Saturday, 31 May 2008

TelevisionAU Update 31-May-08


FLASHBACK #45: Monday 18 July 1966 marked the debut of an Australian children's TV icon when ABC launched the Australian version of Play School.  Based on an English program of the same name, which ABC had been screening prior to launching its own version, Play School became a firm favourite with pre-schoolers - and a lot of their parents!  Gathered in 1991 to celebrate the show's 25th anniversary were former presenters including (back row) Janet Kingsbury, Donald McDonald, Benita Collings, John Waters, (front row) Trisha Goddard and Noni Hazelhurst.  In its 40+ years, Play School has boasted a range of some of Australia's best known actors including Patsy King, Anne Haddy, John Hamblin, Lorraine Bayly, Deborah Mailman and Jay Laga'aia.  Picture: TV Week, 13 July 1991

Melbourne 1959, 1991
Melbourne & Regional Victoria 1964, 1970
Sydney 1976
Brisbane 1970, 1985
Adelaide 1961, 1963
Tasmania 1993


Saturday, 24 May 2008

1978: May 27-June 2

tvtimes_270578 What makes Bert run?
Bert Newton (pictured, with wife Patti) has taken on a lot in the last three years - marriage, fatherhood, five mornings a week on radio 3UZ, two nights a week on The Don Lane Show, his own weekly show New Faces, TV commercials and was King of Melbourne's annual Moomba festival - but sees no danger of repeating the famous breakdown he suffered in the early 1960s. Now approaching 40, Newton reflects on that earlier period: "A breakdown was inevitable and I even had the warnings. But who takes heed of such things at that age?"

gwenplumb Gwen Plumb, TV's genial menial
Ada Simmons, the gossipy kiosk lady of Nine's The Young Doctors, would think Gwen Plumb (pictured) is a bit posh. After all, Plumb is everything Ada Simmons isn't - sophisticated, self-assured and independent. Plumb looks back on over 30 years in show business - from early days as a copywriter with Sydney radio station 2GB, to working on stage in London's West End and hosting her own popular radio and television shows in Sydney in the 1960s.

Greatest show on Earth kicks off!
's coverage of the soccer World Cup begins this week - with live coverage of the opening match between West Germany and Poland, highlights and delayed coverage of other matches, and live coverage of the final for third place to be played on 25 June, and the final on 26 June.

Chopper Squad's Hollywood connection
Chopper Squad actor Robert Coleby has confessed to TV Times that his real name is actually Robert Taylor. When he graduated from acting school in London, he was encouraged to assume a new name rather than keep his real name to avoid any comparison at that time to the Hollywood actor of the same name. He chose the name Coleby when browsing the London telephone directory for inspiration and found only two Colebys listed for the whole of London.

johnorcsik By Georgiou, it's Detective Orcsik!
Cop Shop's newest recruit John Orcsik (pictured) might have been born in Hungary, but has lived in Australia most of his life and considers himself only as "Australian" - yet the 32-year-old actor has played everything from a Irish priest in The Sullivans, an Arab guerilla in the telemovie Harvest Of Hate, and is now playing a Greek-born detective in Cop Shop: "Crawford Productions have been good to me, but some other production companies have ruled me out because I look 'too European'." The first time he played a run-of-the-mill Australian was in the soap Number 96. When he's not in Melbourne filming for Cop Shop, Orcsik spends his time in Sydney with girlfriend Margaret and two-year-old son Simon.

Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor
"How refreshing it was to see such a superb production as ABC's Loss Of Innocence. It was well acted and set perfectly to present the top-class product we should always be able to enjoy." J. Browing, QLD.

"Why is it what when we have many of own fine young actors and actresses in Australia - like Nick Hedstrom in The Restless Years - people have to make ridiculous statements like "they say he's another Brando"? He doesn't look like Marlon Brando, and surely he would much rather be popular as himself and not because "they" say he's another Brando. I wonder who "they" are?" S. Gerry, NSW.

"On Sydney ATN7 news I had the displeasure to see an item about the murder of a security guard where the camera followed a trail of blood out of the building, along the footpath to a pool of blood next to the body under a sheet. I would rather watch supposedly violent TV shows which I do not believe influence children than to see real death and violence which could give anyone nightmares." J. Wright, NSW.

What's On (May 27-June 2):
ABC presents Rocturnal, a late-night music series based on the ABCFM program of the same name, hosted by David Woodhall.

