Monday, 30 April 2012

1992: April 19-25

tvweek_180492Cover: Nicolle Dickson (Home And Away) and husband James Bell.

Packing a punch!
has assembled some of Australia’s top writing, directing and acting talent for its upcoming drama series Six Pack.  The series of six self-contained stories is the first local drama production to come from the network since the 1987 mini-series Always Afternoon.  Included in the cast of Six Pack are Peta Toppano, Sandy Gore, Simon Burke, Ivar Kants, John Bluthal, Nancye Hayes, Martin Jacobs, Geraldine Turner and Angie MillikenE Street star Josephine Mitchell plays Clara in Mimi Goes To The Analyst.  “I desperately wanted to play a nymphomaniac,” Mitchell told TV Week.  “Clara is a great tart, a fun tart.”  Police Rescue star Steve Bastoni stars in Loveless, playing the role of Johnny, an aggressive homophobic actor who’s insecure about his sexuality when he is cast in a gay-themed film.  “For me this was a great project breaking new ground,” Bastoni said.  “Not only was it dealing with a sensitive issue, the issue also involved gays in film-making, which is something audiences are very curious about.”  Hey Dad! star Ben Oxenbould stars in That Man’s Father, playing the role of Andy, a lodger who makes a married couple’s life miserable.  “He’s a bit of a drifter,” Oxenbould said.  “Discovering new bits of life and piecing them together so that when he’s much older, he’ll have plenty to talk about.  He’s also a bit selfish, a bit arrogant and not too concerned about what’s going on in the household.”  Six Pack begins on SBS later this month.

alyssajanecookUK engagement stops AJ’s Newlywed plans
Former E Street star Alyssa-Jane Cook (pictured) was on her way back to Australia from a promotional trip in the UK and about to star in a second pilot for the new Seven Network sitcom Newlyweds, but has made a last-minute decision to focus on spending more time in the UK.  Newlyweds, a joint venture between The Comedy Company producer Ian McFadyen and production company Crawfords Australia, explores the post-honeymoon hassles of a young couple.  Cathy Godbold (Chances, Home And Away) and Richard Healy are to appear in the new show, with Crawfords now re-casting for the role previously assigned to Cook.

kristianschmidsimonerobertsonNeighbours tackles that delicate subject
Neighbours is set to tackle the subject of teenage sex. In episodes to screen this week, characters Todd Landers (Kristian Schmid) and Phoebe Bright (Simone Robertson) plan to lose their virginity. “My feeling is that most 17-year-olds are getting to that stage,” Schmid, who is also 17, told TV Week. “Neighbours is a family show, but it’s also a realistic show.”

The Nine Network is soon to assess the game show pilot taped at the studios of NWS9 Adelaide and hosted by Colette Mann with Ugly Dave Gray.  With the working title Best Friends, the show is similar to the old Newlywed Game.

mrbad_0001The man behind the mask (pictured) is Olav Evensen, the new actor to play E Street’s serial killer Stephen “Mr Bad” Richardson.  Evensen has taken over the role from Vince Martin.

Meanwhile, E Street producer Forrest Redlich is talking to the Ten Network about plans to produce a new one-hour weekly rock show in the same vein as the old Countdown.

Network Ten’s Kids’ Stuff host Lochie Daddo has made the move to the Nine Network as co-host of its Saturday morning show cartoon show Saturday At Rick’s.

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here
Good Vibrations, from Southern Star Entertainment and Lynn Bayonas, remains a bit of a mystery to me.  Like the Nine Network’s Golden Fiddles last year, Good Vibrations appears perfectly suited to a 6.30pm Sunday timeslot, but it has been programmed at 8.30pm on consecutive nights (Wednesday and Thursday).  Good Vibrations will have to perform well against movies on both opposing networks on the Wednesday night if it is to have any chance on the Thursday.  And that’s a big ask, even during the Easter school holidays.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, April 18-24):
  Ten’s daytime is dominated by coverage of the James Hardie 12-Hour motor race, live from Bathurst, NSW.  There is an hour of coverage from the race start at 6.00am, then hourly updates throughout the morning, and then Ten returns to coverage at midday for the remaining six hours.  Seven has Sunday afternoon AFL – Adelaide versus Richmond – live from Adelaide, followed by the World Vision special The Forgotten World, hosted by Steve Vizard and featuring Jennifer Keyte and Tom Burlinson.  Sunday night movies are Clash Of The Titans (Seven), The Natural (Nine) and the biblical epic The Ten Commandments (Ten), up against Egyptian movie The Puppeteer (SBS) and ABC documentary God’s Girls: From An Australian Convent, the story of the Sisters of Mercy in the small NSW country town of Singleton – describing life from the 1940s through to the present.

Monday:  In A Country Practice (Seven), Hugo (Gavin Harrison) is forced to come to terms with the homosexuality of his cycling partner Brett (Simon Stokes).

Tuesday:  Gosia Dobrowolska and Graeme Blundell are guest stars in this week’s episode of GP (ABC).  In A Country Practice (Seven), Lucy (Georgie Parker) and Matt (John Tarrant) now have their baby and they prepare to leave Wandin Valley.

stephenwhitakerWednesday:  Seven presents the debut of two-part mini-series Good Vibrations, the story of a family who move to the country and find they are sharing their new house with a ghost.  The series stars Genevieve Picot, Felicity Soper, Jeffrey Walker and Stephen Whittaker (pictured).

Thursday:  In Neighbours (Ten), Todd (Kristian Schmid) declares his love for Phoebe (Simone Robertson).  In Phoenix (ABC), the bombers finally begin to make crucial mistakes as Inspector Jock Brennan (Paul Sonkkila) continues to put the pressure on – as it becomes evident why even the hardened criminal world is afraid of the bombers and why they hate police.

