The 12th AACTA Awards

The ABC series Mystery Road: Origin and the Netflix series Heartbreak High were the big winners at the 12th AACTA Awards.

Mystery Road: Origin won a total of seven awards, including Best Drama Series, Best Lead Actress In A Drama (Tuuli Narkle) and Best Lead Actor In A Drama (Mark Coles Smith).

Heartbreak High, a re-imagining of the 1990s series of the same name, won five awards including Audience Choice Awards for Best TV Series, Best Actor (Bryn Chapman Parish) and Best Actress (Chloe Hayden).

ABC also collected awards for Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell, Old People’s Home for Teenagers, Gardening Australia, Bluey, You Can’t Ask That, Miriam Margolyes Australia Unmasked and Savage River. Hard Quiz host Tom Gleeson won the award for Best Comedy Performer.

SBS had a win with A Beginner’s Guide to Grief.

Network Ten‘s MasterChef Australia won Best Reality Program, while The Masked Singer Australia judge Abbie Chatfield won the Audience Choice Award for Best TV Personality.

The Nine Network won awards for Lego Masters Australia and Women’s Footy.

The Seven Network‘s coverage of the 2022 AFL Grand Final won the Audience Choice Award for Best Sports Commentary Team.

The Foxtel mini-series The Twelve won two awards.

The Reg Grundy Award for original ideas for an unscripted television show was a two-way tie between Rachel Kayrooz’s Facing The Fear and Jayden James and George Harrington’s concept Mr Wolf. 

The awards were presented over two events: the AACTA Industry Awards, hosted by Rove McManus, were held as an in-room event at The Hordern in Sydney’s “Entertainment Quarter” on Monday; followed by the 2022 AACTA Awards Ceremony with Amanda Keller on Wednesday night.


AACTA Award for Best Drama Series
Mystery Road: Origin
Bunya Productions / ABC

AACTA Award for Best Miniseries
The Twelve
Warner Bros. International Television Production Australia & Easy Tiger Productions / Binge, Foxtel

AACTA Award for Best Comedy Program
Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell
ITV Studios Australia / ABC

AACTA Award for Best Entertainment Program
LEGO® Masters Australia
Endemol Shine Australia / Nine Network

AACTA Award for Best Factual Entertainment Program
Old People’s Home for Teenagers
Endemol Shine Australia / ABC

AACTA Award for Best Lifestyle Program
Gardening Australia

AACTA Award for Best Reality Program
MasterChef Australia
Endemol Shine Australia / Network 10

AACTA Award for Best Documentary or Factual Program
Miriam Margolyes Australia Unmasked
Southern Pictures / ABC

AACTA Award for Best Children’s Program
Ludo Studio / ABC

AACTA Award for Best Stand-Up Special
Ronny Chieng: Speakeasy
All Things Comedy & Netflix / Netflix

AACTA Award for Best Lead Actress in a Drama presented by Foxtel
Tuuli Narkle
Mystery Road: Origin

AACTA Award for Best Lead Actor in a Drama presented by Foxtel
Mark Coles Smith
Mystery Road: Origin

AACTA Award for Best Comedy Performer
Tom Gleeson
Hard Quiz

AACTA Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama
Brooke Satchwell
The Twelve

AACTA Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama
Thomas Weatherall
Heartbreak High

AACTA Award for Best Direction in Drama or Comedy
Mystery Road: Origin – Episode 3
Dylan River

AACTA Award for Best Screenplay in Television
Heartbreak High – Episode 1: Map Bitch
Hannah Carroll Chapman

AACTA Award for Best Direction in Nonfiction Television
You Can’t Ask That – Episode 1
Kirk Docker

AACTA Award For Best Cinematography in Television
Mystery Road: Origin – Episode 3
Tyson Perkins

AACTA Award for Best Costume Design in Television
Heartbreak High – Episode 1: Map Bitch
Rita Carmody

AACTA Award for Best Editing in Television
Mystery Road: Origin – Episode 3
Nicholas Holmes

AACTA Award for Best Production Design in Television
The Tourist – Episode 1
Scott Bird

