Monday, 29 March 2010

Hey… who would have thought…?

sarahmonahanWhen Hey Dad! finished up production back in 1994, who would have ever imagined that 16 years later the show would become the biggest topic on tabloid current affairs shows, newspapers and all over the internet… and would spark a police investigation?

The Hey Dad! controversy started a couple of weeks ago when Sarah Monahan, then a child star in the series (pictured), spoke to Woman’s Day about her time with the show, and in particular one person who she alleged was acting inappropriately towards her – including gestures such as touching her and exposing himself. Ms Monahan did not name the perpetrator involved in her initial interview – but it wasn’t long before A Current Affair took it that step further.

heydad1993The revelation from ACA prompted a feeding frenzy, in particular between ACA and its Seven Network equivalent Today Tonight. Both shows pursued the issue with great enthusiasm – and were not afraid to use dirty tricks, either. In particular Today Tonight, no doubt miffed at ACA’s scoop, brazenly took footage that ACA had taken of the alleged offender, zoomed in the picture to remove those pesky “ACA” logos splashed all over the image, and then whacked their own “Exclusive” tag onto it.

ACA also scored a coup – an interview with the show’s producer, Gary Reilly. Mr Reilly, who also co-produced other comedies for Seven including Kingswood Country, The Naked Vicar Show and Daily At Dawn, has claimed he was not aware of the incidents that Ms Monahan referred to, but did concede that there had been other complaints made by another cast member.

tvweek_240290 ACA also managed to score interviews with many of the show’s former cast members who gave varying perspectives on the saga – including former cast member Simone Buchanan (pictured), who gave an account of her own experiences behind-the-scenes that weren’t too dissimilar to Ms Monahan’s, and Ben Oxenbould, who claimed to have witnessed an incident between the accused and Monahan.

Another former child star from the series, Angela Keep, who replaced Monahan in the role of Jenny Kelly, has also reportedly sold her own story to Woman’s Day.

The public accusations have now triggered a NSW Police investigation and Monahan has reportedly flown back to Australia, from her home base in the US, to make a statement to police.

Police are also expected to take statements from Buchanan and others involved in the series at the time.

At this stage no charges have been laid.

Hey Dad! debuted on the Seven Network in 1987. The half-hour sitcom, based on the family of a single father, ran for seven years and 293 episodes – making it one of the longest-running sitcoms in the world, out-ranking US sitcom giants like Seinfeld (180 episodes), Happy Days (247 episodes) and MASH (251 episodes).

TV Week Logie Award nominees announced

logie_2010 TV Week has announced its list of nominees for this year’s TV Week Logie Awards, to be held at Melbourne’s Crown Casino on 2 May.

On the short list for the Gold Logie are last year’s winner Rebecca Gibney, three-time Gold Logie winner Rove McManus, Home And Away stalwart Ray Meagher, ABC hosts Adam Hills and Wil Anderson, Ten’s Shaun Micallef and Paul McDermott and Home And Away’s Esther Anderson.

Then the categories for Most Popular Actor and Most Popular Actress are basically a two-way battle between Home And Away and Packed To The Rafters, while nominations for Most Popular Drama are Home And Away, Packed To The Rafters, Neighbours, Underbelly: A Tale Of Two Cities and All Saints (RIP).

masterchef Ten’s 2009 hit Masterchef Australia (pictured) received three nominations – one for Most Popular Reality Program and two for judge Matt Preston, both in New Talent categories.  Ten’s other hit of 2009, Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation, also scored five nominations, including Micallef’s Gold nomination.

Hey Hey It’s Saturday – The Reunion has scored a nomination in the Most Popular Light Entertainment Program category.  Sunrise curiously also got a nomination for Most Popular Light Entertainment program, not doing it’s news credibility any favours, while co-host Melissa Doyle is nominated for Most Popular Presenter – up against Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Rove McManus, Shaun Micallef and Paul McDermott.

Among the industry-voted categories, three networks – ABC, Seven and Ten – were nominated for Most Outstanding News Coverage for their reporting of the Victorian Bushfires.

TV Week is yet to announce this year’s inductee into the Logie Awards’ Hall of Fame.

Full list of nominations, including both public and industry-voted categories:

adamhills GOLD LOGIE*
Most Popular Personality on TV
Esther Anderson, Home & Away (Seven)
Wil Anderson, The Gruen Transfer (ABC)
Rebecca Gibney, Packed to the Rafters (Seven)
Adam Hills, Spicks and Specks (ABC)
Paul McDermott, Good News Week (Ten)
Rove McManus, Rove (Ten)
Ray Meagher, Home & Away (Seven)
Shaun Micallef, Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation (Ten)
* Voting for the Gold Logie from the list of nominations is now open to the public up until the day of the event.  Voting for other categories is now closed.

SILVER LOGIES
Outstanding Actor
Roy Billing, Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities (Nine)
Don Hany, East West 101 (SBS)
Garry McDonald, A Model Daughter: The Killing of Caroline Byrne (Ten)
Ben Mendelsohn, Tangle (Showcase)
Aaron Pedersen, The Circuit (SBS)

Outstanding Actress
Justine Clarke, Tangle (Showcase)
Claudia Karvan, Saved (SBS)
Asher Keddie, Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities (Nine)
Susie Porter, East West 101 (SBS)
Kat Stewart, Tangle (Showcase)

Outstanding Drama Series, Mini-series or Tele-movie
A Model Daughter: The Killing of Caroline Byrne, (Ten)
East West 101 (SBS)
Packed to the Rafters (Seven)
Tangle (Showcase)
Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities (Nine)

Most Popular Actor
Luke Jacobz, Home and Away (Seven)
Todd Lasance, Home and Away (Seven)
Ray Meagher, Home and Away (Seven)
Hugh Sheridan, Packed to the Rafters (Seven)
Erik Thomson, Packed to the Rafters (Seven)

Most Popular Actress
Esther Anderson, Home and Away (Seven)
Rebecca Breeds, Home and Away (Seven)
Rebecca Gibney, Packed to the Rafters (Seven)
Jessica Marais, Packed to the Rafters (Seven)
Jessica Tovey, Home and Away (Seven)

rovemcmanus Most Popular Presenter
Natalie Bassingthwaighte, So You Think You Can Dance Australia (Ten)
Melissa Doyle, Sunrise (Seven)
Adam Hills, Spicks & Specks (ABC)
Rove McManus, Rove (Ten)
Shaun Micallef, Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation (Ten)

