by Eric Pearce who was also the station newsreader, and imported shows Robin Hood and Our Miss Brooks.
World news followed at 9.30pm then TV Window gave a preview of upcoming shows. Eric Pearce then presented the last news bulletin before the station signed off for the night at 10.30pm.
The Melbourne Olympic Games were the channel’s first major TV event, and Seven went on to be a broadcast partner for many future Summer and Winter Games.
ATN7 Sydney launched in December 1956, then ADS7 Adelaide and BTQ7 Brisbane in 1959. It was 1962 before the four stations formed a network alliance, initially branded the Australian Television Network.
A switch-over between two Adelaide channels saw ADS7 in 1987 hand over its frequency and network affiliation to rival channel SAS10 to become SAS7, and Perth station TVW7 launched in 1959 but did not formally join the network until 1988.
Seven’s The Morning Show today paid tribute to the network on its 57th birthday — including flashbacks to early dramas Autumn Affair (the first soapie) and Homicide (pictured); variety with Studio A and Sing Sing Sing (The Johnny O’Keefe Show); quiz shows Pick A Box and Temptation; comedy with The Mavis Bramston Show, The Norman Gunston Show and The Paul Hogan Show; soapies A Country Practice, Sons And Daughters and Home And Away; and news and current affairs with Seven News, Eleven AM, Today Tonight, Sunrise and Sunday Night.
News presenters Chris Bath (Sydney), Jennifer Keyte (Melbourne), John Riddell and Jane Doyle (Adelaide), Rick Ardon and Susannah Carr (Perth), sports presenter Pat Welsh (Brisbane) and national presenters Melissa Doyle, Matt White, Mark Beretta, David Koch, Sam Armytage, Ann Sanders and Natalie Barr recalled some of their career highlights.
There were also early career flashbacks of The Morning Show‘s own hosts Larry Emdur and Kylie Gillies.
Source: The Morning Show
Warning!! The following post contains random semi-interesting information about 50s TV.
During the 1950s ATN-7 kinescoped some of their shows in advance instead of broadcasting them live. They first did this with a bunch of game shows and a discussion series in 1957, and then did this with soap opera “Autumn Affair” (1958-1959) and then music series “Patrick O’Hagan Sings” (1959, though I don’t know if this was kinescoped or actually shot directly on film). There may have been others I other-looked.
Among 1950s ATN series to be recorded in advance (using kinescope recording) included “The Pressure Pak Show” (some episodes survive), “Leave it to the Girls” (around 7 episodes survive), “Give it a Go” (at least 13 episodes survive), “The Dulux Show” (around 5 episodes survive), “Pick-a-Box” (though it appears the oldest surviving episodes are from the 1960s…), “It Pays to be Funny” (Dyer’s other show, though this series may possibly be lost), “The Quiz Kids” (archival status unknown, based on the same radio show as the better-remembered 1960s series), “Pantomime Quiz” (archival status unknown), “Autumn Affair” (survives near-intact), “Patrick O’Hagan Sings” (survives near-intact).
The trouble is how much longer those aging 16mm film prints will last.
I have no idea about the survival rate of HSV-7’s series, though at least a dozen episodes of live series “Hit Parade” are held by the National Film and Sound Archive.
Many thanks for the comment, Matthew. Good to hear about the survival of some of the early shows but as you say how much longer will they last