Quite
a few questions came to mind while watching parts of the Logies last night, including the appalling Red
Carpet frock-a-thon from 7.30pm.

Firstly, the awards celebrated 50 years of Australian television – the
same occasion that was also celebrated by Nine and then Seven late last
year. Both networks were one year too early with their coverage and both
know it: the intensity of the ratings battle between the two meant they
ignored this inconvenient fact, knowing they would again be celebrating
the real 50th anniversary in 2006.

The ABC
is celebrating its 50th birthday (this year) with a two-part documentary. It
will be a far more interesting program because of the ABC’s longer commitment to
news and current affairs and because the
national broadcaster has provided a lot of program innovation: in the 1960s This
Day Tonight
changed current affairs reporting in this country as did Four
Corners
.

But
back to the Logies – a few quips and barbs to start off with from Bert
Newton, but the most vicious jokes came from the Chaser team reporting on the SMS
voting for the Gold Logie and how
13-year-old girls were now dominating the vote. Well,
that wasn’t too far from the mark after Home and Away bagged four of Seven’s seven awards – all in categories voted on by readers of TV Week. Remember TV Week has a largely female readership most of
whom are under the age of 34.

It’s
also why Foxtel’s Love My Way and its star Claudia Karvan continue to do well. Foxtel executives bask in the reflected glory of the
program winning for a second year but the truth is Claudia Karvan built up a solid reputation with female viewers while
on free-to-air TV, especially on Ten with the The
Secret Life of Us.

The
whole event was flat, even though viewers loved it. And
that’s the problem: it has production and entertainment values that a Network
would reject if it was offered up as a package for light entertainment: poor
material for the hosts, no proper warm-up or someone to keep it rocking during
the breaks, and camera angles that are not flattering to anybody, let alone the
production as a whole.

But 2.271 million people watched the Red Carpet follies which were
again inane and a long commercial for its sponsor Maybelline
cosmetics and 2.10 million people tuned in for the long, long ceremony that drifted and meandered past 11pm.

No
wonder Maybelline keeps coming back as a sponsor. It
was the only winner on the night.

Peter Fray

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