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Lachy Hulme managed to portray two generations of the Packer family in separate dramas depicting both generations’ impact on our media landscape. He played the senior Packer, Sir Frank, in Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch Story, and Sir Frank’s son, Kerry (pictured) in Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War.

The advent of digital television a decade earlier has now seen the industry bombard the market with more viewing choice than ever before, with each commercial network pumping out additional digital channels and a datacast channel as well as their primary channel, and national broadcasters ABC and SBS also offering multiple channel options.  Meanwhile, free-to-air and pay-TV operators experiment with 3D technology as analogue television is switched off for good.



  • May: Test transmissions in 3D TV start on Foxtel, the Nine Network and SBS.
  • June 30:  Shutdown of analogue television services: Mildura VIC
  • July 22:  ABC launches ABC News 24, the first 24-hour free-to-air news channel in Australia.
  • August 26:  Network Ten announces plans to launch a new digital channel, Eleven, which will present a youth-focused, entertainment line-up, with prime-time to be headlined by Neighbours and US series The Simpsons.
  • August 27: Neighbours screens its 6000th episode
  • September 25:  The Seven Network replaces its high-definition channel 7HD with a new channel, 7mate.
  • September 26:  The Nine Network replaces its high-definition channel 9HD with GEM
  • October:  Network Ten and Foxtel cover the 2010 Commonwealth Games from Delhi, India
  • December 15:  Shutdown of analogue television services: Regional SA, Broken Hill NSW
  • TV Week Gold Logie Winner:  Ray Meagher (Home And Away, Seven)

Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo


  • January 11:  Network Ten launches its new digital channel, Eleven. Neighbours moves across from Ten to Eleven.
  • January 24:  Network Ten launches 6PM With George Negus and state-based 6.30pm news bulletins to supplement the 5.00pm news and The 7PM Project.
  • April 17-18:  Mini-series Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo draws high ratings for ABC.
  • April 29:  The wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton is broadcast across the ABC, Seven, Nine and Ten networks as well as pay-TV channels Sky News Australia, BBC World News, E!, Fox News, UKTV and CNN.
  • May 5:  Shutdown of analogue television services: Regional VIC
  • Go Back To Where You Came From

    June:  The three-part documentary series Go Back To Where You Came From, putting a ‘reality’ twist on the asylum seeker debate, is a ratings hit for SBS.

  • August 6:  Network Ten’s music video show Video Hits ends after a 24-year run.
  • August 22:  Current affairs program Four Corners celebrates its 50th anniversary.
  • October 6:  ABC’s television adaptation of the book The Slap receives rave reviews and debuts to high ratings.
  • November 25:  Showbiz veteran and co-presenter on The Circle, Denise Drysdale announces her retirement from television.  Kerri-Anne Kennerley signs off from the last Kerri-Anne show on the Nine Network.
  • December 6:  Shutdown of analogue television services: Regional QLD
  • TV Week Gold Logie Winner:  Karl Stefanovic (Today, Nine)



  • February 23:  Network Ten launches its new breakfast news program, Breakfast, as a competitor to Sunrise, Today and ABC News Breakfast.  The program is axed in November after poor ratings.
  • April:  The Nine Network aggressively challenges the Seven Network’s ratings lead with the launch of reality talent contest The Voice and new series of Celebrity Apprentice and The Block.
  • June 5:  Shutdown of analogue television services: Southern NSW, Canberra ACT, Griffith NSW.
  • July-August: Nine Network and Foxtel cover the Games Of The XXX Olympiad from London, United Kingdom.  Nine offers a single channel of coverage (in both standard and high definition), while Foxtel offers eight separate channels (also both in standard and high definition).  Nine’s coverage includes a trial transmission in 3D format.
  • August 3:  The final edition of Network Ten’s mid-morning program The Circle.
  • August 13: The Nine Network revives Big Brother with new host Sonia Kruger.
  • August:  Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War dramatises the media tycoon’s 1970s battle with the cricket establishment in setting up World Series Cricket for his Nine Network.
  • October 2:  Telemovie Underground: The Julian Assange Story is a rare ratings success for the Ten Network.
  • October:  Nine Entertainment Co. (assets including TCN Sydney, GTV Melbourne, QTQ Brisbane, NTD Darwin, NBN Northern NSW) negotiates a deal with its lenders to wipe out $3 billion of debt with control of the company handed to its major lenders.  Network Ten reports a full-year loss of $12.9 million following poor ratings performance for a string of new program titles.
  • November 27:  Shutdown of analogue television services: Northern NSW
  • December 12:  NITV commences free-to-air broadcast via SBS
  • TV Week Gold Logie Winner: Hamish Blake (Hamish And Andy’s Gap Year, Nine)




