May: ABC + SBS TV and Australian Commercial TV Highlights


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


General TV Industry News

ACMA: Australians aren’t going digital

A new survey has found only two in five Australian households are watching digital television …
– read more at: ABC News

In the US Television critics are a dying breed

As advertising revenue for print media falls, editorial staff is being trimmed and critics are being pushed to the front of that queue. Since 1990, one-quarter of the newspaper work force has disappeared, according the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And as the television audience turns more and more toward the internet for information on its shows, many of the traditional critics are blogging in a landscape growing with voracious fans. Networks are increasingly reaching out to websites, some even hiring publicists whose specialty is navigating the blogosphere …
– read more at: TV Tonight

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

SBS TV Highlights

SBS Rebranding in May

SBS will rebrand its logo and presentation across all its platforms in May.

The map logo will be retained in a refined form, and the broadcaster will reintroduce a tagline, “Six billion stories and counting”, a phrase that by default rather than design follows the SBS acronym.

SBS managing director Shaun Brown, recently re-appointed to 2011, said the response to the phrase from the SBS board, community advisory committee and staff was very positive. He said listeners would notice a different soundscape and “a brighter, more vibrant and consistent (TV) channel” …
– read more at: TV Tonight

SOSBS: “Shaun Brown should jump overboard”

A petition signed by more than 7000 people protesting changes to multicultural broadcaster SBS has been sent to Minister for Communications Mr Stephen Conroy.

The lobby group Save Our SBS organised the petition which calls on the broadcaster to reverse its decision to insert commercial breaks within programs, a change made by network chief Shaun Brown in 2006. …
– read more at: Mediaspy

Sunday 4 May, 8.30pm – The Six Billion Dollar Experiment (Documentary)

For millennia, people have wanted to understand the universe. They have looked at the night skies, and wondered what makes the stars shine.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the most complex scientific instrument ever built. By turning it on scientists hoped to finally reveal one of the most elusive particles in our Universe – the Higgs boson, also called the God particle.

Is humanity ready for what the LHC might reveal?


Sunday 11 & 18th May, 8.30pm – Everest: Doctors In The Death Zone (Documentary)

At 8,848 metres above sea level, the summit of Mount Everest lies in the death zone – a hostile area that’s so high up, there is barely enough oxygen to stay alive. In this two part documentary series, Everest: Doctors in the Death Zone, we go on a journey with 60 doctors and scientists who are attempting to re-write our understanding of the human body. The doctors and scientists will experiment on themselves as they attempt to climb to the summit, turning Everest into the highest laboratory on earth.

Friday 16 May, 8.30pm – Tiananmen Square: The Tank Man (As It Happened)

As the Olympic flame with its attendant drama wends its way towards Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games, we should consider China’s past and current human rights abuses.

On June 5, 1989, one day after the Chinese army’s deadly crushing of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing a single, unarmed young man stood his ground before a column of tanks on the Avenue of Eternal Peace. Captured on film and video by Western journalists, this extraordinary confrontation became an icon of the struggle for freedom around the world.

Saturday May 17th, 2008 10:30pm – FA Cup Final – Portsmouth v Cardiff

FA Cup Final action Live from Wembley Stadium. (Kick off 12:00am Eastern States)

Sunday 18 May, 7.30pm – Dragons Of The Sea (Lost Worlds)

In 1405, the Ming dynasty Emperor Zhu Di had a gigantic fleet of ships built and sent them out under the command of Admiral Zheng He into the unknown world beyond the China Sea. What was the goal of these journeys? What were the sailors duties? How big were the ships and how did they steer these massive juggernauts? Ultimately, what was the Armada’s objective?

Wednesday 28 May, 8.00pm – Risking It All (4 Part Series)

What would you risk for the chance to ditch the nine-to-five grind and be your own boss?

Over four weeks Risking It All follows four rookie entrepreneurs as they attempt to transform their lives by setting up their own dream businesses, capturing the highs and lows involved in trying to get a new business off the ground.

Presenter and business expert Shivani Gupta has a passion to see people grow their businesses. Shivani brings her vast experience and practical business sense to help out the entrepreneurs as they come face to face with the realities of being their own boss.

