Oct 23 2016

1996: October 5-11

tvweek_051096Cover: Emily Symons (Home And Away)

Alf’s life on the line
Home And Away‘s Alf Stewart’s (Ray Meagher) life hangs in the balance in episodes going to air this week. The recent earthquake that hit Summer Bay triggered a heart attack in Alf, leading to heart bypass surgery by cardiac specialist Dr James McClaren (Grant Dodwell). The rather smug Dr McClaren, pleased with the surgery, takes off for a round of golf, leaving resident GP Dr Kelly Watson (Katrina Hobbs) to monitor Alf’s post-operation recovery. But when Alf’s blood pressure plummets, the young Dr Watson is left to perform emergency surgery, which doesn’t go well. “(Dr Watson) had to go in and try and fix the (heart) valve and she nearly stuffed it up entirely,” Meagher told TV Week.

‘I saw someone die on the operating table’
nicholaseadie_0002Nicholas Eadie (pictured), who plays Dr Red Buchanan in the new Network Ten series Medivac, did not anticipate the emotional impact that researching the role entailed. Eadie spent 20 hours in the emergency department at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital to observe medical procedures and patient behaviour. “For people who arrive at the emergency ward, it’s often a case of needing immediate surgery, sometimes in life or death situations,” he told TV Week. “I saw someone die on the operating table — a motor accident victim. Seeing that sort of thing is very difficult to process in your head. I came away having incredible respect for people who work in that situation.”

eddiemcguire_0004Now it’s Gridiron Eddie…
The Nine Network‘s Eddie McGuire (pictured) has just added another role to his growing media profile. As well as hosting The Footy Show in Melbourne, presenting sport on Nightline and his regular radio commitments, McGuire is now hosting Nine’s weekly coverage of the American National Football League (NFL). McGuire has recently been involved in contract renewal negotiations with Nine but it is no secret that rival network Seven has tried to poach him. He is also amused at some of the media attention relating to his pay packet. “One paper called me, ‘The million dollar man’, while another journalist said I was making $1.6 million. There have been some wild and woolly figures published,” he told TV Week.


  • Mark Mitchell (The Comedy Company, Lift Off) and Jeremy Callaghan (Police Rescue, Water Rats) are to feature in a US telemovie, A Munster’s Scary Little Christmas, being produced in Sydney.
  • Oscar-winning designed Lizzy Gardiner is working on a documentary called The Dream Factory for ABC.
  • Film reviewer Peter Castaldi is to host a new movie review show, Mosaic, for pay-TV operator Optus Vision.
  • Production has begun on the Gold Coast on a new four-hour mini-series of the classic tale 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. The series, for America’s ABC network, will air on Nine in Australia and features local actors Bryan Brown, Kerry Armstrong and John Bach in supporting roles.

TV’s National Top 10 (Week Commencing 15 September 1996):
Source: AC Nielsen Australia Pty Ltd

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 2180000
2 This Is Your Life Nine Thu 2058000
3 Who Dares Wins Seven Wed 1993000
4 Getaway Nine Thu 1932000
5 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 1879000
6 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 1872000
7 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1825000
8 AFL: Second Preliminary Final Seven Sat 1820000
9 Friends Seven Mon 1818000
10 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1798000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, October 5-11):
Bathurst Top 10 (3pm, Seven) features the qualifying round for pole positions for Sunday’s Bathurst 1000. In Ocean Girl (5.30pm, Ten), the search for the synchronium seems to be about the only thing on Neri’s (Marzena Godecki) mind.

Sunday: The Bathurst 1000 (8am, Seven) presents ten hours of live coverage of the legendary motor race from Mount Panorama, Bathurst, hosted by Garry Wilkinson. Sunday night movies are The Three Musketeers (Seven), Buffalo Girls (Nine) and Mr Jones (Ten).

Monday: In Pacific Drive (11.15pm, Nine), Luke (Steve Harman) discovers he has a half sister who warns him that their father is a dangerous man.

Tuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Mal (Benjie McNair) is stunned to see Melissa (Aimee Robertson) in an expensive car with another man. In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), Adam (Damian Walshe-Howling) and Dash (Tasma Walton) damage the police station computer while playing an illegal game, while PJ (Martin Sacks) and Maggie (Lisa McCune) try to solve a puzzling series of break-ins.’

Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Debbie (Marnie Reece-Wilmore) realises the enormity of what she did to Danni’s (Eliza Szonert) clothing business.

Thursday: Getaway (7.30pm, Nine) features Rebecca Harris‘ visit to the Pajinka Wilderness Lodge at Cape York Peninsula, Jeff Watson‘s guided tour of Helsinki, and Lochie Daddo visiting the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. Jennifer Keyte hosts highlights of the Melbourne Festival (10.30pm, Nine), featuring interviews with Dudley Moore, Marianne Faithful, festival artistic director Leo Schofield and Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett.

Friday: In Police Rescue (8.30pm, ABC), a light plane and its crew have been missing for days. After a fall during the search, Angel (Steve Bastoni) finds the crew and spends the night with them. In Pacific Drive (11pm, Nine), Luke (Steve Harman) allows himself to be misled by his father, and tragedy strikes in Joel’s (Adrian Lee) nightclub.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 5 October 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/10/1996-october-5-11.html

Oct 23 2016

1996: September 28-October 4

tvweek_280996Cover: Catriona Rowntree (Getaway) and Tania Zaetta (Who Dares Wins)

Tony’s above par
The Seven Network‘s decision to dump John Burgess as host of Wheel Of Fortune after 12 years in the role was met with widespread disapproval. Viewers were unhappy with the signing of Tony Barber to the hosting role as well as other changes being made to the long-running format when production shifted from Adelaide to Sydney. But co-host Adriana Xenides, who was speculated to have been just as devastated by the changes, has defended Barber’s appointment. “Tony is a delight to work with,” she told TV Week. “From our first on-air association I knew I was in a true partnership. I have been privileged that in my 15 years in the television industry I have had the good fortune to work with some of the finest Australian talent. The new environment on Wheel is neither a chore nor a challenge, because I adjust well to new situations.” Barber, a game show veteran with a CV that includes Great Temptation, Name That Tune, Family Feud, Sale Of The Century and Jeopardy, admits he has been hurt by some of the criticism surrounding his appointment but accepts that viewers do take these changes to heart. “I’m not really surprised how bitter some letters have been,” he told TV Week. “TV is a large part of their life. Wheel is their show and they’ve been tuning in for 15 years. They have every right to voice their opinion. I just hope that in the fullness of time viewers give the show a fair go.”

rosshiggins_0001Not the Kingswood!
Ted Bullpitt is coming back to TV. Producers Gary Reilly and Tony Sattler, the creators of Kingswood Country, are set to revive the character played by Ross Higgins (pictured) for a new series titled Bullpitt! “He’s still cranky after all these years,” Reilly told TV Week. “It’s Kingswood Country 20 years on. Ted now lives in a retirement home, and basically that’s it.” Kingswood Country made its debut in January 1980, featuring Higgins, Judi Farr, Peter Fisher, Lex Marinos and Laurel McGowan. “Because the original Kingswood Country has been repeated on Seven, a whole new generation has found the show,” Reilly said. A pilot for Bullpitt is to go into production next month and if successful will go into a series next year.

Persistence pays off for new Saturday Disney host
saturdaydisneyA week of voluntary work experience at Seven Network‘s Brisbane studios has paid off for Shelley Iliff (pictured far right). The 20-year-old has just been announced as a new host on Seven’s Saturday Disney. After her week of work experience, Iliff scored a job as a production assistant at Seven before a vacancy came up at Saturday Disney with Jeniene Mapp leaving the show. “I think they were just looking for a fresh new person who had never done anything, which was me!,” Iliff told TV Week. She now joins Lisa Barry and Marc Buhaj on the long-running program.