At The Movies


  • January 1: Foxtel replaces ‘greatest hits’ channel TV1 with TVH!TS and sci-fi channel SF with SyFy.
  • February: Mini-series INXS: Never Tear Us Apart is a ratings hit for Seven.
  • March 2: The Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras is televised on SBS2 — the first time on free-to-air television in 12 years.
  • August 3: Network Ten celebrates its 50th anniversary with 50 Years Young.
  • September 28: ABC’s Asia Pacific service, Australia Television, is closed down following termination of contract by the Federal Government.
  • October: ABC’s Mental As…, a week of special programs across television, radio and online platforms dedicated to the topic of mental health, raises over $1.4 million for mental health research.
  • October 24: Neighbours screens its 7000th episode
  • December 5: Funding cuts to the ABC lead to the cancellation of state-based Friday night editions of 7.30 (formerly Stateline)
  • December 9: Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton host the last edition of At The Movies, ending a 28-year partnership in reviewing films.
  • TV Week Gold Logie Winner: Scott Cam (The Block, Nine)

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here


  • February 1: The first Australian series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here debuts.
  • March: Neighbours celebrates its 30th anniversary with former cast members returning to the series; and a 90-minute special Neighbours 30th: The Stars Reunite.
  • August 29: The Seven Network launches horse racing channel
  • November 3: The Seven Network begins live streaming of its four free-to-air channels.
  • November 17: SBS launches new channel, Food Network.
  • November 26: The Nine Network launches lifestyle channel 9Life and resumes high definition simulcast of its primary Nine channel.
  • December 20: Community channel TVS, Sydney, ceases free-to-air broadcast.
  • TV Week Gold Logie Winner: Carrie Bickmore (The Project, Ten)


  • TV At 60: TCN9 Sydney, HSV7 Melbourne, ABN2 Sydney, ABV2 Melbourne, ATN7 Sydney.
  • February 28: The Seven Network launches new channel 7flix, offering an emphasis on movies and kids entertainment.
  • March 2: Ten resumes high definition simulcast of its primary channel.
  • July 1: Southern Cross Austereo changes its regional affiliation from Ten to Nine in regional Queensland, Southern NSW/ACT and Victoria. WIN switches from Nine to Ten in the same markets as well as Tasmania and Western Australia.
  • August: The Games Of The XXXI Olympiad are broadcast on Seven from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Seven presents broadcast coverage across three channels plus streaming online and mobile.
  • November 15: SBS2 is replaced with SBS Viceland, a joint venture between SBS and American content provider Vice.
  • TV Week Gold Logie Winner: Waleed Aly (The Project, Ten)


  • TV At 60: GTV9 Melbourne
  • June 14: Network Ten is placed into voluntary administration
  • July 1: Receivers are appointed to Network Ten.
  • July 9: Sports game show Australian Ninja Warrior, based on a Japanese format, debuts to high ratings.
  • November 16: US broadcaster CBS completes its acquisition of Network Ten
  • December 4: ABC2 relaunches as ABC Comedy
  • TV Week Gold Logie Winner: Samuel Johnson (Molly, Seven)


  • January 7: SBS presents Australia’s first “slow TV” experience — The Ghan, an abridged version of the 54-hour train journey between Adelaide and Darwin.
  • April: Seven broadcasts the Commonwealth Games from Gold Coast, Queensland.
  • September 3: Neighbours presents Australian television’s first legal same-sex wedding.
  • October 1: Children’s animated series Bluey begins on ABC Kids. It goes on to become a hit for ABC and is sold extensively overseas.
  • October 31: Network Ten launches a new ’10’ logo and announces its new streaming platform, 10 All Access. Secondary channels One and Eleven are re-named 10 Boss (later 10 Bold) and 10 Peach respectively.
  • December 1: The Seven Network launches a new channel, 7Food.
  • December 7: Nine Entertainment Co (Nine Network, Stan, NBN) completes merger with Fairfax Media (Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Australian Financial Review, etc.)
  • December 21: Neighbours‘ 8000th episode.
  • TV Week Gold Logie Winner: Grant Denyer (Family Feud/All Star Family Feud, Ten). The first Logie Awards to be held in Queensland.


