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Australian TV News
1998


These pages are maintained by . Feel free to email me any suggestions or contributions.



24th December, 1998

Merry Christmas to everyone!

I'm taking a break from work, so there'll be no updates for a couple of weeks (unless I decide to sneak in just for an update), but hopefully when I come back I'll be able to implement some of the changes that have been on the drawing board for a while. I think I've left enough info to keep you all happy until I get back, so happy viewing and see you in 1999!

Before I go, a couple of quick notes. First, Xena is losing her Monday timeslot from the 4th January. But Battlestar Galactica gains a Thursday timeslot, at 7:30pm repeated 11:30pm.

Season Two of South Park on thecomedychannel: Season Two of South Park begins on thecomedychannel on Sunday, 10th January in a new timeslot at 7:30pm (repeated Monday at noon). Meanwhile South Park's other timeslots will continue screening Season One repeats.

Finally, FOX8 is promoting Swashbuckler Saturday this weekend. I think all this means is that there'll be a lot of ads for The Mask of Zorro during Highlander and The Simpsons at 5:00pm and 6:00pm, respectively.

PS: Don't forget, Red Dwarf starts on UK TV the 4th January, weeknights at 11:00pm.



21st December, 1998

Foxtel Changes for January: In addition to the changes mentioned below (on the 17th Dec), FOX8 is moving a few timeslots around. From Monday, 4th January, the weekday, post-midnight repeat timeslots are behind moved back half an hour. Hence, My So-Called Life, Buffy and Highlander will now be repeated at 12:30am on their respective days, The X-Files at 1:30am, and Fox Comedy Thursday will also start at 12:30am.

From Saturday, 23rd January, the daytime timeslot of Space: Above and Beyond is moving an hour later, to 4:00pm on both Saturdays and Sundays. This makes room for Relativity at 2:00pm and Savannah at 3:00pm.

On thecomedychannel, The Adventures of Lano & Woodley returns on Friday, 8th January, screening at 11:30am and 6:30pm Fridays and (starting the 16th January) Saturdays at 10:30am.

The Dwarf is Back, on UK TV: Starting Monday, 4th January, Red Dwarf returns to UK TV, weeknights at 11:00pm. Starting with the very first episode, at least six seasons will air consecutively. As for further in the future, we'll just have to wait for the February Foxtel Guide...

Party of Five comes to FOX8: Party of Five premieres on FOX8 on Wednesday, 6th January in the 8:30pm timeslot (repeated at 1:30am). So if you missed it on Ten and want to see what all the fuss is about, here's your chance. Sadly, Jennifer Love Hewitt doesn't show up until well into the first season (I think). If you find recent episodes on Ten just a little hard to handle (especially from last summer), the early episodes may still be worth checking out, as they're supposed to be far more interesting.



17th December, 1998

More to Due South Than Meets the Eye: Perhaps I should have caught on sooner: there's more episodes in the current season of Due South than the official website describes. It seems the website hasn't been updated in a while, and four episodes are missing, held back in the North American airings. Further investigation reveals Seven may not be showing them in quite the right order, either. In any case, I've added them to the Episode Guide together with and in order of airdates.

January on FOX8: I don't yet have the January Foxtel Guide, but I can provide the following scheduling information. Shows that won't change their scheduling in January include: The X-Files, Millennium, Space: Above and Beyond, Highlander, Buffy and Fox Comedy Thursday (Ellen, Dharma & Greg and Ned & Stacey). Relativity concludes next week in its evening timeslot and will not continue into January, except that it can now be seen weekdays at 1:00pm. My So-Called Life also airs its finale next week, but will maintain its Monday timeslot into January, starting back at the beginning. The only deviation will occur at the end of the month, when the Friday X-Files stream will skip ahead three episodes to Fearful Symmetry on the 29th January. The following week, this stream will return to the start of Season One (for contractual reasons, so this may be your last chance to see the early episodes).



3rd December, 1998

Mad About You on Ten: Although I mentioned the return of Mad About You to Ten below, I've only now updated the screening dates in the episode list. Ten appear likely to follow the same episode order as TV1.

Another Full Hour of Friends: Another two-episode special of Friends will air on Monday, showing both parts of The One With Two Parts. The following week will also feature a double episode, before retiring Friends for the summer. It is expected that Caroline in the City will return to fill at least part of this timeslot.

Daytime Relativity Delayed on FOX8: Two hours of Melrose Place on Monday has delayed the start of daytime stripping for Relativity until Tuesday, 15th December at 1:00pm.

New Year's Day on FOX8: Foxtel has planned the perfect hangover-recovery TV schedule for New Year's Day on FOX8: twelve and a half hours of The Simpsons, from 7:00am to 7:30pm! This will be followed by the normal Friday evening line-up of Highlander, The X-Files and Millennium.

