Friday, 29 April 2011

Royal Weddings: 1981 and today

williamkate Tonight (Australian time), an estimated two billion viewers worldwide will be watching the long-awaited wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton at London’s Westminster Abbey.

The wedding marks the culmination of a media circus that has seen the world’s major broadcasters all converge on London to breathlessly bring viewers in their respective countries every known detail of the wedding – and where there are no facts to report, there has been lots and lots of speculation. 

In Australia there will be live prime-time coverage of the wedding via ABC1, ABC News 24, Seven, Nine and Ten – while 7TWO and GEM will also be utilised to work around sporting commitments for Seven and Nine. 

ABC2’s proposed alternative coverage featuring commentary from the Chaser boys has been controversially axed at the last minute following orders received from the royal family that no coverage shall be used for a satirical nature.

Despite the ruling affecting the Chaser, Network Ten is expected to continue its light-hearted wedding coverage, to be fronted by Nova FM presenters Ryan ‘Fitzy’ Fitzgerald and Michael ‘Wippa’ Wipfli, bookended by a special edition of The 7PM Project and a late-night edition of The Circle.  The Nine Network’s planned coverage is also set to include an appearance by Dame Edna Everage

Pay TV is also getting in on the event with BBC World News, UKTV, E!, Fox News, CNN and Sky News all providing various levels of coverage.

SBS has decided not to partake in all this wedding excitement and its main channel SBS1 will broadcast its normal Friday night fare, including its late-night ‘adults only’ series How To Get More Sex.

memory11 The Australian media’s hysteria surrounding the wedding of William and Kate is not entirely unlike that of the wedding of William’s parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral in July 1981.

Like today’s ceremony, the 1981 royal wedding was an Australian TV network programmer’s dream with the ceremony landing straight into Australian prime-time schedules. 

The ABC, Seven, Nine and Ten networks all provided saturation coverage of the wedding with their own correspondents and celebrities despatched to London to provide daily reports in the lead-up to the event and to present commentary on the day’s activities.  Coincidentally, Ten’s celebrity royal wedding correspondent in 1981, Ita Buttrose, is performing a similar role for the Nine Network in 2011.

For Sydney and Melbourne viewers, the only viewing alternative on the night of Wednesday, 29 July 1981, was the then relatively new Channel 0/28, whose lineup of foreign-language movies (Persche Si Uccide Magistrate from Italy, and Buynu Bükük from Turkey) were probably not the most useful viewing alternatives in an era where there were few other viewing options available – no pay-TV, few households had VCRs and there was no such thing as the internet.

Ratings for the night showed that viewers easily preferred the Nine Network’s coverage, with Melbourne’s GTV9 scoring a rating of 34 points in the prime time of 8-8.30pm, followed by ABV2 (20 per cent), HSV7 (15 per cent), ATV10 (10 per cent) and 0/28 coming last with zero per cent.  An hour-and-a-half later, GTV9 was still in front on 31 per cent, followed by ABV2 (17 per cent), ATV10 (15 per cent), HSV7 (13 per cent) and 0/28 (one per cent).

In Sydney, TCN9’s prime-time coverage peaked at a score of 41 per cent, followed by ABN2 (16 per cent), TEN10 (14 per cent), ATN7 (11 per cent) and 0/28 (one per cent).

A handful of commercial channels declined to cover the Charles and Diana wedding – including Adelaide’s ADS7 who instead decided to show a John Wayne movie (The Sons Of Katie Elder) with a delayed telecast of the wedding ceremony the following day.  However, ADS7’s decision to provide an alternative was not well rewarded as the channel fared last in the evening’s ratings and scoring only a third of the viewers of its nearest competitor, ABS2.

Source: The Age, 7 August 1981.  The Age, 11 August 1981. Sydney Morning Herald, 6 August 1981.  TV Week, 25 July 1981.

UPDATE @ 15.00 AEST 30.4.2011:  The Seven Network has won the ratings for the night of Friday 29 April:  Seven (29.8%), Nine (22.7%), ABC1 (18.3%), 7TWO (8.0%), Ten (7.5%), SBS1 (2.7%), GO! (2.4%), 7mate (1.9%), GEM (1.7%*), ABC2 (1.6%), Eleven (1.6%), One (0.5%), SBS2 (0.5%), ABC3 (0.4%), ABC News 24 (0.4%*).

* Excludes simulcasts with standard definition channels.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Seven, Foxtel kick AFL goal

AFL It’s been months in the making but now, finally, the deal has been done to secure the rights to the AFL for the next five seasons.

In a record-breaking $1.25 billion deal, the Seven Network has emerged as the major free-to-air broadcast partner for the 2012-2016 seasons – with Foxtel holding pay-TV rights and Telstra securing online and mobile coverage.  The deal far exceeds the $780 million paid by broadcasters for the current 2007-2011 rights agreement.

Under the new deal, Seven will broadcast four of the nine weekly games – utilising both its primary channel as well as its digital multi-channel 7mate – while Foxtel will present live coverage of all nine weekly games and Telstra will broadcast all games via its Next G mobile telephone and T-Box platforms.

For Victorian viewers Seven’s telecasts will include live Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon coverage.  NSW, Canberra and Queensland viewers will also get more live coverage via 7mate.

Seven will also broadcast the Brownlow Medal and all finals including the Grand Final.  Foxtel and Telstra will also have rights to the finals, excluding the Grand Final, and the Brownlow Medal presentation.

Foxtel’s coverage will also be ad-free ‘siren to siren’, unlike Seven’s, and will include the re-launch of its dedicated AFL channel expected to be offered to subscribers of their current sports package.

Seven also has the option to on-sell any of its four weekly games to either the Nine or Ten networks.  The current AFL free-to-air broadcast rights are shared between Seven and Ten, and the two networks had been joint bidders for the 2012-2016 deal until Ten’s last-minute withdrawal from the partnership just weeks ago.

