November: ABC + SBS TV and Australian Commercial TV Highlights


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


SBS TV Highlights

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Tuesday 11 November 830pm – The Not Forgotten (Documentary)

TV show of the month On November 11, Remembrance Day, Australia will commemorate the men and women who fought and died for Australia in all wars and armed conflict.

To mark this important day in the Australian calendar, SBS will screen the poignant documentary, Not Forgotten, at 8.30pm.

From a population of just over four million, 324,000 Australian men served overseas in WW1.

Some 61,700 never came home. Australia suffered the highest casualty rate in the British Empire forces – every one of them was a volunteer.

Wednesday 12 November 730pm – Breath: The Pathogens We Breathe (Documentary)

Breath: The Pathogens We Breathe, is a frightening look at the skin flakes, spores and mould that permeate our air and our environment – it will help you discover a whole new world, which exists in front of our very noses, only magnified a hundred thousand times.

Sunday 16 November 830pm – Where’s My Robot? (Documentary)

In three to eight years, we will have a machine with the general intelligence of an average human being….a machine that will be able to read Shakespeare, play office politics and tell a joke. At that point the machine will be able to educate itself at fantastic speed. In a few months it will be at ‘genius’ level, and in a few months after that its powers will be incalculable.” – Professor Marvin Minsky, Artificial Intelligence Expert

This startling promise was made by Professor Minksy in 1970, when he was Professor of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence at MIT. Thirty eight years later and the promise of a useful robot is still regularly made by writers, filmmakers and most importantly, by scientists. All this talk about what could be, prompted comedian Danny Wallace to ask: where’s my robot?!

Screening on SBS on Sunday November 16 at 8.30pm is the program Where’s My Robot, an hour long documentary which follows Danny on his quest to find a robot which can see, walk, talk and think.

Monday November 24 730pm – Top Gear UK Series 11

Following the final episode of Top Gear Australia on November 17th, we are set for the real deal to return to SBS. Top Gear UK series 11 kicked off in the UK in June and it screens on SBS from Monday November 24.

Tuesday 25 November 830pm, continued 1000pm – Heat (2 part Documentary)

“We don’t have a lot of time to reverse course. The Arctic is going to be ice-free by 2030. At the same time we are heating up the ocean, cramming carbon dioxide in them and there are great fears that we will render some parts of the ocean lifeless.” (Joseph Romm, US Department of Energy (1995-1998).

Screening on SBS on Tuesday, 25 November at 8:30pm in The Cutting Edge time slot is the documentary Heat, which investigates how the world’s largest corporations and governments are responding to the challenge of global warming.

Correspondent Martin Smith travels to 12 countries and four continents to explore how politicians and businesses have resisted change to environmental policy and stifled the debate over climate change in America and around the world.

Thursday, 27 November 1005pm – Walkley Awards 2008

It’s been a big news year:

Cyclones and earthquakes in Burma and China; the Beijing Olympics; the global economic meltdown; the US Presidential election and closer to home, the apology to the Stolen Generations; Australia’s pullout from Iraq; digger deaths in Afghanistan and on top of all that, a change of Federal government.

Throughout it all, Australia’s journalists have kept the public informed while continuing to fight for a free media, the hallmark of a working democracy.

To find out who’s reached the pinnacle of Australian journalism this year, be watching SBS’s broadcast of the 2008 Walkley Awards, on Thursday, 27 November at 1005pm.

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

ABC1 TV Highlights

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Monday 10 November 630pm – Talking Heads: Stephen Mayne

This week on Talking Heads, Peter Thompson talks to the founder of – Aussie stirrer – Stephen Mayne.

Mayne shook up the media, politics and business when he set up and promised to reveal stories that others wouldn’t.

His mix of fact, rumour and suspicion came from powerful insiders themselves, often writing anonymously.

So is Stephen Mayne doing us all a service, cleaning things up, looking under rocks? His publish and be damned approach has certainly cost him a lot of money!

Tuesday 11 November 830pm – Monash: The Forgotten Anzac (Documentary)

TV show of the month One of the most brilliant generals of World War I and an architect of Anzac Day, Sir John Monash helped create the Anzac legend by ensuring the courage of his men was enshrined in Australian history.

Today he is all but forgotten.

Monash – The Forgotten Anzac explores the character and achievements of an extraordinary figure in Australian history, the battles he fought both on and off the battlefield, and the prejudice he overcame to help win a war.

Thursday 13 November 830pm – The Mystery of the Mary Celeste: Revealed (Documentary)

In December 1872, the merchant ship The Mary Celeste was found drifting deserted in the mid Atlantic Ocean.

She was a ghost ship with no sign of her captain or the eight crew aboard, but mysteriously, her cargo of 1700 barrels of pure alcohol was intact in her hull.

The mystery of her plight has stood for 135 years, baffling scientists, historians and mariners. Now a descendant of the ship’s captain has a look at evidence that throws some fascinating new light on what really happened.

Sunday 16 November 730pm – Humpbacks: From Fire To Ice (Documentary)

Take an extraordinary journey with one of nature’s majestic giants of the sea – the humpback whale.

Humpbacks from Fire to Ice follows a mother and her calf on their perilous 12 month journey across the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii to Alaska and back again. During this 12 month journey, the calf learns the way of the whales and how to survive in an underwater world ruled by cunning and ruthless predators.

Monday 17 November 830pm – The Howard Years: Change the Government, Change the Country (Series)

During his 11 years as Prime Minister, John Howard led his government through a decade of monumental upheaval. Throughout it all, he proved himself to be the ultimate political master. Now, The Howard Years goes behind the scenes to present the inside story of the Howard Government and examine the legacy of his time in office.

