Rove McManus sort of summed up the 47th Logies broadcast last night when, in accepting his Gold Logie for the third year
in a row, he let slip a naughty word or two. One was juvenile, talking
about a bit of “we”, the other was the crude use of the f— word to
describe the moment as “f—ing awesome.” He though the comment would be edited out, but strangely forgot that it
was live TV and that if there was a bleepometer or whatever in use, its
operator had long gone to sleep or was elsewhere, drinking steadily. It
was a night that bordered on the juvenile and crude for much of the
time, but then that’s much of Australian TV these days.

The appalling product placement that was the White Carpet parade
of women wearing frocks, carefully picked out to promote two new Nine
programs (Temptation and Celebrity Circus), and some rivals on Ten and
Seven, showed viewers the state of Australian TV in 2005. The same
programs, the same “personalities,” the same appalling lack of taste,
women of all ages dressed in a way that will haunt them for years. Men
looking like they were at an RSL or Bowling Club ‘smoko. And Thorpie’s
Mullet hair style. Purlease!

The white carpet walk was a pre-recorded promotion for a US cosmetics
company, as it was last year. Forty five minutes of remorseless
plugging, especially by Catriona Rowntree, that was allowed to be
counted as non-advertising content. So much for ABA limits on
advertisements. It set the tone for the evening proper, although I think the best line
of the night came from Seven’s Andrew O’Keefe, one of the three network
hosts (with Adam Hills of the ABC a fourth Mouseketeer off-stage).

After Eddie McGuire welcomed everybody to the Nine
broadcast and Crown Casino, and named the generous host as Kerry
Packer, O’Keefe replied that it was good to see so many Nine executives
“sitting at the Seven table.” A cutaway to a laughing Nine CEO, David
Gyngell was a nice touch. Perhaps he or McGuire will ask
why the Nine broadcast went
to black in Sydney, just before the Gold Logie was broadcast. A fit of
pique perhaps, or just another example of the penny-pinching at Nine on
good staff these days?

The alleged “secret” nature of each award was also questionable. After
all, how could the Nine Network congratulate itself immediately after
each time one of its programs won an award? Talk about self serving
tripe. That a Foxtel show won Most Outstanding Drama (Love My Way with the
very talented Claudia Karvan) was also questionable. Not because it
won. It was a good show, but because its rivals for the gong
included one from the ABC canned by Sandra Levy for not being popular
enough (Fireflies), another from Nine canned for losing audience
share (Stingers) and the third, Claudia Karvan’s previous effort for
Foxtel and Ten, The Secret Life of Us. All dying or no longer with us.

McLeod’s Daughters won a Logie for best Australian drama.
Why, not outstanding enough? Perhaps the programs in contention for
Best Australian Drama (McLeod’s,
Home and Away, Neighbours, All Saints, Blue Heelers) were popular
rather than outstanding in that they attract viewers, make money for
their networks and remain on air. Odd idea that!

The broadcast did well, naturally. The appalling White Carpet thingie
was the most popular show last night with 2.15 million viewers,
followed by the broadcast itself with 1.972 million, then Nine News,
then 60 Minutes.
As a result Nine won easily with a national share of 44.7% to Seven’s
22.3%, Ten’s 16.3%, the ABC’s 12.6% and SBS with 4.1%. The Logies rated
best in Melbourne, where it pushed Nine’s share to 52.5%.

Peter Fray

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