So-Called Angels: I was privileged to see the most amazing Christmas special I've ever come across, on Monday. The station was, sadly for those without cable, FOX8. The show was My So-Called Life. Rather than starting with the usual, up-beat theme music, Rickie stumbles out into the street, into the snow, his face bruised and battered. Rickie is a regular character on the show, a young transvestite of sorts, but we've never seen him away from school and away from his friends before. Despite exploring the frightening subject of homelessness, the episode ends on a very satisfying, emotional, but positive note, with Rickie finding comfort with his friends. But there is a warning, that without the love of friends and family, life can be very sorry and very short.

Although an amazing episode in its own right, the story takes a horrible twist when looking beyond the bounds of this series. A few episodes ago, Ally McBeal tried to save a young tranvestite come to the big city (Boy to the World). Steven/Stephanie is played by Wilson Cruz (Rickie in My So-Called Life), and is up on charges of solicitation. Despite Ally offering him a better way of making money (designing women's clothing), Stephanie is killed by an enraged customer. In a way, Steven/Stephanie is Rickie, or what Rickie may have become -- or may yet become.



30th November, 1998

Red Dwarf Update on UK TV: UK TV's December flyer casts light on what's happening with Red Dwarf at the end of the month. Two specials are scheduled to air: Can't Smeg, Won't Smeg on Friday, 25th December at 11:05pm; and A-Z of Red Dwarf on Thursday, 31st December at 11:00pm. I wonder if these are taken from the various videos or something new. Interesting viewing, either way.

TV1's Website Saga: After my extolling the virtues of TV1's online schedule a few months ago, some of you might have noticed that it's been missing ever since the site was redesigned. I finally decided to check out what's going on.

I was regaled with a sad story of dreadful woe, the gist of which is that the company contracted to redesign the website went insolvent, but the site had to be launched incomplete, anyway (something to do with a scheduled webcast). The good news is that the guide should be back, better than ever, shortly (ie: within a couple of weeks at the outside). The person I spoke to claimed what they were doing -- the way they're linking to their database -- is somehow revolutionary. All I really care about is their ability to provide the type of detailed episode information they did before -- and that seems extremely likely.

On a related note, the main Foxtel site is apparently in a similar situation (although they won't let on as readily). The impression I get is that they intend to link their internal scheduling databases to the web search interface in some way. Closer inspection reveals they still haven't quite migrated their thinking to the web paradigm: when I suggested unconfirmed information could be shown in a different colour (or in italics, as I do on my Simpsons site), the person I was speaking to balked, saying all information provided to the public will be confirmed. Personally, I'd appreciate some insight into the programmers' thinking far enough in advance that I might even be able to influence it. Don't despair, however, as most channels schedule up to two or three months in advance (partly in order to make the printed Foxtel Guide deadlines).



26th November, 1998

My December Foxtel Guide finally came in yesterday, but before I get on to summer scheduling changes on cable, let's have a look at what the commercial networks are offering.

Summer on Free-to-Air

Shows dropped: Good News Week on the ABC, The Panel on Ten, Friends and Caroline in the City have disappeared from Nine at least while the cricket's on, Ally McBeal on Seven, and the Wednesday timeslot of The Simpsons (though Sundays will continue as before).

After all that, what's left? And what's new? Well, my recommendations run something like this: there'll be plenty of cricket, so set your VCR while at work and just catch up each evening -- that should adequately fill the summer! More seriously, Drop the Dead Donkey is a must-see on SBS (Saturday, 8:30pm); Buffy is back on Seven to complete Season Two (Monday, 7:30pm), followed by a new show, Felicity, at 8:30pm, which is supposed to appeal to those who liked Ally and My So-Called Life (on FOX8). To complete one's Monday, flick to SBS for South Park from 9:30pm. After a one-week hiatus, Due South will return at 10:30pm Mondays, so Monday is probably my best viewing night for the week.

Moving on, Ten is bringing back Mad About You (Tuesday, 7:30pm) from the beginning of Season Four, followed at 8:30pm by Party of Five (from the start of Season Four). Ten is bringing back repeats of Just Shoot Me! on Wednesdays at 7:30pm, so if you missed an episode earlier in the year, here's your chance to catch up. On Thursdays, Seven is introducing two new sitcoms from 7:30pm: Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place followed by Townies; the latter sounds like it might even be good. And you can always follow up with some serious science fiction at 11:00pm with Babylon 5 on Nine.

I'm sure there's something I've missed, but that should tide us all over for the summer.

Foxtel's Summer

But wait, there's more! If you're on cable, the line-up changes are less significant, but still worth mentioning. Some of the highlights follow.

