Obituary: Tony Charlton

Tony Charlton, one of the pioneer sporting commentators on Australian TV, has died at the age of 83 after a battle with bowel cancer.

The veteran broadcaster passed away this morning surrounded by his family.

Born in Sydney and educated in Perth, Charlton began his broadcasting career in Melbourne in the 1950s calling VFL matches on 3AW with legendary broadcaster Norman Banks.

His father, Conrad, had been a radio announcer when the ABC was inaugurated in 1932, and his brother, Michael, was a popular ABC presenter in the early days of television and was the founding host of current affairs program Four Corners.

He was part of the pioneering team of broadcasters that covered the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games — the first major TV event in Australia — for GTV9.

Charlton went on to become part of the inaugural VFL commentary team for HSV7 before returning to GTV9 (pictured) where he was producer, presenter and commentator for various sporting broadcasts, including the Sunday afternoon Tony Charlton Football Show, for more than a decade.

In 1967 he became the envy of media outlets around the world when he was granted an exclusive interview with British sailor Sir Francis Chichester who had completed a history-making solo voyage around of the world.  British and American broadcasters approached GTV9 to obtain rights to Charlton’s world exclusive interview.

From 1970 to 1983 he was promoter and tournament director of the Australian Open, the PGA Championship and the Victorian Open.

For 30 years he was MC at the Caltex Sports Star Of The Year awards and also hosted many sporting functions — including the Prime Minister’s Olympic Dinner, an annual fundraising event, for twenty years and the MCG Media Hall Of Fame induction dinners.

He was inducted into the Sports Australia Hall Of Fame in 2007 and the AFL Hall Of Fame in 2011.

He donated his time generously to various charities, including the Alfred Hospital Foundation, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the Starlight Foundation and the Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria.

Charlton has maintained his links to broadcasting, doing commercial and voice over work and in the 1990s presented a weekend program on 3AW.

He was awarded an Order of Australia medal in 1990 and appointed a member of the Order of Australia in 2003.

In 2008 he received the Order of Merit from the Australian Olympic Committee.

Tony Charlton is survived by his wife Loris and three children.

Source: 3AW, Sports Australia, Australia Day. The Age, 2 June 1967.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2012/12/obituary-tony-charlton.html

Looking back to CBN8

Earlier this year regional television station CBN8, based in Orange and serving the Central Tablelands district in New South Wales, celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Stephen Fleay (pictured), an on-air presenter and musician at the station back in the 1960s and now based in Indonesia, has compiled a collection of archival material from those early days of CBN8.

The collection includes original photographs taken at the time by Fleay as well as various archival footage — including the opening of CBN8’s sister station CWN6, Dubbo, in 1965, and tributes to the station’s Christmas pantomime In The Land Of Old King Cole (1965) and to one of CBN8’s earliest presenters, Stan Murray.

The CBN call-sign is now part of the Prime7 regional network.  The CBN component of the network expanded throughout Southern NSW and ACT with the advent of aggregation in 1989 as an affiliate of the Seven Network.

Anyone interested in purchasing a copy of CBN8 — A Look Back In Time are advised to contact Stephen Fleay via his website.

 

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2012/12/looking-back-to-cbn8.html

Foxtel scores Brian Henderson return

Retired Sydney newsreader Brian Henderson (pictured) is returning to TV after ten years… but don’t expect to see him on screen.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the 81-year-old is coming out of retirement to narrate a documentary for Foxtel based on the 1977 Granville train disaster.  It is a news story he remembers well, not least the horrifying images that came from the event:

“The rescuers were amazingly brave and persistent.  Some of the pictures were very good in the sense of quality of picture.  I suppose what I remember is a mixture of things.”

The derailment of the commuter train from the Blue Mountains headed for Sydney claimed the lives of 83 people and injured hundreds.

The disaster and subsequent coronial investigation was dramatised for television in the 1998 mini-series The Day Of The Roses.

New Zealand-born Henderson started his career in radio, before moving to TV in its earliest days at Australia’s first TV station, TCN9 Sydney.  He hosted a music program, Accent On Youth, which formed the foundation for Bandstand, one of Australia’s first pop music shows.  Bandstand ran for 14 years and scored Henderson a TV Week Gold Logie in 1968 for Most Popular Personality on Australian Television.

As well as hosting Bandstand, from the mid-1960s through to his retirement in 2002, Henderson was the front man for TCN9’s evening news.  For most of his 46 years at the news desk it was Sydney’s most watched news bulletin.  It was a ratings position that the station later struggled to maintain as successors came and went.

Since his retirement he still casts a critical eye over the evening news bulletins:

“I still watch Nine News, I want to see how Peter [Overton] is going.  But I like to keep a check on the lot,  I watch the ABC. It’s a hard habit to break and anyway, news is interesting.”