Source: AFL, The Age

Saturday, 23 April 2011

1991: April 13-19

tvweek_130491 ‘I miss him very much’
A Country Practice star Georgie Parker (pictured) speaks to TV Week about the death of a close friend from AIDS and is angry at the myths, misunderstandings and misinformation surrounding the disease.  “We were very, very close and his work was magnificent,” she told TV Week of the friend, who she has asked not be named out of respect to his mother.  “He was always painfully thin, but always jolly – and he was a great raconteur.  He used to tell the most wonderful stories.  I miss him very much.”  But while AIDS can force couples to be brutally honest with each other, she is angry at the amount of ignorance about the disease.  “The education system here is supposed to be the best in the world when it comes to AIDS, but you still get enormous numbers of people who think you can contract it by sitting on the toilet.  Now, I think that’s criminal.  They (also) immediately connect AIDS with homosexuality, exclusively, which is a complete farce.”

saleofthecentury_1991 New team set Sale
Glenn Ridge
and Jo Bailey (pictured) have emerged as the new host and co-host of Nine’s Sale Of The Century following the sudden departure of Tony Barber and Alyce Platt from the program.  The new presenters, who only met for the first time when they attended TV Week’s photo shoot, are enthusiastic and confident about their new roles.  “It really is a huge credit to Nine and Grundys that they’ve selected us,” Ridge told TV Week.  “They could have gone for people who were already well known, so it was absolute shock when I found out I’d been selected.”  Ridge comes to Sale after a career in regional radio and television.  He had hosted a music show Breezin’ for Bendigo channel BCV8, and at Ballarat’s BTV6 he had hosted children’s and music shows including TV Week Logie winner Kids Only.  New co-host Bailey had only recently joined Sale Of The Century as a model and had no idea she was being considered as Platt’s replacement.  “When I auditioned, they didn’t tell me what it was for,” she said.

‘We’ll kick its teeth in!’
While Sale Of The Century’s new host and co-host are confident of success, their rival over at Seven, current affairs host Derryn Hinch is less confident of the show’s future.  “I don’t believe Sale will last long without Tony Barber… I really can’t see who could possibly replace him,” Hinch told TV Week.  “But I hope it’s still there at the end of the year because I think we’ll kick its teeth in.” 

sheilaflorance Brave Sheila soldiers on
Veteran actress Sheila Florance (pictured) has not let her health battles, including three recent cancer operations, stop her making a return to TV as a special guest star on Ten’s Col’n Carpenter, marking her return to the Ten studios where she worked on Prisoner for several years.  “I’m looking forward to seeing if there is anyone left at Channel Ten,” she told TV Week.  “It was one of the saddest days when I left Prisoner because those crews with whom I worked, they were like my sons.”  The 74-year-old actress, with more than 60 years in showbusiness, has also just completed her first starring role in a film.  A Woman’s Tale, written for her by Paul Cox, tells the story of an elderly woman dying of cancer.  “There is nothing uncomfortable in this for me,” she told TV Week.  “This woman is me.  It’s absolutely honest.  Every day of filming was a delight.”

craigdonovan Briefly…
Former Neighbours star Jason Donovan, back in Australia to promote his new single I’m Doing Fine, has made a guest appearance as the enigmatic surfie “Craig Donovan” (pictured) in Fast Forward’s soapie send-up Dumb Street.  “The great thing about Fast Forward is that, even though I take my career seriously, at the end of the day we’re all there to have fun,” he said.

After only a few months on-air, Network Ten’s new game show Let’s Make A Deal is about to celebrate handing out $1 million in cash and prizes.  Comedian Vince Sorrenti has settled into his new role as game show host.  “The producers have always let me do what I wanted,” he told TV Week.  “After the learning process I am now starting to have some real fun.  I don’t see Let’s Make A Deal as a game show.  It is entertaining people who wouldn’t normally watch a game show.”

Actor Gary Sweet has admitted that many of his previous roles have been “limited”, but his new role as photojournalist Larry in the ABC mini-series Sign Of The Snake he says is his most interesting.  “Larry is a thoughtful, creative photographer who is economical in his speech,” he told TV Week.  “Because he is not talkative, you suspect there is something bubbling under the surface of Larry.”  Sign Of The Snake, which also stars Linda Cropper, Lily Chen and Bob Peck, is set in China during the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.  Although it is set in China, most of the filming was completed in Sydney.  “There is no way we would be allowed to set foot in China,” he said.

John Laws says…
”It’s hard to know what to make of comedian Andrew Denton’s new Live And Sweaty series on ABC.  It’s aimed at extracting laughs from the world of sport and, like much of Denton’s previous efforts, it’s laced with satirical, over-the-top humour and razor-sharp asides.  In the first program, Denton kisses a woman’s toes and later announces he’ll collect celebrity sweat – a signal for guest Craig McLachlan to offer some from his underarm.  In the midst of all this mayhem, Live And Sweaty suddenly got serious and we saw reporter Debbie Spillane, sitting at a desk, reading a straight and serious “sports update”.  It was all a little confusing.”

Program Highlights (April 13-19):
Saturday:  Rick Astley, Jimmy Barnes, Choir Boys, Debbie Byrne
and Tommy Emmanuel are guest stars in this week’s Hey Hey It’s Saturday (Nine). 

Sunday:  Seven’s afternoon of sport includes NBL, Westside Melbourne versus Brisbane Bullets, followed by Brisbane Bears versus Geelong in AFL and then motor racing with the Australian Touring Car Championship.  Sunday night movies are Planes Trains And Automobiles (Seven), The Untouchables (Nine) and Married To The Mob (Ten).

Monday:  Seven presents a two-hour telecast of the John Farnham Chain Reaction Concert, taken from his recent Australian tour.  The program is simulcast on radio station Triple M.

Tuesday:  Dr Nikki Tanner (Judy McIntosh) has fallen in love with Sean Bracey (Marcus Graham) in GP (ABC)… but she knows the affair is a disaster as the distraction is affecting her work and she fails to respond to a crisis call.  Bracey then invites her to go with him to Paris.

Wednesday:  ABC presents Frank Sinatra The Final Concert, recorded last month at the National Tennis Centre, Melbourne.  The concert also features Eydie Gorme, Steve Lawrence and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.  Seven presents the two-hour Comedy Festival Charity Gala from Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre, featuring Wendy Harmer, Richard Stubbs, Steve Vizard, Garry McDonald, Barry Humphries, Mark Mitchell, Ian McFadyen, Maryanne Fahey and Kim Gyngell with cast members of Fast Forward, the D Generation and Acropolis Now.  The comedy event is a fund-raiser for the Salvation Army.