Thursday night (actually, 2.00am Friday morning) sees ABC's live telecast of the World Cup soccer from Argentina - the opening ceremony and the first match between West Germany and Poland. The telecast is repeated Friday evening.

ATV0 presents the Grand Final of the talent quest Pot Of Gold, with host Tommy Hanlon Jnr and resident judge Bernard King. Although the series normally screened on weekday afternoons, the final was shown on Sunday at 5.00pm, marking the end of over three years of the program.

Sunday night movies are Guess Who's Coming To Dinner (HSV7), Lady Caroline Lamb (GTV9) and A Fistful Of Dollars (ATV0).

Source: TV Times (Melbourne edition), 27 May 1978, ABC/ACP.

Monday, 19 May 2008

The NEW kid's turning 20

ten1988 Perth's third commercial TV station NEW10 is 20 years old.

The launch of the channel on Friday 20 May 1988 marked the end of a twenty-three year wait for Perth to follow its interstate counterparts in gaining a third commercial TV station, and the culmination of a lengthy battle which saw incumbent stations TVW7 and STW9 try to fight its arrival.

The licence for Perth's third commercial channel was first mooted by the then Hawke government in 1984, almost twenty years after the last channel to enter the city's airwaves, STW9, began transmission.

Following its inception in 1965, STW9 and its older rival TVW7 had kept away from forming ties to the networks over in the eastern states. Instead the two channels opted to form their own joint venture for purchasing national programs from interstate so that the networks could not force the two channels into a competitive situation which would see costs spiraling. Programs bought by the joint venture were then shared between the two channels and essentially distributed between them, decided by a coin toss. Even though STW9 later chose to affiliate with the Nine Network in the late-'70s, the channel still had access to programs bought by the local joint venture - although TVW7 was developing stronger ties with the Seven Network and also had ties to the Ten Network as it owned the network's Adelaide channel SAS10.

With the government's call for applications for a third channel in 1984, TVW7 and STW9 both argued that the market was not large enough to sustain three competing channels - even though Adelaide, a city similar in size to Perth, has had three commercial channels since the 1960s.

ten1989The two Perth channels also argued that the cost of program distribution from the eastern states to the west would be prohibitive for a third operator - an argument that carried little weight given that Australia's communications satellite Aussat was about to be launched and, in technical terms, would bring Perth a lot closer to the eastern states.

But despite the protests, the third channel was to become a reality and the channel, given the appropriate call-sign NEW10, made its official launch at 6.00pm on Friday 20 May 1988. The launch of the new channel effectively saw Perth adopt the three network television structure of the eastern states, with NEW10 joining Network Ten and TVW7 formally joining the then Australian Television Network (Seven).

Following a half-hour introduction, NEW10's first program was its participation in Network Ten's 26-hour national telethon to raise funds for the Australian Olympic team.

The new channel was owned by Kerry Stokes' Northern Star Holdings which also owned ADS10 Adelaide and the Ten Network affiliate in Canberra, Capital Seven.

In launching Perth's first commercial channel in over twenty years, NEW10 embarked on some unusual programming tactics to gain a point of difference to its older rivals. The most significant was the evening Eyewitness News which went against the network's traditional 6.00pm timeslot and instead was scheduled in the earlier 5.30pm timeslot, giving it a half-hour lead on its older rival news services. The news would later move to the 6.00pm timeslot before following the rest of Network Ten in moving its main evening bulletins to 5.00pm in 1992.

gregpearce NEW10's first newsreaders were Greg Pearce and Gina Pickering (later replaced by Christina Morrissey). Pearce (pictured) was a familiar identity to Perth viewers who had returned to Perth in 1988 after a year reading Seven National News in Melbourne - though inadvertently at the expense of veteran local lad Mal Walden whose high-profile sacking saw Seven's news ratings plummet to zero with Pearce's arrival.

As well as its alternative news timeslot, NEW10 also found itself with a backlog of episodes of the popular soap Neighbours, and to bring it up to date with the east coast, decided to screen double episodes of the series each weeknight - a tactic that didn't entirely work given that Perth viewers had already adopted Seven's new soap Home And Away in overwhelming numbers, often ranking it as the city's highest-rating program each week.

ten1991In its early years, NEW10 maintained a small band of locally-made programs including the daytime program Our Town and children's program Kids' Company as well as the local Eyewitness News and contribution to sports coverage including the network's coverage of NBL in the early '90s.

