Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Another network?

watchTV Australia could be about to get a fourth commercial TV network - after the analogue transmitters are all shutdown.

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, speaking at a communications conference said that all options for re-utilisation of the spectrum currently being used by analogue television will be open for consideration.

Analogue television is due to shutdown in 2013 and will free up huge amounts of broadcast spectrum.

The question is, in this age of declining free-to-air audiences  tvscreensand the increasing competition that is going to come from new digital channels in the near future anyway - plus whatever extra ABC and SBS can offer, plus the growth of pay-TV and online media - do we need another commercial network? Is another network going to provide anything so dramatically different to what we've already got?  Is another commercial network going to stop the decline of free-to-air audiences?  And do we need another channel to bring us more reality shows, infomercials, sensationalist current affairs and gratuitous product-placement?

Of course, on the flipside, an extra commercial network could bring some innovation to the medium, although - as we've seen in radio in recent times - bringing in new players might bring in some initial innovation but eventually they fall to the same level as the existing players once the novelty wears off and commercial realities hit home.

Source: The Australian

Sunday, 27 April 2008

It must be awards season...

Logieaward The TV Week Logie Awards are now just a week away (has everyone made their last-minute vote for the 'Race for Gold'?).

The Fugly Awards are also down to the last week of voting while they figure out how they're going to present them this Friday 2 May.

Last week saw pay-TV's annual awards, The ASTRAs, handed out to their favourite shows and presenters, and the MTV Australia Awards did their bit for the music industry with a few TV awards thrown in.

And from tonight, Sunday, it's the turn of the community TV sector to present its annual accolades with the Antenna Awards.

This year's Antennas were actually handed out in a presentation last Thursday night in Melbourne, but the event is being broadcast on the various Channel 31's at various times from tonight.

channel31 Melbourne: C31 (pictured), Tonight/Sunday 27 April, 7.30pm

Perth: Access 31, Tonight/Sunday 27 April, 7.30pm

Brisbane: 31, Sunday 4 May, 7.30pm

Sydney: TVS, Sunday 4 May, 7.30pm

Nominations for the Antennas are submitted from all over Australia.  The winners are decided by an appointed panel of judges in the following categories:

Best Indigenous Program
Best News or Current Affair Program
Best Camera Work
Best Editing
Best Program that supports New and Emerging Communties
Best Music Program
Best Theme Music Composition
Best Young Persons Program
Best Live or Outside Broadcast
Best Lifestyle Program
Best Comedy Program
Best Interview Show
Best Sound
Best Sports Program
Best Special Presentation
Best Arts Program
Best CALD Program
Best Female Presenter
Best Male Presenter
Best Director
Producer of the Year
Best Program

Saturday, 26 April 2008

1978: April 29-May 5

tvtimes_290478 Chopper Squad star's secret fear!
Dennis Grosvenor
, one of the lead actors in the new 0-10 Network series Chopper Squad, reveals one of the occupational hazards in filming the action drama - motion sickness! "I generally manage to control it fairly well by making sure I haven't eaten too much before a flying or boating scene," he told TV Times. The series, produced by Reg Grundy Productions, has been sold to Paramount Pictures Television for overseas distribution. (Pictured on the TV Times cover are Grosvenor (centre) with co-stars Eric Oldfield (left) and Robert Coleby.)

Big guns in 7pm battle mikewillesee
A re-shuffle by the Nine Network will now see a revived battle in the 7.00pm weeknight timeslot, with the network's moving of popular drama The Sullivans up against Seven's current affairs program Willesee At Seven and the 0-10 Network's Blankety Blanks. The removal of Nine's former ratings flagship A Current Affair from 7.00pm marks a victory for Seven, but host Mike Willesee (pictured) is not about to be complacent as The Sullivans is a big-budget series and has had considerable success in its previous slot of 7.30pm. The challenge for The Sullivans, though, is to maintain viewers' interest as it moves from a twice-weekly one-hour format to nightly half-hour episodes.

maryhardyShe's a blooming Hardy perennial
Melbourne's Mary Hardy concedes that life in television isn't as easy when you're a woman. While Graham Kennedy has his 'palace' wherever he goes, and Bert Newton and Don Lane at least have private caravans - Hardy (pictured with overseas guest Dan Rowan on a recent Penthouse '78), even after seven years as host of The Penthouse Club, still has no office, no secretary or even a changing room to herself: "I couldn't give a ---- about the trappings, but it also involves consideration and how you are regarded. If a man asks loudly for a chair, someone will race off and get it. If I ask someone to run a broom around the set I'm being a difficult bitch." But apart from her public persona on TV and radio, Hardy credits herself as being 'Australia's most fanatical fan', jetting around the world to places like London, New York and Los Angeles to see stage productions whenever her schedule allows it.

Versatility is the name of Donovan's game
Despite his lowered profile in the long-running TV - Make It Australia campaign, aimed at increasing local content on Australian TV, actor Terry Donovan is still just as concerned at the state of the local industry, "I don't think Australian TV has progressed much in the last few years, and it's a great shame. We've just got more soap operas instead of good dramas, and although the TV stations maintain they've tried, they've improved the quantity of shows - not the quality." Probably not surprisingly, Donovan's latest roles have been in the theatre and movies such as the South Australian production The Money Movers.

Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor:
mikeminehan "For some time I have watched and enjoyed $30,000 Treasure Hunt (0-10 Network) but I feel there is cause for complaint against the pronunciations used by the quizmasters. I shudder each time Mike Minehan (pictured) says "twenny" and that he is unable to say simple words like grown, shown, etc., without adding another letter and making them "growan" and "showan". Surely it is possible to find the correct pronunciation before going to air." E. Fitzpatrick, VIC.

"After all the complaints about sport on TV you would think something would be done. But we still get sport all day Saturday and Sunday. In North Queensland we only have two channels. On the weekend, the commercial station doesn't start until 4.00pm and ABC has sport all afternoon, so we have no choice." S. Alby, QLD.

"Every week I spend 40 cents buying a TV magazine just to know the programs beforehand. However, last Saturday, TEN10 changed the program and instead of showing The Egyptian, they showed City Beneath The Sea, without any regard to the viewer. I took a day off work to see the movie and I ended up like a fool seeing what I had no interest in at all!" Name and address supplied. (TV Times' response: "Bad luck. By the way we've taken your name off your letter just incase you're not self-employed and your boss isn't a movie fan!")

What's On (April 29-May 5):
HSV7 presents a 90-minute special Bob Hope In Australia, a variety special taped before an audience of 8000 at Perth's Entertainment Centre on his recent Australian tour. Also featured in the program are Barbara Eden, Florence Henderson, Kamahl and The Four Kinsmen. The program, produced by Perth's TVW7, is screened around Australia on the Seven Network and in the United States through NBC.

After Bob Hope, HSV7 screens an Australian mystery movie The Death Train, starring Hugh Keays-Byrne, Max Meldrum and Ingrid Mason.

ABV2 screens a BBC documentary The Dawn Of A Solar Age, which examines the potential developments in the use of solar energy and the feasibility of its widespread use.

The Young Doctors promises a cliff-hanger: "Dennis (Chris King) has trouble getting some money he is owed. Somebody else is in bigger trouble stepping into lifts that aren't there," hints Friday's TV listings, to what became a famous incident where Sister Grace Scott (Cornelia Frances), distracted after delivering a stern warning to one of her nurses, walks into an opened lift shaft.

Sunday nights movies are Soylent Green (HSV7), Charley Varrick (GTV9) and an Australian movie Journey Out Of Darkness (ATV0) starring Ed Devereaux and singer Kamahl.

Source: TV Times (Melbourne edition), 29 April 1978. ABC/ACP

Thursday, 24 April 2008

The Top End scores a Ten

180px-Ten_Network_Logo Viewers in Darwin will have a third commercial TV channel from Monday when Darwin Digital Television commences transmission.

The digital-only service, to broadcast on UHF channel 33, is the first new channel to commence operation in Darwin since Seven Darwin (now Southern Cross Darwin) commenced operation in March 1998.  Test transmissions for Darwin Digital commenced earlier this week and the new channel is set to launch at 6.00am on Monday 28 April.

Darwin Digital Television will provide viewers with a dedicated Network Ten signal similar to existing digital channels in Tasmania and Mildura.  The channel is a jointly-owned venture between Macquarie Southern Cross and Territory Television (PBL Media) - the licensees of the city's two existing commercial channels - and finally brings Darwin into line with every other Australian capital city by providing a third commercial channel.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

1978: April 22-28

tvtimes_220478 Serves him right!
On the eve of his visit to Australia, Are You Being Served? star John Inman (pictured) talks to TV Times about his stage career and the fame that comes from being in a hit TV series. But the actor, who admits being in his early 40s, is reluctant to discuss his private life, except that he is a bachelor with no plans to marry, and despite criticisms from the gay lobby about his flamboyant portrayal of Mr Humphries, he says he is asked by the same groups to write for their publications or speak at their meetings, "well of course I wouldn't", he says.

$10m Aussie programs take plunge at Cannes:
Australian programs worth more than $A10 million are about to go on show at the Cannes TV festival MIPTV. ABC, Crawford Productions and the Australian Film Commission will have a presence at the week-long festival. Australian titles being presented to representatives of more than forty countries include documentaries Edge Of The Cold, A Big Country and Peach's Australia, dramas Pig In A Poke, Young Ramsay and The Sullivans, and telemovies Say You Want Me, Cass and A Good Thing Going.

louisephilip Louise's happy birthday:
Former Bellbird actress Louise Philip (pictured) got a surprise phone call on the day before her 21st birthday: "You've got a new TV role in Cop Shop." The young actress who had played orphan girl Christine in Bellbird had been left paralysed from the waist down in a car accident in 1973, and told she would never walk again. In Cop Shop, Philip will play teenager Claire O'Reilly, the daughter of Sgt O'Reilly and his wife Marion, played by former Bellbird cast members Terry Norris and Gerda Nicolson.