“I try to watch it as a viewer, but I’m like an ex-footballer.  I’ll think, that’s the wrong emphasis, or sometimes thinking they can’t do another bloody whale story, they’ve done two this week.  It intrudes into my resolution to watch as a viewer.”

The Train: The Granville Rail Disaster is expected to screen on Foxtel early next year.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

 

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2012/12/foxtel-scores-brian-henderson-return.html

1992: December 13-19

‘I would love to marry this girl!’
TV’s hottest couple Mat Stevenson and Toni Pearen (pictured) are optimistic that their relationship can sustain the pressures of showbusiness… with Pearen on the verge of a pop music career while Stevenson has just renewed with Home And Away with a contract that will see him in the series through until late-1993.  “From the day we met we were both interested in each other’s hopes and aspirations,” Pearen told TV Week.  “Mat is seeing all the amazing things that are happening to me at the moment, and while it is scary, we are there for each other.”  Currently living together in Sydney the pair have no plans to tie the knot.  “I would love to marry this girl,” Stevenson said.  “But neither of us are ready for marriage yet.”

Nicolle’s away
After five years in Home And Away, Nicolle Dickson is set to quit the show.  Dickson’s current contract expires in March, which will see her on-screen until mid-1993, but the show’s producers say they are still in negotiation with the popular star.  “Nicolle has been talking about leaving for the past year,” producer Andrew Howie said.  “We’re still negotiating.”  With the series also losing cast members Les Hill and Rebekah Elmaloglou there will be some fresh faces moving in over the coming months.  Lisa Lackey and John Adam have started work on the series, with another new female character still to be cast.

The long and short of commercial success
The British Academy Of Film And Television Awards (BAFTAs) are the annual highlight of the British film and television industry, with David Frost hosting the recent two-and-a-half hour presentation of the prestigious awards.  But a pair of Aussies stole the limelight when Elle Macpherson and Rebekah Elmaloglou made a striking contrast as they posed together.

Briefly…

  • Alan Dale, one of the last two original Neighbours cast members, is leaving the series, although producers aren’t making any definite statement as yet.  “We have been having discussions.  That’s all I’m prepared to say,” Network Ten drama chief John Holmes told TV Week.  Dale’s departure will leave Anne Haddy as the only remaining original cast member.
  • Latest rumour doing the rounds is that Jana Wendt, recently farewelled from A Current Affair, is to join ABC radio 2BL in Sydney as a replacement for Margaret Throsby, who is at odds with ABC management over her appearances in advertisements for Macquarie Bank.
  • The cast list of Nine‘s new drama series Snowy has been finalised — Rebecca Gibney, Annie Jones, Catherine Wilkin, Bernard Curry, Lucy Bell, William McInnes, Charlie Powles and Jochen Horst.
  • A second series of sitcom My Two Wives (Nine) is likely to go into production — but some cast changes are to be expected.

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here
“If your initial glance at our cover this week caused you to do a bit of a double take, it’s likely that not all the credit belongs to two of television’s hottest young stars, happy couple Toni Pearen and Mat Stevenson.  TV Week has been touched by the zephyr of change which is causing a few flutters in the television industry at the moment, and we have a new masthead.  It is a big move because any publication’s masthead should be a symbol with which that publication is synonymous.  It is the first time anyone around here cares to remember — well, to be truthful, it is the first time anyone around here can remember — the design of the TV Week masthead being changed.  We think the new Nineties model is bolder, cleaner and more up-to-date and that the change itself is symbolic, too — symbolic of the fact that TV Week is prepared to move in pace with the television industry itself.”

Loose Talk

  • “In Canberra?  I knew they had the government but I didn’t know anyone worked there!” — Maggie Beare (Ruth Cracknell), Mother And Son, ABC.
  • “You wouldn’t necessarily know if they (soldiers) were gay, would you?” — Steve Liebmann.  “It depends on how amorous they are.” — Victorian RSL president Bruce Ruxton, Today, Nine.
  • “Bottoms up, everyone… not you, Fergie!” — Queen Elizabeth (Gerry Connolly), Fast Forward, Seven.

Program Highlights (Melbourne, December 13-19):
Sunday:  ABC commemorates the UNICEF International Children’s Day Of Broadcasting with an afternoon of special programs.  Sunday night movies are A Dry White Season (Seven), Iron Eagle II (Nine) and Coal Miner’s Daughter (Ten). ABC’s Sunday Stereo Special is the Australian Opera production of Hansel And Gretel.

Tuesday:  ABC begins six days of coverage of the Kooyong Classic tennis, with commentators Peter Gee, Karen Tighe, Gordon Bray and Neale Fraser.

Wednesday:  In A Life (ABC), Aboriginal artist and activist Oodgeroo Noonuccal (formerly Kath Walker) talks to host Peter Ross about how a brush with death led to her developing a new outlook on life.  SBS presents the final 1992 episodes of The Movie Show and Face The Press.

