Sunday, 27 November 2011

Seven wins ‘11

7_2000s No surprises for anyone to read that the Seven Network has come out as the overall winner in the 2011 ratings battle – its fifth annual win in a row.

Seven ends the year (Weeks 7-48, excluding Easter, 6pm-12mn, 5 cities) with a 31.0% share, followed by Nine (26.3%), Ten (21.4%), ABC (15.9%) and SBS (5.4%).  For Seven it’s an increase from last year’s share of 28.7% while Nine, ABC and SBS recorded drops compared to 2010, and Ten rose only slightly from 21.2% as it launched its new channel Eleven this year and revamped former sports channel One.

Broken down to individual channels, Seven (23.0%) was ahead of Nine (19.5%), Ten (15.8%), ABC1 (12.4%), SBS One (4.6%), 7TWO (4.6%), GO! (4.0%), Eleven (3.5%), 7mate (3.4%), Gem (2.8%), ABC2 (2.3%), One (2.1%), SBS Two (0.8%), ABC News 24 (0.7%) and ABC3 (0.6%).  The growth in the multi-channel audiences has seen all primary channels recording a decline on 2010’s numbers.

7TWO overtook Nine’s GO! as the top-rated multi-channel, while Ten’s new youth-themed channel Eleven ends its first year in third spot.

manufeildel_0001 It was a year where Seven could do little wrong, achieving a clean sweep of 40 overall prime-time wins out of 40 weeks, due to a strong early evening line-up of Seven News, Today Tonight and Home And Away and its reality portfolio – The Amazing Race: Australia, Dancing With The Stars (pictured), My Kitchen Rules, Australia’s Got Talent and a revamped The X Factor – all performing well giving the network a massive lead up to mid-evening.  Thursday nights got a boost with Beauty And The Geek, and the long-running Better Homes And Gardens gave Seven a boost on Fridays.

Seven also scored a massive hit on Sunday nights with British series Downton Abbey.

Drama series Packed To The Rafters was still a standout performer but didn’t rate quite as well as in 2010, having lost a number of key cast members in the last year, and with some risky scheduling by Seven that saw the series given a lengthy mid-season break and then winding up the 2011 series prematurely.  But the mid-season break for Rafters saw it replaced by the new series Winners And Losers, a strong ratings performer though not a match for Rafters.

In the morning battle, Sunrise is still dominant in the breakfast timeslot nationally but Nine’s Today is performing stronger in Sydney and Melbourne.  The Morning Show continues to rule the mid-morning timeslot, claiming victory over Nine’s Kerri-Anne (which was cancelled last week) and The Circle.

But not everything quite went Seven’s way.  The network’s new period drama Wild Boys, featuring Daniel MacPherson and former Rafters star Zoe Ventoura, got off to a strong start but failed to maintain an audience and will not return in 2012.  Game show Deal Or No Deal, once a dominant performer at 5.30pm, is fading against Hot Seat, and drama series City Homicide went out with a whimper.  And last week’s special Kyle And Jackie O’s Night With The Stars was presented with a lead-in of two million viewers (with the “winner announced” on The X Factor) but saw viewers switch off in droves.

New imported series No Ordinary Family, Detroit 187, Teen Wolf, Suits and Law And Order: LA all failed to click with viewers. 

9_logo_2009_2 For the Nine Network the year started confidently, with promises that the network would be the “home of comedy” in 2011.  It was soon apparent, however, that the only ones laughing were the other networks.  The supposed flagship of the new comedy line-up, Ben Elton Live From Planet Earth, was a spectacular dud, even leading to a public apology by Elton himself, and was axed after only three weeks.  New US shows $#*! My Dad Says and Mike And Molly also failed.

The once dominant US sitcom Two And A Half Men was on the decline on the back of the Charlie Sheen scandal and his subsequent sacking from the series, but The Big Bang Theory – ironically from the same producer as Men – became a strong performer, to the point where Nine has become somewhat over-reliant on its popularity, ended the ratings year with 14 episodes scheduled in prime-time over five nights.

The multi-million dollar deal which saw Hamish Blake and Andy Lee come across from the Ten Network saw their new series Hamish And Andy’s Gap Year start to a strong ratings result but overall popularity waned as the series progressed, although it rated well in younger demographics.

The Joy Of Sets with Tony Martin and Ed Kavalee promised a humourous and affectionate look at the various aspects of television, but viewers didn’t take to it at all with later episodes playing out in a late-night timeslot.

Nine’s first half of the year was also not helped by lack lustre performances by new Eddie McGuire vehicles Million Dollar Drop, Between The Lines and a revival of This Is Your Life.

Nine had some smiles, however, by strong ratings for the ongoing Underbelly franchise, with a series of telemovies and the 1920s-themed series Underbelly: Razor rating well. 

karlstefanovicThe TV Week Logie Awards rated well (1,323,000, over four hours) up against the series return of MasterChef Australia (1,569,000, 90 minutes), while the NRL State Of Origin series returned excellent figures with all three games well exceeding the 2 million viewer mark.

But while the first half of the year was not a great one for Nine, its second half was  somewhat better and can be largely attributed to adopting the reality genre in the stripped 7.00pm timeslot, starting with a new-look The Block which became a ratings hit.  Some strategic coding by Nine in the ratings system has seen The Block – The Winner Announced claim the #1 program of the year – all seven minutes of it.

(Such coding of programs, a tactic employed by all three commercial networks, have made a mess of the Top 20 list – as below – where individual episodes of series and specific segments of special events are singled out to give them higher or multiple positions in the rankings.)

Nine then used the 7.00pm timeslot for its late-year series Celebrity Apprentice, also returning strong results. The popularity in the reality genre for Nine will see it launch an Australian version of singing competition The Voice, and reviving Big Brother in 2012.

ten_2008 But while it was a year that Seven could do little wrong, for Network Ten it was a year where there was little they could get right.  The network’s heavy investment in expanding its news and current affairs portfolio saw 6PM With George Negus (later 6.30) fail to maintain any audience traction up against the tabloid opposition, although the network should at least be credited for attempting to lift the bar in the standard of prime-time current affairs reporting and giving the show a fair run before finally axing it in October.

The 6.30pm Ten Evening News failed to click with viewers and was axed after two months, and Ten’s subsequent extension of the 5.00pm bulletin to a 90-minute format saw its numbers drop considerably.  The mess of the network’s weekend newscasts, which saw the national 5.00pm newscast dropped and then re-instated and the 6.00pm state-based bulletins launched and then dropped in favour of an extended national news bulletin, has not done it any favours either. 