But just as NEW10 was trying to get a hold on the Perth market against its older rivals, the Ten Network was experiencing falling ratings and finances. In 1989, NEW10 and its Adelaide and Canberra counterparts were sold to businessman Charles Curran. The network was re-badged 10 TV Australia following a revamp by American TV executive Bob Shanks, led by cheap-format game shows which ultimately did nothing to boost the network's fortunes. Ten had more success in the early-'90s by adopting a programming strategy aimed at younger viewers, those aged 16 to 39, as opposed to the more broader demographics traditionally targeted by commercial networks.

ten2001In 1995, NEW10 and ADS10 were purchased by Network Ten Holdings, putting it under the same control as the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane network channels.

Digital television began broadcasting in capital cities in 2001, and at that time Ten made the controversial decision to base its Perth news services in its studios in Sydney, citing the cost of converting facilities to digital as a main reason for the move and making better use of the facilities that had been converted. Greg Pearce made the move to Sydney to read the news to Ten's Perth audience, as did Christina Morrissey.

charmainedragun Pearce later returned to Western Australia, where he is now a newsreader for National Nine News in Perth. Morrissey was later replaced by Celina Edmonds, and then Charmaine Dragun (pictured). Tragedy followed late last year when Dragun committed suicide in Sydney after a battle with depression.

Earlier this year, Ten announced that it will re-instate production of its Perth-based evening news to its Perth studios, coinciding with the channel's twentieth anniversary. The station has appointed Narelda Jacobs, a reporter at NEW10 since 2000, to read Ten News when it returns to the Perth studios.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Newsflash: Number 96 DVD #2


Some great news has come via Ian McLean's Have Phaser, Will Travel blog ... Number 96 is coming back via a second DVD release!

The first DVD release in 2006 featured the 1974 feature film of the infamous series, as well as the 1976 documentary They Said It Wouldn't Last commemorating the show's 1000th episode, plus other extras including rare footage taken when the cast journeyed from Sydney to Melbourne by train and made stops along the way to meet crowds of Number 96 fans.

The second DVD release, scheduled for September, features episodes surrounding the ongoing suspense plot regarding the serial killer dubbed 'the pantyhose strangler'.

Number 96 is one of several Australian TV titles to be released on DVD by Umbrella Entertainment; others including Blankety Blanks, The Young Doctors, Sons And Daughters, Skippy and E Street.

Read the full story at Have Phaser, Will Travel

Related articles: Number 96

Saturday, 17 May 2008

1978: May 20-26

tvtimes_200578 Cover: Leif Garrett

Radio sparks network war
TV Times reports that an unusual battle may soon emerge with the development of two dramas based around talk-back radio hosts. A pilot for Sydney-based The Oracle, starring John Gregg, is already in production for ABC. Meanwhile, a Melbourne-based production based on a talk-back radio star has been commissioned by Homestead Films, producers of historical dramas Tandarra and Cash And Co, for the 0-10 Network. ATV0, acting on behalf of the network, is reportedly considering two titles for ongoing production - the talk-back radio drama and a proposal from the Reg Grundy Organisation tentatively titled The Prisoner.

denisedrysdaleDing Dong on a high note
Denise Drysdale
is enjoying a renewed presence on TV screens after a relatively quiet period, with fortnightly appearances on Nine's The Don Lane Show and a specially-written guest role in the ABC series The Truckies where she will play a tough and uncompromising "truckie girl" called Linda, who has run away from getting married. This follows a recent appearance in the musical production The 20s And All That Jazz (pictured) for the 0-10 Network.

Sullivans actor at the helm
Andrew McFarlane is going from World War II soldier in The Sullivans to captain of a Royal Australian Navy patrol boat in the new ABC series Patrol Boat. The 13-episode series, set around the Great Barrier Reef, will commence production in August.

joannalockwood Cop Shop's best legwork
Joanna Lockwood admits to being confused in playing the character of a stripper in the police drama Cop Shop. The 28-year-old (pictured with her father, former Number 96 star Johnny Lockwood) admits that in her show business life she has met many strippers - but says that none of them bear much resemblance to the lovely Valerie she portrays in the series: "I have never known a stripper who is so unaffected about taking her clothes off as Valerie is."

Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor
"Surely ABC hasn't paid good money for the American trash called Soap, and then have the nerve to try and pass it off to viewers as comedy." T. Lewis, NSW.

"I am aware that the commercial stations rely on sponsors' advertising for the existence. I do, however, draw the line at the idiotic antics and the shouting perpetrated by the latest Graham Kennedy and Bert Newton ad. The advertising firm who devised this ad seems to consider that the viewing public are a lot of morons." N. Webster, QLD.

"Who do some advertisers think they are kidding? The young woman still in her bath when hubby comes home has made enough suds to use up a cake of soap but the one she's using clearly shows the brand name untouched.. And are we to believe any little boy who manages to get a big beetroot stain on the front of his shirt could keep it from seeping through to his new white singlet?" G. Sheen, NSW.

What's On (May 20-26)
presents a live telecast of the Rugby League Match Of The Day at the Sydney Cricket Ground between City and NSW Country.

ABC's A Big Country examines the history and potential use of the Nomad aircraft. The controversial development project began in 1965 but it was not until the early '70s that government approval was granted for the building of a prototype. Despite some fatalities during test flights, the project has since seen the Nomad being sold to numerous countries.

The 100th episode of The Restless Years screens on ATV0 on Thursday night.

This week's guests on The Peter Couchman Show include Peta Toppano, Allison Durban and Denis Walter.

Sunday night's movies are Slaughterhouse Five (HSV7), Hard Contract (GTV9) and Cotton Comes To Harlem (ATV0). David Frost's documentary series Crossroads Of Civilisation premieres on ABC.

Source: TV Times (Melbourne edition), 20 May 1978. ABC/ACP

Sunday, 11 May 2008

We'll be right back...


Due to other commitments to my day job, there will be little - if any - updates made to this site until at least next weekend.  Depending on internet access, this may also delay any comments being approved until that time.

Normal transmission will resume next weekend.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

1978: May 13-19

tvtimes_130578 The battle of Bacchus Marsh
The producers of Nine's World War II drama The Sullivans have revealed one of the show's most overworked 'actors' - an olive tree. The lone tree, located in Sunbury just outside of Melbourne, has been photographed from just about every angle to give a touch of the Mediterranean to location filming for battle scenes set in the island of Crete. Producers had spent months recreating battles of war in Crete, Greece, North Africa and surrounding nations - as taken from official war records - on location in Fiskeville, a small area near Bacchus Marsh on the outskirts of Melbourne. A central storyline in the Cretan battles involves a Greek woman Melina, played by Chantal Contouri, and also features Gus Mercurio as an American soldier, alongside series regulars Norman Yemm, Steven Tandy and Peter Hehir.
(Cover picture: Chantal Contouri, Norman Yemm)

How jockey Donnie is riding highdonniesutherland
Sound Unlimited host Donnie Sutherland (pictured) and producer Graham Webb reflect on the development of the Seven Network's Saturday morning music show, screening on 21 stations around Australia and with negotiations in place to syndicate the show to Hong Kong, Manila and Bangkok. Sutherland, a former radio disc jockey with stints at stations including 2UW Sydney and 4BK Brisbane, claims that Sound Unlimited has boosted the sales of colour TV sets: "When colour was starting, families would be in the shopping centres on Saturday morning and they would see our show - and a lot of our material was in colour. Not only did that help sell sets, but it also established Sound Unlimited in people's minds."

A scornful look for a pretty girl?
Gai Smith, a newcomer to Nine's soap The Young Doctors as fashion designer Natalie French, comes face to face with Dr Chris Piper (Bartholomew John). Smith, who had graduated from drama at the University of NSW and played roles in the United Kingdom and Canada, is introduced to the series as an awkward patient who won't take advice from experts.

Debbie Byrne in Cop Shop
Pop singer Debbie Byrne has recorded a small guest role in the Seven Network police drama Cop Shop, playing the next-door neighbour who befriends Christine (Louise Philip). The role is expected to be a recurring one.

Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor:
"I am a football fan that likes to watch The Big League (ATN7) and The Amco Cup (TEN10), but I usually miss The Amco Cup because it finishes too late. They would be wise if they made repeats. Then viewers would not watch their favourite football team half asleep." J. Austin, NSW.

