1992: June 28-July 4

Four of a kind!
Four of TV’s hottest young stars also happen to be two off-screen couples.  Toni Pearen (E Street) and Mat Stevenson (Home And Away) had managed to dodge the cameras for months before finally going public with their relationship.  “It’s been going on for so long now (16 months) and it got to the stage where pretending that we weren’t a couple was beginning was work against us,” Pearen told TV Week.  “Nobody ever thought we were together, because we kept it behind closed doors.”  But Chances star Jeremy Sims and A Country Practice‘s Kym Wilson were not allowed the same privacy in their developing relationship… they were snapped by paparazzi on their first date.  The pair also have to contend with long-distance separation, with Sims based in Melbourne and Wilson in Sydney, plus the added public interest in Sims’ frequent sex scenes in Chances.  “These female journalists all seem so obsessed with how I deal with Jeremy being on television with other women,” Wilson told TV Week.  “It’s really not an issue.”

The force is with Simon
He’s only been in E Street for three months but Simon Denny (pictured) is already becoming the show’s number one pin-up star — but the 22-year-old says the acting role almost came by accident.   “It was out of the blue,” he told TV Week.  “I was at Westside (Productions) every day in a regular nine-to-five office situation.  One day, (executive producer) Forrest Redlich‘s son Jason said I should audition.  I said no.  Then, a few weeks later, he said I should do a screen test.  He showed it to his dad, and that’s how it was.  I was just lucky… right place, right time.”

Lisa sets her sights on acting
As a teenage swimming champion, Lisa Forrest (pictured) was often referred to as the ever-smiling Golden Girl, but it was an image that sat uneasily with her.  “I was always trying to get away from being ‘Miss Smile’,” she told TV Week.  “I saw myself as the vacuous blonde on TV.”  Forrest then retired from swimming and went to New York for two years to gain some self-confidence and find a new identity.   She has since returned to Australia for a hosting role on ABC‘s lifestyle show Everybody, and will soon join Seven‘s Olympic Games commentary team, but is very keen to pursue an acting career.  “When it comes to TV, there are certain creative needs I have that aren’t met by just standing in front of a camera,” she said.  “I now have the confidence to know I can act.”

Former Perfect Match co-host Tiffany Lamb (pictured) has returned to the ATV10 studios in Melbourne seven years after leaving the game show to take up a two-month guest role in Neighbours.  The new role comes after appearances in Chances and children’s series Lift Off and a ten-month stint in the US that led to a role in the short-lived series Earth Force.

In a blow to E Street, stars Adrian Lee and Toni Pearen have opted not to renew their contracts and will leave the series later in the year.  Meanwhile, E Street producers Westside Productions have stopped sending in advance storylines to Network Ten, fearing that the network will pinch the plots to be written into the ailing Neighbours.

Former Sons And Daughters star Ian Rawlings is joining the cast of Neighbours as Philip Martin, the husband of the eldest Robinson daughter Julie.

The Ten Network is believed to be very interested in picking up Saturday At Rick’s, the Saturday morning show recently axed by Nine after a short run.  However if Ten is successful it will not be able to bring together the show’s presenting line-up:  Steven Jacobs is tied to Nine’s All Together Now, and Tania Lacy has been kept on at Nine to present reports for Midday With Ray Martin and Sex.  Lochie Daddo was spotted filming a children’s TV pilot for Banksia Productions in Adelaide, and Hali Gordon is pursuing a theatre career.

Former MASH star Loretta Swit has made a flying visit to Australia as the Ten Network starts yet another re-run of the classic sitcom.  Swit, a TV Week Logie Awards guest in 1973 and 1987, had been interviewed by Bert Newton on Ten’s The Morning Show, then by Derryn Hinch on his evening current affairs show, before heading to the Neighbours studio where she pictured with Neighbours stars Ben Mitchell and Rachel Blakely.

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here
Baby Crazy (ABC) is a Film Australia production from the same combination that brought the Baby Boomers’ Picture Show to television two years ago — Stephen Ramsey and author and mother of three Helen Townsend.  What they’ve done here is take a look at being a parent, past and present.  Four couples were outfitted with home video cameras and an obviously generous supply of videotape.  Over two years they filmed with various degrees of abandon everything from large tummies to birth itself, bringing baby home, breast feeding, bathing, christening, junior’s first steps and so on.  It is not all sweetness and light.  One of the four mothers is overcome with emotion as she recalls the “black cloud” of post-natal depression, her resentment towards her husband and her frustration at not being able to resume her career.  She is startlingly honest.  Interspersed with all this is archival film of parenthood in the Fifties, when many traditional and instinctive practices of motherhood, especially, were abandoned for what was believed to be a more scientific approach.  A film called Sister Knows Best is an absolute classic from the archives.  Did they really advise mothers to mix Vegemite with milk?”

