1986 in Australian television
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- 5 January - SBS ceases VHF transmissions on Channel 0 in Sydney and Melbourne.
- 7 January - Australian news and current affairs program The 7.30 Report debuts on ABC.
- 20 January - Neighbours makes its debut on Network Ten and comes to dominate the 7pm weeknight timeslot.
- 11 February - Australian soap opera Return to Eden premieres on Network Ten.
- 16 March - SBS expands into Perth and Hobart.
- 31 March - ABC airs extra morning programs for children for the first time due to school term breaks from 10:00am to 12:00pm.
- 8 July - Last and final episode of the Australian soap opera Return to Eden airs on Network Ten.
- 23 July - The Royal Wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson is broadcast on all television stations except for SBS.
- 19 September - Nine Network celebrates 30 years of television with a two-hour special featuring footage from some of TV's most popular and most remembered programs and personalities.
- 27 October - Neighbours airs on the BBC in the UK for the first time.
- 30 October - The Movie Show begins on SBS.
- November - Pbl Mini series Cyclone Tracy + The Great Bookie Robbery air on Channel Nine
- 11 December - Final episode of the Australian soap opera Prisoner airs on Network Ten.
- 15 December - ABC airs extra morning programs for children during the Summer Holidays from 10:00am to 12:00pm until February where School Term 1 will begin.
- December - The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd, owners of HSV-7 & ADS-7 are sold to Rupert Murdoch's News Limited for $1.8 billion. As News Limited owned ATV-10 at this time, HSV-7 is sold to Fairfax (already owners of ATN-7 & BTQ-7) in February 1987 for $320 million.
- Australian children's series Mr. Squiggle returns with a brand new series with Roxanne Kimmorley taking over as presenter.
- AUSSAT satellites are launched, bringing television to remote areas for the first time.
- The 1986 Commonwealth Games are telecast live on ABC from Edinburgh, Scotland.
- 7 January - The 7.30 Report (ABC-TV)
- 11 February - Return to Eden (Network Ten)
- 15 June - Don Spencer's Feathers, Furs or Fins (ABC TV)
New International Programming
- Star Wars: Ewoks (Network Ten)
- Star Wars: Droids (Network Ten)
- Robotech (Network Ten)
- Growing Pains (Nine Network)
- M.A.S.K. (Nine Network)
- 5 January - Snorks (Channel Seven)
- 25 January - Punky Brewster (Channel Seven)
- 3 February - Lucky Luke (ABC TV)
- 15 April - Moonlighting (Nine Network)
- 27 April - The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries (Channel Seven)
- 28 April - The Challenge of the Machine Men (Channel Seven)
- 30 April - Bits and Bytes (ABC TV)
- 5 June - Wil Cwac Cwac (ABC TV)
- 20 July - Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears (Channel Seven)
- 27 July - The Wuzzles (Channel Seven)
- 2 August - T-Bag (ABC TV)
- 4 August - Willo the Wisp (ABC TV)
- 12 August - Terry and the Gunrunners (ABC TV)
- 21 August - Victoria Wood as Seen on TV (ABC TV)
- 6 September - ThunderCats (Channel Seven)
- 22 September - Going Bananas (ABC TV)
- 23 September - The Croc-Note Show (ABC TV)
- 15 December - Roland Rat (ABC TV)
- Mr. Squiggle and Friends (1959 – 1999)
|This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (March 2013)|
- Wheel of Fortune (1981 – present)
- Sale of the Century (1980 – 2001)
- Perfect Match (1984 – present)
- Neighbours (1985 – present)
- Sunday (1981 – 2008)
- Today (1982 – present)
Ending this year
|8 July||Return to Eden||Network Ten||11 February 1986|
|11 December||Prisoner||Network Ten||27 February 1979|
Returning this year
|This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (July 2010)|