Ed Devereaux's feeling like a million:
Former Skippy star Ed Devereaux had left Australia an unhappy man in 1970, but years later is happy to return home for the occasional visit. The actor is in Australia for the role of a disgraced former cop in the movie The Money Movers, and has turned to script writing with a proposal being considered by BBC.

Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor:
"ABC had no sense to drop a great show like Flashez. It was interesting, educational, informative and very enjoyable." E. Wade, VIC.

"Seated in their ivory tower, with their vision reduced by skyscrapers, it would appear that ABC's programmers are more concerned about ratings from nearby city dwellers than Australia as a whole and overlook the fact that city people have a wide range of entertainment not available for country folk." W. Hopson, WA.

"Are showbusiness personalities so insecure that they must continually be reassured by a seemingly endless procession of awards, presented with all the ballyhoo that has come to be associated with such events?" A. Dickens, NSW.

What's On (April 22-28):
ANZAC Day is on 25 April, and both ABV2 and ATV0 screen live telecasts of the ANZAC Commemoration March from the Melbourne CBD. In the afternoon, ABV2 continues the ANZAC theme with documentaries on the Australian Light Horse brigade, and armed services legend Albert Jacka who won the first Victoria Cross awarded to any Australian during World War I. Later that evening, ABC presented Australians Remember, filmed at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

ATV0 screens a 90-minute special The Confessions Of Ronald Biggs: The Great Train Robber. British fugitive Biggs makes a series of confessions and makes new claims about the famous $6 million robbery, labelled by some as the Crime of the Century. The special, filmed in secret in Brazil, was commissioned by Reg Grundy Productions for the 0-10 Network, and headed by former ABC producer Barry Sloane.

ABV2 presents Wednesday night specials; a repeat of Peter Allen In Concert, performed at the Sydney Opera House, and a one-hour documentary on the work of artist Sidney Nolan.

Sunday night's movies are Battered (HSV7), Doctors' Wives (GTV9) and St Ives (ATV0). ABV2 presents The Duchess Of Duke Street, I Claudius, and a history of England's first national ballet company Ballet Rambert.

Source: TV Times (Melbourne edition), 22 April 1978. ABC/ACP

YouTube: Good Morning Murwillu.... Melbourne

Another rare gem from the world of YouTube with a flashback to December 1988, and ATV10's Good Morning Melbourne with hosts Roy Hampson and Annette Allison:

This clip includes guests Mark Trevorrow and Gina Riley as their comic alter-egos Bob Downe and Coralee Hollow, hosts of the fictional regional TV program Good Morning Murwillumbah, a send-up of the low-budget chat-show format that morning television is invariably known for. The pair are on Good Morning Melbourne to promote their show Pick A Hit at Melbourne comedy venue The Last Laugh.

Good Morning Melbourne, which ran until the end of 1988, essentially began as far back as 1967 when Melbourne's ATV0 - after three years on-air - was making its first tentative steps into morning television. Morning Magazine, hosted by Roy Hampson and Katrina Pye, began as a half-hour program on ATV0 at 10.30am on Tuesday 8 August 1967. The program continued the same basic format with Hampson at the helm, although the name changed numerous times: Chit Chat, Roundabout, The Roy Hampson Show, In Melbourne Today.

On 19 February 1979, the title changed to Everyday and Hampson was joined by Annette Allison, a former Queenslander who had come to Melbourne to read the news for ATV0.

bertnewton In 1981 the title changed to Good Morning Melbourne, and continued through to the show's eventual demise in 1988. Replacing Good Morning Melbourne and its interstate counterparts in 1989 was the national program 'Til Ten, produced from TEN10 Sydney and hosted by Joan McInnes. 'Til Ten was succeeded in 1992 by the Melbourne-based The Morning Show with Bert Newton (pictured). The program adopted the title Good Morning Australia the following year, and embracing the advertorial segments that turned the normally quiet morning TV landscape into a multi-million dollar cash cow for the Ten Network, then recovering from financial decline, and saw the concept extend to rival programs on the Nine and Seven networks.

Good Morning Australia came to an end in December 2005, replaced the following month by 9AM With David And Kim, hosted by David Reyne and Kim Watkins.

YouTube: bobdowne4real

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Europe's living a celebration...!

eurovision06The biggest event on the SBS calendar is almost upon us with the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest, to be held in Belgrade, Serbia, now only weeks away -and as well as the contest's annual parade of cheesy Europop, this year there's more to get excited about.

This year's contest, for the first time in the event's 53-year history, will be played out over three nights - comprising two semi-finals and the grand final - and  SBS will be televising all three nights of competition.


The first semi-final, on 20 May, will be shown on SBS on Friday 23 May at 7.30pm.  Later in the evening, the special The Decline Of A Popstar follows the rapid rise and equally-rapid fall of a Danish Pop Star winner.  And perhaps to continue along the night's theme of pop-gone-wrong, the same night will also feature the Norwegian movie mockumentary Get Ready To Be Boyzvoiced, a familiar favourite among SBS viewers.

abbamovie The second semi-final will air on Saturday 24 May at 7.30pm, to be followed by ABBA: The Movie, the 1977 hit movie that told the story of a radio DJ's trek around Australia in a bid to interview the Swedish supergroup that rose to fame following their winning of the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest.

