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Number 96 shocked a nation with its casual glimpses of nudity and captivated viewers with a broad mix of melodrama and comedy

The Seventies was a radical period and this was also reflected on the nation’s TV screens.  Leading the way in Australian TV’s loss of innocence were racy soap opera dramas Number 96 and The Box and the comedy-drama Alvin Purple.  Also during the decade, Australian TV finally burst into colour, several years after its overseas counterparts — and a Sunday night tradition was born with the launch of the legendary music show Countdown.

Mary Hardy


  • Following the departure of Graham Kennedy from GTV9, In Melbourne Tonight continues with a different host each night — Ugly Dave Gray, Stuart Wagstaff, Jimmy Hannan and Bert Newton.
  • April 13: The Long Arm is the 0-10 Network’s first attempt at series drama.  It lasted three months.
  • June 1: The Seven Network launches a new daytime quiz show, Temptation, hosted by Tony Barber.
  • July 9:  The official opening of the microwave link between the east and west coasts of Australia, allowing the transmission of telecommunications and television program material across the country. The launch program is a one-hour special Project Australia — featuring segments contributed from various Australian cities.
  • October 10: The launch of HSV7’s Saturday night variety show Penthouse Club, hosted by Michael Williamson and Mary Hardy, featuring a mixture of variety, comedy, harness racing coverage and, from 1972, the weekly Tattslotto draw. It runs until 1979 after changing its name briefly to Saturday Night Live.
  • October 21: In Melbourne Tonight celebrates its 3000th episode.
  • TV Week Gold Logie Winners: Barry Crocker (Sound Of Music, Nine) and Maggie Tabberer (Maggie, Seven) and a special Gold Logie also awarded to Apollo 11 crew

Paul Cronin, Matlock Police


  • New TV stations: VEW8 Kalgoorlie (18 June), ABD6 Darwin (13 August), ITQ8 Mt Isa (11 September), NTD8 Darwin (11 November).
  • January 4: The highly-acclaimed American children’s series Sesame Street begins on ABC.
  • February 25Matlock Police, a new weekly police drama from Crawford Productions, starts a five year run on 0-10.
  • March 24: GTV9 axes Tonight With Stuart Wagstaff and The Ugly Dave Gray Show — the two remaining spin-offs from the former In Melbourne Tonight.
  • April 24:Young Talent Time starts an 18-year run on the 0-10 Network.
  • June 28: Bob and Dolly Dyer’s Pick-A-Box signs off for the last time, ending a 14-year run on television. The program is replaced the following week by The Great Temptation, a prime-time version of afternoon quiz show Temptation.
  • Hey Hey It’s Saturday

    October 9: Hey Hey It’s Saturday begins as a Saturday morning cartoon show on GTV9, initially hosted by Daryl Somers and VFL footballer Peter McKenna, who was later replaced by Ossie Ostrich.

  • November 15: Two years after resigning from In Melbourne Tonight, Graham Kennedy makes a return to TV with the first of two comedy specials. The second special airs in early 1972.
  • November 22A Current Affair with Mike Willesee premieres on Nine, initially screening weeknights at 9.30pm before shifting to the 7pm timeslot two months later.
  • TV Week Gold Logie Winners: Gerard Kennedy (Division 4, Nine) and Maggie Tabberer (Maggie, Seven). A special Gold Logie is also awarded to Bob Dyer and his wife Dolly in recognition of their 14 years of presenting quiz show Pick-A-Box.


  • February 15: The Government announces that all Australian TV stations will convert to colour on 1 March 1975.  The transition is expected to cost the ABC around $46 million and the commercial sector $70 million — although some stations had already installed colour-compatible equipment.
  • March: The 0-10 Network screens the first episode of the ground breaking evening series Number 96, which created much controversy over its sex and nude scenes.
  • March 20: Brisbane’s BTQ7 claims to launch Australia’s first one-hour news bulletin with The Big News.
  • May 29: ATN7 launches Sydney’s first one-hour news bulletin, Seven National News Hour
  • September 19: The Graham Kennedy Show begins on Nine.
  • TV Week Gold Logie Winner: Gerard Kennedy (Division 4, Nine)