AACTA Award for Best Original Score in Television
Savage River – Episode 1
Bryony Marks

AACTA Award for Best Sound in Television
Mystery Road: Origin – Episode 3
Luke Mynott, Wes Chew, Trevor Hope, Dylan Barfield

The Trailblazer Award
Chris Hemsworth

Reg Grundy Award
Rachel Kayrooz
Facing The Fear

Jayden James & George Harrington
Mr Wolf

AACTA Award for Best Digital Series or Channel
A Beginner’s Guide to Grief


AACTA Audience Choice Award for Best TV Series
Heartbreak High

AACTA Audience Choice Award for Best Actor
Bryn Chapman Parish
Heartbreak High

AACTA Audience Choice Award for Best Actress
Chloe Hayden
Heartbreak High

AACTA Audience Choice Award for Best TV Personality
Abbie Chatfield

AACTA Audience Choice Award for Best Sports Program
Women’s Footy

AACTA Audience Choice Award for Best Sports Commentary Team
2022 AFL Grand Final


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Seven wins 2022

The Seven Network has for the second year in a row claimed the top ratings position from arch rival Nine, claiming victory for the ratings year for 2022 (OzTAM, 5 cities, 6pm-12mn).

Meanwhile, in figures provided by Nine late last week just before the completion of the ratings season on Saturday, Network Ten failed to out-rate ABC.

For the weeks 7 to 48 — covering the period from 6 February to 26 November, and excluding the weeks around Easter — the Seven Network claimed 29.0% market share, followed by Nine (28.6%), ABC (17.1%), Ten (16.4%) and SBS (8.9%).

For the primary channels: Nine claimed top spot (20.6%), followed by Seven (20.3%), ABC (11.9%), Ten (10.7%) and SBS (5.0%).

Nine also claimed top spot with age groups 25-54 and 16-39 and Grocery Shoppers. Seven also claimed the 16-39 demographic but clarified this as being “national” (metropolitan and regional). Seven’s motivation to do so is likely triggered by the network taking over its regional affiliate Prime7 last year.

These shares will likely be adjusted as overnight, 7-day and 28-day consolidated figures are calculated and confirmed over the following weeks, but the finishing order is not likely to change a great deal.

Following are highlights from the respective ratings reports from each network:

Seven’s ratings report

  • #1 in prime time in total people nationally
  • #1 in prime time in total people across the capital cities
  • #1 in prime time nationally in 16 to 39s
  • #1 in regional markets in total people, 25 to 54s and 16 to 39s
  • #1 multichannel in total people – 7two
  • #1 multichannel in 25 to 54s and 16 to 39s – 7mate
  • #1 multichannel group – 7mate, 7two, 7flix

Seven has the #1 shows in Australia:

  • #1 winter sport – AFL
  • #1 news program – 7NEWS
  • #1 Australian drama – Home and Away
  • #1 lifestyle show – Better Homes and Gardens
  • #1 daily game show – The Chase Australia
  • #1 breakfast show – Sunrise
  • #1 morning show – The Morning Show


Nine’s ratings report:

Nine has the biggest shows in Australia

  • No. 1 reality television series – Married at First Sight
  • No. 2 reality television series – The Block
  • No. 2 new reality television series – My Mum Your Dad
  • No. 1 light entertainment series – Lego Masters
  • No. 1 drama special event – Underbelly: Vanishing Act Part 1 & 2
  • No. 2 commercial free-to-air drama – The Thing About Pam
  • No. 1 new commercial free-to-air Australian drama – After the Verdict
  • No. 1 current affairs program – A Current Affair
  • No. 1 weekly commercial free-to-air current affairs program – 60 Minutes
  • No. 1 sports event – 2022 Australian Open Women’s Final – Barty v Collins
  • No. 2-4 winter sporting event – State of Origin I, II, III


Ten’s ratings report

  • Hunted: 1.13 million national total viewers.
  • Have You Been Paying Attention?: 983,000 national total viewers.
  • I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here Australia: 960,000 national total viewers.
  • Australian Survivor: 875,000 national total viewers.
  • MasterChef Australia: 842,000 national total viewers.
  • Gogglebox Australia: 836,000 national total viewers.
  • The Masked Singer Australia: 815,000 national total viewers.
  • The Dog House Australia: 706,000 national total viewers.
  • The Cheap Seats: 530,000 national total viewers.
  • The Project: Reaches 6.2 million Australians every month.
  • Melbourne Cup Carnival: Reached 3.51 million national viewers.
  • 2022 Formula 1® Heineken Australian Grand Prix. 761,000 national total viewers.