The grand final which will comprise the top ten countries from each of the semi-finals, plus last year's winner Serbia and the 'big four' Eurovision countries - United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain - will be shown on SBS on Sunday night, 25 May at 7.30pm (to be confirmed).

Six billion stories... SBS


January this year marked the return of Nine's balls with the network's revamped image as it tries to win back #1 position in the ratings.  February marked the advent of ABC1 as our national broadcaster ABC set out to "redefine television" by re-branding its two channels.

And now, SBS is set to also ring in the changes with a rework of its fifteen-year-old logo as a means of re-inventing itself after a rather controversial 2007 - marked by the departure of long-time newsreader Mary Kostakidis and the move to insert commercial breaks within programs.

The Australian today reports that the SBS logo and its overall on-air presentation will receive a facelift following eighteen months of audience research, and a similar period of fairly lack lustre on-air presentation comprising remnants of the channel's last revamp in 2004. But managing director Shaun Brown has insisted that the familiar Mercator map logo, launched in 1993, will not go away, "Why get rid of it? We love it anyhow, and the research has confirmed it's widely admired, so we were only going to make it a little bit more contemporary."

With the new-look logo will be a new slogan "Six billion stories and counting", which co-incidentally matches the initials SBS.

SBS' revamped presentation is intended to give the channel a more contemporary feel although The Australian suggests that some critics will feel it is just window-dressing a network now becoming more familiar as a pseudo-commercial media outlet that has abandoned its multicultural charter.

The date for the new-look SBS has not been announced although the network does have one of its most popular events, the Eurovision Song Contest, being broadcast over three nights next month and which may be an ideal time to unveil its facelift to a willing audience.

Monday, 14 April 2008

It's Fugly time again!

fuglyHollywood has the Razzies, and for the past seven years Australian TV has had its own anti-awards event, the Fugly Awards - and this year is no exception.

Voting is now open for the 2008 Fugly Awards - giving Australians a chance to vote in categories that perhaps the TV Week Logie Awards may have overlooked, such as the 'Eddie' for most over-exposed TV  personality (Bert Newton was last year's winner), sandrasullyor most spankable female personality (previous winners have included Myf Warhurst, Sami Lukis and Sandra Sully, pictured)

Apart from awarding Australia's worst TV celebrities and TV show, among other categories, there is a chance to acknowledge those that don't always grace the cover of TV Week but do us just as proud.  Previous winners for most under acknowledged TV personality have included Adam Hills, Andrew Denton and Deborah Mailman.

And this year the public are also asked to nominate themselves for Australia's best TV viewer.

Voting closes 21 April and the winners of the 2008 Fugly Awards will be announced on 2 May.

Go to the site at http://www.fugly.com.au

Sunday, 13 April 2008

1978: April 15-21

tvtimes_150478 Holiday's new Bill of fare:TV Times previews the new series of ABC's Holiday, hosted by Bill Peach (pictured) with reporters Jan Kingsbury and Jeff Watson. The new series covers destinations across Australia, New Zealand, France, Greece and the Pacific region.
No blankety rift with channel, says Harry M:Harry M Miller, manager for Graham 0_blackKennedy, denies rumours that he will be seeking to move Kennedy's Blankety Blanks to another Melbourne channel following public criticism of Melbourne's ATV0 by Kennedy. "That's ridiculous," Miller told TV Times, "after all, we do have a contract with them and we're in no position to be talking about going somewhere else." Now in its second year, Blankety Blanks continues to win the important 7.00pm timeslot in Sydney but struggles in Melbourne. Both Miller and an ATV0 spokesman confirmed that there had been criticism over the channel's lead-in program to Blankety Blanks, the lower-rating game show $30,000 Treasure Hunt, but this situation had been rectified with the recent expansion of the local Eyewitness News to a one-hour format.
Gunston in harness with Ben Hur!gunston Norman Gunston (Garry McDonald) interviewed Hollywood great Charlton Heston for his Hollywood special to air on the Seven Network: "Did you ever run across my Aunt Naomi, Ben.. sorry Mr Heston. She and Uncle Remo live in Malta, which can't be that far from your old stomping ground." (A rather timely interview, given that Heston passed away this same week, thirty years later.)
maryhardy Mary takes a risky trip:
Ernie Sigley, who recently filled in for Mary Hardy (pictured) on HSV7's Penthouse '78 while she was covering the Academy Awards for radio 3AW, could be a regular co-host with Hardy on the Saturday night variety show. However, this week's co-host for Penthouse '78 is Willesee At Seven reporter Paul Makin which could be interesting as after the last time Makin appeared on the program, Hardy was quoted that he would be back "over my dead body."
pbrady_60s Philip Brady's wild party:It was a reunion of many of Melbourne's radio and TV personalities when Philip Brady (pictured) celebrated his 20th year in the business. Among the celebrities gathered at the party were Joff Ellen, Happy Hammond, Jack Little, Evie Hayes, Tommy Hanlon Jnr, interstate guests Mike Walsh and Jimmy Hannan, and GTV9 personalities Eric Pearce, Vi Greenhalf and Pete Smith.
Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor:"Thank goodness Graham Kennedy lost his voice on Blankety Blanks! The show, such as it is, was much better without him acting the ass. The gentleman who took his place was a great improvement." E. Allen, NSW.
"I thought Marcia Hines' Music was great. It was really good to see our queen of pop doing a show such as that. She is a fantastic singer and feeds good publicity. I hope she will be coming to Brisbane soon." C. Close, QLD.
"There's this commercial for a well-known brand of fly spray: a father and son come inside for lunch. The father spots a fly, which is quickly dispatched with the aid of the fly spray. Then follows a homily, from the father, about dirty disease-carrying flies, following which both father and son sit down to eat without washing their hands!" A. Dickens, NSW.
What's On (April 15-21):ABC presents the final episode of Marcia Hines' Music, featuring guest stars Johnny Farnham and Linda George.
Weekend sport includes Saturday night VFL replays on ABC and HSV7, Sunday afternoon VFA Football on ATV0, and Australian Sports Sedans on ABC.
GTV9 presents the British Film And TV Awards to be hosted by Susannah York and Andrew Gardner with an appearance by the president of the British Academy of Film and TV Arts, Princess Anne.
Sunday night movies are Street People (HSV7), Once Upon A Time In The West (GTV9) and The Last Summer (ATV0) up against another episode of I Claudius on ABC, followed by The Tinder Box, a ballet based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen.
Source: TV Times (Melbourne edition), 15 April 1978. ABC/ACP