Thursday:  In The Flying Doctors (Nine), Jackie Crane (Nikki Coghill) and Guy Reid (David Reyne) are involved in a sensitive dilemma when a young mother is diagnosed as terminally ill, but refuses to accept her illness because there is nobody to care for her daughter.  The episode features guest star Shane Connor.

Friday:  Seven crosses to Sydney for the live telecast of the AFL game between Sydney Swans and Essendon.

Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  13 April 1991.  Southdown Press

Friday, 22 April 2011

Good Friday Appeal tradition continues

goodfridayappeal_0003Flashback to 1972… and Temptation and Great Temptation hostess Barbara Rogers and Homicide star Leonard Teale (pictured) are promoting the Good Friday Appeal telethons for Melbourne’s HSV7 and Adelaide’s ADS7.

The Adelaide telethon has long gone, but Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal continues to tap into the generosity of Victorians to raise funds for one of the world’s great children’s hospitals.  More than $211 million has been raised since the Appeal’s modest beginnings as a sports carnival in 1931.  Radio station 3DB joined the Appeal during World War II and HSV7 first took part in 1957.

This year’s telethon, the culmination of twelve months of various fundraising efforts across the state, will be held at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium and broadcast across Victoria through HSV7 and regional affiliate Prime Television.  Melbourne radio stations 3AW and Magic 1278 as radio partners of the Appeal will also cover the day’s activities.

The Appeal promises to feature many of Seven’s on-screen personalities from various programs including Home And Away, Packed To The Rafters, Winners And Losers, Australia’s Got Talent, Seven News, Dancing With The Stars and The Morning Show.  Royal Children’s Hospital ambassador and former Seven personality Dan Webb, probably best known as host of game show Video Village in the 1960s and journalist with Seven National News in the 1970s and ‘80s, will also be making an appearance.

Last year’s Appeal raised a record total of $14,462,000.

The Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal.  Friday 22 April, from 9.30am.  HSV7 (Melbourne) and Prime Television (Regional Victoria) – in association with the Herald and Weekly Times and radio stations 3AW and Magic 1278

UPDATE @ 12.40 AEST 23.4.2011 The Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal has signed off with a record-breaking final total of $15,156,000.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

ABC success sparks Nine spin-off

robcarltonaskerrypacker Just days after the resounding ratings and critical success of ABC’s two-part mini-series Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo, the Nine Network has announced production of what is essentially a sequel.

The new two-part mini-series, to commence production in 2012, is set to trace the rise of a young Kerry Packer, after the death of media mogul father Sir Frank, in particular the events surrounding the formation of his rebel cricket competition, World Series Cricket, which revolutionised cricket in the late 1970s with the glamour of prime time coverage on his Nine Network, ending decades of the traditional broadcast of the game by ABC.  The new series will follow the legal battles, the secret player dealings and the turf battles with the cricket establishment.

asherkeddieasitabuttrose The new series will be a production of Southern Star and John Edwards, the team behind Paper Giants, which told the story of the 1972 launch of groundbreaking women’s magazine Cleo by editor Ita Buttrose (played by Asher Keddie, pictured right) and with the support of Kerry Packer (Rob Carlton, pictured above).  The performances of the cast, but Keddie and Carlton in particular, as well as the reconstruction of the early 1970s era have earned rave reviews and high ratings over its two nights on ABC1.  The Sunday night debut was watched by 1.2 million viewers across the five capital cities, while the Monday conclusion was watched by 1.34 million – making it ABC’s highest rating program of the year to date.  By Monday night the series also clocked up over 17,000 views on ABC’s online viewing portal ABC iView.

The national broadcaster has now scheduled a repeat of the series, to appear in a three-hour screening next Sunday, 24 April, from 8.30pm on ABC2.

The Australian reports that ABC was keen to pursue the rise of Kerry Packer and World Series Cricket as a sequel, but the ratings success of Paper Giants saw Nine rush into a deal with Southern Star and effectively block ABC from any access to Nine’s archive of cricket coverage, promotions and player footage.

Despite the deal struck between Southern Star and Nine, the production company is said to be discussing options for another magazine-themed drama for ABC.

Source: Nine Network, The Australian

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

ABC For Kids becomes ABC 4 Kids

abc4kids ABC’s channel re-branding continues, with ABC For Kids On 2 to be re-named ABC 4 Kids from Monday 2 May.  The new logo bears a resemblance to that of ABC’s children’s channel ABC3 which launched in 2009.

The change is timed to coincide with the expansion of digital channel ABC2’s pre-school children’s line-up to include early mornings.  From 2 May, ABC2 will broadcast ABC 4 Kids between 6.00am and 7.00pm as the early-morning ABC News Breakfast moves to ABC1.

Highlighting ABC 4 Kids new early-morning line-up is the new animated series of Bananas In Pyjamas followed by a new series of US program Sesame Street.

abc3_LOGO ABC 4 Kids will present programming aimed at pre-school age children, while ABC3 continues to broadcast programs directed at children age 5 and above.

The re-branding of ABC 4 Kids follows the recent logo updates of ABC1 and ABC2.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Laurie Oakes for Logies’ Hall of Fame

laurieoakes The Nine Network’s political editor Laurie Oakes is to be inducted into the TV Week Logie Awards’ Hall of Fame when the annual awards presentation takes place early next month.

With a background in radio and newspaper reporting, Oakes made his television debut in the 1970s on the Willesee At Seven program.  He later became political correspondent for the Ten Network before joining the Nine Network in the mid-1980s.

At Nine, Oakes regularly led the media’s news agenda with his weekly political interviews on the Sunday program.  Even after the demise of Sunday in 2008, Oakes continued to present his interviews on its successor programs Sunday Morning News and Weekend Today.

Earlier this month, Oakes announced that after 26 years he was stepping back from his Sunday morning commitments but will continue to report for Nine.

The Hall of Fame Logie is the third major award for Oakes in recent times.  He was also recently awarded the Gold Walkley and the Graham Perkin Journalist of the Year, following his breaking of significant stories during the recent Federal Election campaign.