Abigail, Number 96


  • Number 96 becomes the most popular program on Australian TV.
  • February 5: The Mike Walsh Show, a live daytime variety show from the studios of TEN10, starts a four-year run on 0-10 before switching to Nine in 1977.
  • February: Garry Meadows hosts 0-10’s The Price Is Right, a daytime game show that was so popular a separate prime time edition was also launched.
  • February 14: ABC’s Certain Women begins as a six-part mini-series before being renewed as an ongoing series to run for four years.
  • June 11: Nine launches No Man’s Land, the all-female current affairs program.
  • TV Week Gold Logie Winner: Tony Barber (Great Temptation, Seven)

George Mallaby and Barrie Barkla, The Box.


  • February 11: The Box, a new nightly series set to create the same controversy as Number 96, premieres on the 0-10 Network. It finishes the year as the second most popular program on Australian TV behind Number 96.
  • March 18: Grundy Productions launches its first drama series Class Of ‘74, a five-night-a-week school drama produced for Seven.  It becomes Class Of ‘75 the following year before being axed by the network.
  • October: Test colour transmissions commence across all networks.
  • November 8: Radio DJ Grant Goldman hosts the first edition of ABC’s Countdown.
  • December 31: The Nine Network and News Limited launch a 28-hour telethon to raise funds for the relief effort of Darwin after the city was wiped out by Cyclone Tracy.
  • TV Week Gold Logie Winners: Graham Kennedy (The Graham Kennedy Show, Nine) and Pat McDonald (Number 96, 0-10)

Colour TV begins


  • March 1: C-DAY. Television stations convert to full-time colour transmission.
  • Graham Kennedy is banned from appearing on live television after his infamous “crow call” and subsequent editorials on Nine’s Graham Kennedy Show.
  • May 12: Nine’s new variety show The Don Lane Show begins a successful eight year run.
  • TEN10 Sydney launches its first one-hour news service, Eyewitness Newshour.
  • September 5: Episode 839, the infamous ‘bomb-blast’ episode of Number 96 which wiped out four regular characters in a bid to reinstate the series’ former top rating position.
  • October 13:  News program Eleven AM, with Roger Climpson, debuts on ATN7 Sydney.
  • TV Week Gold Logie Winners: Ernie Sigley and Denise Drysdale (The Ernie Sigley Show, Nine).  First TV Week Logie Awards presentation telecast in colour.

The Sullivans


  • New TV station: RTS5A Riverland (26 November)
  • 0-10, in association with South Pacific Films and Paramount Pictures TV, produces a 26-episode children’s series The Lost Islands. The series had a modest following in Australia but sold well overseas.
  • July: ABC, Seven and Nine combine forces to provide Olympic Games coverage from Montreal. The opening and closing ceremonies are telecast live, with highlights packages screening each evening.
  • November: Grundy’s hospital drama The Young Doctors and Crawford Productions’ World War II drama The Sullivans begin on Nine.
  • November: Mike Walsh announces that he will be moving The Mike Walsh Show from the 0-10 Network to the Nine Network early in 1977. The Nine Network also announces it has signed up Paul Hogan who had previously appeared on the Seven Network.
  • TV Week Gold Logie Winners: Norman Gunston (The Norman Gunston Show, ABC) and Denise Drysdale (The Ernie Sigley Show, Nine).