The Comedy Channel has reorganised its repeat schedule, so now its evening programming is repeated the next day in day-time timeslots rather than in the very early morning (while it's still dark). This pertains particularly to the canned laughter half-hour (10:30pm weeknights), which repeats at noon the following day rather than 5:00am, and the animation half-hour on Thursdays, which repeats on Friday at 9:00am. South Park has also been granted an additional repeat, at 9:30am Wednesdays, while retaining both its current timeslots. What's more, Duckman finally premieres at 8:30pm on Friday, 4th December, repeated Saturdays at 11:30am. Also on Saturdays, a new stream of The Naked Truth commences at 2:30pm on the 5th December, repeated at 1:00am. This will run an episode behind the Monday stream.

As you probably know, TV1 is moving to Channel 1 on Foxtel cable, and there's a few other changes also underway. First up, Mad About You's repeat timeslot is being moved back half an hour to 3:30am (except on Fridays). Star Trek: The Next Generation (ST:TNG) premieres at 8:30pm on Saturday, 5th December as part of Space Cadets (repeating at 12:30pm the next day). And the repeat timeslot for Xena: Warrior Princess (first screening: Mondays at 7:30pm) is moving to 11:30pm Mondays rather than the following morning.

On FOX8, Buffy returns on Tuesday, 8th December at 7:30pm (repeated at midnight), starting back at the beginning of Season One. Starting Monday, 14th December, Relativity is being given a second, daytime stream, running weekdays at 1:00pm (I guess someone really likes this show!). And Fox Entertainment News goes on hiatus until some time in January. Christmas Day (Friday, 25th December) will be screening a special FOX8 Christmas Stocking from 7:00am to midnight, comprising a selection of favourite programmes. In contrast to last year, that's about all the changes on FOX8 (at least amongst those shows which I monitor).

UK TV has a couple of things to look out for towards the end of December. Red Dwarf returns for two nights only, on Friday, 25th December at 11:05pm (episode unknown) and on Thursday, 31st December at 11:00pm for The A-Z of Red Dwarf (whatever that is). A regular timeslot for Red Dwarf is expected in January. Also worth checking out is the Best of Live at Jongleurs parts 1 and 2 on Tuesday and Wednesday, 29th and 30th December at 11:00pm. The quality of the acts is generally better than similar american shows (as seen on the Comedy Channel), and a "best of" is always going to be good.

Finally, if you like The Corrs, Channel [V] is presenting them "live" on stage on Sunday, 6th December at 7:30pm.

Happy summer viewing, everyone!



19th November, 1998

I've updated the screening dates for Mad About You on TV1 and the Sunday night stream of Space: Above and Beyond on FOX8 to reflect the fact that both of these have wrapped around to the beginning.



17th November, 1998

I'm back. And with just a couple of things to report. First though, a reminder that Season Nine of The Simpsons will be showing on Foxtel from Saturday morning, 21st November, at around 9:45am.

Star Wars Meets Oz: As you've no doubt already heard, Star Wars parts 2 and 3 are to be filmed in Sydney, at Fox Studios. George Lucas reckons he can awaken our local film industry in a similar way to what he claims happened in England many years ago. Could be interesting times for Sydney, but I wonder whether Lucas has factored the chaos of the 2000 Olympics into his schedule.

Red Dwarf Departs: With the end of the remastered version of Season Three last week, Red Dwarf departs our screens for a while. Hopefully there'll be a Season Eight before too long. I'm also hopeful that UK TV on Foxtel might eventually get around to screening Season Six.

The Many Lies of Ally McBeal: Seven are lying to their viewers again. Next week, we get to see two episodes of Ally McBeal, but they're claiming it's the two-part season finale. Nothing of the sort! They're still seven episodes shy of that mark, as anyone can tell simply by looking at the production codes at the end of each episode. Shame on you, Seven.

Due South Confusion: The episodes of Due South apparently scheduled to screen in Sydney this week and next do not appear in my episode guide. They also don't appear on the web, yet Seven claims they're new episodes. Since to my knowledge there are only two episodes left to screen, there are a number of possibilities: Seven may have been given alternate names for Call of the Wild; they may be screening old episodes under new names (Good For the Soul and Dead Men Don't Throw Rice, for those who are interested); someone may have hacked their computer system; or we may actually be getting new episodes before the US and before they've even been announced on the website. Given that there are four episode number missing before Call of the Wild, the last possibility may not be as out there as it first appears. We can but hope. (Adelaide viewers may wish to .)



29th October, 1998

Millennium Concludes on Seven: The last episode of Millennium's second season screened last night in Melbourne. Next week: a documentary on millennial prophecies. It's possible that Seven may screen Season One repeats in subsequent weeks, as occurred in Sydney, but this is not certain.

