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1989 in Australian television

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List of years in Australian television

Below is a list of television-related events in 1989.


  • December 1988 / January – Young Talent Time was rested by Network Ten during the Cricket / Australian Open season. One week into January 1989 the network announced that the show would not return. Reasons given for YTT's axing are very bad ratings, unable to match rivals Seven or Nine.
  • January – Nine Network launches two brand new daytime talk shows: In Melbourne Today and In Sydney Today, which later merge to become Ernie and Denise.
  • January – Seven Network purchases the Australian television rights to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics for $40 million.
  • 13 January – American police drama series Hill Street Blues switches over to broadcast on ABC.
  • 25 January – Network Ten debuts a brand new evening drama series: E Street (1989–1993).
  • 30 January – Network Ten launches a brand new local morning series called Til Ten (1989–1991) hosted by Andrew Harwood and Joan McInnes.
  • 6 February – The Afternoon Show (1987–1993) returns to the ABC for another year with a brand new lineup of two programmes presented by James Valentine. The two programmes include the debut of the British children's animated series Count Duckula and a repeat of the very first episode of Doctor Who to feature Tom Baker, Robot.
  • 11 February – Long running Australian soap opera Home and Away starts airing in the UK for the very first time on ITV.
  • 13 February – Australian investigative journalism/current affairs program Four Corners (1961–present) returns to the ABC for another year with Andrew Olle as presenter once again.
  • 14 February – A brand new Australian sitcom called The Family Business (1989) starring Shane Withington debuts on Network Ten. The series ran for only one season and 13 episodes.
  • 14 February – American sitcom Roseanne premieres on Network Ten.
  • 28 February – A brand new live comedy series The Big Gig premieres on ABC (1989–1992).
  • 28 February – Australian miniseries Edens Lost debuts on ABC at 8:30pm. The series only ran for three episodes and was shown on three days and one week with a budget of only $A3.9 million.
  • 6 March – The Adventures of Spot, a British children's animated TV series based on the books by Eric Hill and aimed at pre-schoolers, debuts on the ABC.
  • 7 March – Australian drama series G.P. (1989–1996) debuts on the ABC.
  • 13 March – Australian version of the children's game show Double Dare (1989–1992) airs on Network Ten.
  • 15 March – First episode of the new Australian police drama Police Rescue (1989–1996) airs on the ABC.
  • 17 March – Bert Newton hosts the TV Week Logie Awards, telecast on the Seven Network for the first time.
  • 20 March – The Bert Newton Show and new soap opera The Power, The Passion launch on the Seven Network, only shown for a few months, but later cancelled after a strong competition win with Midday with Ray Martin.
  • 23 March – Long running Australian soap opera Home and Away begins airing on British forces television on BFBS and SSVC Television. The networks have transmitted the show in a range of countries including Germany, Cyprus, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands.
  • 31 March – Phase 1 of Aggregation of television services occurs in Southern NSW, with WIN Television becoming a regional Nine Network affiliate, Prime Television becoming the Seven Network affiliate & Capital Television (now Southern Cross Ten) becoming the Network Ten affiliate.
  • April – American TV executive Bob Shanks is hired by Network Ten to lift its ailing ratings.
  • 12 April – Accident-prone sketch comedy Fast Forward starring Steve Vizard, Marg Downey, Jane Turner, Gina Riley, Magda Szubanski (Kath & Kim) premieres on Seven Network (1989–1992).
  • 1 May – Australian children's programme Swap Shop returns to the ABC for a brand new series.
  • 6 May – Final episode of the Australian music television series The Factory (1987–1989) is broadcast on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation at 9:00am.
  • 8 May – Australian media analysis television program Media Watch (1989–2000, 2002–present) presented by Stuart Littlemore debuts on the ABC airing on Monday nights.
  • 8 May – Australian 7 episode sitcom Dearest Enemy starring Grigor Taylor, Frank Wilson and Bruce Spence premieres on ABC.
  • 26 May – Neighbours launches a newly revised theme song, with an overload of new cast members who will be "boned" or "suspended" from the soap indefinitely between now and 1994. Between August and November 1989 Neighbours suffered poor ratings with 290,000 national viewers compared to Seven's Home and Away 1,500,000 nationally. The new-look and re-recorded Neighbours theme was again sung by Barry Crocker, which was used until mid-1992.
  • 13 June – Australian children's sitcom Pugwall (1989–1991) debuts on the Nine Network.
  • 16 June – SBS launches a new television series called Eat Carpet (1989–2005). Hosted by Annette Shun Wah who was also the host of SBS's other television series MC Tee Vee and The Noise
  • 3 July – A new nightly version of the former long-running weekly Australian music television show Countdown airs on ABC with a new title Countdown Revolution hosted by Andy McLean, Lisa Collins and Daniel Woods. The show itself received a modest following and was axed the following year.
  • 22 July – American animated series ThunderCats airs on Seven Network in Victoria for the first time.
  • 23 July – After poor ratings, disgraced network Network Ten is relaunched as 10 TV Australia, introducing a new lineup with increased game show content. Most of the new shows are axed by the end of the year following bad ratings.
  • 29 July – Australian game show The Price is Right, again hosted by Ian Turpie, returns to television airing on 10 TV Australia at 7:30pm on Saturdays as part of the network's attempted revamp. Despite the show returning, only 12 episodes were lasted in the face of stiff competition of AFL coverage on most-watched rival Channel Seven.
  • 9 August – Greek-Australian sitcom, Acropolis Now premieres on Seven Network in Australia (1989–1992).
  • September – Network Ten is sold to Steve Cosser, head of Broadcom Australia, for $22 million.[citation needed]
  • 14 September – After very nasty ratings, the final episode of the Australian game show The Price is Right airs on Network Ten.
  • 9 October – Neighbours, Australian television's long running soap opera has been snapped up for television broadcasting in Germany when the series begins airing on Sat. 1 with the title beginning translated to Nachbarn.
  • 21 October – British science fiction sitcom Red Dwarf premieres on ABC.
  • 22 October – The 1985 film Back to the Future starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd premiers on Network Ten.
  • November – Jacki MacDonald quits Hey Hey It's Saturday after 11 years. McDonald is replaced by Denise Drysdale when the show returns in 1990.
  • 17 November – Australian dating game show Perfect Match airs its final episode on 10 TV Australia. The show was cancelled due to poor ratings, failing to match the success of its 1984 series, which broke records for 5:30pm.
  • December - The Seven Network wins the 1989 ratings year with a record of 34.0% share.
  • 16 December – The late Australian rock musician Brad Robinson of Australian Crawl fame presents a brand new Australia music program on 10 TV Australia called Spin.
  • 31 December – Phase 2 of Aggregation of Television services occurs in Orange & Wagga Wagga, with aggregation occurring in Wollongong and Canberra in March.