The 7PM Project has now been extended to an hour, and re-named The Project.  Its overall average has dropped as a result and it is to be seen if the expanded format can build on its numbers in 2012.

Ten’s reality giant MasterChef Australia was back for a third series this year.  Although the program continued to rate well, the mood of the audience was well down on previous years and the show’s finale – split into two shows to ‘force’ viewers to sample The Renovators sandwiched in between – rated well lower than the two previous season finals and its Junior MasterChef spin-off also failed to maintain a strong audience.

renovators The new show The Renovators (pictured) promised to do for home makeovers what MasterChef did with cooking – crank the challenges, production values and the budget to the hilt, and to saturate the schedule.  The problem was that viewers didn’t take to The Renovators as they had come to adopt MasterChef, therefore dragging down Ten’s entire schedule.  It will also be no coincidence that Nine’s revamped The Block made its debut just prior to The Renovators and hence stole much of its thunder.

Ten’s drama slate has looked somewhat depleted this year, with Neighbours being moved across to Eleven.  Ten’s second series of Offspring was a strong performer and will be back next year, but action-packed police drama Rush again failed to gain a decent audience and will not appear in 2012.

Apart from MasterChef’s two-part finale, Ten’s only appearance in the year-end Top 20 was the AFL Grand Final, ending the network’s ten-year association with the league as the free-to-air rights next year go solely to Seven.

Ten’s re-working of comedy show Good News Week into Good News World was a critical and ratings disaster, while the new topical discussion show Can Of Worms got a modest audience response but was not helped by some erratic scheduling.  The second series of the Australian version of Undercover Boss also failed to rate with viewers.

The network did have better results with the return of The Biggest Loser and Talkin’ ‘bout Your Generation.

Imported shows Blue Bloods, Hawaii Five-O, The Defenders and Ringer have also returned poor results, while the big-budget series Terra Nova – filmed on location in Australia – started strongly but has failed to maintain viewers’ interest.

asherkeddieasitabuttrose Over at ABC ratings are not of primary concern but the ABC1 channel has scored some critical and ratings hits during the year.  The two-part series Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo (pictured) was a ratings hit in April, while the eight-part adaptation of the book The Slap was widely acclaimed and received strong Thursday night figures for the broadcaster.

The long-running Spicks And Specks also rated well during the year with its final-ever episode last week scoring over 1.5 million viewers.  The Gruen Transfer and its spin-off Gruen Planet were also popular on Wednesday nights.

goback Highlights for SBS during the year included Cadel Evans’ victory in the Tour de France (704,000), followed by documentary series Go Back To Where You Came From (pictured), where six Australians were taken on a reverse journey of those taken by refugees that have landed at our shores.

In digital multi-channels, the most-watched broadcast was Day 9 of Wimbledon on 7TWO, attracting 737,000 viewers, followed by movies Transformers and 2012 on GO!.  Neighbours was a consistent performer for Eleven, often winning nightly digital channel rankings but its average over the year saw it ranked at the 10th most popular program on digital channels for the year.

williamkate But the biggest TV event of the year is one that fell outside of the official ratings survey.  The April wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, with coverage across four free-to-air networks and a number of pay-TV channels, was watched by millions but took place during the two-week ratings break taken around Easter so its numbers are not included in the year-end tally.

From today networks go into summer non-ratings mode, though viewing data is still collected and reported to networks over the non-ratings period.

The 2012 ratings year begins on 12 February and continues through to 1 December, with a two-week Easter break in April.

Seven wins 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007

Free-To-Air Top 20 Programs (Rank, Title, Network, Duration, Audience (five cities)):

1 THE BLOCK -WINNER ANNOUNCED (Nine) 0:07:06 3,370,000
2 AUSTRALIA'S GOT TALENT-THE WINNER ANNOUNCED (Seven) 0:10:06 2,980,000
3 UNDERBELLY: RAZOR -EP1 (Nine) 1:01:21 2,794,000
4 MASTERCHEF AUSTRALIA - THE WINNER ANNOUNCED (Ten) 0:16:00 2,745,000
5 THE BLOCK -AUCTION (Nine) 0:45:50 2,736,000
6 THE 2011 MELBOURNE CUP CARNIVAL: MELBOURNE CUP-THE RACE (Seven) 0:06:05 2,667,000
7 TEN'S AFL FINALS 2011: GRAND FINAL COLLINGWOOD V GEELONG (Ten) 3:02:30 2,641,000
8 STATE OF ORIGIN RUGBY LEAGUE QLD V NSW 3RD - MATCH (Nine) 1:50:58 2,492,000
9 MASTERCHEF AUSTRALIA - FINALE NIGHT (Ten) 1:01:34 2,402,000
10 UNDERBELLY: RAZOR -EP2 (Nine) 1:01:16 2,352,000
11 THE BLOCK -GRAND FINAL (Nine) 1:07:10 2,309,000
12 STATE OF ORIGIN RUGBY LEAGUE QLD V NSW 1ST - MATCH (Nine) 1:41:24 2,245,000
13 RUGBY LEAGUE GRAND FINAL (Nine) 1:51:01 2,172,000
14 STATE OF ORIGIN RUGBY LEAGUE NSW V QLD 2ND - MATCH (Nine) 1:44:00 2,165,000 
15 MY KITCHEN RULES-WINNER ANNOUNCED (Seven) 0:10:00 2,127,000
16 THE X FACTOR - THE WINNER ANNOUNCED (Seven) 7 0:08:00 2,026,000
17 THE 2011 MELBOURNE CUP CARNIVAL: MELBOURNE CUP-RACE PRESENTATIO (Seven) 0:33:27 1,967,000
18 AUSTRALIA'S GOT TALENT-TUE (Seven) 1:34:32 1,936,000
19 THE 2011 GRAND FINAL PRE GAME (Ten) 0:20:58 1,914,000
20 DOWNTON ABBEY (Seven) 1:11:48 1,906,000

Free-To-Air Digital Multi Channel Top 20 Programs (Rank, Title, Channel, Duration, Audience (five cities)):