Saturday, 12 April 2008

YouTube: The Saturday Show

Last month's post dedicated to Saturday night TV failed to mention one title that some may remember or, in this author's case, at least remember the send-ups that followed several years later.

The Saturday Show was a weekly variety show on ABC in the late-'70s and early-'80s with a cast of regular performers, including Michael Cole, Darryl Stewart, former Young Talent Time member Jane Scali, and the dance troupe The Natural Seven. The Saturday Show was produced in a different vein to variety shows on commercial television in that featured traditional musical variety rather than more contemporary acts.

Although the legacy of The Saturday Show is that it ended up providing fodder for later comedy shows. The D-Generation's The Late Show (1992-93) regularly featured forgettable performances from The Saturday Show archives as part of its "Toilet Break" segment.

The Saturday Show also gave inspiration to the Seven Network's Fast Forward (1989-92) who parodied the program as a mix of inappropriately performed songs with cheesy backing tracks and gawdy backdrops.

The Fast Forward version of The Saturday Show was hosted by Eleanor LaGore (Gina Riley).
This clip on YouTube shows a collection of Ms LaGore's performances and who could forget Barry Crocker's rendition of I Am Woman?

clip found on YouTube features LaGore performing a somewhat different adaptation of the '80s anti-war song I Was Only 19, complete with toe-tapping dance break:

YouTube: tizzo99, damo2310

Monday, 7 April 2008

ABC in the hunt for Gold


Today's announcement of nominations for the 50th annual TV Week Logie Awards came with some interesting names. As well as the usual parade of soap stars and, ahem, Bindi Irwin, there were some surprises in the Gold Logie nominations list.

The national broadcaster ABC, who usually deny having any interest in popularity contests such as ratings and publicly-voted Logies, have received three nominations for the Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality on Australian Television:

Andrew Denton (Enough Rope)

Adam Hills (Spicks And Specks)

Chris Lilley (Summer Heights High)

The rest of the Gold Logie nominations list comprises Rove McManus (Rove), Kate Ritchie (Home And Away and It Takes Two), John Howard (All Saints), Natalie Blair (Neighbours) and Lisa McCune (Sea Patrol). McManus already has three of the golden statuettes to his name, McCune has four, and Ritchie won her first Gold Logie last year.

While it is difficult to trace back to previous Gold Logie nominations (because, we only really ever want to remember the winner, not the runners-up), it appears that this year is the first time that ABC has had this many contenders for the top award, especially as it is only in recent times that the nominations list has been extended to eight. And if Denton, Hills or Lilley can walk away with the Gold Logie, they will be the first ABC personality to do so since Norman Gunston (Garry McDonald) won it back in 1976 - and only the fourth ever, the others being Lorrae Desmond (1962) and Michael Charlton (1963).

ABC also scored nominations for The Chaser's War On Everything, The Choir Of Hard Knocks, Four Corners, Foreign Correspondent, Curtin, Enough Rope, Spicks And Specks, Summer Heights High, Rain Shadow and Australian Story's tribute to Belinda Emmett.

The eight TV Week Gold Logie nominees now enter the 'Race for Gold' with the final vote now open to the public via SMS. Voting closes on the night of the 50th annual TV Week Logie Awards, Sunday 4 May.