Friday:  Seven presents live coverage of the AFL match between Sydney Swans and North Melbourne from the Sydney Cricket Ground.  Nine has late night delayed coverage of Rugby League: City versus Country from the Sydney Football Stadium, while Ten has delayed coverage of the NBL Mitsubishi Challenge from Carrara, Queensland.

Saturday (ANZAC Day):  ABC has live coverage of the traditional ANZAC Day march from the streets of the Melbourne CBD.  Ten crosses to Auckland for live coverage of the Rugby Union Centenary Test match between New Zealand and the Rest of the World.  Ten has live prime-time coverage of the NBL Mitsubishi Challenge basketball from the National Tennis Centre, Melbourne.  To coincide with his Australian tour, there is a late-night clash of two Prince films – with the 1984 movie Purple Rain (Nine) versus the 1987 title Sign O’ The Times (Ten).

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  18 April 1992.  Southdown Press.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Ballarat television turns 50

btv6It was at 7.00pm on Friday, 27 April 1962 that Ballarat’s first television station – BTV6 – made its first official broadcast.

The channel was the fourth regional station to launch in Victoria and marked the completion of the first stage of the roll-out of commercial television in regional Victoria.  (The second stage, started in 1964, saw the introduction of television stations in Albury/Wodonga and Mildura)

BTV6, Friday, 27 April 1962
7pm Commence Transmission
7.01 This Is BTV Channel 6.  Documentary showing the development of Channel 6 since the station site was selected
7.15 Official Opening BTV6.  Introduced by Cr. Alan Pittard, Chairman of BTV Channel 6
7.30 BP Super Show – featuring Elaine McKenna
8.30 The Grey Nurse Said Nothing
10pm Movie: The African Queen. 1951
11.30 Close

Source: TV Week, 23 April 1962.

The official opening of BTV6, led by the station’s chairman Cr. Alan Pittard, included pre-recorded greetings by national TV stars Bert Newton, Bobby Limb and Bob Dyer.  Also in attendance at the official opening was Dr J. R. Dowling, chairman of national broadcaster ABC.

After the official opening, BTV6 presented an episode of The BP Super Show, featuring Australian performer Elaine McKenna.  The program was followed by the 90-minute drama The Grey Nurse Said Nothing, written by Sumner Locke-Elliott.  The play, produced at Sydney’s ATN7 in 1960, starred Lyndall Barbour, Frank Waters, Nigel Lovell, Guy Doleman, Nancy Stewart and Ken Goodlet.

Although BTV6 was last of the first stage of regional channels to launch in Victoria, the channel did claim a number of ‘firsts’.  The channel was the first in Victoria to be equipped with Image Orthicon cameras – a more modern technology than those in use by existing television stations.  BTV was also to be the first Australian channel to have its transmission facilities co-located with ABC, which was due to open its Ballarat channel ABRV3 in the first half of 1963.

On its second day of transmission BTV6 presented its first news bulletin.  The channel, now the hub for the WIN television network in Victoria, continues to produce regional news bulletins each weeknight from the same studios in Walker Street for broadcast across WIN’s statewide network.

arthurscuffinsBTV6’s early line-up of presenters included children’s host Max Bartlett (later to gain national fame on The Magic Circle Club), newsreader Arthur Scuffins (pictured) and presenters Eric Gracie, Val Oldfield, Brenda Reid and David Bell.  Early program line-ups for the channel included Australian productions BP Pick A Box, Revue ‘62, The Johnny O’Keefe Show, The Bert Newton Show and The Best Of IMT.  And with the local ABC station almost a year away, BTV6 in August commenced the direct relay of rural affairs program Country Call from ABV2 in Melbourne, keeping viewers in Ballarat and Western Victoria up to date each week on rural and agricultural matters.

To boost its signal in the fringes of its coverage area, BTV6 later installed translator stations in Nhill (BTV7), Warrnambool (BTV9), Hamilton (BTV10) and Portland (BTV11).

gmv6_1980sAs well as local news the channel maintained a steady schedule of local production over the next 30 years including children’s programs, rural affairs, daytime chat shows, sporting telecasts (including the annual Stawell Gift), religious programs, talent quests and variety programs.  Apart from News, possibly the most successful local production to come from BTV6 was the variety show Six Tonight, hosted by Fred Fargher.  The weekly program, often featuring local performers as well as national guest stars, ran for over a decade from 1972.  The program, later re-named Thursday Night Live, gained a wider audience in the mid-1980s when it was picked up by other regional channels across Victoria – giving the show a potential audience of around one million viewers each week.

BTV6 won a TV Week Logie in 1987 for its children’s production Kids Only – and the show’s host, Glenn Ridge, later became a national TV presenter as host of Sale Of The Century for over a decade.

victvBack in the days when country TV station staffers had to be jack-of-all-trades, Gary Rice was a musician and later sales manager at the channel.  He also read the local news and became general manager of the channel and later its parent company.  His experience in management at BTV6 led to him taking on executive roles at the Nine, Ten and Seven networks in the 1980s and 1990s.

In December 1989, BTV6 and its Shepparton-based sister station GMV6 were given a new on-air identity – VIC TV – as the two stations were soon to add STV8 Mildura to their network, and were preparing for the aggregation of regional Victorian markets which was to occur in January 1992.

win_2008Expansion across the Regional Victoria market as the Nine Network affiliate saw VIC TV dominate – the first ratings survey post-aggregation saw VIC TV outrate its competitors Prime and Southern Cross Network combined.

