Channel Nine's blog

This Thursday night on Hamish and Andy’s Gap Year on Channel Nine, the victorious Sam Stosur joins the boys in the studio to relive her triumphant US Open victory over Serena Williams.

Also this week, Hamish and Andy’s unwavering attempt to take up Hillary Clinton’s barbecue invitation continues. The boys track down Australia’s US Ambassador, Kim Beazley, in Washington and quiz him on how they can alert Hillary to the fact that they are living in New York, and busting to take up her invite. With only a few more weeks left of their Gap Year time is running out!

In the meantime Hamish and Andy take a trip down to the Mexican border to pay a visit to Jay J. Armes, an international private investigator who runs his entire investigative business with two metal hooks instead of hands.

And in their biggest coup to date, Hamish and Andy get an invitation to visit the Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas, the home of NASA’s astronaut training and mission control for NASA space missions for more than 40 years.

Hamish and Andy’s Gap Year: Thursday, September 15, at 8.30pm on Nine

Sunday, 11th September, 2011

The Missing Years

Just for a moment, put yourself in their shoes. Eight years ago, Bruce and Denise Morcombe were like any other parents. Then their 13-year-old son, Daniel, was abducted from a bus stop on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. As days and weeks turned into years, they chased every lead – no matter how small or grim – they often scoured bushland for Daniel’s body. Well, they’ve found their boy now, buried just 40 kilometres from home. And, finally, a man will face trial, accused of his murder. But the Morcombe’s journey isn’t over. They’re now trying to protect other children because no one should go through the hell they’ve suffered.

Reporter: Tara Brown

Producer: Stephen Taylor


The Shark Man

There’s no creature on earth that inspires quite the same fear as the Great White Shark. And for good reason – they’re nature’s ultimate killing machines, delivering death in the flash of a fin. Just last week, a body boarder died when he was attacked off the coast of Western Australia. Yet, there are people who believe these predators don’t deserve their bloodthirsty reputation. Anderson Cooper, of American 60 Minutes, travelled to the tip of South Africa to meet the so-called Shark Man, Mike Rutzen. Mike happily goes swimming with the Great White, even hitching a ride, now and then. And he does all of this without any of the usual props. No cage. No spear gun. Just a man, his camera, and a whole lot of trust.

Reporter: Anderson Cooper, CBS 60 Minutes

Producer: Michael Gavshon


Hell on Earth

Let’s face it. Most of the world has written Somalia off as a basket case. Tens of thousands of people are dying in the worst famine the world has seen for a hundred years. Yet, an ongoing civil war means help can’t get to many of those starving. It’s an epic humanitarian crisis so overwhelming, it’s easy to think: ‘what can we do?’ But when you meet the Somalian people, as Allison Langdon did, and see the hope that still burns in their eyes, you realize what seems like hell on earth to us, is to them, the homeland they’re desperate to save.

Reporter: Allison Langdon

Producer: Gareth Harvey

Channel Nine announced today, Head of Drama, Jo Horsburgh, has resigned to move on to new challenges.

Nine’s Director of Television, Michael Healy, says, “We would like to thank Jo for her enormous contribution to the network over the past eight years. 

“Her dedication and commitment to the role has led to the incredible successes of the much loved series Sea Patrol, Rescue Special Ops and, of course, the outstanding critical and ratings success of the Underbelly franchise. 

“We are pleased that while Jo is moving on, she leaves us with a great legacy – a slate of exciting, new drama projects to build on.”

Nine’s Managing Director, Jeffrey Browne adds, “Jo has excelled in her role as Head of Drama at Channel Nine. 

“Her record speaks for itself; UNDERBELLY: RAZOR was the highest rating debut for a drama series in recent history on Australian television.

“We wish her all the best and look forward to working with her in the future.”

Jo Horsburgh says, “It’s been a great ride at Nine. I have worked with amazing people and I am so thrilled to have had this experience, but it’s time to take some time out and discover other opportunities.”

A replacement for Jo will be announced in the coming weeks.