The TV Week Logie Awards’ Hall of Fame was initiated in 1984 as a means of recognition of those who have made an outstanding or sustained contribution to the Australian television industry, either on screen or behind the cameras.  Past recipients have included Hector Crawford, Paul Hogan, Reg Grundy, Johnny Young, James Davern, Bert Newton, Don Lane, Graham Kennedy, Maurie Fields, Bruce Gyngell, Michael Willesee, Mike Walsh, Ruth Cracknell, Garry McDonald, Sam Chisholm, Steve Irwin, Brian Naylor, Bill Collins and Bryan Brown.  Long-running programs Four Corners, Neighbours and Play School have also been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

logie_2011 The 53rd annual TV Week Logie Awards will be held at Melbourne’s Crown Casino on Sunday 1 May.  The awards presentation will be hosted by Shane Bourne and broadcast via the Nine Network.

Source: The Australian, Ninemsn

Sunday, 17 April 2011

1991: April 6-12

tvweek_060491 ‘My smile gives it away!’
All Together Now star Rebecca Gibney (pictured) was hesitant to talk to TV Week about her relationship with boyfriend, Southern Sons vocalist Jack Jones but has conceded, “I think my smile gives it away.” But the Logie Award-winning actress is guarded about revealing too much about her private life.  “I believe people are entitled to their privacy so I’m just going to say I’m very happy and let the relationship run its course and develop,” she told TV Week.  Gibney is more enthusiastic about discussing the success of All Together Now.  The new Nine Network series received some less than flattering reviews in the press when it debuted but it has gone on to become one of the year’s successes.  “In some ways it was good we had some negative reviews, so people weren’t disappointed with the show,” she said.  “But some writers were unfair to slam the show before it had a chance.  It’s upsetting when you’re trying to get a good Australian product off the ground, which is better than most of the American sitcoms, and you get negative press.  It has proved a lot of them wrong and it’s going to get better.”

A new Guy hits Summer Bay
Another former Neighbours star is about to join the cast of the Seven Network’s Home And AwayGuy Pearce has signed on for a seven-week guest role in the series, playing the character of David Croft, the nephew of Donald Fisher (Norman Coburn).  “It’s certainly an interesting character, very different from anything I’ve done in the past – especially Mike Young (his Neighbours character),” Pearce told TV Week

cathygodboldrosemarymargan ‘When Cathy brought the script home I nearly died…’
A late-night rendezvous between teenager Nicki Taylor (Cathy Godbold) and boyfriend Adam (Brenden Carter) on Chances is set to see their relationship consummated, but the actress involved has distanced herself from her character’s behaviour.  “I don’t believe in sex before you establish a long-lasting relationship and definitely not at my age,” Godbold told TV Week.  “Mum has complete trust in me.  She knows I don’t let my standards slip and go back on what I believe in.”  Godbold’s mother is television veteran Rosemary Margan, who despite trusting her daughter’s judgement was daunted by the proposed storyline.  “When Cathy brought the script home I nearly died,” she told TV Week.  “I trust Cathy very much but as your only daughter you do tend to worry and I’m a bit of a worrier.”

It was a double celebration for showbusiness veteran Vic Gordon – his 80th birthday and 60th year in showbusiness – and there were plenty of friends to help him celebrate, including Val Jellay, Rosie Sturgess and Vikki Hammond.

The arrival of Jim Robinson’s (Alan Dale) illegitimate son Glen Donnelly (Richard Huggett) in Neighbours is set to raise a controversial romance with an immediate attraction to half-sister Lucy Robinson (Melissa Bell) who makes a return to the series this week.  “The attraction is there straight away,” Huggett told TV Week.  “As soon as they meet they are attracted to each other.  They try to talk it through, but they can’t come to any solutions on how to resolve it.  They know they’d like to have something, but society says you’re not allowed that.  That’s their dilemma.”

Meanwhile, Neighbours is set to lose a number of cast members as many of them have contract renewals coming up.  Ian Williams, who plays medical student Adam Willis, is confirmed to be leaving, while co-stars Lucinda Cowden and Beth Buchanan are also believed to be quitting when their contracts expire.  Producers are also in discussions with long-serving cast members Ian Smith and Anne Charleston about their future in the series.

John Laws says…
Stuart Littlemore draws a long bow when he takes the high ground to offer barbed criticisms of the media in his ABC program Media Watch.  Now the problem associated with such a program is that in bringing down decision after decision against fellow media operators, it leaves itself wide open to similar criticism.  In other words, people in glass houses should be most careful when throwing stones.  Take, for instance, a recent program in which Littlemore tut-tutted about the screening of violence during news programs.  While telling viewers how terrible this was, Littlemore – to prove his point – then proceeded to screen the offending scenes.  He reasoned that he had to do this because the subject could not be discussed adequately in any other way.  Littlemore could have put it another way – he was a victim of the TV medium.  He knew he couldn’t simply talk about the TV violence.  The medium itself demanded he join everyone else in screening it.  He had no option but to re-screen everything he was complaining about.  Why didn’t he admit it as such?”

Program Highlights (April 6-12):
Saturday:  ABC
launches it new late-night music program Racket, hosted by James Valentine with Stephanie Lewis, Toby Creswell, Joanne Corrigan and Tim Ritchie.

Sunday:  Nine crosses to Eastern Creek, Sydney for six hours of the Australian 500cc Motorcycle Grand Prix with commentators Darrell Eastlake and Barry Sheene.  In the evening, Seven launches its new game show The Main Event, hosted by Larry Emdur.  Sunday night movies are Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Seven), Her Alibi (Nine) and Throw Momma From The Train (Ten).

Monday:  Actor Lewis Fitzgerald guest stars in A Country Practice (Seven) as a city slicker who succumbs to a heart attack when he takes charge of his brother’s farm while he is being treated for a rare hydatids infection.

Tuesday:  In Chances (Nine), Rebecca’s (Natalie McCurry) nude modelling assignment is set to turn heads.

Wednesday:  ABC’s science and technology series Quantum returns for a new series.

Thursday:  The Seven Network’s popular sketch comedy show Fast Forward returns for a new series.

Friday:  Lady Mary Fairfax, the matriarch of the Fairfax media empire, is featured on Nine’s Burke’s Backyard as host Don Burke explores the gardens of her historic Sydney property, Fairwater.

Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  6 April 1991.  Southdown Press.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

SBS gets new managing director

michaelebeid Australia’s second national broadcaster SBS has announced the appointment of Michael Ebeid (pictured) as its new managing director.

Ebeid, who takes on his new position in June, replaces current managing director Shaun Brown who will be retiring after five years in charge of the multicultural broadcaster.

Egyptian-born Ebeid joins SBS from rival national broadcaster ABC, where he is currently in charge of corporate strategy and marketing.  His appointment to SBS comes as the broadcaster faces continued financial pressures from the challenges of government funding and increased competition from rival broadcasters on the digital television platform. 

SBS chairman Joe Skrzynski has told media in a statement:

"Mr Ebeid brings to SBS a special set of personal and professional skills, with the right blend of operational and strategic experience from his twenty-four years in the Media, Telecommunications and IT technology sectors which represent the three arms of the convergence changing the entertainment and information landscape in Australia.

"He is extremely well suited to lead SBS in its mission to promote social harmony by helping migrants to settle and participate fully in Australian society, and assisting all Australians to understand and appreciate the benefits of cultural diversity."

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Stephen Conroy also welcomed SBS’ new appointment:

"The Gillard Government looks forward to working with Mr Ebeid in his role as Managing Director of our highly valued national broadcaster. 

“It is particularly significant that Mr Ebeid, who came to Australia from Egypt as a young child, is the first Managing Director of Australia's multicultural national broadcaster who is a first generation migrant from a non-English speaking background."

Even Ebeid’s current boss, ABC managing director Mark Scott sent a brief congratulation via Twitter:

“Congratulations to Mike Ebeid, from the ABC Executive, on winning the SBS job.”

Current managing director Brown was promoted to managing director of SBS in 2006, having previously been in charge of the broadcaster’s television operation.  His four-year term as managing director was extended by a year while a replacement was being found.

sbs_2008 While in charge of SBS, Brown led two of its more controversial initiatives – the inclusion of commercial breaks within television programs, departing from SBS’ long-held policy of placing commercials only between programs, and changes to its news coverage which led to a period of unrest and ultimately the departure of long-time newsreader Mary Kostakidis.

On a more positive note, under Brown’s leadership SBS re-launched the digital World News Channel as SBS2, despite the lack of government funding support, and digital radio broadcasts.  SBS also expanded its commercial business into pay-TV with the arts-themed channel STVDIO, and increased its online presence at

Source: The Australian, Media Spy, DBCDE, Mark Scott

Saturday, 9 April 2011

ABC swaps early morning programming

abcnewsbreakfast National broadcaster ABC is about to make its anticipated swap of early morning programs between its primary channel ABC1 and digital channel ABC2.

From Monday 2 May, ABC1’s weekday morning children’s programming block – 6.00am to 9.00am – will be shifting to ABC2.  At the same time, ABC2’s broadcast of ABC News Breakfast (hosted by Michael Rowland and Virginia Trioli, pictured) is moving to ABC1, while continuing to broadcast live each weekday morning on high-definition channel ABC News 24.

For ABC1 it marks the end of forty years of children’s programming in the early weekday hours – a morning schedule started with the debut of Sesame Street in 1971.  ABC1’s afternoon children’s programming block – 3.00pm to 6.00pm weekdays – will continue.

ABC News Breakfast has been broadcast on ABC2 since it debuted in November 2008 and started on ABC News 24 when that channel launched last year.  The move to ABC1 will coincide with some new segments on the program, including a regular political discussion ‘The Party Line’, featuring leaders and decision makers, as well as increased emphasis on local and regional news.

ABC’s Director of News Kate Torney said the move of ABC News Breakfast brings it in line with the broadcaster’s other news and current affairs programs which also feature through the day on ABC1:

"ABC News Breakfast's move to ABC1 strengthens the network's live news coverage on the main channel, and offers more quality news from the start of the day, and right throughout, with the Midday News, regular news updates during the afternoon, the 7pm News bulletins, and completing the day with 7.30, Lateline and Lateline Business."

The move of the early morning children’s programming to ABC2 basically extends ABC2’s children’s schedule, predominantly aimed at viewers up to age 5, to 13 hours a day – starting at 6.00am and going through to 7.00pm.  This is in addition to the broadcaster’s dedicated children’s channel ABC3, aimed at the older end of the children’s age bracket and young teens, which broadcasts from 6.00am to 9.00pm every day.

The move of the early morning children’s line-up to ABC2 will coincide with the world premiere of the animated series of Bananas In Pyjamas, screening weekday mornings at 8.00am from 2 May, followed by a new series of Sesame Street.

ACA casts an eye over Big Brother

bb_eye Nine’s A Current Affair continues to tap the well of classic TV shows for a bit of nostalgia.  While TV shows featured to date have mostly been from the last century – including Young Talent Time, The Sullivans, A Country Practice and Prisoner – the show’s latest TV feature is from a much more recent period.

Big Brother was the brain-child of Dutch TV producers in the late 1990s and had already been franchised through Europe and the United Kingdom before Network Ten had adopted the format for Australia – and ten years ago this month the first Australian Big Brother housemates were locked away in the high-tech compound located in the Dreamworld amusement park, removed from all outside influences and placed under the constant monitoring of dozens of cameras around the clock… and viewers couldn’t get enough of it.  The show was a nightly hit for Ten and the weekly eviction shows rated particularly well.

bb_merlinOver 100 housemates passed through the various Big Brother houses over eight seasons, but A Current Affair reporter Ben McCormack gathered together a group of thirteen former housemates – Pete Timbs, Sara-Marie Fedele, Jemma Gawned, Peter Corbett, Jessica Hardy, Tim Brunero, David Graham, Trevor Butler, Bree Amer, Camilla Severi, Aleisha Cowcher, Reggie Bird and one of the ‘Logan’ twins – and narrator and part-time presenter Mike Goldman to talk about the show, the impact it had on their lives and some of the controversies that the show created, including the silent protest by evicted housemate Merlin Luck (pictured).

Missing from the segment was host Gretel Killeen, who fronted seven of the show’s eight seasons, and network rivalry may have prevented former housemates Blair McDonough (runner-up from series one who went on to star in Neighbours and is currently appearing in Seven’s Winners And Losers), Chrissie Swan (runner-up from series three who is now appearing in Ten’s The Circle and this week was announced as a Gold Logie nominee) and Ryan ‘Fitzy’ Fitzgerald (now featuring on Ten’s Before The Game) from receiving an invitation to appear.

