1996 in Australian television

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List of years in Australian television

Events[edit]

  • Australian television celebrates its 40th birthday with celebrations lasting throughout the year. The actual birthday was on 16 September.
  • Jessica Rowe joins Ten News Sydney in January to co-anchor with Ron Wilson for the next nine years.
  • 1 January – To celebrate the start of the new year, ABC-TV debuts a series of new idents featuring people doing various activities using inspiration and fun. As they do so, they draw the ABC's famous worm logo. The logo then fades before the video fades to black and the words "it's your abc" appear.
  • 12 February - Midday With Kerri-Anne (12pm, Nine) marks the return of the traditional variety format to the Midday brand, with Kerri-Anne Kennerley taking over from last year’s co-hosts Tracy Grimshaw and David Reyne. More tributes to Hey Hey It’s Saturday‘s talent quest Red Faces continues with The Best And Worst Of Red Faces No.7 (7.30pm, Nine), featuring more classic acts prior to 1995. Nine’s new police drama Water Rats (8.30pm, Nine) debuts with a two-hour episode, starring Colin Friels, Catherine McClements, Sophie Heathcote and Aaron Jeffery.
  • 16 February – A brand new state-based news and currents affairs program titled Stateline premieres on ABC at 6:00 pm and was shown every Friday evening. The show focus on issues concerning different states of Australia.
  • 19 February – Australia's favourite koala Blinky Bill returns to the ABC for a brand new series titled Blinky Bill's Extraordinary Excursion at 4:30 pm. The series follows the adventures of Blinky and the gang who were lost while on an excursion and helping other animals in a situation while trying to find their way back to Greenpatch.
  • 18 March - 40 Years Of Television airs on the Seven Network, hosted by entertainers Garry McDonald and Magda Szubanski.
  • 20 March – American sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun debuts on Seven Network.
  • April – Constable Wayne Patterson, portrayed by Grant Bowler, is killed in a car crash on the Blue Heelers episode An Act of Random Violence. Bowler departed the series.
  • 3 April – The Ferals return to the ABC with a five-minute sequel series titled Feral TV at 5:25 pm. The series also introduces new characters such as Kerry the Cane Toad and Rodney the Cockroach and follows the mischievous animals and their mishaps at a pirate television station.
  • June – Liz Hayes quits the Today Show after 11 years and joins the 60 Minutes team, Tracy Grimshaw replaces Hayes on Today to co-host for the next nine years before leading up to A Current Affair from 2006 onwards.
  • 3 June – Australian children's comedy series The Genie from Down Under a co-production between ACTF, the ABC (Australia) and the BBC (UK) begins screening on ABC every Monday at 5:00 pm.
  • 12 July – After 12 years John Burgess retires as host of Wheel of Fortune. The following Monday, former Sale of the Century quizmaster, Tony Barber returns to TV and begins hosting a failed run which lasts for the remainder of the year. WOF relocates from Adelaide to Sydney during this time. Wheel of Fortune was nearly cancelled at the end of 1996 after dismal ratings, but the show continued its long run instead.
  • 18 July – Australian long running children's television series Play School celebrates its 30th birthday with a one-hour special on ABC at 4:00 pm.
  • August – After a stand-off over who would air the show first with Seven owning the rights to the early seasons and Nine the current seasons, despite Seven not renewing the Warner Bros. output deal,[1] the first season of Friends screens on the Seven Network, almost two years after it premiered in the United States. Season two begins on the Nine Network in December.
  • 14 September - Sale Of The Century begins its 40 years of television celebrity challenge special, then at 8.30pm the two hour special 40 Years Of Television — The Reel History goes to air on the Nine Network.
  • 18 September - The Nine Network at 8.30pm airs another 40th Anniversary tribute special to Australian Television 40 Years Of Television — Then And Now, presented by Don Lane.
  • 19 September – 1.9 million watch Kerri-Anne Kennerley and treasurer Peter Costello dancing the Macarena live on the Midday Show.
  • 1 December – Grant Piro presents the final episode of Couch Potato for 1996 on ABC with reruns of the Australian children's educational TV series Lift Off and the American children's mystery TV series Ghostwriter. This also marks his very last day as presenter of the series since 1991.
  • 10 December – Final episode of the Australian drama series G.P. screens on ABC.

