Every successful Australian drama series produced in the last two decades owes its existence to Number 96. The American producers of Dallas and Dynasty are said to have studied its formulae. Number 96 was also the series that saved a TV network from extinction, although attempts to emulate Number 96 rarely succeeded. The 1980 US version was a dismal failure.
25 years on, Number 96 is still in the news! Cast reunions have been featured on shows as varied as as Tonight Live, Good Morning Australia, TVTV, Midday, Sale of the Century, Burke's Backyard and most recently, Where Are They Now?
Episode # 3 of Number 96 (which used the original pilot's script) was a highlight of an AFI television festival held in (appropriately enough) Paddington. Episode # 1 was showcased with several other 70s soaps' premiere episodes at the Valhalla, Glebe. The feature film version of the series has became a late-night cult classic in several capital cities. And when Network Ten dusted off an 18-year old special, Number 96: They Said It Wouldn't Last, it out-rated Part II of the Nine Network's expensive mini-series, Scarlett.
On 18th Nov 1996, Network Ten screened its contribution to Australian TV's 40th anniversary, Forty Fun Years of Television. At the show's conclusion, a countdown of "Ten's Top 10 Moments" gave Number 96 two positions:
9. The pantyhose murders on Number 96!!!
8. The crocodile attacking Stephanie in Return to Eden
7. Bob Hawke meeting Con the Fruiterer on The Comedy Company
6. Bea burning Lynn's hands with the laundry press in Prisoner
5. Mel Gibson guesting on Punishment
4. Graham Kennedy doing Cyril on Blankety Blanks
3. Nicole Kidman starring in Bangkok Hilton
2. The wedding of Scott and Charlene in Neighbours
and the winner was...
1. The delicatessen bomb blast in Number 96!!!
(And the publishers thought nobody would buy my book?)
The building as it appears in 1996... Pink!
(Thanks Pene Quarry and Jamie and Vanessa)
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Number 96 Home Page © 1996 Lindsay Street Productions
This page revised March 2006
Email Ian at: firstname.lastname@example.org