Network 10 remains the youngest free-to-air television network in Australia and boasts more of the top entertainment shows in key advertising demographics than its competitors.

Capturing Australia’s attention in 2022, Network 10 premiered the #1 new show on television, Hunted. Holding Australia’s attention throughout the year was TV’s #1 8.30pm show, Have You Been Paying Attention?, followed by TV’s #2 8.30pm show featuring everyone’s favourite couch critics, Gogglebox Australia.

Family favourite, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, doubled the audience of its closest competition, while TV’s most wholesome show, The Dog House Australia (produced by Network 10), was 2022’s #1 lifestyle show. Australian Survivor and the #1 cooking show, MasterChef Australia, achieved their biggest ever BVOD audiences on 10 Play.

Network 10 reached 11.9 million exclusive and elusive sport viewers across the year with some of the country’s biggest sporting moments. The 2022 Melbourne Cup Carnival reached 3.51 million Australians, the Australian Formula One Grand Prix reached a phenomenal 3.2 million Australians, while the A-Leagues have reached over 6.5 million fans.

10 Play is having its biggest year yet, up 6% year-on-year, with more than 6.2 million registered users. In addition to more exclusive content being added to the platform, 10 Play has seen enormous growth in live streaming, up 21% on the same point of 2021.

Daniel Monaghan, SVP Content and Programming, Paramount ANZ, said: “Network 10’s strength in under 50s and key age groups has again secured us more of the top 15 entertainment shows in under 50s, 25 to 54s and 16 to 39s than any other commercial network.

Source: Seven West Media, Nine For Brands, Paramount Australia New Zealand

Data © OzTAM Pty Limited 2022. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of OzTAM.

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Classic TV Guides: Cop Shop

The cast of Cop Shop celebrating 100 episodes in 1979. Source: TV Week

After Crawford Productions suffered the indignity of having its three police dramas — Homicide, Division 4 and Matlock Police — axed within a year of each other in 1975, Cop Shop in 1977 represented a successful return to the genre.

Unlike the earlier dramas, Cop Shop also incorporated the increasingly popular soap opera element. Storylines relating to the personal lives of the police station staff were ongoing while the traditional police procedural stories changed from week to week.

Cop Shop‘s original cast were mostly familiar faces: George Mallaby (Homicide, The Box), Tony Bonner (Skippy The Bush Kangaroo, Power Without Glory). Peter Adams, Rowena Wallace and Joanna Lockwood from Number 96, Paula Duncan (Number 96, The Young Doctors), Patrick Ward (Class Of ’75, The Unisexers), Peter Sumner (Spyforce), and Terry Norris and Gregory Ross (Bellbird). Teenager Joanna Moore had previously starred in the movie The Getting Of Wisdom.

Other cast members over the show’s 582-episode run included Gil Tucker, John Orcsik, Lynda Stoner, Louise Philip, Terence Donovan, Liz Burch, Olga Tamara, Alan Fletcher, Nicholas Eadie, Alwyn Kurts, John Lee, Christine Jeston, Bill Stalker  and John McTernan.

YouTube: FrozenDoberman

The premiere of Cop Shop on 28 November 1977 is one of the latest additions to Classic TV Guides:

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Jane Doyle to leave Seven News Adelaide

Seven News Adelaide presenter Jane Doyle announced that she is stepping down from the role after 33 years with the network:

“Before I go tonight, I have some significant news of my own to share. It’s been a wonderful privilege for the past 33 years to be invited into your homes and lives to share the day’s news, so I wanted you to be the first to know I’ve decided to sign off at the end of this year to pursue some other ambitions.”

