September: ABC + SBS TV and Australian Commercial TV Highlights


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


TV show of the month2008 Beijing Paralympics Coverage on ABC TV

The 2008 Beijing Olympics in China will be broadcast on Australian TV and streaming video online by the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) between September 6-17 2008.

Comedian and TV presenter Adam Hills, Paralympic Gold Medallist Louise Sauvage, and ABC Sport presenters Karen Tighe and Steve Robilliard will host ABC TV’s exclusive coverage of the Paralympic Games Beijing 2008.

For more details go to 2008 Beijing Paralympics TV Schedule ABC TV and iView

SBS TV Highlights

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Top Gear Australia Audience Tickets

You can apply for audience tickets to Top Gear Australia at the SBS Top Gear website for recording sessions in Sydney on 18/19 September, 7/8/14/15/21/22 October. There’s a limited supply of tickets and applying for them does not guarantee you will get any tickets.

Sunday, 7 September 730pm – Who Do You Think You Are Jeremy Irons? (Documentary)

Seemingly a quintessential English gentleman, actor Jeremy Irons has always felt a natural affinity for Ireland, where he now lives. He knows that one of his ancestors has a colourful past but until now has never probed further into his family history.

Jeremy’s great-great-great-grandfather Thomas was one of the first Metropolitan Policemen. He was dismissed after six years of service for drunkenness and deserting his post. He went on to become a Chartist, an activist for a political movement aimed at widening the vote to include the working classes.

Thomas was arrested in 1848 for his part in a series of planned insurrections and, escaping deportation to Australia, was imprisoned for 18 months. Upon his release, he abandoned his family and went to sea as an engineer, dying in Rio.

Jeremy’s Irish blood comes from his great-grandmother’s family. Tracing her ancestors using census returns showed that her family owned land in Cork, where Jeremy now lives, as far back as the start of the 18th century.

Tuesday 9 September 730pm – Insight: Bursting The Bubble

Will an economic slowdown mean cheaper house prices?

According to the Housing Industry Association, housing affordability is at an all-time, 24-year low. So what will a troubled economy mean for renters, new home buyers and those struggling with a mortgage?

Insight host Jenny Brockie brings together home owners mortgaged to the hilt, Australian and international economists, housing and construction representatives and the Federal government, to find out who’s likely to win and lose in a changed economic climate.

One guest on the program, economist Steven Keen from the University of Western Sydney, has already proclaimed that Australia is heading for the worst recession since the Great Depression and that house prices will drop by over 40 per cent.

The ANZ’s Saul Eslake says that it’s a mistake to assume that house prices will always fall, even if they are overvalued.

Meanwhile economic journalist Ross Gittins thinks we’re in unchartered waters, where house prices and household debt have never been so high.

Then there’s the international experience. Twelve OECD countries have recently announced contractions in their gross domestic product, which has resulted in house prices falling.

Friday, 19 September 830pm – Tito’s Ghosts (Documentary)

Tito’s Ghosts reveals how support for Marshall Tito is alive and well in the former Yugoslavia, 25 years after the Communist dictator’s death.

Josip Broz Tito was the leader of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1945 until his death in 1980. During World War II, Tito organised the anti-fascist resistance movement known as the Yugoslav Partisans.

Later he was a founding member of Cominform, but resisted Soviet influence and became one of the founders and promoters of the Non-Aligned Movement. Tito promoted the creation of a Yugoslav nationality and identity as a Pan-Slavic replacement of the existing nationalities in Yugoslavia, and as a result, considered himself a Yugoslav rather than his ethnic identity by birth of being a mixed Croat-Slovene.

Every year Tito devotees celebrate his birthday in excess with sports and theatre performed in the huge army stadiums in Belgrade. The celebration of Tito’s life is commemorated as if his supporters hadn’t noticed that the country he helped found had long since vanished in bloody civil wars.

Today the protective fog of nostalgia surrounding his legacy has started to clear, and the hidden story of his long reign is told in this eye-opening documentary.

ABC1 TV Highlights

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Wednesday September 3rd 930pm – Very Small Business

Another ABC comedy is coming, with Wayne Hope (Micallef Program) playing the lead role in “Very Small Business”. Hope plays Don Angel, a small businessman alongside his sole employee, played by Kym Gyngell (Backberner), in this 6 part comedy series.

Don Angel (Wayne Hope) is a small-business man – the backbone of this great country’s economy. But if that’s true, it’s no thanks to him. After numerous unsuccessful business ventures, Don’s World Wide Business Group is now hurtling towards liquidation.

Very Small Business is about the unlikely relationship between two men who form an unlikely alliance. Don Angel, is brassy, streetwise and charismatic. He’s full of big ideas but something always gets in the way of him making any of his small businesses big.

Tuesday 16 September 8pm – Two in the Top End

John Doyle and Tim Flannery made their first journey together down the Murray Darling rivers in Tim’s tinnie, the Bismarck. There were wild adventures along the way and the two mates discovered first hand the dire state of Australia’s greatest river system.

Now, Tim and John set off on a new adventure – driving across the top of the continent in the six-part series Two in the Top End.

John and Tim explore the last frontier on a 4,000 kilometre journey across the Top End of Australia from Cooktown to Broome. As climate change shifts the national focus northward Australia’s best-known scientist and his satirical mate examine the colourful past, present and future of the deep north in their inimitable style.

John and Tim journey through cattle country, ancient fossil fields and rugged savannah visiting massive mines and irrigation schemes on the way. The two friends come to grips with the many challenges of the tropical north as they experience the big wet, the big dry and a touch of ‘mango madness’.

Thursday 18 September 605pm – Echo of the Elephants: the Final Chapter?

