August: ABC + SBS TV and Australian Commercial TV Highlights


In this post I’ll highlight August’s Australian ABC TV + SBS TV and commercial TV show highlights and schedule changes


2008 Beijing Olympics Coverage on Australian TV and Radio
TV show of the month

The 2008 Beijing Olympics in China will be broadcast on Australian TV by the Seven Network and SBS between August 8-28 2008.

ABC Radio will broadcast their coverage of the Beijing Olympics across Australia including Regional NSW but not in Sydney where the Macquarie Radio Network (owners of AM stations 2GB and 2CH) has bought exclusive radio coverage rights.

For more details go to Australian TV Radio Online Coverage 2008 Beijing Olympics – Channel 7, SBS TV and ABC Radio

SBS TV Highlights

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Sunday 3 August 8.30pm – Marathon Challenge (Documentary)

The Boston Marathon, the most famous road race in America: for some, the ultimate test of endurance. There’s pain, suffering and success. But where does that ability to endure come from? What’s the physiological difference between those that can run over 26 miles and those that can only watch in awe? Can an average person, standing on the sidelines, be transformed into an athlete crossing the finish line?

Sunday 3 August 9.30pm – Stranded: The Andes Plane Crash Survivors (Movie)

On October 13, 1972 a plane travelling from Uruguay disappeared over the Andes near Chile. The plane was carrying 45 passengers, which included an amateur rugby team, from the Uruguayan capital to Santiago Chile.

The media swarmed on the survivors, trying to comprehend how this young group of men managed to get through such a gruelling test of human spirit and physical endurance. At a noisy press conference, much to the shock of the world media, the survivors openly admitted that they had been forced to eat “the bodies of our friends” in order to survive the 72 days they were stranded amongst the mountains. The world media were stunned at the revelation.

Stranded – The Andes Plane Crash Survivors gives detailed accounts of that fateful journey from the perspective of the few passengers of the Fairchild F 227 who survived the extreme conditions of the Andes for 72 days to tell their tale

Tuesday 5 August 8.30pm – Olympia: Myth and Truth (Documentary)

“We have a high ideal of Greek sport, which has been stylised throughout European intellectual history. But this, in many respects, doesn’t correspond with the reality of the ancient Olympics” Professor Wolfgang Decker

In the lead-up to the Beijing 2008 Olympics, SBS will screen Olympia: Myth and Truth, a documentary that investigates the way the original Olympians competed, and questions whether the idealised image of Olympic values are founded in fact or fiction.

Friday 8 August 1005pm – Movie: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Wo Hu Zang Long)

movie of the monthWhen a politician’s daughter steals a legendary warrior’s precious sword, a sequence of events is triggered to recover the sword, which leads to an encounter with the sword thief’s witch-like minder. A masterpiece from renowned director Ang Lee, watch for the startlingly impressive visual effects that see people defying gravity by bouncing up walls and bounding onto rooftops. The film received four Academy Awards in 2001, including Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography. Stars Chow Yun Fat, Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi. (From Hong Kong, in Mandarin, English subtitles) (Action) (2000) M (V,A,S) (Rpt) WS

Sunday 24 August 830pm – James May’s 20th Century (Documentary Series)

Honey I Shrank The World – Top Gear presenter James May takes a tour of the 20th century – trying out for himself some of the most surprising and influential technological advances of the past hundred years. In this first episode, James looks at the inventions that helped to make our world a much smaller place, posing the question of what did most to shrink the world in the 20th century. Was it the aeroplane, the computer, the car or the television?

Many of the Movies and TV series mentioned in this article can be bought from Chaos DVDs

Monday 25 August 730pm – Top Gear (UK Series 2 2003)

For the first time we travel back to 2003 to bring viewers a vintage series of Top Gear. It features James May’s first ever episode, as he joins the team to bring some hot car buying tips. It’s also the Love/Hate Board’s first airing, and ex-footballer turned Hollywood tough guy, Vinnie Jones tests a reasonably priced car. And if that’s not enough, a Toyota MR2 is dressed up as a Ferrari 355.

Wednesday 27 August 1005pm – Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Winds “Kaze no Tani no Naushika” (Japanese Anime)

In the genre of Japanese Anime – A thousand years have passed since the violent collapse of industrial civilisation. Small pockets of humanity survive on the fringes of a vast polluted forest, the Toxic Jungle, inhabited by giant mutated insects, of which the Ohmu, are the greatest threat.