It’s the biggest weekend of football ever when Wide World of Sports showcases 18 hours of rugby league and rugby union – three days of crunching combat this Friday, Saturday and Sunday on Channel Nine.

The NRL Telstra Premiership Qualifying Final between Wests Tigers and St George Illawarra Dragons at ANZ Stadium in Sydney starts Nine’s massive weekend of coverage tomorrow night, live from 7.30pm.

The opening Rugby World Cup 2011 clash between hosts New Zealand and Tonga will follow the Tigers-Dragons clash on Friday night.

On Saturday it’s back-to-back NRL Telstra Premiership Qualifying Finals, first with the Brisbane Broncos and New Zealand Warriors live from Suncorp Stadium at 6.30pm, before the Manly Sea Eagles and North Queensland Cowboys do battle live at 8.30pm at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Nine then heads across the Tasman as Argentina meet England in their first World Cup fixture at Dunedin’s Otago Stadium from 10.30pm.

On Sunday Wide World of Sports, presented by Ken Sutcliffe and Giaan Rooney, starts a colossal day of sport on Nine at 10.00am and leads in to The Sunday Footy Show with Andrew Voss, Andrew Johns, Brad Fittler and guest host Andrew Ryan at 11.00am.

Next up at 12.00pm is The Sunday Roast with Andrew Voss, Mark Geyer, Terry Kennedy and Andrew Johns tackling the big issues on and off the field with their irreverent brand of humour and style.

The Wallabies step out for their first confrontation of the Rugby World Cup against Italy on Sunday afternoon and Nine will be there live from 1.00pm AEST.

After the rugby test it’s back to the NRL with the Melbourne Storm, minor premiers, playing the eighth-placed Newcastle Knights, live on Nine from 3.30pm.

The voice of rugby league, Ray Warren, will lead Nine’s NRL commentary team. Joining him are Andrew Voss, Peter Sterling and Phil Gould, while Paul Vautin, Andrew Johns, Brad Fittler and Wally Lewis head up the expert panel.

Wide World of Sports’ expert rugby panel is led by Ken Sutcliffe. Joining him are former Wallabies captains George Gregan, Andrew Slack and John Eales, injured Wallabies prop Benn Robinson, and Nine sports reporter Tim Sheridan.

‘9/11’ follows the events of September 11 from an insider’s view, through the lens of two French filmmakers who were in Manhattan on the day that was September 11, 2001.

In this special, we re-visit that fateful day and see what has happened in the 10 years since the tragedy in an update of the original acclaimed film.

The Naudet brothers were in the process of making a documentary on New York firefighters, following Antonio “Tony” Benetatos, a rookie firefighter or “probie”, through his experiences in Fire Department of New York academy training and into a firehouse.

On the morning of September 11, Jules was taping as firefighters examined a reported gas leak when American Airlines Flight 11 flew right over him and slammed head-on into the North Tower.

Although in the footage, the plane is not seen until the impact is about to happen, the sound of the jet’s engines can be heard clearly beforehand as well as the firefighter’s reaction to it.

The Naudet video footage thus became some of the most comprehensive on-site coverage of the 9/11 attacks in New York.

There are two points of view from two cameras shot by both brothers of events occurring at the same time.

Jules went with the FDNY into the North Tower upon them seeing the impact of Flight 11 and responding.

He was inside the lobby of the North Tower with the FDNY during most of the event while Gédéon was either in the firehouse with Benetatos (the sole firefighter there for some time) or just below the WTC area among the crowds.

Gédéon’s footage captures the impact of United Airlines Flight 175 into the South Tower while Jules’s footage shows the effects of the collapse of the South Tower from inside the lobby of the North Tower.

Wednesday, September 7, at 9.30pm on Nine

RPA continues with four more stories of extraordinary patients and their amazing medical teams at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital next Wednesday at 9.30pm on Channel Nine.

In this episode of the award-winning medical reality program we revisit Renee, who has turned to her husband for help for a new liver. We also meet three new inspirational patients with stories of strength and bravery.



