tvtimes_010979 Emergency Edition:Due to a fire at TV Times’ printers, this issue of the magazine has required a change to its usual format.  All regular features have been maintained as well as our complete program coverage.  We apologise for any inconvenience to your usual reading habits and assure you that normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.”

First love…
When actor Sam Neill arrived in Australia for the first time he was a movie star nobody wanted to know. Now, as the new love for Kitty Sullivan (Susan Hannaford, pictured with Neill) in The Sullivans, he is a TV star everyone wants to interview.  Despite the lack of interest when he first visited Australia, to promote a New Zealand film Sleeping Dogs, Neill took the opportunity to observe the Australian industry and decided that he wanted to stay.  A key role in the movie My Brilliant Career led to his role in The Sullivans. “I’ve had a wonderful introduction to life as an actor in Australia through a good quality film and a top rating, top quality TV show.”

rogerclimpson A date to remember!
The Australia’s film and television industry will gather at Sydney’s Seymour Centre on 17 October for this year’s Australian Film and TV Awards – the Sammys. The awards ceremony, presented by TV Times for the Variety Club of Australia charity for underprivileged children, will be telecast by the Seven Network and hosted by Roger Climpson (pictured). More than 350 nominations have been made for the 40 award categories. Nominations for the two Gold Sammy awards (male and female) include Harry Butler, Garry McDonald, Mike Walsh, Paul Cronin, Don Lane, Bert Newton, Gerard Kennedy, Julie Anthony, Lorraine Bayly, Marcia Hines, Judy Morris and Julieanne Newbould.

simontownsend Series took six years to see the light
This week’s debut of the 0-10 Network’s new children’s program Simon Townsend’s Wonder World marks the culmination of six years’ work for journalist and producer Simon Townsend (pictured). Townsend first developed the concept in 1973 after two years editing a children’s newspaper, Zoot, and produced a pilot with the assistance of the Seven Network. Townsend then joined the Nine Network’s A Current Affair and was later assisted by Mike Willesee in negotiating with the 0-10 Network. A second pilot, produced independently, was successful in gaining approval for the ‘C’ classification by the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal and formed the basis for the 0-10 Network series. The new show, described by Townsend as “current affairs in style – but not adult current affairs explained down for children,” has a staff of around 20, including four reporters, two researchers, two editors, two associate producers and a full-time animator.

Robyn Nevin
plays Nellie Melba in ABC’s adaptation of Jack Hibberd’s play A Toast To Melba. It is one of six Australian plays being made by ABC for screening next year.

Denise Drysdale and actor Chris Milne have just married at a ceremony attended by 175 invited guests – and 100 ‘uninvited’ guests who gate-crashed the event. There will be no honeymoon for the couple as Drysdale is currently working on Cop Shop and Milne is working at renovating the country cottage they have just bought from Ernie Sigley.

If Vince Martin is missing when he’s needed on the set of The Restless Years, chances are he can be found in TEN10’s props department, playing his own compositions at a grand piano once used in The Steve Raymond Show and surrounded by various props and other relics discarded from the set of Number 96.

Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor:
”I am always home on weekends and all I get to see on TV is rubbish. Why don’t TV stations put on some all-night movies so people can enjoy themselves at home on Saturday night?” M. Smith, WA.

“I was disturbed to see that the Miss Universe pageant was compered by Americans, though the show was held in Australia. Why was this so?” G. Scott, VIC. (TV Times responds – “The Miss Universe pageant is an American-owned and American-sponsored contest, and American TV personality Bob Barker has compered it for more than a decade.”)

“There are a lot of people like myself who enjoy Australian football. Some of us are lucky enough to view the direct telecast from Melbourne each Saturday afternoon. Others have to try ABC’s The Winners on Sunday night. One recent Sunday evening after a long, dreary wait we were given just a little over five minutes at 11.10pm. I consider it an insult for the national network to give so little time to our national game. Surely The Winners could be broadcast at an earlier time or on some other night of the week?” C. Wilson, QLD.

“I realise that Skyways needs advertising to keep it “in the air,” but I fail to see that ATN7 is aiding its cause – i.e. the toppling of Nine’s The Don Lane Show – by flooding Skyways with an incalculable number of advertisements. I ask the question: Is there a difference between skyjacking a plane for a million dollars and holding Skyways to advertising ransom?” S. McLean, NSW.

What’s On (September 1-7):
’s Deafness Appeal telethon continues on Saturday, taking a break only at 6.00pm for Eyewitness News, then resuming at 6.30pm with a special extended edition of Young Talent Time. The telethon’s evening segment commences at 8.00pm and continues through to the Appeal close just before midnight.

twentygoodyears ABC’s Tuesday night drama Twenty Good Years comes to a conclusion this week, having traced the lives of Ron Fielding (Harold Hopkins) and his wife Anne (Anne Pendlebury) since they first met in 1956 (pictured). In the final episode, set in 1975, Ron becomes seriously ill and admits that the business is too much for him.  He sells up and buys a caravan park. Michael Fielding (Jeremy Kewley) becomes involved with a Jewish woman ten years his senior.

This week’s episode of documentary series Hospital (ABC, Thursday) examines the constant pressure borne by hospital staff in the vital Intensive Care Unit. The program follows the journey of a patient, seriously burned in a motor-cycle accident, from his admittance to the time the doctor tells him his recovery will be slow.

In Prisoner (ATV0, Tuesday and Wednesday), an underworld slaying leads to the arrival of a prisoner who makes a big impact. In Cop Shop (HSV7, Monday and Thursday), one lottery pool winner has died and another is hospitalised with $100,000 missing.

Sunday night movies: Taxi (HSV7), The Agony And The Ecstasy (GTV9), A Step Out Of Line (ATV0).  ABC presents Man Of Dreams, the second play in the series A Place In The World.

Source: TV Times (Melbourne edition), 1 September 1979.  ABC/ACP

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