Friday, 11 July 2008

Lovers of Quality TV Unite

Now, I don't want to suggest that Channel 9 have hit absolute rock bottom and may as well sell out to Alan Bond again for all the good it will do them in the ratings but....

ONE of the most famous stories in the history of Australian commercial television is about to have its ending rewritten. On September 4, 1992, when Kerry Packer was still running the Nine Network, he ordered Doug Mulray's Naughtiest Home Video Show off the air halfway through a broadcast. Offended by the home video clips of a couple making love, and dogs and cats trying to mate with different animals, Packer telephoned the presentation department at the station and network presentation manager Michael Healy at home. There was no discussion. Packer simply said: "Get this shit off the air." So the show was pulled after just 34 minutes and replaced by re-runs of Cheers.

Sixteen years on, and three years after the death of Packer, it was assumed the program had been lost. That was until head of factual television John McAvoy went searching for it, eventually uncovering an old broadcast quality tape on a dusty bookshelf in the bowels of TCN9, in Sydney's leafy Willoughby. Now the chief programmer at Nine, Healy watched the tape and decided it deserved another airing. A date for the broadcast has yet to be decided. Billed as "the show Kerry Packer didn't want you to see" Diary reckons it will be a hit, albeit a one-off.

So, when going gets tough and everything's going south the network that's apparently "Still the one" turn to a show featuring people fondling the knackers of a kangaroo.

The only way I'll accept this as a great piece of television programming is if they get to exactly the same moment they did the first time and once again rip it off air for a repeat of Cheers.

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