Missing South Park: The Age Green Guide reports that South Park is skipping the next couple of weeks on SBS in order to build up a bit of a reserve of episodes from the US. Since there's only two more episodes left in Season Two, I don't really understand this.

Episode Lists Updated: I've updated the scheduling info on all the episode lists. I've also updated some of the timeslot info, especially where Foxtel have dropped early-morning repeats. I've decided not to bother adding new seasons that are currently screening in the US until closer to their Australian airings (when more of each season is known), but if anyone feels strongly about this, please .

Brief Hiatus: This will probably be the last update for a couple of weeks, as I'm going to a couple of conferences (unfortunately not overseas) and won't have access to the Internet during this time. Hopefully I've left you with enough to tide you over. Next update should be on the 16th November.



27th October, 1998

Big Changes on FOX8, and Some Mistakes: I don't have time to go into them completely at the moment, nor to make the necessary changes to the predicted air dates and schedules, but here's a summary of the changes taking effect from the 1st November on FOX8 (at least those relevant to this website):

  • The weekend 5:00pm screenings of Highlander are to continue! The Foxtel Guide is incorrect when it reports that these timeslots are to be filled by My So-Called Life and Buffy.
  • Space: Above and Beyond is to start screening Saturdays and Sundays at 3:00pm, presumably starting from the beginning. The Sunday stream will also continue, independently.
  • On Sunday, 15th November, the last three episodes of Season Four of The X-Files will air one after the other (incidentally pre-empting Space: Above and Beyond). The following Sunday, the first episode of Season Five will air at 8:30pm, followed by the third episode of Season Three (the first two episodes form part of the Season Two cliff-hanger, Anasazi). This pattern of screening an episode each from Seasons Five and Three will continue in this timeslot, thereafter.

Most of the changes seem fairly positive, though my viewing won't be greatly affected.



22nd October, 1998

Changes on FOX8: There's big changes coming to FOX8 in November. From what I can gather, Fox Kids is moving to Channel 31, and FOX8 will probably strip its various shows during the day. Actually, I'm not sure how that will work, since most of its current series are best suited to evening viewing. Rather than preempt the Foxtel Guide, I'm going to wait until I receive it before looking at the detailed changes. I'll post my analysis on Monday or Tuesday.

Highlander: The Book: I popped in to Minotaur yesterday and, as always, was surprised by what I found. Sitting in between all the Star Trek, Babylon 5, Red Dwarf and similar fan books was the following: Highlander: The Complete Watcher's Guide. This is an amazing book, published just last month in the US and containing interviews with dozens of the most important people on the show. It gives a real insight into the series' soul. Since the book covers all six seasons of Highlander, some of the interviews contain minor spoilers, but nothing to really upset your viewing pleasure. The last third of the book contains a passable episode guide, including synopses, though I've already found an error in one of the episode titles. The difference between US and "rest of the world" episode orders is also flagged. The book's only real shortcoming is that there's no reference to the new, spin-off series, Highlander: The Raven. All in all, if you're a fan of the show, this really is a must have.

Highlander: The Complete Watcher's Guide, Maureen Russell, Warner Books, 1998. ISBN: 0-446-67435-4

In other Highlander news, I'll preempt myself by saying that I plan to link my Highlander episode list to the episode synopses at GEOS. I'll probably do this for a couple of other shows, as well. (Yet another item on my rapidly-lengthening "to do" list.)

Don't forget Dharma & Greg: My favourite new comedy this year, Dharma & Greg starts on FOX8 next Thursday, 29th October, at 8:30pm. If you missed this series on Ten, I highly recommend watching at least the first episode. One of the amazing things about this series is that it maintains a consistently high standard from the very first episode; and you have to look well into the season to find the first one below par.



19th October, 1998

It's been a while since I had anything much to say, although if I'd paid more attention, I might have found something earlier: some of this news is a shade old. Before I start, I'll mention that I've updated most of the scheduling info, so everything should now be up to date.

Day of the Roses on Ten: If you missed last night's first part of Ten's mini-series, Day of the Roses, you missed some excellent Australian drama. The story concludes tonight at 8:30pm. On a personal note, it's interesting to see an engineer portrayed as the hero of a story (the IEAust will be happy). Apart from his dramatic flourishes in court, he's quite convincing.

Highlander joins GEOS and reverts to Season One: Highlander is the latest addition to the Global Episode Opinion Survey. The survey allows you to rate each episode of various (mostly "science fiction") series from 1 to 10 and compare your ratings with the rest of the world. The addition of Highlander is serendipitous in its timing, as the weekend 5:00pm stream is returning to the beginning of Season One this weekend (Saturday, 24th October). So if you missed it the first time round, here's your chance to find out what it's all about.