1 WIMBLEDON 2011 - DAY 9 (7TWO) 1:37:11 737,000
2 TRANSFORMERS -EV (GO!) 3:00:14 486,000
3 2012 -EV (GO!) 3:14:57 441,000
4 AUST FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2011 - RACE (One)2:00:00 428,000
5 WIMBLEDON 2011 - DAY 7 (7TWO) 2:46:45 408,000
6 SURVIVOR: REDEMPTION ISLAND -EV TX1 (GO!) 0:58:00 371,000
7 HEARTBEAT-SAT (R) (7TWO) 1:07:09 350,000
8 JONATHAN CREEK (7TWO) 1:07:32 349,000
9 SURVIVOR: REDEMPTION ISLAND -EV (GO!) 1:36:15 344,000
10 NEIGHBOURS (Eleven) 0:30:35 343,000
11 M-FIRST BLOOD (7mate) 2:00:51 338,000
12 PAUL BLART: MALL COP -EV (GO!) 1:56:36 337,000
13 HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE -EV (GO!) 3:20:46 337,000
14 DOC MARTIN-EP.2 (7TWO) 1:02:01 335,000
15 HEARTBEAT (R) (7TWO) 1:06:18 330,000
16 HEARTBEAT-EP.2 (R) (7TWO) 1:05:31 325,000
17 THE VICAR OF DIBLEY-TUE (R) (7TWO) 0:49:38 322,000
18 HEARTBEAT-SAT EP.2 (R) (7TWO) 1:02:40 315,000
19 HEARTBEAT-WED (R) (7TWO) 1:08:04 314,000
20 DOC MARTIN (7TWO) 1:03:09 308,000

Data © OzTAM Pty Limited 2011. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM.

Friday, 25 November 2011

TV’s golden girls signing off

denisedrysdale_4 It was a morning of farewells as two of TV’s golden girls signed off from their respective shows today.

Over at Ten’s The Circle, Denise Drysdale (pictured) announced her retirement – marking the end of a showbusiness career that has spanned more than fifty years.

Starting as a performer in early children’s shows including The Happy Show and The Tarax Show, Drysdale worked her way up to pop music shows such as Uptight, Kommotion and Dig We Must.

Then in the 1970s she became Ernie Sigley’s ‘barrel girl’ on The Ernie Sigley Show, forming an enduring partnership that saw both of them win Gold Logies in 1975, with Drysdale winning a second Gold in 1976.

One of TV’s more versatile performers, she has appeared in dramas such as Division 4, Homicide and Cop Shop, comedies like The Bluestone Boys and The Norman Gunston Show and countless music and variety shows including Countdown, The Penthouse Club, The Daryl Somers Show, The Mike Walsh Show right through to Spicks And Specks

Living on a farm in Gippsland, in the 1980s she hosted a morning show for local channel GLV8, and later took over from Jacki MacDonald on Nine’s Hey Hey It’s Saturday before being re-united with Sigley to host morning shows In Melbourne Today and In Sydney Today (both shows later merged into Ernie And Denise).

In the ‘90s, Drysdale teamed up with Frankie J. Holden on the revived In Melbourne Tonight before moving to the Seven Network to host her own daytime show, Denise.

Early last year Network Ten announced that Drysdale was joining the presenting team on its new morning show The Circle.  Later in the year she was again re-united with Sigley in a segment on the show.

Although the show faces tough competition, particularly from The Morning Show on Seven, The Circle this year won a Logie for Most Popular Light Entertainment Program.

Drysdale now looks forward to taking a well-earned break and spending time with her new grandson.

kerriannekennerley_0001 Meanwhile, over at the Nine Network, there was a farewell for Kerri-Anne Kennerley whose morning show comes to an end after nine years on air. 

Kennerley was a teenager when she appeared on children’s programs on Queensland television in the 1960s and 1970s.  After working overseas for several years she returned to Australia, appearing on the soapie The Restless Years before taking over as co-host on Network Ten’s Good Morning Australia in 1981.  It was a role that she made her own for 11 years, outlasting a number of her male on-air colleagues.  She later hosted an afternoon show, Monday To Friday, and worked in Sydney radio.

In the mid-1990s, Kennerley took over as host of Nine’s Midday – giving the show a new lease on life after some years of instability.  The show wound up in 1998 and after a stint back at the Ten Network on ill-fated shows like Moment Of Truth and Greed she returned to Nine in 2002 to host Mornings With Kerri-Anne, later re-named Kerri-Anne.

The show achieved global fame in 2007 when an interview with a “jet-lagged” John Stamos went viral.

The demise of Kerri-Anne comes after recent speculation about the show’s future, sparked by Kennerley taking leave from the program and with the show featuring a number of guest hosts. 

Although the Kerri-Anne program has ended – the ‘summer series’ of best-of segments starts on Monday – Kennerley remains with the Nine Network for future projects.

Nine will replace Kerri-Anne next year with a new show to be hosted by Sonia Kruger, who is coming across after more than a decade with the Seven Network and is best known as the co-host for eleven seasons of  Dancing With The Stars.

YouTube: aussiebeachut0, Michael Shephard

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

1991: November 16-22

tvweek_161191 ‘It hurts…’
The Flying Doctors and The Bugs Bunny Show star Sophie Lee (pictured) has hit out at critics accusing her of being offered fame based on looks rather than intelligence or ability, likening their comments to schoolyard taunts.  “Of course plenty of it hurts,” she told TV Week.  “If the comments are witty or well done, then you have respect for what that particular person is doing.  But often it’s coming from an empty-headed DJ and you find yourself asking, ‘Where’s the wit?’.  There’s an unusual situation to contend with in Australia.  When you begin to succeed, you have to put up with jealousy and sexism.  And the more successful you become, the more negative things people say.”  The daughter of academics, Lee received outstanding results in her high school certificate but decided against a tertiary education and entered the entertainment industry, starting with the local repertory company in Newcastle and then taking on modelling assignments which took her overseas.  Her first major TV appearance was in the telemovie Raw Silk before gaining the hosting role for The Bugs Bunny Show and the part of Penny Wellings in The Flying Doctors.

bertnewtonkyliemole Two celebrations of Oz TV’s historic anniversary 
To celebrate this year’s milestone of 35 years of television, the Nine Network this week pays tribute to the small screen in a three-hour special, produced in co-operation with all the networks.  The special will feature segments devoted to various program genres – including Bert Newton making a return to television to present the quiz and game show segment, Olivia Newton-John presenting the tribute to children’s shows, Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum looking at the history of rock music on TV, and Kylie Mole (Maryanne Fahey) presenting the look at Australian TV comedy.  “Like, some of the shows in this special are so good like Aunty Jack and Norman Gunston and they were on telly when Mum was a kid, so they must be, like, from the 18th century,” Mole told TV WeekGraham Kennedy, not seen on TV since hosting Graham Kennedy’s Funniest Home Video Show a year ago, will be presenting the tribute to variety shows.  Meanwhile, Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art has launched its own tribute to Australian television with the exhibition TV Times: 35 Years Of Television In Australia.  The exhibition includes a ‘Hall of Fame’ of some of Australia’s most famous stars, and a unique game show wheel which spins not prizes but old clips of game show winners and losers.