"Mr Ian Meldrum, if you cannot say something nice about someone I suggest you don't say anything at all! During the review of the Top 10 on Countdown (9 April), you said about Bonnie Tyler (It's A Heartache) "... and it's becoming a bit of a pain...". When you reached the number one song by The Babys (Isn't It Time?) you said "... and isn't it time they got off the Number One spot and gave someone else a go?" A good pun, but in bad taste. Mr Meldrum, isn't it time we had a change of critics on Countdown because you're becoming a bit of a pain." F. Williams, NSW.

"Countdown's Ian Meldrum out to try and get his act together a bit more. He could learn off by heart that the past tense of "come" is "came", and he could do something about background music which is intruding more and more into the "talk" segments of the show." T. Phelan, NSW.

What's On (May 13-19)
After last week's screening of the pilot episode of US comedy The Love Boat, GTV9 settles the ongoing series into Monday nights as the lead-in to The Don Lane Show.

ABC presents a special 200th episode of A Big Country, documenting the re-creation of the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition through Central Australia. The re-enactment of the 1860 expedition also failed, though not through the explorers perishing as Burke and Wills had, but rather the failure of their method of transport - camels - to complete the journey. ABC also screens a repeat of A Big Country's 100th episode which tells the story of the completion of the Overland Telegraph from Adelaide to Darwin.

Saturday matinee movies were a staple of commercial TV, and the week's schedule included titles The Nutty Professor (ATV0), Invitation To The Dance (HSV7) and The Cracksman (GTV9).

Country music returns to ABC with another series of Country Road, hosted by Johnny Chester and featuring guest artists Judy Stone and Jimmy Little. The program is being produced in Brisbane.

Sunday night movies are The Girl From Petrovka (HSV7), The Legend Of Valentino (GTV9) and Petulia (ATV0). The 13th and final episode of I Claudius screens on ABC.

Source: TV Times (Melbourne edition), 13-19 May 1978. ABC/ACP

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

SBS - no longer 'sex before bedtime'

sbs_1980 sbs_1983


Australia's second national broadcaster SBS has today unveiled its new brand and corporate identity - encompassing radio, television and online outlets.  The new logo comes after recent re-branding efforts this year by ABC and Nine.

'Six billion stories and counting..', the new tagline that accompanies the new logo, aims to affirm the SBS position of reflecting a diverse and multicultural society, and differentiate it from its long-held perception of being the channel to watch for liberal amounts of sex and nudity - "sex before bedtime" was a popular nickname for the channel - although whether this remains true with their 'adults-only' Friday night line-up is to be seen.

As SBS marketing director Jacquie Riddell states on the SBS blog:

"Our new position reinforces our strength of telling and sharing a multitude of stories from every corner of the earth. In a multitude of languages. We're open to new stories, new ideas, and new ways of thinking. We know stories are what connect us."

The revised station identifications that go with the new logo emphasise the point and display the logo - an adaptation of the Mercator map logo designed in the early '90s - in a range of colours, images and musical styles.

More on the new-look SBS at: TV Tonight,, What's On The Tube

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

1978: May 6-12

tvtimes_060578 Cover story: Their real restless years
TV Times
spoke to some of the cast of the 0-10 Network soap The Restless Years to find out what their real-life restless years were like: Julieanne Newbould was a child performer, making her TV debut at the age of 12 on a TEN10 talent show and had also appeared in minor roles in a number of TV dramas. Nick Hedstrom helped compile the school magazine and also produced a play, prompting him to decide his future career in acting. Jon "Sonny" Blake (pictured) recalls the frustration in sonnyblaketrying to find a job after finishing school, eventually getting a job at a cinema as an usher before scoring his big break as Alan Archer in The Restless Years. (On TV Times' cover: Julieanne Newbould, Nick Hedstrom, Deborah Coulls)

Bernard's golden chance when show goes to pot
Within 24 hours of the axe falling on the 0-10 Network talent show Pot Of Gold, panelist judge Bernard King had received three separate offers for new shows including a gardening show, a variety series and a Beauty And The Beast styled panel show. After 650 episodes over three years, the final episode of Pot Of Gold is to air on the 0-10 Network in early June.

Sigley moves into the Penthouse...
After a health scare earlier in the year, Ernie Sigley is back on screens as co-host of HSV7's Penthouse '78 - with the program now being relayed live to Tasmania's two commercial TV channels. Sigley will also host his own local variety show over in Adelaide for NWS9.