LOGIE AWARDS
Outstanding News Coverage
Bushfire Disaster (Ten)
Godwin Grech (ABC)
Samoan Tsunami (Nine)
Victorian Bushfires (Seven)
Victorian Bushfires (ABC)

Outstanding Public Affairs Report
Code of Silence, Four Corners (ABC)
Liberal Leadership Meltdown (Sky News)
Matthew Johns Interview, A Current Affair (Nine)
Proof of Life, Australian Story (ABC)
Rising from the Ashes, 60 Minutes (Nine)

Outstanding Factual Program
Bombora: The Story of Australian Surfing (ABC)
Bondi Rescue (Ten)
Darwin's Brave New World (ABC)
Last Chance Saloon (SBS)
Law and Disorder (SBS)

thankgodyourehere Outstanding Light Entertainment
Chandon Pictures (Movie Network)
Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation (Ten)
Thank God You're Here (Seven)
The Chaser's War on Everything (ABC)
Wilfred (SBS)

Outstanding Sports Coverage
Golf: Women's Australian Open 2009 (ABC)
Horse Racing: Emirates Melbourne Cup Carnival (Seven)
League: 2009 NRL Grand Final (Nine)
2009 AFL Grand Final: St Kilda vs Geelong (Ten)
V8 Supercars: Supercheap Auto Bathurst (Seven)

Outstanding Children's Program
Camp Orange: The Final Frontier (Nickelodeon)
Dirtgirlworld (ABC)
Hi-5 (Nine)
My Place (ABC)
The Elephant Princess (Ten)

allsaints Most Popular Drama
All Saints (Seven)
Home and Away (Seven)
Neighbours (Ten)
Packed to the Rafters (Seven)
Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities (Nine)

Most Popular Reality Program
Dancing with the Stars (Seven)
MasterChef Australia (Ten)
So You Think You Can Dance Australia (Ten)
The Biggest Loser Australia (Ten)
The Farmer Wants a Wife (Nine)

Most Popular Lifestyle Program
Better Homes and Gardens (Seven)
Domestic Blitz (Seven)
Getaway (Nine)
Ready Steady Cook (Ten)
Top Gear Australia (SBS)

sunrise_2 Most Popular Light Entertainment
Deal or No Deal (Seven)
Hey Hey The Reunion (Nine)
Spicks and Specks (ABC)
Sunrise (Seven)
Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation (Ten)

Most Popular Sports Program
Before the Game (Ten)
Sports Tonight (Ten)
The Footy Show AFL (Nine)
The Footy Show NRL (Nine)
Wide World of Sports (Nine)

Most Popular Factual Program
Bondi Rescue (Ten)
Border Security (Seven)
Find My Family (Seven)
RPA (Nine)
RSPCA Animal Rescue (Seven)

Most Popular New Male Talent
Luke Mitchell, Home and Away (Seven)
Charlie Pickering, The 7pm Project (Ten)
Matt Preston, MasterChef Australia (Ten)
James Stewart, Packed to the Rafters (Seven)
Josh Thomas, Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation (Ten)

Most Popular New Female Talent
Kate Bell, Home and Away (Seven)
Carrie Bickmore, The 7pm Project (Ten)
Ashleigh Brewer, Neighbours (Ten)
Mirrah Foulkes, All Saints (Seven)
Katherine Hicks, Rescue Special Ops (Nine)

Graham Kennedy Award for Outstanding New Talent
Anastasia Feneri, My Place (ABC)
Anna Hutchison, Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities (Nine)
Camille Keenan, Satisfaction (Showcase)
Eva Lazzaro, Tangle (Showcase)
Matt Preston, MasterChef Australia (Ten)

Bert Newton will host the TV Week Logie Awards on 2 May, telecast on the Nine Network.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

NITV risks shutdown without funding

nitv The National Indigenous Television network (NITV) is warning that it will be forced to close by 30 June 2010 if it does not get a commitment for continued government funding.

NITV, launched in 2007, currently broadcasts on a range of free-to-air and pay-TV platforms – including digital free-to-air in Sydney (on the trial Digital Forty Four service that is soon to be discontinued), through pay-TV providers including Foxtel, Austar and Optus, and through approximately 147 free-to-air transmitters across remote and outback Australia, including Alice Springs (UHF 34) and Mount Isa (UHF 35).  It is also available direct from the Optus Aurora satellite and can be seen via in the in-house television service in Parliament House in Canberra.

NITV_marngrook NITV presents a 24/7 hour television service and produces most of its own programming – with more than 1400 hours of first-run programming aired – including The Marngrook Footy Show (pictured), Living Strong, Barefoot Rugby League Show, Milli Milli Nganka and NITV Nightly News

The station employs around 50 Australians, with 70 per cent those being Indigenous, and through itself and its outsourced productions provide training and experience to Indigenous Australians seeking a career in television.

Once the Digital Forty Four trial service is closed down at the end of April, almost 95 per cent of homes that can access NITV will only be able to do so via subscription or pay-TV.  With increased and continued funding, NITV can also expand its distribution networks to increase its free-to-air TV coverage to place it on a comparable reach with the existing national and commercial television services.

A not-for-profit public company, NITV is seeking a commitment from the Government to maintaining its funding beyond 30 June 2010 and encourages viewers and supporters to put their support to NITV in writing to:

nitv_barefoot The Hon Peter Garrett AM, MP
Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts.
Parliament House Contact
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Or to send an email, go to www.aph.gov.au/P_Garrett_MP/  then click 'contact form'.

More information on NITV can be found at its website and NITV can also be followed on Twitter.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

One year of ONE

OneHD Yesterday marked the first anniversary of the launch of Australia’s first free-to-air sports channel, One HD.

The channel, an off-shoot of the Ten Network, marked the first genuine commercial multi-channel with a full 24/7 schedule and unique branding that offered clear differentiation from the primary channel.

In its first year, One has secured rights to a number of sporting events, either exclusively or in partnership with Ten, as a challenge to sports channels on the pay-TV platform and to help stem the flow of viewers to pay-TV.  Sports such as Australian swimming, Twenty20 Champions League and Indian Premier League cricket, Australian Open and Australian PGA golf, Formula 1 racing, NFL, NBA, Netball, UFC, NASCAR, American baseball and MotoGP have been given a greater range of coverage on free-to-air than ever before via One.

Ten’s rights to the Australian Football League have also led to extensive coverage on One – including live coverage, replays and exclusive programming such as One Week At A Time.

ONE_Thursdaynightlive Extended versions of Ten’s long-running Sports Tonight and a weekly program, Thursday Night Live (pictured), have given a greater coverage of sports news and discussion.

