Penthouse Club: Mary Hardy, trots and Tattslotto


YouTube: kylegalley

For almost a decade, watching The Penthouse Club was a Saturday night tradition in Melbourne.

Debuting on HSV7 on 10 October 1970, it was a variety show with intermittent live crosses to the Saturday night harness racing and would link up segments with Sydney’s The Club Show with Rex Mossop.

TV Times, 7 October 1970

It was a rough format to work with, lacking in sophistication and, with the barest of budgets, didn’t have much emphasis on production values. However, despite its limitations it was the chemistry and popularity of its two hosts — football commentator Michael Williamson and comedian and radio host Mary Hardy — that made it a winner with Melbourne viewers. Its success led to the format being locally adopted by Seven Network stations in other cities.

With variety on the way out at rival channel Nine, Penthouse provided an outlet for local and visiting performers and gave viewers a welcome respite from the usually slim pickings of Saturday night TV.

Michael Williamson, Mary Hardy

Penthouse Club also added another string to its bow when it began hosting the weekly Tattslotto draw from 1973.

In August 1974, Hardy caused controversy when she accidentally dropped the f-bomb in one show when a segment did not go entirely to plan. She was suspended from appearing on television for a week.

It was not to be the first time the comedian with a quick wit landed in hot water. A few months later a similar incident saw the Australian Broadcasting Control Board take action and asked Hardy to “show cause why an order should not be made prohibiting or placing restrictions on her from rendering items for radio or television.”

Following assurances made by Hardy, through her solicitors, that no such incident would occur again, the Board decided not to take further action but her activities were to be further supervised by Seven.

She was remorseful for her on-camera outbursts. “There’s no excuse. It should not happen,” she later told TV Times. “I know that if my mother were here she’d have been very disappointed in me.”

Trudy Jaworski

In January 1975, former children’s TV presenter Trudy Jaworski, filling in for Hardy, also attracted the Board’s attention to the show when she discussed a news report about a “love diet”. According to the Board, the discussion was deemed to have been “in a manner which was considered by the Board to exceed tolerable bounds of good taste.”

Jaworski defended her conduct. “It was all part of some very funny discussion between Tony Barber and myself,” she told TV Week. “Apparently it was my reference to love making to which some people took exception, which is really quite amazing because, after all, it is an adult show.” But Seven, still sensitive from the fallout from Hardy’s on-air gaffes, ended up dropping Jaworski from making further appearances on the show.

Mary Hardy, Bill Collins

In 1977, Williamson retired from broadcasting and was replaced by a rotation of various hosts including Bill Collins, Jimmy Hannan and Ernie Sigley, before Sigley was ultimately appointed co-host with Hardy.

In early 1978, Hardy was surprised on set when she was greeted by Roger Climpson, host of This Is Your Life, with an episode of his show presented in her honour.

Ernie Sigley, Roger Climpson, Mary Hardy

Hardy, who had won six Logies as Most Popular Female Personality in Victoria during the course of Penthouse Club, ended up leaving the show at the end of 1978. She denied that her sudden exit from the show was caused by any rift. “At no time was I rattled — not with Mike Williamson, Bill Collins, or Ernie,” she told Scene in 1979. “If you can handle the likes of Graham Kennedy, Mike Walsh and Noel Ferrier, then nobody can faze you.”

Mary Hardy, Ernie Sigley

Sigley also denied industry gossip that he and Hardy did not get along. “I had nothing to do with Mary leaving Penthouse. I stress that we didn’t fight — on or off the cameras,” he told Scene. “Despite rumours of of bitter behind-the-scenes bickering and jealousy between us, the fact is that we got on rather well. The first I knew of Mary’s move was when Channel 7 rang me in Adelaide.” (As well as hosting Penthouse in Melbourne, he had also been commuting to Adelaide to host a local variety show there)

With its popular co-host gone, Penthouse Club was revamped going into 1979 with a new title, Saturday Night Live, and Sigley joined by a new co-host, Belinda Leigh.

