Saturday, 31 October 2009

7TWO starts tomorrow

7TWO_2 The Seven Network’s new digital channel 7TWO launches tomorrow afternoon  (Sunday) in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth from 12.00pm.

After an introduction to the channel, the first program will be Michael Jackson’s last ever televised concert, with the pop icon reunited with his brothers onstage as the Jackson Five for the first time in over 20 years.

Two Disney films, The Cheetah Girls and The Cheetah Girls 2, follow at 2.00pm and 4.00pm respectively.  Then, from 6.00pm, three episodes of US comedy Scrubs.

7TWO’s first evening will then include a triple movie feature: McHale’s Navy (1997), the premiere of The Ringer (2003) and the original The Taking Of Pelham 123 (1974).

Then from 1.30am, 7TWO continues overnight with classic AFL games.

southerncrosstvMeanwhile, regional affiliate Southern Cross Television has announced that it will be broadcasting 7TWO to viewers in Darwin from December.  It will be the first of the range of commercial Freeview channels to go to Darwin, as One HD and GO! have yet to appear there.  Though Darwin already has a digital-only channel, Darwin Digital Television, which relays the Ten Network.

Southern Cross’ announcement for 7TWO into Darwin follows last week’s news that they will also carry 7TWO into Tasmania from December.  Meanwhile, the Seven Network’s largest regional affiliate, Prime Television, has not made any announcement about its plans to broadcast 7TWO into its digital broadcast areas which includes regional NSW, Victoria, the Gold Coast and the Australian Capital Territory.

Source: 7TWO, NT News

Monday, 26 October 2009

7TWO to go to Tasmania

7TWO The Seven Network’s new digital channel 7TWO will be broadcast into Tasmania from December.

The island state’s Seven Network affiliate, Southern Cross Television, has announced that it will be carrying 7TWO from 1 December, one month after the channel’s launch on the mainland next Sunday.

Tasmania has one of the highest conversion rates to digital in Australia, with 70 per cent of surveyed households converted in the most recent government survey, largely due to the state’s third commercial channel, TDT, being broadcast exclusively in digital.

Source: B&T Today, Digital Ready

Sunday, 25 October 2009

1979: October 27-November 2

tvtimes_271079 TV’s reluctant Romeo
Since John Waters first hit screens as Sgt McKellar in ABC’s Rush in 1974, he has carried the reputation of being the handsome romantic, though his roles following Rush have been very different.  “I’ve got nothing against those leading man roles, but I certainly don’t want to spend the rest of my life playing them.  I prefer character acting and I try not to let my own personality dominate a role.  To me that leads to typecasting, which in my view is fatal for an actor.”  Waters has joined the cast of The Sullivans as Christopher Merchant, a soldier who meets up with some of the Sullivan family in Changi and later adds a touch of romance to the life of Kate (Ilona Rodgers).  As well as The Sullivans, Waters is continuing his recurring role as a presenter on ABC’s Play School.  “I love doing it.  It’s one of the few shows that give children something of quality and I find that tremendously satisfying.  I get letters from people of all ages throughout the year and the mail that comes in from the children is very satisfying.  They rarely ask for anything, not even an autograph, although we always send out an autographed photo.  They want to share things.  They send in pictures they’ve painted, things they’ve made, always something of theirs to share.  I find that sort of thing so rewarding.”

belindagiblin Belinda Giblin joins Skyways
Belinda Giblin (pictured), former star of Crawford dramas The Box and The Sullivans, is joining another Crawford production, Skyways, for seven weeks.  Giblin plays the part of Christine Burroughs, acting manager of Trans Asia, the fictional airline depicted in the series.  Although she began work on the series in Melbourne this week, she won’t be on screen for some months.

Upstairs Downstairs star for Aussie series
Nicola Pagett
, star of the British series Upstairs Downstairs, has been signed for the romantic lead in the upcoming ABC mini-series The Timeless Land.  ABC head of drama Geoff Daniels said that Pagett’s profile in the United Kingdom and also in the United States, where Upstairs Downstairs has gained a following, should guarantee overseas sales for The Timeless Land.  The eight-part series, which also stars Michael Craig, Ray Barrett, Angela Punch and Earthwatch host Peter Cousens, begins production in November.

Briefly…
Recently-married couple Rod Kirkham, a former Young Talent Time member, and actress Barbara Llewellyn have left Australia to settle in England.  Gavan Disney, formerly Kirkham’s manager and now an executive at BTV6 Ballarat said: “They decided to live overseas.  That is all there is to it.  They have no particular plans other than getting to England.  Neither Rod nor Barbara have been exactly over-worked in Australia for the past 12 months, and both felt they had nothing to lose by giving England a go.”

Hollywood star Debbie Reynolds, whose new show opens for a two-week run in Sydney at the end of the month, will be appearing on The Mike Walsh Show over four days from 30 October.  Reynolds will also be appearing on The Don Lane Show on 1 November.  During her last tour, in 1975, Reynolds’s appearance on The Don Lane Show, including an impromptu song and dance routine, triggered a massive response by delighted viewers who jammed the channel’s switchboard.

Kerry Ford, one-time hostess of quiz show Casino 10, has left her job as publicity director for Lyle McCabe Productions to become a Qantas air hostess.

BTQ7 Brisbane presenter Bob Janssen is preparing to set off on a unique voyage – a wet-bike ride from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast to Melbourne to raise funds for the Spastic Welfare League.  The wet-bikes, like a motorcycle on water, were first seen on a James Bond film and have been in Australia for about two years though only six are known to be in Queensland. Completing the journey to Melbourne could put him in the Guinness Book of Records.

mollymeldrum_2 Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor:
”Well, Countdown’s Molly Meldrum (pictured) has finally pushed me to the limit.  I can’t stand it any longer, and must write to say what I think of him – which is not very much.  For a start, why does he have to put on one of his silly predictions instead of the Number 1 single of the week?  Isn’t it plain enough for him to see that the people buy the record to promote it to Number 1 spot, so they can hear and see their favourite group performing?  Secondly, he raves on and on throughout the show, so if he does play the Number 1 single you never see it all the way through because he wasted time talking about nothing.”  S. McLaughlan, NSW.

“There is a group of us who haven’t missed a Doctor Who episode for years.  But why have Tom Baker (the fourth and current Doctor Who) coming out here on a promotional tour and then screening old repeats three or four times in a row?  Come on, get some new shows going.  Doctor Who is too good to be messed around with.  The good shows get messed up and the trash they treat with respect.  I love Doctor Who too much to stand by while this is done.” C. Robertson, VIC.