The channel will also boast coverage of the Commonwealth Games later this year in partnership with Ten. 

And it was reported yesterday that both Ten and One have snared the rights to the National Basketball League in a five-year deal from 2010/2011, taking the rights away from Fox Sports and returning the league to Ten, which previously had the broadcast rights back in the ‘90s.

The Ten/One combination is also reported to be planning a push into other major sports, with an NRL bid set to be on the agenda, and will be hopeful to maintain Ten’s decade-long association with AFL with the next rights deal soon up for grabs.

But while Ten will no doubt applaud One HD’s first year as a success, and hopefully profitable, there is the question as to how effective the channel has been in the bigger picture.  Even though One manages to out-rate its pay-TV sports channel rivals, such as Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, Fox Sports 3, Fox Sports News, ESPN and Sky Racing, it has struggled to match ratings with free-to-air multichannel rivals 7TWO and GO!, both of which are building up small but significant audience numbers.  So Ten might be grabbing some extra sports viewers with One but may be losing viewers to entertainment channels 7TWO and GO! – though Ten maintains some strength in its younger demographic audience and claims that One is reaching a market lucrative to advertisers.  Ten also does not have the advantage that Seven and Nine have in that they are able to offload less-popular or alternative programming to their digital multi-channels – though Ten has capacity to set up a second standard-definition channel (currently being used as a standard-definition simulcast of One) and could well do so for this purpose in the future.

The launch of One as a high-definition channel has also left every non-sports program on Ten without an outlet for high-definition broadcasting, while Seven, Nine, ABC and SBS continue to provide high-definition simulcasts of their primary channel.  This has always been a puzzling move, though Ten has maintained that sport is the genre most in demand for high-definition and has seen fit to use that spectrum for One.

southerncrossten With One currently broadcasting alongside the Ten Network and regional affiliate Southern Cross Ten, further expansion is due next month with the channel commencing transmission in Darwin on 22 April as the sister station to Darwin Digital Television.

Source: The Australian, NT News, ABC, Daily Telegraph

Sunday, 21 March 2010

1990: March 10-16

tvweek_100390 Logies 1990: Who’ll grab the glittering prize?
Last year’s TV Week Gold Logie winner Daryl Somers has been nominated for the 1990 TV Week Gold Logie, but has some tough competition – Nine Network colleagues Jana Wendt (A Current Affair) and Ray Martin (Midday), and soapie heart-throb Craig McLachlan (Neighbours).  Somers has already won three TV Week Gold Logies (1983, 1986, 1989) and another Gold will almost rank him with as many Gold Logie wins as predecessors Graham Kennedy (five Gold Logies) and Bert Newton (four Gold Logies and a Hall of Fame Award).

TV Week Logie Awards nominations (Publicly voted categories):
Gold Logie: Ray Martin, Daryl Somers, Jana Wendt, Craig McLachlan.
Most Popular Actor: Andrew McFarlane, Shane Porteous, John Tarrant, Craig McLachlan
Most Popular Actress: Nicolle Dickson, Rachel Friend, Dannii Minogue, Georgie Parker
Most Popular Series: A Country Practice, The Flying Doctors, Home And Away, Neighbours
Most Popular Light Entertainment/Comedy Program: The Comedy Company, Fast Forward, Hey Hey It’s Saturday, Hey Dad!
Most Popular Sports Coverage: Cricket, Grand Prix, Tennis
Most Popular Telemovie or Mini-Series: Bangkok Hilton, Fields Of Fire III, The Heroes, The Magistrate
Most Popular Public Affairs Program: A Current Affair, Hinch, 60 Minutes
Most Popular Children’s Program: C’mon Kids, Play School, Wombat
Most Popular New Talent: Matt Day, Marcus Graham, Georgie Parker

logies_1990_2Other public-voted awards: Most Popular Light Entertainment/Comedy Personality, Most Popular Music Video, Most Popular Lifestyle Program, Most Popular Actor and Actress in a Telemovie or Mini-series, Most Popular Program (for each state) and Most Popular Personality (for each state).

The joke’s on us!
With Mark Mitchell at the helm, comedy will be the emphasis of this year’s TV Week Logie Awards, to be held at the Hyatt On Collins, Melbourne.  Among those joining Mitchell on the Network Ten telecast will be Kim Gyngell (Col’n Carpenter), Steve Vizard (Tonight Live) and the cast of the Seven Network series Acropolis Now.

‘No commercial network could touch this…’
Gerard Kennedy, Terry Gill
and Frankie J Holden are among the cast of a controversial ABC telemovie, Police Crop.  The 100-minute dramatisation exposes the extent of police collusion with the Mafia in Australia over several years, leading up to the death of Superintendent Colin Winchester.  The program is the culmination of painstaking research and goes to air the day after the Winchester inquest resumes.  Director Ken Cameron says that such a program could never air on a commercial network:  “No commercial network could touch this.  They’ve been advised not to.”

shadowsoftheheart What a shocker!
Jason Donovan’s role in the $3.7 million mini-series Shadows Of The Heart will no doubt shock his many fans.  “They’ll certainly see something that’s a bit different and unexpected,” he tells TV Week.  The former Neighbours star plays Alex Fargo, a dark-haired, drunken and unkempt farmer who has a relationship with his bed-ridden cousin, Indy (Sherrie Krenn).  “My role as a singer and what I’ve done with Neighbours before has always been fresh and wholesome.  But it’s nice to play someone different.”

johnwatersBriefly…
John Waters (pictured) and Peta Toppano starred together as hippies in the stage production Godspell and have now been re-united as lovers in upcoming mini-series All The Rivers Run II. 

William McInnes will be making a guest appearance in A Country Practice as the new love interest for Cathy Hayden (Kate Raison) in a storyline that will lead to Raison’s exit from the series.

US actress Cybill Sheppard is coming to Australia to star with John Waters in the $7 million mini-series, Which Way Home, a production of the McElroy brothers who also brought Dynasty star Linda Evans to the outback for The Last FrontierWhich Way Home will start production in New Zealand before heading to Thailand and then finishing up with seven weeks in Sydney.  It is expected to air on Network Ten and the American TNT network in 1991.

stevevizard John Laws says…
”What a pity Steve Vizard (pictured) got off to such a shaky start with his Tonight Live program on Seven.  You’ll recall that I was underwhelmed by his first week’s antics.  Vizard, to put it mildly, was unprepared for the challenge of hosting a live-to-air show.  That first week was a shambles.  But it’s a surprising what a few weeks in the “hot seat” can do.  Vizard, through sheer grit, determination and hard work, has turned the show around.  Vizard’s show rated a 9 in Sydney the other week, three points ahead of its chief rival, Coast To Coast (without Graham Kennedy) on NineCoast To Coast – let’s be frank – is struggling.  Without Kennedy, the heart seems to have been ripped out of it.”