Thursday:  The National Press Club Luncheon (ABC) discusses the Pay TV debate, with guest speakers Senator Bob Collins and Warrick Smith.  Fast Forward star Marg Downey (pictured) stars in her first dramatic role in telemovie Economy Class (Seven), a drama about the effects of the recession on people from vastly different backgrounds.

Friday:  Today (Nine) presents its final program for 1992, while Ten’s Good Morning Australia signs off for the last time after 12 years.  What’s Cooking (Nine) presents a prime-time Christmas special with hosts Gabriel Gate and Colette Mann joined by guests Glenn Ridge, Jo Bailey, Nikki Coghill, Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum and Sophie Lee.

Saturday:  Barry Crocker and Jackie Love host the annual Carols In The Domain (Seven), featuring performances by Jeanne Little, Suzanne Johnston, John Williamson, Georgie Parker, Tom Burlinson, Noel Ferrier, June Bronhill, The Tin Lids, Tony Hatch, Jackie Trent, the Salvation Army Choir and the Sydney Youth Orchestra.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  12 December 1992.  Southdown Press.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2012/12/1992-december-13-19.html

NITV: First day on SBS4

The schedule for the first day’s transmission of NITV on SBS‘ digital channel 34 (SBS4):

Wednesday 12 December:

12pm From The Heart Of Our Nation: The historic free-to-air launch of NITV, a dedicated Indigenous television service that will made be available to all Australians for the first time.  

2pm Living Black: Your Stories Your Voice: This 1 hour Living Black special will cover the Indigenous Media;  the history, coverage and impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues and the future of Indigenous broadcasting. The program will feature special guests in the studio who will discuss issues affecting Indigenous communities past and present and how these are covered by the mainstream and Indigenous media.

3pm Waabiny Time: Celebrate Nyoongar Culture and learn more about our country with Waabiny Time

3.30 Tipi Tales: Set in the crook of a forest, Tipi Tales are adventures in story and song, where Elizabeth, Junior, Russell and Sam play and grow together.

3.45 Bobtales

3.50 Finding My Magic:  A children’s rights education program designed to teach students about their rights and responsibilities. Finding My Magic features Olympic champion Cathy Freeman

3.55 P Culture:  An educational series for kids about sustainable living, environmental care and permaculture practices.

4pm Go Lingo:  A high energy game show packed with fun and challenges as students aged between 11-12 play a variety of hi-tech games using the latest in touch screen technology. Host Alanah Ahmat.

4.30 Bushwhacked: Brandon takes Kayne to Tasmania for a ridiculously nail-biting mission: to track down and then kiss a Tasmanian Devil!

5pm Best Of NITV Sport:  Take a look back at the history of NITV Sport.  Bringing you the best sporting moments from 2007 to 2012.

5.30 NITV National News:  Features the rich diversity of contemporary life within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, broadening and redefining the news and current affairs landscape.

6pm Living Black: Your Stories Your Voice 

7pm NITV National News

7.30 From The Heart Of Our Nation — Reflections:  Highlights from the launch ceremony at Uluru in the Northern Territory.

8.30 From The Heart Of Our Nation — Concert:  Featuring performances by some of Australia’s best Indigenous talent, direct from the Northern Territory’s iconic Uluru.  Archie Roach, Christine Anu, Casey Donovan and Troy Cassar Daley will all take to the stage as the sun sets over the Australian desert for a two hour concert hosted by Ernie Dingo

10.05 Movie: Stone Bros.  City-based Eddie sets off to reconnect with his blackfella roots by taking a sacred stone back to his hometown.  But when wild-boy Charlie forces himself along for the ride, Eddie’s spiritual journey takes a sharp turn off-track and becomes a riotous trip through outback Australia as the boys are forced to contend with a self-obsessed Italian rock god, a possessed dog and a host of other eccentric characters along the way.  Directed by Richard Frankland and stars Luke Carroll, Leon Burchill and Peter Phelps

11.30 NITV News

Thursday 13 December (early AM):

12am Best Of NITV Sport

12.30 From The Heart Of Our Nation — Reflections

1am From The Heart Of Our Nation 

3am 2011 Koori Knockout:  The annual NSW Koori Knockout is the largest gathering of Aboriginal people in the world. The game Ningenal Vs Munro United.

4am Ella 7s 2009: Mid North Coast Dolphins v Deadly Dead Bulls, Waterloo Storm No. 2 v Dharawal 7s.

5am Yeyekerte:  Hosted by Pascoe Braun that looks at what’s on around the country.

NITV will broadcast 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on SBS digital channel 34.  Some programs will also be made available at SBS On Demand.