“Will somebody answer this question: why can’t a nation that gave us classic movies like All Quiet On The Western Front, Gone With The Wind and Mutiny On The Bounty, produce good TV shows?  We are fed a steady diet of preposterous piffle such as The Flying Nun, The Six Million Dollar Man and Mork And Mindy.  They also give us ultra-violent shows, of which Streets Of San Francisco, Starsky And Hutch and Kojak are typical.  Furthermore, it would appear most Americans are hard of hearing, as the majority of characters in US shows scream and shout at each other like demented persons!  They haven’t yet mastered the excellent, natural, low-key type of acting that is the feature of most English TV productions.  I won’t say much about Australian TV – the least said the better.  I don’t think any Australian TV scriptwriters have had an original idea since the day they were born.” C. Rowbottom, SA.

What’s On (October 27-November 2):
Saturday afternoon sport includes horse racing with the WS Cox Plate, live from Moonee Valley and telecast on HSV7, hosted by Bill Collins.  ABC presents live coverage of the CBA Westlakes Classic golf from the Grange course in Adelaide.

This Fabulous Century (HSV7, Sunday) looks at the political conflicts that have stirred Australia since the turn of the century, including the infamous Pig Iron Bob clash between Robert Menzies and the waterside workers.

GTV9 presents a two-and-a-half hour special, Goodbye ‘70s Goodbye, looking back at the news and events of the 1970s in Australia.

giltucker In Cop Shop (HSV7, Monday and Thursday), when a young apprentice is sacked from his job, a youth group decides to take matters in their own hands.  Baker (Gil Tucker, pictured) is knocked unconscious when he and Benjamin (Greg Ross) are called to investigate.

GTV9’s Friday night movie is Lassie: A New Beginning, featuring former Young Talent Time cast member Sally Boyden.

Sunday night movies: Scobie Malone (HSV7), Death Flight (GTV9), For Pete’s Sake (ATV0).  ABC’s series of Australian plays continues with Gail, the story of a 13 year old facing the problems of growing up, starring Sally Cooper, Terry Gill, Jackie Kerin and Nanette Wallace.

Source: TV Times (Melbourne edition), 27 October 1979.  ABC/ACP

Saturday, 24 October 2009

ABC is ready for 3

ABC3 National broadcaster ABC has announced that its new children’s-only channel, ABC3, will launch on Friday 4 December.

The new channel will broadcast daily between 6.00am and 9.00pm.

Heading the channel’s line-up during weekdays will be programming blocks Studio 3 (mornings) and Rollercoaster (afternoons) featuring a mix of factual and adventure series, wildlife and documentaries, game shows, news and current affairs, dramas and classic Australian animations.  Programs aimed at older children will screen in the evenings.

Presenting Studio 3 (pictured) will be Amberley Lobo and Kayne Tremills, with roving reporter Ben Crawley.  

Other locally-made shows to appear on ABC3 are Rush TV, (covering sports including snowboarding, BMX, skating, surfing and motocross), Prank Patrol (where kids get help to create, build and execute the prank of a lifetime on their chosen target) and Good Game SP (a junior version of ABC2’s Good Game).

Also featuring on ABC3 is My Place, a series based on the award-winning book about 13 kids, 130 years and a fig tree.  CJ the DJ, an interactive animation about a teenager who loves music. Drama Dance Academy, which centres around a group of male and female students training at the National Academy of Dance. Dead Gorgeous, a drama about three strong-willed sisters given a second-chance at life as ghosts.

Richard Hammond’s Blast Lab and documentary series Be The Creature will also feature, as will a repeat run of the ‘90s teenage drama Heartbreak High.

ABC3 will also have interactive features via the ABC website and will also have programming made available on ABC iView.  A selection of ABC3 programs will also be shown on the flagship channel ABC1 to account for households that do not yet have access to digital television.

abckidson2 The launch of ABC3 will coincide with an expansion of children’s programming on existing channel ABC2.  ABC For Kids On 2 will provide pre-school age programming between 9.00am and 6.00pm weekdays and 6.00am to 6.00pm on weekends.

ABC3 and ABC For Kids On 2 will be competing for young viewers with the range of children’s channels on pay-TV, including Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CBeebies, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr and Playhouse Disney, as well as dedicated children’s and cartoon hours on new digital channels GO! and 7TWO.

Seven catches up with 7TWO

7TWO_itstime Finally, the Seven Network has made a definite announcement about it’s long-long-awaited second channel.

Eight months after chief David Leckie said that an announcement of Seven’s digital plan was “imminent”, the network has told the public about their new channel to begin on Sunday 1 November at 12.00pm.

“It’s Time”, shouts the promos, for 7TWO (and yes, the promo is a light-weight take on the iconic political campaign of 1972.)  Perhaps the promo should shout “It’s About Time”, as Seven is the last of the three commercial networks to launch a digital channel, following OneHD in March and GO! in August.  Even SBS beat Seven to air when it re-worked its World News Channel to SBS2 in June.

The new 7TWO promises a raft of programming genres from classic Australian content (Sons And Daughters, Mother And Son and early episodes of Home And Away) to British and American comedies and dramas (e.g. Lost, Ugly Betty, 24, Heroes, Scrubs, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Gavin And Stacey, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Heartbeat), plus movies, lifestyle shows (featuring presenters including Jamie Oliver and Martha Stewart) and footy flashbacks from AFL.

7TWO The Jay Leno Show, which recently launched in prime-time in the US and is currently shown in Australia on The Comedy Channel, will also be shown on 7TWO five nights a week.

The new channel will be carried on Seven’s digital platform in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth on digital channel 72.  It is also expected to be carried via regional networks Prime and Seven Queensland and on pay-TV via Foxtel in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane from dates to be advised.

The first week’s prime-time line-up looks like this:

Sunday 1: 6pm Scrubs, 7.30 Movie: McHale’s Navy, 9.30 Movie: The Ringer (premiere).

Monday 2: 6pm The New Jay Leno Show, 7pm Movie: Seabiscuit, 9.30 Movie: Master Spy – The Robert Hanssen Story.

Tuesday 3: 6pm Jay Leno, 7pm That 70s Show, 7.30 Ugly Betty (Series 3 premiere), 8.30 Reaper (premiere), 10.30 Strike Force, 11pm Last Comic Standing.