Starting her career as a cadet journalist in 1980, Doyle joined the then Seven Nightly News in 1989, coming across from ABC News. For the last 22 years, Seven News has dominated the news ratings in Adelaide.

As well as reading the news at Seven, she also worked for seven years as part of the breakfast team on Adelaide radio station 5AA.

In 2022 she was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for her contribution to broadcast media and the community.

As for future plans, Doyle says she is taking some travel and will continue her work on the Board at State Opera SA and supporting various arts organisations in South Australia.

Doyle’s departure from Seven comes after a number of other high-profile exits: Leigh Sales departing 7.30 in July, the imminent departures of Carrie Bickmore from The Project and Tracy Grimshaw from A Current Affair and regional news presenter Shauna Willis leaving Seven News in regional WA.

Jane Doyle will present her last Seven News bulletin on 15 December.

YouTube: 7News Australia

Source: Seven News

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Neighbours set to return in 2023

Despite the big finale that aired three months ago, Neighbours is set to return in 2023.

In a surprise move, Fremantle Australia has secured Amazon Freevee and Prime Video as the show’s international partner, while maintaining Network Ten as a free-to-air outlet in Australia.

The return of the series is welcome news to the show’s passionate fan base that has campaigned for the show to be saved since the axe was announced back in March.

Production of the revived series will commence early next year, with Jackie Woodburne, Alan Fletcher, Stefan Dennis and Ryan Moloney all set to reprise their long-running characters from the Forest Hill (Nunawading) studios that have been home to the series since 1986.

Further casting announcements are to come.

The new deal will see Neighbours streamed on Amazon Freevee in the US and UK, with Ten retaining first-run broadcast rights in Australia ahead of streaming on Prime Video in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Neighbours first began in 1985 on the Seven Network before being picked up by Ten in 1986. Ten shifted the series to its secondary channel Eleven (now 10 Peach) in 2011.

The 8903rd episode, which was to farewell the show after 37 years, was watched by over a million Australians when it aired in July this year. Former cast members including Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Guy Pearce, Peter O’Brien and Natalie Bassingthwaighte came back to send off the show that made them international stars.

Jason Herbison, Neighbours’ Executive Producer since 2013, and Rick Maier, Head of Drama and Executive Production, Paramount ANZ (Network Ten) will maintain their positions with the revived production, with Andrew Thompson returning as Producer.

Neighbours will make its return in the second half of 2023.




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Obituary: Martin Vaughan

Actor Martin Vaughan, who played the lead role in the ABC mini-series Power Without Glory, has died at the age of 91.

Born in Queensland, Vaughan came to Melbourne as an adult and began work as a public servant before discovering an interest in amateur theatre. His interest turned professional when he signed with The Union Theatre, later to become the Melbourne Theatre Company.

His earliest TV credits included guest appearances in Hunter, Spyforce, Boney, Seven Little Australians, Division 4, Homicide, Matlock Police and Luke’s Kingdom.

Martin Vaughan and Val Jellay in Matlock Police

After starring in ABC telemovies Billy And Percy and They Don’t Clap Losers, his big break came when he was cast as John West in the 26-part Power Without Glory, the adaptation of the novel by Frank Hardy.

His performance in Power Without Glory won him a TV Week Logie Award in 1977 for Most Popular Lead Actor.

He went on to appearances in Cop Shop, Skyways, Glenview High, Chopper Squad, Bellamy, 1915 and The Dismissal before starring as saxophonist Shrug Yates in ABC’s Sweet And Sour.

Later credits included Mother And Son, Special Squad, A Country Practice, Willing And Abel, A Fortunate Life, Rafferty’s Rules, Come In Spinner, GP, Water Rats, Heartbreak High, Head Start, Grass Roots, Blue Heelers, Murder Call, All Saints, Headland, H2O: Just Add Water, Crownies and Rake.

Film credits included Picnic At Hanging Rock, We Of The Never Never, Phar Lap, Kokoda Crescent, The Man Who Sued God and Australian Rules.

