Initially inspired by The Mickey Mouse Club, the series featured a core group of young performers known as the "Young Talent Team" - and it's fair to say that a large proportion of Australia's youth in the 70s and 80s secretly wished they could be part of the "Team". The show originally had a policy that when team members reached 16 years of age, they had to leave the series and move on, but this rule become more fluid as the series continued.
The program launched the careers of a number of Australian performers including Debbie Byrne, Jamie Redfern, Sally Boyden, Karen Knowles, Beven Addinsall, Tina Arena and Dannii Minogue. Not only that, but there were numerous hit singles, fifteen Young Talent Time albums, a film, and a vast range of merchandise (including swap cards, boardgames, toys, and mugs). Both the program itself and its host won numerous Logie Awards.
In addition to performances by the Young Talent Team, each episode featured 3 contestants in a talent show style format, where judges awarded points and there was a Grand Final each season. A number of well known Australian performers began their careers as contestants on the show.
Young Talent Time was produced as a joint venture by Lewis-Young Productions (the partnership between host Johnny Young and colleague Kevin Lewis, one of the directors of Festival Records) and was taped mainly at the studios of ATV-10 in Nunawading, Melbourne although were also taped at the TEN-10 studios in Sydney and on location when the team travelled.
On average, 44 episodes were produced per year for 18 years. The episodes were broadcast in black and white from April 1971 to April 1975, thereafter in colour. The final episode aired on 23 December 1988.
During the run of the show, Johnny Young and the Team made numerous live appearances all over Australia, performing full concerts or short publicity appearances at various venues, often inspiring scenes reminiscent of appearances by rock stars complete with screaming girls and a large press contingent. For instance, in 1987 an audience turnout of over 4,000 people caused trouble at a concert at the Westfield Shopping Centre, Parramatta - fans were crushed in the crowd and the concert was cancelled. In 1988, over 12,000 people attended an outdoor concert held in Brisbane at the 1988 World Expo which was broadcast nationally. At the end of 1988, Young and the cast performed a series of concerts. The final concert was held at the Melbourne Tennis Centre on 23 December, the same night on which the last episode of Young Talent Time aired on Network Ten.
The program was "rebooted" in 2012 on Network Ten, giving rise to a whole new generation of fans.
There are still legions of Young Talent Time fans who have fond memories of the show as being important parts of their childhoods.