VIC TV became WIN Television following the takeover by the NSW-based broadcaster in 1994 but maintains studio facilities in Ballarat for the production of six newscasts – one for each region across Victoria – each weeknight.

Source: The Age, 26 April 1962.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Cable signalled a new era in television

coaxialcableIt was fifty years ago this month that saw the completion of the installation of the coaxial cable between Sydney and Melbourne, via Canberra.

The cable was a major milestone in Australia’s developing communications infrastructure.  It was five years in the making and cost £5 million to complete.  Its prime purpose was to boost the capacity for telecommunications between the two major cities.  The cable, stretching more than 960 kilometres, was made up of three pairs of tubes, each pair capable of carrying 1,260 simultaneous telephone connections.

Ultimately the cable would allow the introduction of subscriber trunk dialling (STD) between the cities, removing the need for telephone users to have to make long distance calls through an operator.  The cable was officially opened on 9 April 1962 by Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies in Canberra flicking the switch, followed by the Lord Mayors of Sydney and Melbourne making the first direct-dial telephone call between their respective cities.

But while the cable was primarily for use by telephony it also had a secondary purpose – to provide a link between Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra for the transmission of television programs.

Television was still in its infancy when planning for the cable had commenced in 1957 – construction had commenced in 1959 – and the ability to connect Australia’s two major cities for the new medium was to be a significant development.  Prior to the launch of the cable, connection between the two cities was limited to a network of mountain-top microwave links.  The first Sydney-Melbourne transmission was made in January 1959 when Sydney television executive Brian Wright of ATN7 greeted viewers of In Melbourne Tonight on GTV9 on the eve of the Test cricket coverage that was to come to Melbourne from the Sydney Cricket Ground.

melbournecupThe microwave links were used for interstate transmission of a number of sporting telecasts, including transmission of the Melbourne Cup coverage to Sydney from 1960 in a rare joint broadcast between Sydney’s three television stations – ABN2, ATN7 and TCN9.

While the new coaxial cable had capacity to carry television programs as well as telecommunications traffic, and all channels had access to the infrastructure, it was not often used apart from special events and sporting telecasts such as the 1962-63 Test cricket series.

But the television industry’s biggest development in the use of the coaxial cable came late in 1963 – when the Frank Packer-owned channels TCN9 Sydney and GTV9 Melbourne entered into a two-year lease for a full-time two-way connection.  The cost to the network was estimated at £100,000 a year – described as the equivalent cost of building a major television studio every year.  The link would enable the two channels to instantly share program material and news content.  The network had expected to offset the cost of the link with improved efficiencies in transporting program content between cities and by gaining a competitive edge over its rivals (noting the imminent launch of a third commercial network) in being able to broadcast news and program content across both cities simultaneously.

The coaxial cable link was first used by the National Television Network (now the Nine Network) for live coverage between Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra of the day’s federal election results on the evening of Saturday, 30 November 1963.

gtv9_newsFrom the next day, the coaxial cable was used for the instant transmission of news material between TCN9 and GTV9, with viewers in each city able to see live interstate news reports.  And a feature of both channel’s nightly news bulletins was Kevin Sanders Reports, a five-minute report from Canberra.

Over the summer of 1963-64, the cable started to be used for the instant relay of afternoon game shows between the two cities, and the two channels experimented with the link to determine future opportunities with a view to broadcasting or linking prime-time programs such as In Melbourne Tonight and Sydney’s Tonight With Dave Allen from February 1964.  The network was well aware of the difference in viewing habits and tastes between the two cities and had the challenge of overcoming those differences while making the best use of the new link – noting that Kennedy had struggled to gain a major following in Sydney in the past and it was not known how well Irish comedian Dave Allen would be received in Melbourne.  “We are going slowly on this one,” a TCN9 executive told TV Times in November 1963.  “We hope that by getting together and creating a greater inter-city awareness through the news, sport and other programs, we can gradually break down these local tastes.  We want to create a climate where Sydneysiders will accept Melbourne’s atmosphere and personalities, and vice versa.  Unless we can do this, it’s doom for live programming in Australia.  With costs so high, there’s no future for this unless you can find a really national outlet for a show.”

The two National Television Network stations also committed to sharing its cable connection with the other networks “on occasions of national importance which are not subject to commercial exploitation.  Certain major sporting relays, such as Test cricket, will be offered to the ABC and other stations, if the rights are available.  We will also release the facilities for other purposes provided we receive proper notice of others wishes and provided they do not prejudice our own expensive commitments.”

grahamdonIn 1965, TCN9 and GTV9 created television history with a split-screen broadcast linking their respective Tonight shows, with Kennedy in Melbourne and Don Lane (Allen’s successor) in Sydney performing a duet, live-to-air in each city.  Kennedy recalled many years later that in television terms the concept was logistically as complex as the moon landing – but it created a defining moment in the development of television.

Source: TV Times, 20 November 1963.  The Age, 10 April 1962.  Official Year Book of the Commonwealth of Australia, Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, 1962.  DBCDE.

Monday, 16 April 2012

The 54th TV Week Logie Awards

hamishblakeComedian Hamish Blake (pictured) was last night (Sunday) awarded the Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality on Australian Television at the 54th annual TV Week Logie Awards.

There was also celebration for Blake and his comedy cohort Andy Lee with their program Hamish And Andy’s Gap Year also winning a Logie for Most Popular Light Entertainment Program.

