1978: February 18-24

tvtimes_180278 Cover: TV Times‘ Salute To Hollywood. Celebrating 50 years of ‘talkies’.

The search is over:
Producers of the upcoming mini-series Against The Wind have cast the lead female character for the 13-part epic. Irish-born Mary Larkin was chosen after auditions were held in Australia and England. TV Times reports that production of the $1 million series is now in early stages in Sydney and nearby Gosford, with producers working hard to gather or have made replicas of items from the 18th century to be used in the production.

Benny Hill’s Aussie show for UK:
The Australian-made special from British comedian Benny Hill is to be shown in the UK later in the year. The special, produced at a cost of $100,000 for the 0-10 Network, had been shown to executives of Thames TV who were “very complimentary” about the show.

Back to TV for Ross D:
Former pop TV host Ross D Wylie has been appointed as the new host of ATV0‘s late-night Friday and Saturday movies, replacing late-night pioneer Hal Todd who had moved to a management role at the station. “The first thing I want to do is improve the standard of the movies and make sure they will all be in colour,” said the former Uptight host.

“If I had a million…”:
TV Times asked some of TV’s most popular personalities: What would do with a million? The SullivansLorraine Bayly wanted to travel and to buy a zoo, and build a luxury old folks home. Former Number 96 star Pat McDonald would offer a large amount of it to research into children’s diseases, and to set up a trust fund for the local entertainment industry. Johnny Young wanted to travel around Australia, while newsreader Roger Climpson very sensibly planned to invest it.

Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor:
“I wish to complain about the science-fiction shows on TVT6 Hobart. Late last year I received information that the second series of Space 1999 was to be shown, but lately there has been no sign of it. Instead, they put on Fantastic Journey, which is quite absurd.” Leonard, TAS.

“I would like to thank the channels for their sports coverage and mediocre films during the day. Now I have time to do things in my home and garden, plus play records and cassettes and read.” J. Skinn, SA.

Johnny Farnham again showed his class and versatility with his great performances on both the special It’s Just Another New Year’s Eve and at the Carols By Candlelight event. Farnham is the greatest entertainer Australia has ever produced.” D. Bell, VIC.

What’s On (February 18-24):
‘s Four Corners with Caroline Jones returns for another year on Saturday night, while Ernie Sigley appeared alongside
Mary Hardy as guest co-host on HSV7‘s Penthouse ’78.

The then Governor-General of Australia, Sir Zelman Cowen, opens the 31st Federal Parliament – televised live on ABC on Tuesday afternoon.

GTV9‘s Wednesday night movie is the ‘modified TV version’ of the British comedy Percy – described by TV Times ever-so-quaintly as the story of “Edwin Anthony, recipient of the most sensual transplant ever”.

ATV0 presents a three-hour US documentary Life Goes To The Movies, tracing the history of how movies depicted American life from the 1930s through to the 1970s.

Sunday night movies are They Only Kill Their Masters (HSV7), Ash Wednesday (GTV9) and Doc (ATV0). ABC presents the premiere episode of the British mini-series I Claudius.

Source: TV Times, 18 February 1978 (Melbourne edition). ABC/ACP

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2008/02/1978-february-18-24.html

Andrew Harwood

Sydney radio presenter Andrew Harwood has died in a Sydney hospital from a severe asthma attack. He was 62.

More recently a presenter on radio stations 2UE and 2GB, Harwood will also be remembered for TV work as host of 1970s versions of quiz shows Jeopardy and It’s Academic, as well as guest appearances on The Paul Hogan Show and as voice-over announcer at ATN7. In the 1980s, Harwood appeared It Could Be You and Good Morning Sydney, and hosted quiz show Class Of ’82.

The son of former Beauty And The Beast panellist Ena Harwood, Harwood is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald, TV Tonight
Picture: TV Week, 18 December 1982

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2008/02/andrew-harwood.html

Something’s in the air, again

The revamp of ABC2, while promising a range of new content, also appears to be bringing one or two titles out of the vaults.

Starting Monday 11 February, ABC2 will be commencing a re-run of the rural soap-drama Something In The Air, which originally ran on ABC between January 2000 and May 2002.