Source/Video: A Current Affair

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Ten reworks ‘unsustainable’ One HD

OneHD_0001 Two years ago the Ten Network took on a brave gamble when it launched Australia’s first full-scale digital commercial channel, the sports-themed One HD.  It was a niche channel that while it rated well against the pay-TV sports channels, it had to also take on the broadly-themed commercial networks, a situation made even more difficult when Seven and Nine started rolling out general entertainment channels such as 7TWO, 7mate, GO! and GEM to enhance their broadcast offerings.

While Ten, under its previous management, insisted that One HD was embracing a program genre that would be immune to the pressures of internet downloads and that it was paying a dividend to the network, the unfortunate reality is that the channel was not a match for the many other free-to-air channels in the ratings.  Last week One HD was the lowest ranked of all the commercial channels across the five capital cities – scoring 1.2% market share following Seven (23.7%), Nine (19.3%), Ten (15.5%), 7TWO (4.6%), GO! (4.1%), Eleven (3.6%), 7mate (3.5%) and GEM (2.9%).  (Of the national broadcasters, ABC1 (13.7%), SBS1 (4.5%), ABC2 (2.1%), SBS2 (0.7%), ABC News 24 (0.7%) and ABC3 (0.5%).)

On many nights One HD failed to rate higher than a whole percentage point. 

The performance of One HD and Ten’s high-cost news and current affairs expansion has come under scrutiny from the network’s new management following the departure of CEO Grant Blackley.  And in half year financial results announced today, Ten Network Holdings reported a profit of $49.3 million, a 16 per cent drop when compared to the same half year period last year.

georgenegus_0003 Ten has already moved to attempt to save its news line-up from ratings collapse – with 6PM With George Negus (pictured) moving to the 6.30pm timeslot and the expansion of the 5.00pm news bulletin to 90 minutes, and re-instating the weekend 5.00pm bulletin.  The changes made have seen some short-term ratings gains, though with daylight saving ending this week it is hard to tell if that increase wouldn’t have happened anyway.

Following a recent period of experimentation in playing general entertainment programming in prime-time on One HD, today it has been announced that Ten will be revamping the channel from Sunday 8 May with a move towards general entertainment, movies and non-sport special interest programs on weeknights to supplement its existing sports programming on weekends.  The new-look One HD has a ratings target of 2.5 per cent of the market, targeting 25-54 year old males.  (Ten has a target audience of 18-49 year-old viewers, while Eleven is aimed at the 13-29 age group.)

In announcing the channel’s revamp, Ten’s interim CEO Lachlan Murdoch said the channel was at a ‘dead end’:

“One was underperforming from a ratings point of view; rating below a single share point was simply unsustainable and unable to contribute to our earnings.  We were at a dead end with One as it stood.”

While Mr Murdoch is interim CEO and an owner of nine per cent of the Ten Network business, he is also a director of the giant News Corporation which has significant interests in pay-TV operator Foxtel and in its Fox Sports channels.

Some of the programs to appear on the new-look One HD include Extreme Fishing, Ice Road Truckers, Everest Beyond The Limit, An Idiot Abroad, COPS, Sons Of Anarchy, Breakout King, Terriers and Lights Out.  The channel will also feature a movie line-up of titles such as Pitch Black, Doom, Jarhead, The Last King Of Scotland, 28 Weeks Later and Babylon AD.

In other programming changes, the network has also announced a new addition to Ten’s schedule with the upcoming launch of The Bolt Report, a Sunday morning news commentary program headed by newspaper columnist Andrew Bolt.  The new program is set to debut on 8 May in the 10.00am Sunday timeslot, with Ten’s long-running Meet The Press moving to 10.30am.

Source: The Age, Ten, Herald Sun

Sunday, 3 April 2011

TV Week Logie Awards – race for Gold begins

logie_2011 TV Week has announced the nominations for the upcoming 53rd annual TV Week Logie Awards.

This year saw an increase in the amount of votes received for the Awards due to the voting process being held entirely online and over a longer period than in previous years.

The night’s major award, the Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality on Australian Television, will be contested by representatives of all three commercial networks plus ABC.

And although Packed To The Rafters continues to appear numerous times amongst the award nominees, Network Ten’s new drama of 2010, Offspring, has also snared a number of nominations in both the publicly-voted and industry panel-voted categories.  Nine’s Underbelly: The Golden Mile and ABC1’s Sisters Of War and Rake have also received multiple nominations, as has Ten’s The Circle and Talkin’ ‘Bout Your GenerationSBS also received a rare Most Popular nomination for Who Do You Think You Are?

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

Full list of nominations:

chrissieswanadamhillsGOLD LOGIE
Most Popular Personality on Television*

Adam Hills (Spicks And Specks, ABC1)
Asher Keddie (Offspring, Network Ten)
Chrissie Swan (The Circle, Network Ten)
Jessica Marais (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)
Karl Stefanovic (Today, Nine Network)
Rebecca Gibney (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)
(2010 winner: Ray Meagher, Home And Away)

* 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.

Most Popular Actor
Callan Mulvey (Rush, Network Ten)
Don Hany (Offspring, Network Ten / Tangle, Foxtel [Showcase])
Erik Thomson (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)
Hugh Sheridan (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)
Michael Caton (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)
(2010 winner: Hugh Sheridan, Packed To The Rafters)

rebeccagibney_0002 Most Popular Actress
Asher Keddie (Offspring, Network Ten)
Jessica Marais (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)
Margot Robbie (Neighbours, Network Ten)
Rebecca Gibney (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)
Zoe Ventoura (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)
(2010 winner: Rebecca Gibney, Packed To The Rafters)

Most Popular Presenter
Adam Hills (Spicks And Specks, ABC1)
Chrissie Swan (The Circle, Network Ten)
Hamish Blake (Hamish & Andy 'Specials', Network Ten)
Karl Stefanovic (Today, Nine Network)
Shaun Micallef (Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation, Network Ten)
(2010 winner: Shaun Micallef, Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation)

offspring Most Outstanding Drama Series, Miniseries or Telemovie
Hawke (Network Ten)
Packed To The Rafters (Channel Seven)
Rake (ABC1)
Rush (Network Ten)
Sisters Of War (ABC1)
Underbelly: The Golden Mile (Nine Network)
(2010 winner: East West 101)