  • Tara Brown (A Current Affair), Gina Boon, Jennifer Keyte and Tracy Grimshaw are believed to be among the contenders for the co-hosting role on Nine‘s Today, following the decision by Liz Hayes to join 60 Minutes.
  • Filming has started on the pilot for the new Seven Network drama Trackers. Set in the Australian Customs Service, it stars Aaron Pedersen, Christine Harris, Geoff Paine, Andy Anderson, Sarah Chadwick and newcomers Berynn Schwerdt and Ling-Hsueh Tang.
  • darrinklimekPacific Drive star Darrin Klimek (pictured) made a pilot for a music show four years ago, but when it didn’t go ahead he instead pursued an acting career. However, Foxtel has now signed up the 25-year-old to host The NewMusic, focusing on emerging music talent both from Australia and overseas. The NewMusic is also expected to feature contributions by Molly Meldrum. Despite having the new show, Klimek will continue his commitments with Pacific Drive. “Foxtel has been nice in that they are going to work around Pacific Drive,” he told TV Week.
  • American actor Gary Coleman, recently in Australia to appear on Nine‘s 40 years of television celebrations, apparently had hoped to achieve a private ambition to be a TV cop. The former Diff’rent Strokes star had contacted the producers of Water Rats to ask if they could write in a cameo role for him. Producers met with the actor but diplomatically declined his request.

TV’s National Top 10 (Week Commencing 8 September 1996):
Source: AC Nielsen Australia Pty Ltd

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 2284000
2 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 1950000
3 This Is Your Life Nine Thu 1908000
4 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 1904000
5 Friends Seven Mon 1869000
6 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1832000
7 Great Aussie Bloopers Seven Wed 1821000
8 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1767000
9 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1753000
10 Who Dares Wins Seven Wed 1733000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, September 28-October 4):
The AFL Grand Final coverage continues from the overnight Football Marathon, with the Grand Final Breakfast (8am, Seven), the VSFL Under 18s Grand Final (9am, Seven), the Reserves Grand Final (11am, Seven) and then the big game — North Melbourne versus Sydney Swans — live from the Melbourne Cricket Ground (2pm, Seven). Gladiators (6.30pm, Seven) begins its Ashes competition, featuring Australia versus the UK, hosted by Mike Hammond and UK host Ulrika Jonsson.

Sunday: The Sunday Footy Show (12pm, Nine) presents its last show for the year, followed by the NSW Rugby League Grand Final (1pm, Nine), featuring Manly Sea Eagles versus St George Dragons, live from Sydney Football Stadium. In Talk To The Animals (6.30pm, Seven), Jane Holmes joins whale watchers at Cape Byron, NSW, while Dr Harry Cooper takes to the road with the RSPCA rescue centre. Sunday night movies are The Indecent Favour (Seven), Lightning Jack (Nine) and Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (Ten).

Monday: Children’s shows Time Masters (4pm, Seven) and Ship To Shore (4pm, Nine) return with new series. In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Helen (Anne Haddy) returns home, while the rest of Ramsay Street tries to come to terms with the shock of Cheryl’s (Caroline Gillmer) death. Harry Connick Jnr and Chris Isaak host the 10th Annual ARIA Awards (8.30pm, Ten), live from the Sydney Convention Centre. Talking Footy (11.05pm, Seven) presents its last show of the year.

Tuesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Rebecca (Belinda Emmett) disturbs an intruder and finds a knife on the floor. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Vesna (Lenka Krpac) has to deal with a friend’s suicide and questions where her life is heading. In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), PJ (Martin Sacks) returns and faces immediate drama when he takes a call from a three-year-old whose mother won’t wake up; and Maggie (Lisa McCune) decides to give up her uni course.

Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), when a lease problem arises, Angie (Lesley Baker) fears for the coffee shop’s future. In Pacific Drive (11.15pm, Nine), Tim (Darrin Klimek) and Zoe (Libby Tanner) throw a party to announce their engagement.

Thursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), the actual cause of Cheryl’s (Caroline Gillmer) death is determined and Susan’s (Jackie Woodburne) worst fears are confirmed.

Friday: In Emergency 000 (8pm, Seven), a smoke-filled office building is evacuated and paramedics tackle frustrating peak-hour traffic. In Police Rescue (8.30pm, ABC), Joe (Salvatore Coco) becomes involved with a woman he rescues from the top of a building. In Pacific Drive (10.55pm, Nine), Tim (Darrin Klimek) and Zoe’s (Libby Tanner) marriage plans come under scrutiny from the immigration department.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 28 September 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.


Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/10/1996-september-28-october-4.html

Oct 20 2016

1996: September 21-27

Aussie screen successes are a window to the world
tvweek_210996Getaway reporter Lochie Daddo has got so used to reporting on his travels that a recent holiday to the NSW ski fields left him a bit disoriented. “It was weird. I kept looking for a camera to have to do something to,” he told TV Week. “It was like, ‘Where’s my 7am wake-up call to tell me to be downstairs in the foyer, ready to head off?’.” While the younger Daddo (older brother Cameron is in the US starring in the new series F/X) has had some acting experience, including Neighbours and GP and on stage, and hosted programs such as Countdown Revolution and Saturday At Rick’s, at this point he is more than happy to continue as a globetrotting reporter for Getaway. “At 26, to be able to travel the world and see all these amazing things… well, you couldn’t ask for a better job.” Meanwhile, Nine‘s newest star, former model Kate Fischer, is working hard with an increasingly busy schedule. As well as hosting cartoon show What’s Up Doc, she is also currently taping a new series of Time Out For Serious Fun for Nine and makes guest appearances on ABC‘s Good News Week.

raeleehill_0002The Rat Pack’s back!
Some cast changes are coming to Water Rats as it begins production on its second series. By the end of series one, viewers had farewelled four cast members — Bill Young, Jeremy Callaghan, Andrew Gilbert and, in dramatic scenes in the series finale, Peter Mochrie. Returning for series two are Colin Friels, Catherine McClements, Jay Laga’aia, Sophie Heathcote, Brett Partridge, Scott Burgess, Peter Bensley and Toni Scanlan. Joining the cast line-up now is Raelee Hill (pictured), formerly of Paradise Beach and Neighbours and currently appearing in Foxtel‘s Shark Bay. Also joining the series in guest roles are Paul Mercurio and Kym Wilson.

elizaszonertbernardcurryIt’s goodbye from Eliza
After two years playing the part of Danni Stark in Neighbours, Eliza Szonert (pictured with co-star Bernard Curry) has bid farewell to the show. “It was all a bit much. I had a lump in my throat and I thought I was going to cry,” she told TV Week after her last day. “But for once, I didn’t. I’m sad I’m going, but it’s time to move on. It’s the end of a chapter and I’m looking forward to the start of a new one.” Szonert’s exit, to go to air in November, sees her character Danni go to Malaysia to work for a fashion company.

johnburgessadrianaxenides_0002It’s only a game!
As part of the celebration of 40 years of television, TV Week looks at one of Australia’s favourite TV genres — game shows. Since Name That Tune started on TCN9 in September 1956, Australians have loved watching others getting quizzed — whether it be naming a tune, guessing a word or phrase, answering questions of general knowledge, finding a romantic partner or filling the blank! Shows like Pick A Box, Great Temptation (later Sale Of The Century), Wheel Of Fortune (former host John Burgess with co-host Adriana Xenides, pictured), The Price Is Right, Perfect Match and Blankety Blanks have been firm favourites with viewers. Some of the other titles that viewers may recall include Almost Anything Goes, Celebrity Tattletales, Personality Squares, Coles £3000 (later $6000) Question, Superquiz, Family Feud, The Main Event and Strike It Lucky.


  • The future of Nine‘s Pacific Drive now looks to be in doubt since co-producer New World was taken over by Twentieth Century Fox, and has withdrawn from the production. Village Roadshow, which partnered with New World for the series, is now frantically looking for a new partner.
  • The Seven Network is reported to be producing a new series featuring Barry Humphries. Barry Humphries Flashbacks is set to be an irreverent look at the past four decades of Australia’s history.
  • Foxtel has completed production of its first week of Beauty And The Beast. The line-up of beauties from the first five episodes includes Lisa Wilkinson, Maureen Duval, Anne Wills, Melissa Hoyer, Freda Leslie (a veteran of past BATB series), Georgie Parker, Jeanne Little and Rose Porteous. Beauty And The Beast begins on the Fox Talk channel in early October.
  • Former Seven Network sitcom Hey Dad! is beginning in re-runs this week… on Network Ten in an early afternoon timeslot.

TV’s National Top 10 (Week Commencing 1 September 1996):
Source: AC Nielsen Australia Pty Ltd

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 2213000
2 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 2045000
3 This Is Your Life Nine Thu 2040000
4 Very Best Of The World’s Worst Driver #3 Nine Mon 2007000
5 Terrible Twisters Nine Mon 1977000
6 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 1945000
7 Great Aussie Bloopers Seven Wed 1859000
8 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1852000
9 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1834000
10 Getaway Nine Thu 1815000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, September 21-27):
A one-hour special, Marn Grook (2pm, Seven) presents an Aboriginal perspective on Australian Rules football. The final of the Army versus Navy Challenge in Gladiators (3pm, Seven) is relegated to an afternoon timeslot to make way for Saturday Night Football, with highlights of the First Preliminary Final from Melbourne (6pm, Seven), followed by live coverage of the Second Preliminary Final from Sydney (7.30pm, Seven).