Program Highlights (March 10-16):
Saturday:  ABC
crosses to Auckland, New Zealand, for the One Day International Cricket – Australia versus New Zealand.  Coverage starts at 7.55am and continues through to 3.45pm.
Sunday:  HSV7 presents coverage of NBL, Sydney Kings versus Illawarra Hawks, from the State Sports Centre, Homebush – followed by the Australian Touring Car Championships, live from Tasmania.  Sunday night movies are Perry Mason: Case Of The Avenging Ace (HSV7) and The Couch Trip (ATV10).  GTV9 presents the first instalment of mini-series Something Is Out There.
Monday:  ABC and HSV7 both cover the annual Moomba procession, from the streets of the Melbourne CBD.  HSV7 then devotes the afternoon to Moomba Masters water-skiing from Melbourne’s Yarra River.  After The 7.30 Report, ABC launches a new series, The Party Machine, featuring Andrew Denton as he takes an in-depth look at the upcoming Federal Election.  GTV9 presents the second and final instalment to the mini-series Something Is Out There.
Tuesday:  In Beyond 2000 (HSV7), Simon Reeve examines a robot designed to shear 300 sheep in a single day, Amanda Keller investigates an alternative to hysterectomies, and Bryan Smith takes an amazing journey through the human body.
Thursday and Friday:  ABC presents a late-night cricket highlights package of Day One of the Trans-Tasman Test – Australia versus New Zealand.

Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  
10 March 1990. Southdown Press. 

Saturday, 20 March 2010

1990: March 3-9

tvweek_030390 ‘I want to show the real me!’
Sale Of The Century hostess Alyce Platt (pictured) wants to dump her conservative, quiz-show image.  The former Sons And Daughters star is now in her fourth year on the Nine Network quiz show and is daring to bring a new daring look to the long-running program.  “It was frustrating when people kept coming up to me in the street and telling me I looked younger in real life.  What has happened in the past on Sale Of The Century is that I’ve developed an image that is not really me.  I don’t dress as you’re used to seeing me on Sale.  I’ve just signed a new contract with the show and told them I wanted a say in how I look,” Platt told TV Week.  “I feel I might as well make a huge statement.  We’re finding that a lot of younger people are watching the show now.”  The new-look is set to feature designs from three major designers – Covers, Mariana Hardwick and Jenny Bannister.

Is this the new Kylie?
Beth Buchanan
, the younger sister of Hey Dad! star Simone Buchanan, is to become a new resident of Ramsay Street.  The 17-year-old has been offered a high-profile role in Neighbours, following the departure of actress Rachel Friend from the show, sparking speculation that she is set to become “the new Kylie.”  A Network Ten spokesperson is staying tight-lipped, though:  “She has been offered the part, but I cannot confirm whether she has signed on the dotted line.” 

denisedrysdale_3 Are Denise and husband about to be reunited?
The year just passed is not one that Denise Drysdale (pictured) will want to cope with again.  The Hey Hey It’s Saturday and In Melbourne Today co-star is still coming to terms with the announcement that her ten-year marriage to actor Chris Milne had ended, and the impact it has had on her two boys, aged 9 and 7.  But there is no evidence of bitterness or discomfort when it comes to her former husband.   When asked if she would consider reuniting with Milne, she only responds “I just don’t know.  Stranger things have happened… I’m the sort of person who lives day to day.”  As well as working on her farm property in Gippsland, a 90-minute drive from Melbourne, Drysdale commutes to Melbourne twice a week for tapings of In Melbourne Today and Hey Hey It’s Saturday, hosts a weekly magazine show for local Gippsland channel GLV8 and is in constant demand for club appearances with long-time colleague Ernie Sigley.  Drysdale also responds to rumours that all is not well with her Hey Hey It’s Saturday co-stars, with reports that they’re miffed that she was doing and saying too much.  “Because Jacki MacDonald had been there for so long, I think it’s taken a lot of time for the others to realise there’s someone there to make a lot of noise… I can’t just stand there.  But I don’t think I would have been put in the job if they (the producers) didn’t like the way I work.  They know I’m not like Jacki.  I still think it will take more time to settle in.”  And when asked if she tires of her co-stars constant references to her anatomy, she only responds “No, they’ve been hanging around for years!”

Briefly…
Joining the list of guests jetting in for the upcoming TV Week Logie Awards is actor John Travolta, on the eve of the Australian release of his latest movie, Look Who’s Talking, and Aussie actress Sigrid Thornton, currently based in Los Angeles as the star of the CBS series, Paradise.

julianmcmahon The arrival of Julian McMahon’s (pictured) character, Ben Lucini, in Seven’s Home And Away triggers a whirlwind romance with Carly (Sharyn Hodgson) with the pair becoming engaged within only a couple of weeks.

This week sees comedian Glynn Nicholas take over from Wendy Harmer as host of ABC’s popular comedy program, The Big Gig.  Harmer is now working on her own show, In Harmer’s Way, which is set to debut on ABC in April.

John Laws says…
Kerry O’Brien, for whom I have a high personal regard, launched his promising new show Lateline at a time when a transport workers’ strike was gripping NSW and elsewhere, when Andrew Peacock was reeling from another pre-election poll tumble, when TNT had announced a dramatic fall in profits due to the airline dispute, and when the nation was on the brink of another national election campaign.  But what did O’Brien serve up on his first Lateline?  South Africa!  Sure, Nelson Mandela had been freed a couple of days earlier and South Africa was dominating TV news and hogging all the newspaper headlines.  But that’s my point:  By the time Lateline arrived, I suspect we were all totally overdosed on Mandela and the South African issue.  How much more were we expected to take?”

