Countdown revives to launch 111 Hits

By David Knox on October 24, 2008 / Filed Under Pay TV 18

A rather cool publicity stunt for the launch of Foxtel’s new 111 Hits Channel will see a one off revival of the ABC’s Countdown from its original studio before a studio audience.

Molly Meldrum will host the special at 6:30pm Saturday November 1st with a musical line up including Bonnie Tyler, the Rocky Horror Show cast, The Models, The Angels and John Paul Young. The channel’s theme “I want you back” will be performed by Jermaine Jackson while Dharma and Greg‘s Jenna Elfman will also appear.

Foxtel’s Brian Walsh says, “Countdown to 111 HITS with Molly Meldrum is the perfect way to showcase the iconic television shows available on 111 HITS and to celebrate the channel’s launch.”

The program will also be simulcast on FOX8.

Press Release:

Foxtel announced today the Australian television icon Countdown will make a special return appearance to launch its exciting new channel 111 HITS – the number one destination for TV’s biggest hits.

Countdown to 111 HITS will be a television spectacular hosted by Molly Meldrum and filmed in front of a live audience from the show’s original Melbourne studio home, airing at 6.30pm (AEDT) on November 1, 2008.

The one-hour TV special will represent the music and television from the 111 HITS era through live performances, star interviews, celebrity guests, audience interaction and plenty of studio surprises. During the show, Molly will count down the top ten TV series from 111 HITS so viewers can relive those memorable TV moments from the 80s, 90s and today.

Foxtel Executive Director of Television and Marketing, Brian Walsh said: “Countdown to 111 HITS with Molly Meldrum is the perfect way to showcase the iconic television shows available on 111 HITS and to celebrate the channel’s launch.”

Jenna Elfman, the gorgeous star from the popular series Dharma & Greg, will be a special guest appearing live on the show, with legendary musical acts from Bonnie Tyler, the Rocky Horror Show cast, The Models, The Angels and John Paul Young.

A huge final performance of the song that captures the essence of the 111 HITS channel “I want you back” will be performed by Jermaine Jackson from the infamous group, The Jackson 5.

“Foxtel is thrilled to be producing a live program on such a large scale with fantastic guests and musical talent. The guests and performers we’ve secured for this television event have great global appeal and really reflect what 111 HITS is all about – triple the stars, triple the memories and triple the hits.”

Tune in to 111 HITS at 6.30pm (AEDT) on Saturday, November 1 to watch Countdown to 111 HITS. The program will also be simulcast on FOX8.

Critically acclaimed dramas and award-winning comedies such as Friends, Dharma & Greg, Will & Grace, Ally McBeal, The Wonder Years, That ‘70s Show, ER, Murphy Brown, Alf, Lost, Without a Trace and Baywatch are just some of the top-rating programs that capture the energy, fun, heart and soul of channel 111 HITS.


  1. Nicole April 20, 2009 at 10:29 pm -

    Does anyone know the song that was played on 111 Hits during the commercial representing the final seasons of Friends and Will and Grace? It is a slow song, sung by a woman with lyrics (something like) “you’ve always been there, you saved me from my broken heart and I will be free when you’re here with me”.
    Please help!!! I have searched anything and everything and cannot find this song. I need it!!

  2. Andrew February 23, 2009 at 5:42 pm -

    Great to see Austar picked up Tripple One got the March Austar guide

  3. Mydoona November 3, 2008 at 2:50 pm -

    oh I was looking forward to this until I watched it.
    It was terrible….Horrible interviews and Bonnie Tyler lip synched her whole song…sing live girl!

  4. Tim November 1, 2008 at 9:08 pm -

    Are there any new shows? Seems like the usual Foxtel trick of cannabilising and repackaging shows from their other channels.

  5. ben November 1, 2008 at 7:03 pm -

    this sucks why wont it be on austar and why rub it in on people who do have austar by running adds for it and the countdown and why would anyone watch the countdown the host is a redneck loser the bands suck and Jenna Elfman isnt even hot

  6. alan November 1, 2008 at 6:17 pm -

    And I thought that they had the perfect station repeats of Aussie shows
    Divi 4 Cop Shop Wrestling.Graham Kenndey
    But no more yank trash

  7. Ianblair23 October 29, 2008 at 3:35 pm -

    Rick, I believe that it is pronounced as “triple one”.

  8. Leith October 25, 2008 at 1:48 am -

    So is this basically just TV1 but instead of repeats of I Love Lucy, Brady Bunch, Get Smart and Gilligans Island, you get Murphy Brown, Perfect Strangers, Family Matters, Alf etc etc?

  9. ali October 24, 2008 at 9:13 pm -

    FTA viewers miss out again :(

  10. PT Ryan October 24, 2008 at 6:15 pm -

    Gee, when I think of Count Down, I know I immediately think of Jenna Elfman!!!

  11. Rick October 24, 2008 at 5:24 pm -

    Most important question: How should one pronounce “111”. I’ve been saying “one-eleven”, but does Foxtel call it one-one-one?

  12. Kuttsywood October 24, 2008 at 3:59 pm -

    I think we now know why 111 is branded as such. The majority of programs are from the 1-1-1 (i.e no pay TV, only the three commercials, 7.9,10.) era, of the late 80’s-mid 90’s.

  13. Tim October 24, 2008 at 3:36 pm -

    i also had the same thoughts as Tom about the channel being widescreen. Lets hope the channels Tom mentioned become widescreen as of 1/11. I would prefer that, more so than the shuffling of shows from the other channels to make a new one…

  14. knoxoverstreet October 24, 2008 at 2:31 pm -

    Oh my god how massively cool is this! Now I need to find someone to tape it for me.

  15. Jimmy October 24, 2008 at 2:28 pm -

    Tom, the thing is, when it’s in widescreen but supposed to be in 4:3, it gets stretched and loses quality. I watch the Nanny on Channel 9 when it’s on, and the picture is much shaper because it’s in 4:3 ratio

  16. Evan October 24, 2008 at 2:06 pm -

    Tom, Sci-fi will be Widescreen from Dec 1

    Evan :->

  17. tom October 24, 2008 at 1:47 pm -

    I got the foxtel magazine today, and they have a column for 111 HITS, but tell me to go online to see the program guide. How crap is that? Why am I buying the magazine then? They 111 HITS channel is available now with a loop of advertising similar to the launch of showcase. At least it is actually widescreen unlike SciFi, except all their shows are so old they are in 4:3 ratio, so whats the point when TV1, Arena, SciFI and Comedy show so much 16:9 shows not but air them in 4:3.

  18. Craig October 24, 2008 at 1:08 pm -

    Good this it’s on Fox8 as Austar won’t get 111 on Nov 1st :(

    Should be a fun Saturday night!

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