The new-look Saturday Night Live failed to match the popularity of its earlier years and was quietly axed by the end of 1979.

The format of Penthouse/Saturday Night Live made a return to TV in 1980, when ATV10 launched The Saturday Night Show (pictured), with Williamson reprising his role as host, and accompanied by Annette Allison. The show was to be short-lived.

Source: TV Times, 7 October 1970, 8 February 1975, 12 April 1975, 6 May 1978. TV Week, 8 February 1975. TV Guide, 22 September 1973. Scene, 16 September 1978, 18 November 1978, 27 January 1979. The 27th Annual Report 1974-75, Australian Broadcasting Control Board.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2020/10/penthouse-club-mary-hardy-trots-and-tattslotto.html

Classic TV Guides: The Sammys

In 1976, the Variety Club of Australia, TV Times and the Seven Network launched The Australian TV And Film Awards, nicknamed “The Sammys”. The name was derived from the trophy’s design in the shape of a seal — Sammy the Seal!

The awards were a rival to the long-running TV Week Logie Awards, which were shown annually on the Nine Network.

The first presentation of the Sammys was held at the Sydney Opera House on 7 October 1976 and hosted by David Frost. Supporting Frost in presenting awards included Paul Hogan, Jack Thompson, Pat McDonald, Stuart Wagstaff, Digby Wolfe, Bobby Limb, Dawn Lake, Jacki Weaver and English actress Susan Penhaligon.

There were around 50 award categories, though thankfully for viewers only a selection were covered in the two-hour telecast. Most of the awards were judged by a panel representing various industry groups, unions and associations.

The major awards for the night were the Gold Sammys, awarded to both a male and female. The inaugural Gold winners were Garry McDonald (The Norman Gunston Show) and Helen Morse (from the film Caddie).

TV Times readers also had the opportunity to vote for three TV categories — Most Popular Personality, Most Popular Series and Most Popular Overseas Program. The inaugural winners of these categories were Mike Walsh, Number 96 and Starsky And Hutch respectively.

Although TV Times ceased publication in 1980, the Sammys continued in 1980 and 1981 before being quietly retired.

The first presentation of The Australian Television And Film Awards: The Sammys is among the latest addition of Classic TV Guides:

Source: TV Times, 2 October 1976, 16 October 1976, 23 October 1976.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2020/10/classic-tv-guides-the-sammys.html

AACTA puts the call out for votes

While the pandemic has taken out the TV Week Logie Awards for this year, the AACTA Awards is taking a novel approach in re-imagining its awards for 2020.

To celebrate the upcoming 10th AACTA Awards, the Australian Academy of Cinema Arts (AACTA) has announced plans to include an audience-voted component to celebrate the last ten years of Australian film and television production.

Voting for the AACTA Audience Choice Awards is now open on the AACTA website until Sunday 11 October. Voting will run online and the top five nominees in each category will be announced on 29 November ahead of AACTA’s re-imagined broadcast on the Seven Network, Wednesday 2 December.

2020 AACTA AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS CATEGORIES AND SHORTLISTS

FAVOURITE GLOBAL STAR OF THE DECADE

Cate Blanchett
Rose Byrne
Russell Crowe
Joel Edgerton
Chris Hemsworth
Hugh Jackman
Nicole Kidman
Ben Mendelsohn
Margot Robbie
Jacki Weaver

FAVOURITE TV CONTESTANT OF THE DECADE

Poh Ling Yeow, MasterChef, 10
Dami Im, The X Factor, Channel Seven, Dancing with the Stars, 10, Eurovision, SBS
Sam Frost, The Bachelor, 10
Steve Flood and Will Stewart, MKR, Channel 7
Chrissie Swan, I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!, 10
Sophie Monk, The Bachelorette, 10
Olivia Vivian, Ninja Warrior, Nine Network
Jules and Cam, MAFS, Nine Network
Josh and Elise, The Block, Nine Network
Angela Clancy, Big Brother, Channel 7

