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The Age from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia • Page 38

The Agei
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Issue Date:
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

Thursday 6 August 1987 i Li 1,1 i i.i.j i i i i.i.i i Children shelved drama plans ence is simply not available at that time, it is one thing. But if the audience is rejecting the programs being made for them, we have to know why." Ms O'Connor said she was disturbed by a recent statistic which showed that dur-inc one week of Hour, when children's programs were displaced by cricket matches, the percentage of chil-' GENERATION dren watcning went up to about zo per cent There also was a very strong child audience watching cartoons shown by the commercials between 7 and 8.30am. Oneof the things the tribunal would be looking at was the possibility of "floating' Hour to allow channels to place their hour of children's programming at a time ir. nA TiTiTnirr ucviuw VJ uicuii sna aiuuui acuu. wiw indication that the targeted age group is not watching during Hour is that the ABC, which is not regulated by the tribunal, does not show programs between 4 and 5pm, and wins the ratings at 4pm with its re-school children's program Playschool.

The tribunal has received almost 140 submissions to its inquiry, ranging from recommendations for more regulations to complete deregulation. Issues papers WHAT'S THE DEAL? (Ql commodore SOMEONE in the ABC, faced with reduced budgets and the perceived need for available money to be spent most visibly, apparently bas decided that its own production of children's drama is one area that is expendable. The ABC, traditionally one of the main producers in Australia of quality children's drama, has no plans for any new children's drama in the orseeable future and has shelved several projects that had begun development Its only current in-house children's drama is The Bartons, a 12-part contemporary series now in post-production and scheduled for screening some, time in 1988. And, according to informed sources within the ABC, that is it for at least this year and next year. Not only is the ABC not making any new children's drama, some of its existing shows are being sold off in what looks like an attempt to gain some quick revenue.

Home, now being shown as part of Channel 10's afternoon program, was sold for about $87,000 and Come Midnight Monday also' was bought by Channel 10 for an unknown amount Both could have well enjoyed a repeat on the ABC The ABC is buying two projects from the Australian Children's Television Foundation Touch The Sun, the foundation's Bicentenary series of six 90-min-ute dramas, which it has bought for $2 million, and Kaboodle, 13 short pieces for five- to nine-year-olds, which it has bought lor $350,000. Going by past ACTF efforts, both programs will be of a high' quality, but it is regrettable that the ABC is using them as a substitute for, not an addition to, ABC-produced children's dramas. Part of the reason behind the setting up of the foundation was to get good Australian drama for children on the commercials. imaginative and different series of television stories for children, Storybook International, begins ul its second series on SBS-TV this week. Storybook International, a British American co-production, brings children entertaining little moral fables which are narrated by a storyteller to a background of live actors and beautiful scenery.

The result is so like a parent reading a child a favorite fairy tale out of a beautiful picture book that it is a wonder nobody seems to have thought of it before. The programs feature fairy stories RED HOT SPECIALS TTau in, iviMUu avus uig uiv iuuuj iuiu conferences will be held later this year, probably in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Ms O'Connor has her own "judging panel" for children's programs her 11-year-old twin boys. Their main objection was to programs that were "too much like COMMODORE PC-5 WITH HI-RE3 TTL MONITOR MS-DOS 3.2 GWBASIC ABLE INTEGRATED SOFTWARE PLUS FREE SECOND DISK DRIVE. $1498.

from many different countries in the world Scandinavia, France, Germany, Spain, India, China, Korea and the Philippines. But because they are made without dialogue, each country can screen the series with a story-teller in its own language, without subtitles or dubbing, giving the impression- that the series was produced specifically for that country. Some of the stories are old and some-new but like all traditional fairy stories, they all have a moral and all have a happy ending. The first in the series, The Hired Help (Wednesday, 5pm), is set in eastern Europe and is a funny, perfect moral fable about the issues involved in employeeemployer relations. It should be compulsory viewing for anyone who thinks we don't need trade unions.

'I THE chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal, Deirdre O'Connor, has echoed the concern others have expressed recently about the diminishing numbers of children who are watching C-Hour television programs. Hour, between 4 and 5pm weekdays, is when commercial television channels must broadcast programs made specifically for children aged between six and 13 and approved by the tribunal as suitable for them. The audience in this time has been dropping steadily over the past few years and Hour programs are now drawing only about six per cent of the available audience. Ms O'Connor agreed during a recent interview in Sydney that the lack of support for Hour programs was of concern and was one of the things the tribunal was looking at in its inquiry into a review of children's television standards. "No one has yet given me a convincing reason why children are not watching at that time," Ms O'Connor said.

"If they are not watching because they are involved in after-school activities, if the child audi- scnooi" i fiar was a common commaint COMMODORE PC-B WITH HI-RES TTL' MONITOR MS-DOS 3.2 GWBASIC ABLE INTEGRATED SOFTWARE PLUS 20Mb HARD DISK DRIVE, $1995. COMMODORE 128D 1201 MONITOR SOFTWARE $1149 COMMODORE 64C 1B41C DISK DRIVE SOFTWARE $649 among children, Ms O'Connor said. "We insist on our children watching the news. At first it was strongly resisted when they were eight or nine they would have' much preferred to look at Sale Of The Century but later it became quite a source of status at school to understand what the news is about" Ms O'Connor said it was "simplistic" to say that because a program rated highly it was what people wanted to see on television. "Tastes are acquired.

We are aiming to get good-quality programs for kids that kids will like, and it may mean a different time for Hour or different types of programs. "There are limits to what you can regulate. The channels cannot afford to keep putting on programs that advertisers wont support It is a delicate, difficult and sophisticated issue." COMMODORE 1101 PRINTER BARGAIN OF THE YEAR $299 Add to all that our friendly service and you have Another SUPER DEAL available from 1216 GlenhuirrJy GLENHUNTLY. Vic, 3163 (03) 572 2544 71 Chisholm Institute 11 sJ of Technology for yourself! Sunday 16 August, 11 am to 4 pm For course information can 573 2000. CauffieM Campus 900 Oandenong Road.

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