Following the usual Red Carpet coverage, Gold Logie nominee Adam Hills was the first presenter on stage at Crown Palladium.  Although Hills stressed that he was not hosting the show last night, his opening monologue showed that perhaps he was someone who should have been.

chrissieswan_0001Other presenters on the night included Chrissie Swan (pictured), Lincoln Lewis, Rodger Corser, Jacki Weaver, Alison Langdon, Hamish Macdonald, Alex Dimitriades, John Wood, Sigrid Thornton, Rove McManus, Kate Ritchie, Shane Jacobson, Tracy Grimshaw, Kerry O’Brien, Julia Morris, Manu Feildel, Denise Scott, Essie Davis, Stephen Curry, Don Hany, Georgie Parker, Lisa Wilkinson and Karl Stefanovic as well as Blake and Lee.

It was a long night, with Shaun Micallef appearing on screen after midnight to announce the winner of the Gold Logie – however controversy occurred behind the scenes, with the Herald Sun apparently reporting Blake’s victory online before it had been formally announced at the event itself and almost two hours before it appeared on air in the eastern states.

The newspaper said the mishap occurred during “live testing” of its iPad application and blamed the glitch on Google, claiming that the search engine had found the article before it had been published and hence perpetuated the headline online even after the Herald Sun had removed the article.  Media reports say Google has refuted the claim, stating that it can not access material that has not been published.

The Nine Network claimed six Logies on the night, including Underbelly: Razor star Chelsie Preston Crayford winning the Graham Kennedy Award for Outstanding New Talent, Nine News’ coverage of the Queensland floods winning Most Outstanding News Coverage and Nine’s coverage of the NRL State Of Origin III winning Most Outstanding Sports Coverage.

rebeccagibney_0003Seven’s Packed To The Rafters came away with two Logies – Most Popular Drama and Most Popular Actor (Hugh Sheridan) – prompting an unusual response from star Rebecca Gibney (pictured):  “For a show that’s in decline, we’re doing OK.”  Seven’s other dramas Winners And Losers and Home And Away also collected awards.

Network Ten’s Bondi Rescue won again for Most Popular Factual Series, and the network’s coverage of the 2011 AFL Grand Final won Most Popular Sports Program.  The network also ‘shared’ a Logie with ABC, with actress Asher Keddie winning the award for Most Popular Actress for her roles in Ten’s Offspring and ABC’s Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo.

ABC took away a number of awards, particularly among the industry-voted categories, for programs including The Slap, My Place, Spicks And Specks and Four Corners.  Adam Hills was awarded the Silver Logie for Most Popular Presenter, following a year that saw Spicks And Specks wind up after seven years and the debut of Adam Hills In Gordon Street Tonight.

SBS won the Logie for Most Outstanding Documentary Series for its widely-acclaimed series Go Back To Where You Came From.

There were musical performances from UK teen band One Direction, the legendary Tony Bennett, Flo Rida and The Voice judges Seal and Delta Goodrem.

mollymeldrum_3As speculated in recent media reports, Ian ‘Molly Meldrum (pictured) was inducted into the TV Week Logie Awards’ Hall Of Fame, with tributes from John Paul Young, Red Symons, Delta Goodrem, Dannii Minogue and Michael Gudinski.  The segment had a fairly sombre tone about it, appearing more like an obituary rather than a celebration of Meldrum’s work, but nevertheless Meldrum is a worthy recipient of the honour and it was well overdue.  The former Countdown and Hey Hey It’s Saturday presenter is recovering from severe injuries sustained from a fall just before Christmas and was not able to attend the awards presentation.

billhunterMick Molloy’s moving tribute to actor and former colleague Bill Hunter (pictured) led the list of those that have passed on in the last year – including Ian Turpie, Vince Lovegrove, Carl Bleazby, Godfrey Philipp, Jon Blake, David Fordham, Sean Flannery, Bob Davis, Michele Fawdon, Googie Withers, Paul Lockyer, Ian Carroll, John Bean, Gary Ticehurst, Rex Mossop and Harold Hopkins.

With the debut of The Voice and the four-hour Logies telecast, the Nine Network claimed a massive ratings victory, on a night where all three commercial networks rolled out the big guns to kick off the ratings after the Easter break. 

Nine led the field on 37.2 per cent, followed by Seven (18.4%), Ten (13.4%), ABC1 (10.1%), SBS One (4.0%), 7mate (2.9%), One (2.6%), GO! (2.5%), GEM (2.3%), Eleven (2.1%), 7TWO (2.0%), ABC2 (0.9%), ABC3 (0.7%), ABC News 24 (0.6%) and SBS Two (0.4%).

The Voice topped the chart with 2.1 million viewers (OzTAM, 5 cities), with the TV Week Logie Awards occupying second and fourth spots (1.8m for the Red Carpet, 1.379 for the awards presentation).  Seven’s series return of Dancing With The Stars scored 1.076 viewers and ranked sixth for the night, while Ten’s screening of the movie Avatar was well down the list on 553,000 viewers.

logie_2012Public-voted categories:

TV WEEK GOLD LOGIE – Most Popular Personality
Hamish Blake

TV WEEK SILVER LOGIE — Most Popular Actor
Hugh Sheridan (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)

TV WEEK SILVER LOGIE — Most Popular Actress
Asher Keddie (Offspring, Network Ten / Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo, ABC1)

adamhills_0001TV WEEK SILVER LOGIE — Most Popular Presenter
Adam Hills (pictured) (Spicks And Specks, ABC1/Adam Hills In Gordon St Tonight, ABC1)

Steve Peacocke (Home And Away)

Melissa Bergland (Winners & Losers Channel Seven)

Packed To The Rafters (Channel Seven)

Hamish & Andy's Gap Year (Nine Network)