FAVOURITE COMEDY PERFORMER OF THE DECADE

Hamish Blake and Andy Lee
Tom Gleeson
Wil Anderson
Hannah Gadsby
Nazeem Hussain
Steven Oliver
Dave Hughes
Julia Morris
Celia Pacquola
Celeste Barber

FAVOURITE TV ACTOR OF THE DECADE

Sarah Snook
Asher Keddie
Bryan Brown
Claudia Karvan
Rodger Corser
Aaron Pedersen
Deborah Mailman
Marta Dusseldorp
Damon Herriman
Essie Davis

FAVOURITE AUSTRALIAN FILM OF THE DECADE

Peter Rabbit
Red Dog
The Sapphires
The Great Gatsby
The Babadook
The Water Diviner
The Dressmaker
Lion
Ride Like a Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road

FAVOURITE AUSTRALIAN TV DRAMA

Offspring, 10
Neighbours, 10
Mystery Road, ABC TV
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, ABC TV
Top of the Lake, Foxtel
Wentworth, Foxtel
Molly, Channel 7
Love Child, Nine Network
Doctor Doctor, Nine Network
Home and Away, Channel 7

FAVOURITE TV MOMENT

Scripted

Offspring, Patrick Dying, 2013, 10
Wentworth, “The Freak Buried Alive”, 2018, Foxtel
Please Like Me, Josh Finding His Mother Dead, 2017, ABC TV

News

Thailand Cave Rescue, 2018
The Prime Minister Tony Abbott Eating An Onion, 2015

Reality

The Honey Badger Not Choosing A Partner, The Bachelor, 2018, 10
Dan and Steph Win, MKR, 2013, Channel 7
Ines and Sam Affair, MAFS, 2019, Nine Network

Sport

Mick Fanning Punching a Shark, 2015
Adam Goodes War Cry Dance, 2015

Source: AACTA

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2020/10/aacta-puts-the-call-out-for-votes.html

Australian Story — Rory O’Donoghue

Rory O’Donoghue was an actor, musician, composer and performer best known from sketch comedy series The Aunty Jack Show in the 1970s.

What was less known about his life was his long-standing and complex mental health challenges. He was eventually being diagnosed with schizo-affective and bi-polar disorder.

In 2017, he was admitted to a Sydney hospital with severe depression. Hours after his first electroconvulsive therapy treatment he took his life. He was 68 years old.

Three years after his death, in the next episode of Australian Story, O’Donoghue’s family and friends speak out about O’Donoghue’s troubled life and impact it had on them, in the hope of encouraging open discussion of complex mental health issues.

Australian Story: Keeping Up Appearances. Monday 5 October, 8.00pm. ABC and iview.


YouTube: ABC

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Beyond Blue 1300 224636 https://www.beyondblue.org.au/ 

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2020/10/australian-story-rory-odonoghue.html

Nine News restores Darwin bulletin

Nine News has announced that it will reinstate its one-hour standalone news bulletin for Darwin.

In 2017, Nine ceased production of news from its Darwin studios and relocated the bulletin to Brisbane, adopting Darwin as part of its regional news output. The bulletin was suspended earlier this year amid the COVID-19 outbreak, replaced with a relay of Nine‘s Brisbane news which was supplemented by brief local updates for Darwin.

The restored Darwin bulletin, to commence on 5 October, will be presented by Paul Taylor in Brisbane but will feature stories filed by a team of reporters, camera operators and editors based in Darwin.

Nine News is Darwin’s only commercial TV news service, beginning as News At Seven in October 1982. The local Seven and Ten outlets relay interstate news bulletins.