Dancing Devil on Millennium: Almost forgot to mention this. While everyone's going nuts about the appearance of the Internet's Dancing Baby on Ally McBeal (some time in the next couple of episodes), I didn't hear anyone mention the far more interesting appearance in Millennium in the episode, Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me. For those who didn't see it, a devil chose as his manifestation a red, horned and tailed, version of the infamous Dancing Baby. Quite a laugh, and, I suspect, more original that Ally's use of the unmodified original. To give Ally credit, I think they did use it first.

New season of Goodnight Sweetheart on the ABC: Not a programme I'm familiar with, but one of my visitors sent me information that Goodnight Sweetheart would be back on the ABC in November with its fourth season. After that, a sixth season has already been commissioned in the UK, but it could be some time before it reaches Australia.

Site Statistics: Some of you may be interested to know a bit about the popularity of this site. I received information from my host that last month I received over 2000 visits, each lasting roughly four minutes. More than half the visitors were from the US (not surprising, since their population is a tad larger than ours), and there were even two from Lithuania (obviously drawn to my name, which is Lithuanian, rather than The Simpsons). The largest number of link-induced visits came via The Simpsons Archive (I'm glad I got those links put in!), but the new Oz TV Gazette didn't get as many visits as I'd hoped (especially this news page). Of the series I cover here, Highlander managed the most hits.

Based on the statistics (the monthly archive was also very popular), and what I learned from watching someone access my site for the first time last week, I'm hoping to make a few changes to the layout. Unfortunately, I can't promise this will happen quickly, as I'm very busy at work. Nonetheless, if you have any ideas or suggestions, I'd love to .



1st October, 1998

Due South Returns to Melbourne: Seven is finally bringing Due South back to our screens in Melbourne (and presumably other southern states -- check Sofcom's TV Guide for your locality). It will be screening from Monday, at 10:30pm, hopefully not overlapping with Red Dwarf on the ABC (but who can tell). My Due South pages have been updated accordingly.

Cricket's Back: While Fox Sports has the full rights to Australia's tour of Pakistan (and the Wills World Cup), Channel Nine doesn't want to miss the action. They'll be screening highlights every evening at around 1:30am. For those of you without Foxtel, this might be worth catching, as it's a full hour of highlights rather than the half-hour we're used to for test matches.

The Return of Roar, Babylon 5 and Ellen: With the footy finally over, some old shows are being brought back for the off season. Roar returns to Ten in the ignominious timeslot of Wednesdays at midnight. Babylon 5 is making a triumphant return for Season Five, Thursdays at 11:30pm (fans will be pleased to see Nine making some attempt to catch up with the US). Finally, for those who didn't notice, Seven have been screening new episodes of Ellen on Thursdays around 10:30pm. I guess they figure the late timeslot will make it more acceptable to the censors. (You can see the entire series on FOX8, also on Thursday nights.)



30th September, 1998

Highlander Error in Foxtel Guide: I have confirmed that, as originally stated here, the weekend stream of Highlander will be returning to the beginning of Season One (on 24th October) as soon as Season Four is complete. Where it says in the Foxtel Guide that this stream will be showing Season Five, it is mistaken. Seasons Five and Six will be shown first as part of the Friday night stream.

Mad About You Confusion on TV1: It turns out the information I was given by TV1 on the 25th wasn't quite right. In the end, two filler episodes were used for Mad About You, last Thursday and Friday, with Monday picking up the episode originally scheduled for last Thursday. I was told the remainder of Seasons Three and Four would continue to screen without interruptions. But then things have changed without notice before...



25th September, 1998

Mad About You's extra episode on TV1: Last night, you may have noticed that TV1 showed the wrong episode of Mad About You (episode 2.11, Edna Returns). It turns out, this episode was added to the schedule so that both parts of Mad About You (episodes 3.13 and 3.14) could be shown on consecutive days, rather than either side of a weekend. Hence, the episode originally scheduled for last night (episode 2.12, How to Fall in Love) will screen tonight. Also, TV1 has confirmed that the Sunday timeslot for Mad About You has been dropped.



24th September, 1998

October Foxtel Schedule: I'd forgotten that the October Foxtel Guide would be out soon, yet it was waiting for me in my mailbox yesterday. For some reason, it included a copy of New Idea. For the conspiracy minded, one could tie this to the slightly more glossy feel of Fox Entertainment News on Tuesday -- I'm really hoping that's not the case, and that it will go back to its usual high quality next week.

In terms of scheduling, My So-Called Life is being pre-empted on Monday, 5th October in favour of a Melrose Place Special, and on Monday, 26th October in favour of specials on the making of Anastasia and Saturday Night Fever, the musical. The Guide also indicates that Season Five of Highlander will be shown on weekends, after all. I'm checking this with my source at Foxtel and will let you know the outcome. Also be aware that Daylight Saving commences in the early hours of Sunday, 25th October.