grahamkennedy_0001 Just horsin’ around
On the eve of his return to TV – as above – Graham Kennedy (pictured) allowed TV Week to visit his country property in the NSW southern highlands, but as per Kennedy tradition, the interview still had to be carried out by fax.  The multiple Gold Logie winner is now based full-time at his 124 acre property with Dave and Sarah, his beloved clydesdale horses.  Kennedy told TV Week that Nine had offered him the opportunity to present another series of his Funniest Home Video Show after a successful run last year but he declined.  “I’ve reached a time in my life when I’m captivated by something for only a short time,” he said.  He also mentioned that his upcoming TV appearance is likely to be his last for a while, as he now sees himself as “just an Australian who lives in the country with horses”.  When asked if he would consider writing an autobiography, he responded, “Well, who else could write my autobiography?”

Briefly…
Former A Country Practice star Josephine Mitchell has joined E Street, playing the part of fashion designer Penny O’Brien.  “Forrest Redlich, the producer, has a lot of ideas for the future of E Street, and it’s nice to be one of them,” she told TV Week.  Meanwhile, actress Tammy MacIntosh has signed up for the second series of ABC’s Police Rescue, marking her return to TV following a brief stint on the Nine Network’s Chances.

jackimacdonald Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show is going global as host Jacki MacDonald (pictured) links up with hosts of overseas versions of the show for a special international edition to screen this week.  “I can’t even begin to think what’s going to happen on the night,” she told TV Week. “I don’t speak French, German or Spanish, so I hope the hosts all speak English.  But there is no language barrier where humour is concerned.  Regardless of nationality, people enjoy a good laugh.”

As the Nine Network’s Sunday program celebrates a decade on air, host Jim Waley doesn’t take the credit for the show’s longevity.  “The difference between Sunday and every other news program on TV is we don’t have any tall poppies.  Everyone pulls together and that is the only reason we have survived,” he told TV Week

John Laws says…
SBS’ eminently watchable The Movie Show celebrated its fifth birthday recently.  Not many TV shows can claim that many birthdays.  David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz have got the formula worked out to a nicety.  They’ve had some 225 programs to air and reviewed close to 1000 movies.  Like many other programs that work well, The Movie Show succeeds because it keeps the action tight and flowing.  The hosts don’t preach and they never pull a punch when it comes to crunching a bad movie, and that’s exactly how it should be.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, November 16-22):
Saturday:
  Hey Hey It’s Saturday (Nine) presents its second Hollywood-based special, with guest stars Madonna, Rita Rudner, Alison Porter, Christina Applegate and Richard Crenna.  This week’s contestants on Celebrity Wheel Of Fortune (Seven) are Brian Wenzel, Agro, Fat Cat and performer Maria Venuti.

Sunday:  The Nine Network televises the annual Rock Eisteddfod, featuring performances of secondary school students from around Australia, hosted by Steven Jacobs and Jane Hall.  Ten crosses to Bondi Beach for the Iron Man Super Series.  Sunday night movies are Nuns On The Run (Seven) and Legal Eagles (Ten), up against the Australian Opera production of Carmen (ABC) and the Nine Network’s three-hour special 35 Years Of Television, featuring Graham Kennedy, Bert Newton, Jana Wendt, Mike Willesee, Ray Martin, Craig McLachlan, John Waters, Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum, Brian Henderson, Olivia Newton-John, Kylie Mole (Maryanne Fahey), Max Walker and David Lyle.

Monday: In Col’n Carpenter (Ten), Colin (Kim Gyngell) discovers he has a copy of a very rare Phantom comic.  Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum presents a half-hour special on Nine, Michael Jackson – Dangerous, previewing the pop star’s new video Black And WhiteABC’s Four Corners and Media Watch present their final editions for 1991.

Tuesday:  In A Country Practice (Seven), Esme (Joyce Jacobs) gets her just rewards after she thinks she is being investigated by ASIO.  In Beyond 2000 (Seven), Amanda Keller presents a two-part report on stress – looking at its effects on elderly people and pregnant women.  Former The Flying Doctors star Liz Burch guest stars in Chances (Nine).

Wednesday:  Couchman Over Australia (ABC) presents its final show for 1991.

wilburwilde Thursday:  Hey Hey It’s Saturday’s Wilbur Wilde (pictured) guest stars in The Flying Doctors as a lovable, irresistible musician who lures the Coopers Crossing locals to an outback feast when a wedding is cancelled and the gourmet food is up for grabs.  In E Street (Ten), Joey Valentine (Lorry D’Ercole) is caught up in a rock’n’roll duel.  ABC debuts a new documentary series, The First Australians – the first episode looking at the Watson family of Mt Anderson Station in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Friday:  Rock star Jimmy Barnes is this week’s guest on Burke’s Backyard (Nine).  Seven crosses to the State Sports Centre, Homebush, for the World Amateur Boxing Championships final – with 54 countries competing in the competition, Australia is represented by five NSW boxers, five from Queensland and one from Tasmania.

Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  16 November 1991.  Southdown Press

Monday, 21 November 2011

1991: November 9-15

tvweek_091191 Great expectations!
Seven Network
publicists couldn’t believe their luck when it was discovered that key characters in both Home And Away and A Country Practice will discover they are pregnant in the same week.  In Home And Away, teenager Sophie (Rebekah Elmaloglou) faces the prospect of being a single mum, with the baby’s father David (Guy Pearce) recently killed in a car accident.  The outlook is a bit more optimistic in A Country Practice with Lucy (Georgie Parker) and husband Matt (John Tarrant) overjoyed at the news that they are going to become parents.