YouTube: tapesalvage

He retired from acting in 2013 but continued writing up until his death.

Source: IMDB. TV Times, 10 July 1976.

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Out on a Limb on 26 Hill Street

In the 1960s, Bobby Limb was one of Australia’s most popular entertainers and TV personalities, winning the TV Week Gold Logie in 1964. His variety show The Mobil-Limb Show was one of Australia’s first “national” variety shows and his later production, Bobby Limb’s Sound Of Music was a long-running and multi award-winning series for the Nine Network and later the 0-10 Network.

He was also a partner in production company NLT with Jack Neary and Les Tinker. The company had produced adventure drama The Rovers, game show Australia’s Celebrity Game and courtroom drama series The Unloved.

By 1970, after 30 years in showbusiness, Limb took a gamble in taking on his first serious acting role in a pilot for a police drama, 26 Hill Street, he was producing for 0-10. “I’ve done variety, comedy and musical all my professional life, but I’ve never done anything at all straight,” he told TV Times in May 1970. “Always, in the past, in the kind of thing I’ve been doing, it’s been eyes-and-teeth work, and ‘Howdy folks!’ with the big, wide grin.”

James Condon, Bobby Limb, Mike Dorsey

He described 26 Hill Street as having a “family kind of warmth” without a reliance on violence. “Violence is something we’ll keep right out of it.” Co-starring with Limb in the pilot were Keith Lee, Mike Dorsey, Lynda Keane, Serge Lazareff, James Condon and Amanda Irving.

Irving’s role called for a glimpse at nudity, with her character Cindy appearing in a bathroom scene and partially covered in soap suds as she lures Sergeant Briggs (Lee) in with the promise to give him information on a criminal case. “I think nudity can be very good in a drama, provided it is done properly,” Limb told TV Week. “I think the scene was very successful”.

The pilot seemingly was well received. TV Week critic Jerry Fetherston was impressed but said the show was not without needing some improvements. He was complimentary, however, at Limb’s performance as widower police sergeant Hatton.

Fetherston suggested that although the pilot showed promise, it may have been a victim of unfortunate timing. The 0-10 Network had struggled with its police drama The Long Arm and in finding a replacement was to choose between a proposal from Crawford ProductionsMatlock Police — and Limb’s 26 Hill Street. It seemed a fairly obvious choice. Crawford had a reliable track record, having already delivered successful police dramas to the Seven and Nine networks, while Limb’s was a risky proposal given his lack of experience in producing and acting in a police drama. There was also uncertainty around how viewers might accept the variety host’s new role as a police sargeant.

But while 26 Hill Street‘s fate was soon sealed, with the network going ahead with Matlock Police, Fetherston implored 0-10 that it could do worse than encourage Limb’s acting chops. Again, that was not to be, and with Limb’s conventional variety style falling out of favour with a new generation of viewers, his profile on television waned after the axing of Sounds Of The Seventies (the re-named Sound Of Music).

Over the following years he went on to panellist roles in telethons, game shows and talent quest New Faces, and he and wife, performer Dawn Lake appeared together in various Christmas specials.

Source: TV Week, 25 April 1970, 8 August 1970, 14 August 1971. TV Times, 27 May 1970



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Nine News Darwin turns 40

Earlier this week, Nine News Darwin celebrated 40 years of news reporting.

Although Nine (then NTD8) had been providing a limited news service in its early years, it ceased to do so after 1974, when Cyclone Tracy decimated Darwin and left the channel off the air for ten months.

It was 1982 before the channel was finally in a position to access a microwave link to the eastern states to allow the timely exchange of news stories. Up until then the only microwave link available to Darwin was leased full time to ABC.

YouTube: aussiebeachut0

The first edition of News At Seven aired on 18 October 1982, initially in affiliation with the Nine Network but later changed to the Seven Network.

News At Seven later became Eight National News at 6.30pm, then after the station joined the Nine Network it became National Nine News at 6.00pm.

