Fright night

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - TIM MARTAIN

THIS year’s Lo­gie Awards were an ex­cel­lent demon­stra­tion of ev­ery­thing that is wrong with Aus­tralian tele­vi­sion at the mo­ment.

Even Gold Lo­gie- win­ner Hamish Blake joked openly about tak­ing the main award for most pop­u­lar per­son­al­ity, say­ing it was a fluke to be nom­i­nated and a big­ger fluke to ac­tu­ally win, at­tribut­ing it to don­key vot­ing.

Re­ferred to – mostly iron­i­cally these days – as Aus­tralian TV’S night of nights, the Lo­gies have be­come such a joke in re­cent years that no­body even wants to host the cer­e­mony any more for fear of the ridicule and harsh crit­i­cism that in­evitably fol­lows.

The de­layed broad­cast started about an hour late be­cause the pre­miere episode of Nine’s new re­al­ity/ tal­ent se­ries The Voice ran dras­ti­cally over time – if that wasn’t a de­lib­er­ate tac­tic by Nine to force more peo­ple to watch it, I’ll eat my hat.

Then there was the Her­ald- Sun’s now in­fa­mous leak, in which they an­nounced Hamish Blake as the Gold Lo­gie win­ner on­line nearly two hours be­fore it was an­nounced on air and even be­fore the an­nounce­ment had been made live.

Nine, which broad­casts the awards cer­e­mony ev­ery year, wedged in awk­ward cross- pro­mo­tions for their own shows at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity dur­ing the night.

And then there is the list of win­ners, which demon­strates very clearly the vast chasm be­tween the ex­cel­lent Aus­tralian pro­gram­ming we should be watch­ing and the dross we ac­tu­ally are watch­ing.

There are two types of awards given at the Lo­gies: the most- pop­u­lar cat­e­gories ( de­cided by SMS votes by view­ers and TV Week readers) and the mostout­stand­ing cat­e­gories ( peer- voted by oth­ers within the in­dus­try).

The game- chang­ing SBS doc­u­men­tary se­ries Go Back To Where You Came From was a wor­thy win­ner of Most Out­stand­ing Fac­tual Pro­gram, but the Most Pop­u­lar win­ner in the same cat­e­gory was Net­work Ten’s weekly dose of tourists be­ing pulled from the waves, Bondi Res­cue.

Most Pop­u­lar Drama Se­ries was Seven’s once proud but now pale se­ries Packed to the Rafters, while the Most Out­stand­ing Drama Se­ries was ABC’S edgy, con­fronting and crit­i­cally ac­claimed The Slap.

Seven’s Sunrise was nom­i­nated in the Most Pop­u­lar Light En­ter­tain­ment cat­e­gory ( ac­com­pa­nied by a blooper clip of Natalie Barr read­ing the news, so read into that what you will), and they lost out to Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year.

Out­stand­ing Public Af­fairs Re­port was awarded to ABC’S Sarah Fer­gu­son for her Four Cor­ners re­port on the ex­port of live Aus­tralian cat­tle to In­done­sia.

Yet Aus­tralian view­ers’ pre­ferred sources of public af­fairs pro­gram­ming are still To­day Tonight and A Cur­rent Af­fair. And with a new sur­vey pe­riod now upon us, our TV guides are full of last­minute changes, half- fin­ished sea­sons, over­lap­ping start/ fin­ish times and empty slots that say ‘‘ to be con­firmed’’.

Ex­cuse me while I read a book.

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