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.