Friday 30 May, 8.35pm – The Pacific War In Colour (Multi-Part Documentary Series)

On December 7, 1941, Japan, allied to the forces of the Hitler-Mussolini Axis, launched its attack on Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt reacted immediately and thrust the United States into the war, turning it into a global conflict. American Marines, supplied with cameras and colour stock, were to film many events.

Part 1 includes footage of Japan’s invasion of China in 1937 and ends on the eve of the attack on Saipan.

Saturday May 31st, 2008 – The Rage In Placid Lake (Movie)

Directed by Tony McNamara, and stars Rose Byrne, and Ben Lee (From Australia, in English) (Drama) (2003)

Placid rebels against the mores imposed on him by his woefully selfish hippie parents Doug and Sylvia. They are more concerned with the impact of globalisation on Pacific Island communities than with their son. Placid has always been a bit “weird”, earning him the wrath of a group of bullies at his preppie private school.

But a serious injury after an incident with the bullies leads him to decide to defy his parents’ counterculture expectations. With his unconventional background, Placid’s “rebellion” sees him get a suit, a George W Bush haircut and a job at an insurance company. This road to conformity proves fraught for this all-knowing, all-seeing teen, and especially for his platonic girlfriend, Gemma, probably the only person who ever really understood him.


ABC TV Highlights

ABC2 Cannes Film Festival Season

Saturday night on ABC2 is the home for classic movies. Saturday nights in May will feature a line-up of award-winning films spanning two decades – a tribute to the Cannes Film Festival.

The Cannes Film Festival Season features: To Kill A Mockingbird (’63 Winner Gary Cooper Award); The Go-Between (’71 Winner Golden Palm); The Last Detail (’74 Best Actor – Jack Nicholson); The Sugarland Express (’74 Best Screenplay); and Taxi Driver (’76 Golden Palm).

7:30pm Sunday 04 May 2008 ABC1 – Australia: Land Of Parrots

TV show of the month

Discover the beauty, brilliance and behaviour of Australia’s most conspicuous birds – parrots and cockatoos in Australia: Land of Parrots. Multi-award winning, natural history filmmakers David Parer and Elizabeth Parer-Cook have turned their cameras to the sky to capture the spirit of these dazzling birds with breathtaking results – including rare and never before seen footage – all shot in HD.

Varieties of parrots and cockatoos thrive across Australia and often in large numbers. From the dense rainforests of the tropical north to the cold, wind-swept coast of southern Australia and the arid deserts of the interior. Australia: Land of Parrots explores the spectacular and bizarre behaviour of Australia’s wild parrots and cockatoos across the varied landscapes of the island continent.

Sunday 18 May 7:30pm ABC1 – Wild China – Heart Of The Dragon (6 Part Series)

For the first time in a century, China is opening up to the world. This new six-part series gains unprecedented access into a most enigmatic of countries, to reveal a land of astonishing complexity.

High definition cameras capture unique images of mysterious creatures and diverse human communities that live in China’s varied landscapes. The glittering peaks of the Himalayas, the world’s highest mountain range, tower over the desolate Tibetan plateau. Deserts range from searingly hot to mind-numblingly cold. Rivers roar through steep-sided gorges and cascade down forested waterfalls.

Thursday May 22 9:35pm ABC1 – New Public Affairs show “Q&A”

Hosted by Lateline’s Tony Jones “Q&A” will premiere as a live (east coast) format incorporating questions from a studio audience and SMS questions from viewers. Jones said, “It’s going to be live, unpredictable and lots of fun.”

From the second week it settles into a regular format of 5 panellists, including politicians and three additional personalities who represent a cross-section of society.

Jones will continue to present Lateline twice a week.
– source: TV Tonight

Saturday 24 May 10:20pm ABC2 – Citizen Kane

movie of the month
Citizen Kane is Orson Welles’s greatest achievement – and a landmark of cinema history. The story charts the rise and fall of a newspaper publisher whose wealth and power ultimately isolates him in his castle-like refuge.

The film’s protagonist, Charles Foster Kane, was based on a composite of Howard Hughes and William Randolph Hearst–so much so that Hearst tried to have the film suppressed.

Every moment of the film, every shot, has been choreographed to perfection. The film is essential viewing, quite possibly the greatest film ever made.
– source: Rotten Tomatoes Film Review

Logies: Comedian John Clarke enters Hall of Fame

An excellent inductee for this year’s Hall of Fame has been announced by the TV WEEK Logies: John Clarke.