Gemma’s liver is failing but instead of waiting for a deceased donor liver she is turning to her husband Stephen for help. The live donor operation involves the removal of part of Stephen’s liver and transplanting it into Gemma. It will be only the second such delicate operation performed in Australia. In part two of her story, Gemma and Stephen say goodbye to their daughters, knowing the risks involved in going ahead with the surgery.



Swimming pool builder Max, 24, arrives in Emergency after an accident with a circular saw almost severed a toe. Can the doctors save it?



Ruby desperately wants another child but is having difficulty falling pregnant. At 35, her doctor suspects age is against her but she could also be suffering from endometriosis. Only surgery will confirm their suspicions.



Truckie Bill’s 20-year smoking habit is blamed for his inability to walk for more than 20 metres due to excruciating pain in his left leg. Doctors have found a large clot in his femoral artery and it will need to be cleared to save Bill’s leg.


The RPA series is narrated by Australian actor and artist, Max Cullen.

Wide World of Sports will broadcast the opening game of Rugby World Cup 2011 when New Zealand and Tonga meet at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday, September 9, at 9.45pm.

The match will immediately follow the first night of the NRL Telstra Premiership Finals Series on the Nine Network.

In the pinnacle of rugby competition the top 20 rugby nations will compete for the most prestigious trophy in the game, the William Webb Ellis Cup, over six intense weeks. With the opening clash now just days away, rugby fans the world over are ready for a massive tournament in New Zealand.

Australia is drawn to play Ireland, Italy, Russia and USA for a berth in the quarter-finals whiles hosts New Zealand will meet Canada, France, Japan and Tonga.

Defending champions South Africa will face Fiji, Namibia, Samoa and Wales in their pool round while 2003 victors England will play Argentina, Georgia, Romania and Scotland for a place in the quarter-finals.

The Nine Network is the official free-to-air broadcaster of Rugby World Cup 2011 and Wide World of Sports will present 17 matches, beginning with the opener on Friday, September 9, at 9.45pm. Wide World of Sports will also broadcast nine pool matches involving Australia, plus the entire play-off series including the four quarter-finals, both semi-finals, the bronze final and the final live on Sunday, October 23, from 6.30pm.

Wide World of Sports’ expert panel is led by Ken Sutcliffe. Joining him are former Wallabies captains George Gregan, Andrew Slack and John Eales, injured Wallabies prop Benn Robinson, and Nine sports reporter Tim Sheridan.

George Gregan represented Australia from 1994 to 2007 and took over as captain from John Eales when he retired in 2001. Gregan played in four World Cups (1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007) and led Australia to a home Rugby World Cup final in 2003 when a heartbreaking field goal from England’s Johnny Wilkinson in extra time robbed the Wallabies of a third title.

Andrew Slack made 39 appearances (1978-1987) in the green and gold and was captain for 19 Test matches (1984-1987). He captained the Wallabies at the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987 where Australia placed fourth.

John Eales wore the Wallabies jersey from 1991 until he retired in 2001 and played 86 Tests. He captained the Wallabies from 1996 to 2001 and steered Australia to their second World Cup crown in 1999 in Wales. Eales represented Australia at three World Cups (1991, 1995 and 1999).

Benn Robinson made his debut for the Wallabies in 2006 after a stellar performance for Australia at the IRB Under-21 World Championship in Argentina in 2005. He has played 42 matches for Australia and is widely regarded as one of the world’s best prop. A knee injury in July forced him out of this year’s World Cup side.

Ken Sutcliffe began his broadcasting career in 1966 and joined the Nine Network presenting feature spots on Wide World of Sports. He began presenting sport on National Nine News in 1979. During his 33 years at Nine, Sutcliffe has covered many great sporting events including the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, Formula One Grand Prix, Wimbledon and US Open Tennis, America’s Cup in Freemantle, Masters and US Open Golf, the FINA World Swimming Championships, the Ashes, State of Origin, NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Finals and the Golden Slipper. Sutcliffe also hosts Wide World of Sports on Nine each Sunday.