On FOX8, there've been significant changes to the early morning timeslots, the upshot of which is that many shows have lost their repeat timeslot; this includes Millennium on Fridays and The X-Files and Space: Above and Beyond on Sundays. I think this is a very bad trend, as one of the big advantages of pay TV is that things are repeated. So if you miss the first screening or if it clashes with a programme on free-to-air, you can generally still catch up. If you agree with me, I suggest you politely express your dissatisfaction the next time you ring Foxtel, and ask that they restore these repeat timeslots.

Dharma & Greg Coming to FOX8: One of my favourite shows from last season, Dharma & Greg, is coming to FOX8! It starts on Thursday, 29th October at 8:30pm (repeated 1:00am). To make room, Ellen is being moved earlier and The Five Mrs Buchanan's is being dropped (not a big loss, I feel).

Caroline's Back! With the Commonwealth Games over, Nine is bringing back Caroline in the City on Monday nights at 8:00pm, in support of Friends. The last time this show aired, Nine cut it off half-way through the season, so don't be surprised if you can't remember details about the characters. But it's definitely worth watching -- in my opinion, much funnier than Suddenly Susan or Veronica's Closet, which have shared this timeslot since Caroline disappeared.

Merlin on Foxtel: If you missed the two-part TV movie, Merlin, on Channel Nine a few months ago, Hallmark will be playing it from 8:30pm on Saturday, 31st October. Presumably, it will be repeated in early November.

The Day of the Roses on Ten: Channel Ten have started advertising their mini-series about the Granville Bridge collapse, The Day of the Roses, as coming soon. So far, no date has been advertised, but this is likely to be worth watching.

Movie News: Mission Impossible 2 is scheduled to begin shooting in Sydney in January, starring Tom Cruise (please don't pester him if you see him). Also, Star Wars: Episode I (still without a proper title) has just wrapped shooting. George Lucas is apparently considering filming part of Episode II in Australia. For more information, you could try the Official Website.



18th September, 1998

Just a quick update to the item, Seven in Disarray, below. The information is really only applicable to Melbourne, where the disruption is specifically due to the AFL. In Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, etc, The Visitor starts next Thursday at 7:30pm. In Adelaide, Stargate SG-1 is on, screening the episode Melbourne saw yesterday. Channel Seven tends to do this a lot, so if in doubt, check your region at Sofcom's TV Guide.



17th September, 1998

New Episodes of The X-Files and Millennium on Foxtel: Season Five of The X-Files is likely to start screening on FOX8 on the 22nd November (following directly from Season Four episodes). Season Two of Millennium has already been confirmed to start in just over a week, on the 25th September. In related news, Foxtel currently only have rights to the first season of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, as Seven is still sitting on the remainder of Season Two.

Seven in Disarray: Seven's broadcast schedule (at least in Melbourne) is going to be a bit messy next week, largely because of footy finals. Ally McBeal is moving an hour earlier, while both Millennium and Stargate SG-1 won't air. Perhaps to make up for it, Jurassic Park and Beverly Hills Cop will be shown consecutively on Thursday night from 7:30pm.

Episode Guides Updated for Highlander, et al: I've updated most of the episode lists to reflect new scheduling info. The biggest changes were made to my guide for Highlander. A bit of research (thanks Sonja) reveals why every Highlander site seems to have a different episode order in Seasons Four and Five.

The short version is that my guide has now been updated to the "correct" order. The long version is that, when it became clear that Season Five would only have 18 episodes, two episodes were moved down from Season Four. The two chosen were Double Jeopardy, which is essentially a stand-alone, and One Minute to Midnight, which hence became the conclusion to an end-of-season cliffhanger. The other change I've made (involving The Stone of Scone) isn't as easily explained.

Highlander Streams Cross Soon: Next weekend (25-27th September), the two streams of Highlander that FOX8 has been showing will cross over. That means the same episode will be shown on Friday and Saturday. Unfortunately, the weekend stream's first-run status will be short-lived, as it will return to the start of Season One after the last episode of Season Four (One Minute to Midnight).

Return of E! News to Ten: It was back, last night, and there have been some improvements. The news-desk approach packs in a lot more information, so that's a step forward. But the programme still seems a bit light on the ground: it's still very tabloid, and I really didn't learn anything much.

Best Panel Ever: I don't know why, but I just couldn't stop laughing during last night's episode of The Panel! Some weeks, it's easy to turn off; this time, I couldn't tear myself away. Perhaps it was because four of the panel members were from D-Gen, so there were no holds barred -- they were certainly going at each other with a vengeance. My only complaint was that Rob and Mick's little private dialogues ended up obscuring some of the other panel members' better jokes.