Source: Nine News Darwin

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2020/09/nine-news-restores-darwin-bulletin.html

Ten News signs off from Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth

Rebecca Morse and Will Goodings at Ten News First, Adelaide

There were farewells earlier tonight from Ten News First bulletins being presented for the last time from Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

From Monday, Ten News First will be centralising news production to Sydney and Melbourne. Sandra Sully and Matt Burke in Sydney will present bulletins for Sydney, Brisbane and Perth, while Jennifer Keyte and Stephen Quartermain in Melbourne will now also cover Adelaide.

Brisbane weather presenter Josh Hunt moves to Sydney to cover Sydney, Brisbane and Perth, and Adelaide’s Kate Freebairn will now also cover Melbourne.

Among the on-air presenters to have left the network today are Georgina Lewis and Jonathan Williams from Brisbane, Rebecca Morse and Will Goodings from Adelaide, and Monika Kos, Tim Gossage and Michael Schultz in Perth.

Also finished up at Ten are weather presenters Mike Larkan, after 24 years at Ten in Melbourne, and Sydney’s Tim Bailey, leaving Ten after 29 years.

A number of production staff across the network were also being farewelled.

Studio 10 has also said farewell this week to presenters Joe Hildebrand, Natarsha Belling and Kerri-Anne Kennerley. The show’s Melbourne correspondent Denise Scott also quietly announced her exit from the show in an appearance earlier in the week on Have You Been Paying Attention?

Network Ten announced the restructure to its weekday news bulletins and Studio 10 last month. Weekend bulletins, which are already produced centrally from Sydney, and The Project remain unchanged.

Source: TV Blackbox, Ten News First Queensland, Ten News First Adelaide, Ten News First Perth

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2020/09/ten-news-signs-off-from-brisbane-adelaide-and-perth.html

Obituary: Geraldine Dillon

Geraldine Dillon, one of Australia’s first TV culinary experts, has died at the age of 84 after a long battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Born in Melbourne in 1936, Dillon first studied cooking in Melbourne before leaving for Europe to study at Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in London. On her return to Australia, she was hired as an assistant on the Sydney-based series, Cordon Bleu Kitchen, hosted by Muriel Downes.

Dillon was then appointed Home Service Adviser for the Gas and Fuel Corporation of Victoria and presented cooking demonstrations for department store Myer.

From 1960, she presented a cooking segment on the daytime show Thursday At One. This segment then became a separate series, Fun With Food, which aired on Friday afternoons on Melbourne’s GTV9. She also wrote a weekly magazine column in TV Times magazine from November 1963.

Geraldine Dillon’s first column in TV Times. November 1963

She continued to travel extensively to experience food trends overseas and to bring her newfound knowledge back to share with viewers.

In 1971, she began hosting TV Kitchen, broadcast through the Nine Network. Recipes from the program were published in The Australian Women’s Weekly.

TV Kitchen continued through to 1976.

Dillon also wrote for The Herald and The Age newspapers and presented a cooking segment on radio 3AK. Her book, The Geraldine Dillon Cookbook, sold out on its first release.

She also ran cookery schools and continued to conduct food tours overseas.

Geraldine Dillon is survived by her three brothers, John and Reverend fathers Brendan and Kevin as well as her nieces, Marion and Christine and nephews, Andrew, Michael, Robert and John.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald, Melbourne Catholic. The Australian Women’s Weekly, 25 September 1968, 24 February 1971. TV Times, 6 November 1963.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2020/09/obituary-geraldine-dillon.html

Seven farewells Melissa Doyle

After 25 years at the Seven Network, presenter and reporter Melissa Doyle announced her departure from the network on Friday.

“I have some personal news to share…after twenty-five years I am leaving the Seven Network.

For half of my life I have called Channel Seven home and in that time I’ve had the privilege to share stories that mattered, meet incredible people and report on some of the greatest moments in history.

I am incredibly proud of the work I have done and so grateful to have worked with some of the very best in my industry.

And I am so appreciative of the trust and warmth our viewers have shown me. They have been part of my family – through Today Tonight, Sunrise, Seven News, Sunday Night and the multitude of programs I’ve been part of at Seven.