Better Homes And Gardens (Channel Seven)

2011 AFL Grand Final (Network Ten)

The Block (Nine Network)

Bondi Rescue (Network Ten)

Industry-voted categories:

Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum

TV WEEK SILVER LOGIE — Most Outstanding Drama Series, Miniseries or Telemovie
The Slap (ABC1)

robcarltonaskerrypackerTV WEEK SILVER LOGIE — Most Outstanding Actor
Rob Carlton (pictured) (Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo, ABC1)

TV WEEK SILVER LOGIE — Most Outstanding Actress
Melissa George (The Slap, ABC1)

Chelsie Preston Crayford (Underbelly: Razor, Nine Network)

The Queensland Floods (Nine News, Nine Network)

"A Bloody Business" (Four Corners/Sarah Ferguson, ABC1)

Spicks And Specks (ABC1)

State Of Origin III (Nine Network)

My Place (ABC3)

Go Back To Where You Came From (SBS) (pictured)

Source: TV Week, Herald Sun, The Australian

Data © OzTAM Pty Limited 2012. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior
written consent of OzTAM.  Program performance and ranking information subject to change when not based on final program logs.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

TV Week Logie Awards: 10 years ago

tvweek_110502All Saints star Georgie Parker was awarded the Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality on Australian Television at the 44th annual TV Week Logie Awards, held at Melbourne’s Crown Entertainment Complex on Sunday, 28 April 2002, and televised on the Nine Network.

It was Parker’s second Gold Logie, having also won the publicly-voted award the previous year.  She was presented with the award by Good Morning Australia host and four-time Gold Logie winner Bert Newton.

“This is a great personal thing for me, but it always reflects back to the show,” Parker told TV Week.  “Winning the Gold is exciting and weird at the same time.  I don’t really make myself accessible as a personality, so it’s interesting to get an award for Most Popular Personality.”

Her fellow nominees for the Gold Logie were Rove McManus (Rove Live), Ada Nicodemou (Home And Away), Libby Tanner (All Saints) and John Wood (Blue Heelers).

wendyharmer_0001Comedian Wendy Harmer (pictured) was the host of the evening – the first female to ever host the Logies presentation solo – but as a number of other Logies hosts have found, it is one of the toughest gigs in television.  Reviews of Harmer’s performance were harsh to say the least, but even the host herself later accepted that it was not her finest work, as she told The Age in 2010:

''One of the things that happened to me was that I'd been doing radio in Sydney for so long that when I came down to talk to an audience who are in Melbourne doing TV, they basically said, 'What does she know about what we're doing?' And fair enough, in retrospect.''

''And here's the interesting dilemma. Where do you learn to do something like that? You only learn it in the doing of it.''

''Some of the advice I got from the producers was really bad. The funny part about it is that I think I would now know how to do it.''

As well as Parker’s Gold Logie it was a big year for All Saints, with the show also winning two Silver Logies – one for Most Popular Program and the other for Libby Tanner as Most Popular Actress.

After more than twenty years on television, dating back to classic soaps The Restless Years and Sons And Daughters, actor Peter Phelps from Stingers (Nine) collected the Logie the Most Popular Actor. “This is just fantastic… totally unexpected,” he told TV Week. “The Logie means people respect your work and that’s really the best thing you can possibly have as an actor.”

thesecretlifeofusNetwork Ten’s drama series The Secret Life Of Us (cast pictured) also scored well with two Logies to its credit – Most Outstanding Drama Series and for Deborah Mailman as Most Outstanding Actress.  And with the Big Brother craze at the height of its popularity, the Network Ten show took out the Logie for Most Popular Reality Program.  As Big Brother conducted its live eviction shows on Sunday nights, the show’s host Gretel Killeen accepted the award via a live cross to the Big Brother set on the Gold Coast.

rovemcmanus_0001In accepting Rove Live’s award for Most Popular Light Entertainment Program, host and producer Rove McManus (pictured) dedicated the award to his “partner in life and partner in crime”, actor and TV presenter Belinda Emmett

Seven’s current affairs program Today Tonight had finally scored its first Logie for Most Popular Public Affairs Program – a category that its main rival A Current Affair had dominated since the category was launched in 1989, having lost out only once to Today Tonight’s predecessor Real Life.  “It’s testament to the fact that we’ve plugged away for so many years,” host Naomi Robson said.  “All the hard work has paid off.  I want to thank Seven for sticking with us.  There was a point a few years back where people were starting to say, ‘Are they going to make it?’ But here we are.”

eddiemcguireNine Network host Eddie McGuire (pictured) had his two shows, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and the AFL-based The Footy Show, win Most Popular Game Show and Most Popular Sports Program respectively. 

For SBS current affairs program Dateline it was a double celebration, with the show winning two awards for Most Outstanding Special Report In A Current Affairs Program.  Two stories, The Dirty War and See No Evil, were equal winners in the industry-voted category. 

ABC reporter Geoff Thompson was awarded Most Outstanding News Reporter and ABC News won Most Outstanding News Coverage for its reporting of events surrounding the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US.

Veteran television journalist, producer and presenter Mike Willesee was inducted into the TV Week Logie Awards’ Hall of Fame.  He was presented the award by his brother, fellow journalist Terry Willesee.

Adding to the glamour of Logies night in 2002 were performances by Colombian pop star Shakira, the legendary Sir Elton John and US trio Destiny’s Child.

Other international guests on the night included The Bold And The Beautiful star Ronn Moss and Frankie Muniz from sitcom Malcolm In The Middle.