Sunday: The VFL Grand Final (2pm, ABC) is broadcast live. In Talk To The Animals (6.30pm, Seven), Sallianne Deckert travels to Alice Springs for the Camel Cup. Sunday night movies are Blue Sky (Seven), The Fugitive (repeat, Nine) and The Concierge (Ten).

kateraison_0001Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Toadie’s (Ryan Moloney) disappointment over leaving Erinsborough High grows. In Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten), Tonia Todman designs and makes bird boxes, Jim Brown visits the historic town of Robe, and Iain Hewitson makes delicious breads from one recipe. The Brownlow Medal Count (8.30pm, Seven) is broadcast live from the World Congress Centre, Melbourne. In Pacific Drive (11.15pm, Nine), Georgina (Kate Raison, pictured) suspects Martin (Joss McWilliam) is seeing another woman.

Tuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Helen (Anne Haddy) is bored with hospital life. In the new series Wildfish (8pm, SBS), host Peter Morse is joined by Rob Sitch (Frontline) for fly fishing in the streams of New Zealand’s southern alps. In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), Dash (Tasma Walton) and Maggie (Lisa McCune) can’t escape Johnny Kowalski’s (Jack Finsterer) womanising ways. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Maureen’s (Melissa Jaffer) favourite medical student, about to sit her final exam, is forced to admit that medicine is not for her after all.

bananasinpyjamas_0001Wednesday: Children’s series Bananas In Pyjamas (3.55pm, ABC) returns with more fun from B1 and B2 (pictured) and friends, with some help from narrator Karina Kelly. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Shannon (Isla Fisher) and Geoff (Martin Henderson) decide to try and live out their whole relationship in the one day. Noni Hazlehurst narrates the documentary The Edge Of Instinct (8.30pm, ABC), following the emotional journey of couples going through IVF.

Thursday: Science program Quantum (8pm, ABC) explores the arguments for and against mass vaccination campaigns for children, and asks why Australia is not adopting the safer polio and whooping cough vaccines about to be used in the US. The Footy Show (9pm, Nine) presents its lavish Grand Final edition.

Friday: The series final of children’s game show A*Mazing (4pm, Seven). In Police Rescue (8.30pm, ABC), Mickey (Gary Sweet) is forced to realise he is not invincible after the dangerous rescue of Nobby (John Flaus), a rock fisherman. With the AFL Grand Final tomorrow, That Was The Season That Was (8.30pm, Seven) with Bruce McAvaney takes a look back at the AFL Centenary season of 1996. The annual Grand Final Eve Football Marathon (11.40pm, Seven) continues overnight, featuring highlights of some of the most memorable matches of all time.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 21 September 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.


Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/10/1996-september-21-27.html

Oct 19 2016

1996: September 14-20

tvweek_140996Hello, Sailor!
Martin Henderson (pictured with Isla Fisher) sails into Home And Away as Sub-Lieutenant Geoff Thomas, on board a Royal Australian Navy patrol boat cruising the waters near Summer Bay in search of an errant World War II mine. It’s not long before the sailor sets eyes on Shannon (Fisher) and recognises her from her book. They’re soon spending more time with each other before falling in love. “It’s all quite sweet really,” Henderson told TV Week. “He enjoys her company. She’s a lovely, intelligent, fun-loving, pretty young woman.” But like any soapie romance, things are not what they seem, as a dark secret is about to be revealed.

lisaforrest_0001Lisa’s golden opportunity
Most elite sporting identities go on to media roles such as television commentary after retirement — but former champion swimmer Lisa Forrest took a different path. She began studying acting, both in Australia and overseas, followed by presenting stints on Everybody, Midday and on Sydney radio, but still could not get that big acting break. “I couldn’t even get an audition because people were going, ‘Oh, she’s a swimmer’,” Forrest told TV Week. Her luck has since changed and she is now starring in Network Ten‘s new medical drama Medivac, playing the part of intern Dr Marina Zamoyski.