I want to thank the consummate professionals I have worked with along the way, and in particular our Chairman Kerry Stokes for his constant support.

Whilst I am sad to be leaving, I do so with a great deal of pride, satisfaction and gratitude.

Every ending is a beginning and I’m excited for what comes next.”

Doyle joined Seven’s Canberra bureau in 1995 after stints at the Canberra news rooms of WIN and Prime regional networks.

By 1997, she hosted the an early version of Sunrise — back then just an early morning news hour. A few years later, Sunrise developed into a breakfast television format, with Doyle accompanied by Chris Reason and then David Koch. The chemistry of the show’s presenting team, which later expanded to include Natalie Barr, Mark Beretta, Simon Reeve, Grant Denyer and Monique Wright, revitalised breakfast television and was soon to beat Nine‘s long-running rival, Today.

During her time on Sunrise, Doyle covered such significant events as the Beaconsfield mine disaster, the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, Olympic Games in Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Queensland floods, Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires, multiple federal and state elections, the Inauguration of Barack Obama and the election of Pope Francis.

It was a shock to Sunrise viewers when Doyle announced she was stepping down from the show, and focusing on other projects for Seven. She presented national bulletins for Seven and became a host and reporter for Sunday Night.

After Sunday Night was axed last year, Doyle went on to Seven’s late news bulletin, The Latest.


YouTube: TelevisionAU

Over her years at the network, she also hosted Eleven AM, Where Are They Now?, TV Turns 50, The Zoo, Australia Unites: Reach Out To Asia and Today Tonight.

Seven News on Friday night broadcast a special farewell to Doyle:

It is now yet known what future ventures Doyle has in mind but she continues to present the weekend breakfast shift on Smooth FM. Since joining in 2013, she has won two Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRA) for her work on Smooth.

Source: Melissa Doyle

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2020/08/seven-farewells-melissa-doyle.html

What we watched: August 2003

Another random snapshot of what we were watching on TV. This time it’s the week ending 2 August 2003.

The new reality series The Block was the latest breakout hit, there was tragedy in Neighbours, and we were introduced to the first batch of budding pop stars in a new format called Australian Idol.

The Nine Network topped the prime time ratings (OzTAM, 5 cities, 6pm-12mn) for the week — scoring 30.6%, followed by Seven (25.8%), Ten (22.7%), ABC (16.5%) and SBS (4.4%). Digital TV was still in its infancy, with the only multi-channel being the SBS World News Channel, and ABC had not long shut down Fly TV and ABC Kids, amid budget cuts.

Nine won all nights, except Tuesday which went to Seven. Ten’s best night was Friday, where it just pipped Seven into second place. Ten was in third place every other night. ABC ranked fourth every night but its best night was Saturday. SBS was well down in fifth place each night, though its best night was Sunday, which included the final of the Tour de France.

Nine won the week comfortably in all cities except Perth, which was won by Seven.

In regional markets across Queensland, Northern NSW, Southern NSW/ACT and Victoria, the Nine Network affiliates (WIN/NBN) won with a market average of 33.4%, followed by Seven affiliates Prime/7Qld (26.3%), Southern Cross Ten (20.1%), ABC (15.5%) and SBS (4.7%).

In Tasmania, Southern Cross Television (representing both Seven and Ten networks) rated 40.7%, ahead of WIN (34.9%), ABC (20.0%) and SBS (4.3%).

