On This Day

2004 was otherwise a great year for Channel Ten, finishing second in some markets including Melbourne, at a time in which they were in the middle of the 2002-06 AFL broadcasting rights deal shared with Channel Nine and Foxtel.

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11 February 1991 (NZ): TVNZ launches the game show Wheel of Fortune with Phillip Leishman and Lana Coc-Kroft.

11 February 1992 (NZ): Home Improvement makes its NZ premiere on TV3 (now Three).

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Shafted was meant to be a temporary replacement with plans for SOTC to return later in the year. But after Shafted was axed in April, all plans for Sale were put on hold.


12 February 1987: John Wood, Catherine Wilkin, Simon Chilvers and Arky Michael star in Seven‘s new drama series Rafferty’s Rules.

12 February 1996: Midday With Kerri-Anne (Nine) marks the return of the traditional variety format to the Midday brand, with Kerri-Anne Kennerley taking over from last year’s co-hosts Tracy Grimshaw and David Reyne. Nine debuts police drama Water Rats with a two-hour episode, starring Colin Friels, Catherine McClements, Sophie Heathcote and Aaron Jeffery.

12 February 1999: Children’s science fiction series Thunderstone debuts on Ten.

12 February 2006: ABC debuts Sunday morning sports discussion program Offsiders, hosted by journalist Barrie Cassidy.

12 February 2007: ABC debuts Difference Of Opinion, a talk/debate series hosted by Jeff McMullen.

12 February 2008: The Nine Network debuts “reality/comedy” series Monster House, starring Glenn Butcher, Celia Ireland, Rebel Wilson, Travis Cotton, Julie Herbert and Jody Kennedy. The series was axed after two episodes.

12 February 2008: Seven HD launches late-night talk show The Nightcap, hosted by Matthew White, Jessica Rowe, Monique Wright, Paul Murray and former Big Brother contestant Zach Douglas.

12 February 2010: Cal Wilson hosts the debut of ABC‘s eight-part murder mystery Sleuth 101, with guest appearances by Dave O’Neil, John Wood, Nicola Parry, Robyn Butler, Dave Lawson and Denise Drysdale.


I think it was also on 12 February 2008 that Nine News in Melbourne ran the lead story about Underbelly being banned from broadcast in Victoria (the show was due to premiere the following day, but in Victoria it was replaced by a rerun of The Shawshank Redemption).

Note a young Tom Steinfort reporting.

The show was seen as Nine’s big hope of reclaiming ratings supremacy after it won only two weeks in 2007. At the halfway mark of the year, they had won more weeks than Seven, and was seemingly on track to claim the ratings year, until Seven came home strong off the back of the Beijing Olympics.

And this is the announcement from Eddie McGuire that aired the next day:

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The Big Brother finale in July 2004 was one of the most watched shows of the year


I remember it for its use of Australia’s coat of arms on the title screen (it can’t happen now), and that the major characters were shown as hand drawn sketches.

It was regarded by Nine as the major timeslot rival to Blue Heelers. Both dramas were produced by Southern Star.


One of the panelists, Zach Douglas, would stir up controversy over his views on sex.

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Rafferty’s Rules made its way to NZ TV screens on TV3 (now Three) and premiered at 9.30pm on the evening of Friday 8 December 1989. The Australian series aired at this time on Friday nights but it didn’t last long due to poor ratings.

Not forgetting Jay Laga’aia, who went on to star as Samoan/NZ lawyer David Silesi in the TVNZ drama series, Street Legal.


12 February 1987 (NZ): The Flying Doctors, an Australian drama series from Crawfords, debuts on TVNZ. The entire series was shown in primetime (e.g. Thursdays at 8pm during 1987, Tuesdays at 8pm during 1988, Mondays at 7.30pm from 1989-92) on TV2 (now TVNZ 2), and was very popular.


Apparently he was for it.

13 February 1967: ABC premieres afternoon series Something Else, set in a family-owned Sydney hotel called The George, starring Lois Ramsey, Benita Collings, Liza Goddard, Stanley Walsh, Barbara Joss and Jack Allan.

13 February 1989: Network Ten premieres three-part mini-series Tanamera: Lion Of Singapore, starring Christopher Bowen, Khym Lam, Lewis Fiander, Ed Devereaux, Penne Hackforth-Jones, Gary Sweet, Anne-Louise Lambert, Robert Coleby, Sinan Leong and Tushka Bergen.

13 February 1990: Kerry O’Brien presents ABC’s new late night current affairs program, Lateline.

YouTube: Trevor Trevalgen

13 February 1992: ABC presents the movie-length debut of its new police drama Phoenix, starring Paul Sonkkila, Simon Westaway, Nell Feeney, Sean Scully and Andy Anderson.

