1990 in Australian television

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List of years in Australian television


  • January – The 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, New Zealand are broadcast on Seven Network.
  • 27 January – Australian longest running children's Saturday morning series Saturday Disney along with music video programme Video Smash Hits debut on Seven Network.
  • 29 January – Welsh children's animated series Fireman Sam premieres on ABC.
  • 29 January – Australian television and radio host Steve Vizard presents his very own national Tonight show titled Tonight Live with Steve Vizard which is shown five nights a week on Seven Network.
  • 3 February – Paul Keane was ready to get axed from his long-running role as Des Clarke in Neighbours, but has instead opted to take a four-month hiatus and was expected to return in April. Keane's break from the show comes as cast morale is at an all-time low following the departure of several key cast members, but producers are confident that Des will return with some good storylines.
  • 12 February – American children's animated series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles debuts on Seven Network.
  • 13 February – ABC debuts a new current affairs program Lateline hosted by Kerry O'Brien.
  • 16 February – Australian lifestyle and gardening series Gardening Australia debuts on ABC.
  • 20 February – In Neighbours, Toby & Noelene Mangel depart.
  • 23 February – In Neighbours, this was Bronwyn Davies' final episode.
  • 28 February – In Neighbours, this was Hilary Robinson's final episode.
  • 31 March – Neighbours Producers have chosen to write out the popular character of Sharon Davies – the on-screen sister to Rachel Friend's former character Bronwyn Davies, played by 19-year-old Jessica Muschamp said the exit of Neighbours may have been a "blessing in disguise." She finished her final credits in Neighbours in five weeks and after leaving the series, she went to English pantomime performances over Christmas and was considering mini-series and theatre roles in Australia.
  • April – Jennifer Keyte becomes the first solo woman newsreader on a commercial network in Australia when Glenn Taylor leaves the Melbourne beurau of Seven News.
  • 9 June – Neighbours star Linda Hartley has decided to leave the hit-turned-troubled 10 TV Australia soap opera after a behind-the-scenes battle between producers Grundy Television and 10 TV Australia. Hartley had requested for a hiatus from the series to allow time to travel overseas and to pursue an opportunity for a singing career including a recording contract with Sony Music Australia, but Grundys were not keen to renew her contract, claiming the show had exceeded its casting budget. However, budget cuts ran out, negotiations broke down again and Hartley has chosen to leave the series.
  • 2 July – Canadian children's animated series Babar based on a series of children's books by Jean and Laurent de Brunhoff premieres on ABC.
  • 15 July – After a long absence of six months, the Australian comedy series The Comedy Company returns on 10 TV Australia.
  • 26 August – Australian children's fantasy TV series Round the Twist premieres on Seven Network during Saturday Disney.
  • 3 September – Australian children's TV series Johnson and Friends debuts on ABC.
  • 5 September – In Neighbours, this was Beverly Robinson's final episode.
  • 7 September – In Neighbours Kerry Mangel was shot in the head while duck hunting by Mick Taylor, leaving Joe Mangel in Saw-styled screaming and crying. This was the final episode.
  • 10 October – In Neighbours, this was Des Clarke's final episode.
  • 11 November – Australian comedy series The Comedy Company airs its final episode on 10 TV Australia before getting axed after very bad ratings and failed to match the success of its 1988 season.
  • December – The Seven Network wins the 1990 ratings year with a record of 35.6% share for Total People. The most watched program was Seven's AFL: 1990 AFL Grand Final.
  • 8 December – Neighbours producers have announced that star Ashley Paske will not renew his contract with the troubled 10 TV Australia soap opera when it expires in January. He is expected to be seen on-air until May.
  • 9 December – 1990 Neighbours movie-length finale: Joe Mangel snatches Sky Bishop from Eric Jensen (episode 1), Joe & Toby Mangel are arrested for shoplifting and kidnapping Sky Bishop, Paul Robinson proposes to Christina Aleesi, Glen Donnolly arrives and tells that Jim Robinson is his father (episode 3).
  • 21 December – James Valentine presents the Australian weekday afternoon magazine series The Afternoon Show for the last time at 5:00 pm on ABC. The programme includes reruns of the French-American-Canadian animated series Inspector Gadget and Canadian action drama series Danger Bay (Both these shows haven't been airing on the ABC for a long time since most of the year).
  • 22 December – Neighbours star Richard Norton has been informed by producers that they won't be renewing his contract with the troubled 10 TV Australia soap opera when it expires in February.
  • 31 December – Queensland becomes the second Aggregated market with local stations Sunshine Television (which now becomes Seven Queensland), WIN and QTV (now becomes Southern Cross Ten, later Southern Cross Nine).