The Top 20 shows for Week 31 (27 July-2 August, 2003):
Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers*
1 The Block Nine Sun 2417000
2 National Nine News Nine Sun 2143000
3 Room For Improvement Seven Tue 1759000
4 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Sat 1757000
5 Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Nine Mon 1694000
6 This Is Your Life Nine Thu 1692000
7 National Nine News Nine Sat 1680000
8 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 1669000
9 Australian Idol (Premiere) Ten Sun 1639000
10 McLeod’s Daughters Nine Wed 1638000
11 National Nine News Nine M-F 1580000
12 CSI Miami Nine Wed 1573000
13 Hot Property Seven Wed 1555000
14 Getaway Nine Thu 1553000
15 CSI Crime Scene Investigation (Rpt) Nine Tue 1489000
16 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1480000
17 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1475000
18 Blue Heelers Seven Wed 1473000
19 Law And Order SVU Ten Thu 1464000
20 Friends Nine Mon 1462000
* Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth
Source: Mediaweek, as supplied by OzTAM.

The Nine Network dominated the national Top 20 with 18 shows. The Seven Network had four shows and Network Ten had two — including the premiere of the first season of Australian Idol, hosted by Osher Günsberg (then Andrew G) and James Mathison (pictured).

ABC’s highest ranked program was British drama The Bill on Saturday night, ranked at 34th spot with 1.332 million viewers.

SBS did not have any programs in the Top 100.

The weeknight 6.00pm timeslot was won by National Nine News (#11, 1.580m), followed by Seven News (#41, 1.276m) and The Simpsons (#69, 1.001m).

At 6.30pm, A Current Affair (#17, 1.475m) was ahead of Seven’s Today Tonight (#30, 1.363m) and Ten’s Neighbours (#52, 1.112m), the latter including the wedding of Dee and Toadie (Madeleine West and Ryan Moloney, pictured), which ended in tragedy with Dee presumed dead after the newlyweds’ car plunges off a cliff into water.

At 7.00pm, Seven took the lead with Home And Away (#23, 1.437m), followed by Frasier repeats on Nine (#37, 1.307m), ABC News (#43, 1.180m) and Seinfeld repeats on Ten (#95, 724,000).

The battle of the Sunday night movies was won by Seven’s Shaft (#68, 1.004m), followed by Nine’s The General’s Daughter (repeat) (#71, 977,000). Despite the huge lead-in from Australian Idol, Ten’s Sunday night movie, a repeat of the 1999 film Girl Interrupted, did not make the Top 100. Curiously, the highest ranked movie for the entire week was a repeat of the 1994 film True Lies on Ten on Friday night (#53, 1.102m)

Seven’s Wheel Of Fortune (#89, 745,000) ranked ahead of Nine’s The Price Is Right (#100, 689,000), but both were beaten by Ten News (#60, 1.057m).

Other notable rankings include All Saints (#28, 1.381m), Deal Or No Deal (#29, 1.363m), Rove Live (#48, 1.128m), Enough Rope With Andrew Denton (#51, 1.112m), Kath And Kim (#61, 1.043m), The Mole In Paradise (#70, 986m), The Panel (#84, 822,000), Micallef Tonight (pictured) (#90, 737,000) and Four Corners (#98, 719,000).

Sydney’s top shows for the week were The Block (768,000), National Nine News (Sunday, 631,000), Getaway (541,000), This Is Your Life (520,000) and Room For Improvement and Rugby Union Tri-Nations: Australia v South Africa (both 489,000).

In Melbourne, The Block (750,000) was followed by National Nine News (Sunday, 741,000), Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show (683,000), Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (629,000) and National Nine News (Saturday, 627,000).

In Brisbane, The Block (426,000) was followed by McLeod’s Daughters (364,000), National Nine News (Sunday, 353,000), National Nine News (weeknights, 350,000) and Room For Improvement (340,000)

In Adelaide, National Nine News (Sunday, 285,000) was followed by The Block (247,000), Sunday Afternoon AFL (225,000), Room For Improvement (210,000) and Better Homes And Gardens (207,000).

In Perth, Australian Idol (237,000) was followed by Seven News (Sunday, 234,000), Room For Improvement (228,000), The Block (226,000) and National Nine News (Saturday, 221,000).