Blankety Blanks


  • New TV Station: GTW11 Geraldton (21 January).
  • January 24: Graham Kennedy returns to television as host of 0-10’s evening game show Blankety Blanks, which became a ratings winner. The show continued for two years.
  • February 7: The Mike Walsh Show debuts on the Nine Network after four years on the 0-10 Network.
  • April: The Seven Network successfully bids for exclusive Australian rights to televise the 1980 Olympic Games from Moscow.  The network paid $1 million in the deal, outbidding rival offers from ABC and Nine.
  • April: Countdown celebrates its 100th episode.
  • April-May: Roots, the multi-million dollar US mini-series, airs on 0-10 and receives the highest ratings of the decade.
  • Seven televises the VFL Grand Final live to Melbourne for the first time.
  • The final episodes of Homicide, The Box, Number 96 and Bellbird go to air.
  • Hotel Story, a Crawford production for 0-10, begins production in Melbourne.  The series was axed before the first episode had even gone to air.
  • The Federal Government investigates a proposal to establish a domestic satellite system, enabling instant transmission of television and other communications across Australia and in particular to remote areas.
  • December: The Nine Network’s World Series Cricket launches in opposition to the traditional test cricket coverage on ABC.
  • TV Week Gold Logie Winners: Don Lane (The Don Lane Show, Nine) and Jeanne Little (The Mike Walsh Show, 0-10)

Against The Wind


  • March 20: ATV0 launches its one-hour news service, Eyewitness News with Bruce Mansfield.
  • Against The Wind, the first major mini-series produced for Australian commercial television, is screened on Seven.
  • August:  ABC televises the 1978 Commonwealth Games from Edmonton, Canada.  The opening and closing ceremonies are televised live, with event highlights each day.
  • 64% of Melbourne and 70% of Sydney households now own colour TV sets, giving Australia one of the fastest changeovers to colour in the world.
  • September:  The Federal Government gives the go-ahead for the launch of a multicultural television service, to be operated by the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), with the expectation of the new channel operating in Sydney and Melbourne by 1980.
  • October:  ATV0 makes a request to the Federal Government for permission to change its broadcast frequency to Channel 10.
  • November 7:  The 0-10 Network televises the Melbourne Cup to a national audience for the first time.  The telecast is regarded as one of the largest national sports telecasts mounted to date.
  • TV Week Gold Logie Winner:  Graham Kennedy (Blankety Blanks, 0-10)



  • February 8:  The Government approves the application for ATV0 to convert its transmission to the Channel 10 frequency.
  • February 11:  Nine’s new weekly current affairs program 60 Minutes, based on a successful US show of the same name, has a lack lustre beginning but soon rises to become one of Australia’s highest rating programs.
  • February 27:  Grundy Productions’ new prime time series Prisoner starts a successful run on 0-10.  It enjoys a large following both in Australia and overseas, particularly in the United Kingdom and parts of the United States.
  • April 29:  The Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) screens the first of a series of multicultural programs on ABC on Sunday mornings.
  • July 1:  Commercial television stations now required to screen ‘C’ classified programming, aimed solely at children aged 6 to 13, every weekday between 4pm and 5pm. Early ‘C’ classified programs include Simon Townsend’s Wonder World (0-10), Stax (Seven) and Shirl’s Neighbourhood (Seven) and re-classified existing shows The Curiosity Show and Skippy The Bush Kangaroo (both from Nine). Commercial stations are also required to screen a minimum of 30 minutes each weekday, prior to 4.00pm, of programming aimed at pre-school viewers.
  • Muhammad Ali and Gold Logie winner Bert Newton

    November:  Rupert Murdoch takes control of TEN10 Sydney and his bid to takeover the Ansett transport company, which owns ATV0 Melbourne, sparks a review into media ownership by the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal.

  • TV Week Gold Logie Winner:  Bert Newton (The Don Lane Show and New Faces, Nine)

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    • Dave Winder on 1 February 2017 at 10:26 AM
    • Reply

    I am trying to find a show called Name That Tune I am sure it was on in the seventies possibly on channel 7. Also if there may be some copies available of the episodes.

    1. Hi David please check this page.

      • Russ Robinson on 5 May 2021 at 12:27 PM
      • Reply

      Trying to find copies in archives? of the Don Lane Show 9 network a particular episode starring Martin Peter’s Soccer player from England 1979 I think. Also other television shows like Today Tonight ABC TV and Razzle Dazzle and Wombat Ch 7 . Where would you go to find these individual episodes ? The National archives? I live in Brisbane. Thank you

      Russ Robinson

      1. Hi Russ, the National Film and Sound Archive is probably your best bet. I don’t know if they have an office in Brisbane but check their website