New Zealand-born Clarke has been part of our television landscape for many years, collaborating with Graham Kennedy, Max Gillies, Geoffrey Rush, Andrew Denton, Sam Neill and Gina Riley.

Perhaps best known for his satirical political interviews on A Current Affair and now on the 7:30 Report with long-standing comedy partner Bryan Dawe, he has been pivotal behind the scenes on many comedy shows including The Gillies Report, The Games, Anzacs, The Adventures of Lano and Woodley, and the telemovies by Shane Moloney (Stiff, The Brush Off). Last year’s Dagg Sea Scrolls was very popular on the ABC.

“I’m inclined to regard this as a youth encouragement award. I’m deeply grateful and will do what I can,” he said.
– source: TV Tonight


Wayne Hope and Robyn Butler begin filming “Very Small Business”

The series is the next project for the two who found success last year with The Librarians.

Hope, who also starred in Stupid Stupid Man, stars as Don Angel of Don’s Worldwide Business Group. As he nears liquidation Don hires his sole employee, played by Kim Gyngell.
– source: TV Tonight

ABC’s Push for More TV & Radio channels – But Where’s the $$ to Fund Them?

The ABC wants to triple its number of television channels and radio services over the next 12 years as it seeks to increase Australian content levels and cement its place in the digital media age, its managing director, Mark Scott, has flagged … he said the ABC could not only launch a dedicated children’s channel, but also a continuous news channel, a channel devoted to programs from overseas broadcasters and an education channel that would back the Labor Government’s push for a national schools curriculum.
– source: Media Spy

Commercial TV Highlights

Negus: “60 Minutes has lost the plot”

Former 60 Minutes reporter George Negus and former Nine CEO Sam Chisholm have accused 60 Minutes of losing the plot.

Their comments follow growing criticism of the stories being covered by the long-running show this year, including a story on incest that withheld key facts, “freak stories” (one on tattoo addicts, another on cannibalism) and pieces on Nine personalities (Sam Newman, Lisa McCune).

Negus, now fronting SBS’ Dateline, said 60 Minutes had become a “long version of A Current Affair”.

“I’ve felt they lost not the plot, but the sense of direction and sense of purpose,” he said.
“It’s the story selection, but also the approach to the story – when they get it – has become voyeuristic rather than journalistic. It sure is different to my day.”
– read more at: TV Tonight

Returning: The Simpsons – Ch 10

Rejoice! New eps of The Simpsons are finally on the way! The 19th season of the FOX comedy is back in its Tuesday timeslot on Channel 10 starting 7:30pm May 6.
– read more at: TV Tonight

Gordon Ramsay in Hell’s Kitchen – Ch 9

Channel Nine has just announced it is revamping its Wednesdays … Nine will premiere Hell’s Kitchen in the line-up, where would it be without Gordon Ramsay?

The show will screen at 9:30pm Wednesday nights. It makes three consecutive nights for the swearing cook. In Melbourne the show will air at 8:30pm followed by CSI: Miami (rpt).
– read more at: TV Tonight

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

4 Replies to “May: ABC + SBS TV and Australian Commercial TV Highlights”

  1. Have you any information on the commercial advertising that I have seen in the last 2 days on ABC TV? Just what is going on?

    I’m thoroughly sick of commercials on all the other channels and the ABC is my last refuge of sensible viewing. Now even that is being eroded away. I am APPALLED! Guess it’s going to be back to chess and monopoly in the evenings. GRRR!

    Any news you have, and avenues to protest this abomination, would be appreciated. I’ve already sent a complaint to the ABC, but there are surely groups that will oppose this?

  2. Nice wrap up Neerav. I think you are missing South Park on SBS, they have just finished one of the funniest 3 part episodes about terrorists invading our imaginations! Maybe its a bit low brow for this blog 😉

    Oh I find it pretty funny that I am half watching digital TV while writing this comment!

    EDITOR: I like lots of animated series eg: X Men, Futurama, Samurai Jack, Simpsons etc but never got interested in South Park

    What kind of TV tuner card do you have on your PC?

  3. Hi Neerav – I was actually surfing the net on my lap top while having the TV on an LCD TV i got recently with an inbuilt digital tuner. I’m actually a convert of digital/HD now as the picture is execllent and the added channels ABC2 (which I rate) etc.

    Futurama is Great – but I got sick of reruns !

Comments are closed.