1989 in Australian television

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Below is a list of television-related events in 1989.


  • December 1988 / January – Young Talent Time was rested by Network Ten during the Cricket / Australian Open season, one week into January 1989 the network announced that the show would not return. Reasons for YTT's axing comes very bad ratings and cannot match rivals Seven or Nine as they won the strong competition.
  • January – Network Ten debuts a brand new evening drama series E Street (1989–1993).
  • January – Nine Network launches two brand new daytime talk shows In Melbourne Today and In Sydney Today, which later merge to become Ernie and Denise.
  • January – Seven Network purchases the Australian television rights to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics for $40 million.
  • 6 February – The Afternoon Show returns to the ABC for another year with a brand new lineup of two programmes presented by James Valentine. The two programmes include the debut of the British children's animated series Count Duckula and a repeat of the very first episode of Doctor Who to feature Tom Baker Robot.
  • 28 February – A brand new live comedy series The Big Gig premieres on ABC (1989–1992).
  • 6 March – The Adventures of Spot, a British children's animated TV series based on the books by Eric Hill and aimed at pre-schoolers and is all about a dog named Spot, debuts on the ABC.
  • 7 March – Australian drama series G.P. debuts on the ABC.
  • 17 March – Bert Newton hosts the TV Week Logie Awards, being telecast on the Seven Network for the first time.
  • 31 March – Phase 1 of Aggregation of television services occurs in Southern NSW, with WIN Television becoming a regional Nine Network affiliate, Prime Television becoming the Seven Network affiliate & Capital Television (now Southern Cross Ten) becoming the Network Ten affiliate.
  • April – American TV executive Bob Shanks is hired by Network Ten to lift its ailing ratings.
  • 12 April – Fast Forward starring Steve Vizard, Marg Downey, Jane Turner, Gina Riley, Magda Szubanski (Kath & Kim) premieres on Seven Network (1989–1992).
  • 1 May – Australian children's programme Swap Shop returns to the ABC for a brand new series.
  • 8 May – Australian media analysis television program Media Watch presented by Stuart Littlemore debuts on the ABC airing on Monday nights.
  • 5 June – Neighbours is the No. 1 drama for the last ever time, before handing the reins to Seven's Home And Away becoming a hit for the next few years. The soap launches the newly revised theme song, and is home to an overload of cast members who will be "boned" or "suspended" from the soap indefinitely between now and 1994. Between August and November 1989 Neighbours hit the poor ratings with 290,000 national viewers competing Seven's Home And Away to 1,500,000 nationally.[citation needed]
  • 13 June – Australian children's sitcom Pugwall debuts on the Nine Network.
  • 23 July – After poor ratings, Network Ten is relaunched as 10 TV Australia, introducing a new lineup with increased game show content. Most of the new shows are axed by the end of the year following bad ratings.
  • 9 August – Greek-Australian sitcom, Acropolis Now premieres on Seven Network in Australia (1989–1992).
  • 7 September - In Neighbours, Jane Harris and Katie Landers depart, Dr Clive Gibbons returns after a 2 1/2 year absence.
  • 20 September - In Neighbours, Gail Robinson and Paul Robinson end their marriage and she leaves Ramsay Street with tears in her eyes.
  • 30 September - In Neighbours, Joe Mangel and Kerry Bishop marry.
  • September – Network Ten is sold to Steve Cosser, head of Broadcom Australia, for $22 million.[citation needed]
  • November – Jacki MacDonald quits Hey Hey It's Saturday after 11 years.
  • November – Australian dating game show Perfect Match airs its final episode on Network Ten. The show was cancelled following poor ratings failing to match the success of its 1984 series, which broke records for 5.30pm.
  • December - The Seven Network wins the 1989 ratings year with a record of 34.0% share for Total People.
  • 31 December – Phase 2 of Aggregation of Television services occurs in Orange & Wagga Wagga, with aggregation occurring in Wollongong and Canberra in March.
  • American animated series ThunderCats airs on Seven Network in Victoria for the first time.
  • Australian version of the children's game show Double Dare airs on Network Ten.



New international programming[edit]

Television shows[edit]





Ending this year[edit]

Date Show Channel Debut
January Young Talent Time Channel Ten 1971
November Perfect Match Network Ten 1984
7 August Family Double Dare Network Ten 24 July 1989

Returning this year[edit]

TV movies[edit]