Program Highlights (March 3-9):
Saturday:  GTV9
’s Cartoon Company returns to early Saturday mornings, but is now also joined by C-Company, presenting three-and-a-half hours of C-rated programming, including The Curiosity Show and Tasmanian-based KTV.
Sunday:  ATV10 crosses to the banks of the Yarra River to televise the 1990 Birdman Rally, part of the annual Moomba festival, hosted by Greg Evans and Colette Mann.  Sunday night movies are Cop (HSV7), White Mischief (GTV9) and Rambo III (ATV10).
Monday:  ABC and GTV9 interrupt their normal Monday night schedules for a half-hour Liberal Party policy speech, leading up the the Federal Election.  A re-run of the early-‘80s soap opera Holiday Island begins to get a late-night re-run on ATV10, screening Monday to Thursday nights after midnight.
Wednesday:  In E Street (ATV10), Alice (Marianne Howard) learns the truth about Paul (Warren Jones) and Lisa (Alyssa-Jane Cook).  A new beginning for Chris (Paul Kelman) and Megan (Lisbeth Kennelly) fuels the Abby (Chelsea Brown) and Vi (Bunney Brooke) feud.
Thursday:  After Tuesday night’s Liberal Party speech, it is now the ALP’s turn with Prime Minister Bob Hawke getting equal time with a half-hour policy speech on ABC and GTV9.
logies_1990 Friday:  Mark Mitchell hosts the 32nd annual presentation of the TV Week Logie Awards, live from the Hyatt On Collins Hotel, Melbourne, and televised on ATV10.  The two-and-a-half presentation culminates with the presentation of the Gold Logie to Australia’s most popular TV personality.  Up against the Logie Awards are movies The Dirty Dozen (HSV7), Every Which Way But Loose (GTV9) and The Last Innocent Man (ABC).

Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 
3 March 1990. Southdown Press. 

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Neighbours: 25 today!

elainesmith When Daphne Lawrence (Elaine Smith, pictured) was doing her striptease at the buck’s night for Des Clarke (Paul Keane) on the eve of his marriage to Lorraine Kingham (Antionette Byron) on the premiere episode of Neighbours, nobody’s wildest predictions would have foreseen that the show would survive to see its 25th anniversary.

Even the most optimistic predictions would have only permitted Neighbours to have a lifespan of a few years. At the time of the show’s debut – 18 March 1985 in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide (Brisbane followed with a 90-minute launch a week later) – apart from ABC’s Bellbird (1967-1977) the longest running Australian soaps had been Number 96, The Sullivans, The Young Doctors, Cop Shop (all around six years each) and Prisoner (which had entered its seventh year in 1985).

As well as TV newcomers like Smith and Keane, Neighbours’ founding cast included a few familiar faces – Anne Haddy (Play School, Prisoner, Sons And Daughters), Alan Dale (The Young Doctors), Peter O’Brien (Starting Out), Darius Perkins (All The Rivers Run and the telemovie Matthew And Son), Stefan Dennis (Prisoner) and David Clencie (The Sullivans, Starting Out).

But after only a few months on air, Neighbours was headed for TV landfill when the Seven Network pulled the plug after a lack of support from ATN7, Sydney, and despite strong-ish ratings elsewhere. But the show’s producers, the Grundy Organisation, felt there was still life in the concept – after all, the UK’s neighbourhood drama, Coronation Street, was into its third decade by that stage – so the show was successfully offered to Network Ten, creating Australian TV history as the first drama series to swap networks.

neighbours_92 The re-launch on Ten, on 20 January 1986, gave the show a fresher, younger emphasis with a bunch of young newcomers enlisted to the cast – Jason Donovan, Guy Pearce, Annie Jones, Geoff Paine, Charlene Fenn and, a few months later, Kylie Minogue (then a 17-year-old known from The Henderson Kids and for being the older sister of Young Talent Time cast member Danielle Minogue) Also added to the line-up were Anne Charleston (fresh from a former Grundy’s drama, Possession), Ally Fowler (Sons And Daughters) and Vivean Gray (The Sullivans).

Then the show was given an international audience with its debut on BBC1 in a daytime timeslot in 1986, but it was a shift to the 5.30pm timeslot in 1988 that saw Neighbours catapulted to ratings domination, even bumping stalwart Coronation Street and relative newcomer EastEnders from the top of the ratings.

kylieminogue_1987 The show went on to win a swag of TV Week Logie awards, including Gold Logies for Kylie Minogue (1988) and Craig McLachlan (1990) and the show being inducted into the TV Week Logie Awards’ Hall of Fame to coincide with its 20th anniversary in 2005.

With success in the United Kingdom and even further abroad (though the Americans never took to it), Neighbours’ longevity was all but certainly confirmed – as without such widespread international support and income, Neighbours could well have had a similar lifespan to its predecessors.

As well as its 25th anniversary, which will be officially celebrated over the coming weeks, Neighbours is also approaching its 6000th episode, scheduled to air in Australia sometime around August.

neighbours_2009 TelevisionAU: Neighbours (written for its 20th anniversary in 2005)
Suddenly… it’s 20 years
Neighbours star quit fame for family
Jim Robinson ‘spotted’ in Channel 4 promo

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

The VCR isn’t dead, says Freeview

vhs_1978Reports on the death of the VCR have been greatly exaggerated.

Yesterday it was reported that Freeview was about to embark on a campaign to declare “the VCR is dead” – presumably to promote the technological advantages of switching to Freeview-branded equipment for managing the viewing of digital broadcasts.

Today, Freeview has responded to these reports with the following statement:

Freeview, Australia’s free digital television service, today moved to correct inaccurate reports in the media that it is planning an advertising campaign about the future of the VCR.

Media reports have this week suggested that Freeview will soon roll out an ad campaign proclaiming that the VCR is dead. These reports are incorrect and Freeview is not intending any ad campaign about the VCR.

Freeview CEO Robin Parkes said: “Speculation in the media this week that Freeview is planning an ad campaign about the VCR is not correct.

“We do have plans for an exciting new advertising campaign which will be launched soon highlighting the many benefits viewers of Freeview free digital TV for Australian viewers, so stay tuned,” she said.

Source: Freeview

Nine Perth and Adelaide get their dots back

9_logo_2009_2For the first time in over two years, the Nine Network now has a uniform logo (pictured, right) across the five major capital cities.

When Nine re-instated its famous ‘dots’ to its logo in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Darwin in 2008, the Perth and Adelaide stations, owned by regional broadcaster WIN, opted to stay with the former logo – no dots (pictured, below left).

This arrangement, also affecting WIN’s regional Nine Network affiliates covering NSW, ACT, Victoria, Queensland,  Tasmania and Western Australia, had meant that the WIN-owned stations had to adapt any marketing material from the Nine Network to suit their own branding – no doubt a time intensive exercise for no discernable benefit to the viewer.

Local viewers also had to endure sometimes unattractive and intrusive on-screen logos, sometimes very crudely, covering up the Nine logo from the east coast.