Wednesday 4: 6pm Jay Leno, 7pm That 70s Show, 7.30 American Gladiators (premiere), 8.30 Heroes (Series 4 premiere), 10.30 What About Brian, 11.30 Commander In Chief.

Thursday 5: 6pm Jay Leno, 7pm That 70s Show, 7.30 Fifth Gear (premiere), 8.30 Stargate Atlantis, 10pm Strikeforce Fight Night, 11.30 Monster Garage.

Friday 6: 6pm Jay Leno, 7pm That 70s Show, 7.30 Scrubs, 8.30 The F Word, 9.30 Fight For Life, 10.30 Escape To The Country, 11.30 Last Comic Standing.

Saturday 7: 6pm Destroyed In Seconds, 6.30 Air Crash Investigations, 7.30 Egypt, 8.30 Jamie’s Outdoor Room, 9.30 60 Minute Makeover, 10.30 How Not To Decorate, 11.30 Last Comic Standing.

Sunday 8: 6pm Scrubs, 7.30 Movie: Kate And Leopold, 9.30 Movie: Kill Bill, 11.30 Last Comic Standing.

The full program guide for 7TWO’s first week is online now at Yahoo7.

Seven’s approach to 7TWO as a broadly-based entertainment channel is in contrast to fairly focused efforts by Ten and Nine with their OneHD (sports) and GO! (youth-oriented entertainment) channels.  GO!, in particular, has helped the Nine Network’s audience share and ratings for Nine and GO! combined have taken some weekly wins away from the stand-alone Seven. 

Friday, 23 October 2009

Don Lane

donlane_2 American-born entertainer and one of the greats of Australian TV variety, Don Lane has died after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 75.

Born Morton Donald Isaacson in 1933, Lane grew up in the Bronx district of New York. A nightclub performer in the US, he first came to Australia in the mid-1960s when he was invited to host a variety show, The Tonight Show, at TCN9.

grahamdon It was during The Tonight Show that Lane and his In Melbourne Tonight counterpart Graham Kennedy appeared together in a split-screen broadcast (pictured) from their respective cities in a technical link-up only made possible by the linking of the two cities by coaxial cable.

In 1968 Lane made news when he was charged with possessing marijuana and spent four days on remand in Sydney’s Long Bay jail before being acquitted.

In the early-‘70s, Lane made regular trips between Australia and the US, but was based in the US when he was invited to appear at the Nine Network’s Darwin appeal after Cyclone Tracy in 1974. That appearance led to an invitation by ATN7 Sydney to host a new tonight show but Lane declined and instead took up an offer to host a Monday night show for GTV9 Melbourne in the wake of Graham Kennedy’s hasty departure from the channel after his suspect ‘crow call’ incident saw him banned from appearing on live television.

The Don Lane Show began on 12 May 1975 and was an instant ratings hit. Airing twice a week, it was the show that was visited by some of the biggest names in showbusiness and also pioneered the live satellite interviews, a rarity in the ‘70s. Highlights of the show were also packaged for syndication across the United States.

bertanddon The Don Lane Show also formed one of Australian TV’s most famous double acts when it teamed up Bert Newton as Lane’s comic sidekick. Lane was the straight man to Newton’s comic performances and impersonations, and the pair also worked together on Melbourne radio station 3UZ.

The Don Lane Show won a swag of TV Week Logie awards including Lane winning the Gold Logie for most popular male personality on television in 1977. It was in his acceptance speech for the Gold Logie that he famously paid tribute to Newton, clutching the Logie and promising “here you are, pal! – six months at my place, six months at yours.”

Newton today said that Lane “reinvented variety” and paid tribute to his colleague and friend:

“Variety took on a new meaning. There were satellite interviews, world famous guests were coming onto the show. He shared the set with some of the biggest names in the business.”

“To me it's a great loss.”

“I laughed at the time and I laugh now at the memory on this very sad day.”

After The Don Lane Show wound up in November 1983, Lane headed back to the US but was soon back in Australia when he joined Network Ten in 1987, hosting a game show, You’ve Got To Be Joking, and the TV Week Logie Awards. He followed these in 1988 with Late Night Australia, a five-night-a-week variety show that ended up against Graham Kennedy’s News Show on Nine.

In the ‘90s, Lane gained a following as a presenter of ABC’s late night NFL coverage and appeared as a guest on The Late Show.

donlane_3 In 2003 he was inducted into the TV Week Logie Awards’ Hall of Fame.

Lane was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2005.

Nine Network CEO David Gyngell has paid tribute to Lane:

“Today Australia lost one of its finest all-round entertainers.

Don Lane was a stalwart of the industry and a great mate to so many of us here at Nine.

While Don may have passed, the memories and the laughs he provided will remain with us for many years to come.

Our deepest condolences are conveyed to Jayne Ambrose, PJ and Don’s extended family.”

A funeral for Don Lane will be held today (Friday) with a public memorial to be announced.

Source: The Age

Monday, 19 October 2009

Number 96 on DVD again in 2010

janadele TV critic and self-confessed Number 96 tragic Andrew Mercado has announced that the third boxed set DVD of the famous Aussie soap Number 96 will be released by Umbrella Entertainment in 2010.

‘Aftermath of Murder’ picks up where the last DVD release (‘the Pantyhose Murderer’) left off and new characters in the series this time around include outrageous showgirl Trixie O’Toole (pictured, with Reg MacDonald played by Mike Dorsey), a recurring character in the series played by Jan Adele, and Vera Collins’ (Elaine Lee) new boarder Adam Shaw (Justin Rockett). 

The episodes originally aired early in 1975.

Source: Mercado.tv, Have Phaser Will Travel

Sunday, 18 October 2009

1979: October 20-26

tvtimes_201079 Tom’s accent is on variety
Canadian-born Tom Burlinson has tackled Irish, English and American accents in various roles since leaving the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in 1976, but has found that playing Mickey Pratt in the 0-10 Network’s The Restless Years has presented the biggest challenge.  “Mickey’s Australian accent is one of the hardest,” Burlinson said.  But while Burlinson (pictured with co-star Penny Cook) admits to not always being keen on some of the tasks he called on to do as Pratt, he says there is a certain amount of leeway in the way he interprets the script and does accept the show’s widespread appeal:  “Whether The Restless Years is good or not, the fact is that it has mass appeal and many viewers accept it as real.  One therefore has a responsibility, particularly to adolescents who watch the program.”  However, Burlinson has said that after a year in the show he is ready to move on.  “I don’t want to become a TV star, I want to be a working actor.  One of the main reasons I want to leave The Restless Years is that I want to work in other areas such as films and stage.”