Program Network Debut date
E Street Network Ten 25 January
Til Ten Network Ten 30 January
Australia's Most Wanted Seven Network 5 February
Tanamera – Lion of Singapore Network Ten 7 February
The Family Business Network Ten 14 February
Edens Lost ABC TV 28 February
The Big Gig ABC TV 28 February
G.P. ABC TV 7 March
Double Dare Network Ten 13 March
Police Rescue ABC TV 15 March
The Bert Newton Show Seven Network 20 March
The Power, The Passion Seven Network 20 March
Couchman ABC TV 12 April
Fast Forward Seven Network 12 April
Living with the Law ABC TV 24 April
Media Watch ABC TV 8 May
Dearest Enemy ABC TV 8 May
This Man... This Woman ABC TV 24 May
Bunyip ABC TV 5 June
Pugwall Nine Network 13 June
Eat Carpet SBS TV 16 June
Club 10 Network Ten 17 June
Countdown Revolution ABC TV 3 July
Shadow of the Cobra Seven Network 23 July
Family Double Dare 10 TV Australia 24 July
Candid Camera on Australia 10 TV Australia 25 July
Superquiz 10 TV Australia 25 July
Happy Hatchday to Plasmo ABC TV 4 August
Acropolis Now Seven Network 9 August
Naked Under Capricorn Nine Network 17 September
Cassidy ABC TV 25 October
Bangkok Hilton 10 TV Australia 5 November
Grim Pickings Nine Network 15 November
Spin 10 TV Australia 16 December
Bright Sparks Unknown 1989