New series spin-off for Wheels!
The producers of E Street are developing a spin-off series to star Marcus Graham, who recently reprised his role of Wheels in the Network Ten series.  The new series, described as a police action-drama, is set to star Graham as a streetwise undercover cop.  A pilot for the concept is to be produced after Graham has finished his commitment to E Street at the end of this year.  The Nine Network is said to be interested in the project.

sydheylengordonpiper ‘Goodbye, boys and girls…’
A Country Practice stalwarts Syd Heylen and Gordon Piper will soon make their final farewells from the long-running series after ten years, and both are at a loss to understand why two of the show’s most popular characters are being written out – although Heylen suspects the show’s new focus towards younger viewers has led to this outcome despite the pair being loved by younger and older viewers alike.  But despite the disappointment of being written out of the series, they say they would not have missed ten years with ACP for anything.  Piper says he is forever grateful to producer James Davern and Lyn Bayonas for offering him the Bob Hatfield role.  “Bob gave me the chance to play so many things – the town boofhead, the scallywag, the grandfather, a community spirit, everything,” he told TV Week.  Heylen fondly remembers the time that “real beer” was put behind the bar on the set.  “Fair dinkum beer,” he recalls. “Before that I had to serve lolly water or juggle beer out of cans – as well as remember my lines.”  The pair will tape their final scenes for A Country Practice in December but will continue to be seen on air until March.

Briefly…
Former Perfect Match hostess Tiffany Lamb has returned from the US after 10 months and has taken on two very different roles.  The first will be as a prostitute in Nine’s adult drama Chances, and the second will be as a schoolteacher, Mrs Fish, in the upcoming children’s production Lift Off.

Showbiz legend Toni Lamond is tackling a new venture – her first novel.  After the success of her emotional and revealing autobiography The First Half, her new project is a fictional tale of life in the showbiz industry.  “It’s racy and risque,” she said.  “I’m surprising myself.  Writing has kept me sane in those out-of-work periods – the bane of an actor’s life.”

Actress Melissa Thomas, who played the studious Brigid in Brides Of Christ, is returning to television again as a student but in a very different role.  In Network Ten’s new comedy Late For School, Thomas will play the role of Lily Price, a student coping with the embarrassment of being in the same class as her mother, played by Sarah Chadwick.  The new series will also star Ross Higgins and Matthew Newton.

Garry Shelley’s Sound Off
”On Tuesday night, the ABC’s first-rate drama series GP signs off for another year but the good news is, it will be back again in February.  However, the bad news is we’ll be losing lovely Judy McIntosh, who for the past 18 months has won a lot of hearts through her role as Dr Nicola Tanner.  I’m sorry she’s leaving, but I understand her replacement, Dr Tessa Korkidas (Marilynne Paspaley), will win us over before we can say myocardial infarction.  GP is good, honest television, extremely well-written with an even blend of the serious and humourous.  It tells us how it really is, and is not afraid to pack a punch.  This is not namby-pamby stuff – it’s explicit, it shocks and it doesn’t snigger behind its hand.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, November 9-15):
Saturday:
  Network Ten covers Honda Stakes Day, the last day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, hosted by Tim Webster with racecaller Dan Mielicki.  ABC begins a repeat screening of the 1970s drama series Seven Little Australians, starring Leonard Teale and Elizabeth AlexanderHey Hey It’s Saturday (Nine) presents the first of its two special shows from the Warner Bros studios in Hollywood, with guest appearances by Chevy Chase, Toni Childs and Murphy Brown star Joe Regalbuto.

tamblynlorddavidbradshaw Sunday:  Nine’s Sunday current affairs program celebrates its tenth anniversary with a special edition.  ABC debuts mini-series The River Kings, a four-part series set in the early 1920s about a boy growing into manhood under difficult circumstances, starring Tamblyn Lord (pictured, near right, with David Bradshaw) and featuring veterans Willie Fennell, Bill Kerr and Edward Hepple.  Sunday night movies are Stella (Seven), Look Who’s Talking (Nine) and Family Business (Ten).

Monday:  In A Country Practice (Seven), Shirley (Lorrae Desmond) becomes suspicious when husband Frank (Brian Wenzel) receives a love letter from Italy.  Sale Of The Century (Nine) begins its Champion Of Champions series, featuring former winning contestants.

Tuesday:  In Beyond 2000 (Seven), Simon Reeve visits Japanese electronics giant Matsushita who have devised a system where the customer determines the dimensions and particulars of the bike they want, and Dr John D’Arcy reports on an instant pap smear that could revolutionise cancer detection.  In All Together Now (Nine), Wayne (Bruno Lucia) is on the run from an Italian gangster – the episode guest stars Vince D’Amico.  In Chances (Nine), Alex (Jeremy Sims) meets a nun who may be able to help him piece together his past.

Wednesday:  In E Street (Ten), the neighbourhood comes together for the funeral of a favourite son.

Thursday:  The Flying Doctors (Nine) features guest star Jan Friedl.

Friday:  Celebrity gardener Jim McLelland is the guest on this week’s Burke’s Backyard (Nine).  In Neighbours (Ten), Guy (Andrew Williams) and Brad (Scott Michaelson) have a violent confrontation.  Star Search (Ten) presents its series grand final edition.

Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  9 November 1991.  Southdown Press

Sunday, 13 November 2011

1991: November 2-8

tvweek_021191 Hey, Ben’s a dad!
It might be a shock to some to realise that Ben Oxenbould, the newcomer to the cast of Hey Dad!, is himself a dad.  The 22-year-old, who got his big break at the age of seven in the film Fatty Finn, has a one-year-old son but is very protective of him and won’t have him photographed by the media.  “He keeps me very busy when he’s with me,” Oxenbould (pictured with co-star Rachael Beck) told TV Week.  “He’s a classic combination of his mother – with whom he lives – and myself.  And, thankfully, I think he got everything good from us.  So that’s something.”  The Hey Dad! role is Adelaide-born Oxenbould’s first comedy role, having previously appeared in E Street and GP and will star in the upcoming SBS series Six Pack.

lizburch_0001 No naked ambition!
Former The Flying Doctors star Liz Burch (pictured) is no stranger to nudity, having starred in the controversial stage production Steaming, but when speaking of her upcoming role in Nine’s Chances she says the producers wouldn’t dare.  “They wouldn’t dream of asking me to take my clothes off… the ratings would plummet!  I did Steaming, but that was very different.  We rehearsed that for four weeks, the show was well-written and there was justification for it.  With Chances, the issue of nudity never comes into it,” she said.  In Chances, Burch plays a chemist, Sally Kirk, who is involved in a relationship with Jack Taylor (Tim Robertson) – but Alex (Jeremy Sims) plots to steal her away from Jack after realising she has information that could earn him millions. 