...and Mary gets a surprise
Sigley's opening night on Penthouse '78 suddenly switched direction when he introduced surprise "barrel girl" Roger Climpson, who told co-host Mary Hardy: "This Is Your Life". The special tribute program was then recorded after 12.30am, and the party that followed continued well into the morning. (Pictured above: Ernie Sigley, Roger Climpson, Mary Hardy)

Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor
"Marcia Hines, Australia's First Lady of Song? Oh, ABC, how could you? Whatever happened to music - and poor Joan Sutherland? What an insult to singers!" (name and address supplied)

"Well if Cop Shop and Glenview High aren't the most retrograde step in Australian TV, I don't know what is. Usually I enjoy Australian TV, but Cop Shop and Glenview High are the most puerile shows on air. The Sullivans and The Young Doctors to me are the best Australian productions." M. Hamilton, QLD.

mikewillesee "I do not often disagree with Mike Willesee (pictured), but it irked me when on several occasions (even after a year or so) he still talked about the ghouls at the Granville train disaster, who came running to watch. Well, I'd like to know the difference between them and the ones that ran with cameras and took notes of all that happened to tell us all on the news, in each gory detail, and show pictures of it." E. Plant, NSW.

What's On (May 6-12)
Late on Saturday night, HSV7 presents a direct telecast of the FA Cup Final, between Arsenal and Ipswich, live from Wembley Stadium in London. For those that missed the live telecast, HSV7 repeated it the next afternoon.

denisedrysdale ATV0 presents a 90-minute musical special The 20s And All That Jazz, based on the Australian stage show. Appearing in the special, produced at the Nunawading studios of ATV0, are John Diedrich, John O'May, Caroline Gillmer and Denise Drysdale (pictured)

ABC's new series of A Big Country featured a documentary on the making of the film The Chant Of Jimmie Blacksmith - adapted from Thomas Kenneally's book of the same name.

ABC's legendary children's program Mr Squiggle returns for a new series of ten episodes with host Miss Jane (Jane Fennell) and joining the pencil-nosed Mr Squiggle are friends Gus and Bill Steamshovel.

Sunday night movies are Carry On Henry (HSV7), the movie-length pilot of The Love Boat (GTV9) and the 'modified TV version' of High Plains Drifter (ATV0). The Duchess Of Duke Street and I Claudius are still going on ABC after twelve weeks.

Source: TV Times (Melbourne edition), 6 May 1978. ABC/ACP

Monday, 5 May 2008

TV Week Logie Awards 2008

logie Former Home And Away star Kate Ritchie has won her second Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality on Australian Television.

The actress, who has recently left the series after twenty years on-air, also won the award for Most Popular Actress.

Full list of this year's TV Week Logie winners, in order of presentation:

Most Popular Reality Program: Dancing With The Stars (Seven)

Most Popular Lifestyle Program: Better Homes And Gardens (Seven)

Most Popular Factual Program: Bondi Rescue (Ten)

Silver Logie — Most Popular Actor: Chris Lilley (Summer Heights High, ABC1)

Silver Logie — Most Popular Actress: Kate Ritchie (Home And Away, Seven)

Most Popular New Male Talent: Lincoln Lewis (Home And Away, Seven)

Most Popular New Female Talent: Bindi Irwin (Bindi: The Jungle Girl, ABC1)

Most Outstanding Drama Series, Miniseries or Telemovie: Curtin (ABC1)

Most Popular Light Entertainment/Comedy Program: Kath & Kim (Seven)

Most Popular Drama: Home And Away (Seven)

Most Popular Sports Program: The Footy Show AFL (Nine)

Silver Logie — Most Popular TV Presenter: Rove McManus (Rove/Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, Ten)

Most Outstanding Children's Program: Lockie Leonard (Nine Network)

Most Outstanding News Coverage: "Garuda Plane Crash" (Seven)

Graham Kennedy Award For Most Outstanding New Talent: Tammy Clarkson (The Circuit, SBS)

Most Outstanding Comedy Program: Summer Heights High (ABC1)

Most Outstanding Sports Coverage: Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 (Seven)

Most Outstanding Factual Series: Choir Of Hard Knocks (ABC1)

Most Outstanding Documentary Series: Constructing Australia: The Bridge (ABC1)

Most Outstanding Public Affairs Report: "Some Meaning In This Life: Belinda Emmett" (Australian Story, ABC1)

Most Outstanding Actor: Stephen Curry (The King, TV1)

Most Outstanding Actress: Alison Whyte (Satisfaction, Showcase)

Gold Logie — Most Popular Personality: Kate Ritchie

Sunday, 4 May 2008

1978: TV Week Logie Awards

1978_logies As part of this blog's ongoing theme of all things TV in 1978 - to coincide with tonight's presentation of the 50th annual TV Week Logie Awards, let's have a look at what they were doing at the 20th TV Week Logie Awards presentation, thirty years ago.

