Psst! You want 70s nostalgia? Can we have these next please?

Paper Giants, Howzat!, Puberty Blues.… 70s nostalgia is in right now, due largely to producer John Edwards who is across all three, with co-producers Mimi Butler and Imogen Banks.

We’ve had The King showing us Graham Kennedy, and Prisoner is already inspiring a Foxtel reimagining.

So if the audience can’t get enough of the 1970s, there’s a whole lot more that could be mined yet.

Here are my ideas for some more subjects that could go behind the scenes with gaudy fashion and a 70s soundtrack.

In no particular order:

Kerry Packer running Nine . Let’s see a sequel managing his stable of stars not just the cricket, please?

Norman Gunston. A tale on the little Aussie bleeder and what lengths Garry McDonald went to with a rascal character, years ahead of his time. Could also incorporate The Aunty Jack Show.

Number 96. Seriously, this is screaming for a tell-all drama about how it awoke us to sexual TV. It was a world first. Who would play Abigail?

The Paul Hogan Show. Hogan and Strop already cast? Begins with Hoges as a contestant on New Faces.

Countdown. The ABC studios still stand where this landmark show was born. Tell us about how it revolutionised music TV and drew a generation to the small screen at 6:00 every Sunday. It put Aussie bands on the map and a guru into our hearts.

60 Minutes. It may have been a US format but how did three men open our eyes to international hot-spots with little more than a camera and a passport? Take it up to when Jana Wendt joined the show and broke through the male bastion.

Any more?


  1. @Bazza -“We used to have some very innovative television in this country.”
    Dead right. Our own, not copied from US and UK.
    Mavis Bramston, Norman Gunston, A Country Practice, Prisoner, IMT, Number 96 (saved TEN from closure), Young Talent Time, Hey Hey, Sunday, Midday, etc., etc., etc.

  2. There are a number of good comments here but I think I’m in most agreement with SusanP, in that most TV shows are ‘of their era’ and don’t really work these days.
    There have been so few satisfactory remakes that most attempts with these classics will simply sully the memory of the original.
    @Trix- I loved Norman G in his day but I’m sure that if I watched it now it would be aggravating rather than sidesplitting. (Altho’ I am still amused by the recollection of the dim sims and chicko rolls (served on a paper napkin!) that he offered his often high-profile guests!) And how hard would it be to cast NG? That face, that hair! That level of bland gormlessness surely appears only once in a century!

    I think Secret Squirrel, as he often does, has scored with his Countdown/Alvin Purple doco idea. A documentary-type production could be the answer – more so than a remake. I’d watch those.

  3. I remember the days of the ABC test card coming up at the end of the night’s transmission and being a young teen and dying for something else to be on! Then came Countdown. We used to have parties and sit up and watch it for hours…laugh and grog on and get silly etc. The famous bop on the nose for Molly etc too. Lot’s of memories.

    But going down memory lane can be a problematic direction. It’s like going back to the childhood town and everything seeming so strange and out of time…and you almost wishing you had left it as a memory.

    I think the Hey Hey revamp was a tad along those lines. I loved Norman Gunston when it was on but don’t think the humour would go down that well now. It would tend to be more annoying and lame…because now we’ve had another sorts of prank and quasi prank shows.

    Number 96? Yes..I can see that long as it wasn’t over-produced to death. I think the relative simplicity of much of the original was an important quality that should be transferred over to a remake.

    But I honestly can’t think of an old show I would crave to see made again..oh..aside from the old Julius Sumner Miller show..Why Is It So?

    I think the Aussie audience is actually over being ‘entertained’…they are craving more challenging stimulation …hence the success of Howzat in terms of drama.

  4. I’d pay money to see the story of Norman Gunston/Garry McDonald. I’d also love for Gen Y-Z to learn about this brilliant treasure of Australian comedy.

    I actually think there’s room for a shortform series about Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War but arching over into the arrival of boat people and the Fraser government’s handling of it. It’s a remarkable story and deserves to be told, IMO.

  5. Secret Squirrel

    Hah, I was intrigued by what “these” referred to given the pic (which, knowing how carefully they’ve been selected in the past, is prob no coincidence)!

    Gives new meaning to the term “double”-entendre.

    Would def be interested in a doco about Countdown. Or Alvin Purple.

  6. Great idea (no, not more Kerry Packer)…
    Norman Gunston was doing it years before Sacha Baron Cohen and Aunty Jack was doing it years before Noel Fielding.

    We used to have some very innovative television in this country.

  7. No. 96 & Countdown sound interesting. Not sure about Kerry Packer & his stable of stars. However, a series/telemovie about Kerry Packer’s life would be worth considering (as long as they don’t indulge in the hero-worshiping that Howzat does)

  8. I love the Countdown idea, David. Perhaps using Peter Wilmoth’s ‘Glad All Over – The Countdown Years 1974-1987’ behind-the-scenes book for inspiration.

  9. Yes, I would rather have the real No 96 and The Box back on tv somewhere. Have been enjoying Sons & Daughters so much on 72 ( it had cast members from both those 70s shows).

  10. bettestreep2008

    I’d rather have the original Number 96 and The Box on tv now.

    Heaps better than all the reality rubbish like Shire and Bingle.

    C’mon Ten – replace EDN with classic eps of Number 96!

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