A production of Simpson Le Mesurier, Something In The Air was set in the small rural town of Emu Springs with most of the drama centred around a local radio station 3ES, operating from a disused railway station. Both the rural setting and its timeslot, 6.30pm weeknights as lead-in to the 7.00pm ABC News, inevitably drew comparisons to ‘Aunty’ ABC’s former long-running series Bellbird which ran from 1967 to 1977 in a similar timeslot.

The series featured experienced performers Anne Phelan (Bellbird, Prisoner, Neighbours), Ray Barrett, Kate Fitzpatrick, Frankie J Holden and Roger Oakley (Home And Away), joined by younger cast members including Danielle Carter (Richmond Hill, Neighbours), Ulli Birve, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor and Sullivan Stapleton. Eric Bana, formerly of comedy series Full Frontal and movie Chopper, was part of the original cast but was released from his contract when Hollywood starting calling. Bana’s role was taken over by Vince Colosimo.

Despite ABC’s best intentions when the series debuted, and modest though promising ratings for the series, things turned sour when new ABC chief Jonathan Shier was appointed, and drama chief Sue Masters, who had commissioned the series, consequently departed. The program was moved from its weeknight timeslot to a one-hour block on Saturday evenings where it never really struck up a rapport with viewers. It was later reinstated to the weeknight timeslot but instead slotted in at 6.00pm putting up against the news services on the Seven and Nine networks.

As a result, Something In The Air quietly wound up in mid-2002.

Something In The Air. Weeknights 7.30pm (from 11 February). ABC2

Picture: TV Week, 15 January 2000
Sources: IMDB, Australian Television Information Archive, Super Aussie Soaps

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2008/02/somethings-in-the-air-again.html

1978: February 11-17

Cover: Charlie’s Angels (Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith, Cheryl Ladd)

Mike’s game for TDT job:
TV Times reports that Mike Minehan, former host of A Current Affair and the game show $30,000 Treasure Hunt, has taken on the job as host of the Victorian edition of ABC‘s This Day Tonight. Minehan takes on the role as replacement for Peter Couchman who has moved to commercial TV, hosting ATV0‘s late-night Peter Couchman Tonight.

History is repeating for Lynn:
Former Number 96 actress Lynn Rainbow has been named to play the part of Louisa Wiltshire in the upcoming Seven Network epic Against The Wind. Rainbow said so far she knows little of the character, but for the Sydney-based actress it would mean lots of trips to Victoria for location filming.

‘Sometimes, my head is like a plate of scrambled eggs’:
Caroline Jones is a well-known face on TV and also very busy one, in 1978 as host of ABC’s iconic Four Corners as well as presenting a morning radio show for ABC radio 2BL in Sydney. As well as her ABC commitments, Jones is also deputy chairman of the National Film Board of Review. An average work day starts at 6.30am and some days does not end until after 11.00pm.

Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor:
“My grateful thanks to ABC for the wonderful series Bellbird and to the many actors and actresses who made the show. It was such a pleasure to watch a show such as this without sex and violence.” R. E. Foster, VIC.

“I am complaining about two programs I had the misfortune to experience recently – Days Of Our Lives and The Young And The Restless. These shows, depicting neurotic women and male misfits, and designed for transmission to the same variety of people, made me sick to the core.” B. R. Bartlett, NSW.

“(TV Times columnist) F. C. Kennedy’s views on The Sullivans must be endorsed. The show had the opportunity to be an Australian counterpart to the fine British drama A Family At War but has been ruined by its apparent desire to extend its life as long as possible, and a pandering to square-eye values.” M. Jennings, VIC.

What’s On (February 11-17):
HSV7‘s long-running variety show Penthouse returns for its ninth year with Mary Hardy being joined by guest host Jimmy Hannan. Guests on the Saturday night show include Judy Conneli, Julie McKenna, Bartholomew John and Paul O’Gorman. Also includes live coverage of the trots from Moonee Valley, and Tattslotto draw number 284. The show follows a repeat of a one-hour Paul Hogan special made in London.

GTV9 has reinstated its solid afternoon lineup of Days Of Our Lives, The Young And The Restless and General Hospital for the new ratings year.

Friday night sees the premiere of Australian-made drama series Loss Of Innocence on ABC, set in Sydney in the 1930s.