The 1978 TV Week Logie Awards were held at the Southern Cross Hotel, Melbourne, on Friday 3 March. The presentation was hosted by Bert Newton and telecast through the Nine Network. The telecast was sponsored by the national telecommunications carrier Telecom (now Telstra).

The winner of the Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality on Australian TV was Graham Kennedy, host of the popular late-'70s game show Blankety Blanks. Kennedy had stiff opposition for the award, fending off other nominees Don Lane, Bert Newton, Mike Walsh and Lorraine Bayly. This was Kennedy's fifth Gold Logie which was a new record - but it would be twenty years before he would win another one, when he was inducted into the TV Week Logie Awards' Hall of Fame in 1998.

Kennedy had also won another Logie earlier in the night in '78 when Blankety Blanks was awarded Best Australia Variety/Panel/Comedy Show.1978_logies2

But while Kennedy was the winner of the night's top award, he was upstaged by six-year-old Beau Cox who had won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Juvenile for his performance in an episode of the Seven Network's Young Ramsay.

It was also a big night for the popular Nine Network series The Sullivans, picking up five Logies, including Most Popular Drama, Most Popular Actor (Paul Cronin) and Most Popular Actress (Lorraine Bayly).

Overseas celebrities to feature at the 1978 TV Week Logies were Florence Henderson (then starring in The Brady Bunch Variety Hour), Mike Farrell (MASH), Richard Anderson (The Bionic Woman), Pattie Weaver (Days Of Our Lives), British TV host David Frost, and legendary performer Sammy Davis Jnr. The presentation also featured a link-up to Sydney to feature an interview with Bob Hope who had been touring Australia and was about to head back to the US to host the Academy Awards.

MASH star Mike Farrell had made an on-air appeal for a gentleman who had taken a fall earlier in the week in the Melbourne CBD following an altercation with Farrell's daughter Erin. In the confusion that followed the incident, the man did not give Farrell his name, hence the Logies night call for the man so that Farrell could "buy him a drink". Then, within an hour, Melbourne man Don Sinclair arrived at the Southern Cross Hotel. "One day you are an avowed fan of MASH and the next day you're having an accident with BJ Hunnicut's daughter," said Sinclair after arriving at the hotel. And yes, he got his drink.

Mark Holden was awarded Most Popular Teenage Personality, but was curiously not present to collect his award. It was later revealed that the pop singer and former The Young Doctors star had made a quick dash outside the ballroom but failed to return in time to accept his award.

1978_logies4 Melbourne's Mary Hardy (pictured with host Bert Newton), in accepting her Logie for Most Popular Female Personality in Victoria, jokingly acknowledged: "I really have to thank Graham Kennedy for this. If he hadn't got me the sack at GTV9 all those years ago, I would not have gone to Seven!" After her acceptance speech, Hardy then felt a tug at her skirt on her way back to her seat. She turned and found it had come from Florence Henderson who smiled and threw her arms around Hardy, saying "I thought you were marvellous." For one of the few times in her life, Hardy was lost for words. The two had never met before and Henderson's compliment was based solely on Hardy's on-stage acceptance speech.

1978logies_3 Now these days there is just as must emphasis placed on the red carpet arrivals and the fashions as there is on the actual awards themselves. But in 1978, TV Week's only coverage of some of the fashions of the night was a two-page spread featuring Cop Shop's Lynda Stoner (pictured), The Sullivans' Susan Hannaford (shown to be arriving with Mark Holden, triggering stories of a possible romance between the two), and sisters Carmen and Paula Duncan - but the biggest shock frock of the night came from A Current Affair host Sue Smith, who wore a revealing black gown split to the hip. The strapless top half of the gown was more revealing. For a presenter who was better known for her serious approach to current affairs, it took many in the crowd by surprise.