Program Highlights (Melbourne: June 28-July 4):
Sunday:  Afternoon sport includes the AFL match between Brisbane Bears and Hawthorn, live from Carrara, Queensland, on Seven, and rugby union on Ten from Waratah Rugby Stadium.  Sunday night movies are Rain Man (Seven), Goodfellas (Nine) and the first part of mini-series In A Child’s Name (Ten).

Monday:  In A Country Practice (Seven), Hugo (Gavin Harrison) becomes jealous when Darcy (Kym Wilson) falls for boxer Glenn Garrison (Paul Williams).  SBS arts program Masterpiece presents Oondamooroo: A Profile Of Ernie Dingo (pictured).

Tuesday:  In Beyond 2000 (Seven), Tracey Curro reports on the technological feats of the Panama Canal, Dr John D’Arcy introduced the latest mini computers, and Amanda Keller visits a house made of rubbish.  In GP (ABC), hospice patient Ruth Evett (Jeanette Cronin) asks Dr Steve Harrison (Michael O’Neill) to sign a letter she’s written requesting no artificial methods be used to bring her back to life.

Wednesday:  ABC’s one-hour special Baby Crazy focuses on what it’s like to be a first time parent — using home movies, interviews and archival footage — narrated by Noni Hazlehurst.  

Thursday:  In E Street (Ten), CJ (Adrian Lee) learns he may be blind for life.  In Embassy (ABC), Vince Cooper (John Polson) and his family have first hand experience with Ragaan’s racial and religious conflicts.  SBS screens the Australian film Bliss, starring Barry Otto, Lynette Curran and Helen Jones.

Friday:  Seven crosses to the WACA, Perth, for live coverage of the AFL match between West Coast Eagles and Melbourne, followed by delayed coverage of the Rugby League Third Test from Lang Park, Brisbane.  Flautist Jane Rutter is a guest star on Burke’s Backyard (Nine).

Saturday:  Ten crosses to Canberra for live coverage of the McDonald’s Independence Day Challenge: Australian Boomers versus NBL American All-Stars.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  27 June 1992.  Southdown Press.


Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2012/06/1992-june-28-july-4.html

New channel to improve rural health

Australia’s first national free-to-air channel dedicated to presenting programs relating to health matters has been launched.

The Rural Health Channel (RHC Channel 600), which has been broadcasting since 21 May, was officially opened in Canberra yesterday (Tuesday) by federal ministers Tanya Plibersek, Stephen Conroy (pictured) and Warren Snowdon.

The new channel is an initiative of the Rural Health Education Foundation, an independent, non-profit organisation that since 1992 has provided free distance learning education programs to more than 50,000 health professionals.

RHC is now being made available to the wider regional community via the VAST satellite system — the platform being employed to carry digital free-to-air channels to regional and isolated areas where terrestrial television reception is unavailable — to improve the promotion of health related information in areas where local healthcare facilities and information may be limited.

RHC will broadcast programming for four hours each weekday — 1.30pm to 3.30pm and 7.30pm to 9.30pm — and from 4.30pm to 6.00pm on Sundays.

For viewers without access to VAST, RHEF also has around 670 satellite-receiving sites around the country where programs can be viewed by the public or recorded on request.

Organisations such as Palliative Care Australia, Lifeline and the Heart Foundation have already used RHC to promote their messages and campaigns.

Source: RHEF


Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2012/06/new-channel-to-improve-rural-health.html

Digital switchover dates for 2013

The Minister for Broadband, Communication and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy has announced the dates that the markets that still have analogue television services will convert to digital-only transmission during 2013.

The proposed schedule will see Melbourne as potentially the last market in Australia to have access to analogue television, with Sydney switching to digital-only television a week earlier.

Markets and switchover dates are proposed as follows:

Adelaide: 2 April 2013
Tasmania: 9 April 2013 *
Perth: 16 April 2013 **
Brisbane (includes Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast): 28 May 2013 **
Darwin: 30 July 2013 *
Sydney (includes Gosford): 3 December 2013 **
Melbourne: 10 December 2013 **

This schedule does differ slightly from the original schedule mapped out in 2008.

The Minister has also asked the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to consider switchover dates for Remote and Regional Western Australia (25 June 2013) and Remote Central and Eastern Australia (10 December 2013).

Some remote or ‘self-help’ transmission sites within the above markets may have to have analogue services shutdown ahead of the proposed dates.  These are to be advised.

Already five regional television markets have made the switch to digital-only transmission: Mildura/Sunraysia, regional South Australia, regional Victoria, regional Queensland and Southern NSW/ACT and MIA.

Northern NSW, including the major centres of Newcastle, Tamworth and Richmond-Tweed, will lose analogue transmissions on 27 November this year.

According to the latest Digital Tracker survey around 82% of Australian households (within the markets that still have analogue-digital simulcast) have already converted at least their main television receiver to digital.