New international programming

Program Network Debut date
United Kingdom Lost Belongings ABC TV 2 January
United States Global Rivals SBS TV 3 January
United Kingdom Intimate Contact Network Ten 3 January
United Kingdom Talking Animals ABC TV 4 January
United States Brown Sugar SBS TV 4 January
United Kingdom How to Be Celtic SBS TV 22 January
New Zealand The Fire-Raiser ABC TV 30 January
United States Kids Incorporated Seven Network 30 January
United States Fast Times Network Ten 5 February
United States The Munsters Today Network Ten 5 February
United Kingdom Count Duckula ABC TV 6 February
United Kingdom Home James! ABC TV 6 February
United States China Beach Nine Network 6 February
United States Wiseguy Nine Network 7 February
United States Empty Nest Seven Network 10 February
Canada Bizarre Network Ten 13 February
United States Roseanne Network Ten 14 February
United States Mission: Impossible (1988) Nine Network 16 February
Czechoslovakia Roby and Boby on the Roads ABC TV 18 February
United States Thirtysomething Network Ten 21 February
Sweden Vicky the Viking ABC TV 23 February
United States Billionaire Boys Club Seven Network 27 February
Germany Topsy Turvy SBS TV 1 March
United Kingdom Floyd on Britain and Ireland SBS TV 4 March
Canada Concerto Grosso Modo ABC TV 6 March
United Kingdom The Adventures of Spot ABC TV 6 March
France/Japan/Switzerland/Italy Once Upon a Time... Life SBS TV 10 March
United Kingdom Henry's Leg ABC TV 20 March
United States Storybreak ABC TV 21 March
United States It's Garry Shandling's Show Nine Network 22 March
United States The Bronx Zoo Network Ten 29 March
United States/United Kingdom Jack the Ripper (1988) Seven Network 2 April
United States Of Pure Blood Nine Network 5 April
United States Rags to Riches Network Ten 8 April
United States War and Remembrance Network Ten 9 April
United States Midnight Caller Seven Network 12 April
United Kingdom Tripper's Day ABC TV 23 April
United Kingdom Blind Justice ABC TV 30 April
United Kingdom Aliens in the Family (1987) ABC TV 2 May
United Kingdom The Thatcher Factor SBS TV 4 May
United Kingdom White Peak Farm ABC TV 10 May
Canada Danger Bay ABC TV 16 May
United States Mama's Boy Nine Network 27 May
Hong Kong Pet and Pest SBS TV 2 June
United Kingdom The Secret World of Polly Flint ABC TV 5 June
Czechoslovakia Safari SBS TV 14 June
France The Image in the Mirror SBS TV 14 June
Sweden Xerxes SBS TV 15 June
United Kingdom Lizzie's Pictures ABC TV 18 June
Italy Mother Again SBS TV 20 June
Greece The Other Side of the River SBS TV 20 June
United Kingdom Dead Head ABC TV 21 June
United States Mr. Belvedere Seven Network 21 June
United Kingdom Codename: Kyril Seven Network 25 June
United Kingdom Farrington of the F.O. Seven Network 29 June
United States Dr. Fad Network Ten 3 July
United States Eisenhower and Lutz Network Ten 7 July
United States The New Mike Hammer Nine Network 13 July
Spain/Netherlands The World of David the Gnome ABC TV 14 July
United States Full House Seven Network 14 July
United Kingdom Hannay ABC TV 15 July
United States Superboy Nine Network 17 July
United States The Wonder Years 10 TV Australia 24 July
United States Quantum Leap 10 TV Australia 24 July
Netherlands Rising Waters SBS TV 25 July
United Kingdom Supersense ABC TV 27 July
United States Just the Ten of Us Nine Network 1 August
United States Teen Wolf Nine Network 5 August
United Kingdom The Road to War: Great Britain, Italy, Japan, USA ABC TV 6 August
Italy The Kids in 12C SBS TV 7 August
Germany The Show with the Mouse ABC TV 10 August
United States Superman Nine Network 12 August
Canada/United States My Pet Monster Seven Network 13 August
United Kingdom Odysseus: The Greatest Hero of Them All ABC TV 16 August
United States AlfTales Seven Network 27 August
United Kingdom/Australia The Heroes 10 TV Australia 27 August
Canada Diamonds Seven Network 28 August
United Kingdom Big World Cafe SBS TV 1 September
United States Lonesome Dove Seven Network 4 September
United States Everything's Relative 10 TV Australia 8 September
United Kingdom London Embassy ABC TV 10 September
Canada Ramona ABC TV 11 September
United States Baby Boom Seven Network 11 September
United Kingdom Out to Tuesday SBS TV 12 September
Canada Just for Laughs ABC TV 14 September
Malta The Maltese SBS TV 16 September
Canada T. and T. Seven Network 18 September
United Kingdom The Bell Seven Network 21 September
Canada My Secret Identity 10 TV Australia 21 September
United States Hollywood Legends ABC TV 23 September
United States C.O.P.S. Nine Network 23 September
United States Dennis the Menace (1986) ABC TV 2 October
United States The Van Dyke Show 10 TV Australia 5 October
United Kingdom Tickets for the Titanic SBS TV 8 October
United States Brotherhood of the Rose Seven Network 8 October
United States Around the World in 80 Days Nine Network 8 October
United States High Mountain Rangers 10 TV Australia 8 October
United States Denver, the Last Dinosaur Nine Network 9 October
United Kingdom Running Scared ABC TV 12 October
United States Raising Miranda 10 TV Australia 14 October
United States The Oldest Rookie Seven Network 15 October
United Kingdom Red Dwarf ABC TV 21 October
United Kingdom City Tails ABC TV 25 October
United States Windmills of the Gods Seven Network 29 October
United Kingdom A Very British Coup Seven Network 9 November
Australia/Italy The Magistrate ABC TV 15 November
United States Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theater Seven Network 19 November
United States Paradise Seven Network 19 November
United States Aaron's Way ABC TV 19 November
Canada/France The Smoggies ABC TV 20 November
United Kingdom The Ratties ABC TV 20 November
United States Married... with Children 10 TV Australia 20 November
United States Unsub Nine Network 21 November
United States Sonny Spoon Nine Network 22 November
United Kingdom Miss Marple Seven Network 22 November
United States Tattingers Nine Network 23 November
United Kingdom Dear John (UK) Seven Network 23 November
United Kingdom Pulaski: The TV Detective ABC TV 25 November
United States The Wizard 10 TV Australia 26 November
United Kingdom Chelmsford 123 ABC TV 28 November
United States TV 101 10 TV Australia 28 November
United States Buck James Nine Network 29 November
United States Private Eye 10 TV Australia 29 November
United Kingdom After Henry ABC TV 1 December
United Kingdom Andy Capp Seven Network 4 December
United Kingdom Game, Set and Match ABC TV 6 December
United Kingdom Vanity Fair (1989) ABC TV 9 December
United States Knightwatch Seven Network 10 December
United States Dirty Dancing Seven Network 11 December
United Kingdom Cover Her Face Nine Network 11 December
United States Leg Work 10 TV Australia 14 December
United Kingdom Simon and the Witch ABC TV 18 December
United States Secrets & Mysteries Nine Network 18 December
United States Square One Television ABC TV 18 December
United Kingdom Death of an Expert Witness Seven Network 18 December
United Kingdom Billy's Christmas Angels ABC TV 25 December
United States Nearly Departed Seven Network 26 December
Canada Night Heat Seven Network 26 December