New kid on the block, again
Former Heartbreak High star Sal Coco this week makes his debut as rookie Joseph Antonio Cardillo in the series return of Police Rescue. For Coco, joining the cast of a well-established drama was a challenge. “It was like arriving at a new school when all the relationships were already established,” he told TV Week. “I had to start all over again and earn their respect. I learned so much from the crew and so much from the cast.” This week’s return of Police Rescue marks the beginning of the show’s fifth and final series, though Coco is confident his new role marks a new phase in his career. “I’ve just landed a part in my first film. It is called Heaven’s Burning and is written by Louis Nowra (Cosi). When you have someone like him writing, well I just knew I wanted to be in it.”

richardroxburghRyan’s last stand
Logie Award-winning actor Richard Roxburgh (pictured) has scored the lead role in an upcoming telemovie about the life of Ronald Ryan, the last man to be hanged in Australia. The Last Of The Ryans is a joint venture between the Nine Network and Crawfords Australia and goes into production in Melbourne in November. Nine is tipped to air the telemovie early in 1997, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of Ryan’s death.


  • Production is due to begin this week on Foxtel‘s new panel show, a revival of Beauty And The Beast. Sydney radio man Stan Zemanek is the show’s “beast”, while the cast of beauties so far includes Rose Hancock, Lisa Wilkinson, Kate Fischer and Jo Bailey. Beauty And The Beast is to screen on the Fox Talk channel.
  • Aaron Pedersen, starring in Seven‘s new telemovie The Territorians, is tipped to join the cast of Trackers, a new drama pilot to go into production for Seven.
  • georgieparkergordonpiperSeven‘s Where Are They Now? has featured a reunion of cast members of A Country Practice, the series which ran for 12 years on both Seven and Ten networks. Gordon Piper and Georgie Parker (pictured) were also joined by Brian Wenzel, Syd Heylen and Grant Dodwell.
  • Former child star Gary Coleman, best known as Arnold in the US sitcom Diff’rent Strokes, is currently in Australia to appear on Sale Of The Century‘s 40 Years Of Television Celebrity Challenge.
  • Anthony Grundy, currently a third-year drama student at Queensland’s University of Technology and now starring in Medivac, has a familiar surname. His father is a cousin of legendary television producer Reg Grundy.  “It’s funny to have someone like that in your family. I’ve never met him, but I’ve heard plenty of family stories,” he told TV Week.

TV’s National Top 10 (Week Commencing 25 August 1996):
Source: AC Nielsen Australia Pty Ltd

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 2234000
2 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 2062000
3 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 2009000
4 The X FIles Ten Wed 1887000
5 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1881000
6 Getaway Nine Thu 1838000
7 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1828000
8 The Nanny Ten Sun 1804000
9 National Nine News Nine M-F 1801000
10 National Nine News Nine Sun 1783000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, September 14-20):
Beyond 2000 (2.30pm, Ten) reports on a car that drives on both land and water. Gladiators (7.30pm, Seven) features the second heat in the Army versus Navy Challenge.

Sunday: In Talk To The Animals (6.30pm, Seven), Jane Holmes watches dogs strut their stuff on the catwalk, and Kelly Pommeroy goes on the rounds with a horse vet. Sunday night movies are Tina — What’s Love Got To Do With It (Seven), Last Action Hero (Nine) and Far And Away (Ten).

Monday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Rebecca (Belinda Emmett) begrudgingly begins to accept Marilyn (Emily Symons). Sale Of The Century (7pm, Nine) begins its 40 years of television celebrity challenge. The two-hour special 40 Years Of Television — The Reel History (8.30pm, Nine) takes a lot at Australia’s television history and the trends that have shaped our viewing habits, with segments presented by Ray Martin, Paul Cronin, Elizabeth Hayes, Jo Beth Taylor and special guest Henry Winkler.

Tuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Stonie (Anthony Engelman) has returned from his visit to Tasmania with a surprise for Angie (Lesley Baker); while Malcolm (Benjie McNair) finds it difficult to maintain his relationship with Shona (Bryony Price). In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Henry (Steve Bisley) is forced to question everything he believes in when his medical lecturer from university comes to him with an undiagnosed brain tumour.

mikewhitneyjuliamorrisWednesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Steven (Adam Willits) pushes Travis (Nic Testoni) too far. Action game show Who Dares Wins (7.30pm, Seven) features a celebrity special, with six Seven Network personalities (including Full Frontal‘s Julia Morris, pictured with host Mike Whitney) taking part in some of the show’s trickiest dares. In Medivac (9.30pm, Ten), Arch (Grant Bowler) is at the centre of a drunken brawl and must then return to the hospital to treat one of the injured.

Thursday: Getaway (7.30pm, Nine) presents a special episode covering Great Britain, including a campervan tour of Wales, touring the Scottish Highlands by train, cycling through the Cotswold region, and taking a working holiday in England.

Friday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Fisher (Norman Coburn) is mysteriously poisoned and collapses in the diner. Don Lane hosts the special 40 Years Of Television — Then And Now (8.30pm, Nine), taking a look at some of the big TV stars of yesteryear and finding out where they are now. In the series return of Police Rescue (8.30pm, ABC), three rookies are vying for two places in the squad, and all are thrown in at the deep end in a dramatic rescue.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 14 September 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.



Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/10/1996-september-14-20.html

Oct 18 2016

1996: September 7-13

tvweek_070996Cover: Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox (Friends)

Today it’s Full Frontal, tomorrow the world
If Full Frontal is renewed for an eighth season next year, it is unlikely that Julia Morris will stay with the show. “I’d like to leave myself open to other projects,” she told TV Week. “I really enjoy the hosting things that I do and, because I’m a singer, I wouldn’t mind getting stuck into a musical at some stage.” She is soon to return to the US for a month. “I’ll go there again this time and just keep feeling out different areas to establish me for later on. I really like the US, but I’d have to work my way to a better level here before I’d even attempt to go to another country.”

tvweek_100476Happy days are here again!
Happy Days star Henry Winkler will part of the celebration of 40 years of Australian television, appearing in the special 40 Years Of Television: The Reel History. Producer Paul Rudd told TV Week that Winkler was originally interviewed for the follow up special, 40 Years Of Television: Then And Now, but was then approached to join the line-up of the first special. “We were keen to have an overseas star to help co-host part one, and because he’s such a huge fan of Australia he said he would love to be involved,” Rudd told TV Week. “His production company is called Fair Dinkum Productions, and he has fond memories of Down Under.” Winkler first came to Australia in 1976 (pictured) as a guest presenter for the TV Week Logie Awards.

aaronpedersen_0001Free at last
Aaron Pedersen, previously seen in the mini-series Heartland and as co-host of Gladiators, has been spending the last few years looking after his younger brother and sister and helping put them through school. But now they are of an age to look after themselves, Pedersen is ready to re-focus on his acting career. This month he makes his return to TV, playing the part of outback policeman Tom Daly in the Seven Network telemovie The Territorians. “I have grown up with the attitude that the portrayal of indigenous people on TV has been really wrong. We have always been about 50, 60, 70 years behind,” he told TV Week. “With Tom Daly, it isn’t like that. He was a person and he happened to be a policeman. For such a long time, the Australian film industry has romanticised, with the image of the Aborigine standing on one leg on a cliff holding a spear.” The Territorians also stars Steve Vidler, Peter Adams and Robert Mammone and has the potential to spin-off into a series of telemovies in a similar vein to Halifax fp.


  • Danielle Spencer is leaving the Nine Network‘s Pacific Drive. She finishes filming next week but will be seen on screen well into 1997.
  • Network Ten has knocked back a proposal for a new pop music show to be hosted by Dannii Minogue. “The trouble is Dannii wanted to host the show from London,” said a Ten spokesperson.
  • Former Wheel Of Fortune host John Burgess is rumoured to be joining the Nine Network for a new 5.30pm game show. This could put a question mark over the future of The Price Is Right, which currently occupies that timeslot, but Nine’s director of program development, David Lyle insists that host Larry Emdur “has nothing to worry about at all.”
  • Dominic Elmaloglou, brother of former Home And Away star Rebekah Elmaloglou and formerly of ABC‘s GP, has been signed up for a guest role in Home And Away.