But even though Nine has its dots back on STW9 Perth and NWS9 Adelaide, the regional WIN network (pictured, below right) has not made any change so far.

9_logowin_2008

Monday, 15 March 2010

R.I.P. Video Cassette Recorder

vhs_1978 Freeview, the free-to-air networks’ digital platform, is to unveil a new advertising campaign declaring that “the VCR is dead” as new technologies such as personal video recorders (PVRs) are being adopted by households in growing numbers.

The Australian reports that around 100,000 digital tuners are being sold every month – as Australia converts from analogue to digital television – and that households are also upgrading their old VCRs to digital recorders such as PVRs to manage their viewing.

VCRs, while they were celebrated in the ‘70s (pictured) shortly after the advent of colour TV, have limited functionality and compatibility in recording digital signals, as they generally only have analogue tuners installed and rely on a digital tuner being plugged in via AV input.  Sophisticated PVR devices such as Topfield, TiVo or Foxtel’s IQ are packed with features to allow complete flexibility in viewing habits, and often in high-definition formats.

It is estimated that as many as 50 per cent of households may already have PVR devices – a figure that’s on par with digital TV penetration, currently around 61 per cent nationally.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Bert Newton to host the Logies

bertnewton_1993 TV Week is expected to announce Bert Newton as the host of this year’s TV Week Logie Awards.

The TV legend, a four-time Gold Logie winner and inductee into the Logie Awards’ Hall of Fame, has hosted the awards a record-breaking 18 times already – the last time he hosted the awards was in 1993 (pictured) but has returned on several occasions to hand out the Gold Logie and also co-hosted in 2006 as part of the celebration of 50 years of television. 

His talent to adlib alongside the best – and possibly worst – in the business, both from Australia and overseas, have earned him some of the most defining moments in Australian TV history.  In 1973, Newton had to cope with the rather emotional, and occasionally mumbling, overseas guest Michael Cole dropping the word ‘shit’ while accepting an award.  A few years later, in 1979, an innocent wisecrack from Newton almost led to blows from boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

bertnewton_1981The decision to appoint Newton as the Logies host comes after former Big Brother host Gretel Killeen received criticism for her hosting of last year’s event and in previous years before then the awards had relied on multiple co-hosts rather than a single presenter. 

Previous hosts and co-hosts of the event include Eddie McGuire, Ray Martin, Andrew Denton, Shaun Micallef, Andrew O’Keefe, Rove McManus, Fifi Box, Dave Hughes, Hamish Blake, Andy Lee, Adam Hills, Lisa McCune, George Parker, Wendy Harmer, Daryl Somers, Mark Mitchell, Don Lane, Mike Willesee, Michael Parkinson, Greg Evans, Andrew Daddo and Noni Hazlehurst.

The 2010 TV Week Logie Awards are to be held on 2 May at Melbourne’s Crown Casino and will be telecast on the Nine Network.

Source: TV Tonight

Saturday, 13 March 2010

The series they tried to ban in Australia!

With today marking the 38th anniversary of ‘the night Australian TV lost its virginity’ and the release of the third DVD of Number 96, here’s a brief look at how the Americans adapted Australia’s hit show of the ‘70s for their own market.

number96_NBC

America’s network giant NBC approached Network Ten early in 1980 to enter into discussions over acquiring the concept for the US market.  The deal also needed the approval of Bill Harmon, co-producer of the original Number 96, as his company Cash-Harmon Productions jointly owned the rights with Network Ten.  Harmon helped complete the deal with NBC in mid-1980.

NBC debuted Number 96 on 10 December 1980, following an advertising blitz that saw the show launched during “96 Week” – with the series debuting over three nights before settling into a weekly Friday night timeslot.  Leading storylines in the opening episodes included no less than five seductions, a robbery, a fight, a blackout and an earthquake.

But NBC, with America’s strict censorship laws, could not dare to bare as much flesh or uncover such seedy storylines as its Australian original.  So the series that saw Australian television ‘lose its virginity’ was a lot more subdued in the US, although it did try to stretch the boundaries with regards to casual discussion of sex, but instead put the emphasis on comedy rather than titillation.

number96_NBC1 It also seems that the American producers, while envying the show’s earlier success in Australia, weren’t too impressed with the Australian original.  “All we have taken from their series is the title.  We got the basic idea from them.  We’re not enchanted with the Australian version.  We felt it was badly written and badly acted.  Their show had broad jokes like we did here 15 years ago.  They had very heavy characters.  What sold their show was full-frontal nudity,” producer Bob Ellison told TV Week at the time of the US series’ launch.

The US adaptation was set in an apartment block at 96 Pacific Way, West Hollywood, and included a cast of around 18 actors, though most of them were largely unknown to viewers.  Ellen Travolta, John’s sister,, played the co-proprietor of the local bar and grill.  Other characters in the series included a beautiful would-be concert pianist who decided that playing the field is the cure for a boring marriage; a retired naval commander who keeps a keen eye on the happenings at 96 through a pair of binoculars; a middle-aged widow who loses far too many inhibitions when she moves into the building; a psychologist with a secret greater than anything his patients, or neighbours, could imagine; a newly-married football hero who gains the amorous attention of his next door neighbour; and a love-sick policeman who won’t leave his British girlfriend’s apartment.

However, despite the larger-than-life storylines and award-winning producers and writers – Ellison and writer David Lloyd had won awards for their work on The Mary Tyler Moore ShowNumber 96 was a spectacular bomb in the US.  Viewers didn’t take to the comedic adventures of the swinging tenants of the apartment block, and the series was ripped from NBC’s schedule in January 1981 – just as TV Week in was informing Australians about the show’s debut.

number96_us Number 96 was not to be the only hit Australian series to be re-worked for the American market.  Prisoner was re-invented as Dangerous Women in the US, largely recycling many of the opening characters and storylines from the Australian original.  In more recent times, the top-rating comedy Kath And Kim was adapted for NBC, with less than pleasing results.

Source: TV Week, 10 January 1981.  TV Guide (US), 6 December 1980.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

C31 seeking dollars for digital

C31_Melb While the Community TV sector was successful (finally!) in gaining access to Digital Television, now comes the hard part where they have to now make the actual transition.

So while Melbourne’s C31 acknowledges that it received a donation from the Federal Government to help facilitate its move to digital, they claim it is not enough, so is calling on the wider community to get behind their community TV station and become a subscriber via their website.

Subscriptions for community media are nothing unusual – radio stations have lived on subscriptions for years and C31 in its early days also ran on subscriber funds but these days rely predominantly on program sponsors. 