New channels[edit]

Debuts[edit]

Domestic[edit]

Program Channel Debut date
Pacific Drive Nine Network 29 January
Water Rats Nine Network 12 February
Who Dares Wins Seven Network 14 February
Stateline ABC 16 February
Blinky Bill's Extraordinary Excursion ABC 19 February
Time Masters Seven Network 1 April
Feral TV ABC 3 April
Good News Week ABC 19 April
Recovery ABC 20 April
Sweat Network Ten 20 April
Mercury ABC 2 May
Australian Story ABC 29 May
Crocadoo Nine Network 31 May
Where You Find the Ladybird Network Ten 1 July
Sun on the Stubble ABC 14 July
The Silver Brumby Network Ten 3 August
The Music Shop Network Ten 5 August
The Adventures of the Bush Patrol Seven Network 1 September
Medivac Network Ten 10 September
Twisted Tales Nine Network 2 December
In Pit Lane C31 Melbourne 1996
House Gang SBS 1996

International[edit]

Program Channel Debut date
United States LAPD: Life on the Beat Network Ten 5 January
Canada Road to Avonlea Network Ten 6 January
United States The Mask Seven Network 6 January
United States The Wizard of Oz Network Ten 6 January
United States/France Creepy Crawlers Network Ten 12 January
United Kingdom Travels A La Carte SBS 13 January
United Kingdom Goggle-Eyes ABC 17 January
Japan Button Nose Network Ten 20 January
United Kingdom Teenage Health Freak ABC 22 January
United Kingdom In the Company of Men ABC 22 January
United States Central Park West Nine Network 23 January
United States King Arthur and the Knights of Justice Network Ten 27 January
United States Dumb and Dumber Seven Network 3 February
United States Cro ABC 4 February
United Kingdom The All New Alexei Sayle Show ABC 5 February
United States JAG Seven Network 5 February
United Kingdom The Biz ABC 9 February
United States Hudson Street Network Ten 11 February
United States The New Adventures of Speed Racer Network Ten 11 February
United Kingdom Pirates ABC 11 February
United Kingdom Spender Network Ten 15 February
United Kingdom Pride and Prejudice (1995) ABC 3 March
United States Phantom 2040 Seven Network 9 March
United States Extreme Network Ten 16 March
United States Hawkeye Seven Network 19 March
United States 3rd Rock from the Sun Seven Network 20 March
United States Ned and Stacey Network Ten 20 March
United Kingdom Mortimer and Arabel ABC 5 April
United States Little Mouse on the Prairie Network Ten 6 April
Canada Stickin' Around (minisodes) ABC 12 April
United Kingdom Out of the Blue Seven Network 13 April
United States Tales from the Crypt Seven Network 13 April
United States The Maxx SBS 13 April
United Kingdom The Choir ABC 14 April
United States Star Trek: Voyager Nine Network 16 April
United States American Gothic Network Ten 17 April
United States Mrs. Piggle Wiggle Network Ten 19 April
United Kingdom Bugs Seven Network 19 April
United States Street Sharks Network Ten 20 April
United Kingdom Elidor ABC 28 April
United States The New Adventures of Madeline ABC 1 May
United Kingdom Monty ABC 1 May
United States Flipper (1995) Network Ten 4 May
United Kingdom The Thin Blue Line ABC 6 May
Japan Sailor Moon Seven Network 16 May
Canada Madison ABC 17 May
United States Shelley Duvall's Bedtime Stories Network Ten 17 May
United States Aaahh!!! Real Monsters ABC 29 May
United States/New Zealand Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Network Ten 1 June
United Kingdom/Australia The Genie From Down Under ABC 3 June
United States The Single Guy Network Ten 6 June
United Kingdom TV World: Time Traveller SBS 16 June
United Kingdom Kavanagh QC ABC 21 June
United Kingdom Hamish Macbeth ABC 23 June
United States/United Kingdom/Germany Secret Life of Toys ABC 1 July
France Insektors ABC 1 July
United States Fudge Network Ten 8 July
United States Winnetka Road Network Ten 9 July
United Kingdom/Wales Gogs ABC 12 July
United States Action Man (1995) Network Ten 12 July
United States The Amazing Live Sea Monkeys ABC 17 July
United States The Marvel Action Hour Network Ten 20 July
United Kingdom Just William ABC 21 July
United States The Secret World of Alex Mack ABC 22 July
United States The Brain: Our Universe Within SBS 28 July
United Kingdom Cardiac Arrest ABC 29 July
United Kingdom Father Ted Nine Network 30 July
United Kingdom Animal Hospital Nine Network 30 July
United States The Jeff Foxworthy Show Network Ten 3 August
United Kingdom My Good Friend ABC 3 August
United States Friends[1] Seven Network 4 August
Germany The Swine SBS 5 August
United States Almost Perfect Seven Network 5 August
France Mot ABC 5 August
United Kingdom The Final Cut ABC 16 August
United States Kirk Nine Network 20 August
United States What-a-Mess (USA) ABC 29 August
United States Jim Henson's Animal Show Seven Network 31 August
United Kingdom Black Hearts in Battersea ABC 1 September
United Kingdom/Wales Operavox: The Animated Operas ABC 1 September
United States VR Troopers Network Ten 2 September
United States Malibu Shores Network Ten 29 September
United States Savannah Network Ten 8 October
United Kingdom William's Wish Wellingtons ABC 22 October
United States New York Daze Nine Network 30 October
United States Bump in the Night ABC 5 November
United States M.A.N.T.I.S. Network Ten 20 November
United Kingdom Silent Witness ABC 22 November
United States/Canada Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years Nine Network 25 November
United States Earthworm Jim Network Ten 29 November
United States 7th Heaven Network Ten 30 November
United States Nash Bridges Seven Network 2 December
United States The Drew Carey Show Nine Network 3 December
United States Kindred: The Embraced Network Ten 4 December
United States/Canada The Sentinel Network Ten 4 December
United States Boston Common Network Ten 5 December
United States The Wright Verdicts Network Ten 5 December
United Kingdom Bramwell Nine Network 6 December
United States Pointman Nine Network 6 December
United States Muppets Tonight Seven Network 6 December
United States Brotherly Love Seven Network 6 December
France/United States Iznogoud Seven Network 7 December
United States/New Zealand Xena: Warrior Princess Network Ten 7 December
United States Caroline in the City Nine Network 9 December
United States Santo Bugito ABC 19 December
France Fire from the Earth SBS 20 December
United States Wishbone Nine Network 23 December
United States Duckman Seven Network 23 December
United Kingdom Space Precinct Seven Network 23 December
United States Thunder in Paradise Seven Network 27 December
United States Dexter's Laboratory Seven Network 28 December
United Kingdom/Republic of Ireland Ballykissangel ABC 31 December
United States The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show Seven Network 1996
United States Jin Jin and the Panda Patrol Seven Network 1996
France The Bots Master Seven Network 1996
United States Freakazoid! Nine Network 1996