Big Country in the gun!
In ten years of production, ABC’s documentary series A Big Country has generated as many stories off-screen as it has on-screen.  On many occasions its reporters and crew have come close to injury and death.  In 1970, producer John Mabey and crew visited Jim Jim Plain, near Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, to investigate the latest methods of capturing buffalo.  They found a hunter and asked for an interview.  “I walked up to this man and said ‘I’m John Mabey from the ABC.  I’d like to talk to you about buffalo hunting,” Mabey recalls.  “He looked at me and then slowly reached down to his holster, pulled a .45 automatic from it and pointed it at my head.  He said ‘See this hole? Well you’ll feel one like it if you don’t get out of here now.’  Apparently Four Corners had been through the area some weeks before, filming cruel methods of hunting buffalo, and this chap obviously didn’t see eye to eye with the report.”  An earlier incident, recalled by producer and reporter Ron Iddon, saw the crew on a chartered single-engine flight from Geraldton, Western Australia, to the Abrohlos Islands, 70 kilometres of the WA coast.  On their way back to Geraldton the plane’s engine cut out:  “All of a sudden it was very quiet.  I was sitting two seats back and I remember looking at the pilot who was busy pushing and pulling things.  We were flying at 150 metres and I remember watching the altimeter registering our rapid descent.  When we got down to 31 metres I remember thinking ‘we’re going to crash.’  We were miles from any land and then only seconds from impact – the engine fired.”  The mid-air drama lasted about 90 seconds, but as Iddon said:  “It was the longest minute-and-a-half I can remember.”

paulcronin Cronin on nostalgia radio trip
As well as revisiting the 1940s in his role of Dave Sullivan in The Sullivans, actor Paul Cronin (pictured) is tackling nostalgia on Melbourne radio with a new weekly program, Remember When.  The three-hour program, on Melbourne’s 3AW, examines the events of the times from 1938 through to the present day.  It is Cronin’s first radio show but, according to 3AW’s Leveda Lynch, he settled right in: “He was nervous for the first five minutes and then he began enjoying himself.  We all thought he was very good, and we had a great reaction from the public.”  Remember When is scheduled to run for 13 weeks while football is off-season, but if ratings indicate public support then it may continue.

Rolf Harris for ABC
Rolf Harris
will visit Australia in December to discuss plans for seven one-hour variety specials to be produced by ABC in mid-1980.  The format of the shows will be discussed at the meetings, but Executive Producer Ric Birch said:  “Rolf’s management are very keen to do them although nothing has been signed yet.  We’ll be thrashing out all the details in December.”  The specials are likely to be made in Sydney, though Birch said that they would like to spend a week on location for filming, but this may be restricted by Harris’ scheduled club appearances in Sydney.

Briefly…
Actress Pat McDonald scarcely had her leg out of plaster, after a knee operation in August, when she was off to Perth to appear in a telethon.  Next week she flies to Adelaide for another.

Nine Network’s Pete Smith, a devoted football hater, has won the Anti Football League’s medal for least service to football in 1979.  The award was presented at an empty Melbourne Cricket Ground two days before the VFL Grand Final.

John Walton, the young actor who has starred in The Young Doctors and The Sullivans, is returning to the stage to play the title role of Hamlet with the Melbourne Theatre Company.

clivehale Clive Hale (pictured), the host of ABC’s Nationwide, has admitted that it has taken some adjustment to settling in to the new show after ten years on This Day Tonight, where he was often known to ad-lib or editorialise:  “The sort of flippancy on This Day Tonight would look out of place on a more serious program like Nationwide.  I must admit that after ten years on TDT, I enjoy being less flippant.”   A budding artist off-screen, Hale has admitted to wanting to approach ABC management about ideas for arts programs.

Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor:
”When I read in TV Times that Peter Lochran had been nominated for a Sammy as best actor, I felt really pleased.  In my opinion, he is the best actor on Australian TV, and thoroughly deserves recognition.  The Young Doctors is the best show on TV and it deserves to win all the awards it can.”  F. Gregory, NSW.

“I want to thank TEN10 Sydney for putting on the late John Wayne’s movies.  I have been a fan of his for a long time and I enjoyed every last one of his movies.” N. Hunter, NSW.

“I was very disgusted with a program on ATV0 Melbourne recently called So You Want To Be A Centrefold.  I realise that this adults-only rated program was on at a reasonable hour, but I do think that the only reason it was shown was for men to gloat over.  It made me sick to see those girls flaunt themselves in front of the camera.  It seemed to me that this program was encouraging young girls to become nude centrefolds.  I think that females should think of themselves as being more than just cheap pin-ups for men’s girlie magazines.” S. Pye, VIC.

“I would like to thank TEN10 for screening East Of Eden, starring the late James Dean.  It is the most superb performance by any actor I have ever seen.” L. Madkasoa, NSW.

“If ABC has a transmission fault, they apologise and play some peaceful music while repairs are under way.  If our local commercial channel, RTQ7 (Rockhampton), has a fault they just put a silly picture on the screen… no apology, no music.” R. Ramming, QLD.

What’s On (October 20-26):
HSV7
presents live coverage of the Caulfield Cup race meeting on Saturday afternoon, hosted by Bill CollinsABC presents live coverage of International Men’s Hockey, from Melbourne’s Royal Park West.

Singer-songwriter Leon Berger represents Australia in the Pacific Song Contest, held in Christchurch, New Zealand, and shown in a delayed telecast on ABC on Saturday night. 

On Sunday afternoon, ABC presents live coverage of the Castrol Six Hour Race from Amaroo Park, while ATV0 crosses to Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion for the Custom Credit Indoor Tennis Championships with commentators Ray Warren, Bill Bowrey and John Newcombe.

This Fabulous Century (HSV7, Sunday) looks at the growth of Australia’s population over the last 80 years – from 3.7 million in 1901 to almost 14 million in 1979.  Host Peter Luck looks at the elements that make up Australia’s population, including racial composition and class structure.

On Monday night, HSV7 crosses to the Perth Concert Hall for a direct telecast of the crowning of Miss Australia 1980 and Miss Australia Charity Queen.  ATV0 presents a repeat screening of the movie version of the former TV series The Box.