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    • Neil Forbes on 24 January 2014 at 12:47 AM
    • Reply

    You forgot one…. 22nd January, 2012. After an absence of nearly 24 years, old favourite Young Talent Time makes a welcome return. Sadly, only 13 or 14 editions are made and the bright and talented new YTT team don’t get a much-deserved second season in 2013

    • Andrew on 24 January 2014 at 5:51 PM
    • Reply

    that show ended up being axed

      • Neil Forbes on 25 January 2014 at 1:34 AM
      • Reply

      Exactly!!! I suspect the network might’ve sabotaged the show by the change in timeslot from Sundays at 7.00pm to Fridays at the same time. They should’ve left the show where it was. There wasn’t anything significant up against the show on Sundays, really. And the show was already building a following. The one thing I really liked about the show was that it WASN’T sponsored by McDonalds. There were no animal characters and puppets to distract the viewers from the obviously-talented members of the new “team”. The use of such in the “original” YTT back in the late 1970s through to the show’s demise was, I suspect, at the urging of McDonalds with the effect(likely intended by McDonalds) to swing the emphasis away from the “Talent” and toward the “Cute Kiddies” angle because McDonalds mainly catered to kids. And that might be part of the reason why the first YTT met its demise in 1988.

    • andrew on 25 January 2014 at 11:54 AM
    • Reply

    in regional Victoria it was cancelled because viewers complained it started to aim more at preschoolers

      • Neil Forbes on 19 February 2014 at 8:27 AM
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      The original show(YTT Mk.1 1971-1988) certainly did and I suspect that had a great deal to do with the sponsor, a well-known American-based hamburger chain franchise, exerting excessive influence on the show. For obvious legal reasons, I did not name the company, but the influence was there to be seen in the greater use of puppets and people dressed up in animal-character suits. I note I did mention the brand in my 25/1/2014 post, but covered myself legally by saying “I Suspect” in the sentence. Thankfully, the new reborn YTT from 22/1/2012 did not have such influence and, as a result, no animal puppets and the show was targeted toward the same age-group as the kids in the new “team”. On Station NBN-Newcastle the original show ran from late 1971 to late 1975, then disappeared for a few years, re-emerging in its old Sunday 5.00pm timeslot. On its return I saw for myself the “corruptive influence”, as I saw it, had on the show. When a camera took an audience shot, there was a total absence of teenagers, just adult chaperones for the toddlers who made up the bulk of the audience. That hamburger chain has a lot to answer for, in my view!

      1. haha not

    • Andrew M on 19 February 2014 at 4:17 PM
    • Reply

    you did mentioned McDonalds that is a registered Trade Mark Name

      • Neil Forbes on 20 February 2014 at 1:29 AM
      • Reply

      Yes, Andrew, and as I said, I noted my mention as a correction whilst writing my post yesterday(19th February, 2014 at 8.27am), But, as I said, I covered myself legally by using the words “I Suspect” in the sentence.

    • Neil Forbes on 26 February 2014 at 4:35 PM
    • Reply

    On some occasions when watching the YTT Tells All DVD, in the Profiles section of the disc, the one on Rod Kirkham has a clip of him talking about the emphasis of the show swinging “From Talent To Cute”. He said he felt embarrassed to watch the show in its latter years because of that ‘talent to cute’ factor. I have to say I wholeheartedly agree with him.

    • Andrew on 26 February 2014 at 6:22 PM
    • Reply

    it be good to see full episodes of YTT on DVD but I wont hold my breath due to some episodes being junked and copyright issues

      • Neil Forbes on 27 February 2014 at 4:57 PM
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      Andrew, Issues of copyright would be covered in-so-far as Johnny Young holds the rights to the shows themselves(those episodes that survived the mass wiping), the only issue to do with copyright that might cause a problem is from the music itself. Ownership rights on lyrics having changed hands, sometimes having changed several times over since their first performance, e.g. Johnny Young’s own compositions which were once handled by E.H. Morris & Co, are now with Chappell Music Ltd.