Source: Mediaweek, 11 August 2003, with ratings data supplied by OzTAM (metro) and ATR Australia (regional). TV Week, 26 July 2003.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2020/08/what-we-watched-august-2003.html

The last TV Times

Cop Shop stars Peter Adams and Joanna Lockwood on the cover of the last TV Times. 16 August 1980

It is 40 years since the last TV Times rolled off the presses.

The final edition, with Cop Shop stars Peter Adams and Joanna Lockwood on the cover, featured a double-page article on the two actors leaving the series after nearly three years and their characters, ‘JJ’ and Valerie, getting engaged, leading to their exit from the series.

The magazine also previewed the upcoming wedding of characters Olivia Baxter (Zoe Bertram) and Dr Bruce Russell (Malcolm Thompson) in The Restless Years.

The front cover tease of ‘the documentary too good for you to see’ referred to Front Line, the story of ABC cameraman Neil Davis, who filmed the Vietnam War from 1963 to 1975. The documentary had won awards at the Sydney and Melbourne film festivals and at the American Film Festival in New York. It had also been broadcast in the United Kingdom, United States, France and Scandinavia, but was not picked up by any networks in Australia. Networks here cited that the asking price was too expensive and that “55 minutes of the Vietnam war are too hard to schedule in prime time”.

The final TV Times also reported:

  • Network Ten‘s commissioning of Punishment, a ‘male version’ of its top-rating women’s prison drama Prisoner. The new series, to be produced in Sydney, starred Mike Preston, Brian Wenzel, Michele Fawdon, Penne Hackforth-Jones and a young Mel Gibson.

Punishment: Ralph Cotterill, Brian Wenzel, Mel Gibson

  • The Federal Government is determined to have its new multicultural channel on air on United Nations Day, 24 October, although uncertainty continued over what authority would control the new channel. The Government’s Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) was almost set to be replaced by the Independent Multicultural Broadcasting Corporation (IMBC), but delays in passing the legislation put its future in doubt. As it turned out, the IMBC legislation failed to pass and SBS retained control of the new channel which launched as scheduled.
  • Features on American actor Greg Evigan, from the series BJ And The Bear, and English comedian Jasper Carrott, who had recently completed a tour of Australia.

TV Times, which was born in the late 1950s as TV News-Times out of an early merger of two titles — TV News and TV Times — had 20 years later become swallowed up by a merger with TV Week.

TV Times had long been published in a partnership between Australian Consolidated Press (ACP) and the ABC.

By May 1980, the ABC had assessed that falling circulation and an increase in competition had no longer rendered TV Times financially sustainable. ABC then sold its share of the magazine to ACP. The last issue to be published under the ABC/ACP partnership was dated 28 June 1980.

ACP then went and took TV Times to Southdown Press, publisher of TV Week, and entered into an agreement for Southdown Press to publish TV Week as an amalgamation of both titles on behalf of both owners.

At the same time Southdown Press, then owned by News Limited, had also taken control of the Australian version of TV Guide, which had commenced national publication a year earlier as an expansion of the long-running South Australian magazine of the same name.

The result was all three national magazines — TV Week, TV Times and TV Guide — being merged into a revamped TV Week, with the TV Week masthead incorporating the other two titles in its masthead:

TV Week’s editor Tony Johnston welcomed new readers in the first amalgamated issue — 23 August 1980:

While the amalgamation of three titles into one for TV Week was done on a national scale, the exit of TV Guide from the national market prompted South Australia publisher Messenger Press to launch a new local title — TV Radio Extra — incorporating a similar format and features of the former TV Guide for the local market. Many of the staff that produced the South Australian edition of TV Guide went on to TV Radio Extra.

TV Radio Extra continued publication in South Australia until 1988.

Source: TV Times, 28 June 1980. TV Week, 23 August 1980. TV Radio Extra, 16 August 1980. 48th Annual Report of the Australian Broadcasting Commission 1979-1980.

 

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2020/08/the-last-tv-times.html