The plant life and the spores from the jungle are poisonous to humans. Anyone who ventures into the jungle must wear breathing masks to protect their lungs. The Valley of the Wind is a small community of humans protected by sea breezes from the toxic spores. Their young princess, Nausicaä, tries to understand, rather than destroy the Toxic Jungle. Directed by Hayao Miyazaki, and stars Alison Lohman and Patrick Stewart. (From Japan, in English) (Drama) (1984)

Saturday 30 August 730pm – Mythbusters Season 6 continued

Steam Machine Gun – No myth is safe as Adam and Jamie return for all new MythBusters mayhem!

In episode one (shown in the US in Dec 2007), Adam and Jamie attempt to find out if steam powered machine guns were actually used by the confederates in the 1800s to fire bullets using centrifugal force.

While Adam and Jamie are busy building their steam powered weapon, Tory, Grant and Kari are working hard at trying to fool a polygraph machine by using mental and physical means. To ensure they really give this myth a run for its money, the trio also attempts to beat a lie detector test that uses a FMRI machine measuring brain activity. In this exercise, the team must use only their thoughts to try and outsmart the machine.

ABC1 TV Highlights

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ABC iView – Internet TV

ABC TV just began the next phase of television broadcasting in Australia with the launch of its free internet tv service, ABC iView.

ABC iView is a new way to watch tv. No longer tied to the television set, Australians now have access to a quality, high-resolution, full-screen viewing experience on their computer.

At the click of a mouse, viewers can choose what to watch, when to watch, and where to watch ABC content from channels including: ABC CatchUp, ABC News, ABC Kazam!, ABC Docs, ABC Arts and ABC Shop using ABC iView.

Every Sunday 1000AM – Inside Business

Whether you’re a business owner, share trader or general investor, make sure you watch Inside Business at 10am each Sunday on ABC TV for a wrap of the weeks business and financial markets news.

The host of Inside Business is well respected financial journalist Alan Kohler.

For more information read Catchup on Business News with Inside Business (ABC TV)

Every Tuesday 930PM – Foreign Correspondent

Each week ABC TV’s Foreign Correspondent takes the viewer on a unique journey to places few others venture, for a colourful look at the culture and lifestyle of people who don’t usually make international headlines.

ABC foreign correspondents travel to places where they are not welcome, telling the stories that governments often don’t want told – of war, famine and the political upheavals that are a tragic reality in today’s world.

Some of the topics they’ve covered in the past include: CCTV Surveillance in Britain, Deadly Injustice in the USA and Kopi Luwack : Extreme Coffee in Sumatra

Thursday, 07 August 830PM – Jack The Ripper: The First Serial Killer

The head of Scotland Yard’s Homicide Prevention Unit, Laura Richards builds a psychological portrait of history’s most notorious murderer by going inside the mind of Jack the Ripper.

No one was ever charged with the brutal Whitechapel murders of 1888, which continue to fascinate the public. It was rumoured that the horrible mutilations of the victims’ bodies were the work of a doctor. Others said the culprit was Queen Victoria’s grandson.

Modern police have tools that the original crime investigators could not have dreamed about; DNA profiling, CCTV, fingerprinting even geo-profiling. Richards sifts details about the victims and decodes their injuries to bring her closer to the Ripper than anyone has ever been before.

Thursday, 14 & 21st August 830PM – Hunt The Kaiser’s Cruisers

In the early days of the 20th century, the German Kaiser challenged the naval power of the British with a new and mighty battle fleet. Who would rule the world’s seas? It was a question that would be decided in the First World War.

After the shock defeat of the British at Coronel, a battle which cost 1,700 seamen their lives, Winston Churchill demanded a merciless revenge. Off the Falkland Islands, the entire German overseas squadron with a crew of 2,200 men was sunk.

Only two cruisers escaped the demise of their fleet, the Dresden and the Emden. Churchill set a bounty on them, making them the most hunted ships on the Seven Seas. In the icy fjords of Patagonia and the tropical heat of the South Seas, both crews battled for their very survival. After a dramatic hunt they were both finally sunk.

