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Australian TV News
Pre-Gazette, non-Simpsons News


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29th July, 1998

More New Shows on Foxtel: One of my readers has reported the imminent arrival of the following new shows: in August, Buffy and Silk Stalkings on FOX8, and Family Affairs on UK TV; in September, Relativity, Public Morals, Central Park West and Law & Order on FOX8, Absolutely Fabulous on UK TV, and Jimeoin on the Comedy Channel. Half these shows, I've never heard of, and I hope they don't interfere with any of the shows I'm currently enjoying on Foxtel.



23rd July, 1998

Another large collection of news today. Read on for information about Season Ten of The Simpsons, the 200th episode, Simpsons changes on Foxtel, new shows on FOX8, and some commentary on The Panel and Good News Week. Perhaps I should split off the non-Simpsons stuff to another page...

The Panel and a Dead Cow: This is freaky, but those of you who watched The Panel last night would have heard Santo's story about taking the TGV down to Marseille (or was it the other way around?) and being delayed when the train hit a cow. Well, this must be a frequent occurrence, as exactly the same thing happened to me 13 years ago! I was on the TGV, travelling from Montpellier to Paris, and sometime after Lyons, the train stopped for no adequately explained reason. Some discrete inquiries revealed that the train had hit a cow and the farmer was up in arms, demanding compensation. I'm not sure I ever quite credited this explanation, but Santo's pictures seem to confirm it! You'd think they could put up a fence...

Current Episodes of Good News Week on the Comedy Channel: It turns out that the Comedy Channel wasn't lying when they said they'd be showing new episodes of Good News Week on Wednesday nights. Not only are they new, they're the same episode as shown on the ABC the previous Friday! Finally, salvation for those of us trying to tape Highlander on Friday nights.

Buffy's Coming! I forgot to mention it before, but Buffy is coming to Foxtel, commencing on FOX8 at 7:30pm on Saturday, 29th August. Okay, so it's a bit juvenile, but it's also a lot of fun!

Other New Shows on FOX8: I've already mentioned some of these before, but let me reiterate. Ellen and Ned & Stacey start on Thursday, 30th July at 8:30pm and 9:00pm, respectively. On Monday, 27th July, My So-Called Life begins at 7:30pm. Starring Claire Danes and having won an Emmy, it sounds like it may be worth a look. Also, King of the Hill is back, at 7:00pm on Sunday, 2nd August.



22nd July, 1998

I've filled in Bryce Corbett's name as the gossip columnist for Fox Entertainment News in last week's story. It seems his prediction about the hiatus for Channel Ten's version was spot on the money.

The Dwindling Importance of Authors in Modern Movies: Something struck a chord with me on last night's Fox Entertainment News and I thought I'd write a few lines about it here. The show did a story about a new version of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho being filmed, and mentioned that the original scriptwriter was being called in again to help out. I've always thought of Psycho (which I haven't seen) as being the work of Alfred Hitchcock (actually the director). Only last week did I discover the story was written in the previous year as a novel by Robert Bloch, a highly-regarded writer of both fantasy and horror. The irony is that, although the original film's poster shown during the report clearly credited Bloch as the book's author, the modern report pays credit only to the scriptwriter, never mentioning Bloch at all. It seems the importance of books as an expression of society's imagination is dwindling, replaced by the pseudo-imagination and poor scripting ever-present on today's silver screen. How very sad.



15th July, 1998

The Rise of Adult Animation: Fox Entertainment News last night had an interesting story about the rising popularity of animated shows for adults, cited The Simpsons as the show that initiated this animation revival. Apparently, The Simpsons is the longest-running sitcom currently on US TV. I'm guessing it's still got a few seasons to go until it catches up to Cheers, however. Also of interest, Mark Atkin at SBS was the first person in the world to pick up South Park. On ya, SBS!

Entertainment News Shows Trade Blows: Fox Entertainment News's gossip reporter, Bryce Corbett (who works for the Telegraph) announced that Ten's E! News is likely to be off the air for about a month as the network tries to move the show's production from Adelaide to Sydney. E! News got back at him with an interview at the Cointreau Ball; apparently he likes to hang out outside the toilets, supposedly because that's where the best gossip is... That aside, I reckon E! News would be a lot more palatable if they cut down on the cliched puns they seem to use over and over again, in every single story!

