'Rafter,' 'Underbelly' top at Logies

Australian dramas rule on local TV's big night

SYDNEY -- Seven Network's family themed show "Packed to the Rafters" and the Nine Network's gritty crime series "Underbelly" shared the spoils on Australian television's biggest night.

But it was veteran actress Rebecca Gibney of "Rafters" who picked up the top award, the Gold Logie for most popular personality on Australian television at Sunday night's TV Week Logie Awards.

With awards handed out in both peer- and audience-voted categories, "Underbelly" dominated the industry awards, winning most outstanding drama and outstanding actor and actress for Gyton Grantley and Kat Stewart, respectively.

In a legal twist for the ceremony, a year-old injunction against any portion of "Underbelly" being shown in the state of Victoria, where the awards were staged, prevented clips from the series being aired in the nominations packages.

"Rafters" proved Aussie fans' favorite show, taking a total of six of the audience-voted awards including most popular drama, most popular actress (Rebecca Gibney) and most popular new male talent (Hugh Sheridan).

Sheridan and Gibney's co-star, Jessica Marais, won most popular new female talent as well as the Graham Kennedy award for most outstanding new talent.

"Rafters" and "Underbelly" were the top-rated dramas on Australian television in 2008, beating out both local and imported programs.

Seven network programs won another three awards, stamping the No. 1 network's dominance of the ceremony, which is hosted by TV Week magazine, a stable mate of rival the Nine Network.

Seven's coverage of the Beijing Olympics won most outstanding sports coverage, "Border Security" was the most outstanding factual program and "Better Homes and Gardens" won most popular lifestyle program.

In other peer-voted categories, SBS' landmark series on the history of Aboriginal Australia, "First Australians," won best documentary. The Australian Broadcasting Corp.'s political satire "The Hollowmen" won most outstanding comedy, while Jonathan M. Shiff's "H20: Just Add Water" was the most outstanding children's program.

Network Ten dominated the remainder of the popular categories, with talk show host Rove McManus winning most popular presenter and his eponymously titled show, "Rove," winning most popular light entertainment program.

"Bondi Rescue" was the most popular program while the local version of "So You Think You Can Dance" was the most popular light entertainment show.