* Markets that already have a commercial broadcaster exclusively in digital (e.g. Tasmanian Digital Television)

** Markets that already have a community television service exclusively in digital (e.g. TVS, C31)

Source: DBCDE, Digital Ready


Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2012/06/digital-switchover-dates-for-2013.html

1992: June 21-27

Georgie joins Acropolis Now!
Former A Country Practice star Georgie Parker has made the surprising move of joining the cast of Seven‘s comedy series Acropolis Now.  The dual TV Week Silver Logie winner will play the character of airline stewardess Despina Hatzipapadopoulos, an old flame of Memo (George Kapiniaris).  The Seven Network has given the go-ahead for a fifth series of the sitcom, with production due to start early next month.  Parker is set to appear in at least nine of the 13 planned episodes.  Her new comedy role comes after recent guest appearances in All Together Now and ABC drama GP.

Another Wonder World
The popular children’s program Wonder World could soon be back on television.  Brett Clements and Philip Tanner, reporters on the original Simon Townsend’s Wonder World, are working on a pilot for a new-look Wonder World in association with Roadshow Television and with the assistance of Simon Townsend.  The new show will feature a remake of the original show’s famous signature tune.  More than 8000 people have applied to audition for one of the four reporting positions on the new show.  The original Simon Townsend’s Wonder World ran from 1979 to 1987 on the Ten Network.

Sophie turned off by Sex
Despite the ratings success of Nine‘s new adults-only magazine show Sex, host Sophie Lee has not been impressed with how the series has been progressing and is said to be keen to disassociate herself from the show.  Lee initially agreed to host the six-episode series (it has since been extended to ten) on the condition that the show’s content remained serious and not titillating. She is now cutting back on the location filming for story links and is now spending only one day a week taping segments in the studio.  As well as Sex, Lee continues to fulfil her commitments to Nine’s drama series The Flying Doctors.

Today hosts Steve Liebmann and Elizabeth Hayes (pictured) have celebrated the show’s tenth anniversary.  Liebmann was with the show when it debuted in 1982 but left in 1986 for a stint at the Ten Network before returning in 1990.  “It has been rewarding financially, and egotistically, and winning (the ratings against Good Morning Australia) makes it all the better,” he told TV Week.

Healthy Wealthy And Wise producer Gavan Disney is furious that former Good Morning Australia host Kerri-Anne Kennerley has been telling media that she will be filing reports for the lifestyle show at the suggestion of Network Ten chief Gary Rice.  “Ten asked me if I was interested in her joining the show and I said I would think about it, and then decided it wasn’t appropriate,” Disney told TV Week.  “Gary Rice can’t offer her a job on my show and she’s obviously touting for business.”  Kennerley’s contract with Ten expired back in May but she tells TV Week that Rice wants her to stay at the network.  “We plan to make an announcement about her new role shortly,” network executive Alan Bateman said.

Actor Peter O’Brien is returning to Australia after four years in the UK with a guest role in murder mystery game show Cluedo.  O’Brien may shock fans with his upcoming role as a heavy-metal guitarist, a far cry from his squeaky-clean roles in Neighbours and The Flying Doctors.  “I had a gut feeling it was time to come back to Australia to re-establish a profile,” he told TV Week.  “I couldn’t think of a better way to do that than a role like this.”

The Seven Network this week launches its new comedy series, Bligh, from the producers of Fast Forward.  Based on the controversial life of 19th century NSW governor William Bligh, the sitcom features Michael Veitch as Bligh, Magda Szubanski as his long-suffering wife Betsy and William McInnes as dashing entrepreneur John Macarthur.  Irish comedian Jimeoin and Fast Forward stars Gina Riley and Peter Moon also feature in the cast.

Home And Away‘s Cornelia Frances seems to have lost her reputation as the show’s resident nasty with the arrival of Irene Roberts (played by Jacqy Phillips, pictured).  The mother of Fin (Tina Thomsen) and Damien (Matt Doran), Irene is rude, abusive, insensitive, bloody minded and devoid of charisma.  “Perfect strangers come up and say, ‘Oh you’re that really rotten bitch from Home And Away‘,” she told TV Week.  Although Phillips will exit the show for a theatre role in Sydney next month, she is expected to return to Home And Away.  “It’s an open-ended thing,” she said.

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here
“William Bligh, ill-fated captain of the HMS Bounty and one-time Governor of New South Wales, did not have an auspicious time in public life.  And, unfortunately, the new sitcom Bligh, loosely based on his unhappy time, similarly might suffer problems endearing itself to the masses.  The series joins the Seven Network‘s Thursday line-up from 25 June and, while it is premature to sentence it to walk the plank on the evidence of the first two episodes, it is, frankly, disappointing.  Initially, what it delivers is uneven and not notable for the originality which the Fast Forward team injected when it arrived on the Australian television comedy scene.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, June 21-27):
Sunday:  Afternoon sport includes Seven’s live coverage of AFL — Sydney Swans versus Geelong — from the SCG, and Ten’s live coverage of the rugby union Second Test match — Australia versus Scotland.  An early 5.00pm edition of Seven Nightly News leads into Seven’s live coverage of the Adelaide Crows versus Essendon AFL match from Football Park, Adelaide.  Sunday night movies are Planes, Trains And Automobiles (Seven), Batman (Nine) and Predator 2 (Ten).

