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Frontline (Australian television series)

While Frontline is the name of a serious news program on American public television, in Australia, Frontline is a satire of Australian television current affairs. This show ran for three 13-episode series of half-hour shows on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 1994, 1995, and 1997. The show was written, directed, and produced by the tight-knit team of Jane Kennedy, Tom Gleisner, Rob Sitch, and Santo Cilauro, also behind several popular Australian films, sketch comedy, and panel discussion shows during the 1990s. Kennedy, Sitch, and Cilauro also acted on the show, as well as Tiriel Mora, Alison Whyte, and several other notable Australian actors.

The show followed the machinations of the fictional current affairs show Frontline. Ruthless producers, an airhead host, and ambitious journalists resorted to all sorts of underhanded tricks to get ratings--not to mention making themselves look good for the network bosses. However, what gave the show its true impact was that the stories and actions of the journalists were often thinly-disguised parodies of real events.

The fictional host of the show, "Mike Moore" (played by Sitch) was widely viewed as a parody of Stan Grant, the host of Today Tonight, one of the current affairs shows that Frontline parodied. Sitch has stated that none of the characters were directly based on a single person, and, indeed, some of Moore's characteristics, and the storylines of the third series, were clearly inspired by Today Tonight's rival, A Current Affair, and the travails of Ray Martin, the show's host at the time.