Most Outstanding Actor
Erik Thomson (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)
Hugh Sheridan (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)
Jason Gann (Wilfred, SBS)
Richard Roxburgh (Hawke, Network Ten)
Richard Roxburgh (Rake, ABC1)
(2010 winner: Don Hany, East West 101)

Most Outstanding Actress
Asher Keddie (Offspring, Network Ten)
Catherine McClements (Rush, Network Ten)
Claire van der Boom (Sisters Of War, ABC1)
Justine Clarke (Tangle, Foxtel [Showcase])
Kat Stewart (Offspring, Network Ten)
(2010 winner: Claudia Karvan, Saved)

Graham Kennedy Award For Most Outstanding New Talent
Emma Booth (Underbelly: The Golden Mile, Nine Network)
Firass Dirani (Underbelly: The Golden Mile, Nine Network)
Richard Davies (Offspring, Network Ten)
Ryan Corr (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)
Sarah Snook (Sisters Of War, ABC1)
(2010 winner: Matt Preston, MasterChef Australia)

manufeildel LOGIE AWARDS
Most Popular New Male Talent
Charles Cottier (Home And Away, Channel Seven)
Eddie Perfect (Offspring, Network Ten)
Firass Dirani (Underbelly: The Golden Mile, Nine Network)
Manu Feildel (My Kitchen Rules, Channel Seven)
Ryan Corr (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)
(2010 winner: Luke Mitchell, Home And Away)

masterchef_julie_poh Most Popular New Female Talent
Chrissie Swan (The Circle, Network Ten)
Emma Booth (Underbelly: The Golden Mile, Nine Network)
Hannah Marshall (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)
Julie Goodwin (Home Cooked! With Julie Goodwin, Nine Network)
Poh Ling Yeow (Poh's Kitchen, ABC1)
(2010 winner: Carrie Bickmore, The 7PM Project)

Most Popular Drama Series
Home And Away (Channel Seven)
Neighbours (Network Ten)
Offspring (Network Ten)
Packed To The Rafters (Channel Seven)
Rush (Network Ten)
Underbelly: The Golden Mile (Nine Network)
(2010 winner: Packed To The Rafters)

Most Popular Light Entertainment Program
Good News Week (Network Ten)
Hey Hey It's Saturday (Nine Network)
Sunrise (Channel Seven)
Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation (Network Ten)
The Circle (Network Ten)
(2010 winner: Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation)

Most Popular Lifestyle Program
Better Homes And Gardens (Channel Seven)
Domestic Blitz (Nine Network)
Getaway (Nine Network)
Grand Designs Australia (Foxtel [The Lifestyle Channel])
Ready Steady Cook (Network Ten)
(2010 winner: Better Homes And Gardens)

Most Popular Sports Program
Before The Game (Network Ten)
The Footy Show (AFL) (Nine Network)
The Footy Show (NRL) (Nine Network)
The Matty Johns Show (Channel Seven)
Wide World Of Sports (Nine Network)
(2010 winner: The Footy Show (NRL))

Most Popular Reality Program
Dancing With The Stars (Channel Seven)
MasterChef Australia (Network Ten)
The Biggest Loser Australia (Network Ten)
The Farmer Wants A Wife (Nine Network)
The X Factor (Channel Seven)
(2010 winner: MasterChef Australia)

Most Popular Factual Program
Bondi Rescue (Network Ten)
Bondi Vet (Network Ten)
RPA (Nine Network)
Undercover Boss Australia (Network Ten)
Who Do You Think You Are? (SBS)
(2010 winner: Bondi Rescue)

Most Outstanding News Coverage
"Afghanistan Rocket Attack" (Ten News)
"Election 2010" (Sky News)
"Laurie Oakes Election Leaks" (Nine News)
"New Zealand Mine Disaster" (Seven News)
"Pakistan Floods" (ABC News)
(2010 winner: Victorian Bushfires, Seven News)

Most Outstanding Public Affairs Report
"Brothers In Arms" (Sunday Night, Channel Seven)
"Hey Dad..! Scandal" (A Current Affair, Nine Network)
"Iraq's Deadly Legacy" (Dateline, SBS)
"Smugglers' Paradise" (Four Corners, ABC1)
"The Condemned" (Dateline, SBS)
(2010 winner: “Code of Silence”, Four Corners)

Most Outstanding Light Entertainment Program
Hamish & Andy's Caravan of Courage: Great Britain & Ireland (Network Ten)
Luke Nguyen's Vietnam (SBS)
Spicks And Specks (ABC1)
Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation (Network Ten)
Yes We Canberra! (ABC1)
(2010 winner: Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation)

Most Outstanding Sports Coverage
2010 AFL Grand Final (Channel Seven)
2010 Melbourne Cup (Channel Seven)
Rugby League - 2010 State Of Origin - Game One (Nine Network)
The Ashes 2010 First Test - Day One at the Gabba (Nine Network)
XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi (Foxtel)
(2010 winner: V8 Supercars: Supercheap Auto Bathurst)

Most Outstanding Children’s Program
Camp Orange: Castle Mountain (Foxtel [Nickelodeon])
Dance Academy (ABC3)
Dead Gorgeous (ABC3)
Hi-5 (Nine Network)
Prank Patrol (ABC3)
(2010 winner: My Place)

Most Outstanding Factual Program
Bondi Rescue (Network Ten)
Miracle in the Storm (ABC1)
RPA (Nine Network)
Such Is Life: The Troubled Times Of Ben Cousins (Channel Seven)
Trishna & Krishna: The Quest For Separate Lives (Channel Seven)
(2010 winner: Law And Disorder)

Shane Bourne will host the TV Week Logie Awards from Melbourne’s Crown Casino on Sunday 1 May, to be telecast on the Nine Network.

