Sunday, 29 July 2007

Lucky Grills

Making news this weekend was the passing of veteran actor and performer Lucky Grills who died early on Saturday morning at his Gold Coast home. He was 79.

Grills most famous role came in 1976 as the unlikely detective Bluey Hills in the Melbourne-based police drama Bluey. The series had only a short run but gained a cult following almost 20 years later when the D Generation's The Late Show overdubbed footage and the character Bluey Hills was renamed the comical Bargearse, a cop with a penchant for donuts and over-eating.

Other television roles included appearances in Matlock Police, A Country Practice, Glenview High, Special Squad, Fire and the mini-series Vietnam.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Somebody else's Sons & Daughters?

Last year, Seven decided to roll out early episodes of their hit '80s soap Sons And Daughters in a daytime timeslot. The revival - loosely timed to coincide with the show's 25th anniversary and DVD release - was short-lived as no sooner had lovers John (Peter Phelps) and Angela (Ally Fowler) been revealed to be long-lost brother and sister, that the re-runs were taken out of the schedule.

Fans could have therefore been excited to see the title re-appear in Seven's afternoon line-up this week but would have since found that instead of the suburban Palmers and the snobby Hamiltons, there was an American sitcom which just happens to have the same title.

The US-styled Sons And Daughters was a short-lived production (only thirteen episodes) for commercial network ABC. For Australians the only familiar face among the cast list is Dee Wallace, best known for her role in the movie ET - The Extra Terrestrial.

Sons And Daughters, American-style, weekday afternoons on Seven*

Pictured: Rowena Wallace, Pat McDonald and Kim Lewis from the Australian Sons And Daughters.

* Melbourne. Other areas check local guides/affiliates

Sunday, 8 July 2007

TelevisionAU Website Update 8-Jul-07

Here's two more weather girl presenters that did not get included in our Flashback #38 tribute. Briony Behets (pictured left with newsreader Bruce Mansfield) was a model before turning actress with roles in steamy soap operas Number 96 and The Box, and then later becoming a weather presenter at Melbourne ATV0's Eyewitness News in 1976. At the same time, Melbourne's GTV9 announced their new weather presenter, Kerry Armstrong - fresh out of school and later to go onto an acting career in movies and television. (Pictures: TV Week, 7 February 1976)

In over fifty years of Australian television, only one name has been an almost constant presence during that time - Bert Newton.

Melbourne & Regional Victoria (1967, 1973)
Melbourne (1973, 1975, 1976, 1979)
Sydney (1978, 1980, 1985, 1989)
Brisbane (1976)
Brisbane & Regional Queensland (1984)
Adelaide (1987)


Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Number 96: Where are they now..?

Ever wondered what happened to the cast members of Number 96?

Following from a recent reunion of cast members from The Young Doctors (1976-83), this week's episode of Seven's Where Are They Now? features a reunion of former cast members of the saucy 1970s soap that was a ratings giant.

Sadly, favourites like Ron Shand and Pat McDonald (pictured) are no longer with us, but it will be interesting if Seven concedes to feature possibly the only 96 cast member to still have a prime-time role on television, Tom Oliver from rival Network Ten's Neighbours.

Where Are They Now?, Sunday night at 6.30pm on Seven*

* Seven Melbourne. Other areas check local guides/affiliates

The sun sets on Southern Cross

One of the largest takeovers in Australian regional television is set to unfold with Macquarie Media Group (MMG) making a bid to take over the media assets of Southern Cross Broadcasting (SCB).

The Southern Cross Broadcasting empire, which began with two regional television stations in Victoria in the 1980s, has expanded to a network of television stations stretching from Hobart to Cairns, and across to Darwin - with its Southern Cross Ten and Southern Cross Television brands. It also controls Seven Central which serves outback centres such as Alice Springs and Mt Isa and via satellite to remote areas in the eastern and central timezones, and has half-shares in both Tasmanian Digital Television and Darwin Digital Television. SCB also recently sold its Adelaide television station NWS9 to rival regional broadcaster WIN.

In the deal announced today, MMG has made an offer to the value of $1.35 billion for the media assets of SCB - primarily for the purposes of taking over the regional television outlets to supplement its existing network of 87 regional radio stations.

MMG plans to offload the radio stations of SCB to Fairfax Media (publisher of newspapers The Age and Sydney Morning Herald) for a sum of around $480 million which will give Fairfax the talk radio network headed by 2UE and 3AW, and music stations Magic 1278 Melbourne, 4BH Brisbane and 96FM in Perth. Fairfax is also to acquire the production company Southern Star and music distribution business Satellite Music Australia.

SCB shareholders are to vote on the offer in October, though the bid already has the support of the board of SCB.

Source: The Australian