Publicly-voted Awards:

Gold Logie – Most Popular Personality On Australian Television: Georgie Parker

Silver Logie – Most Popular Program: All Saints (Seven)
Silver Logie – Most Popular Actor: Peter Phelps (Stingers, Nine)
Silver Logie – Most Popular Actress: Libby Tanner (All Saints, Seven)

lisachappellMost Popular New Male Talent: Ditch Davey (Blue Heelers, Seven)
Most Popular New Female Talent: Lisa Chappell (pictured) (McLeod’s Daughters, Nine)
Most Popular Lifestyle Program: Backyard Blitz (Nine)
Most Popular Light Entertainment Program: Rove Live (Ten)
Most Popular Reality Program: Big Brother (Ten)
Most Popular Game Show: Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (Nine)
Most Popular Sports Program: The Footy Show – AFL (Nine)
Most Popular Public Affairs Program: Today Tonight (Seven)

mikewillesee_0004Industry-voted Awards:

TV Week Logie Awards’ Hall Of Fame: Mike Willesee (pictured)

Most Outstanding Actor: William McInnes (My Brother Jack, Ten)
Most Outstanding Actress: Deborah Mailman (The Secret Life Of Us, Ten)
Most Outstanding Drama Series: The Secret Life Of Us (Ten)
Most Outstanding Mini-Series/Telemovie: Changi (ABC)
Most Outstanding Children’s Program: Round The Twist (ABC)
Most Outstanding Comedy Program:  The Micallef Pogram (ABC)
Most Outstanding Sports Coverage: Bledisloe Cup (Seven)
Most Outstanding News Reporter: Geoff Thompson (ABC)
Most Outstanding News Coverage: ABC News
Most Outstanding Special Report In A Public Affairs Program: “The Dirty War” (Dateline, SBS) and “See No Evil” (Dateline, SBS).
Most Outstanding Documentary/Series: Australians At War (ABC)

Source: TV Week, 27 April 2002.  TV Week, 11 May 2002. The Age, 1 April 2010.

TV Week Logie Awards: 25 years ago

tvweek_110487Midday host Ray Martin was awarded the Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality on Australian Television at the 29th annual TV Week Logie Awards, held at Melbourne’s Hyatt on Collins Hotel on Friday, 3 April 1987.

The Gold Logie comes two years after Martin made the risky decision to move away from top-rating current affairs program 60 Minutes to replace Mike Walsh as the host of Nine’s midday variety show.  “I always expected Gold Logies to be awarded to entertainers like Tony Barber or (fellow nominee) Daryl Somers,” he told TV Week.  “After 22 years as a journalist, I’m just a good story teller.”

Martin also scored a second Logie – for Most Popular Personality in New South Wales.

donlane_0002The awards presentation, broadcast on Network Ten, was hosted by Don Lane (pictured) and featured special guests Dame Edna Everage (Barry Humphries) and overseas stars Loretta Swit (MASH), Leeza Gibbons (Entertainment This Week), Brian Dennehy (in Australia for a role in the film The Man From Snowy River II), Harry Hamlin (LA Law) and his wife, actress Laura Johnson (Falcon Crest).

The evening’s proceedings came after what was probably a very anxious afternoon for many interstate attendees, as two flights from Sydney were rescheduled and one developed mechanical problems.  Good Morning Australia co-host Gordon Elliott made it on time – but his luggage didn’t.  He ended up at the awards wearing a borrowed bow tie, business shirt, check trousers and a pair of sneakers.

Among the award winners, it was a big night for Network Ten drama Neighbours.  The series, which had made the bold move from Seven only a year earlier, scored five Logies – Most Popular Actor (Peter O’Brien), Most Popular Actress (Kylie Minogue), Most Popular New Talent (Jason Donovan), Most Popular Drama Series and Most Popular Program In Victoria.

kylieminogueMinogue (pictured), attending her first Logies night, became the youngest to ever win the Most Popular Actress award.  The 18-year-old was shocked to win the award that normally goes to more seasoned performers – with previous winners including Lorraine Bayly, Rowena Wallace, Paula Duncan, Val Lehman and Anne Tenney.  “Honestly, I didn’t think I’d win.  I just wish I’d been better prepared,” she told TV Week.  “I was so nervous and really excited at the time and I forgot to thank all of the people in the show.”

tracymann_0002Seven Network mini-series Sword Of Honour took away three Logies, including individual awards for Tracy Mann (pictured) and Andrew Clarke.

Melbourne’s Eyewitness News (ATV10) scored an industry-voted Logie for Most Outstanding Achievement In News for its coverage of the Russell Street bombing in Melbourne’s CBD in March 1986.  Within minutes of the tragic bombing that claimed the life of a young policewoman, Ten was reporting live from the scene and continued to present updates during the afternoon and had compiled a thorough coverage for its 6.00pm newscast. 

The Logie for Most Outstanding Single Documentary Or Mini-Series was a draw between two medical documentaries – The Greatest Gift (Nine) and Handle With Care (Ten). The Greatest Gift, presented by reporter Elizabeth Hayes, covered the topic of heart disease and followed the story of two men undergoing heart transplant surgery.  Handle With Care was a docu-drama, directed by AFI award-winner Paul Cox and featured Monica Maughan and Anna-Maria Monticelli as women diagnosed with breast cancer and followed the progress of their respective treatments.

petercouchmanThe ABC news special Coup D’Etat won the Logie for Most Outstanding Achievement In Public Affairs.  The program, presented by veteran journalist Peter Couchman (pictured), presented a world exclusive as it followed the political crisis in the Philippines which saw the end of Ferdinand Marcos’ regime and the swearing in of new president Cory Aquino.