The full nominations list follows.

TV Week Gold Logie Most Popular Personality

Natalie Blair
Andrew Denton
Adam Hills
John Howard
Chris Lilley
Lisa McCune
Rove McManus
Kate Ritchie

TV Week Silver Logie Most Popular Actress

Natalie Blair (Neighbours, Ten)
Simmone Jade Mackinnon (McLeod's Daughters, Nine)
Lisa McCune (Sea Patrol, Nine)
Kate Ritchie (Home And Away, Seven)
Magda Szubanski (Kath & Kim, Seven)

TV Week Silver Logie Most Popular Actor

Mark Furze (Home And Away, Seven)
John Howard (All Saints, Seven)
Chris Lilley (Summer Heights High, ABC)
Paul O'Brien (Home And Away, Seven)
Glenn Robbins (Kath & Kim, Seven)

TV Week Silver Logie Most Popular TV Presenter

Andrew Denton (Enough Rope With Andrew Denton, ABC)
Grant Denyer (It Takes Two/Australia's Got Talent, Seven)
Melissa Doyle (Sunrise/Where Are They Now, Seven)
Adam Hills (Spicks & Specks, ABC)
Rove McManus (Rove/Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, Ten)

TV Week Silver Logie Most Outstanding Drama Series, Miniseries or Telemovie

City Homicide (Seven)
Curtin (ABC)
East West 101 (SBS)
The King (TV1)
Satisfaction (Showcase)

TV Week Silver Logie Most Outstanding Actor

Stephen Curry (The King, TV1)
Don Hany (East West 101, SBS)
Chris Lilley (Summer Heights High, ABC)
William McInnes (Curtin, ABC and East West 101, SBS)

TV Week Silver Logie Most Outstanding Actress

Diana Glenn (Satisfaction, Showcase)
Claudia Karvan (Love My Way, Showtime)
Asher Keddie (Love My Way, Showtime)
Victoria Thaine (Rain Shadow, ABC)
Alison Whyte (Satisfaction, Showcase)

Most Popular Lifestyle Program

Better Homes And Gardens (Seven)
Getaway (Nine)
The Great Outdoors (Seven)
Things To Try Before You Die (Nine)
What's Good For You (Nine)

Most Popular New Female Talent

Charlotte Best (Home And Away, Seven)
Tammy Clarkson (The Circuit, SBS)
Bindi Irwin (Bindi: The Jungle Girl, ABC)
Adelaide Kane (Neighbours, Ten)
Zoe Ventoura (Kick, SBS)

Most Popular New Male Talent

Jack Campbell (All Saints, Seven)
Sam Clark (Neighbours, Ten)
Lincoln Lewis (Home And Away, Seven)
David Lyons (Sea Patrol, Nine)
Stuart MacGill (Stuart MacGill Uncorked, LifeStyle Channel)

Most Popular Drama

All Saints (Seven)
City Homicide (Seven)
Home And Away (Seven)
McLeod's Daughters (Nine)
Neighbours (Ten)

Most Popular Light Entertainment/Comedy Program

The Chaser's War On Everything (ABC)
Kath & Kim (Seven)
Spicks & Specks (ABC)
Summer Heights High (ABC)
Thank God You're Here (Ten)

Most Popular Sports Program

The Footy Show AFL (Nine)
The Footy Show NRL (Nine)
Inside Cricket (FOX Sports 1)
Sports Tonight (Ten)
The World Game (SBS)

Most Popular Reality Program

Australian Idol (Ten)
Big Brother (Ten)
The Biggest Loser (Ten)
Dancing With The Stars (Seven)
It Takes Two (Seven)

Most Popular Factual Program

Bondi Rescue (Ten)
Border Security (Seven)
Choir Of Hard Knocks (ABC)
RPA (Nine)
RSPCA Animal Rescue (Seven)

Most Outstanding News Coverage

"East Timor: Finding Alfredo" (Foreign Correspondent, ABC)
"Federal Election" (Sky News)
"Garuda Plane Crash" (Seven)
"Pasha Bulker" (Nine)
"Timor Baucau" (SBS)

Most Outstanding Public Affairs Report

"The Big Sting" (60 Minutes, Nine)
"Final Call" (Four Corners, ABC)
"Hicks On Trial" (Insight, SBS)
"Rwanda: Questions Of Murder" (Dateline, SBS)
"Some Meaning In This Life: Belinda Emmett" (Australian Story, ABC)

Most Outstanding Documentary Series

Captain Cook: Obsession And Discovery (ABC)
Constructing Australia: The Bridge (ABC)
Inside Australia: My Brother Vinnie (SBS)
The Sounds Of Aus (ABC)
The Ultimate Donation (Ten)

Most Outstanding Factual Series

Bondi Rescue (Ten)
Border Security (Seven)
Choir Of Hard Knocks (ABC)
The Force: Behind The Line (Seven)
The Gift (Nine)

Most Outstanding Comedy Program

The Chaser's War On Everything (ABC)
Kath & Kim (Seven)
Summer Heights High (ABC)
Thank God You're Here (Ten)
Wilfred (SBS)