Source: SBS

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2012/12/nitv-first-day-on-sbs4.html

Ratings 2012: The final scorecard

Following up last week’s year-end ratings results, ratings agency OzTAM has now issued their final scorecard for the year,  incorporating the last week of ‘consolidated’ data (i.e. programs watched on delay via PVR etc.) which was not available when the initial ratings results were announced — although these latest figures will not alter the finishing order compared to last week, just the final percentages.

At a network level, it was still Seven (30.6 per cent) ahead of Nine (28.3%), Ten (18.7%), ABC (16.9%) and SBS (5.4%).  (OzTAM, 5 cities, 6pm-12mn, Weeks 7-48, excluding Easter)

At an individual channel level: Seven (23.1%) won ahead of Nine (21.9%), Ten (13.0%), ABC1 (12.7%), SBS1 (4.6%), 7TWO (4.2%), GO (3.8%), 7mate (3.3%), Eleven (3.1%), ABC2 and Gem (both 2.6%), One (2.5%), SBS2 (0.9%) and ABC3 and ABC News 24 (both 0.8%).

Datacast channels (TVSN, Extra/Gold and TV4ME) and community TV channels (C31, TVS, 31 Digital, 44 Adelaide, WTV) are not included in the ratings.

The Top 20 programs (5 cities) for the same period are as follows:

1 THE VOICE GRAND FINAL -WINNER ANNOUNCED Network 9 3,325,000 
2 SEVEN’S AFL: GRAND FINAL: PRESENTATIONS Network 7 3,222,000
3 THE BLOCK -WINNER ANNOUNCED Network 9 3,063,000
4 SEVEN’S AFL: GRAND FINAL: HAWTHORN V SYDNEY Network 7 2,962,000
5 MY KITCHEN RULES-WINNER ANNOUNCED Network 7 2,892,000
6 THE VOICE -SUN Network 9 2,814,000
7 THE VOICE GRAND FINAL Network 9 2,810,000
8 THE 2012 MELBOURNE CUP CARNIVAL: MELBOURNE CUP-THE RACE Network 7 2,767,000
9 STATE OF ORIGIN RUGBY LEAGUE QLD V NSW 3RD – MATCH Network 9 2,694,000
10 THE BLOCK -AUCTION Network 9 2,626,000
11 RUGBY LEAGUE GRAND FINAL Network 9 2,568,000
12 STATE OF ORIGIN RUGBY LEAGUE QLD V NSW 1ST – MATCH Network 9 2,532,000
13 THE VOICE -TUE Network 9 2,524,000
14 STATE OF ORIGIN RUGBY LEAGUE NSW V QLD 2ND – MATCH Network 9 2,512,000
15 REVENGE-EP.1 Network 7 2,379,000 781,000 606,000 480,000 260,000 252,000
16 HOWZAT! KERRY PACKER’S WAR -PART1 Network 9 2,374,000
17 SEVEN’S AFL: GRAND FINAL: POST-MATCH Network 7 2,365,000
18 HOWZAT! KERRY PACKER’S WAR -PART 2 Network 9 2,344,000
19 THE VOICE -MON Network 9 2,341,000
20 THE VOICE -LAUNCH Network 9 2,316,000

The Top 20 programs (5 cities) on the digital multi-channels:

1 M-HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON Network 7mate 392,000 
2 THE SPY NEXT DOOR -EV Network GO! 366,000
3 LONDON ON GEM: D14 Network Gem 350,000
4 AUST FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2012 – RACE EXCL TO ONE Network ONE 344,000
5 TAKEN RPT Network ONE 329,000
6 ARIA AWARDS 2012 -EV Network GO! 326,000
7 LONDON ON GEM: D2 Network Gem 311,000
8 THE QUEEN’S DIAMOND JUBILEE TATTOO Network 7TWO 310,000
9 THE BIG BANG THEORY -EV TX3 Network GO! 307,000
10 OCEAN’S THIRTEEN -EV Network GO! 306,000
11 HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN -EV Network GO! 304,000
12 HEARTBEAT-WED-EP.2 (R) Network 7TWO 303,000
13 2012 WIMBLEDON – MEN’S FINAL Network 7TWO 303,000
14 HEARTBEAT (R) Network 7TWO 301,000
15 HEARTBEAT-WED (R) Network 7TWO 300,000
16 THE ADDAMS FAMILY -EV Network GO! 299,000
17 NEIGHBOURS Network ELEVEN 299,000
18 THE CAT IN THE HAT -EV Network GO! 298,000
19 THE 84TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS Network GO! 297,000
20 BATMAN BEGINS -EV Network GO! 297,000

The Top 20 Subscription TV programs (national):