    • Robert Johnston on 7 February 2017 at 5:48 AM
    • Reply

    Does anyone — have to be an old fogey like me, aged over 55 — remember a Newsreader/Host on Qld TV, who wrote a comedy/drama Sci Fi novel in the late 1960s?
    It was about an Alien who came to Earth to study the “natives”.
    He gave himself the name (and here is my BIG problem!) “Psst Ogf” or “Psk Oggf” or “Pst Oggf” (or some similar combo of those letters) which (as I remember) was his initial attempt to pronouce “Post Office”.
    His “name” was also the title of the book — “Pssk Ogf” or whatever!
    I have been searching Google, Amazon, Bibliophile and everybody else for years with no luck, so I thought I might try the memories of REAL PEOPLE!!!
    Please get in touch at: [email protected].
    Thanks and Best Wishes,

    Rob Johnston

    • Paul-Julian Dal Pozzo on 28 August 2017 at 9:12 PM
    • Reply

    Hi I am trying to do some research on (I think) a news and current affairs show which was on HSV 7 and only on weekends (I remember it on Sunday afternoons) and think it’s called ‘7days’ or ‘Weekends’. Does anyone else remember this. I also remembers it had a great theme song with a disco-beat.

    Any ideas?


    1. Possibly This Week?

      Used to go to air on Sunday nights after the movie.

      Or maybe you’re thinking of This Week Has Seven Days which was a children’s magazine program that used to go to air on Saturday afternoons

      • Michael McDonald on 18 August 2018 at 11:48 PM
      • Reply

      Was it this week has 7 days?

    • Jack Dwyer on 18 July 2018 at 11:07 PM
    • Reply

    Do any of you recall an A.B.C. music show for schools that had a quasi-Japanese operetta in them?! I am looking for a story I remember from primary school about Princess Oto, the turtle Kame and Prince Kaisu…

    Regards and Thanks,

    Jack Dwyer.

    • val on 12 September 2018 at 1:52 PM
    • Reply

    Used to be a programme called Channel 7 State Affair circa 1970s, 80s. Looking for a Mrs Kathleen Trimmer who translated and performed Waltzing Matilda.

    • Rita on 5 November 2018 at 7:49 PM
    • Reply

    Hi i was wondering if there is any footage of the Pre Royal Melbourne Show Parade which was held in the late 1970s.
    It was a showcase of what you could see at the Royal Melbourne Show. It started at the top of Swanston street and there were crowds of people bringing their kids to see it.
    I remember it so well. I was actually in it one year. I rode my horse and it was part of the Pinto Association.
    Can anyone help.

    • Alice on 21 November 2018 at 4:21 PM
    • Reply

    Does anyone have any information about a Talent Show by Crawford Productions, called “Holden Showcase”, in approx. late 1960’s or early 1970’s, which was held in Adelaide. I am particularly interested in tracing any Band who actually performed on this show and Won first prize.

    • Leanne McLeish on 8 December 2018 at 10:56 PM
    • Reply

    Trying to find footage of the Lynne Dickson Dance Academy that appeared on Pot of Gold between 1975-78.


    • Lisa on 19 December 2018 at 12:06 AM
    • Reply

    When I was in primary school back in the 70s early eighties local primary schools would get a choir together near Christmas and gtsbkn would film them singing carols and show them as a fill in after the news I think or before.. just wondering if they are somewhere in the archives and can be accessed and viewed?? Thankyou..

    • warwick on 31 January 2020 at 3:55 PM
    • Reply

    Hi I am trying to find some footage of a TV ad that was filmed in Brisbane though was made for the NT market for a then Brisbane based soft drink maker – called Tristrams. The ad never ran on commercial TV in Brisbane, and only aired in the NT market from the early to mid 1970’s.
    Look forward to a reply.