Almost one year to the day after he lost government and his seat, John Howard speaks openly about the key moments that defined his Prime Ministership – among them the war on terror, East Timor, waterfront reform, the GST and his relationship with Peter Costello.

Tuesday 18 November 830pm – The Last Aztec (Series)

Early in the 14th century, a city rose from snake-infested waters, built by the Tenocha tribe who came to be known as the Aztecs. Their city was the capital of Mexico – Tenochtitlan.

When Hernan Cortes led the Spanish Conquistadors to Mexico in 1519, the Aztec Emperor Moctezuma believed the invaders to be gods, fulfilling the prophecy of the return of the feathered serpent deity, Quetzalcoatl. The long held belief that this prophecy signified the end of the Aztec empire coincided with the arrival of the Spanish. Moctezuma in his confusion, offered gifts from the vast treasure troves of gold, sourced from mines that have now disappeared, but failed to deter the Conquistadors as they made their way to Tenochtitlan.

Friday 21 November 940pm – The Thick of It (Series)

Delve into the world of English politics, in the multi-award winning political comedy series The Thick Of It. Over three episodes, the newly appointed Minister for Social Affairs (Chris Langham) has his work cut out for him. Not only does he have to grapple with being the face of a government department but also the constant, ever changing demands and expectations of the PM.

Saturday 22 November 730pm – Mountain With Griff Rhys Jones (Series)

In this stunning 5-part travel series, presenter Griff Rhys Jones embarks on an incredible journey across the natural rooftops of Britain – its highest mountain peaks.

Shot in HD and using the latest aerial technology, this series offers a feature film perspective on some of the most beautiful, awe-inspiring and soul-enhancing views of Britain.

Sunday 23 November 730pm – Eagle Island (Documentary)

Located off the coast of western Scotland, the island of Mull is one of those rare and fortunate places that seem untouched by the passage of time. From its powder-white beaches to snow-capped mountain peaks, Mull has an incredible diversity of life.

An intoxicating blend of mountains, forests, bogs, coastline, moorland and crystal clear rivers, Mull’s rich variety of habitat is matched only by the abundance of wildlife. The golden eagle and the rare white tailed eagle, which has only returned to Mull in the last 15 years, have strongholds on the island. But these aerial killers are not alone in the skies above Mull. The calls of gulls, oystercatchers, curlews and skylarks fill the air. The numerous species of birds represent just a small part of the island’s biodiversity.

The surrounding waters play host to minke whales, bottlenose dolphins, grey seals and basking sharks. Otters fish in the many sea lochs, while on land you’re likely to catch sight of deer, mink, and maybe even the elusive wild white goats.

Join cinematographer Gordon Buchanan as he turns the lens on his birthplace to give an unparalleled insight into the wild characters of this remarkable island. Its huge array of wildlife and stunning landscape make Mull the perfect place to film.

Tuesday 25 November 800pm – The Museum: Taking Care of The Past (Series)

Billed as one of the greatest shows on earth, where else can you experience stories from every culture ever to inhabit the planet? All under one gigantic roof, it’s London’s history hot spot – the British Museum.

For the first time, led by the extraordinary people who work here, we go beyond the museum’s stately galleries to discover a labyrinth of millions of artefacts and to see new exhibitions in the making.

Sunday 30 November 730pm – The Orangutan King (Documentary)

Over 40 years ago, Dr Birute Galdikas set out to study orangutans deep in the jungles of Borneo. But it wasn’t long before her camp – Camp Leakey – became a refuge for baby orangutans that had been rescued from the brutal and illegal trade in wild animals. The Orangutan King provides a fascinating insight into the lives of these intelligent and playful animals.


ABC2 TV Highlights

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Monday, 10 November 830pm – The Hack Half Hour: Booze

This week on The Hack Half Hour: Booze, Steve Cannane asks, “Are we really a generation of binge drinkers? Do we need to get off the booze?”

Each year around 250 Australians aged 15-24 die as a result of alcohol. Earlier this year Kevin Rudd announced a new 53 million dollar strategy to tackle what he called “the binge drinking epidemic among young Australians.” But is drinking just a problem for teens and twenty somethings? Are they being unfairly blamed for a much bigger cultural problem?

Wednesday 19 November 2130 – Fakes (Series)

Fakes is the human story of the fastest rising crime of our times, worth billions of dollars a year. A generation ago some of the world’s top brands were outsourced to the East to take advantage of cheap labour.

Now it is payback time as counterfeited goods, produced in industrial quantities, are flooding the western markets.

The series travels to China, Nigeria and Thailand to meet the fakers, and the men and women risking their lives to take them on. Southern China is the heart of global counterfeiting, with a tradition of copying going back centuries. And while brands are unable to stop the tide, the Chinese government are doing nothing.

Commercial TV Highlights

Saturday November 22 1200 – Channel 10 – Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Animated Series)

The brand spankin’ new animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars from Lucasfilm Animation is coming later this month.

But despite a legion of Star Wars fans, it has been given a timeslot of 12pm Saturday November 22.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed blog called preview footage “likely the most photo-realistic animated TV series ever produced.” It was the most-watched series premiere on the Cartoon Newtork ever.

The series, which premiered on October 3rd in the US, was launched with a feature film which was released in August. Creator George Lucas promises “there will be at least 100 episodes produced.”

The voice cast includes Matt Lanter, Seth Green, Anthony Daniels, Olivia d’Abo, James Arnold Taylor and Tom Kane.

source: David Knox from TV Tonight

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