From the New Zealand TV Weekly. October 16, 1967


The trouble with being in the public eye was that almost inevitably one had to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous ego smashers, said Town and Around's Barbara Magner when talking to the Auckland Travel League. She was citing the sort of people who came up with such comments as Why do you always look so fat on telly? or What gave you the idea that sketch last night Was funny? or I didn't think that dress you were wearing suited you. Things could be considerably worse, said the League's John Spedding, thanking Barbara for the talk. Thanks to early panel appearances, he had had to endure people for years asking, Hey, aren't you Wally Ransom? . . . . . People who have complained about the shortage of humour on TV should have been satisfied with the Australasian tag-wrestling contest shown live from the YMCA. Quite the funniest show in ages, with the Australian battlers (one of them a cousin of Prime Minister. Holt, which must be a bit embarrass- ing for the PM at times!) obviously much more clued up to the theatrical requirements of the TV cameras. If we're going to have more, maybe a drama workshop for local mat-men would be in order. . . . Reports of considerable stockpiles of television sets suggest that we could see some bargain sales before the end of the year. . . . . About time Barry Crump worked out a rather more intelligent line of interviewing with some of his rural rambles. Only the advent of shovel-cooked huhu grubs saved one recent interview with a scrub-cutting team from banal disaster. . . . . Wonder how the TV Moguls can equate their ban on cigarette advertising with the ubiquitous plugs for cigarette brands which provide the background to almost every sports telecast. In fact, it seems quite odd to sight a telecast from a sports field which is not ringed with advertising,


Although Mogul started slowly, it has quickly built up an enthusiastic band of fans who will be disappointed to find that the series ends on October 18. Ray Barrett as Peter Thornton has taken the acting honours but the show has ranged widely in its search for variety in plot and location. . . . . The Dick Van Dyke Show also slides off our screens next Wednesday, and obviously NZBC will have to pull out the stops to find top-rated programmes to replace these two. It seems that another 11 The Avengers will run through to Xmas in Mogul's old time slot. . . . . Barrie Parkin, NZBC's TV programme purchasing officer, describes Love on a Rooftop, starting this week, as a light, pleasant comedy series - but not up to Van Dyke standards. He thinks The Invaders, also due to start this week, will be a very popular programme. It is an Amerieanised Avengers, according to Barrie. . . . . Asked when the brilliant comedy series Till Death Do Us Part will be seen here, he says they are still looking for a suitable time for it. He quotes Hugh Carleton Greene as saying it offends some people - the right people with its down-to-earth humour. The NZBC has shown considerable maturity (for which it is not often given the proper credit) in buying the series: we hope they don't take too much notice of the more narrow-minded of viewers and give us this programme not too late at night. . . . . Another programme note from Barrie Parkin concerns the Ed Sullivan Show which will start soon in the afternoon. He says the purchasing committee found it very disjointed and variable in quality. In fact NZBC only bought 13 out of 26. Although some episodes are reasonable it is not good enough as a series for evening viewing. . . . . NZBC has not published any rating lists lately but this doesn't mean any change of policy, just overwork on the part of the computer. By the time this appears, another list may have |may have been published. WNTVl's Town and Around under Maurice Smyth's expert guidance holds its high preference with viewiers in number two place. That is quite an achievement, for Maurice has had several changes of personnel, and the pressure on to find a fresh approach day after day is considerable. Maurice, of course, would be the first to admit that on those days when it shows some signs of flagging Peter Read manages to revive it With a lively quip or two. . . . . Brian Bell who did such a magnificent job with Actors TV Workshop took a couple of weeks off for a holiday in Sydney. He will be pleased with the not unexpected news that television chiefs have agreed to press on with the plan to develop New Zealand television drama. . . . . The NZBC has bought a series of 26 called The Lost Peace, a follow-up to the great documentary series on the Great War. The Lost Peace deals with the years 1918 to 1933. . . . . NZBC have done a great deal of preparatory work for the re-submission of plans for a television studio complex at Avalon in Lower Hutt to the Cabinet Works Committee. By the time this is published, the NZBC, with a bit of luck, may have got the green light, after two years of sweating it out for Government approval. They have shrewdly cut down the overseas fund content to the minimum, in the hope that the re-submitted plans will get past the glassy eye of Treasury.


Final shots for Linda McDougal1's penetrating look at the New Zealand male were filmed with the aid of CHTV3's outside broadcast unit early September. It's the natural follow-on from her analysis of the New Zealand woman and is fronted by Austin Mitchcll who will be safe and away from criticism when it reaches the viewers later in the year. Among males featured are former All Black Hooker, Denis Young, outspoken Dr Erich Geiringer, equally outspoken Dr W. B. Stutch, Christchurch educationist, Dr John Moffat and Professor John Roberts. . . Interviewed in Town and Around on the eve of his departure, Austin Mitchell made it quite plain that he would like to see New Zealand with a second channel. . . . . Generally conceded locally that Dame Ngaio Marsh's Slipknot second play in the TV Theatre Workshop series, bore fairly favourable comparison with similar offerings from overseas, although local critics still had some reservations. This play did, however, highlight the fact that some local actors still have a lot to learn about this very intimate medium. . . . . Could it be that many people fill in their evenings viewing simply because they have nothing else to do or because they can't be bothered doing anything else‘? A recent North Island tour was most revealing. Amazing how many hotel guests drift barwards once the news is over. . . . . Extended drinking hours might lead to some advertisers having second thoughts and also bring about some changes as far as the popularity of programmes are concerned. . . . . Car conscious though we Kiwis may be, in the opinion of one up-and-coming top advertising executive in the Capital, advertising agencies and motor firms are not making the most of TV advertising. He could recall only one advertiser who had really hit the spot in the last couple of years and, in this case, the commercial was produced overseas. . . . . More than one viewer would like to know why some of the best bits of Compton McKenzie's Whisky Galore were chopped out when the film featured in CHTV3's recent Sunday Cinema Parade.


When the new television transmitter for the DNTV2 area is opened on Mount Cargill next year the cost incurred by the NZBC (some $520,000) will only be part of the total sum involved. Many viewers will find themselves footing bills ranging from about $3 to as much as $30 in having their aerials adjusted or replaced to suit the transmitter. With the Mount Cargill transmitter coming into use, the smaller translator at present serving North East Valley residents from Pine Hill, will be closed and viewers in that area are the ones who will be affected most by the changeover. Viewers in other city areas will almost certainly need to have their aerials turned to face the Mount Cargill transmitter, instead of Highcliflf, where they are now directed. It is expected that the new transmitter will eliminate a large number of black spots but a few may form in areas at present free from them. . . . . People and Places, the DNTV2 series hosted by Don McCutcheon and produced by Harold Anderson, which introduced local clubs and institutions, finished its run recently on a very pleasing note, with a look at local facilities for the treatment of the mentally ill. Not only did it clear up some of the myths surrounding psychiatric, treatment - it presented a clear picture of the pleasant surroundings in which patients receive their cure. Another noteworthy feature of the programme was that the patients themselves had been encouraged to overcome embarrassment and allow themselves to be filmed, full face rather than be pictured silhouetted against a light, a method which can cause viewers to have doubts, albeit small ones, about the authenticity of the interviews.

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