Changes to network affiliation[edit]

This is a list of programs which made their premiere on an Australian television network that had previously premiered on another Australian television network. The networks involved in the switch of allegiances are predominantly both free-to-air networks or both subscription television networks. Programs that have their free-to-air/subscription television premiere, after previously premiering on the opposite platform (free-to air to subscription/subscription to free-to air) are not included. In some cases, programs may still air on the original television network. This occurs predominantly with programs shared between subscription television networks.

Domestic[edit]

Program New network(s) Previous network(s) Date
Hey Dad..! Network Ten Seven Network 1996

International[edit]

Program New network(s) Previous network(s) Date
United Kingdom Count Duckula Network Ten ABC 22 August
United States Friends[6] Nine Network Seven Network 9 December

Subscription premieres[edit]

This is a list of programs which made their premiere on Australian subscription television that had previously premiered on Australian free-to-air television. Programs may still air on the original free-to-air television network.

Domestic[edit]

Program Subscription network Free-to-air network Date
The Adventures of Blinky Bill Fox Kids ABC 3 June
Blinky Bill's Extraordinary Excursion Fox Kids ABC 1996
Fast Forward The Comedy Channel Seven Network 1996
The Big Gig The Comedy Channel ABC 1996
The Comedy Company The Comedy Channel Network Ten 1996

International[edit]