maryhardy_79 ‘I was moved to tears…’
Maryanne Fahey, best known from The Comedy Company, is about to tackle one of the most demanding roles in her career – portraying the life of one of Australia’s most controversial and amusing personalities, Mary Hardy (pictured), in the upcoming play Mary Lives.  Hardy, who committed suicide in 1985, was well-known to Melbourne radio and television audiences in the 1960s and 1970s, in particular as presenter on the long-running variety show The Penthouse Club and on radio 3AW.  She also won a number of TV Week Logies for her popularity with Victorian audiences.  “I was moved to tears when I first read the play,” Fahey told TV Week.  “It was something I really wanted to do.  Mary was one of the real forerunners of women’s comedy in this country.  Hopefully, I will do her justice.  She was outrageous and prepared to cop the flak because she was an idealist, and I admire that more than someone who just goes out there to be funny.”

janehansen Briefly…
Hard Copy reporter Jane Hansen (pictured) has confirmed reports that she has been approached by former 60 Minutes producer Gerald Stone to join his new current affairs venture for the Seven Network, though stresses that nothing has been signed or agreed to as yet.  The new program, yet to be named, may potentially be slotted against Nine’s ratings giant 60 Minutes.

Joan McInnes, the host of Network Ten’s morning program ‘Til Ten, has announced her engagement to winemaker and yachtsman James Hardy.  The pair have known each other for more than five years but began seeing each other seriously two years ago and are expected to wed in December.

New Zealand actress Catherine Wilkin (Cop Shop, Rafferty’s Rules) is set to return to Australia after three years, starring as an ambassador in the next series of ABC’s Embassy.  “I’ve played a lot of strong-minded career women but never an ambassador,” she said.  “I’ll have to pay the Australian ambassador a visit here and do a crash course in diplomacy before I leave New Zealand!”

John Laws says…
”Who was it, I wonder, who allowed the Beyond 2000 format to slip from the clutches of the ABC and into the hands of the Seven Network all those years ago?  Those responsible must still be suffering recurring bouts of programmers’ guilt – as must be those misguided Seven executives who elected to give up on Neighbours and meekly hand it to Ten, where it was transformed into a long-running international smash-hit worth millions.  Watching Beyond 2000 the other night – and admiring its bright, informative segments on everything from eatable potato-chip containers to sonar fences to stop whales beaching themselves – only reinforced my long-held belief that it is one of Australia’s best programs.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, November 2-8):
Saturday:
  Network Ten’s coverage of the Melbourne Cup Carnival kicks off with all-day coverage of Derby Day, live from Flemington Racecourse, presented by Tim Webster with racecaller Dan Mielicki.  This week’s contestants on Celebrity Wheel Of Fortune (Seven) are Rod Marsh, Lynda Stoner and Larry Pickering.  ABC presents live coverage overnight of the Rugby World Cup final from Twickenham, United Kingdom.

Sunday:  Nine’s crosses to Adelaide for its all-day coverage of the Australian Grand Prix, hosted by Ken Sutcliffe with commentators Alan Jones, Jackie Stewart, Murray Walker, Darrell Eastlake and Barry Sheene.  Author Colleen McCullough is this week’s guest on ABC’s Sunday Afternoon With Peter Ross.  Sunday night movies are Sex, Lies And Videotape (Nine) and The Great Outdoors (Ten), up against the debut of two-part mini-series Love And Hate (Seven).

Monday:  In A Country Practice (Seven), Matt (John Tarrant) admits he has had enough of marriage to Lucy (Georgie Parker).  Ben Mendelsohn guest stars in Col’n Carpenter (Ten).

judymcintosh Tuesday:  Melbourne Cup Day, and Network Ten presents live coverage of the highlight of the Australian racing calendar, starting at 9.30am and continuing through to 5.30pm, hosted by Tim Webster.  In GP (ABC), the sudden return of Dr Nicola Tanner’s (Judy McIntosh, pictured) wild brother Danny (Brett Climo) leads to the uncovering of a dark secret in the Tanner family.  In Beyond 2000 (Seven), Simon Reeve reports from the UK on the Weatherall racetrack, made up of granulated rubber from old car tyres. 

Wednesday:  In E Street (Ten), Lisa (Alyssa-Jane Cook) tries to find the answer to Michael’s (Graham Harvey) death.  In Hey Dad! (Seven), Simon (Chris Mayer) is panic stricken with the fear of incipient baldness while Betty (Julie McGregor) solves the problems of the ozone layer.

Thursday:  Former Prisoner star Betty Bobbitt guest stars in The Flying Doctors (Nine).  ABC’s documentary series Wildscreen looks at the camel as a wild animal, detailing its fascinating and complex social behaviour.

Friday:  Talent quest series Star Search (Ten) presents its series semi-final, hosted by Mike Hammond.

Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  2 November 1991.  Southdown Press

Friday, 11 November 2011

Nine Darwin – 40 years today

darwin Although television started in Sydney and Melbourne in 1956 it wasn’t too much longer before other capital cities joined in – Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth in 1959, Hobart in 1960, Canberra in 1962 – but for people in Australia’s smallest and most isolated capital city it was a much longer wait.

It was 1971 before television arrived in the Northern Territory capital of Darwin.  The first channel to air was ABC’s local outlet ABD6, opening in August 1971.

Darwin’s first commercial channel, NTD8, opened three months later – 11 November, 1971.  The first program on opening night was an Australian classic, Skippy The Bush Kangaroo.

Although Darwinites are known to like a drink, apparently the arrival of television had a major impact on attendances at Darwin pubs as many would race home to enjoy the wonders of the new medium.  This would potentially be of concern to the local brewers, except that at the time Swan Breweries was a major shareholder in NTD8 and, as the sole commercial channel in town, business was thriving.

Colour television was to arrive formally in March 1975.  In a TV Times article in October 1974, it was reported that NTD8 was confident that it was on schedule to have its facilities upgraded for colour in time for the March deadline.  The ABC, however, was less optimistic.  With a vast network of hundreds of transmitter sites Australia-wide to be converted, ABD6 was far down the list of sites to be enabled for colour – with a tentative conversion date of sometime in 1978!

But on Christmas Day, 1974 – barely two months after the article’s publication – Darwin was devastated by Cyclone Tracy.  Much of the city was destroyed and Darwin faced a mass evacuation to bring the population down from 45,000 to 10,000 within days as the recovery effort took place.

