Television City celebrates GTV9

By David Knox

Nov 22, 2010

It's a "who's who" invite list as Nine's live TV party gathers more stars than the Logie Awards.

The stars are set to come out for the "last" live to air show from GTV9 studios on this week.

Bert Newton and Eddie McGuire will host the live-to-air special Lights, Camera, Party: Television City Celebrates which will mark the end of Nine's famous Melbourne studios in Bendigo Street Richmond.

For more than 50 years they have been home to live television including iconic shows such as In Melbourne Tonight, New Faces, It Could Be You, Cartoon Corner, Hey Hey! It's Saturday, The Graham Kennedy Show, The Ernie Sigley Show, The Don Lane Show, The Sullivans, The Paul Hogan Show, Sale Of The Century, The Price is Right, The Footy Show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire and more.

But Nine is moving to a new home at Melbourne's Docklands in an office block that will only house smaller productions such as Nine News and A Current Affair. It has already signed a five-year hire of the Victorian Government's Dockland Studios for bigger productions, and will stage select events at Crown Casino.

The TV special hopes to draw in a star-studded cavalcade of celebrities who have worked at GTV.

It is chasing up TV veterans such as Lorraine Bayly and Paul Cronin from The Sullivans, Ernie Sigley and Denise Drysdale and even Rove McManus who had his first commercial TV show at Nine.

The two-hour special, set to follow the final episode of Hey Hey! It's Saturday, will air around the country, comprising 50 percent nostalgic clips and 50 percent live variety. "Television City" as it has become known, is widely considered the home of live variety in Australian TV.

But it won't be the last live show to air from Bendigo Street. That will probably fall to the more humble Nine News or A Current Affair sometime in December before the lights are switched off.

The studios will still be filming Hot Seat episodes in December and Warnie is also in production in both Melbourne and Sydney.

"We are now entering an exciting new dawn which will see one of the most productive periods in GTV's rich history," said Nine Network Australia managing director, Jeff Browne.

"The last Hey Hey! It's Saturday from Studio 9 and our tribute show will be a fitting send-off to our proud, old studios."

Lights, Camera, Party: Television City Celebrates airs 9:30pm Saturday November 27 on Nine.

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