Same as last week, TV Times lists American shows including My Three Sons, WKRP In Cincinnati, Diff’rent Strokes, Angie and Happy Days in place of Family Feud and The Sullivans due to industrial action at GTV9, though The Young Doctors appears to be back in the schedule.

Sunday night movies: Some Kind Of Miracle (HSV7), The French Connection (GTV9), The Paper Chase (ATV0).  ABC presents Mismatch, the second in the series of Australian plays, starring Jane Harders, Stephen O’Rourke, Margo Lee, John Bluthal and Michael Aitkens.

Source: TV Times (Melbourne edition), 20 October 1979.  ABC/ACP

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

50 Years of TVW7 Perth

tvw7_colour Perth’s first TV station TVW7 celebrates its 50th birthday with a two-hour special this Friday night.

Hosted by Yvette Mooney and Simon Reeve, both familiar TVW names dating back over 20 years, the program will look back at the life of the channel that has dominated Perth television for most of the last half century.

The program will also pay special tribute to the channel’s newsreading team of Rick Ardon and Susannah Carr, who have been reading the news together for TVW7 since 1984 – making them quite possibly the longest-serving newsreading team in Australian television.

tvw7_loveyouperth_80s The program is the lead-up to a staff reunion of TVW7 employees to be held on Sunday and also coincides with this month’s launch of an exhibition by Australian Museum of Motion Picture Technology to celebrate 50 years of television in Western Australia, covering the development of Perth channels TVW7, ABW2, STW9, NEW10 and regional networks GWN and WIN.

Channel Seven Perth: The First 50 Years.  Friday 16 October, 8.30pm.  TVW7 Perth/GWN Western Australia.

External Links:
Australian Museum of Motion Picture Technology
WA TV History

Monday, 12 October 2009

Gordon Boyd

gordonboyd Gordon Boyd, TV host of the 1960s and 1970s, has died in Sydney at the age of 86.

A familiar name in the United Kingdom, Boyd first came to Australia in the 1960s to star in a stage musical, Wildcat, that folded after eight weeks but by then Boyd and his wife Joan had already developed a taste for Australian sunshine and planned to stay.

A series of guest appearances on ABC’s The Magic Of Music led to Boyd hosting his own show, The Gordon Boyd Show, in 1964.

In 1965, Boyd started five years as host of the weekly talent quest Showcase, one of the first ‘national’ variety shows to come out of the 0-10 Network when it was formed in the mid-‘60s.  The show won a TV Week Logie in 1966 for outstanding contribution to development of talent.

He returned to host the show when it was revived by the Nine Network in 1974.

Boyd also hosted 1960s daytime shows Gordon And The Girls and The Marriage Game.  He also made guest appearances in A Country Practice in the ‘80s and All Saints in 2003.

Source: Daily Telegraph, IMDB, Australian Television Information Archive, Ozgames, TV Times 24 June 1964, TV Times 25 May 1974

Sunday, 11 October 2009

1979: October 13-19

tvtimes_131079 TV’s Big Night Out
TV Times
presents a list of all the nominations for this week’s Australian Film and Television Awards – the Sammys – to be held at Sydney’s Seymour Centre and televised through the Seven Network.

Among the television categories:

Best Variety Program: The Don Lane Show, Hollywood (TV Follies), Julie Anthony’s Gold Coast Special, Marcia’s Music, Miss Universe, Peter Couchman Tonight, The Saturday Night Show, It’s A Long Way There (Little River Band)

Best Light Entertainment: Family Feud, The Mike Walsh Show, Sound Unlimited, Nightmoves, Parkinson In Australia, Tasmanian New Faces, This Is Your Life.

Best Drama: Against The Wind, Cop Shop, The Oracle, Prisoner, Run From The Morning, The Restless Years, The Sullivans, The Young Doctors.

Best Current Affairs: A Day In The Life (TVW7 Perth), Eleven AM, Four Corners, Glenn Taylor’s Today Tonight (QTQ9 Brisbane), Haydn Sargent’s Brisbane (BTQ7 Brisbane), 60 Minutes, Terry Willesee’s Perth (STW9 Perth).

Best News Coverage: Bellevue Hotel Demolotion (ABQ2 Brisbane), Cadoux Earthquake (ABW2 Perth), Don Dunstan Resignation (NWS9 Adelaide), Heathcote Bushfires (TCN9 Sydney), Mackay-Townsville Cyclone (BTQ7 Brisbane), Mundy/Cribb Recapture (TEN10 Sydney), Strike after Unionist Arrests (TVW7 Perth), The O’Meally Interview (HSV7 Melbourne), Pentridge Riot (GTV9 Melbourne), Policeman’s Protest (QTQ9 Brisbane), Recapture of John Cribb (ATN7 Sydney), Skylab Report (STW9 Perth), Truro Murders Arrest (SAS10 Adelaide).

Best Children’s Series: Carrots, The Curiosity Show, Fat Cat And Friends, Flapper’s Factory, Here’s Humphrey, Kids Only, Nine Will Fix It, Play School, Romper Room, Rupert’s Roundabout, Shirl’s Neighbourhood, Stinger, Top Mates, Wombat.

Best Comedy Program: Neutral Ground (Tickled Pink), The Norman Gunston Show, Rugby League New Faces.

Best Variety Performer: Julie Anthony, Marcia Hines, Don Lane, Garry McDonald, Mike Walsh.

johngregg Best Actor in a TV Series: Peter Adams (Cop Shop), Michael Aitkens (Run From The Morning), Michael Caton (The Sullivans), Paul Cronin (The Sullivans), John Gregg (The Oracle, pictured), John Hamblin (The Restless Years), Gerard Kennedy (Against The Wind), Peter Lochran (The Young Doctors), Terry Norris (Cop Shop).

lorrainebayly Best Actress in a TV Series: Liz Alexander (Golden Soak), Lorraine Bayly (The Sullivans, pictured), Carol Burns (Prisoner), Liddy Clark (Ride On Stranger), Sheila Florance (Prisoner), Vivean Gray (The Sullivans), Vikki Hammond (The Sullivans), Mary Larkin (Against The Wind), Joanna Lockwood (Cop Shop), Kerry McGuire (Against The Wind).