Tim Sheridan, a former player for the New South Wales Waratahs, joined the Nine Network in 1983 as a sports reporter. His career at Nine has seen him cover Wimbledon and the US Open, Formula One, World Swimming titles, Olympics, the US Masters, the Tour de France and World Cup Cricket.

The Wallabies will play their first match at Rugby World Cup 2011 on Sunday, September 11, against Italy at Auckland’s North Harbour Stadium. The Nine Network will be live from 1.00pm.

Rugby World Cup 2011: New Zealand vs. Tonga, Friday, September 9, at 9.45pm on Nine

Three empty houses, three real clients, $50,000 budget…this is the TOP DESIGN GRAND FINALE.

Just three contestants are left standing. Gold Coast single mum Lisa, Melbourne architect Robert or charity worker Stephen.

In an emotionally charged final episode, they have four days to transform and beautify three empty brand new houses for first-time homebuyers.

They are playing to win $100,000 and the fabulous design tour, visiting famous design landmarks and meeting some of the best designers in the world.

But, there is almost as much at stake for the clients.

They are first-time homeowners who have poured their savings into their new Mirvac home.

It’s not only bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens primed for the makeover; it’s outdoor living as well. As befitting a grand finale, the results will amaze you but the question is will the clients love what our three finalists come up with?

And who will Jamie and the judges award the Top Design?


Top Design, hosted by Jamie Durie, Wednesday, September 7 at 10.30pm on Channel Nine and 8.30pm on GEM.

This one-hour special, presented by Leila McKinnon, covers one of the biggest drug stings in police history: The Charlotte Lindstrom case.

For the first time video evidence, real police footage and secret recordings have been released.

In late 2005, NSW fire fighters are called to a warehouse in Sydney’s west. On their way to the location a mystery caller tries to call off the 000 response.  Fire fighters arrive and discover that the warehouse is actually a highly sophisticated drug laboratory – the largest secret drug lab in Australian history.

Police discover $127 million worth of ecstasy. The drug lord, whose signed alias is on the lease, is Steven Spaliviero. He lives with his young fiancé, Swedish model, Charlotte Lindstrom in a waterfront apartment in Sydney’s CBD. Steve is subsequently arrested and jailed but he claims he’s innocent. He says he’s just a wealthy property developer.

Meanwhile, Charlotte is desperate to get him out of jail and discovers police have two witnesses who will testify that Steve Spaliviero bought drug equipment off them. Their evidence will bring him down.

What happens next is so shocking police can barely believe what they’re hearing – Charlotte is secretly organising to kill the two witnesses. Police swoop and arrest her.

In a bid to get a reduced jail sentence, Charlotte then does the unthinkable and rolls on her drug lord fiance.  The evidence linking Steve Spaliviero to the Sydney lab is damning – there is the two witnesses, the DNA evidence, the 000 call and now Charlotte.

Under Surveillance: Charlotte’s Web reveals, for the first time, the real police footage and video evidence including footage of police searches of their apartment and the discovery during those searches of the evidence which would see Spaliviero gaoled for 16 years.




Official timeshift figures released today show the premiere episode of Underbelly: Razor had an additional 279,515 viewers, bringing the premiere episode total to 2.794 million viewers. 

This phenomenal result makes Underbelly: Razor the highest ever drama to have screened since the creation of OzTAM in 2001, eclipsing the old record set by the Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities premiere at 2.582 million viewers. 

The National Result (5 City Metro and Regional) for Underbelly: Razor now stands at a dominant 3.826 million viewers.

The increase in viewers has moved Underbelly: Razor (Episode one) up to the number three show of 2011 for Total People across the survey year.

The increase has also shifted Underbelly: Razor (Episode one) into the number two position (behind The Block-Winner Announced at number one) in all key advertiser demos.

Underbelly: Razor is a Screentime production for Channel 9 starring Danielle Cormack as Kate Leigh and Chelsie Preston Crayford as Tilly Devine.