13 February 1994: The Fast Forward special 38 And A Bit Fabulous Years Of Australian Television (Seven) takes a comical look at Australia’s television history — featuring Magda Szubanski, Marg Downey, Gina Riley, Michael Veitch, Jane Turner, Geoff Brook, Steve Blackburn, Alan Pentland, Glenn Robbins and Peter Moon.

13 February 1996: Ex-pat Aussie Clive James makes a guest appearance in Neighbours (Ten), playing the part of a postman.

13 February 2004: The debut of ABC‘s weekly pop culture magazine Mondo Thingo, hosted by Amanda Keller.

13 February 2005: The premiere of reality show Celebrity Overhaul (Nine), hosted by Deborah Hutton and Dr John Tickell.

13 February 2006: Bert Newton marks his return to the Nine Network after 20 years with the premiere of Bert’s Family Feud. The debut of the first series of The Biggest Loser Australia (Ten) with host Ajay Rochester.

13 February 2008: The premiere of true crime drama Underbelly on Nine. The series, a dramatic re-enactment around Melbourne’s gangland killings between 1995 and 2004, aired in all states except in Victoria due to upcoming criminal trials of people depicted in the series.

13 February 2010: Nine begins coverage of the XXI Olympic Winter Games from Vancouver, Canada, with hosts Eddie McGuire, Leila McKinnon, Ken Sutcliffe, Alissa Camplin and Steve Bradbury.


Based on the Russell St bombing of 1986 i believe?

15 February 1972: The Federal Government announces that all Australian TV stations are to convert to colour transmission on 1 March 1975. The transition is expected to cost the ABC around $46 million and the commercial sector $70 million — although some stations had already installed colour-compatible equipment.

15 February 1981: Bert Newton hosts Channel Nine Celebrates 25 Years Of Television, with guests including Graham Kennedy, Don Lane, Mike Walsh, Tommy Hanlon Jnr, Paul Hogan, Brian Henderson and Brian Naylor. The program includes rare footage from the early days of Australian television.

15 February 1982: Network Ten launches two daytime game shows. $100,000 Moneymakers with Jimmy Hannan, and It Could Be You with Barry Crocker. The latter is a remake of the 1960s program of the same name.

15 February 2000: Gabrielle Richens hosts Ten‘s new dating show, the weekly series Love Rules.

15 February 2004: 60 Minutes presents a special episode to commemorate its 25th anniversary.

15 February 2007: Kim Watkins hosts Ten‘s new factual series Saving Babies.


Trivia: Gabrielle has been working as a skin therapist for the past 20 years.

16 February 1959: The debut episode of hospital drama Emergency airs on GTV9, Melbourne, starring Brian James, Syd Conabere and Judith Godden. The series, one of the first made by Australian television, debuted in Sydney on ATN7 a week later.

16 February 1987: Musician James Valentine hosts ABC‘s new late afternoon children’s programming block, The Afternoon Show. Former A Country Practice stars Shane Withington and Grant Dodwell lead Nine‘s new drama series Willing And Abel, debuting in Melbourne before airing in Sydney two days later.

16 February 1988: Network Ten debuts sketch comedy series The Comedy Company, starring Mark Mitchell, Ian McFadyen, Maryanne Fahey, Kym Gyngell, Siobhan Tuke, Tim Smith and Glenn Robbins.

16 February 1991: Network Ten launches new talent quest series Star Search, hosted by Jeff Phillips.

16 February 1993: Joh’s Jury, the dramatisation of the 1991 trial of former Queensland Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen (played by Gerry Connolly), screens on ABC.

16 February 1996: Bridget Adams and Rob Elliott host the debut of new interactive variety-game show Talking Telephone Numbers on Seven.

16 February 1997: The premiere of four-part series Simone de Beauvoir’s Babies on ABC. Starring Sally Cooper, Leverne McDonnell, Sonia Todd and Anne Looby, the series focuses on four women, all childless, reunited at a 20-year school reunion and collectively make a pact to change their lives.

16 February 1999: The Seven Network launches two new weekly comedy shows — The Big News, a sketch comedy series featuring former Fast Forward stars Marg Downey, Michael Veitch and Peter Moon with Matt Tilley; and The Late Report, a current affairs spoof with Richard Stubbs, John Safran, Emma Tom and Sandy George.

16 February 2000: After six years, Blue Heelers star Lisa McCune makes her exit from the series, with her character Senior Constable Maggie Doyle gunned down by an unknown assailant.

16 February 2001: Ten debuts sitcom Sit Down, Shut Up, based around the staff and students at a fictional high school, Carpen Heights Secondary College. The series starred Marg Downey, Stephen Curry, Jacqueline Brennan and Christopher Brown.


From memory this was shown on Friday nights?

This was one of the small number of shows that managed to beat 60 Minutes in the Sunday 7.30pm timeslot.

I remember watching Jon’s Jury and nearly laughing every time Gerry did his lines. I guess I was expecting to hear one of his legendary comedic Sir Joh lines.

What an original choice.