Children’s television program Kids Only, a production of Ballarat channel BTV6, was the winner of the Logie for Most Outstanding Contribution by Regional Television.  The weekly program, hosted by Glenn Ridge, was commended for its special episode dedicated to summer-holiday safety.  And although Kids Only won the Logie, the industry judges also highly commended South Australian channel GTS4 Spencer Gulf for Ten Days In Bay 10, a local re-enactment of the time in 1802 when Matthew Flinders and his crew spent 10 days in the bay later named Port Lincoln.

logies_1987Public-voted Categories:

Gold Logie – Most Popular Personality On Australian TV: Ray Martin (Midday With Ray Martin)

Silver Logie – Most Popular Actor: Peter O’Brien (Neighbours)
Silver Logie – Most Popular Actress: Kylie Minogue (Neighbours)

Most Popular Drama Series: Neighbours (Network Ten)
Most Popular Single Drama Or Mini-Series: Sword Of Honour (Seven Network)
Most Popular Actor In A Single Drama Or Mini-Series: Andrew Clarke (Sword Of Honour)
Most Popular Actress In A Single Drama Or Mini-Series: Tracy Mann (pictured) (Sword Of Honour)
Most Popular Light Entertainment Program: Hey Hey It’s Saturday (Nine Network)
Most Popular Public Affairs Program: 60 Minutes (Nine Network)
Most Popular Sports Coverage: Wide World Of Sports (Nine Network)
Most Popular Music Video: You’re The Voice (John Farnham)
Most Popular Children’s Program: Wombat (Seven Network)
jasondonovanjohnnyyoungMost Popular New Talent: Jason Donovan (pictured with Johnny Young) (Neighbours)

Industry-voted Categories:

Gold Logie – Hall Of Fame: Paul Hogan

Most Outstanding Achievement In Public Affairs: Coup D’Etat (Peter Couchman, ABC)
Most Outstanding Achievement In News: “Russell Street Bombing”, Eyewitness News (ATV10, Melbourne)
Most Outstanding Single Documentary Or Series: The Greatest Gift (Nine Network) and Handle With Care (Network Ten).
Most Outstanding Achievement By Regional Television: Kids Only (BTV6, Ballarat)

State-based Categories (Most Popular Personality, Most Popular Program):

jackimacdonalddarylsomersNSW: Ray Martin, A Country Practice.
VIC: Daryl Somers (pictured), Neighbours
QLD: Jacki MacDonald (pictured), State Affair
SA: Anne Wills, State Affair
WA: Rick Ardon, State Affair
TAS: Tom Payne, Midweek

Source: TV Week, 11 April 1987.

TV Week Logie Awards: 50 years ago

tommyhanlonjnrTommy Hanlon Jnr (pictured, right), the American-born host of the daytime game show It Could Be You, and entertainer Lorrae Desmond were the winners of the Gold Logies at the 4th annual TV Week Logie Awards, held at Melbourne’s Chevron Hotel on Saturday, 31 March 1962.

It was the first time that the Gold Logie was awarded to both a male and female personality – a custom that would continue on and off for the Logies until the late 1970s – hence making Desmond (pictured, below) the first female to win the coveted award.  Her award was also the first Gold Logie to be won by an ABC personality.

lorraedesmond_0001Hanlon was present at the Chevron to accept his Gold Logie, but Desmond – whose self-titled variety show was a hit for ABC – was in Hollywood at the time of the presentation but in her written acceptance to TV Week, she said it was the “nicest thing” that had ever happened to her:

“Quite honestly I have never been so surprised and delighted.  With every performer, I’m sure the most important thing in the world is to be liked by your own people.  Therefore, any measure of success in your own country is much more warming and rewarding than achievement overseas.  So from the bottom of my heart, thank you to the readers, judges and people concerned who gave me this award.”

Interstate guests were flown to Melbourne’s Essendon Airport via airline TAA’s ‘Operation Starlift’.  Upon arrival in Melbourne, the guests travelled via a fleet of open-roof cars, the procession guided by a police escort as it made its way through Melbourne to the Chevron.

bobdyer_0002The event was hosted by Gerald Lyons with 1961 Gold Logie winner Bob Dyer (pictured) handing out the statuettes.  The presentation had a 30-minute live broadcast on ABV2 in Melbourne with delayed telecasts in other states. 

The presentation also marked the first ever State-based Logies to be awarded to Western Australian and Tasmanian personalities – with ABC hostesses Diana Ward and Wendy Ellis being voted as most popular in those States respectively.


National awards:

Gold Logie – TV Man Of The Year: Tommy Hanlon Jnr (It Could Be You)
Gold Logie – TV Girl Of The Year: Lorrae Desmond (The Lorrae Desmond Show)

bobbylimbdawnlakeBest Variety Show: Revue ‘61
Best Compere: Bob Dyer
Best Drama Series: Consider Your Verdict
Best Youth Entertainment: Bandstand
Best Female Singer: Patsy Ann Noble
Best Male Singer: Col Joye
Best Comedian: Bobby Limb
Best Documentary Series: Anzac
Best News Feature Program: Four Corners
Best Commercial: Vacuum Oil Company's Mobil Oil

State-based awards:

dianawardNSW: Digby Wolfe, Dawn Lake, The Johnny O’Keefe Show
VIC: Graham Kennedy, Toni Lamond, Sunnyside Up
QLD: Brian Tait, Jill Edwards, Theatre Royal
SA: Kevin Crease, Joan Disher, On The Sunnyside
WA: Diana Ward (pictured)
TAS: Wendy Ellis