    1. Not sure who would have that. You could try the National Film and Sound Archive.

    • Ross Kelly on 1 April 2020 at 5:51 PM
    • Reply

    As the son of Isa Kelly who did the a segment during GMV Juniors.
    I am wondering if you have any form of media about her and her segments.
    She was recognized in the area for the work she did at GMV6 at the time, and it was over a number of years [i guessing] in the 70s.
    Thank you
    Ross kelly

    1. Hi Ross, I am not aware of any content featuring Isa, sorry.

    • Matt ODonoghue on 31 May 2020 at 6:54 PM
    • Reply

    Hi I’m trying to find an image of my brother Steven ODonoghue who played football for Berri Football Club: he took a spectacular mark back in the late 70’s and apparently the image was used as a backdrop on your Sports/Footy show: If you have any recollection in your archives it would be much appreciated .we are holding a surprise (very secret squirrel this) 60th and would love to find this image.

    • Matt ODONOGHUE on 31 May 2020 at 6:57 PM
    • Reply

    My apologies the tv station was RTS5a in Loxton in the Riverland South Australia re looking for an image of my brother Steven ODONOGHUE taking a spectacular mark in the late 70’s and the image was used as a backdrop on your new Sports show

    1. Hi Matt. You might be best to contact WIN Television in Riverland.

    • Stephen Cox on 4 June 2020 at 7:52 PM
    • Reply

    I have vague memories of a drama/comedy show with a pair of accidental detectives who frequently screwed up with an often punchline of “Well that seemed to go pretty well” despite that being a disaster. Number 2 guy had dark curly hair. Probably 70s or 80s

    • Karen on 27 September 2020 at 7:25 PM
    • Reply

    Good Evening,
    We would like to obtain footage from Family Feud with Tony Barber, filmed in Perth Western Australia in about March 1978.
    The episodes we are looking for are with the John Family.

    Thank you; kind regards,

    1. You may need to try contacting Fremantle (producers of the show), the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra, or the Australian Television Archive

    • John Keys on 6 February 2021 at 3:54 PM
    • Reply

    Im trying to find This week has seven days. It was a Saturday afternoon show. My Uncle Jack use to recite Bango Patterson and the like.

      • Jane on 8 March 2023 at 7:36 PM
      • Reply

      Hello. I’m look for Brisbane TV guide March 1973.
      I think the Everely Bros starred on Brisbsne TV March 8 1973..
      If you would kindly help me .
      Thank you.

      1. Hi Jane I don’t have access to TV guides for Brisbane for that period. You might wish to try your state library as they may have newspaper archives that you can search for TV guides.

    • Sharon Ferris on 15 February 2021 at 8:35 PM
    • Reply

    I am looking for a talent show, that was on Australian Television in the 1970’s – mainly singers from memory. All I seem to find is New Faces but I’m sure it was called something else but I can’t remember! My Dad was a contestant and I would love to view old footage. Not even too sure if this is possible, given I can’t remember the name of it!

    1. Hi Sharon. For more information please refer to this page

      But without a name or date of broadcast, I don’t think anybody will be able to assist.

        • Jurgen Zoller on 25 March 2021 at 11:38 PM
        • Reply

        Pot of gold with somebody hamblin jnr

          • Herbie on 13 August 2022 at 9:09 PM
          • Reply

          Tommy Hanlon Jr

    • alison on 21 February 2021 at 7:22 PM
    • Reply

    Looking for a show that is called letter box in Australia! My husband was on this show in the early eighties! tia if anyone has a link Xx

    1. Produced by Channel Seven in Perth. Unclear if any footage survives.

    • Amy on 16 June 2021 at 11:23 AM
    • Reply

    I am after some footage going back to 1970-1976?
    Sometime between these dates some wild bulls escaped the Pooraka Abattoir in Adelaide and were running down Main North Road and into business. My dad at the time was a stockman and was caught on video rounding up the bulls on the highway. It was one of my dad’s favorite stories and he is now old and I would love to track down the footage of him so he could show us kids. Do you have this footage?

    1. Hi Amy. I can only suggest you contact the TV stations in Adelaide directly or the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra.

    • Deb on 22 June 2021 at 8:09 AM
    • Reply

    Good morning, I am looking for an episode of Stairway to the Stars when Normie Rowe was on. The act was of 3 girls doing dancing and acrobats and known as the Jennifer Bowman Dancers. Can you help please?

    1. try the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra

        • Deb on 24 June 2021 at 9:31 AM
        • Reply

        No luck there, but thank you anyway.