Sunday night’s first-run movies are Revenge For A Rape (HSV7), Gunfight At The OK Corral (GTV9) and the Australian-made Walkabout (ATV0). The British mini-series Elizabeth R finally comes to a conclusion on ABC.

Source: TV Times, 11 February 1978 (Melbourne edition). ABC/ACP

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2008/02/1978-february-11-17.html

ABC. Redefining Television

From today at midday, ABC has ‘redefined television’ with the relaunch of its two TV channels in conjunction with promotion of their online TV.

Now, the traditional ABC channel – broadcasting on analogue and standard definition digital – is ABC1 with the slogan ‘It begins with 1’. The second channel – on digital – is still ABC2, and both channels have had a revamp to give them a complementary image rather than being treated almost as separate entities in the past.

Both ABC1 and ABC2 are offering a range of new programs this year. ABC2 will also be offering more new content than before, as well as time-shifted programming from ABC1.

For all you need to know about ABC1 and ABC2, including promo reels and on-air station identifications, check the
ABC website.

More of ABC1 and ABC2 at idents.tv, TV Tonight, What’s On The Tube, ABC (unofficial) Blog

YouTube video: MoeVideos

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2008/02/abc-redefining-television.html

Ray Martin quits Nine

After thirty years, three current affairs programs, five TV Week Gold Logies, and any number of special events, carols, election nights and celebrity interviews – Ray Martin has left the Nine Network just days before he was due to return for the new year co-hosting Sunday.

Nine chief David Gyngell said he and Martin agreed it was the right time to move on:

“I have the utmost respect for Ray and count him as a friend so we have reached this decision totally amicably. Ray Martin has made an enormous contribution at Nine, and indeed to public broadcasting in this country. His legacy is there for all to see. There’s almost nothing he hasn’t done here with his trademark style and great quality. But it’s time for a change for him, and now for us.”

Martin said it was time for new challenges:

“Nine has given me the chance to go to some amazing places, meet a lot of famous people, and tell some yarns that make you laugh and make you cry. (But) it’s time to walk down a few other roads and take a few risks again – in and out of television. I’m certainly not retiring.”

Martin joined Nine in 1978, after ten years at ABC, as a founding member of the 60 Minutes team (pictured) alongside Ian Leslie and George Negus. The program launched in February 1979. In 1985, Martin traded in the long overseas trips for daytime stardom as the new king of daytime TV, hosting The Midday Show for nine years. In 1994, Martin moved to the early evenings as host of A Current Affair for four years, and then returned to the program again in 2003.

In 2006, Martin presented an exclusive interview with Terri Irwin, following the death of husband Steve.

Last year, Martin took on the role of co-host of Sunday amid reports that he was wanting to leave Nine after it declined to offer him a prime-time talk show. Sunday is due to return this weekend in the earlier 7.30am timeslot – its first timeslot change in its 26 year history – up against the Seven Network‘s popular Weekend Sunrise.

Source: Nine Network (press release)

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2008/02/ray-martin-quits-nine.html

ABC1: It happens this Friday

ABC Director of Television Kim Dalton has announced today at a media launch in Sydney that the revamp of its main channel to ABC1 will happen at midday this Friday.

The new ABC1 logo was meant to be kept under wraps until Friday’s launch but was leaked to the internet ten days ago, and published in The Australian newspaper last week with the revelation that ABC’s iconic lissajous curve logo was to be ditched – a change quickly denied by Mr Dalton.

In launching the new look to ABC1, Mr Dalton announced a new drama series The Cut featuring former Blue Heelers actor and TV Week Gold Logie winner John Wood, and a comedy series Lawrence Leung’s Choose Your Own Adventure from comic team The Chaser.

A new interview program Q&A will be hosted by Lateline presenter Tony Jones, and there will also be a four-part documentary series The Howard Years.

The revamp of ABC’s main channel to ABC1 will also coincide with a revamp of the digital channel ABC2 which Mr Dalton says will carry an emphasis on original arts programming, as well as launching new programs including a current affairs program Hackfest as a spin-off of the JJJ drive-time program Hack.

Source: Herald Sun
YouTube videos: Idents.tv

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2008/02/abc1-it-happens-this-friday.html

It’s Logie voting.. with a new twist

It is that time of year again – voting has opened for the TV Week Logie Awards, but this year there’s a new twist to proceedings.