Monday:  Nine launches two weeks of coverage of the Wimbledon tennis championships, starting each night from around 11.00pm and continuing through to 4.00am.

Tuesday:  In Neighbours (Ten), Madge (Anne Charleston, pictured) is disgusted when she discovers that Lou (Tom Oliver) has taken her on a holiday to a health resort that turns out to be a nudist colony.  In Beyond 2000 (Seven), Simon Reeve looks at the latest breakthrough in the search to cure autism, and Tracey Curro meets the unborn children of the future.

Wednesday:  Cameron Daddo guest stars in Nine’s murder mystery game show Cluedo.

Thursday:  In Nine’s travel show Getaway, Anna McMahon holidays on Fraser Island, David Reyne visits Warburton Health Farm in Victoria, and Rebecca Harris learns to sail in Pittwater, NSW.  In Embassy (ABC), the scent of oil wealth in Ragaan has seen the Americans intent on re-establishing their embassy in the country.

Friday:  Seven’s late-night delayed telecast of the Rugby League Second Test match between Australia and Great Britain sees the Friday night edition of Tonight Live With Steve Vizard bumped to 2.00am.

Saturday:  SBS crosses to Gothenburg, Sweden at 3.45am for live coverage of the final of the Euro ’92 soccer championship.  The match coverage is replayed at the more civilised time of 4.45pm and again from 10.05pm.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  20 June 1992.  Southdown Press.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2012/06/1992-june-21-27.html

Who’s who in the media zoo

There have been some moves and changes happening at the big end of town in Australia’s media landscape — affecting television, radio and the print media — and it all weaves a tangled web.

Fortunately, SBS World News Australia‘s Ricardo Goncalves has tried to map out just who owns what and who is buying who in this quick presentation:

World News Australia screens nightly at 6.30pm and weeknights at 10.30pm on SBS1.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2012/06/whos-who-in-the-media-zoo.html

40 is a lotto years

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the first Tattslotto draw.

The numbers game had been a hit in Europe and on Thursday, 22 June 1972, it made its debut in Australia.

The first Tattslotto draw, with a total prize pool of $168,450, was broadcast on HSV7 Melbourne, hosted by news man David Johnston and “Tattslotto girl” Lucy Kiraly (pictured). But rival channel GTV9 was not about to let Seven’s new game steal their viewers. Newspaper advertisements for Nine’s movie presentation of The Music Man advised viewers that they needn’t turn the dial to see the winning numbers — “each winning number will be flashed on the screen only moments after it has been officially announced”.  Both of Seven’s commercial rivals would continue to broadcast the winning numbers on-screen after the draw for decades to come.

The lottery’s first winning numbers were 37, 39, 1, 14, 18, 31 and supplementary 30.  Anyone who had successfully picked the six main numbers were eligible for the first division prize of $50,535.27 — almost enough to buy a Toorak home (a house had sold that week for $62,000).

From March 1973 the weekly draw shifted to Saturday nights, incorporated into variety show Penthouse Club.  The show came to an end in 1979 but the weekly Tattslotto draw was to continue to be a fixture of HSV7’s Saturday night.

From 1981 the Tattslotto draw was syndicated to other Australian states as part of the Australian Lotto Bloc and is branded as Gold Lotto in Queensland, X Lotto in South Australia and Lotto in New South Wales.

Although lottery draws are not given the airtime that they used to, the games are still played by millions of Australians each week — with lottery games of some sort drawn almost every night of the week, including Tattslotto, Super 66, Powerball, Super 7’s Oz Lotto and Monday and Wednesday Lotto.

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Tattslotto will be offering $30 million first division for Draw 3229 on Saturday, 30 June.

Source: The Age, 23 June 1972.  TV News, 17 June 1972.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2012/06/40-is-a-lotto-years.html

1992: June 14-20

Traumatic times for two young girls
Some big storylines ahead for two of TV’s popular young stars.  In Neighbours (Ten), 17-year-old Beth Brennan (Natalie Imbruglia) shocks Ramsay Street with the announcement that she is engaged to Rod Baker (Chris Lloyds), a gentlemen she met on holiday in Brisbane — but who is old enough to be her father.  “For Rod and Beth, it’s love at first sight, but their relationship is not sexual.  They fall in love with the idea of being together,” Imbruglia told TV Week.  “But you’ll just have to wait and see if Beth walks down the aisle with Rod!”  Meanwhile, on Home And Away (Seven), Sophie (Rebekah Elmaloglou) is adjusting to live with newborn Tamara, as well as an over-protective foster mother — Pippa (Debra Lawrance) — being a little bit over zealous in helping out with the new arrival which causes some friction in the household.

