On This Day

Hopefully this one’s a good idea!

Across more than six decades of Australian television, there’s a major milestone for just about every date on the calendar from Bruce Gyngell welcoming TCN-9’s first viewers to the medium of television on September 16, 1956 right through to the Tom Gleeson Logies just one week ago on June 30, 2019. My aim for this thread is for us to look back on and discuss the important (and occasionally, less so :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:) milestones which happened on this day in Aussie TV history.

To get the ball rolling with July 7, remember how disappointed we all felt at 6pm on this day in 2014 when what many media enthusiasts believed should’ve been a major relaunch for Seven News Sydney turned out to be just a dodgy (and thankfully, short-lived) new Opener style & backdrop loop?!

It was the night before that Seven News started bombarding their viewers (especially those in Sydney) with the “Everywhere” promotional campaign:

One of the many promos in this series featured vox pops of people in the Western suburbs talking about how good of a newsreader Mark Ferguson is, to this day I genuinely wonder what sort of material (perhaps quotes like “I watch Nine News with Peter Overton instead!” or “Mark Ferguson? Isn’t Chris Bath on anymore?”) might’ve been left on the cutting room floor or made it to the Christmas tape! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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It was a shocking package like the 2008 Nine News look

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I switched to Nine News the following week and remained there for about 14 or so months.

Unpopular opinion, I quite liked that opener. It could have been executed a little better though.

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9 July 1970: The microwave link connecting east and west Australia is officially opened. The link allowed the instant relay of television programming from the east to the west coasts. Up until then WA stations had no direct link to the east

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Microwave link
image

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On this day in 1989 Ten’s 60 Minutes wannabe news magazine Page One was reborn as Public Eye. It was one of the only upmarket programs to survive the slash and burn instigated by new managing director Bob Shanks upon his arrival at Ten from the USA.

Public Eye, occupying the Wednesday 9.30pm slot, was hosted by Kerry O’Brien and boasted some of the finest investigative journalists in Australia. Chris Masters, Katrina Lee, Maxine McKew and Peter George amongst them. The format included a 20 minute commercial free cover story, an interview conducted by O’Brien, an overseas segment called Eye Abroad, and a segment called Private Eye.

Public Eye was an expensive ratings disaster and was axed after seven weeks on air. The show’s executive producer, Jonathan Holmes, would later complain Shanks had not given him an opportunity to build an audience and development of the format was rushed with the show having been in development for only four weeks before it aired.

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I don’t think I ever saw Public Eye on account of the fact that I blinked :wink:

But I did see Page One a few times.

Public Eye was an odd show amongst a lineup of cheap game shows and US series that never really took off

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July 13, 2003 - the first ever episode of Deal or No Deal Australia.

The show touted a top prize of $2,000,000, and in a cruel twist of irony, it ended up being the first ever value knocked out!

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The highest prize won was $515,000 by journalist Nathan Cochrane. Deal or No Deal became a successful weeknight show at 5.30pm as a lead in to Seven News during its impressive 10 year run

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And that was just in the second episode. The first format was short-lived but Seven saw a future in the show hence the introduction of the abbreviated version in 2004.

You’ll also remember Nine tried to fight back by introducing an abbreviated version of the traditional Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? format, which lasted just one week. The purpose of this was to try to rejuvenate its Sydney news ratings, which had suffered against Ian Ross on Seven.

DoND fended off many challengers until Millionaire Hot Seat was introduced in 2009, again to shore up its news ratings.

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Back in June 2004, Nine decided to shift The Price is Right to 5pm to accommodate for the 1 week of Hot Seat at 5:30pm. Nine made the decision as the lead-in to 6pm news. Correct me if I’m wrong but what was the ratings like for the short-lived Hot Seat with Eddie McGuire compared to Larry Emdur’s show?

Not sure about figures, but this article explains why it failed in the ratings.

https://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/no-big-deal-for-nine-20040625-gdy3sm.html

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Following the failure experiment of Hot Seat, Nine extended The Price is RIght to 1 hour. Nine performed well in its 5pm timeslot - Larry Emdur’s show beat Steve Oemcke. WIth the extended Price is Right, Nine had 4 games - 2 spinoffs on the Big Wheel.

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The first episode of Family Feud premiered on July 14, 2014 at 6pm on TEN. Grant Denyer was the host of the show. Family Feud on TEN was different to Bert’s Family Feud on Nine (Feb 2006- June 2007) in terms of layout, graphics, and number of games.
This show was simulcasted on ONE and Eleven to boost ratings. Ratings started off very well with 690 000 metro viewers.
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14 July was also the launch date for Sale Of The Century in 1980, a remake of the former Channel 7 Temptation quiz show with the same host, Tony Barber. Was a huge ratings hit for Nine in the 1980s, hitting low-50 shares at one point.

YouTube: Classic Australian TV

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Coincidently July 14 is the date in 1980 that Daryl Somers first appeared in the Family Feud hosting role, taking over from Tony Barber who had moved on to Sale Of The Century. Daryl took on the new role nine years and two days after starting his first regular gig on television as host of Cartoon Corner on GTV 9. He was “discovered” as a contestant on Nine’s New Faces.

Sale Of The Century was considered to be a huge programming gamble for Nine. The Sullivans had been a success for them at 7pm, particularly in Melbourne where it was set and produced. Kerry Packer approved the decision to strip The Sullivans at 7pm in 1978 because A Current Affair was a ratings disaster for them in the slot. It was felt the war time drama was too slow over an hour and would work better over a shorter duration, particularly in Sydney where it was struggling. The move was met with resistance by GTV 9 programmer Jim McKay because it was so successful in Melbourne as a one hour show. When McKay was later appointed Nine network programming chief he decided to return the show to two one hour episodes a week making way for Sale Of the Century.

Replacing The Sullivans with a quiz show paid off. Sale Of The Century was an immediate success comfortably beating nearest rival Willesee At Seven every night of the week.

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Apparently Grundys originally proposed Sale Of The Century to Channel 7, given that 7 had aired the same format as Temptation years earlier. Seven knocked it back and it got picked up by Nine. I can’t imagine that it would have had the same success had Seven picked it up instead of Nine. Nine always seemed to have the ability and resources to throw enough money and promotion into something to make it work, whereas Seven was never quite as lavish. Possibly a result of Seven (like the 0-10s at the time) then having different owners in Sydney and Melbourne, whereas the Nines were both under Packer rule.

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I know this is a day late but i thought i’d include it.

July 13, 1956 - TCN-9 Sydney begins their test transmissions.

I always wondered why Grundys didn’t use the name Temptation with this reboot given it was essentially the same format. Did someone else own the rights to the name at the time?

It did seem like ATN was averse to taking productions from HSV when they were under different ownership because shows that resonated with a Melbourne audience weren’t always popular in Sydney.