      • Neil Forbes on 5 March 2014 at 5:10 PM
      • Reply

      I do remember a friend having Foxtel installed some years back(when I lived at Stockton) and the programme book listed Young Talent Time in the schedule of one of its “channels”. Johnny Young would probably have “presented” surviving full editions or a highlights package. Having not actually seen them, I couldn’t say how it was done. There’s no likelihood of me finding out either because I’ve sworn NEVER to have Foxtel on my set ’cause I don’t want to be giving my money to that King of Sleaze, Rupert Murdoch.

    • Andrew on 6 March 2014 at 6:51 PM
    • Reply

    I think it was on TV1 to my memory

      • Neil Forbes on 11 March 2014 at 3:26 AM
      • Reply

      Thanks for that info, Andrew! I knew it was(as many episodes as could be run) on a Foxtel “channel” but, not wanting to give any of my money to sleaze-merchant Rupert Murdoch, I wasn’t going to subscribe to his Pay-Tv system. Why pay for something you can get for free?

    • Andrew on 11 March 2014 at 9:06 PM
    • Reply

    well if one of the freeview channels likely be ONE or 11 might show a few episodes from the late seventies featuring the very young Tina Arena or tiny tina as she was called it be wonderful to see those episodes again

      • Neil Forbes on 12 March 2014 at 2:59 AM
      • Reply

      The only problem with those late-1970s-era episodes is the puppets and animal characters introduced into the show under(believed to be) McDonalds’ influence. That’s what spoiled the programme. To quote your own post of 25/1/2014 at 11.54am, “in regional Victoria it was cancelled because viewers complained it started to aim more at pre-schoolers”. This is part of the push away from the “Talent” angle and toward the “Cute Kiddies who sing” angle. As I mentioned on 26/1/2014 at 4.35pm, the YTT Tells All DVD has Rod Kirkham telling how he became embarrassed to watch the show because of the switch of emphasis. And this is why YTT Mk.2 from 2012 was so good, they got back to the emphasis on Talent! The kids on the new version were short-changed! They should’ve been given a second or even a third series to really “shine” because they truly embodied the finest traditions and intent of Young Talent Time.

      1. But nobody watched YTT Mk. 2. That’s why it was not renewed.

          • Neil Forbes on 15 March 2014 at 2:13 AM
          • Reply

          Well, I watched it and certainly enjoyed it. My congratulations to the team of kids who performed as regular team members and the contestants, and a particular mention to Tina Arena, who filled the shoes of (the late) Evie Hayes brilliantly! Well done Tina. Evie would’ve been proud of you!

      • Neil Forbes on 15 March 2014 at 2:16 AM
      • Reply

      I checked on my EPG for both platforms and could find no listing for the show, either through the week or, as would’ve been more likely, over the weekend. Nowhere to be found.

    • andrew on 13 March 2014 at 10:22 AM
    • Reply

    Network Ten continued airing compilation episodes in early 1989, initially as “The Best of Young Talent Time” at 7.30 on Friday nights, then as “Young Talent Time Favorites” at 11.00 on Saturday mornings. The last of these aired in Melbourne on Saturday 1 April 1989.

    • Neil Forbes on 26 March 2014 at 5:48 PM
    • Reply

    I think I’ve said enough on the subject of Young Talent Time. I’ll finish the subject by saying thank-you to Johnny Young, (posthumously) Kevin Lewis, and to all who were part of the “team” from 1971 to 1988, and extend the thanks to Rob “Millsy” Mills and the 2012 “Team”. For the all-too-brief time you were on, you made TV watchable. My heartiest congratulations to all concerned with YTT, both Mk.1 and Mk.2.

    • Martin on 30 March 2014 at 3:08 PM
    • Reply

    thanks for your recollections of television neil over the past 40 years or so. I have read somewhere if you revive a show from the past it doesn’t have that same feeling with the YTT or as I would dubbed it Young Talent Time the new generation had the same effect as the pop show Countdown that lasted twelve months as you can see you cant recycle old shows they have done their time and is impossible to revive them again that’s why they get low ratings

      • Neil Forbes on 3 April 2014 at 2:31 AM
      • Reply

      Yes, Martin, I concede your point. But it was such a shame these kids from the new version did not get a second series, as the kids in the new show had what it takes – and more – to make the show work. Youngest of them at the time was Aydan, then 11 years old, now a teenager. Jamie Redfern, if you’re reading this, how ’bout taking young Aydan under your wing and mentoring him? He most certainly deserves a break, as do they all from that new YTT Mk.2.