16th September, 1998

Friends' 100th Episode: Friends is back on in the US from the 24th September. Actually all our favourite shows are starting new seasons soon in the States (Including The Simpsons, on 20th September). What's strange is that Fox Entertainment News last night reported a celebration of Friends' 100th episode. Yet that episode won't air until the 8th October (my estimate). Hmmm. I don't get it.

Titanic soon on sale: In another report, Fox Entertainment News was discussing the imminent release of Titanic on video next month. I got the impression rental and retail releases will be simultaneous. Some of their interviewees were talking about Titanic revolutionising the video sales industry. I think their argument was something like: everyone's going to buy Titanic, so no-one will be renting it, but once people own a single video, they're far more likely to buy more. Personally, I'm a little skeptical. What's more, I bet no-one will be selling the superior, wide-screen version...

Commonwealth Games on the Web: It's hard to avoid the Commonwealth Games on our TVs at the moment. And given how erratic and unstructured Nine's telecast can be (though I haven't actually watched much of it), sometimes there's no recourse but to check the website -- to find those obscure results that you really wanted to know. So I head over to Nine's Commonwealth Games website, and I'm floored to see something truly useful! Not only does the site provide a detailed schedule of all events, there's also a cut-down schedule of all events that Nine is likely to broadcast! (For example, here's today's.) Now if only they'd provided more links between related pages...

You may also be interested to know that the Games appear to be rating quite well -- perhaps better than some people feared. What disturbs me is the continuing exclusive fascination with Australian competitors, and often only Australian winners. Perhaps it's not as relevant to the Commonwealth as the Olympic Games, but when I watch these events, I watch to see some spectacular competition in the sport, and I don't really care who wins. Of course, if an Aussie wins (or a Lithuanian, in the Olympics), that's a pleasant bonus. But first and foremost I'm watching the sport, not the result. I guess I'm in the minority. :(



10th September, 1998

E! Returns: A revamped E! News returns to Ten in a new timeslot next Wednesday at 8:00pm, taking the place vacated by Just Shoot Me having completed its first season. By the look of the ad, there's hope that the new version won't be quite as tabloid as the old, but perhaps that's just wishful thinking.



3rd September, 1998

Due South Returns! (But only in Sydney). Due South is back on Seven in Sydney, showing new episodes on Mondays at 10:30pm. I rang the Melbourne station to find out when it might be back on in Melbourne, and all they could say was, "maybe once the footy finishes." Sigh.

Still in Sydney, Seven is replaying Season One episodes of Millennium on Wednesday nights, presumably waiting for Melbourne to catch up.

Bloody SBS! Rescheduling South Park to clash with Red Dwarf on the ABC! The nerve!

Instant Updates: Changes to the way I update my site now mean that updates appear on the web as soon as I upload them (rather than at midnight, as previously). I normally update mid to late afternoon, so evening visitors should be getting more timely information from now on.



1st September, 1998

I'm back from an awesome week's skiing! Despite alternately patchy and slushy snow, we all had a great time at Mt Hotham.

Scheduling Changes: First off, Friends had a marathon of four, non-sequential episodes last night that throws the rest of the season into doubt. So don't trust my updated predictions too much. Second, beware some one-off scheduling changes on Sunday, 20th September on FOX8. Basically, both The X-Files and Space: Above & Beyond are being shifted back half an hour, and the last repeat of The Simpsons (normally at 5:00am) is being replaced by a repeat of King of the Hill (at 5:30am). TV1 have also dropped the Sunday screening of Mad About You for September.

More Millennium on Foxtel: Millennium is the first show to start screening this season's episodes on FOX8. Season Two will commence on Friday, 25th September at 9:30pm, four weeks before Seven concludes the season in Melbourne.

Ally's a Funny Laugh: I'm not sure what I was expecting of Ally McBeal -- perhaps something like Friends. But that sure ain't what it delivered. After a few moments' readjustment, I really enjoyed the show, despite how pathetic Ally can sometimes be. I particularly like the device of the unisex toilet -- regardless of dubious plausibility, it's a great way of getting the characters talking. Looks like we have a winner!



20th August, 1998

Ally McBeal Rescheduled: Although it may differ in other markets, Melbourne isn't premiering Ally McBeal until next Sunday night, 30th August. Subsequently, the show will take up residence at 8:30pm on Monday nights (gee, Mondays are getting busy).



18th August, 1998

The Oz TV Gazette: Rather than the mouthful I had before, I've finally come up with a name for this website. I've also added a navigation bar and, the really big news, screening information for individual episodes. This last will allow you to properly plan your viewing, together with the season broadcast info already being provided. I don't intend to update this information very often -- generally just at the start of each new season, or if there's a change in the broadcast schedule (which I'll announce on this page first). Finally, the X-Files and Millennium episode names have been linked to Tony Lammens' old episode synopses at Sofcom. I won't be maintaining these, but they do serve as a quick check of what an episode is about. If you have any comments or suggestions regarding the new format and new info, please don't hesitate to .