In total, 43 awards were handed out on the night. The Nine Network claimed twenty awards, the Seven Network claimed eight Logies, while the 0-10 Network picked up four, and ABC picked up five. Hobart's TVT6 picked up the three Tasmanian state awards, and Newcastle's NBN3 won the regional TV category.

Finally, a list of all 43 winners of the 1978 TV Week Logie Awards:

Viewers' voted awards:

Gold Logie: Graham Kennedy, Blankety Blanks (0-10 Network)

Silver Logie - Most Popular Actor: Paul Cronin, The Sullivans (Nine Network)

Silver Logie - Most Popular Actress: Lorraine Bayly, The Sullivans (Nine)

Most Popular Teenage Personality: Mark Holden

Most Popular Variety/Panel/Comedy Show: Blankety Blanks (0-10)

Most Popular Drama Series: The Sullivans (Nine)

Most Popular Commercial: Export Cola

Best New Talent: Brandon Burke (Glenview High, Seven Network)

Industry panel awards:

Best Individual Performance by an Actor: Neil Fitzpatrick, Pig In A Poke (ABC)

Best Individual Performance by an Actress: Jacki Weaver, Do I Have To Kill My Child? (ABC)

Best New Drama: Cop Shop (Seven)

Best Sustained Performance by a Supporting Actor: Michael Caton, The Sullivans (Nine)

Best Sustained Performance by a Supporting Actress: Vivean Gray, The Sullivans (Nine)

Outstanding Performance by a Juvenile: Beau Cox, Young Ramsay (Seven)

Best Single Drama: The Alternative (Seven)

Best Dramatic Script: Margaret Kelly and John Dingwall, Pig In A Poke (ABC)

Best Documentary Series: In The Wild (ABC)

Best News Documentary: Utah report, Four Corners (ABC)

Outstanding Contribution to TV Journalism: The Werribee Accident, A Current Affair (Nine)

Best Public Affairs Series: Willesee At Seven (Seven)

Best News Report: Blue Mountains bushfires, Eyewitness News (TEN10 Sydney)

Outstanding Contribution to Community Service: The National Survival Test (0-10)

Outstanding Coverage of a Sporting Event: Australian Open Golf Championship (Nine)

Best Comedy Performer: Paul Hogan, The Paul Hogan Show (Nine)

Outstanding Contribution by a Regional Station: Ian (NBN3 Newcastle)

State winners (Most Popular Male Personality, Female Personality, Program):

NSW: Mike Walsh (TCN9), Sue Smith (TCN9), The Mike Walsh Show (TCN9)

VIC: Bert Newton (GTV9), Mary Hardy (HSV7), The Don Lane Show (GTV9)

QLD: Paul Sharrat (QTQ9), Jacki MacDonald (BTQ7), Country Homestead (QTQ9)

SA: Roger Cardwell (NWS9), Helen Woods (NWS9), Super Fun Show (ADS7)

WA: Terry Willesee (STW9), Jenny Clemesha (STW9), Channel Nine News (STW9)

TAS: Tom Payne (TVT6), Robyn Jackman (TVT6), This Week (TVT6)

Source: TV Week, 11 March 1978 & 18 March 1978.

The 50th Annual TV Week Logie Awards. Tonight (Sunday) 4 May, from 7.30pm. Nine*

* GTV9 Melbourne. Other stations/affiliates check local guides.

Friday, 2 May 2008

The 2008 Fugly Awards

The winners of the seventh annual Fugly Awards were announced today at a glittering three-minute ceremony held on the brown carpet outside Melbourne's Crown Casino complex.

The Fugly Awards, held in the lead-up to the TV Week Logie Awards, recognise the good, the bad, and the (f)ugly of Australian television - but while the Logies come with big budgets, big names and big frocks, the Fuglies are a much smaller affair with a few milk crates, some product placement from the award's new sponsor Another Bloody Water, and some fold-out chairs reserved for the invited guests.

Fugly creator Anthony Dever made the trip from Brisbane to Melbourne to hand out the prestigious awards which, curiously, none of the winners were on hand to accept - even the 'good' ones.

A full list of winners and runners up in this year's Fugly Awards appear on their website - but just quickly, here are the big winners of today's awards:

kyle annacoren


More on today's Fugly presentation at TV Tonight