    • Neil Forbes on 12 April 2014 at 1:26 AM
    • Reply

    Anyone see Media Watch on ABC-1 for Monday, 7th April, 2014? Seems one of the three commercial TV networks is up to its eyes in financial doggie-doos! TEN-Sydney, ATV-Melbourne, TVQ-Brisbane and other affiliates in Adelaide and Perth are staring down the barrel of likely bankruptcy, or that’s how it appears at the moment. Market aggregation has a lot to answer for!
    If each regional TV station stayed within its original market boundaries, and a second independent station was allowed to set up in each market, the incumbent and the “new chum” would then compete for the pick of the best shows from the metro stations, without being tied to them. The regionals would retain their independence and autonomy and the advertising dollar would not be stretched to the point of resembling copper wire! This would have the effect that, in the event of what is likely to happen here, the regionals would simply lose one of their three sources of programme content… no great loss! They’d still have the other two from which to draw their shows.

    • john on 13 April 2014 at 11:38 AM
    • Reply

    I cant really comment Neil due to fact this is mainly a nostalgic site (please keep that in mind) do you remember television thirty years ago if you say yes but can you imagine what television be like 30 years time it would have multiview channels that will give you a selection what programs that you watch EG movies to music as for channel ten and their stations Sydney and their capital city counter parts we come into the phase of all stations gone digital I depicted that 30 years ago when I was in Brisbane and saw the very first demonstration on the CD Player and I was thinking ok if they can transform analogue to digital I wonder if they can do that with television and thirty years later here we are so you see Neil in the next half a century or so we will lose regional stations and all will become city 100% viewing

      • Neil Forbes on 16 April 2014 at 5:57 PM
      • Reply

      John, The digital system of now would work just as well if Market Aggregation had NOT occurred. If each regional broadcaster had stayed within its own market, and the new independent opposition brought into each of those markets, using my own region as a hypothetical example, we would have NBN as the incumbent, an opposition which, for the purpose of this post, we’ll call Hunter Valley Media Service(HVMS, for short), these plus ABC and SBS. ABC has its 1, 2/4 Kids, 3 and News24 platforms, SBS its I and 2, NITV and High Definition platforms(plus whatever else it might have) NBN would have Extra-1 and Extra-2(rather than Go or GEM) and HVMS would have Valley One and Valley Two alongside its main platform. Effectively this gives NBN and its rival, three platforms each to run shows however they see fit, they retain independence and programming autonomy, and should any of the three metropolitan stations go down the gurgle-hole, it would be merely one less source of content, no great loss! Digital television would’ve given regional viewers a better choice under this method and the regional stations would’ve been able to keep their LOCAL identity, and autonomy. Digital could’ve really MADE regional TV! We’ll never know now ’cause it was BOTCHED UP in 1986!

      1. I think we’re straying from the main point of this page.

          • Neil Forbes on 24 April 2014 at 12:01 AM
          • Reply

          I think I’ve already replied here, I don’t really think we’re straying too far from the point of this website. I am looking back to the mid-1980s when the market aggregation model was dreamt up and first implemented, and has, 28 years down the track, proven itself to be an unmitigated disaster for regional viewers. Being able to see an episode of Home And Away or any other show at the same time as our Sydney “cousins” is NOT worth losing our local stations’ own regional identities. That is A BRIDGE TOO FAR!!!”

            • Andrew B on 25 April 2014 at 12:12 PM

            Neil I was talking about this page in particular, not the entire site. In any case you’ve more than made your opinion known so let’s move on.

    • Neil Forbes on 7 May 2014 at 6:52 PM
    • Reply

    Take a look at the article about Pete Smith and Philip Brady doing their own thing on home-built studios(early podcasts). Would’ve loved to have seen photos if any existed. I’m fascinated with this stuff, having myself been involved with community radio.

    • Andrew M on 4 October 2017 at 2:08 AM
    • Reply

    The ninja warrior did that end up being axed ?

    • frances on 17 March 2019 at 8:53 PM
    • Reply

    neighbours the last day of sonia and toddie episode was the best acting ive seen in a long while on the beach as she died , it broke me up it was a special place in the neighjbours series. hope they get some award thank you ….ive watched the show for long time

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