Source: TV Week

1991: March 30-April 5

tvweek_300391 Cover: Sophie Lee (The Bugs Bunny Show)

Christopher nudges himself out!
Actor Christopher Truswell dropped a bombshell on the producers of Seven’s Hey Dad! by announcing that he would quit the show at the end of the current series which is due to complete production soon.  Frantic last-minute negotiations have since seen Truswell agree to appear in the next batch of 13 episodes to be taped later in the year – but how many episodes he will appear in is up to him.  “Chris may do two, four or six episodes,” Seven’s programming chief Glen Kinging told TV Week.  Truswell is interested in pursuing film roles and also has musical ambitions.  “I enjoy singing more than acting,” Truswell told TV Week.  “But acting pays the bills.”  Meanwhile, production is ready to begin on the Hey Dad! spin-off Hampton Court (formerly Hampton House), starring Julie McGregor as ditzy secretary Betty.  The new series is also set to star Adam Willits (Home And Away), Henri Szeps, Danielle Spencer and Rod Zuanic.

annehaddy Street’s ahead!
Australia’s most successful series, Neighbours, chalks up another milestone this week – its 1400th episode.  The milestone will see Neighbours overtake The Young Doctors (1396 episodes) as the longest running Australian soap opera.  It will be a particularly special celebration for cast members Anne Haddy (pictured), Alan Dale and Stefan Dennis, who have been with the series since episode one went to air in March 1985 on the Seven Network.  They survived the show’s controversial switch to the Ten Network in 1986 and have seen the rise to fame of younger cast members including Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Craig McLachlan and Peter O’Brien.  For Haddy, her casting in the series showed enormous faith by the producers as her health had caused interruptions and script re-writes for other Reg Grundy productions that she had worked on.  “I really caused them so much trouble,” Haddy told TV Week.  “And the darlings cast me in this very important new show knowing I could drop dead at any moment.”  Dale was the producers’ second choice for the role of Jim Robinson, but took on the role when the original actor chosen had backed out.

larryemdur What an Event!
”A pizza with everything on it!” – that’s how Larry Emdur (pictured) described his latest television game show.  The Main Event – created by former soccer player Craig Johnston – makes its debut soon on Seven in the competitive Sunday 7.30pm timeslot.  Despite the strength of the competition it will be up against – 60 Minutes on Nine and The Simpsons on Ten – Emdur is confident of success.  “I have a very good feeling about this,” he told TV Week.  It is a rapid turnaround for Emdur who only four months ago was “retrenched” from the financially-troubled Ten Network where he was a reporter for Good Morning Australia and had earlier hosted the ill-fated Family Double Dare.

Legendary actor Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell might be the new producer on the set of Ten’s Col’n Carpenter, but he and the show’s star Kim Gyngell are old mates.  “I directed Kim in an episode of Cop Shop,” Tingwell told TV Week.  “We’ve known each other as long as that.”  Tingwell has also worked with actress Kaarin Fairfax, a newcomer to the show’s cast.  They worked together on mini-series Poor Man’s Orange and he was familiar with Fairfax through her performances with St Martin’s Youth Theatre in Melbourne.

Seven’s Home And Away is about to introduce a second generation foster mum, with Bobby Simpson (Nicolle Dickson) taking on a foster child, seven-year-old Sam (Ryan Clark).  Dickson said her new co-star was a joy to work with.  “He’s the sweetest little boy to work with.  He has a lovely charm,” she told TV Week.  “He hadn’t acted before, and he’s only seven, but he knows his lines and takes direction.”

Network Ten’s Eddie McGuire and Steve Quartermain have had to give up their Sunday night social routine since launching their new weekly sports program, Sportsweek.  The late-night show, according to Quartermain, will feature AFL prominently but will also give a wrap up of other sports including basketball, tennis and golf and will catch up with other overseas events from during the week.  “I think that’s something that’s lacking in weekend news services,” he told TV Week.

John Laws says…
Kerry O’Brien and the ABC must have been completely satisfied with the way Lateline performed last year because the 1991 series has brought not one single change in the rigid format.  Even the host’s nightly affliction of the current affairs program disease “interviews interruptus” shows no sign of abating.  O’Brien, you see, is one the world’s great interrupters.  I often wonder if he brings guests on his program to hear them talk or just for the pleasure of interrupting them mid-sentence.”

Program Highlights (March 30-April 5):
Saturday:  Seven
’s Saturday evening includes highlights of the day’s AFL matches plus live coverage from Carrara, Queensland, of the match between Brisbane Bears and Melbourne.

Sunday:  Ten crosses to Bathurst for coverage of the James Hardie 12-Hour Race, hosted by Tim Webster.  Coverage starts at 6.00am for an hour, then resumes at 2.00pm for the next three-and-a-half hours.  Sunday night movies are Unnatural Causes (Seven), Tess (Nine) and Miracle Of The Heart: A Boys’ Town Story (Ten).  ABC’s Compass looks at the implications for parenthood when a child has been created by artificial insemination.

Monday:  In A Country Practice (Seven), pandemonium reigns at Wandin Valley Hospital as new matron Rosemary Prior (Maureen Edwards) arrives amid an outbreak of food poisoning.

Tuesday:  Former Number 96 and Home Sweet Home star Arianthe Galani and Steve Bastoni are guest stars in GP (ABC).  Former Cop Shop star Lynda Stoner guest stars in Nine’s All Together Now as a groupie from Bobby Rivers’ (Jon English) rock’n roll days.

mauriefieldsvaljellay Thursday:  In The Flying Doctors (Nine), Vic Buckley (Maurie Fields, pictured with wife and co-star Val Jellay) decides to turn his staid Majestic Hotel into the ultimate Outback Aussie experience and bring in loads of overseas tourists.

Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  30 March 1991.  Southdown Press.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

ABC2 gets a new look

abc2_0002 Following the rebranding of ABC1 earlier this year, the national broadcaster has now launched new branding for digital channel ABC2.

It is the first visual revamp for the channel since 2008.

Adopting the slogan ‘Always Brighter’, ABC2 is taking on a brighter, quirkier image and aiming at a more contemporary audience than its more conservative counterparts at ABC1.

ABC2 is essentially a prime-time only channel as early mornings are currently occupied by a simulcast of ABC News Breakfast with ABC News 24, and during the daytime the channel is programmed by ABC For Kids.  ABC will soon be swapping the early morning schedules of ABC1 and ABC2, so that ABC News Breakfast moves to the primary ABC1 channel and ABC1’s early morning children’s programs move across to ABC2.