Hey, we’re in the movies!
The 50th anniversary of the Hollywood classic Casablanca has inspired the team from Hey Hey It’s Saturday to play out their own detective mystery.  Hey Hey The Movie — Silence Of The Hams, written by Daryl Somers and comedians Trevor Marmalade and Russell Gilbert, tells the tale of the movie industry crumbling in the 1950s because of the doings of Ossie Fu Manchu (Ossie Ostrich, pictured).  “It’s a rather nonsensical plot but it’s a lot of fun.  And everyone from the team is in it — including about 50 extras,” Somers told TV Week.  “We filmed for a week at Movie World, so it’s been put together in an incredibly short time.  It’s one of the fastest movies ever made and the network is genuinely surprised at the outcome… resulting in the great timeslot (Monday night).”  The telemovie comes on the back of ratings success with the recent The Best (And Worst) Of Red Faces special.  Before the year is out there may be a second Red Faces special as well as a special edition of Hey Hey It’s Saturday to be produced on location in the Northern Territory, and another Hollywood special to coincide with the show’s 21st anniversary.

Tradesmen pull the plug on Helen!
The Investigators host Helen Wellings (pictured) is finding that in her role as a consumer watchdog is making it difficult to get renovations done on her own home.  “I can’t get tradespeople to come to the house,” she told TV Week.  “And when they do, they give a quote and we never see them again.  They go into the study, where we have photographs and cartoons about me that appeared in newspapers, and  they act strangely.  Their eyes go from side to side and we never see them again.”  On a more positive note, Wellings is more delighted with the performance of The Investigators which is ABC‘s most popular program.  “This year, for me, has been the best so far,” she said.  “It is because I have been specialising in some big stories, and that really pleases me.”  One of those big stories is this week’s special report on superannuation which promises to lift the lid on some big companies which promise so much in their advertising campaigns.  “We are bombarded with advertisements on super, ‘We are the ones you can trust and we’ll be here forever.  We can really look after you all your lives’.  Yet some of these companies are here today, gone tomorrow.”

Actress Katherine Li is hoping that her role in the drama series Chances will give her a second chance as she is currently in her final year of a three-year probation term imposed on her by the Brisbane District Court for her part in an attempted robbery.  The former model and her now estranged husband planned the crime to prop up a failing business venture — and while she does not intend to trivialise the offence she admits that police viewed the incident as one of the most poorly executed crimes in Queensland history.  “There were people laughing in court… it was so badly done,” she said.  “Nobody got hurt.  It was not a violent thing.  A couple of people have said to me, ‘How could you have done this? You seem to be an ordinary person like all of us’.”  The 23-year-old mother (pictured with Chances co-star Gerry Sont) is not looking for sympathy but hopes the public and her co-stars will give her a second chance.  “If I stuff this up, if I make one mistake, then I’ll go to jail.  I can’t afford to make any mistakes and I don’t want to.”

Former Sons And Daughters star and TV Week Gold Logie winner Rowena Wallace (pictured) takes on a new look as a “cosmic” newsreader from Planet Peaceful, who reports on the invasion of “The Grubs”, an intergalactic menace in the Network Ten children’s series The Miraculous Mellops.

Newsreader Brian Naylor, TV host Bert Newton and actor Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell are among those that have offered an insight on their early careers on a series of radio interviews.  But you won’t hear these interviews on the major talkback stations or even the ABC, but rather on community radio station 3RPH — Radio for the Print Handicapped — which will broadcast the interviews as part of their upcoming appeal.  Others that have lent their support to the cause are performers Danny La Rue, Johnny Chester, Kamahl, television presenters Steve Vizard and Derryn Hinch, and sporting identities Jeff Fenech, Lou Richards, Bill Collins and Ron Casey.  The station has recently taken over the 1179 kHz frequency previously occupied by 3KZ and currently costs around $270,000 to stay broadcasting each year but receives no direct government funding.  Last year’s appeal raised only around $30,000.

Lawrie Masterson:  The View From Here:
“Most Victorians with even a passing interest in sport will have been familiar with Rex Hunt for some years now.  He first made his name in the then VFL, playing a total of 170 games in the Sixties and Seventies.  Since his football days ended, he gradually has developed a burgeoning angling equipment business and a steadily growing media profile.  No angler considering getting a line wet on the weekend could possibly miss Rex’s Friday radio show in Melbourne.  Some time ago his radio angling program spun off into television and viewers of Melbourne’s Channel Seven have been treated from time to time to Rex Hunt’s Fishing World, usually late on Friday nights.  From 4 July, the fisherman will cast even wider, hoping to hook an audience around the Seven Network at 5.00pm Saturdays.  For the uninitiated, the man you’ll see is balding, bearded and usually beanied, has a ready, roguish grin and occasionally refers to himself as “old uncle”.  He is part fisherman, part environmentalist, part comedian, part homespun philosopher and, for all his bluster, nobody’s fool… at least not when it comes to his passion for fishing, anyway.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, June 14-20):
Sunday:  Sunday night movies are Days Of Thunder (Seven), My Left Foot (Nine) and Agatha Christie’s Appointment With Death (Ten).