1 LIVE: AFL PF, SYDNEY V COLLINGWOOD FOX FOOTY 503,000
2 LIVE: AFL SF#1 COLLINGWOOD V WEST COAST FOX FOOTY 438,000
3 LIVE: AFL SF#1 ADELAIDE V FREMANTLE FOX FOOTY 420,000
4 LIVE: AFL PF, HAWTHORN V ADELAIDE FOX FOOTY 412,000
5 LIVE: AFL QF#1 HAWTHORN V COLLINGWOOD FOX FOOTY 401,000
6 LIVE: NRL COWBOYS V WESTS TIGERS FOX SPORTS 2 398,000
7 LIVE: NRL BULLDOGS V RABBITOHS FOX SPORTS 2 395,000
8 LIVE: NRL DRAGONS V ROOSTERS FOX SPORTS 2 390,000
9 LIVE: NRL ROOSTERS V RABBITOHS FOX SPORTS 2 376,000
10 LIVE: AFL EF#1 GEELONG V FREMANTLE FOX FOOTY 371,000
11 LIVE: NRL KNIGHTS V WESTS TIGERS FOX SPORTS 2 370,000
12 LIVE: NRL SHARKS V ROOSTERS FOX SPORTS 2 363,000
13 LIVE: AFL COLLINGWOOD V WEST COAST FOX FOOTY 360,000
14 LIVE: NRL STORM V WARRIORS FOX SPORTS 2 356,000
15 LIVE: AFL WEST COAST V SYDNEY FOX FOOTY 354,000
16 LIVE: NRL RABBITOHS V SHARKS FOX SPORTS 2 353,000
17 LIVE: AFL SYDNEY V HAWTHORN FOX FOOTY 349,000
18 LIVE: NRL SEA EAGLES V STORM FOX SPORTS 2 346,000
19 LIVE: NRL PANTHERS V BULLDOGS FOX SPORTS 2 345,000
20 LIVE: AFL COLLINGWOOD V ESSENDON FOX FOOTY 340,000

Data © OzTAM Pty Limited 2012. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2012/12/ratings-2012-the-final-scorecard.html

1992: December 6-12

‘I don’t care if I don’t come back!’
Former Home And Away star Les Hill (pictured) has lashed out at the industry that had made him a popular teen star, claiming hurt and disillusionment.   Before joining the series as a 16-year-old, he thought he knew what to expect.  “I knew about all the photo shoots, interviews and what not, but as far as for people dealing with people, that’s where I got confused,” he told TV Week.  “I didn’t even stop to think that people wouldn’t be straight… it just seems that if someone’s got it in for you, you’re a goner.  There is not much you can do about it.”  He is relocating to the United Kingdom and hopes to be able to re-start his acting career. “I don’t care if I don’t come back, and I don’t care if I change my career and become a street sweeper in London — it’s not important any more,” he said.  “I just thought this industry was much more than what it is.  People don’t care, they just don’t care.  They have no respect for you, unless you’re worth money.  The one thing that the past two years has taught me is that being famous isn’t important.  Liking myself is more important and that old cliche that happiness is more important than anything else, is true.”  Despite his criticism of the industry, Hill does recall good times with the cast and crew at Home And Away.  “Ray Meagher has taught me a lot,” he said.

Tammy’s one of the boys again!
In ABC‘s Police Rescue, Tammy MacIntosh (pictured) plays the tomboy of the team.  A feisty and tough character, it is a role close to her heart.  And in Network Ten‘s new comedy series Bingles she plays the tomboy yet again as the daughter of the owner of a panel-beating workshop.  “I kind of enjoy these tomboy roles more than playing a bimbo or somebody who is just a love interest, because they have more strength,” she told TV Week.  Although Bingles has only just begun screening on Ten, two series of Bingles have been produced — but MacIntosh only appears in the first as she left the show when the Police Rescue role turned up.

Ben bows out
Neighbours‘ producers have told 13-year-old cast member Ben Geurens (pictured) that he is to be written out of the show.  Geurens, who has played Toby Mangel for three years, is philosophical about the decision.  “I was a bit sad, but I guess that’s the way the ball bounces,” he said.  “They said they couldn’t do much with the character.  There was nowhere for him to go.”  Although there may the possibility of guest appearances in the future, he says this is unlikely.  “Once you go, you go,” he said.

Briefly…

  • Newspaper columnist and author Ruth Ostrow (pictured) is joining the on-camera team on Seven‘s Real Life, but don’t expect her to be a straight reporter.  “There’s so much confusion about who we are and where we’re going,” she told TV Week.  “Instead of writing in the third person, I take a personal stand and try to say, ‘I’m just like you and I’m confused too’.”
  • The Seven Network has denied that comedy series Acropolis Now has been axed.  “We want to go with it, but we want the same cast back, including Georgie Parker, and she is busy in Sydney starring in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying,” a Seven spokesperson said.  “We’re looking at mid-year before we can do another series.”
  • ABC is yet to cast the male lead to star opposite Ruth Cracknell in the proposed new sitcom Waiting For God.  Adapted from the BBC series of the same name, Waiting For God is set in an upmarket retirement village, where Diana Trent (Cracknell) and her to-be-cast male colleague refuse to fit the stereotype of old age and terrorise the staff.  The series is not expected to go to air until 1994, while fans of Cracknell’s other series Mother And Son will have to wait until 1995 for new episodes.
  • John Barton is back on TV as a freelance reporter for ABC‘s Landline.  Best known in Queensland as reporter and presenter on former current affairs shows This Day Tonight (ABC) and Today Tonight (QTQ9), Barton was virtually exiled from Queensland after he broke two controversial stories about then State Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen.  But Barton, who now lives on Stradbroke Island, is enjoying the more leisurely pace of freelance reporting, commuting to Brisbane by yacht when work calls.