Most Outstanding Sports Coverage

AFL Grand Final (Ten)
Australian Open Tennis Championships (Seven)
3 Mobile Ashes Series, Fifth Test (Nine)
FINA World Swimming Championships (Nine)
Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 (Seven)

Most Outstanding Children's Program

Animalia (Ten)
Hi-5 (Nine)
H2O: Just Add Water (Ten)
Lockie Leonard (Nine)
Totally Wild: Antarctica Special (Ten)

Graham Kennedy Award For Most Outstanding New Talent

Tammy Clarkson (The Circuit, SBS)
Adelaide Clemens (Love My Way, Showtime)
Nicole Da Silva (Dangerous, FOX8)
Sean Keenan (Lockie Leonard, Nine)
Zoe Ventoura (Kick, SBS)

Sunday, 6 April 2008

1978: April 8-14

tvtimes_080478 Cover Story: A hard day's night:
For Don Lane, life begins at 6.40am - and ends about 1.00 the next morning. TV Times' Veronica Ridge spent a day with the popular man of radio and television. Starting with his morning program with Bert Newton on radio 3UZ, through to rehearsals and pre-recording interviews and promos for that night's The Don Lane Show. Then at 9.30, Bert Newton announces "Welcome to The Don Lane Show. And now, here's Don!" and the curtain goes up on another show, broadcast across Australia.

Jeff Newman's job is a real beauty!
Perth TVW7 personality Jeff Newman has a job that many other blokes would envy, chatting to and interviewing beauty pageant contestants. But Newman, 34, and happily married to wife Pat, says he would rather be watching at home rather than hosting the show, "because you get a better opportunity of seeing the girls without worrying about the next question." This week, Newman will be hosting the Australian Beauty Pageant, the winner of which will represent Australia at Miss Universe in Mexico. Also, this year's pageant will virtually serve as a dress rehearsal for the 1979 Miss Universe contest to be held at the Perth Entertainment Centre and televised worldwide.

When they dimmed the limelight...
For pop king Johnny Farnham, life was very hectic with TV appearances, commercials, and touring around the country. But now, at 29, Farnham is leading a quieter life, able to be more selective about the work he takes on. He refutes suggestions that he had suffered a nervous breakdown. Farnham's manager Danny Finley also confirms that despite the public perception that Farnham has faded from the spotlight, that this is not the case, "he has been seen around Australia on (sitcom) Bobby Dazzler, and ABC's Survival series. He appeared on Carols By Candlelight and Music For The People, and Julie McKenna's New Year's Eve special." However, Farnham does regret that the Crawford Productions pilot Me And Mr Stone, where he co-starred with Gordon Chater, was not picked up by any of the networks.

No prize for bunging on a Family Feud:
Columnist F.C. Kennedy is not overly impressed with Nine's game show Family Feud with Tony Barber: "At first glance, Family Feud may not look like a challenge to the current affairs shows, The Sullivans, Glenview High, or the other soap opera, The Restless Years. But, when you are dealing with diary-keepers who have made Blankety Blanks number one, you never know what might happen."

Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor:
"I heard Mike Willesee call Olivia Newton-John and the Bee Gees "Australians". Optimistic, to say the least. Olivia was born in England, came here aged five, left for England at 16, and from there became the international star she is today. The Bee Gees were born and raised in England, spent a few years here then returned home and became international stars. Neither Olivia nor the Bee Gees have recorded a hit in this country, not shown any interest in returning permanently." E. Faith, WA.

"Would someone please tell me why two of our channels have to put specials on together on Wednesday nights, leaving one channel with an Australian show? Why do they give us a raw deal these days?" J. Hankinson, NSW.

"I am unashamedly a TV addict who, at the age of 80, picks his programs with a very heavy bias towards Australian features. I think The Sullivans is the best Australian show ever. The colour of all local shows is really superior to imports. Young Talent Time is the most consistently excellent variety show on the screen." N. W. Montagu, NSW.

What's On (April 8-14):
GTV9 presents the Australian Beauty Pageant, telecast from the Perth Entertainment Centre and hosted by Jeff Newman. Five finalists from each state will compete to represent Australia at the 1978 Miss Universe Quest to be held in Mexico.

ATV0 presents the special The Trial Of Lee Harvey Oswald. The four-hour special, screened over two nights, speculates the outcome of a trial if President Kennedy's accused assassin was still alive.

ABC presents Vienna Cinderella - the last work of Johann Strauss - a ballet which had not achieved the fame of his other works.

Sunday night movies are Two Missionaries (HSV7), SPYS (GTV9) and Adam's Woman (ATV0).

Source: TV Times (Melbourne edition), 8 April 1978. ABC/ACP

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Philip Brady's big 5-0

pbrady_60s There aren't many people in Australia that can claim to have had fifty years in the radio and television spotlight. Bert Newton and John Laws are two that have made that milestone, but this weekend another one joins the ranks when Philip Brady (pictured) celebrates fifty years in radio and television, having started his first shift as a booth announcer at GTV9 in Melbourne on 6 April 1958.