One of nature’s most memorable characters, Echo the elephant, 58, is one of the grand old matriarchs of Amboseli National Park in Kenya. She is approaching her final years and may well die soon.

She has led her family through good times and bad, through deaths, drought, floods, poaching, the intrusion of mass tourism and the threat of big game hunting.

Daughter, Ella, 37, is the most likely successor to lead the elephant family after she dies, but Echo is a tough act to follow. Can Ella live up to the challenges ahead? Extraordinary archival footage features in this moving wildlife tribute.

Thursday 25 September 605pm – Lion: Out of Africa?

Lions, supreme rulers of the African savannah, should have little to fear.

But while the world has been worrying about the decline of the elephant and the tiger, the plight of the lion has gone unnoticed. This is a species in peril.

Researchers recently made the shocking discovery there were only half the lions in Africa previously believed – as few as 16,000. There are a number of threats to their existence but are they ultimately their own worst enemy? How can they be saved?

ABC2 TV Highlights

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Fanging It (Travel show)

The ABC has announced the winners of its competition to host the new ABC2 travel show, Fanging It.

24-year-old Dan Taylor from Tasmania, and 23-year-old Robin Burbidge from New South Wales have been sent off on a no frills three week Australian road trip. They will film the “thrills, chills and challenges of travelling round Australia on a budget” as well as adding video-diary and blog updates.

On their return, the presenters will host a new ABC2 travel show featuring all that is fresh, edgy and fun about travel in contemporary Australia. As well as their own footage, the show will include the best of travel mini-clips uploaded by Phase Two participants in the running to win $4000 worth of travel prizes.

Wednesday, 3 September 830pm – Murderball (Documentary)

Featuring fierce rivalry, stopwatch suspense, and larger-than-life personalities, Murderball was winner of the Documentary Audience Award and a Special Jury Prize for Editing at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. This is a film about tough, highly competitive rugby players – quadriplegic rugby players.

Whether by car wreck, fist fight, gun shot or rogue bacteria, these men have been forced to live life sitting down. In their own version of the full-contact sport, they battle each other in custom-made gladiator-like wheelchairs, pursuing gold medals and proving to themselves and to anyone who sees them in action that there is life after disability.

From the gyms of Middle America to the Olympic arena in Athens, Greece, Murderball smashes every stereotype you ever had about quadriplegics, telling the story of a group of indomitable, world-class athletes unlike any ever shown on screen. It is a film about family, revenge, honour and the triumph of love over loss. But most of all, it is a film about standing up, even after your spirit and your spine have been crushed.

Tuesday 9 September 535pm – Treks In A Wild World

In each episode of Treks In A Wild World our intrepid trekkers travel to far-flung regions where they embark on incredible journeys combining ecology, anthropology and history with action sports and outdoor pursuits while providing a panoramic view of some of the most beautiful and remote places in the world.

More details about Treks In A Wild World

Tuesday 16 September 535pm – Game Ranger Diaries

Ian Craig and Richard Moller head a 60-strong wildlife team at one of the busiest parks in Kenya. An immense borderless park, it teems with wildlife. There’s never a dull moment in Lewa; the wildlife is constantly on the move, and constantly in trouble. Richard and Craig deal with every imaginable wildlife emergency.

Cameras follow the action 24/7. With the polish and finesse of an observational documentary each episode is packaged using stylish graphics, giving the series its own unique individuality.

Tales of life and death in Kenya’s busiest wildlife reserve, where the animals are under constant threat from poachers and predators.

Saturday 20 September 830pm – Rear Window (Movie)

movie of the month
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

For seven weeks photographer LB Jeffries (Jeff) (James Stewart) has been in a wheelchair as a result of an accident. To pass the time, Jeff likes to watch the behaviour of his neighbours from his Greenwich Village apartment.

It’s a humid sultry summer, so the shades that would normally block his view of the tenants’ private lives are rarely drawn.

Jeff’s been feeling the pressure from his girlfriend Lisa Fremont (Grace Kelly), a sophisticated fashion editor, to get married, and what he observes doesn’t spur him on… and he’s getting bored!

But then one night, he spots the salesman making repeated trips with a heavy suitcase. Armed with binoculars, Jeff watches Lars clean out the suitcase, wash his bathroom walls and then wrap a saw and kitchen knife in paper.

Jeff begins to suspect the salesman has murdered his wife and buried her body in the apartment’s garden courtyard, but he doesn’t have enough evidence to convince Lisa and his friend Tom – a detective. But when he sees a dog sniffing around the garden, and Thorwald rifling through his wife’s handbag and jewellery, Lisa starts to take him seriously.

Saturday 27 September 830pm – Man Who Knew Too Much (Movie)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

While vacationing in Morocco, American tourist Dr. Ben McKenna learns of an assassination plot but can’t turn to the police without endangering his young son, who’s been kidnapped to ensure McKenna’s silence.

Commercial TV Highlights

New Simpsons Episodes – Channel 10 – September 9 730pm

New episodes of The Simpsons are back on Channel 10 from September 9th at 7:30pm.

Kenny’s World – Channel 10 – Wednesday September 10 8pm

In this the United Nations Year of Sanitation, Kenny has been invited by Network Ten to host an international travel show with a difference. Kenny’s World follows Australia’s favourite porta-loo plumber and part-time philosopher on a sightseeing tour you won’t find in any travel guide.

From the world’s fastest Porta-loo in Indianapolis, Egypt’s City of the Dead, The World Toilet Summit and Expo in India, the latest zero-gravity super loos in space to the eco friendly green toilets in the ancient Chinese capital Xi’an, Kenny scours the globe for bizarre, intriguing and often downright ridiculous examples of toilet technology and the people connected to them.