Best Writer (TV Series): Bronwyn Binns/Ian Jones (Against The Wind), Morris Gleitzmann (The Norman Gunston Show), Peter Kinloch (Against The Wind), Peter Luck/David Salter (This Fabulous Century), Tony Morphett (Against The Wind), Terry Stapleton (Cop Shop), David Stevens (The Sullivans), Reg Watson (Prisoner), Peter Yeldham (Run From The Morning).

Other TV categories: Chips Rafferty Memorial Award, Best New Talent, Best Sports Coverage, Best Documentary Program, Best TV Play, Best Actor in a Single TV Performance, Best Actress in a Single TV Performance, Best Writer (TV Play), Best Art Direction, Best Editing.

marciahines Gold Sammy (female): Julie Anthony, Lorraine Bayly, Zoe Bertram, Carol Burns, Michelle Fawdon, Vivean Gray, Vikki Hammond, Marcia Hines (pictured), Caroline Jones, Joanna Lockwood, Kerry McGuire, Diana McLean, Judy Morris, Julieanne Newbould, Joanne Samuel.

Gold Sammy (male): Harry Butler, Roger Climpson, Robert Coleby, Paul Cronin, Clive Hale, John Hamblin, John Hargreaves, Sir Robert Helpmann, Gerard Kennedy, Don Lane, Peter Lochran, Peter Luck, Garry McDonald, Richard Moir, Bert Newton, Michael Pate, Mike Walsh, Peter Wherrett.

Movie bombing was real thing!
The telemovie The John Sullivan Story created an exclusive world first when it was shown on Australian TV recently.  The telemovie’s sequences of the London bomb blitz was not special effects but was footage of the actual event.  It is believed to be the only colour footage of the era in existence and the only time it has been shown publicly was in The John Sullivan Story.  Associate Producer Allan Hardy said it was “pure luck” that the film was uncovered:  “Producer John Barrington rang a contact in London and asked if there was any colour film of London during the blitz.  I don’t think either he or the contact expected that there was so you can imagine how thrilled we were when a reel turned up.  Apparently an English woman had a habit of filming bomb salvage scenes at night.  She used to store the camera under her bed… where it remained until recently.  We now have the exclusive rights to what could be the only known colour film taken during the way.  It was a real stroke of luck and it hardly cost us anything.”

joehasham_3 Will the real Pantyhose Murderer please stand up!
Producing a long-running TV series is not without its hazards and there isn’t a series that hasn’t given its writers challenges when things might go wrong or even when there are circumstances beyond the producers’ control.  Bill Harmon and Johnny Whyte, two of the names behind the phenomenally successful Number 96, cheerfully admit that mistakes were made during the show’s six years in production.  When the mystery “knicker snipper” was taunting the residents of Number 96 in 1972, three RSL clubs, noticing a downturn in attendances, chose to disclose the name of the attacker before it was known publicly.  Problem was, the scriptwriters didn’t even know it at that stage either.  Whyte recalls, “we had no idea who it was.  We had implied it was someone in the block of flats, but we were halfway through the story before we sat down and decided who it would be.”  Knowing that the series could not lose its two male sex symbols, Tom Oliver or Joe Hasham (pictured), they had little choice but to choose character Alan Cotterell (Mark Hashfield) as the culprit.  Sometimes scriptwriters just plainly make mistakes.  Both Harmon and Whyte recall one of their greatest regrets was allowing gay Dudley Butterfield (Chard Hayward) to turn bi-sexual, in the hope that giving him a female love interest would broaden his appeal with viewers.  The change did not work and Hayward left the show six months later.  Some of TV’s other dramas have also had their scriptwriting downfalls.  Hugh Stuckey, script editor for The Restless Years, admitted they were left with a dilemma when Julieanne Newbould decided to leave the series, leaving her on-screen husband, played by Malcolm Thompson, in limbo while Newbould’s character was said to be away on what must be the world’s longest cruise, while producers hope to coax Newbould back into the series.  It is a dilemma that is still yet to be resolved.  James Davern, producer of the former ABC series Bellbird, says that sometimes dilemmas are brought on when actors or actresses sometimes put a higher price on themselves which can conflict with production budgets:  “That’s always the problem of a producer of a long-running serial.  If they insist, then you have to write them out.  The easiest way to do that is to kill the character.”  Prisoner producer Ian Bradley has regretted writing out the character of prison counsellor Bill Jackson (Don Barker) by having him killed in an early episode of the series:  “I wrote him out in the interests of a dramatic storyline and, after the initial impact, I have wishing I could bring him back ever since.”  Sometimes when a favourite cast member leaves a show, scriptwriters do resort to bringing them back as another character.  After Number 96 killed off Les Whittaker (Gordon McDougall) in the famous bomb-blast episode, producers later brought him back as Whittaker’s twin brother, Andrew. 

Prisoner captures Jeanie the Cop Shop escapee
Actress Jeanie Drynan could have had an ongoing role in the popular series Cop Shop, but instead put love before career as she recently married writer/director Tony Bowman and as they are based in Sydney she decided she did not want to leave Sydney for an indefinite period for Cop Shop, based in Melbourne.  Instead, she has opted for a short-term role in another Melbourne-based series, Prisoner, which will see her away from Sydney for only a matter of weeks.

prisoner Briefly…
Prisoner co-stars and real-life newlyweds Peita Toppano and Barry Quin (pictured) are said to be leaving the top-rating 0-10 Network series.  Quin is to take the lead role in an upcoming ABC mini-series, Lucinda Brayford, while Toppano is negotiating for a role in the upcoming 0-10 Network mini-series Water Under The Bridge.

The Young Doctors star Karen Petersen doesn’t usually believe in “living” a role.  That is, until her character Erica Shaw was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  “After reading the research notes and meeting people with MS, I knew the only way I could do the part was to live it – and I was always one actress who didn’t believe in doing that.”  The episodes of Erica’s diagnosis were produced in association with the Multiple Sclerosis Society of NSW and Petersen is now closely involved with the society and hoped to do voluntary work for the organisation.

The 0-10 Network has announced it has bought Film Australia’s five-part documentary series, The Human Face Of ChinaPat Cleary, programming director at TEN10 Sydney, said the series could be screened by the end of the year.

Peter Whitford, John Howard and Judy Davis have signed up for roles in upcoming mini-series Water Under The Bridge.

Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor:
”The standard of TV commercials has fallen disastrously in the past couple of years.  I almost wish the battle against cigarette ads had been lost.” R. Milton, NSW.