Changes to network affiliation

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.


Program New network(s) Previous network(s) Date
The Price Is Right 10 TV Australia Seven Network 29 July


Program New network(s) Previous network(s) Date
United States Hill Street Blues ABC TV Nine Network 13 January
United States Gumby ABC TV Seven Network 20 February
United Kingdom Minder Seven Network ABC TV 2 May
United States/Japan ThunderCats Seven Network (Victoria) 10 TV Australia (Victoria) 22 July
United States Miami Vice 10 TV Australia Nine Network 30 August
United States The Abbott and Costello Cartoon Show ABC TV 10 TV Australia 9 October
United Kingdom Floyd on Fish ABC TV SBS TV 13 October
New Zealand Sea Urchins 10 TV Australia ABC TV 1989

Television shows





Ending this year

Date Show Channel Debut
January Young Talent Time Network Ten 1971
19 January University Challenge ABC TV 1987
31 January Rock Arena ABC TV 1982
3 February Earthwatch ABC TV 1979
4 February Rock Arena ABC TV 1982
15 February Tanamera – Lion of Singapore Network Ten 7 February 1989
24 February Ridgey Didge Network Ten 1987
2 March Edens Lost ABC TV 28 February 1989
14 March The Family Business Network Ten 14 February 1989
6 May The Factory ABC TV 1987
9 June Swap Shop ABC TV 1988
10 June The Early Bird Show Network Ten 1985
16 June The Oz Game ABC TV 1988
22 June Richmond Hill Network Ten 1988
30 June Bunyip ABC TV 5 June 1989
7 August Family Double Dare 10 TV Australia 24 July 1989
26 August Club 10 10 TV Australia 17 June 1989
14 September The Price Is Right 10 TV Australia 29 July 1989
17 November Perfect Match 10 TV Australia 1984
16 November Grim Pickings Nine Network 15 November 1989
17 November The Bert Newton Show Seven Network 20 March 1989

Returning this year

Date Show Channel Debut
29 July The Price Is Right 10 TV Australia 1981

See also


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1989 in Australian television
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