Drop the Dead Donkey on Foxtel: This hilarious series, currently screening on Arena, will reach the end of Season Four later this month. Subsequently, the show is to be rested for a few months, before going back and restarting from the very beginning, possibly in a lead up to Arena's first screening of Season Five.



2nd July, 1998

I finally received my July Foxtel Guide on Tuesday, and I can't say I'm overjoyed about the new format; its primary effect seems to be to make it harder to read. As it turns out, no Simpsons updates were required from the Guide. But I was very happy to see Ned and Stacey is coming to FOX8, Thursdays at 9:00pm from the 30th July!

Red Dwarf Returns to the ABC: Red Dwarf fans rejoice! The mining ship's hilarious crew will be returning to the ABC on Monday, 6th July at 10:05pm, starting with the very first episode of Season One (The End). For those who haven't yet seen Red Dwarf, here's your chance to join the adventure from the very beginning, though I should point out that some of the early episodes (especially the pilot) are a bit dodgy. The ABC have rights to at least Seasons One to Three at the moment.

Other Changes at FOX8: King of the Hill has been dropped for July, but will return in August. FOX8 has also decided to scale back on repeat screenings. Hence the 7:30pm to 10:30pm weekday line-up will only be repeated once, from midnight, with some really old shows filling the early morning. This actually began, unannounced, in mid-June.



24th June, 1998

There's lots of news to report today, so it's probably worthwhile scrolling down and scanning for interesting headlines. In particular, there are a number of changes on Foxtel in July.

X-Files Movie in Australia: The X-Files movie will start screening in Australia on 23rd July, two weeks after the last episode of Season Five screens on Ten (it's great that we won't have to wait!). To provide some behind-the-scenes views of the movie, FOX8 will be showing a special on The X-Files movie on Tuesday, 28th July at 8:00pm.

New Mad About You Schedule on Foxtel: To make way for all the programming changes in July (see below), TV1 is changing the timeslot for Mad About You. On Sundays, it will screen at 8:00pm and be repeated at 1:00am from the 5th July. During the week, from the 6th July, it will move from 12:00pm and 6:30pm to the new times of 9:00pm and 3:00am (except on Fridays, when the repeat timeslot will not screen). The new timeslot will immediately jump back to the beginning of the first series, hopefully in preparation for Season Five showing up later in the year (but I'm just speculating). I've also discovered that TV1 have an excellent programme guide at TV1's Web Site that includes episode names for all their shows. Congratulations, TV1!

New Sitcoms on Foxtel: Lots of new sitcoms are coming to Foxtel in July. On Thursday, 2nd July, The Nanny starts on FOX8 at 7:30pm, repeated at midnight. It will occupy this Thursday timeslot for at least the remainder of July. Second in line is, of course, Seinfeld, which is coming to TV1 on Monday, 6th July at 8:30pm and will continue to screen every weekday at 8:30pm. Finally, the Comedy Channel is launching a "canned laughter" timeslot, weekdays at 10:30pm, starting Monday, 6th July. This timeslot will be showing The Naked Truth on Mondays, The Single Guy on Tuesdays, Boston Common on Wednesdays, and I don't recognise the others. I thought all of these were very funny when on free-to-air, but none scored a big share of the ratings. Perhaps they'll do better on Foxtel.

Fox Entertainment News Moves to Tuesday: Fox Entertainment News, a more informative and less hyped version than that shown on Ten, will be moving to Tuesdays as of the 7th July. Maintaining its 7:30pm screening time, it will immediately precede Ten's advertising-ridden alternative.



19th June, 1998

King of the Hill on Foxtel: Apparently, what I said last week about Foxtel's rights to King of the Hill was a load of baloney (ring a different operator, get a different story...). This time, I was told that FOX8 have had some problems with their early-morning schedule. So if you're in the habit of setting the video to catch the third screening of King of the Hill, and possibly other shows (like me), consider yourselves warned...



