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Best New Drama
Subcategory of Logie Awards
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Awarded during the 1970s and 1980s, but no longer part of the Logie Awards.

Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 1980

winner form y separately published work icon Prisoner Cell Block H; Prisoner: Cell Block H Reg Watson , Reg Grundy Enterprises (publisher), 1979 Australia : Reg Grundy Enterprises Network Ten , 1979-1987 Z1511014 1979 series - publisher film/TV

Television series.

Prisoner told stories of the inmates of Wentworth Detention Centre, a women's prison. The show had its roots in the similar UK drama series Within These Walls, but presented storylines with a much harder and sometimes controversial edge, including themes such as lesbianism, murder, and drugs.

Key characters in the series included Bea Smith (aka Queen Bea), who ran things from the prisoners' side, and prison guards Joan 'The Freak' Ferguson and Vera 'Vinegar Tits' Bennett. Other inmates included the elderly Lizzie Birdsworth and lesbian Franky Doyle.

Year: 1977

winner form y separately published work icon The Sullivans Jock Blair , Ian Jones , Ian Jones , Roger Dunn , Peter A. Kinloch , Charles E. Stamp , Lynn Bayonas , Ray Kolle , Tony Morphett , Charlie Strachan , Graeme Koetsveld , Robert Caswell , Tony Cavanaugh , 1976 Melbourne Australia : Crawford Productions Nine Network , 1976-1983 Z1632899 1976 series - publisher film/TV historical fiction war literature

Set in the Melbourne suburb of Camberwell during World War Two, The Sullivans follows the lives of Dave and Grace Sullivan and their children John, Tom, Dave, and Kitty. However, the storylines reach beyond the immediate Sullivan family, allowing viewers to see their extended family, friends, and neighbours also struggle through everyday war-time life.

The series also featured war-action sequences involving various characters. Arguably the most dramatic moment, and the event that effectively became a turning point in the series, was the death of Grace Sullivan in a London air raid. The series finished after a seven-year run, by which point most of the original cast had left the series and the remaining characters had settled into a new life in the post-war era.

Year: 1976

winner form y separately published work icon Cash and Company Patrick Edgeworth , Theodore Baer , ( dir. Russell Hagg et. al. )agent Australia : Homestead Productions , 1975 Z1819427 1975 series - publisher film/TV adventure historical fiction

A bushranging adventure series, conceived by Patrick Edgeworth (a British-born script-writer who had arrived in Australia in 1969 and begun working for Crawford Productions) and Russell Hagg (then script editor for Crawford's Matlock Police) to counteract the comparative absence of historical programs on Australian television. Though the ABC did begin airing Rush shortly before Cash and Company aired, Don Storey notes in Classic Australian Television that 'Unlike Rush, Cash & Company was conceived purely as an escapist adventure series. Although the stories are based on fact, they make no attempt to recreate any authentic events. However, much research was done to ensure the settings, costumes and props faithfully recreated the period'.

The series follows bushrangers Sam Cash and (American) Joe Brady, the sympathetic widow Jessica Johnson, and their nemesis, Lieutenant Keogh. According to Moran, in his Guide to Australian TV Series, Cash and Brady (who have a 'cavalier attitude towards mining licences and other people's sheep') are 'rough diamonds from the wrong side of the track but more masculine and attractive to the horeseriding quasi aristocrat Jessica Johnson than is Keogh'.

However, Storey counters that the 'Contrary to the entry in Moran's Guide To Australian TV Series, Cash & Company is not about their "cavalier attitude to mining licences and other people's sheep".' Instead, he argues, 'Cash & Compan reflects the view that not all outlaws were necessarily bad, but were sometimes reasonable men who were persecuted and driven outside the law by the law itself -- as administered by ruthless officials'.

Storey also notes (in support of this claim) that critics, who were positive about the series, didn't compare it to Rush, but to prior positive depictions of outlaws, such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) or the long-running Richard Greene series The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955-1959).

Cash and Company was sold to the United Kingdom, Sweden, Holland, Yugoslavia, Ireland, Norway, and Nigeria, and screened at the Cannes Film Festival. It was successful enough to warrant a second 13-episode series, but Serge Lazaroff's decision to quit the series prompted instead the production of the quasi spin-off Tandarra.

Year: 1975

winner form y separately published work icon Rush James Davern , David William Boutland , James Davern , Ted Roberts , Victor Sankey , Colin Free , Sonia Borg , Oriel Gray , Colin Eggleston , Cliff Green , Howard Griffiths , John Martin , ( dir. David Zweck et. al. )agent Melbourne : Australian Broadcasting Commission , 1974 Z1833016 1974 series - publisher film/TV historical fiction crime

One of Australia's earliest television dramatisations of its gold-rush era, Rush is, as Don Storey points out in his Classic Australian Television, in many ways two entirely separate programs: between series one and series two, the setting shifts from the Victorian goldfields to a New South Wales mining town, and jumps forward from the 1850s to the early 1860s. However, both series take place in the same universe, use the same chronology, and have a clear internal coherence, centred on the continuing character of Sergeant Robert McKellar. Therefore, they are generally treated as two separate series of a single program.

(The differences in cast, crew, writers, and directors between the two series are given in detail in the film details section below.)

With its enormous, intricate, expensive, and accurate sets, costumes, and props, Rush proved extremely popular with viewers, despite series one airing in an awkward weeknight 8pm slot (which, as Storey notes, put it against the second half of the highly successful Homicide in Melbourne). Series one did, however, attract some criticism for being filmed in black-and-white when colour programming was only a matter of months away in Australia.

Series two (which drew on foreign financing to cover its cost, an extremely high--for a domestically produced program--$24,000 an episode) was made in colour. Following Sergeant McKellar (the only character to carry over from series one), series two pushed the character forward through two disillusioning events (the Eureka Stockade, which prompted McKellar's resignation from the Victoria Police, and the death of his wife Sarah) and dropped him into the conflicts of a small New South Wales mining town.

Series two was also extremely popular but, according to Storey, plans for series three were shelved when the new Fraser government instituted (among other things) a hefty budget cut to the ABC.

Series one gained renewed prominence in the 1990s when, like police procedural Bluey, it was re-dubbed and sent up on The Late Show (as The Olden Days).

Year: 1974

winner form y separately published work icon Seven Little Australians Eleanor Witcombe , ABC Television (publisher), ( dir. Ron Way ) Sydney : ABC Television , 1973 Z972389 1973 series - publisher film/TV children's young adult historical fiction

A ten-part television mini-series adapted from the 1894 novel Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner (q.v.). Set in Sydney in the 1890s, the stories concern Captain Woolcot, an English widower with seven children, who has recently married again. The family lives in their large home 'Misrule,' which lies along the banks of the Parramatta River. As an officer in the New South Wales Regiment, Woolcot attempts to implement regimental discipline but is constantly harassed and embarrassed by the antics of his seven mischievous children: Meg, Pip, Judy, Nell, Bunty, Baby, and 'The General.' Since he is unable to control them, it is his new wife who invariably takes on all the trials of bringing up the children, with the most difficult child being the ring-leader Helen, commonly known as Judy.