NBN “It amazes me that a TV channel with the number of viewers that NBN3 Newcastle has never seems to worry about public opinion.  Yet another enjoyable series which is only half finished is to be axed.  The series, Dallas, is apparently very popular with viewers.  During the last Christmas holidays all midday movies on NBN3 were adults movies, but on the day school resumed the channel screened Tom Thumb.  NBN3 also seems to be one of the few channels in Australia that doesn’t screen The Sullivans.  They did screen it for a few weeks, then axed it, much to viewers’ disappointment.” V. Skinner, NSW.

“I would like to see Tony Bonner back in Cop Shop even though his character, McKenna, is supposed to be dead.  He was really fantastic and made the program fantastic.  Now it is not so interesting.  Also Danni (Paula Duncan) is great and it’s good that she still holds the show together.  It would have been good for McKenna and Danni to get married, because they would have made a good couple.” S. Hatfield, WA.

“We like the ABC program Whodunnit, but it is on at an awkward time.  We like to watch Eight Is Enough which finishes at 8.30pm on HSV7, but Whodunnit starts at 8.15pm.  So we either turn over three-quarters of the way through Eight Is Enough or turn to Whodunnit at 8.30pm, and then it’s not much use watching it because it’s quarter over.” T. Mein and C. Searle, VIC.

What’s On (October 6-12):
Weekend sport includes Garden State PGA Championships, live from Mordialloc, Melbourne (ABC) and the South Pacific Classic tennis, live from Milton courts, Brisbane (HSV7).  On Saturday night, HSV7 presents live coverage of the final of the tennis Super Challenge, from Festival Hall, Melbourne.

This Fabulous Century (HSV7, Sunday) looks at the history of three popular sports in Australia – surfing, cricket and football – as well a look at the career of tennis champion Evonne Cawley and Hawaiian swimming champion Kahanomoku, who introduced Australia to the sport of surfriding in 1915.

A repeat of controversial Australian movie Wake In Fright, starring Chips Rafferty, Jack Thompson, John Meillon, Buster Fiddess and Dawn Lake, screens Monday night on ATV0.

sammys On Wednesday night, HSV7 presents the fourth annual presentation of the Australian Film and TV Awards – the Sammys – live from Sydney’s Seymour Centre and hosted by Roger Climpson

Friday night presents a clash of movie epics, with 55 Days At Peking (HSV7), The Guns Of Navarone (GTV9) and The Nun’s Story (ATV0).  All three movies are three hours in length.

TV Times advises:  “As TV Times went to press, GTV9 had removed screenings of Family Feud, The Young Doctors and The Sullivans due to an industrial dispute.  The channel advises that if workers resume, all three shows will be screened as normal.”  As a result, GTV9 has advised replacement programs My Three Sons, Celebrity Charades and Angie in the respective timeslots.

Sunday night movies: Gold (HSV7), Murder By Natural Causes (GTV9), The Corn Is Green (ATV0).  ABC screens Burn The Butterflies, the first in the series of Australian Plays, starring Ray Barrett, Fred Parslow, Gerard Maguire, Monica Maughan, George Mallaby and Alan Hopgood.

Source: TV Times (Melbourne edition), 6 October 1979.  ABC/ACP

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Hey Hey what a week!

hhis Last Saturday, the Nine Network dropped a bombshell when it announced a last-minute programming change that would see a scheduled repeat of the first Hey Hey It’s Saturday reunion special replaced by a movie. It was later reported that it was the show’s producer and host Daryl Somers who made the last-minute programming request to Nine, apparently to avoid diluting interest in the show in the lead-up to the second reunion special airing this week. It was a risky move that resulted in protests from die-hard fans of the show that only days earlier had cheered the show’s return and its subsequent high ratings.

But the fallout from the last-minute programming change instigated by Somers was nothing compared to the international media storm that followed as a result of an act in the mock talent quest segment, Red Faces.

The Jackson Jive saw five performers, of multi-racial origin, paying a tribute to the famous ‘70s pop group The Jackson Five, with four of the Jackson brothers depicted with ‘blackface’ and recently-departed Michael Jackson shown with a white-painted face. The act drew instant criticism from American performer Harry Connick Jnr, a guest on the show and one of the judging panel on Red Faces. Connick Jnr gave the act a score of zero, though in the world of Red Faces that can unknowingly be as much a compliment as a criticism.

The reaction from the act instantly went viral as what was intended as a light-hearted tribute to the Jackson brothers sparked outrage around the world, particularly in the United States where such such blackface portrayals are deemed hugely offensive. Suddenly, Hey Hey It’s Saturday and Australia as a whole was widely condemned by some high-profile commentators around the world, while reaction in Australia has ranged from outrage to cries of political correctness gone mad.

Even Malaysian-born singer Kamahl, whose phrase “Why are people so unkind?” became a staple of Hey Hey It’s Saturday over the years and who also appeared on the show many times over its long run, has threatened legal action against the show after a cartoon image of him was used as part of the Jackson Jive performance.

The fallout from the skit lays a dark shadow over what would otherwise be applauded by Nine and Somers as a very successful reunion venture – highlighted in the second show by the return of HHIS favourites Ossie Ostrich, whose close friend Ernie Carroll has come out of retirement for the reunion, and Jacki MacDonald, who has led a very low-profile existence in Queensland since leaving television in the mid-1990s.

darylossie A spokesperson for the Nine Network has said that the reaction from the Jackson Jive skit will have no bearing on whether or not the show is returned in an ongoing format.

And tonight, Nine’s digital channel GO! will screen a repeat of both Hey Hey It’s Saturday reunion shows in a five-hour marathon. Though it is expected that the Jackson Jive performance will be omitted.