For the first time in its 50 year history, you don’t need to buy a copy of TV Week to have your vote. As well as the magazine publishing the traditional voting coupon, you can now place your vote online without having to enter a registration code from the printed magazine.

The change to voting answers criticisms that voting was limited only to buyers of TV Week which in more recent times has had a more narrowed focus on younger readers which may have swayed voting toward certain programs, therefore not providing a true picture of what is really ‘most popular’.

The final list of nominees for both the public voted awards, as well as the industry-voted ‘most outstanding’ categories, will be announced on 7 April. The eight Gold Logie nominees announced will then be in the ‘Race for Gold’ as the public will then be able to vote the winner of the Gold Logie via 1900 or SMS right up until the night of the TV Week Logie Awards on Sunday 4 May.

The TV Week Logie Awards will be held at the Crown Entertainment Complex and televised on the Nine Network.

Source: TV Week
Picture: Denise Drysdale and Norman Gunston (Garry McDonald), winners of the TV Week Gold Logie awards in 1976

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2008/02/its-logie-voting-with-a-new-twist.html

YouTube: Girls Next Door

Found on YouTube, a sketch from the D-Generation‘s The Late Show that I’d always remembered fondly and even now viewing it so many years later still raises laughs.

Teen pop groups are a pretty easy target for sketch comedy but there is still plenty to like about The Late Show‘s mockumentary-styled sketch on a group ‘Girls Next Door’, featuring Tamara (Jane Kennedy), Melanie (Judith Lucy) and Gwen*, and a guest appearance by the band’s manager Glenn Wheatley.

The sketch went to air on ABC on Saturday 11 September 1993.

YouTube video: l00pes
Additional information: The Late Show (unofficial website)
* guest star, uncredited. Who knows who played Gwen?

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2008/02/youtube-girls-next-door.html

Imparja says ta-ta to Ten

Central Australian TV viewers will now lose a few regular programs from their schedules with the Alice Springs-based Imparja Television now aligning itself solely to the Nine Network for its national programs.

For almost the last decade, Imparja has had program supply from both the Nine and Ten networks. Prior to the aggregation of Imparja’s service area with Queensland-based Seven Central, Imparja was able to ‘cherry pick’ programs from all three commercial networks.

Imparja has decided that it was costing too much money to have dual affiliation status, even though it gave them access to programming from two networks, they only have one channel to use it on so a lot of content that was being paid for wasn’t going to air.

The change means that viewers in Imparja’s coverage area will not have access to Ten programs such as Neighbours, So You Think You Can Dance, House, Rove, The Biggest Loser and Big Brother. Significantly, for AFL supporters, the change will also mean that Network Ten’s AFL coverage will also be missing from local screens. This could be a blow for viewers in the Northern Territory and South Australia where AFL has a strong following, though Imparja claims that most of its viewers reside in Queensland which, being NRL territory, means the loss will be less felt. It also puts into doubt access to the AFL Grand Final every second year, as Imparja’s rival Seven Central will relay this year’s telecast from the Seven Network but may not have access when it’s Ten’s turn next year.

In aligning itself to Nine’s program, Imparja is now structuring its schedule in line with the eastern states’ timezone whereas in the past it had scheduled according to Central Standard Time.

Imparja is also said to be increasing its news capacity using the savings made by not paying for Ten’s affiliation, but curiously has used this change to program structure as an opportunity to axe its nightly Alice Springs-based news bulletin and replace it with National Nine News fed from Brisbane. The local news component will now be comprised of 10 one-minute daily updates, and a new weekly current affairs program.

Imparja CEO Alistair Feehan said that losing access to Network Ten programs was regrettable but was hopeful that a third commercial outlet will be licenced to the region in coming years, enabling access to Ten Network programs. However it may also be possible for rival Seven Central to instead take on a dual Seven/Ten program affiliation as its sister station Southern Cross Television in Darwin had already done after the Darwin-based NTD8 dropped its Nine/Ten schedule to a solely Nine-based lineup.

Source: Imparja
YouTube video: WATelevision

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2008/02/imparja-says-ta-ta-to-ten.html