Domestic series[edit]

Program Network Debut date
Agro's Cartoon Connection Seven Network 22 January
Saturday Disney Saturday Disney Seven Network 27 January
Video Smash Hits Seven Network 27 January
The Super Sunday Show Seven Network 28 January
Tonight Live with Steve Vizard Tonight Live with Steve Vizard Seven Network 29 January
Family and Friends Nine Network 7 February
Lateline Lateline[1] ABC TV 13 February
Gardening Australia ABC TV 16 February
Facing Writers ABC TV 26 February
The C Company Nine Network 3 March
The Party Machine ABC TV 12 March
Graham Kennedy's Funniest Home Video Show Nine Network 29 March
Robbo's World Nine Network 2 April
Skirts Seven Network 18 April
The Greatest Tune on Earth Seven Network 20 May
The Private War of Lucinda Smith Nine Network 20 May
Elly & Jools Nine Network 11 June
The Bugs Bunny Show Nine Network 18 June
More Winners ABC TV 1 July
Savage Indictment ABC TV 1 July
Flair Seven Network 1 August
Let the Blood Run Free 10 TV Australia 20 August
Round the Twist Seven Network 26 August
Johnson and Friends ABC TV 3 September
Embassy ABC TV 12 September
The Search for the World's Most Secret Animals Nine Network 27 September
Jackaroo Seven Network 7 October
The Girl from Tomorrow Nine Network 30 October
Imparja National News Imparja Television 1990
In Brisbane Today Nine Network (Queensland only) 1990

International series[edit]

Program Network Debut date
United States The Popcorn Kid Nine Network 1 January
United Kingdom/United States Max Headroom Seven Network 2 January
United Kingdom Surgical Spirit ABC TV 2 January
United Kingdom The Giddy Game Show ABC TV 4 January
United States Hothouse ABC TV 4 January
United Kingdom The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole ABC TV 7 January
United States Lincoln ABC TV 10 January
United States/New Zealand/Canada The Ray Bradbury Theatre ABC TV 14 January
United States The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh Seven Network 20 January
United Kingdom Pinny's House ABC TV 24 January
Wales Fireman Sam ABC TV 29 January
United States The Story of the Dancing Frog ABC TV 2 February
United States Murphy Brown Nine Network 5 February
United States Doogie Howser M.D. 10 TV Australia 5 February
United States Dream Street Seven Network 11 February
United States Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Seven Network 12 February
United Kingdom We'll Think of Something ABC TV 13 February
United States Kidd Video Nine Network 17 February
United States The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ABC TV 17 February
China A Dream of Red Mansions SBS 18 February
United Kingdom After the War ABC TV 24 February
United Kingdom Floyd's American Pie SBS 25 February
United Kingdom Michael Palin: Around the World in 80 Days ABC TV 4 March
United Kingdom Agatha Christie's Poirot Seven Network 6 March
United Kingdom The Gemini Factor ABC TV 12 March
United States Beverly Hills Buntz Nine Network 23 March
United States Police Academy Nine Network 26 March
United Kingdom The Watch House ABC TV 28 March
United States Hard Time on Planet Earth Seven Network 28 March
United Kingdom Screen One ABC TV 1 April
United States Hard Copy Nine Network 2 April
United Kingdom Hale and Pace Nine Network 5 April
United Kingdom Marco SBS 7 April
United States Bugs vs. Daffy: Battle of the Music Video Stars Nine Network 12 April
United Kingdom One God-Three SBS 12 April
United States Maria Chapdelaine ABC TV 17 April
United States Bugs Bunny's Wild World of Sports Nine Network 19 April
United Kingdom Frontiers ABC TV 22 April
New Zealand Heart of the High Country 10 TV Australia 22 April
United States Generations Seven Network 24 April
United States Rituals Seven Network 1 May
United States The Hitchhiker 10 TV Australia 1 May
West Germany The Black Forest Clinic 10 TV Australia 8 May
United Kingdom Ladies in Charge ABC TV 12 May
United Kingdom The Heat of the Day ABC TV 25 May
United States Cross of Fire Seven Network 27 May
United States Baywatch 10 TV Australia 8 June
Italy The Six Cases of Father Brown SBS 9 June
Denmark Once a Cop SBS 9 June
United States Sparky's Magic Piano ABC TV 11 June
United Kingdom/Australia The Great Wall of Iron ABC TV 14 June
United States The Jim Henson Hour 10 TV Australia 16 June
United Kingdom Alexei Sayle's Stuff ABC TV 18 June
United Kingdom Singles Seven Network 22 June
United Kingdom A Kind of Loving ABC TV 23 June
Canada/France Babar ABC TV 2 July
United States Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers Seven Network 8 July
United Kingdom Eye of the Dragon ABC TV 9 July
Greece Madam Sousou SBS 10 July
United States The Charmings Nine Network 10 July
United Kingdom Woof! Nine Network 14 July
Japan Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics Nine Network 14 July
United States The Karate Kid Nine Network 14 July
United Kingdom The Mind SBS 16 July
United Kingdom The Lenny Henry Show SBS 20 July
United States Father Dowling Mysteries Seven Network 29 July
United Kingdom Ffizz 10 TV Australia 31 July
United States E! Entertainment Nine Network 1 August
United Kingdom Never Come Back ABC TV 1 August
Japan/United States/Netherlands Ox Tales Nine Network 6 August
United Kingdom Moondial ABC TV 10 August
United States Booker Nine Network 11 August
United Kingdom The Fear ABC TV 13 August
United States Marblehead Manor 10 TV Australia 14 August
United States Hardball Nine Network 16 August
United Kingdom Mike and Angelo ABC TV 20 August
United Kingdom Ernie's Incredible Illucinations ABC TV 20 August
United Kingdom The Country Boy ABC TV 24 August
Spain Miguel Servet SBS 26 August
France The Secret Drawer SBS 26 August
United States Major Dad 10 TV Australia 28 August
United States Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story Seven Network 9 September
United Kingdom Press Gang ABC TV 10 September
Italy Spy Wars SBS 11 September
New Zealand Space Knights Seven Network 15 September
United States Vid Kids 10 TV Australia 16 September
United States America's Funniest People Nine Network 20 September
United Kingdom Prisoners of Childhood SBS 21 September
United States The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley ABC TV 27 September
Greece The Storm SBS 10 October
United States Knight & Daye 10 TV Australia 12 October
Japan/Canada The Adventures of the Little Koala Nine Network 20 October
United States Blind Faith Seven Network 22 October
United Kingdom Adventurer ABC TV 28 October
Japan Shingen SBS 31 October
United States Island Son Seven Network 5 November
United Kingdom Body Styles SBS 7 November
United States Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue Seven Network
Nine Network
10 TV Australia
9 November
United States Good Morning, Miss Bliss Seven Network 13 November
United States The Thanksgiving Promise Seven Network 18 November
United States Hey Vern, It's Ernest! Nine Network 19 November
United Kingdom Round the Bend ABC TV 19 November
Japan/United States/Netherlands Wowser Nine Network 20 November
United States In the Heat of the Night Seven Network 20 November
United Kingdom That's Love 10 TV Australia 20 November
United Kingdom No Strings Seven Network 20 November
United Kingdom Only One Earth ABC TV 20 November
United States Murphy's Law 10 TV Australia 21 November
United States The Famous Teddy Z Nine Network 22 November
United States A Man Called Hawk Nine Network 22 November
United States Starting from Scratch 10 TV Australia 22 November
United Kingdom Vintage: A History of Wine ABC TV 23 November
United States A Fine Romance (1989) 10 TV Australia 24 November
United States A Peaceable Kingdom Nine Network 24 November
United States The Young Riders Seven Network 25 November
United Kingdom The Real Charlotte ABC TV 26 November
United Kingdom The Return of Shelley ABC TV 26 November
United States New Attitude Nine Network 26 November
United States Free Spirit Nine Network 28 November
United States Doctor Doctor Nine Network 28 November
United States Family Matters Seven Network 30 November
United States Annie McGuire Nine Network 6 December
United States The New Archies Nine Network 8 December
United States Great Circuses of the World Nine Network 9 December
United States/United Kingdom Hollywood the Golden Years: The RKO Story ABC TV 13 December
Australia/United States Dolphin Cove Nine Network 14 December
United States 48 Hours Nine Network 16 December
United States The Phantom of the Opera Nine Network 16 December
United Kingdom Rod, Jane and Freddy ABC TV 18 December
United States Cops 10 TV Australia 18 December
United Kingdom Rarg 10 TV Australia 22 December
United Kingdom Jim Henson's The Storyteller 10 TV Australia 24 December
United Kingdom The Angel and the Soldier Boy ABC TV 25 December
United States Marvin: Baby of the Year Seven Network 26 December