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here
“He (John Farnham, pictured) sleeps too much and he can never find his socks, even thought his wife insists they’ve been kept in the same drawer for 10 years.  But, the revelation of those major personal defects aside, he’s not a bad bloke and he can sing a bit, and no-one could have been more deserving of the tribute which screened recently on Network Ten.  The real classic was the 1967 footage of record company executive Clive Baxter and producer David McKay discussing the possibility of getting a vacuum cleaner company involved in the promotion of a new song called Sadie The Cleaning Lady — then actually sending a woman dressed as Sadie out to the radio stations with the fresh-faced singer.  They don’t promote records now the way they used to.”

Loose Talk

  • “Do you always shower with a gun?” — Reverend Bob Brown (Tony Martin).  “Yeah.  You see, I’ve got problems with people pinching the soap.” — Jack Brown (Andrew Williams), E Street, Ten.
  • “The look on your face could de-sex a cat.” — Martin (Robert Hughes) to Betty (Julie McGregor), Hey Dad!, Seven.
  • “I actually fancy this guy… er, single.”  — Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum, Hey Hey It’s Saturday, Nine.

Program Highlights (Melbourne, December 6-12):
Sunday:  Nine’s Sunday and Business Sunday present their final shows for 1992.  New Faces With Bert Newton (Ten) presents its Grand Final, with judges Ronnie Burns, Karen Knowles and Athol Guy.  Sunday night movies are Out Of The Darkness (Seven), The Rose And The Jackal (Nine) and Broadcast News (Ten).  ABC’s Sunday Stereo Special presents the Australian Opera production of The Turn of The Screw.

Monday:  Healthy Wealthy And Wise (Ten) ends its first year with a Christmas special, with Iain Hewitson cooking Christmas dinner, Peter Wherrett presenting tips for holiday road safety, Jim Brown reporting on the best holiday places for families and Lyn Talbot learns how to set a spectacular Christmas table.

Tuesday:  Nine crosses to Sydney for World Series Cricket — Australia versus West Indies.  In the lead-up to 1993, the Year Of The Indigenous People, Aboriginal series Blackout (ABC) has adopted a new entertainment format — including comedy sketches, often based around role reversals.

Thursday:  World Series Cricket (Nine) moves to Hobart, with Australia versus Pakistan.  Documentary series Through Australian Eyes (SBS) looks at how the Aboriginal community approaches HIV/AIDS education in the Kimberley region in Western Australia.  Mark Mitchell hosts the MBA Excellence In Housing Awards (Seven).

Friday:  Burke’s Backyard (Nine) presents a special edition, Fatal Instincts, looking at Australia’s ever-increasing cat population and the recent controversy regarding the cat’s reign over bird and native animal life.

Saturday:  Eddie McGuire and Grant Kenny present Ten’s coverage of the Uncle Toby’s Ironman Super Series from Bondi Beach.  ABC’s The Late Show presents its final show for 1992.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  5 December 1992.  Southdown Press.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2012/12/1992-december-6-12.html

ABC celebrates 50 years from Canberra

Later this month it will be 50 years since ABC launched its television service in Canberra.

On Tuesday, 18 December 1962 at 7.30pm, ABC3 was officially opened from the transmitter on Black Mountain and essentially operated as a rebroadcast of ABN2 from Sydney with some local content inserted.

The station was the first in the ABC’s next stage of the roll out of the national television service — with 32 other stations to be launched in major regional centres across the country over the following four years.

ABC3, Canberra, Tuesday 18 December 1962

3pm Test Pattern, Music
4.45 Kindergarten Playtime
5pm Tuesday Storybook
6pm People. Bob Saunders
6.25 Hancock’s Half Hour
6.55 Canberra News
7pm ABC News: Newsreel, Weather
7.30 Official Opening ABC3
8pm Tahiti – Pacific Cocktail
8.50 Magic Of Music. Eric Jupp
9.18 Canberra Magazine
10pm ABC News
10.10 Cricket Highlights: MCC v Victoria
10.40 Special: Fire
10.55 Close

(Source: The Canberra Times, 18 December 1962)

To celebrate 50 years of ABC television in Canberra ABC News 24 will be screening the documentary Who Makes The News?  The program will look at the ongoing relationship between politics and television, including news footage from some the biggest political stories to come out of the national capital over the past 50 years.

