If you’ve ever flicked on a TV in Australia at some point over the past few decades, chances of you encountering the name Grundy are nigh on 100%.
Reg Grundy, one of Australia’s most successful, highest profile, and most influential television producers, has died at the age of 92. Grundy reportedly passed away in the arms of his beloved wife Joy at the couple’s estate in Bermuda.
Grundy Television was the company largely responsible for producing the bulk of Australia’s locally-made TV throughout the 70s and into the 80s, after being founded by Grundy in 1959.
Grundy’s knack for talent and producing nous saw him bring a swathe of iconic shows to Australian small screens, including the likes of The Young Doctors, Prisoner, The Restless Years, and Sons and Daughters.
But it was Grundy’s eye for US TV game shows that brought him the most success, importing formats and adapting them for the ‘Strayan screen. Shows like Sale Of The Century, The Price is Right, Family Feud, Wheel Of Fortune, Blankety Blanks, Blind Date, and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? were all produced under the Grundy label.
Inarguably, though, Grundy TV’s greatest achievement is the still on-going Neighbours, launched on the Seven Network in 1985 before subsequently migrating to Ten the following year, the show is Grundy’s legacy, having now aired some 7,360 episodes in its 31-year history.
Informally, Grundy’s name also entered the Australian lexicon as a rhyming slang term for undies.
The Grundy Television company still operates today; in 1995 Reg Grundy sold the company to Pearson Television, who subsequently merged both it and Crackerjack Productions in 2006 to form FremantleMedia Australia.
Vale, Reg. Without his influence, Australian TV would be a very, very different place.
Source: The Guardian.
Photo: Peter Carrette Archive/Getty.