ABC TV shuns Australia Day

Australia Day this year will have a disappointing representation on television this year with low visibility in upcoming programming.

The ABC in particular seems to be all but shunning the occasion this year with its primetime viewing dominated by British programmes.

This year January 26 is on a Saturday, and aside from two early entries, the ABC will stick to its traditional British shows. At 6:30pm it will screen Gardening Australia followed by a ten minute Australia Day message from the Governor General. But from 7:30pm to 11:50pm it will screen Doc Martin, The Bill and a repeat of Frances Tuesday -all British.

It’s an unusual line-up for a national broadcaster with a charter that fosters,”Broadcasting programs that contribute to a sense of national identity and inform and entertain, and reflect the cultural diversity of, the Australian community.” Just not on Australia Day? Perhaps the new Communications Minister might like to be looking into this matter too.

Meanwhile SBS has a slightly a better patriotic hit rate with a mix of World News Australia, Mythbusters, Iron Chef, followed by the Australian-made The Movie Show, Ten Canoes and Crocodile Dreaming.

In the land of the Commercials, TEN will be dominated by Friends and US movies, The Truman Show (it’s directed by an Aussie….), Intolerable Cruelty and Nick of Time. Unlike previous years TEN has now lost the Australia Day Live Concert to Nine.

Nine has a strong Aussie line up the night before with Australian Geographic, Australia Day Live Concert and the Australian of the Year Announcement. On the day itself Nine reverts to its Summer Saturday programming with Australia’s Funniest Home Videos, Survivor: China, Wife Swap: USA and Waking The Dead.

Under embargo until Thursday, TV Tonight can’t yet tell you what Seven has planned but it’s nothing to wave the flag about either.


  1. The producer of the programming from Canberra are hardly patriot either. Rather than hire an Aussie to mix the pictures, they’ve gone for a pommy backpacker. Shame, Shame, Shame.

  2. Well, technically Mythbusters is an Australian production 😉

    Really, why on earth SHOULD television networks get all jingoistic for Australia Day? As Sillyghosty says, it’s not exactly a day to be proud of, unless you’re one of those flag-wearing Cronulla types re-enacting the White Australia Policy on an annual basis.

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