Who Makes The News? will be narrated by veteran ABC broadcaster Geraldine Doogue and features interviews with current and former ABC journalists including Kerry O’Brien, Gerald Stone, Tim Bowden, Barrie Cassidy, Greg Turnbull, Jim Middleton, Chris Uhlmann, Mark Simkin, Russell Mahoney, Ken Begg and Fran Kelly.

Who Makes The News? Monday 10 December, 9.30pm (AEDST).  ABC News 24

Source: ABC News, National Library Of Australia

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2012/12/abc-celebrates-50-years-from-canberra.html

Seven wins 2012

The Seven Network did not have two of TV’s biggest events this year — the Olympic Games and The Voice — but it has claimed ratings victory for the sixth consecutive ratings year.

For the ratings year (Weeks 7 to 48, including the Olympic Games, 6pm-12mn, 5 cities), Seven claimed 30.6 per cent followed by Nine (28.2%), Ten (18.8%), ABC (17.0%) and SBS (5.5%).

For individual channels Seven also led on 23.0%, followed by Nine (21.7%), Ten (13.1%), ABC1 (12.8%), SBS1 (4.6%), 7TWO (4.2%), GO (3.8%), 7mate (3.3%), Eleven (3.2%), Gem and ABC2 (both 2.6%), One (2.5%), SBS2 (0.9%), ABC3 and ABC News 24 (both 0.8%).

But while Seven/7TWO/7mate claimed victory across all people it was Nine/GO/Gem that scored better in the advertiser-friendly demographics, taking out the 16-39, 18-49 and 25-54 age groups.  In individual channels it was a similar story as Nine out-rated Seven in all three age groups.

Heading Seven’s list of hit shows for the year were My Kitchen Rules, The X Factor and overseas shows Downton Abbey and Revenge.  Seven’s coverage of the AFL Grand Final and the Melbourne Cup topped their list of sports events.

Packed To The Rafters was the most watched of Seven’s local dramas, while relative newcomer Winners And Losers also rated well during the year.  Home And Away, soon to celebrate its 25th anniversary, continues to provide a solid base for Seven’s prime-time but has been challenged this year by Nine’s The Block and Big Brother, Ten’s MasterChef Australia and ABC1’s ABC News.

A surprise hit for Seven was the two-part special Anh Does Vietnam.

But there are some dents now showing in Seven’s ratings armour.  Seven News and Today Tonight are still leading nationally but are losing to Nine in the key Sydney and Melbourne markets.  Deal Or No Deal, once an unbeatable lead in to the news, is now being regularly beaten by Nine’s Hot Seat.  Sunrise is also falling to Today on the east coast.

Australia’s Got Talent, one of Seven’s ratings giants of 2011, suffered a major decline this year up against The Voice.   Seven has already dumped the franchise but Nine has picked it up for next year.  Dancing With The Stars rated well but after 12 seasons is not hitting the ratings highs of its earlier days.

So while a few years ago it seemed Nine was to be relegated firmly into second place, the network has had something of a resurgence this year and is catching up to Seven.

If one event summed up Nine’s year it would not be the Olympic Games but, rather, The Voice.  The talent quest with a twist — literally — was a ratings hit from day one in a genre where Seven and Ten have normally ruled in the past.  The Voice — The Winner Announced, with 3.325 million viewers, was the highest rated ‘program’ for the year.

Nine also had drama hits with Underbelly: Badness, Beaconsfield and mini-series Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War.  House Husbands delivered a consistent audience but Tricky Business was a critical and ratings dud.

The revival of Big Brother was a gamble that delivered a fairly consistent audience, climbing to 1.47 million viewers tuning in for the announcement of the series winner.

Other highlights for Nine included Hamish And Andy’s Euro Gap Year, TV Week Logie Awards and the NRL State Of Origin.

The Games Of The XXX Olympiad from London were as popular as would be expected.  The Opening Ceremony, broadcast to Australia on a winter Saturday morning, was watched by 1.7 million viewers, with another 1.3 million watching the repeat screening later in the day.

For Network Ten, 2012 was a year that will probably be considered its worst for many years, if not decades.  That’s not to say that it was all bad for Ten — MasterChef Australia managed to claw itself back from a patchy series in 2011; Offspring and Puberty Blues were widely applauded even if their ratings numbers were modest; Underground: The Julian Assange Story and Bikie Wars: Brothers In Arms both performed well; and the first series of US series of Homeland was a ratings hit.

Neighbours, in its 28th year, also continued to be a consistent performer for Ten’s digital channel Eleven, regularly topping the ratings chart among the digital channels.