C31 is offering a three-tiered subscription structure – offering subscriptions of $31, $75 or $100 for one year – where members will receive quarterly updates on the station’s activities and programs as well as the knowledge that they are helping C31 make the long-awaited move to digital transmission which should give the station a clearer reception across Melbourne and increase the station’s potential audience as more viewers switch to digital televisions and tuners.

While C31 is preparing to upgrade to digital, its Sydney counterpart, TVS, is already up and running with a digital signal on UHF 29 (digital channel 44).

brucegordon_2 And it’s not only the community stations getting government assistance, regional commercial network WIN is also putting its hand out for government money to assist in its digital transition in regional areas of South Australia and Western Australia.  The network, owned by Bermuda-based billionaire Bruce Gordon (pictured), is currently faced with the task of upgrading transmission facilities in both states – amounting to over 200 transmission sites – as it races to meet the analogue shutdown dates set down by the Government.

In Western Australia, WIN’s regional network covers the entire state, outside of Perth, via satellite and terrestrial transmission with a mix of Nine and Ten network programming.  WIN’s regional South Australian operation comprises SES8 Mt Gambier and RTS5A Riverland, with both stations broadcasting the Seven Network on their primary service and a relay of the Ten Network on a secondary signal. 

WIN also owns Nine Network stations NWS9 Adelaide and STW9 Perth.

Source: C31, AdelaideNow

Monday, 8 March 2010

1990: February 24-March 2

tvweek_240290 ‘Stay out of my life!’
While actress Simone Buchanan (pictured) is often portraying the unlucky-in-love tales of the elder daughter Debbie in Hey Dad, she says her real-life romances have been less than comical.  Even though she is in a happy relationship at present, Buchanan’s past has been tainted with a number of unhappy romances – including one which ended with threats of violence.  The popularity of the show has also led to some unwanted attention from fans – a persistent fan in London kept sending her letters and expensive gifts and promised to visit her in Australia.  “In the end I did write and tell him that he had to stop wasting his money on me,” she said.  Another incident saw Buchanan come home to find graffiti all over the walls in her new house, and one night she awoke to find guys standing outside her bedroom window yelling things at her.  Meanwhile, the actress denies any rumours that she is leaving the sitcom (“like the rest of the cast, my contract expires in October and at this point I haven’t made any decision to leave or stay”) but would like to do more film work, following acclaim for her role in the movie Shame.

baywatch ‘They treated me like …!’
Aussie actor Peter Phelps has walked away from the hit US series Baywatch.  “It was my decision to leave at the end of this season,” Phelps told TV Week.  “Before Christmas a few of the cast – including me – weren’t happy about the way the scripts were going.  I expressed my dismay about everything – which I guess is not what you’re supposed to do in Hollywood when you’ve got a job everybody else wants.  Instead of using my suggestions, they changed the format to emphasise on the action-adventure stuff and they brought in a new character.  He wasn’t supposed to replace me, but I’ve hardly worked on the show since.  To them (TV executives), you’re just a product and they treat you like crap.” A star in Australia following roles in popular soaps The Restless Years and Sons And Daughters, Phelps (pictured, with Baywatch co-star Shawn Wetherly) admits that if he “had shut up and didn’t complain, I’d probably be there as long as the series runs, getting paid a lot to pop in every so often to do my Australian novelty act, and driving a Porsche and owning a house.”  Instead, Phelps is returning to Australia to star in a feature film, Back Street GeneralBaywatch debuts in Australia on Network Ten in March.

Rebecca’s rockin’ role
Former Zoo Family and The Flying Doctors star Rebecca Gibney is negotiating a role for an upcoming sitcom being produced for the Nine Network.  Producer Alan Bateman says the new series, Rhythm And Blues, is “a lovely piece about a rock ‘n roll singer from the Seventies who’s only ever had one hit.  His career is diminishing when, to his astonishment, he discovers he has a family.”  Production for the new series is set to begin in March. 

goodmorningaustralia Briefly…
Network Ten
’s Good Morning Australia (with Mike Gibson and Kerri-Anne Kennerley, pictured) has entered its tenth year and is celebrating its milestone on air. Producer Gail Jarvis says “in some ways it’s more a celebration of Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s involvement with the show.  She has been with the show for eight years now.  That’s a lot of live television and we’ll look back at what she has contributed over the years.”

TV Week columnist John Laws wants to make it clear that he doesn’t expect to “turn Melbourne on its ears” in networking his Sydney radio show to bottom-rating station, 3AK.  “Someone said that the station needed help, so I’m giving it for free as a favour to a friend – that’s what friends are for,” he says.  Although Laws has admitted that he would prefer to have the entire three-hour program broadcast in Melbourne, instead of only the one hour, from 9.00am to 10.00am weekdays.

British showbusiness couple John Alderton and Pauline Collins have been announced as special guests at the 1990 TV Week Logie Awards, to be held at the Hyatt On Collins in Melbourne and hosted by Network Ten’s Mark Mitchell.

johnlaws John Laws says…
”When it comes to sport, it’s hard to beat the Nine team, even though their Commonwealth Games coverage came in for plenty of stick, especially in the commentators and “delayed telecast” area.  Nine has now unveiled its “stump cam” cricket camera.  It had to happen, I suppose – a tiny camera inserted into the stumps to give a worm’s-eye view of the action.  There’s no doubt it’s a clever innovation, providing a completely new perspective on the game.  But, for me, it’s a major disappointment that Nine and the Australian Cricket Board have agreed NOT to use “stump cam” for disputed or controversial decisions…”

Program Highlights (February 24-March 2):
Saturday:  Nine
’s Wide World Of Sports returns for the new year, filling four hours of Saturday afternoons with coverage of various sports and interviews with sporting identities.  SBS’s international current affairs program Dateline returns for a new year, hosted by Paul Murphy.
Sunday:  HSV7 crosses to Canberra for the AFL Fosters Cup: Hawthorn versus Sydney Swans.  GTV9 crosses to the Sydney Cricket Ground for the second final of the Benson and Hedges World Series.  Meanwhile, ABC’s arts program, Sunday Afternoon, features the Bolshoi Ballet and an episode of The Growing Pains Of Adrian Mole.  Sunday night movies are Spaceballs (HSV7), Heartbreak Ridge (GTV9) and Throw Momma From The Train (ATV10).  ABC presents Esso Night At The Opera, featuring the Australian Opera’s production of La Boheme.
Monday:  Rebecca Gilling, Ed Devereaux, Nikki Coghill and Richard Roxburgh star in the telemovie The Saint In Australia (HSV7).
Tuesday:  The third final of the Benson and Hedges World Series is on GTV9 from 2.20pm, live from the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Thursday:  ABC’s Creative Spirits this week features choreographer Graeme Murphy rehearsing Daphnis and Chloe with Kim Walker and Paul Mercurio.

Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 
24 February 1990. Southdown Press. 

1990: February 17-23

tvweek_170290 Cover: Johnny Depp, Dannii Minogue

Fast lane to death
After 20 years in the industry, journalist John Budd recalls the last 18 months have been a nightmare.  “When the industry collapsed it left a lot of people without jobs,” he says.  Facing unemployment following the axing of Network Ten’s Public Eye current affairs program, Budd landed a job at ABC’s Four Corners – and after three months’ gruelling research, his first report, Amphetamines: The Quiet Achiever Of The Drug Trade, is ready to go to air this week.  Dubbed the “fast-lane drug of the Eighties”, amphetamines are set to become the big issue of the Nineties, he told TV Week.  “They’re very much a yuppie drug, socially acceptable and mix nicely with alcohol to create a euphoric state of confidence, well-being and hyped-up vigilance.”  Budd interviewed 30 reformed drug users and dealers and also worked with Victoria Police “who are alarmed at the rapid pace of this quiet achiever of the drug trade.”

jenniferkeyte Keyte’s flying high
”It all happened fairly quickly,” is how HSV7 newsreader Jennifer Keyte (pictured) describes her rise to national stardom as the news presenter on Steve Vizard’s new national variety show, Tonight Live.  “I had seen Steve around the station last year and we used to have make-up room chats.  He made me laugh so much.  The make-up girls hated him because they couldn’t get my lips done.  I guess we established a rapport then.”  As well as her booming TV profile, Keyte also has other matters to attend to – a mid-year wedding to Melbourne nightclub owner Brett Kochner.

“I had to beat the animal that controlled me…”
Actor Tony Bonner, best known from TV series Skippy The Bush Kangaroo, Cop Shop and Skyways, is looking relaxed and healthier than ever.  Currently in Los Angeles following good reviews for his work in the Tom Selleck movie Quigley Down Under, Bonner recalls the day only three months ago when he walked into a Melbourne clinic for help in overcoming alcohol problems.  “I came to a proverbial crossroad in life and there were three options – the first was to become a down-and-out lost soul; the second was to be committed to an insane asylum; and the third was to die.  So the option to take was simply to beat the animal that controlled me – alcohol.”  Bonner feels his career is now on a new direction and, since the Quigley movie, is meeting heads of drama at two US networks keen to cast him in telemovies and is also discussing offers with Disney studio Hollywood Pictures.

camerondaddoBriefly… 
Former Perfect Match host Cameron Daddo (pictured) has just finished a long run in the stage production Big River but already has two other projects in planning – one is to join veteran Leo McKern to play the legendary roles of Dad and Dave in the $6.3 million feature film On Our Selection, and the other is a potential lead role in the Grundy Television production of Bony, based on the 1972 series of the same name.

Singer Kate Ceberano, having just completed a cameo role in the film Till There Was You, is now in negotiation for a guest appearance in the new Nine Network series Family And Friends.

Home And Away star Dannii Minogue admits to being nervous over public reaction to her new single, Love And Kisses, and the $50,000 video to promote it – but is determined to silence critics that she is cashing in on the success of her older sister Kylie.   “A lot of people thought I’d copy Kylie and have a sound exactly like hers.  But that’s just not the sort of stuff I do.  This is more my style – but yes, it’s good to be different.” 

johnlaws John Laws says…
”By any standards, Steve Vizard’s opening show was a crushing disappointment.  The second night was not much better.  The third showed a slender improvement.  Much has been expected of Vizard because of his fine work with Fast Forward.  If anyone could hold a Tonight show together it should be him.  Yet on debut night Vizard was flailing around like a beached whale within seconds of the studio audience’s contrived hysteria being stilled.  Vizard, I’m sure, does have the talent to put on a better show.  It’ll take time to get it right.  I hope Seven has the cash and the patience.” 

Lawrie Masterson’s Sound Off
Steve Vizard has established Tonight Live as an energetic, cheeky show which goes just far enough – but not too far – to sit nicely in its adults-only timeslot.  Many of the lines have induced a good laugh, some of the music has been top class and somehow – just somehow – a touch of serious news has been shoved in without upsetting the applecart.  But what’s most infectious from where I sit is that the host himself appears to be enjoying it all enormously.  And when he’s having a good time, so am I.”

Program Highlights (February 17-23):
Saturday:
  Hey Hey It’s Saturday returns for a new year with Daryl Somers, Denise Drysdale, Ossie Ostrich, John Blackman, Red Symons and Wilbur WildeABC presents the ABC Sports Award Of The Year, live from the Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra.
Sunday:  Sunday night movies are Someone To Watch Over Me (GTV9) and The Man From Snowy River II (ATV10).  HSV7 presents the first instalment of mini-series Small Sacrifices.
Tuesday:  GTV9 crosses to the SCG for the Benson and Hedges World Series: Australia versus Pakistan.  Coverage starts at 2.20pm and, after breaking for National Nine News, A Current Affair and Sale Of The Century, continues through to 10.30pm.
Wednesday:  David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz return for a new series of The Movie Show on SBS
Thursday:  SBS launches a new series, Viva World Cup, hosted by Les Murray and Andy Paschalidis in the lead-up to the 1990 World Cup, including reports on the venues, personalities and the final 24 teams.

Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.
17 February 1990. Southdown Press.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Prime News goes less local

prime_2001 Regional network Prime Television is set to wind back its local news production with news that its various local bulletins, covering parts of NSW and North East Victoria, are to be centralised to the network’s main programming hub in Canberra.

From 1 July, production will begin to be phased out from local studios, in towns such as Wagga Wagga, Orange, Tamworth and Albury, to be taken over by centralised facilities in Canberra.  Reporters will still be based in each local area, just that the half-hour bulletins will be compiled from the national capital.

The move is expected to cost at least one full-time position from each local Prime station.

It is not known how the cuts will affect the local news coverage of Prime’s Western Australian outlet, GWN, which currently provides a statewide half-hour news bulletin each weeknight from studios in Bunbury.

For many of the affected areas, Prime’s move from the local studios will effectively mark the end of local television production – as rival operators such as NBN, WIN and Southern Cross Ten already have centralised facilities for the provision of local news.

Source: Daily Advertiser, TV Tonight