    • James Warner on 31 August 2021 at 8:43 PM
    • Reply

    Hello there… am trying to find information and footage for “Love Sunday” I believe was one of the first national broadcasts for Channel 7 around 1970… It was a live broadcast from St Stevens Presbyterian Church in Sydney … I sang there as a soloist choirboy “Where is love” (From Oliver)… would love to get footage if possible… It was emotional for me at the time and found out several years later I was actually adopted…

    1. we don’t have any video archive but you could try the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra, or the Australian Television Archive.

    • Brent edwards on 10 July 2022 at 6:34 PM
    • Reply

    Are there any archives of wide bay tv charity challenge episodes from the late 1970’s?

    1. Try the National Film and Sound Archive

    • Herbie on 13 August 2022 at 9:18 PM
    • Reply

    In Melbourne on a Saturday a.m. about 9:30, 10-ish in early 70s (about ‘72 – ‘75) there was a tv show that I think was Channel O. Evil guy with a cape and a Morticia-type character. Like a dark, evil version of Adventure Island… Melodrama… definitely during B&W tv period. Anyone know the name?

    • Amanda Livingstone Carter on 12 December 2022 at 12:32 PM
    • Reply

    Hello, my late mother Dorothy Livingstone was a regular on a Ch 3 TV panel chat show a bit like Ch 7’s? Beauty and The Beast around the 70’s. I think called Talking Point of which I could only find a different show called that on another channel.
    Thank you for your help, would be lovely to have some record of this for family and future descendants ????

    1. Hi Amanda, I am not familiar with that program but given you mentioned Channel 3 I suspect you are referring to NBN3 in Newcastle? You might need to contact NBN to see if it has any information about that program. Alternatively you could try the National Film and Sound Archive at

    • Nergis Karakas on 18 December 2022 at 9:30 PM
    • Reply

    Hi my name is Nergis when l was about 8 or 9 stv 8 came to our house and did a small program about our Islamic Easter where we sacrifice a lamb, father’s name was Orhan Akkas. Both my parent’s and younger brother have passed away, l would love to see this footage please can you help.
    Kind regards
    Nergis Karakas.

    1. Hi Nergis, you could try WIN Television in Mildura at 18 Deakin Avenue, Mildura VIC 3500, or WIN’s Victorian network head office at PO Box 691, Ballarat VIC 3350.

      Alternatively, the National Film and Sound Archive or the Australian Television Archive.

    • Rod on 18 August 2023 at 3:11 PM
    • Reply

    There was a children’s show, the children in the show were akin to ‘investigators’, they rode mini bikes and from memory the show was set in the bush. I think it was a show in a show. This was broadcast on Sydney TV early 1970s. Any thoughts please?

    • Hugh Nicholson on 16 September 2023 at 2:39 PM
    • Reply

    Dear Librarian / Archivist,

    In the late 1970s a group of friends formed the Terania Native Forests Action Group to try to stop the proposed logging of the rainforests of Terania Creek. Our activities culminated in a blockade which eventually led to the protection of the area in the Nightcap National Park and the decision by Premier Neville Wran to protect thousands of hectares of rainforest between Newcastle and the Queensland Border.

    During our campaign we made an advertisement. This was the first time a conservation group had done such a thing. Using the skills of the group we told the story of the life-threatening risk for ‘Cathy’ driving her kids to the school bus and meeting a loaded timber truck on the narrow, winding Terania Creek Road.

    We had very little funds so could only afford to pay for its showing a couple of times during the prime time evening news broadcast. However, the sawmill owners complained about the advertisement and it became a news item in its own right – so was shown each evening for about a week.

    This was a wonderful outcome for us. Unfortunately we did not keep a copy of the film – not realising the significance of the ad. at the time.

    Is there any chance that you might have it as part of your archived news footage? Or, if you have not completed archiving the news from that time, could you keep an eye out for it?


    Hugh Nicholson

    1. Hi Hugh thanks for your message. This website is not a video archive. You might be best to try the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra, or the Australian Television Archive.

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