Despite the highlights, there were far more lowlights across the board.  Young Talent Time made a return after over 20 years.  It started off well as a Sunday night program but, as Hey Hey It’s Saturday and It’s A Knockout revivals found out, the novelty wore off quickly and the show was soon relegated to Fridays and is unlikely to re-appear next year.

As for other new shows launched this year — namely Being Lara Bingle, Breakfast, Everybody Dance Now, I Will Survive, Don’t Tell The Bride and The Shire — there isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been said.  Class Of was a 2011 production that was dusted off for screening in 2012 and was largely ignored.

The Project was an improvement on the 6.00pm timeslot compared to last year but still trailed well behind the news bulletins from Seven and Nine and from tonight returns to its previous 6.30pm timeslot.

While Ten would have hoped for something of a post-Olympics ratings boost with many of the aforementioned titles, the end result could not have been worse for a commercial network — falling to fourth place behind ABC, a position it has held almost consistently since August.   For the year overall Ten has still ended in third place but the margin between Ten and ABC is perilously close.

While ABC is not primarily concerned with ratings it will get some joy from the fact that the 7.00pm ABC News is enjoying a ratings boost.  Current affairs program 7.30 has also picked up after an unsettling 2011.

Other strong performers for ABC during the year included Gruen Planet, Gruen Sweat, Call The Midwife, New Tricks, Grand Designs, Midsomer Murders, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, the two Jack Irish telemovies and Rake.

Drama productions Devil’s Dust, Dangerous Remedy and Redfern Now attracted wide acclaim and positive social media commentary but the ratings numbers did not quite followed suit.  Andrew Denton‘s return to TV in the form of game show Randling was a disappointment.

The Paralympic Games were a ratings highlight for digital channel ABC2.

For SBS the second series of Go Back To Where You Came From was a ratings highlight.  SBS’ annual three-day telecast of the Eurovision Song Contest — this year hosted in Azerbaijan — also attracted higher audiences than in 2011.

As of yesterday (Sunday) networks go into summer non-ratings mode, though viewing data is still collected by OzTAM and reported to networks over the non-ratings period.

The 2013 ratings year begins on 10 February and continues through to 30 November, with a two-week break over the Easter period.

Seven wins 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007

Data © OzTAM Pty Limited 2012. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2012/12/seven-wins-2012.html

Gold Logie removed from sale

The TV Week Gold Logie awarded to actress Rowena Wallace in 1985 has been withdrawn from sale on Ebay.

Bidding for the item had originally hit $18,900 but at the closing stages of the auction all pre-existing bids were cancelled, with the seller citing legal reasons, sending the price back to the initial reserve of $2000.

The seller advised that the item was no longer for sale but the listing could not be taken off the site as it was too close to the auction’s pre-determined end time.

Wallace was awarded the Gold for Most Popular Personality on Australian Television for her portrayal of Patricia ‘Pat The Rat’ Hamilton in the hit series Sons And Daughters.  She was the first female to win the Gold Logie since TV Week abandoned the separate male and female Gold awards in 1978.

As well as the Gold, during the years she played Patricia Hamilton she also collected four Logies, for Best Actress and Most Popular Actress.

After leaving Sons And Daughters in 1985, Wallace scored roles in the mini-series Glass Babies, telemovie Relatives and the Sixties-themed drama All The Way.

At the time she was also an ambassador for the World Vision organisation, appearing in a number of documentaries aimed at raising awareness and funds for the charity.

But then the leading roles dried up — not helped by her outburst to a Sydney newspaper in 1991 deriding Home And Away after the show’s producers had just signed her up for a guest role.  The part was re-cast to Debra Byrne although many years later Wallace did make guest appearances in Home And Away and Seven’s hospital drama All Saints.

She also appeared in ill-fated soaps Echo Point and Pacific Drive, soapie send-up Shark Bay and in a Prisoner-themed episode of SBS comedy Pizza.

Over the past few years she has appeared in Neighbours, reality show Celebrity Overhaul,  low-budget movie Ryder Country and in the short-run comedy Micro Nation.

While battling illness and depression over several years, Wallace also made the headlines for the wrong reasons — most notably for falsely claiming $30,000 in Centrelink benefits.  She has appeared on A Current Affair a number of times, often highlighting her perilous financial state which had led to the attempt to sell  the Gold Logie.

Currently based in the Victorian town of Wonthaggi, Wallace is heading back to her native Queensland where her career started back in the 1960s.

Wallace’s Gold Logie auction comes after another Logie, claimed to date back to the 1960s but from an unknown recipient as the base plate had been removed, was removed from Ebay after TV Week’s publishers considered legal action.  The award was later advertised for sale on rival website Gumtree.

A few years earlier the 1975 Silver Logie awarded to Number 96 star Bunney Brooke, who died in 2000, was sold on Ebay for around $2200.

Source: Ebay. TV Week, 4 May 1985.
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Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2012/12/gold-logie-removed-from-sale.html