Monday:   Daryl Somers, Ossie Ostrich and the rest of the Hey Hey It’s Saturday gang star in Hey Hey The Movie — Silence Of The Hams (Nine).

Tuesday:  In comedy series All Together Now (Nine), Doug (Garry Who) and Tracy’s (Rebecca Gibney) catering business faces another disaster, while Thomas (Steven Jacobs) blackmails Anna (Jane Hall) and her best friend Jodie (Radha Mitchell).

Wednesday:  In E Street (Ten), CJ (Adrian Lee) asks Toni (Toni Pearen) to marry him, while Sam (Simon Denny) has a serious decision to make.  In Cluedo (Nine), when journalist Janet Tipple (Caz Lederman) visits Brindabella to write an article about Professor Plum (Andrew Daddo), she finds that other members of the household have interesting stories to tell as well.

Thursday:  ABC presents the series final of health and lifestyle series Everybody, presented by Lisa Forrest.

Friday:  Seven presents a delayed telecast of the AFL match between North Melbourne and the Brisbane Bears, from the MCG.  Ian Chappell hosts Nine’s live coverage overnight of the US Open golf from Pebble Beach, California.

Saturday:  The Seven Network screens South Bank — A Night Of Stars, a concert event heralding the opening of the former World Expo 88 site on the South Bank Parklands in Brisbane.  Hosted by Robert Brough (Family Feud), performers include John Denver, Lou Rawls, Nancy Wilson, James Morrison, James Reyne and Seven Network stars Ann-Maree Biggar and Agro.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  13 June 1992.  Southdown Press.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2012/06/1992-june-14-20.html

1992: June 7-13

tvweek_060692Cover: Tom Cruise

Shirl crashes out
When she decided to leave A Country Practice after more than ten years, Gold Logie winner Lorrae Desmond conceded that her character Shirley Gilroy had to be killed off but insisted that the death not be depicted on screen.  “You don’t get divorced in Wandin Valley,” she told TV Week.  “So for me to leave the series, Shirl had to die.  I didn’t want to do a Molly (Anne Tenney) – the long, lingering leukaemia bit, because I hate to upset children.  I like children.  The last thing I wanted them to see was Shirley laughing.”  The last viewers will see of Shirley will be farewelling her husband Frank (Brian Wenzel) from a taxi as she departs for the airport for a light aircraft flight to Brisbane.  Viewers will not see the plane crash that follows, killing all on board. 

Ian keeps an eye out for clues
With his new murder mystery show Cluedo about to debut, and with a second series already given the green light, as well as three sitcom projects in production or development – Let The Blood Run Free, Newlyweds and BinglesIan McFadyen is one of the busiest people in television. “Cluedo is not a quiz show,” he told TV Week. “It’s a game show, but a different kind of game show. It’s not based on how loud you can scream or how much jelly you can tip on each other.” It’s also a busy time for Andrew Daddo, who plays the role of Professor Plum in Cluedo, as he’s also scored a major role in the upcoming $3.7 million children’s series Round The Twist. “It’s been a bit tough to work the production schedules out because there will be some overlap,” Daddo said. “When Round The Twist came up, I jumped at it. But I’m also rapt that Cluedo is going again.”

theshiftingheartReturn engagement!
Neighbours stars Tom Oliver and Anne Charleston are engaged to be married in the long-running series – and it’s not the first time the pair have played a married couple on screen.  Back in 1968 they played husband and wife (pictured) in an ABC drama, The Shifting Heart.  “It was a TV adaptation of a play on the ABC,” Oliver told TV Week.  “It was a marvellous play and it was the first time Anne and I worked together.”  However, the on-screen union in Neighbours could be short lived, as Charleston contemplates the possibility of a life away from Ramsay Street when her contract expires later in the year.  “Seven and a half years is a long time.  But you just never know,” she told TV Week.  “It depends how you’re feeling at the time.”

There could be changes afoot for Network Ten dramas Neighbours and E Street, with network managing director Gary Rice putting the pressure on Neighbours’ producers Grundy Television to improve the show’s falling ratings, and expressing concern about E Street whose future is currently up for negotiation.  TV Week suspects an upheaval for both shows, with Neighbours to be shifted to 7.30pm and E Street re-worked into a half-hour format at 8.00pm, five nights a week.

stephenwhittakerThe cast of Nine’s steamy drama Chances have partied to celebrate the completion of 100 episodes.  Meanwhile, the series has welcomed a new cast member as Steven Whittaker (pictured) plays the part of Sean Becker, a friend of Alex’s (Jeremy Sims) who is set to threaten his corporate position.  Whittaker, who recently starred in mini-series Good Vibrations, contemplated having to tackle Chances’ steamy sex scenes.  “I gave it a great deal of thought but in the end it was some of those elements which were actually attractive,” he told TV Week.  “Would I prefer it to be mundane, dealing with slices of suburban life, or slightly off the wall, verging towards the bizarre?  In the end, that’s what made my mind up.  That’s where I’d rather be.  The potential is there for quite a bit of bed wandering, but at the moment there is more appetite than action!”

maryhardy_0001The life of controversial radio and television personality Mary Hardy (pictured) is being portrayed in a stage production, Mary Lives!, written by her brother, Frank Hardy.  Starring Maryanne Fahey in the lead role, the play also features Bartholomew John and Ron Challinor, both of whom were close friends and former colleagues of Hardy, who died in 1985.  “She was tremendously influential at the time, creating an awareness of me not only on the Penthouse Club, but on her radio program as well,” John told TV Week.  “Mary wasn’t just a female comic,” said Challinor, who was a writer for Penthouse Club in the 1970s.  “She sang, she danced, she told gags and she had great timing.  If she had done in the US what she did here she would have been a huge star.”