In 2017, Nine relocated production of the bulletin to Brisbane, adopting Darwin as part of its regional news output. The bulletin was suspended in 2020 amid the pandemic, replaced with a relay of Nine‘s Brisbane news supplemented by brief local updates for Darwin.

The restored one-hour Nine News Darwin bulletin, which began in October 2020, is presented by Paul Taylor in Brisbane but features stories filed by a team of reporters, camera operators and editors based in Darwin.

YouTube: QLD & NT Television Archive

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Obituary: John Hamblin

John Hamblin, actor and long-time presenter on Play School, has died at the age of 87.

Born in England, Hamblin had made some early acting appearances on British television and was a “ten pound pom” when he came to Australia in the 1960s. His first Australian TV appearance was a guest role in the adventure series Riptide.

He first appeared in Play School in 1970 and went on to appear in 357 episodes over almost 30 years. He returned for the show’s 50th anniversary special in 2016.

In amongst performing for pre-school viewers (and subtlely to their parents), he was also a theatre actor and appeared in various TV series including The Comedy Game, This Love Affair, Number 96, Skyways, The Young Doctors, The Timeless Land and Secret Valley.

YouTube: tvaustralia1

He had a leading role in the Seven Network series Class Of ’74, playing the part of schoolteacher Donald Blair, and played the lead role of defence lawyer John Case in the courtroom drama Case For The Defence.

YouTube: steve rutherford

YouTube: Australian Television Archive

He had a long-running role in The Restless Years and played Dr James Holt in the short-lived soap Starting Out.

He played the part of Michael Chamberlain in the 1984 telemovie The Disappearance Of Azaria Chamberlain (later re-titled Who Killed Baby Azaria?) and later credits included A Country Practice, Tusitalia, Sons And Daughters, Winners, The Miraculous Mellops, All Saints, Love My Way and Pizza.

In 2008 he told his life story in the book Open Wide, Come Inside, by Peter Richman.

The Restless Years: Jill Forster, John Hamblin, June Salter

In a statement, ABC Director Entertainment & Specialist Jennifer Collins said: “John was an unforgettable presenter whose comedic timing and wit helped cement Play School as one of Australia’s most cherished children’s programs. John had a wicked sense of humour and was not afraid of a double-entendre. His presence always managed to keep both our toddler target audience and their parents equally engaged with the show. I would like to extend my condolences to John’s family at this sad time.”

John Hamblin is survived by children Emma and Myles.

Source: IMDB, ABC, The Age

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Nine to launch Tasmania bulletin

The Nine Network has announced that it will launch a Tasmanian-based news bulletin in 2023.

Nine News Tasmania, to air nightly at 6.00pm, will be produced from a new Hobart-based studio and broadcast statewide on Nine’s affiliate broadcaster WIN.

The new bulletin replaces WIN’s current 5.30pm half-hour local news and relay of Nine News from Melbourne, which is in competition with the top-rating Nightly News on Seven Tasmania.

Nine News Director Darren Wicks said: “This flagship bulletin will be produced and presented by Tasmanians, for Tasmanians. As one of Australia’s fastest growing markets, with a diverse industry and expanding sports scene, we couldn’t think of a better time to expand the Nine Network’s news, sport and weather offering, giving the Apple Isle the live and local news they deserve.”

Nine says that as well as the Hobart studios there will be regional bureau offices established in Launceston and on the North West coast.

WIN News Director, Stella Lauri said, “We are committed to providing regional Australia with the best news and we look forward to offering WIN Tasmania viewers a bulletin, seven nights a week, dedicated to their state and their stories.”

The investment by Nine in providing a regional news bulletin outside of its own broadcast markets is similar to the Nine News Regional brand that was produced for its then-affiliate Southern Cross Austereo from 2017 to 2021.

Nine News Tasmania will debut early in 2023.

Nine announced the Tasmanian expansion at its 2023 Upfronts presentation, held on Wednesday in Sydney. Other new programs announced by Nine for 2023 include drama series Human Error, the Shane Warne tribute Warnie, reality competitions The Summit and Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars and factual shows Big Miracles and Australia’s Most Identical.


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