Nonetheless, most of their crewmen escaped death and returned home safe and sound. How this came about and their long adventurous journey through the war-torn seas and continents is recounted by two very dramatic documentaries in the Hunt the Kaiser’s Cruisers! series, The Caravan of Sailors and The Last Ship Afloat.


ABC2 TV Highlights

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Sunday 3 August 830PM – Wonders are Many: The Making of Doctor Atomic

Wonders Are Many: The Making of Doctor Atomic tells the story of a grand opera about the atomic bomb. This behind-the-scenes documentary follows composer John Adams and director Peter Sellars over the course of a year as they work to forge the tale of J. Robert Oppenheimer into a music drama like no other the strange and beautiful Doctor Atomic.

As creation of the opera unfolds, as Sellars and Adams struggle to make high art from the most savage weapon in history, the film also explores the unnerving 60-year history of nuclear weapons. It shows the real events behind the drama on stage, and the unintended consequences of actions (and inactions) of men working on the first nuclear device.

Monday, 11 August 900pm – Good Game (Series Return)

Good Game the show for gamers by gamers returns to ABC2 and ABC1 with brand new episodes.

Presenters Bajo (Steven O’Donnell) and Junglist (Jeremy Ray) are back to provide their weekly dose of gaming culture with news, previews, developer interviews and of course, reviews. As well as in-depth reviews of the latest game releases Good Game will continue to explore the culture that surrounds video gaming.

The series will continue to interview the teams from around the world who are behind the most influential games. Good Game returns to ABC2 at 9pm on August 11 and late Friday nights on ABC1.

Visit for more details.

Thursday 14 August 930PM – Double The Fist (Series Return)

Douse the lights and board up the doors – ABC TV’s AFI award-winning Fist, is back for a new season of over-the-top action.
More anarchic than The Young Ones, more surreal than The Mighty Boosh, and chock-full of seething anger and blood-soaked special effects, Double The Fist is testosterone-fuelled TV that shows no mercy.

Three years in the making, this new 8 x 30-minute action-packed comedy series is a cinematic epic of love, betrayal and time travel – spiked with high adventure, low blows and more digital effects than Transformers.

For more information visit

Wednesday 20 August 8pm – ABC2 LIVE PRESENTS: “Keating! The Musical”

This pioneering initiative showcases the smash hit Keating! with unparalleled access to the performers. Cameras positioned in the front row will capture the excitement of the event at stage level. During intermission, audiences will enjoy live interviews with the performers and creators of this unique musical.

Saturday 23 August 2008 830pm – Movie: Cape Fear

Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum star in this original, gritty tale of revenge.
Mitchum plays Max Cady, a seedy ex-con who comes to a small Southern town to terrorise prosecutor Sam Bowden (Gregory Peck), the man who put him away eight years earlier.

But when Cady sets his sights on Bowden’s wife and daughter, Bowden is faced with a profound moral dilemma – how far will a law-abiding citizen go to protect his family when he is faced with a man who has absolutely no regard for the law?

Many of the Movies and TV series mentioned in this article can be bought from Chaos DVDs

Commercial TV Highlights

Channel 9 axes Respected “Sunday” Program

This is more a lowlight than a highlight because a long and proud chapter of Australian television history will close this weekend when the final edition of the ground-breaking and award-winning SUNDAY program goes to air on Channel Nine.

In effect CH9 can no longer claim to have any serious investigative journalism programs any more as their new owners chase ratings and the all mighty dollar and sacrifice quality journalism in the process 🙁

Channel 10 says “Torchwood, Californication still coming”

Channel TEN has assured fans that Torchwood series two will still return to air -but it isn’t saying when

A spokesperson from TEN told TV Tonight the show would definitely be back. “We have no plans for that one at this stage.” While not committing to any plans, it was not a done deal that the show would be shuffled to the HD channel. “No no, you will see it.”

TEN committed to two series of the British sci-fi when it acquired the show, but it had a chequered scheduling history when it didn’t attract strong ratings.

Both Torchwood and Californication were oddly absent from TEN’s second half slate announcement this month, but the David Duchovny drama is also guaranteed a return.

“We do have plans for the second season. We haven’t announced those as yet but we do have plans for them,” said the spokesperson.
source: TV Tonight