SBS is set to mark the 40th anniversary of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with a controversial British documentary, Queen Or Country?  The special, originally screened on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom, raises the question of whether the royals abuse their public position for personal gain – looking at 10 cases where the line may have been blurred.

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here
”Taking an old, tried and true board game such as Cluedo and adapting it to television sounds easy.  But obviously it wasn’t that easy at all, even for Crawford Action Time, a partnership between this country’s most prolific drama producer, Crawfords Australia, and British-based game show producers Action Time.  From initial impressions, the television version of Cluedo is a touch unsatisfying, right down to the fact that the smartest guy in the audience isn’t even asked how he reached his conclusion, and nor are we told how long it took him.  And perhaps it’s the “how long” factor that is most important here – not for solving the whodunit, but for the television program itself.  Versions of Cluedo produced by Action Time for other countries run only half an hour, not the full hour (less commercial breaks, of course) the show has been given here.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, June 7-13):
  Sunday night movies are Betsy’s Wedding (Seven), Robocop 2 (Nine) and Born On The Fourth Of July (Ten).  After the movie, Nine crosses to Paris for the final of the French Open.

Monday:  ABC launches a new afternoon game show, Vidiot, hosted by Eden Gaha.  In A Country Practice (Seven), Wandin Valley residents react when AIDS sufferer Max Blair (Felix Williamson) returns to be with his sister Trish (Linden Wilkinson) before he dies.  Healthy Wealthy And Wise (Ten) takes a tour of scenic Byron Bay.

Tuesday:  In A Country Practice (Seven), Frank Gilroy (Brian Wenzel) receives news that his wife Shirley (Lorrae Desmond) has died in a plane crash.  In GP (ABC), William (Michael Craig) is shocked to find that his old friend Geraldine (Jennifer Claire), for whom he has developed a romantic interest, is passively committing suicide.  Beyond 2000 (Seven) presents a special edition from the International Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

Wednesday:  The Nine Network presents the first episode of murder mystery game show Cluedo, featuring host Ian McFadyen and guest star Rod Mullinar as the show’s first ‘victim’.  Seven presents a rerun of the British documentary Elizabeth R (originally shown on ABC), documenting a year in the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, to mark the 40th anniversary of her accession to the British throne.

Thursday:  SBS presents early morning (3.00am) coverage of the opening ceremony of the Euro 92 soccer championships, live from Sweden, followed by the first match – Sweden versus France.  SBS’ coverage of Euro 92 continues over 17 days, with live coverage overnight and highlights packages shown the following evening. 

Friday:  Seven crosses to Sydney for live coverage of the Rugby League First Test – Australia versus Great Britain – with commentators Graham Hughes, Pat Welsh, Wally Lewis and Michael O’Connor.

Saturday:  Hey Hey It’s Saturday (Nine) presents a special edition from Warner Bros Movie World on the Gold Coast, as the theme park celebrates its first birthday.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  6 June 1992.  Southdown Press.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2012/06/1992-june-7-13.html

Southern NSW and ACT farewell analogue

digitalgetreadyFor around 1.5 million viewers in the southern and central western regions of NSW, including the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area, and the Australian Capital Territory, 9.00am today marks the end of analogue television transmission after over 50 years.

The switch-off will affect all local analogue transmissions of ABC1, Prime7 (CBN), WIN, Southern Cross Ten (CTC) and SBS1 in Canberra, Orange/Central Tablelands, Wollongong/Illawarra, Dubbo/Central Western Slopes and Wagga Wagga/South-Western Slopes and Eastern Riverina, and also transmissions of ABC1, WIN (MTN/AMN) and SBS1 in Griffith and the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area.

Some small towns and communities in the above areas have already had to switch off analogue transmission in the months leading up to today’s shutdown.

Significantly, the inclusion of Canberra in this shutdown phase marks the first Australian capital city to lose access to analogue television and comes only days after Canberra’s Southern Cross Ten (CTC7) celebrated 50 years of transmission with a reunion of past and present employees.

primetimesEarlier this year, Central Tablelands station CBN8 (now Prime7) and Wollongong’s WIN reached 50 years of broadcasting in their respective areas.  The three regional networks – then Prime, WIN and Capital – made history in 1989 as the first to go through the process of aggregation, providing local viewers with a choice of commercial TV stations for the first time.

