From the New Zealand TV Weekly. September 9, 1968


It would be interesting to know just what the New Zealand news film entry is in the world contest at Monte Carlo next month. Anyway, how would it it be judged? The best spot news clip could easily be the poorest photographically; a news items which had tremendous impact and topicality-and show all sort of ingenuity and resourcefulness on the part of the cameraman-could mean absolutely nothing when taken out of context, both in time and place. What's the betting that the end of the Wahine is a hot contender-and who will know that most of the country didn't see even a glimpse of it until well after the event . . . . Rumours are rife that a visit by The Monkees is in prospect, but it wouldn't be the first time a lot of talk came to nothing . . . . Town and Around producer, Maurice Smyth, is going back to his old trade for a second job. He's finding time to edit The Irish Reporter, the old Irish newspaper circulating in New Zealand or Australia. Probably printed on compressed shamrock leaves . . . . The Leslie Uggams Special had a certain nostalgic interest for Ken Goodman, back after eight years of TV set designing in Sydney. He was responsible for the sets in the programme, musicals being his speciality until shortly before he returned when he switched to drama assignments . . . . C'mon! bowed out after another successful season, although it probably didn't have quite the same impact this time. Major reaction came in sniffy letters to the papers, complaining that the go-go girls' dresses were far too short. Maybe producer Kevan Moore should have had some punning comeback, such as, as pants the art, as his explanation . . . . Peter Sinclair and his high-rewing tongue seemed to have been deliberately kept down in the C'mon series, but there were no complaints heard . . . . Finish of the Country and Western stage tour will see the main acts heading far and wide overseas . . . . Interest in Sonia King's afternoon On Camera shows being spurred with teaser commercials the previous evening.


John Barningham's Here-the Hits has had a rough passage at the hands of some critics, but it is proving very popular with the public. It is clear that the producer had to work within a limited budget, but nevertheless has often achieved wonders with the resources at hand. His programmes project the mood of the era they portray extremely well. It is perhaps not surprising that the NZBC pays more attention to public response than some of the critics . . . . Wellington viewers got the drop on those in other provinces with a first glimpse of Diana Rigg's replacement in The Avengers.-Like, wow! The programme itself has tended to become very stylised but is still a welcome addition to current schedules . . . . Bruce Broadhead, supervisor of public affairs, is still searching, at the time of writing, for a successor to Louis Johnson for the Column Comment programme. Although a number of prospective candidates have been auditioned, it has not been possible yet to name a date for the resumption of this series, which has a strong viewing audience. Although Louis Johnson tried hard, he never got on top of the subject. Some commentators, who would otherwise be very acceptable both to the public and to the NZBC, are aware of the risks they run in setting themselves up as judges of their fellow craftsmen . . . . Wellington viewers who may sometimes have wondered why Jack Paar enjoyed such a tremendous reputation in the United States, got the answer in the programme, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Hollywood. This was first-class Television . . . .. The decision to screen This Man Craig in an afternoon slot has attracted much comment from time to time. It might have been worth testing viewer reaction by screening it in evening time on at least one of the channels. Talking of viewer reaction, it was strong again for Dean Martin on his return. Perhaps the answer is to put series of this kind on for three or four weeks in a row, spell them for a month, and then bring them back again, in order to maintain the initial fresh appeal. The only thing missing, in terms of variety, from programme schedules at the present time is a really outstanding Western. The High Chaparral has everything, but in such large doses it allows no sense of identification for afficionados . . . . Reports here suggest that the chairman of the corporation, Mr Charles McFarlane, will not accept another term . . Criticism of the manner in which some NZBC news staff conduct interviews (by the southern broadcasting advisory committee) was both unwarranted and unnecessary, and certainly could not be justified, as the chairman of the committee showed when questioned on the subject. These advisory committees have yet to prove of any value. Administrators forced to listen to the vapourings of these committees would put their time to better use in concentrating on improving the conditions for the production of local programmes.


The New Zealand Broad- casting Corporation's Political Control was former Compass compere Ian Johnstone's subject when he addressed the Canterbury University Politics Society recently. But if Johnstone let any cats out of his bag, only members of the society know about it. Before he spoke, the society's chairman, Mr S. Carlaw, announced that the society would not allow the talk to be reported. Whether the society made the decision at the request of Johnstone was not reported either . . . . Although the Southern Regional Advisory Committee of the NZBC steadfastly refuses to allow its proceedings to be reported, the chairman, Mr W. R. Lascelles, usually has something to tell the newspapers after the meeting ends and the last one was no exception. He said that he did not foresee any change in the no reporters policy; that advertising of liquor on radio and TV had been given guarded approval; and that Parliamentary and local body candidates should be presented to TV viewers before elections in order to supplement the work of other news media. Actually, Mr Lascelles said that the committee had reaffirmed, with several important additions, its resolution of October 1966, regarding political broadcasts. The committee had felt that political interviews were reasonably well conducted at present, and instances where interviewers were over blunt, to the point of rudeness, appeared to be decreasing as a result of the establishment of a school for interviewers at the instigation of the committee. Whether viewers would go along with the charm school; approach to interviewing, as far as politicians are concerned, is, of course, another matter. Point is that some politicians are notoriously thick-skinned and the gentle approach will not always produce results in the form of concrete facts. Viewers have seen plenty of just such instances. Besides, the thing works both ways. Interviewees can also be over blunt, to the point of rudeness . . . . One recent Frost Report went pretty close to the bone, but did not lead even one uprighteous viewer to complain publicly-at least in this city. Maybe Christchurch is not so fuddy-duddy after all. But it does give rise to the question: Why in some Frost programmes, as well as other programmes, are cuts made of material known to be innocuous, when at other times some pretty raw material arrives in the livingroom?


Report has it that a number of anxious viewers have written to DNTV2, protesting about the removal of The High Chaparral from our screens a couple of weeks ago and its replacement with the New Zealand- produced series, Studio One. The reason given for the change by operation supervisor, Ted Kelly, is a simple one: Studio One is an audience-participation series, which means that each segment must be screened simultaneously from each channel. Therefore the remaining programmes of The High Chaparral will be held over for seven weeks-the duration of Studio One. High Chaparral fans will be seeing the remainder of the series-and this seems one sure way of making the enjoyment last! . . . . Incidentally, High Chaparral fans in this country have something to be thankful for. In Sweden, the programme was taken off the screen permanently, soon after the first programme was shown. In one of the early episodes, a young Indian boy was hanged as the result of some tribal justice. A short time after, a Swedish youth, apparently thinking along similar lines of justice, hanged another youth. The series was cancelled immediately . . . . A budding basketball star on the staff of DNTV2? Could be. He's presentation officer, Marshall Seifert, who was a member of the Otago men's basketball team which beat Wellington 11-58 in the dramatic final match of the national interzone tournament held at Tauranga.

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