Starting at GTV9 on a two-week trial, Philip continued at GTV9 for thirteen years as an announcer, a regular on In Melbourne Tonight, and presenting a daytime show on radio station 3AK after the station was bought by GTV9 in the early-'60s. He also hosted GTV9's early-'60s game show Concentration. Philip was then again at 3AK as one of the line-up of 'Good Guys' when the station adopted a Top 40 music format in the late '60s, and also hosted GTV9's afternoon panel game show Everybody's Talking.

pbrady_mmakers Following a break after the demise of In Melbourne Tonight, Philip returned to radio, presenting a weekend program on 3AW, and returned to TV as host of The Money Makers (pictured) for the 0-10 Network. The game show, produced by Reg Grundy at the studios of TVQ0 Brisbane, was Australia's first five-nights-a-week game show when it debuted in September 1971, offering a top prize of $25,000.

As well as hosting The Money Makers and Junior Money Makers, Philip also hosted Password, another game show for the 0-10 Network, and then in 1976 took over as host of another TVQ0 production, Casino 10. Philip also continued to make appearances on GTV9's The Graham Kennedy Show and The Ernie Sigley Show.

A return to radio followed with a stint at 3AK, the station by then famous for 'beautiful music', and then as producer for Bert Newton's morning show on 3UZ. His next move was to the Gold Coast, with a daytime program on local radio station Easy Listening 97, while at the same time writing a weekly column for Melbourne-based showbiz paper TV Scene.

pbrady_2000 In 1990, 3AW hired Philip and familiar Melbourne radio and TV identity Bruce Mansfield to co-host the Sunday night nostalgia program Remember When, and the pair were then appointed as 'caretaker' hosts of the weeknight Nightline program following the departure of long-time host Rev. Alex Kenworthy. Almost twenty years later, "Bruce and Phil" continue to dominate night-time radio in Melbourne on both Remember When and Nightline.

Philip continued to make guest appearances on TV in the '90s with regular spots on Good Morning Australia with Bert Newton and guest appearances on ABC's Saturday night The Late Show and Seven's Tonight Live With Steve Vizard.

Further reading: Melbourne Observer, Bruce & Phil, 3AW

Friday, 4 April 2008

Australian Story remembers Charmaine Dragun

ABC's award-winning series Australian Story will pay tribute to Network Ten newsreader Charmaine Dragun on an episode to air on Monday 28 April.

Ms Dragun was a radio and television journalist in her home town of Perth before joining Ten News to read the Perth news bulletin from Ten's Sydney newsroom. Suffering long-term depression, Ms Dragun tragically committed suicide in Sydney on 2 November last year. She was 29.

Dragun and her long-time partner Simon Struthers had planned to wed earlier this year to coincide with their 30th birthdays.

Family, friends and colleagues have been interviewed for the Australian Story tribute.

Australian Story: Charmaine Dragun. Monday 28 April, 8.00pm. ABC1 (repeated the following day on ABC2)

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Seven goes retro after dark

The Seven Network have recently delved into their video vaults for DVD releases of shows such as Sons And Daughters, A Country Practice, Blue Heelers and All Saints, but this week seem to be giving some less-famous titles an airing in late night timeslots.

From a time when cute furry animals were TV fiction rather than today's TV "reality" or "factuality", Young Ramsay was the story of 30-ish vet Peter Ramsay (John Hargreaves, pictured with co-star Barbara Llewellyn) who had decided to leave his job in the city to go to a small veterinary practice in the country. Intended as a family series it was a distant cry from the usual cop dramas or the soapie The Box to come from Crawford Productions, although the company had previously produced a children's drama Solo One in the mid-'70s. Young Ramsay ran for two seasons, screening between 1977 and 1980, and also featured Vic Gordon, Serge Lazareff and Louise Howitt.

Seven's other late-night offering is a much more recent series, Marshall Law from 2002, which marked actress Lisa McCune's first TV role since leaving Blue Heelers, the series which earned her four TV Week Gold Logies. The series told the story of two sisters, played by McCune and Alison Whyte (Frontline), both working in the Magistrate's Court. Marshall Law also included another former Blue Heelers cast member, William McInnes, and Jane Hall who is now in Neighbours. The series was launched as a pseudo Ally McBeal-type drama, but despite its strong cast, it failed to grab ratings and was cancelled after one year.

Seven's screening of these retro titles follows the regional WIN network's late-night/early-morning screenings over the past year or so of former Crawford classics such as Matlock Police, Skyways, Carson's Law and Division Four.

Further reading:
TV Eye (Young Ramsay)
Australian Television Information Archive (Marshall Law)
Young Ramsay. Tonight (Thursday morning) 1.10am, Seven*
Marshall Law
. Thursday night/Friday morning 12.20am, Seven*

* Melbourne. Other areas check local guides

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Separated at birth?

Yesterday's flashback to The Box brought to my attention a startling resemblance between Judy Nunn


The foxy moron herself, Kath Day-Knight!

Talk about matching clowning glory!!