ABC had started analogue transmissions in Canberra in December 1962 and progressed through other areas in the Southern NSW area in the following years.  SBS has been broadcasting in Canberra and NSW towns Goulburn and Cooma since October 1983, and Wollongong since June 1985, and was gradually extended to the wider Southern NSW regions.

According to the latest Digital Tracker report, covering the period January to March this year, around 85 per cent of households in the affected areas have already converted to digital, although 97 per cent of households during that time were aware of the pending analogue shutdown.

Households who have not made arrangements to convert to digital or any alternative platforms – such as the satellite-based VAST – will find their television signals disappear from around 9.00am.

The next phase in the analogue shutdown will be Northern NSW – excluding the NSW Central Coast and the Gold Coast – in November this year.

The markets of Regional Victoria (including Mildura), Regional Queensland and regional South Australia (including Broken Hill, NSW) have already made the transition to digital-only television.

More information on the analogue shutdown, including details on household assistance schemes, can be found at the Australian Government’s Digital Ready website.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2012/06/southern-nsw-and-act-farewell-analogue.html

50 years of TV in Canberra

ctc_onair_0002Canberra may be the national capital of Australia and the hub for the country’s political decision makers, but it was the second last capital city in Australia to receive television.

Almost six years after television made its official debut in Sydney and Melbourne, television came to Canberra on 2 June 1962 with the official launch of CTC7.

The channel had been five years in the making – starting in 1957 when The Canberra Times and radio station 2CA agreed to sponsor an application for a commercial television licence in the national capital.

In 1958, Canberra Television Limited was incorporated with a capital of £300,000.

The company was granted the licence for Canberra’s first, and then only, commercial television channel in November 1960.  The new channel – CTC7 – was to broadcast from studios located on Black Mountain.  Construction of the studio premises and transmission tower was completed in little over six months at a cost of just under £78,000.  The studios were equipped with two state-of-the-art Image Orthicon cameras worth £8000 each.

Test programs were being broadcast from April 1962 with the official opening by Postmaster-General Mr C. W. Davidson on Saturday, 2 June 1962 at 7.00pm.

CTC7: Saturday 2 June, 1962
6pm Program Preview
6.30 Documentary: Establishment Of CTC7
7pm Official Opening CTC7
7.20 Preview: Future Programs and “On Camera” Personalities
7.40 Queen’s Birthday Procession at Duntroon
8pm The BP Super Show
9pm Michael Shayne
10pm Official Opening CTC7 (Rpt)
10.20 Sunday Program Announcements, Epilogue, Close
Source: The Canberra Times, 2 June 1962.

The new channel launched with a schedule of around 30 hours of programming each week.

CTC7 has had a number of different owners over the years, including Fairfax, Kerry Stokes and Charles Curran.  In 1994 it was bought by Southern Cross Broadcasting – now Southern Cross Austereo.

Just as it had a number of owners, CTC has also had many different identities on-air – including CTCTV, Super 7, Capital 7, Capital Television, Capital 10 TV Australia, Ten Capital and now Southern Cross Ten. Some of the presenters to have appeared from CTC over the years have included Karen Barlin, Frank Jones, Laurie Wilson, John Bok, Geoff Hiscock, Christine Kininmonth, Mal Grieve, Greg Robson, Sonja Allitt, Peter Chapman, Rosemary Church and Mike Larkan.

CTC7_0001 CTC7_0002
ctc7_0006 ctc7_0004

The arrival of aggregation in March 1989 saw Capital align to the Ten Network for programming and expand its signal into the Wollongong/Illawarra and central western regions of NSW, while the Prime and WIN networks from those areas expanded into the Canberra market to represent the Seven and Nine networks.

Capital continued to produce a nightly local and national news bulletin for the Canberra market until owners Southern Cross Broadcasting axed a number of local news services across its wider network at the end of 2001.  The actions of Southern Cross and rival network Prime, which had also axed a number of regional news services at around the same time, led to the then Australian Broadcasting Authority set up an investigation into the adequacy of local news coverage in regional areas.  The outcome was the adoption of a points-based system which obliged regional operators to meet a required quota of local news in individual markets – although networks like Southern Cross and Prime are meeting their obligations in most markets with a scattering of two-minute local news updates throughout the day in individual markets, mostly produced from centralised facilities.

The Canberra studios of Southern Cross Ten, based in the suburb of Watson since the 1970s, now serve as the master control for much of the wider Southern Cross Austereo television network – including Southern Cross Ten in Queensland, New South Wales/ACT, Victoria and South Australia, and Southern Cross Television in Tasmania, Darwin and central Australia – and the regional co-ordination of the networks’ digital multi-channels.


tencapital_0001 southerncrossten

Next week, just days after the 50th anniversary of the launch of CTC7, all local analogue transmissions in Canberra and the Southern NSW market will be switched off.

Source: The Canberra Times, 2 June 1962.

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2012/06/50-years-of-tv-in-canberra.html