The cyclone took out all television and radio stations but the ABC, as the national broadcaster, was able to get ABD6 and its radio services back on the air within days.  NTD8, however, was less fortunate and took until October 1975 to return to the airwaves – providing even then a fairly rudimentary service.

ntd8_loveyoudarwinBut in the years to follow the city of Darwin was re-built as was NTD8.  The channel also undertook a $2 million redevelopment of its studios in the early 1980s, although transmission hours by 1982 were still largely limited to the evenings, with daytime broadcasting only on Sundays and Wednesdays.  The channel was also limited in communication infrastructure to the major cities, as the only inbound microwave link available to Darwin was leased full-time to ABC – leaving NTD with little means of timely access to national news stories or program material from interstate.  The channel did, however, maintain local programming including local sports coverage and discussion and a current affairs program, Spectrum.

The monopoly situation with the microwave link was rectified by 1982, finally giving NTD8 an instant connection to the major cities and enabling it to launch its first news service, News At Seven, in October of that year, initially in affiliation with the Nine Network but later changed to Seven.  One of the original members of the News team was Andrew Bruyn, who became the channel’s general manager in 1991 and continues in that role today.

By the mid-1980s, NTD8 was part of a bid to obtain the licence to operate a Remote Commercial Television Service (RCTS) to remote central Australia via the new AUSSAT domestic satellite.  The bid was unsuccessful, with the licence instead going to Imparja Television, operated by the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA). 

NTD lodged an appeal against the decision but in the meantime the channel was bought out by Kerry Packer, who sought to negotiate operating the new channel as a joint venture with CAAMA but at the last minute his company withdrew the appeal and CAAMA proceeded to launch Imparja in January 1988.

ntd8_1990s When Packer regained control of the Nine Network in 1990, NTD8 was brought into the network.  Despite ownership by Nine, NTD8 as the sole commercial broadcaster in Darwin continued with the Channel 8 branding, providing a composite schedule of programming from all three commercial networks. 

In 1994, Darwin became the last capital city in Australia to gain access to SBS – and it was 1998 before a second commercial channel, Seven Darwin, was launched in Darwin.

9_logo_2009_2 The launch of Seven Darwin (now Southern Cross Television) then saw NTD8’s schedule change to a mix of Nine and Ten network programs until New Year’s Day, 2003, when the channel was re-branded as Nine Darwin, even though it was still broadcasting on Channel 8.  The change saw the loss of most Network Ten programming and local access to a full-scale Ten schedule was not to arrive until 2008 with the launch of Darwin Digital Television (DDT).

DDT launched as a digital-only channel operated jointly between Southern Cross and Nine and the new channel gave incentive for viewers to convert to digital television, leading to Darwin adopting digital television at a faster rate than most other markets.  In the latest Digital Tracker survey, of the markets still in simulcast between analogue and digital, Darwin is leading the nation in digital conversion – with 89 per cent of households having converted their main television set, compared to the national average of 81 per cent.

jonathanuptin Despite the arrival of competition – and the subsequent suite of digital multi-channels – into what is Australia’s smallest capital city (population: 120,000) Nine Darwin continues to take pride as the market leader and maintains its local reputation with its flagship being the local Nine News bulletin, fronted by Jonathon Uptin (pictured).  Production of the local newscast has recently been revamped to match the look and style of its Nine Network counterparts in the eastern states. 

As well as maintaining the Nine Network schedule the channel also conducts occasional local programming initiatives, ranging in topics including local history and recreational activities, and provides commercial production facilities to its local clients. 

Nine Darwin also provides transmission of Nine’s digital channels GO! and GEM.  Darwin is scheduled to switch to digital-only television transmission in the second half of 2013.

Source: NTD, Digital Tracker, TV Times, CAAMA, Australian Television Archive

Monday, 7 November 2011

TV4 coming to the Seven Network

tv4 The Seven Network has announced that it will be broadcasting the datacast channel TV4 on its digital signal from early December.

TV4, operated by marketing and production company Brand New Media, has been broadcast on the digital signal of Seven’s regional affiliate Prime7 since 18 September.

The channel promises “information rich content around lifestyle, finances, community, education and shopping”.

If online discussion about Prime7’s broadcast of TV4 is any indication, Seven Network viewers can expect the channel to largely consist of infomercials – low-rent programming that is normally reserved for mid-dawn timeslots.

Datacast services are intended for the transmission of information or niche format content and are precluded from providing general entertainment or mainstream programming.  An extended trial of datacasting was conducted in Sydney via Digital Forty Four, providing access to shopping and religious programming, government information and parliamentary broadcasts as well as an electronic program guide (EPG) for all free-to-air channels.  The trial also provided a free-to-air outlet for National Indigenous Television (NITV), whose access in most areas is otherwise limited to pay-TV platforms.  The trial concluded in 2010.

Seven will be broadcasting TV4 on digital channel 74 in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and regional Queensland.  TV4 is currently available on digital channel 64 via Prime7 in regional NSW, Victoria and the ACT.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Gold Logie auction shut down

logie_1980s The auction of a vintage TV Week Gold Logie has been withdrawn from website Ebay following the threat of legal action from the Awards organisers.

The Herald Sun reports that the Gold Logie, claimed to have been a “100 per cent original” from the 1960s, had a starting price of $1000.  The Logie had apparently been obtained by the Ebay seller at a Camberwell market 15 years ago.

The seller does not mention who the Gold Logie was originally awarded to but only recalled that “she used to work for GTV9”. 

TV Week publisher Peter Holder said the sale of the Logie was disappointing:

"We are disappointed that something so cherished is being so cheaply flogged.  It's sad that something that meant so much to someone in the 1960s doesn't mean as much to someone in 2011."

Ebay is investigating the item and the magazine, which has handed out the Logies since 1959, is considering legal options.

Two years ago the 1975 Silver Logie for best actress, won by Number 96 star Bunney Brooke (who died in 2000), was sold on Ebay for over $2200.  

Source: Herald Sun

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Obituary: Sean Flannery

seanflannery Veteran journalist Sean Flannery has died after a battle with cancer at the age of 69.

Born in 1942, Flannery started his radio career at 2SM but later became known for his work on the 2UE program Night Watch that aired every Sunday morning.

He later joined the Ten Network in Sydney and also read the news for Ten and Seven in Adelaide. 

Former colleague David Richardson has written a tribute to Flannery on the Today Tonight website:

“Sean Flannery was a character in the truest sense of the word.  A larrikin in the ultimate Australian sense.  A bloke who loved a beer, he was the epitome of the old school journo from the days of copy boys, cadets and hard-drinking, hard-playing journos – a bloke who was just full of life.”