Program Subscription network Free-to-air network Date
United States Droopy Dog Cartoon Network Seven Network 1 January
United States H.R. Pufnstuf Nickelodeon Nine Network
Network Ten
March
United States Mother Goose and Grimm Nickelodeon 14 April
United States/United Kingdom Where's Wally Nickelodeon ABC 20 April
United Kingdom Dr. Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop Nickelodeon 5 May
United States Mickey Mouse and Friends Disney Channel June
United States Donald's Quack Attack Disney Channel June
United States The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh Disney Channel Seven Network June
United States The Muppet Show Disney Channel Seven Network
Nine Network
Network Ten
June
United States Muppet Babies Disney Channel Network Ten June
United States Dumbo's Circus Disney Channel June
United States DuckTales Disney Channel Seven Network June
United States TaleSpin Disney Channel Seven Network June
United States Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers Disney Channel Seven Network June
United States Gargoyles Disney Channel Seven Network June
United States Bill Nye the Science Guy Disney Channel June
United States Mousercise Disney Channel June
United Kingdom Rockliffe's Babies UKTV 5 August
United States Big Bag Cartoon Network 7 September
United States Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous[7] TV1 Nine Network 4 November
United States Captain Planet and the Planeteers Cartoon Network ABC
Canada Groundling Marsh Fox Kids
United States The Tracey Ullman Show Fox8 ABC
Canada Mom P.I. Disney Channel
United States Huckleberry Hound Cartoon Network Nine Network
Seven Network
United States 2 Stupid Dogs Cartoon Network Seven Network
United States Crazy Like a Fox Disney Channel Network Ten
Canada Polka Dot Door Horizon Learning Channel
Canada Bookmice Horizon Learning Channel
United Kingdom Girls on Top The Comedy Channel ABC
United States Simon The Comedy Channel
United Kingdom EastEnders UKTV ABC
United Kingdom The Good Life UKTV ABC
Seven Network
Network Ten
United Kingdom The New Statesman The Comedy Channel Seven Network
United States Beavis and Butt-head The Comedy Channel
United Kingdom Hi-De-Hi! UKTV ABC
New Zealand Shortland Street UKTV SBS
United States Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics Cartoon Network Nine Network
Seven Network
United States Boy Meets World Disney Channel Nine Network
United Kingdom Doctor Who UKTV ABC
United States Dinosaurs Disney Channel Seven Network
Canada/France/New Zealand White Fang Disney Channel
United States Dallas Fox8 Network Ten
United Kingdom The Goodies UKTV ABC
Seven Network
Network Ten
United Kingdom All Creatures Great and Small UKTV ABC
United Kingdom The Two Ronnies UKTV ABC
Seven Network
United Kingdom The Piglet Files The Comedy Channel Seven Network
United Kingdom Top of the Pops UKTV
United States Adventures in Wonderland Disney Channel
Canada Join In! Horizon Learning Channel
United Kingdom Danger UXB UKTV ABC


Changes to network affiliation[edit]

This is a list of programs which made their premiere on an Australian television network that had premiered on another Australian television network. The networks involved in the switch of allegiances are predominantly both free-to-air networks or both subscription television networks. Programs that have their free-to-air/subscription television premiere, after having premieed on the opposite platform (free-to air to subscription/subscription to free-to air) are not included. In some cases, programs may still air on the original television network. This occurs predominantly with programs shared between subscription television networks.

International[edit]

Program New network(s) Previous network(s) Date
United States Tom and Jerry Cartoon Network Max 1 January
United States Quick Draw McGraw Cartoon Network Max 21 January
Canada/United States ReBoot Nickelodeon Max 3 February
United Kingdom Eye of the Storm Nickelodeon Max 3 February
United Kingdom Tales from Fat Tulip's Garden Nickeldeon Max 8 February
United States The Baby Huey Show Nickelodeon Max 9 March
United States Eerie, Indiana Nickelodeon Max 10 March
United Kingdom The Little Green Man Nickelodeon Max 16 March
Japan Astro Boy Nickelodeon Max 27 July
United Kingdom Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons Nickelodeon Max 1996

Television shows[edit]

ABC TV

Seven Network

Nine Network

Network Ten

Ending this year[edit]

Date Show Channel Debut
9 May Fire Seven Network 1995
28 June Mulligrubs Network Ten 1988
25 July Mercury ABC 2 May 1996
19 November Sweat Network Ten 20 April 1996
22 November Police Rescue ABC 1989
22 November Ship to Shore ABC
Nine Network
1993
10 December G.P. ABC 1989

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Browne, Rachel (3 August 1996). "Friends for life". The Sun-Herald. Sydney: Fairfax Media. p. 9. Retrieved 17 January 2010. 
  2. ^ Elder, Bruce (2 June 1996). "Disney to the rescue". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. p. 1. Retrieved 21 December 2009. The Disney Channel, which kicks off with the TV premiere of Aladdin at 6.30 pm on Saturday, June 8 
  3. ^ Eliezer, Christie (25 May 1996). "Oz to get 2nd music TV channel.". Billboard. 108 (21): 64. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 21 December 2009. Australia's second 24-hour music TV channel is set to roll out June 14. 
  4. ^ Freeman, Jane; Andrew Conway (30 June 1996). "The Joke Stops Here". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. p. 2. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  5. ^ Browne, Rachel (4 August 1996). "Sex on TV". The Sun-Herald. p. 4. Retrieved 10 July 2010. 
  6. ^ Mitchell, Lisa (28 November 1996). "Summer in the sitting room". The Age. Melbourne: Fairfax Media. p. 5. Retrieved 17 January 2010. 
  7. ^ BROWNE, RACHEL (12 October 1996). "In a bit of a stew". The Sun-Herald. Sydney: Fairfax Media. p. 100. Retrieved 27 December 2009.