11th June, 1998

Foxtel on Satellite: It seems Foxtel might provide satellite services before too long. When I asked their phone operators whether FOX8 would hence be available in Canberra, the guy said it was quite likely. He also mentioned they've had a lot of calls from people in both Canberra and Newcastle since Galaxy shut down.

King of the Hill Rights Problems on Foxtel: I noticed that King of the Hill didn't screen on Tuesday on FOX8. It appears some issues have arisen regarding the rights to a few shows on FOX8 and their schedules have consequently been disrupted. These problems are expected to be resolved within a couple of days.



4th June, 1998

Red Dwarf on UK TV: I forgot to mention it earlier, but you may have noticed that Red Dwarf, which has been running on UK TV Thursday and Saturday nights, finishes its run this month. It appears that UK TV have been so slow to screen the series that they've let their rights to Season Six, purchased from the BBC, lapse before they have a chance to screen it. I'm assured it will appear at some time in the future, but I'm not impressed; it all seems very unprofessional. What's more, I was really hoping they'd run some Red Dwarf three-hour marathons, screening an entire season in one sitting, much like TV1 have done a few times with The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.



27th May, 1998

Weekend Highlander on Foxtel: The weekend stream of Highlander is going to catch up with the Friday episodes in early September. It appears the current plan is to continue screening successive episodes on subsequent weekends, even though these will be first-run episodes.

New Seasons on Fox8: The Networks will be finishing with the current seasons of The X-Files, Millennium and The Simpsons over the next couple of months. Once this happens, the rights should be available to Foxtel immediately. However, it is not clear what will happen with Millennium, as its second season has only just started screening in Melbourne (Sydney viewers are half-way through the season). It is rumoured that Foxtel will get the new season of Millennium in September despite this! I'll keep you up-to-date as further information comes my way.



21st May, 1998

Millennium Season Two Begins in Melbourne: Season Two of Millennium finally started screening last night in Melbourne on Channel Seven. Even though last night's X-Files was particularly good, I've got to say that I far prefer Millennium as a series, and I'm very glad to see it back.



8th April, 1998

I'm not going to be able to do any more updates until after Easter, so I've made a prediction for Ten's Sunday episodes as a placeholder. Check your local TV guide for more reliable information.

It seems all of Ten's premiere series are returning to repeats for the two weeks of school holidays. When I rang Ten about this (just concerning The Simpsons at the time) and commented that one could be very cynical about it, their response was that all the networks are doing this. Checking through my TV guide, Ten is the only channel fobbing off their viewers over Easter in this way. It's disturbing when the Networks go so low as to deceive their own staff about their motivations.



26th March, 1998

Foxtel X-Files: The party is almost over. The last episode from Season Four of The X-Files will screen next Wednesday (1st April). After that, FOX8 is jumping to the beginning of Season Two, but only for a couple of weeks; the last stripped episode will appear on 17th April. After that, Season Two will continue with two episodes each Sunday from 8:30pm (starting 26th April). Additionally, with Millennium returning to the beginning on Friday, 24th April, The X-Files will do likewise, moving into the Friday 8:30pm timeslot. Looks like summer is over.



10th March, 1998

Incidentally, for Foxtel viewers, King of the Hill will be starting on Foxtel this Saturday (in case you missed the ads). However, the online guide doesn't list it, so it may have been rescheduled.



26th February, 1998

Due South is back! It seems Due South really is back on Seven, showing Wednesday nights at 10:30pm. With any luck they'll repeat the whole series, but every episode is a blessed relief from the dribble spouting elsewhere on TV these days. ;)   Actually, even better is that Seven will be playing new, Season Three episodes of Due South!



24th February, 1998

Highlander News: Last Friday, FOX8 screened episode 51 (The Lamb) of Highlander, skipping episode 50 (Courage). This was apparently due to a mix-up of some sort. The missing episode should probably be screened this Friday. The importance of this is that Duncan's relationship with Dr Anne blossoms in the missing episode (as well as including an awesome sword-fight!).