Source: Herald Sun, Herald Sun, Herald Sun

1979: October 6-12

tvtimes_061079 Cover: Bill Bixby (The Incredible Hulk)

ABC plans a summer of golf
ABC
plans to screen nine golf tournaments over spring-summer circuit, including the Dunhill Australian Open, which will be the largest single golf coverage ever undertaken by the broadcaster.  For the Open, 26 hours of coverage will involve 150 personnel, 25 cameras, $8 million worth of equipment, 11 kilometres of camera cable and 40 microphones.  As well as the Dunhill competition, ABC will cover the Garden State PGA Tournament, Westlakes Classic, NSW Open, Australia PGA Championship, Australian Open, Australia-Japan Trophy, Victoria Open and the Australian Masters

gwenplumb_2 Why Gwen Plumb wants the last laugh
Gwen Plumb
says she was born with a sense of adventure, and that could explain why she never married.  “I never wanted to pitch my tent in the one place for 50 years.  I always wanted to act and travel, I never wanted to be harnessed.  I never met a man who said I could I remain an individual after we were married.”  Beginning her career as a copywriter at a Sydney radio station, Plumb later (pictured) found herself being cast in local radio dramas and became nationally known in ABC radio serials Blue Hills and The Lawsons.  After a lengthy stay overseas, Plumb returned to Australia to host Women’s World for ABC in the 1960s and then switched to new Sydney channel TEN10 for a daily chat show, Gwen.  She was then cast as the gossiping Ada Simmonds in The Young Doctors when that started late in 1976.  Travelling, particularly overseas, is one of her greatest enjoyments.  “I last went to Europe about four years ago and since then I’ve been to New Zealand and the New Hebrides.  I’d love to go to New York this Christmas because I want to see a lot of theatre and TV. I know a lot of people there who could be into all sorts of interesting things.”

toothbrush New series for Toothbrush gang
New episodes of The Toothbrush Family, the cartoon series created by Australian Marcia Hatfield and currently viewed by millions across Australia, the United States (via the national Captain Kangaroo program on CBS), Canada and New Zealand, are to be produced in Australia.  For the last two years the cartoon has been produced in Canada but the next batch of five-minute episodes are to be produced by the Grundy Organisation in Sydney.  The new episodes are to coincide with a national promotional campaign to promote dental hygiene.  The Toothbrush Family currently airs in Australia on the Nine Network’s Super Flying Fun Show in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and commences next month in an afternoon timeslot in South Australia.

Briefly…
John Bluthal
joins the cast of the upcoming ABC series And Here Comes Bucknuckle, reprising the role originally performed by Frank Wilson in the show’s predecessor And The Big Men Fly.  Production starts this month and the series is expected to air next year. 

Mr Squiggle has just celebrated his 20th anniversary on television, and now his creator Norman Hetherington is planning a one-hour fantasy drama featuring Mr Squiggle and his regular offsiders Miss Jane (Jane Fennell), Bill Steamshovel, Gus the Snail, Kelly the Worm and Blackboard.

Yugoslav actress Vera Plevnik, from the telemovie The John Sullivan Story, gets a chance to do something different playing an Ocker farm girl in an upcoming episode of Young Ramsay.

Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor:
”Congratulations to Sydney’s TEN10 for the rodeo specials they have been running.  Everything about the programs was first-class – except, maybe, the late-night viewing time.” L. Haywood, NSW.

“I’m getting a little sick and tired of all the criticism of our Aussie series (eg. Cop Shop, Skyways).  No doubt the people who complain are the same people who get engrossed in the American “soapies” during the day.  At least I get a good old laugh during our programs.  Complaints of homosexuality and illicit sex scenes are also a little unreasonable in comparison.  Skyways has “killed off” lesbianism, and evidence of sexual encounters is portrayed “before” and “after” – by the wearing of a bath robe or towel.  We very rarely go into the bedroom with them.  Perhaps the critics should note that the times these shows are on is late enough for children to be in bed.”  M. Brugel, NSW.

“Sydney TEN10’s presentation of the Felini film Amarcord was a disgrace.  This fine film, which won Best Foreign Film at the 1974 Academy Awards, was shown at 11.10pm on a Friday night.  It received no promotion at all.  Why does TEN10 insist on showing fine films other than American at late hours?”  R. Porter, NSW.

What’s On (October 6-12):
Saturday afternoon sport includes the Citizen Australian Seniors’ Championship (ABC), live from Manly, Sydney.  HSV7 has live coverage of Davis Cup tennis from White City, Sydney, and ATV0 crosses to Flemington Racecourse for five hours of racing coverage.

This Fabulous Century (HSV7, Sunday) looks at the struggles of Australian Aborigines in society.

Mal Walden presents the crowning of Miss Victoria 1980, live from the St Kilda Town Hall. (HSV7, Monday)

HSV7 presents 12 hours of coverage of the Super Tennis tournament over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday nights.  The competition, held at Festival Hall in Melbourne, offers a prize money of $530,000.

0-10 Network news reporter Ken Burslem presents a one-hour special, The High Cost Of Dying.  The program aims to remove some of the mystery and some of the rip-offs that occur in the dying business.  Common questions on the subject of dying are tackled and answered.

In Cop Shop (HSV7, Monday and Thursday), O’Reilly (Terry Norris) is beginning to feel something of an outcast and his loneliness leads to depression.  Vic Cameron (Terence Donovan) finally confides in Kate’s (Jacqui Gordon) teacher about his past and the effect it has had upon Kate.

Sunday night movies: Petersen (HSV7) (although TV Times also had this scheduled for the week September 8-14), Murder On The Orient Express (GTV9), High Plains Drifter (ATV0).  ABC presents Measure For Measure, another in the six-year BBC series of TV adaptations of the entire works of Shakespeare.

Source: TV Times (Melbourne edition), 6 October 1979.  ABC/ACP

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Hey Hey It’s (not on) Saturday

hhis_2 The Wednesday night battle between the first reunion episode of Hey Hey It’s Saturday and the return of Masterchef, in the guise of a celebrity version, was well and truly won by Hey Hey.

Daryl Somers and his gathered cast of Hey Hey It’s Saturday regulars earned a massive 2.16 million viewers (average, 5 cities) over the three-hour program and helped Nine gain a 38.7 per cent of the prime time audience, almost doubling second placed Seven (21.7 per cent).  Celebrity Masterchef was well behind on 1.35 million and a repeat screening last night (Friday) was watched by another 560,000 viewers.

The Nine Network, never averse to the ‘encore presentation’ (or, to use the traditional title, ‘repeat’), had originally scheduled an ‘encore’ of Wednesday’s Hey Hey to screen tonight (Saturday) at 9.30pm – at least keeping the show’s title relevant.  Now, for reasons known only by Nine, they’ve since decided to cancel tonight’s scheduled program in favour of an Adam Sandler movie, 50 First Dates, although online listings on Nine’s own website still show Hey Hey It’s Saturday.

9_logo_2009_2 Viewers have long been frustrated with Nine’s last-minute ad hoc programming changes and, while Hey Hey It’s Saturday was successful in bringing many viewers across to Nine, this last minute move does nothing to help reverse that frustration.

Source: TV Tonight