Changes to network affiliation[edit]

This is a list of programs which made their premiere on an Australian television network that had previously premiered on another Australian television network. The networks involved in the switch of allegiances are predominantly both free-to-air networks or both subscription television networks. Programs that have their free-to-air/subscription television premiere, after previously premiering on the opposite platform (free-to air to subscription/subscription to free-to air) are not included. In some cases, programs may still air on the original television network. This occurs predominantly with programs shared between subscription television networks.


Program New network(s) Previous network(s) Date
Kaboodle Seven Network ABC TV 8 April


Program New network(s) Previous network(s) Date
United Kingdom Ken Hom's Chinese Cookery ABC TV SBS 5 January
United States The Real Ghostbusters Nine Network 10 TV Australia 3 March
United States The Banana Splits Southern Cross Television ABC TV 1990

Television shows[edit]






Ending this year[edit]

Date Show Channel Debut
20 January Seven's Super Saturday Seven Network 1988
21 January The Cartoon Connection Seven Network 1985
1 February The Power, The Passion Seven Network 1989
13 May Kaboodle Seven Network
10 June The Greatest Tune on Earth Seven Network 20 May 1990
26 June Elly & Jools Nine Network 11 June 1990
29 June Stop at this Station ABC TV 1988
11 November The Comedy Company 10 TV Australia 1988
15 November The Girl from Tomorrow Nine Network 30 October 1990
17 November Neighbours 10 TV Australia 1985

Returning this year[edit]

TV movies[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Knox, David (13 January 2010). "Gallery: 20 years of Lateline". tvtonight.com.au. Retrieved 14 January 2010.