5th February, 1998

Post-Summer Schedule: The recommencement of ratings heralds the end of summer programming, though it can be hard to discern any change in quality. The Winter Olympics mean Channel 7 won't be starting it's normal ratings-period programming for a few more weeks, but I'll highlight some of the new programming on the other channels:

Friends stays at 7:30pm Monday on Nine, with new Season Four episodes.
Veronica's Closet commences at 8:00pm Monday on Nine.
Mad About You stays at 7:30pm Tuesday on Ten, with new Season Six episodes.
Suddenly Susan moves to 8:30pm Monday on Nine.
The Pretender start a new series at 9:30pm Tuesday on Nine.
Deep Space Nine returns to 11:00pm Tuesday on Nine.
The Simpsons starts Season Nine at 7:30pm Wednesday on Ten.
The X-Files starts Season Five at 8:30pm Wednesday on Ten (the first week repeats the last episode of Season Four, then continues with the first episode of Season Five, to be continued the following week).
Caroline in the City and Early Edition are both apparently disappering, while the future of Due South, FX and Buffy is uncertain.



2nd February, 1998

Due South is back! Fans of Due South will be pleased to see Channel Seven is showing repeats as of tonight. Hopefully this won't be just a one week filler, but a locked timeslot, Mondays at 10:30pm. In any case, tonight's episode is the ninth in Season One, not counting the movie-length pilot.



29th January, 1998

Foxtel X-Files News: Foxtel is now screening Season Three of The X-Files. Episodes new to Foxtel started on Tuesday. Look for Season Four at the end of the month.



21st January, 1998

Foxtel Broadcast Rights: Foxtel have broadcast rights to Season Nine of The Simpsons, but under their agreement with Network Ten, they aren't allowed to screen any Season Nine episodes until Ten has shown the whole season (or something like that). Foxtel also expect to get the rights to Season Five of The X-Files and Season Two of Millennium, under a similar arrangement. Finally, Foxtel have the rights to every episode of Highlander, including Season Six, which is currently being shown in America. Of course, we won't actually see Season Six episodes until December at the earliest (and probably not until April next year).



16th January, 1998

Foxtel Red Dwarf news: Foxtel have notified me that UK TV has the rights to all seven seasons of Red Dwarf, and advance rights to Season Eight, once it is produced. The bad news is that, at the rate of one episode a week, it will be August before we see any Season Seven episodes.



12th January, 1998

X-Files News: As I indicated before Christmas, Foxtel has the rights to Season Three of The X-Files. What I didn't know, and have now had confirmed, is that Foxtel also has the rights to Season Four of The X-Files! Don't hold your breath, though -- we won't be seeing Season Four episodes until early March.



21st December, 1997

X-Files News: It seems my guess was correct, and Foxtel now have the rights to Season Three of The X-Files. The third episode in Season Three (the first Foxtel hasn't yet shown), will screen on the 27th January, where you'll see some amazing lightning effects in D.P.O.



19th December, 1997

Highlander News: Just a reminder, that the first two episodes of Highlander: the Series will be screening at 5pm this Saturday and Sunday. This doesn't appear in the Foxtel Guide and the normal help line hasn't been notified, but my source tells me it's definitely going ahead. I don't know about you, but I can't wait!



21st November, 1997

Attention Highlander Fans: On the 20th December, FOX8 will start screening Highlander: the Series in additional timeslots, on weekends at 5:00pm. The decision to do this (partly at my suggestion) was taken after the Foxtel Guide went to print, so consult the Electronic Program Guide (the change will probably be advertised nearer the date). Episodes will restart at the very beginning of Season One.



29th October, 1997

Some information on changes to Foxtel in November. All of these changes come into operation on the 17th November.

  • The X-Files will be stripped at 9:30pm weekdays, starting with the very first episode (it seems Foxtel may have the rights to Season Three, but we won't see this until January).
  • A new series of FX returns to Thursdays at 7:30pm.
  • Red Dwarf starts on UK TV, Thursdays and Saturdays at 10:30pm.
  • Millenium comes to FOX8, Fridays at 8:30pm, shifting Highlander to 7:30pm (D'oh! Won't be able to watch Good News Week!)
  • Space: Above & Beyond returns to FOX8 at 7:30pm Saturdays.

There are other changes, but these are the ones I'm interested in.



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Copyright ©1998-99 Paulius Stepanas. All Rights Reserved.

Last Updated: 25-March-1999