Ally McBeal coming next week: Apparently, Ally McBeal is coming to Seven next Monday, 24th August at 8:30pm. This show was one of a very few successful shows premiered in last year's US ratings season. Seven have been promoting it heavily (with some justification), even showing the ad in cinemas. If you ever needed proof that modern TV has really bad picture quality, watching a TV ad on a cinema screen will remove all doubt! Ally will also be appearing on FOX8 on Foxtel next year.

Mad About You dropped from Sundays: TV1 will be dropping Mad About You from their Sunday line-up for September (and possibly thereafter). The last Sunday screening will take place on the 30th August.



12th August, 1998

Happy birthday to The Simpsons at Sofcom! The Simpsons at Sofcom (also known by other names) celebrates its first birthday today.

Murphy and Jay Find New Niches: Murphy Brown is coming to FX, on Foxtel, some time "soon" according to last night's Fox Entertainment News. What's more, Jay Leno, currently screening on the Comedy Channel, is going to be borrowed by Seven, it seems. So if Letterman is wearing thin, Jay may come as a sweet salve (although actually there's not that much between them).



8th August, 1998

X-Files hiatus; nearer the Millennium: This week may have seen the last episode of The X-Files for a while, as it is not scheduled to screen next week. Of course, Ten may just decide to give it a few weeks' rest as they decide which season's repeats they should be screening. In the meantime, Millennium is only two weeks away from the end of Season Two in Sydney and related regions. Don't miss the first of two parts next Wednesday.

More cast cross-overs: Last night's episode of Millennium in Melbourne featured a familiar face in the Alaskan sheriff (the episode was Luminary, for our northern brethren). Okay, so he may not have been familiar to everyone, but the point I want to make is that a lot of these semi-Canadian productions seem to reuse the same actors. This is no bad thing, but can lead to some interesting surprises.

The shows involved in this "cross-casting" include Chris Carter's collection (X-Files, Millennium and Space: Above and Beyond), Highlander, and even Due South. All of these feature amongst my favourite shows, so you can understand why I notice. In this particular case, the common link is Highlander (which only screens on Foxtel in Australia) -- the Alaskan sheriff played the Immortal, Thorne. Of course, the two roles aren't that dissimilar. More extreme was the appearance of the actor who plays Ray in the third season of Due South, as a violent and evil Immortal in a third season episode of Highlander. Interestingly, I think the latter came first!



5th August, 1998

Double Trouble for Ally McBeal: Seven has started promoting Ally McBeal, one of the most successful new shows of the just-finished American season. Not to be outdone, Foxtel have announced that Ally will also be coming to FOX8 some time next year! So if you miss it on FTA, you'll be able to catch it in full on cable.

X-Files Interviews: Old news, perhaps, but on Sunday, FOX8 screened a special on the premier of The X-Files movie. Despite some truly dumb presenters (from America's E! Network), it was interesting to hear what some of the people involved in producing the movie had to say. Strangely, the bigger the star, the less interesting were their comments, with the possible exception of Chris Carter.



4th August, 1998

Welcome to the launch of my TV episode list pages!

This site has grown from The Simpsons Australian Broadcast Information Website, which I also maintain. This site has two main goals. First, to provide a more appropriate place for me to post news about TV shows other than The Simpsons. Second, I've been tracking a number of my favourite shows on both Foxtel and free-to-air, and I wanted to finally provide this information to a larger audience.

So what will you find in these pages? First, this news page will cover news relevant to a variety of TV shows. If you've been following my Simpsons News Page, you'll have an idea of the sorts of things I consider newsworthy: new or altered timeslots, deviations from the episode order, cancellations, and even news about the show in the USA, including production, cast and broadcast info.

Second, I present my very own episode lists, finally reformatted to HTML. Episodes are shown by season, in correct screening order, and will be updated with new seasons and new episodes as the information comes my way. I call them episode lists because I don't provide episode synopses or other information usually found in full episode guides.

Third, in order to help you take control of your viewing, particularly where you want to catch a favourite repeat episode, I'm providing information about which seasons are being broadcast on which station at what time. In the near future, this will be expanded to include "next air date" information alongside the episode lists.

All this has been put together in just a few hours, so expect further refinements over the coming weeks (navigation is at the top of the list). And feel free to any comments or suggestions you might have.

So sit back and enjoy!

Pre-Gazette non-Simpsons News Archive: 1997 - 8/1998.



These pages are not affiliated with the producers of the various TV shows and are not intended to infringe their copyrights.

If you have any suggestions or contributions regarding this page, please email .

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

Last Updated: 25-March-1999