News Limited CEO and chairman John Hartigan also paid tribute:

"Sean was one of the great characters of radio and TV reporting.  Funny, smart – one of the last swashbucklers of journalism."

Sean Flannery will be farewelled at a funeral in Sydney on Tuesday.

Source: Daily Telegraph, Today Tonight
YouTube: d0nkeyshines

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

1991: October 26-November 1

tvweek_261091 Cover: (near right) Ryan Clark (Home And Away), Matthew Krok (Hey Dad!); (far right) Natalie McCurry (Chances); (bottom) Julie McGregor (Hey Dad!), Georgie Parker (A Country Practice), Emily Symons (Home And Away)

Jimmy and John to rock AMAs!
Rock legends Jimmy Barnes and John Farnham will perform a duet at the upcoming Australian Music Awards presentation.  The live performance follows the release of their upcoming single, a remake of the Sixties song Something Is Wrong With My Baby.  The Australian Music Awards will be held at Melbourne’s World Congress Centre late in November and will be broadcast via Network Ten.

Hey Hey it’s Hollywood!
The Nine Network’s Hey Hey It’s Saturday will mark its 20th anniversary with two shows beamed live from the Hollywood studios of Warner Bros.  A team of 25 cast and crew will head to California for the shows to go to air on November 9 and 16.  The Hollywood production followed the success of the show’s recent special edition presented from Warner Bros Movieworld on the Gold Coast.  “The only snag was money,” host and co-producer Daryl Somers told TV Week.  “We’re ecstatic that the deal has come off, with the support of Movieworld, Village Roadshow, Qantas and Warner.”  Although the Hollywood specials of Hey Hey It’s Saturday are for Australian audiences only, Somers has been asked to contribute some segments to a US program.

Fast Forward salutes Captain Bligh
The Fast Forward team is set to go into production with its first sitcom project.  A pilot of the concept, based on the life of Captain William Bligh, is likely to be produced later this year.  The concept was created by Steve Vizard and Peter Moon but it is unclear at this stage which cast members of Fast Forward will feature in the pilot.  “The cast generally enjoy doing Fast Forward, but they are anxious to go in new directions,” Andrew Knight, Vizard’s partner in Artists Services, told TV Week.  “I have no doubt they are the best comic performers in the country, but unless you give them new ideas, they’ll go stale.”  Knight also said that it was likely that Fast Forward would be back only in a reduced form in 1992.

alexpappsnicolledickson Briefly…
Former Home And Away cast member Alex Papps has returned to the series for a four-week guest role.  Since leaving the series he has worked on The Flying Doctors, appeared in two productions for the Melbourne Theatre Company and featured in a Christmas pantomime in the UK.  But Papps (pictured with co-star Nicolle Dickson) has warned that his character, Frank, is back as a changed man.  “Frank is a bad boy… a very bad boy,” he said.  “He’s spent the last two years in New York with Roo (played by Justine Clarke), and their relationship has slowly deteriorated.  She loved the New York hype.  He was not happy there.”

A group of Seven Network personalities have grouped together for a recording project.  Michael Horrocks (Video Smash Hits), Georgie Parker (A Country Practice), Emily Symons (Home And Away), Julie McGregor (Hey Dad!) and Christopher Truswell (ex-Hey Dad!) have each recorded their own solo tracks which will be compiled into an album under the name Farm House.  “I think it will appeal to our mums!,” Horrocks said.  “We chose songs that older people would remember but with a beat younger people would enjoy.”  The first single from the album, Parker’s version of These Boots Are Made For Walkin’, is due to be released this week.

Nine’s music maestro Geoff Harvey has landed a guest role in The Flying Doctors, marking his acting debut.  In mock seriousness, Harvey is confident his role of French chef Jason Slark will lead to an international career in television, stage and film.  “I can only assume that I’ll be forced to stop doing Midday as soon as people see me in The Flying Doctors.  I’m sure I’ll be off to the US to look at a few projects,” Harvey said.  “Ray (Martin) doesn’t speak to me as much as he used to… I believe he’s jealous.”

Production is well underway on Lift Off, the $10.3 million series being produced by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation.  Scheduled to appear on ABC next May, the series has already been sold overseas.

John Laws says…
”Australians are becoming – like viewers in other countries – more and more disposed to “bare knuckle” television.  Take the case of Ten’s Hard Copy, a program that happily plumbs any depths to exploit tragedy.  Recently in its chronic desperation to serve up blood and guts (anyone’s), Hard Copy revived a long-forgotten murder case from the Fifties and attempted to link it with the fictional Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter serial killer in Silence Of The Lambs.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, October 26-November 1):
Saturday:  SBS
presents the Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islanders Sports Awards, hosted by Les MurrayNine has a day of cricket with the FAI Cup Final.  Contestants on Celebrity Wheel Of Fortune (Seven) are Paul McNamee, Peter McNamara and Neal Fraser.

Sunday:  Sunday night movies are Summer School (Seven), Tango And Cash (Nine) and Tank (Ten).

Monday:  In Col’n Carpenter (Ten), Mrs Fuller (Anne Phelan) rents out a room at Colin’s (Kim Gyngell) place to a down-and-out ex-TV star – without telling Colin.  Bert Newton and Fred Parslow guest star in the episode.

Tuesday:  In GP (ABC), William (Michael Craig) gets dragged into a court case and discovers that the law is a game where everyone gets muddled and battered.  In All Together Now (Nine), Thomas (Steven Jacobs) is convinced he is the only remaining virgin in his school.

Wednesday:  ABC presents a special, Everybody – Smoking, taking a look at the personal, cultural, political and economic aspects of a drug claimed to be the world’s cheapest status symbol.  The program is hosted by Trisha Goddard.  In Neighbours (Ten), Ramsay Street is in for a shock when the Mangel house is auctioned.

geoffharveysarahchadwick Thursday:  In The Flying Doctors (Nine), Geoff’s (Robert Grubb) plans to open a new French restaurant in Coopers Crossing go awry when the new French chef (played by Geoff Harvey, pictured with regular cast member Sarah Chadwick) is injured in a plane accident.

Friday:  In Home And Away (Seven), living in a caravan puts strain on Nick (Bruce Roberts) and Lou’s (Dee Smart) relationship.

Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  26 October 1991.  Southdown Press