Is there a longer-running locally produced show still in reruns, than Skippy The Bush Kangaroo? Remarkably, as the show reaches 50 Years since it was first produced, it is still on air on Nine if at the overnight time of 3:00am, and 6:00am on GEM. It haunts me everytime I walk into the Mix studio and see it showing on the studio TV.
Skippy was produced from 1966 – 1969, with 91 episodes airing from 1968 – 1970. It went on to become our first international TV hit.
Producer John McCallum first offered the show to Australian Frank Packer, father of Kerry Packer, who bought the show after a brief screening (in fact, one that wasn’t even complete due to projectors breaking down). He paid a one-off fee for the show in perpetuity.
While that deal was fortuitous for the Packers and Nine, it wasn’t so good for the cast, who signed on without any thought of payment for something called DVDs that had never been invented. Actor Tony Bonner later failed in a courtcase to win residuals.
At least I still have a Skippy dinner plate which brings back fond memories of childhood. .......Greg