Pictured above – Top Row: George Wallace (Theatre Royal), Bob Dyer (Pick A Box), Bob Raymond (producer, Four Corners), Graham Kennedy (In Melbourne Tonight).  Middle Row: Brian Henderson (Bandstand), Peter Macfarlane (producer, Revue ‘61), Bobby Limb (The Mobil-Limb Show), Diana Ward (ABW2, Perth), Alf Spargo (producer, Sunnyside Up).  Bottom Row: Wendy Ellis (ABT2, Hobart), Patsy Ann Noble, Dawn Lake (The Mobil-Limb Show)


Top Row: Len Reason (Paton Advertising), Blair Schwartz (On The Sunnyside), Kevin Crease, Col Joye.  Middle Row: Brian Tait, Bill Collins (Sunnyside Up), Dorothy Crawford (producer, Consider Your Verdict), Kevin Ryder (producer, The Johnny O’Keefe Show), Darrell Miley (Federal Entertainment Director, ABC, on behalf of Lorrae Desmond).  Bottom Row: Tommy Hanlon Jnr, Toni Lamond, Jill Edwards, Joan Disher.

Source: TV Week, 14 April 1962.  TV Times, 28 March 1962.  Sydney Morning Herald, 1 April 1962.  The Age, 2 April 1962.  Australian Television Information Archive.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Maintaining the Rage for 25 years

rage_0001Next week it will be quarter of a century since ABC launched its first venture into all-night transmission with the debut of music video program Rage.

Debuting on Friday night, 17 April 1987, Rage was part of the generational change in the programming of popular music on television.  Studio-based programs like Countdown and Sounds were on the way out, while the influence of US cable channel MTV was making itself felt in Australia with Rage joining an Australian version of MTV (which debuted on Nine the previous night) and Network Ten programs Night Shift and Video Hits – all launched within months of each other.  With Video Hits ending last year, Rage is now the longest-running music video show ever on Australian television.

In celebrating the 25 year milestone for Rage, Tim Rogers will be presenting Maintain The Rage – highlights of the program’s history including some of the many artists that have guest hosted and programmed Rage over the years, as well as presenting some of the standout music videos to have been featured on the show.

At the same time, viewers will be asked to hold their own all-night parties for the occasion and to submit their own party photos and videos to Rage via Facebook or Twitter.  The party judged the best will win a piece of Rage history – the iconic red couch that has featured in the show.

In the meantime, Rage is also inviting fans to submit (via Twitter with the tag #screamwithrage) their own take on the iconic Rage scream which has featured in the show’s opening titles since 1987:

The most-watched, biggest and loudest Rage screams will be included in the Maintain The Rage special.

More details are at the Rage website.

Maintain The Rage, Saturday 21 April, 10.20pm.  ABC1

Friday, 13 April 2012

How much is that Logie up the Gumtree?

logie_forsaleIt was only a couple of months ago that a Gold Logie was open for bids on Ebay… before the item was removed from sale and the Award organisers, TV Week, considered legal action.

Now, with the presentation of the 54th annual TV Week Logie Awards just around the corner, the item (pictured) has resurfaced via website Gumtree.

The item for sale on Ebay last year had a starting price of $1000, but despite the item not being a Gold Logie as previously claimed the price tag has skyrocketed to $20,000, although the price is said to be negotiable.

The statuette, believed to date back to the 1960s, is without its wooden base and the identity of the award’s original recipient is not known.  The seller, who bought the Logie at a Camberwell market 15 years ago, is only of the understanding that the award came from someone with connection to Melbourne channel GTV9.

bunneybrooke_0002Three years ago a 1975 Logie belonging to Number 96 star Bunney Brooke (pictured), who died in 2000, had sold on Ebay for around $2200.

Meanwhile, TV Week has announced the line-up of presenters who will be handing out brand new Logies to Australia’s most outstanding and most popular TV talent, as judged by the industry and viewers respectively, this Sunday night.

karlstefanovicThe list of presenters includes Adam Hills, Hamish Blake and Andy Lee, Dave Hughes, Academy Award nominee Jacki Weaver, Gold Logie winner Karl Stefanovic (pictured), Lisa Wilkinson, Shaun Micallef, Rove McManus, Mick Molloy, One Direction, Alex Dimitriades, Kate Ritchie, Shane Jacobson, Gigi Edgley, Julia Morris, Manu Feildel, Chrissie Swan, Lincoln Lewis, former Wiggle Sam Moran, Shelley Craft, Denise Scott, Allison Langdon, Hamish McDonald, Stephen Curry, Essie Davis, Rodger Corser, Tracy Grimshaw, Kerry O’Brien, Don Hany and Georgie Parker.

There will be musical performances from boyband One Direction, Flo Rida and the legendary Tony Bennett.

The Logies will also provide a cross-promotion platform for its new talent contest The Voice with performances by Delta Goodrem and Seal, who are both judges on the new show.

mollymeldrum_3It has been reported in the media that music executive Michael Gudinski is expected to induct Molly Meldrum (pictured) into the TV Week Logie Awards’ Hall of Fame.  Meldrum, best known for his many years on Countdown and Hey Hey It’s Saturday and more recently with the Seven Network and Foxtel, is recovering from injuries sustained from a life-threatening fall at his home before Christmas and is not expected to be present to accept the award.

With Sunday night marking the return of the full-scale ratings battle following the Easter break, the TV Week Logie Awards, which follows the debut of The Voice, will be up against the series return of Seven’s popular Dancing With The Stars and Ten’s screening of the movie Avatar.

The 54th annual TV Week Logie Awards.  Sunday 15 April, 7.30pm. Nine Network.

Source: Bayside Weekly, Herald Sun, Gumtree