TV’s National Top 10 (Week Commencing 18 August 1996):
Source: AC Nielsen Australia Pty Ltd

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 The Nanny Ten Sun 2085000
2 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 2078000
3 60 Minutes Nine Sun 2005000
4 Getaway Nine Thu 1864000
5 Water Rats Nine Mon 1855000
6 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 1837000
7 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1835000
8 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1812000
9 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 1812000
10 This Is Your Life Nine Thu 1784000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, September 7-13):
Sandown Preview (2.30pm, Ten) is the lead-up to Sunday’s coverage of the long-running motor racing event. Other afternoon sport includes VFL First Semi-Final (2pm, ABC) and the Second Quarter Final of the NSW Rugby League (2.30pm, Nine).

Sunday: The Sandown 500 (12pm, Ten) is live for five hours, with competitors including Dick Johnson, John Bowe, Peter Brock, Jim Richards, Geoff Brabham, Alan Jones, Wayne Gardner, Craig Lowndes, Neil Crompton and Larry Perkins. Sunday night movies are The Piano (Seven), Lethal Weapon 3 (repeat, Nine) and Cop And A Half (Ten).

Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Susan (Jackie Woodburne) is beginning to worry about Libby’s (Kym Valentine) state of health, while Karl (Alan Fletcher) seems to have softened his stance over Darren (Todd MacDonald). Sofie Formica and Steven Jacobs return with a new series of Just Kidding (7.30pm, Nine). As the AFL season enters the finals, the special Footy’s Wild Men (8.30pm, Seven) pays tribute to some of the more colourful players from 100 years of Australian Rules; followed by a special early edition of Talking Footy (9.30pm, Seven).

tinathomsenTuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Darren (Todd MacDonald) is failing to cope back in prison. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Irene (Lynne McGranger) is unsure whether to laugh or cry when Fin (Tina Thomsen, pictured) lets her in on a secret. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Maureen (Melissa Jaffer) treats a patient who is impotent with no obvious physical cause. A crime at a winery gives Johnny Kowalski (Jack Finsterer) an opportunity to make a move on Maggie (Lisa McCune) in Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven). Drama series Medivac (9.30pm, Ten) makes its debut.

Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Phil’s (Ian Rawlings) efforts to keep Helen (Anne Haddy) happy during his hospital visits seems futile. In the latest Halifax fp telemovie Cradle And All (8.30pm, Nine), a baby is dead and her mother admits to killing the child, but Jane (Rebecca Gibney) feels the woman is covering for someone else. In the second episode of Medivac (9.30pm, Ten), when a ghost train crashes the team is called in to deal with the casualties.

Thursday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Rebecca (Belinda Emmett) is determined that her father (Norman Coburn) and Marilyn (Emily Symons) will not get married.

Friday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), when a navy patrol boat drifts into Summer Bay, Shannon (Isla Fisher) is shocked to find a handsome stranger knows who she is. The Australian Ballet Premiere Gala (8.30pm, ABC), broadcast live from Melbourne’s Victorian Arts Centre, features three short ballets — Red Earth, Alchemy and Deep End.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 7 September 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.



Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/10/1996-september-7-13.html

Oct 17 2016

1996: August 31-September 6

tvweek_310896Cover: Fran Drescher (The Nanny)

‘Death by misadventure’
Actors and media identities have criticised Prime Minister John Howard‘s recent announcement to strip the ABC of $70 million in funding over the next two years. “The ABC had such great promise and I don’t see why we buried her,” actor Steve Bisley, starring in ABC’s GP, told TV Week. “It seems like death by misadventure to me. It would be a very lonely place without the ABC. If it goes, I’m going to throw away my TV.” Former ABC journalist Peter Luck, who has been documenting the new prime minister’s regime, saw drastic cuts coming months ago. “I also filmed Peter Costello giving his first press conference as Treasurer. There was just something about his demeanour that made you think he was going to slash at least 10 per cent from public utilities,” Luck told TV Week. “I fear the bad old days and the anti-intellectual Australia we took years to get out of. If you diminish the ABC too much that’s what you get.” Actor Mitchell Butel, from the ABC series Bordertown, also defended the national broadcaster’s role. “The cuts are outrageous,” he told TV Week. “The ABC reaches for the highest goals in Australian television, takes the most risks and offers the most opportunities for real creative energy. It’s very sad that some of it will obviously come to an end.” ABC has already in recent times put the axe to GP and Good News Week. Arts program Review is to be merged with Sunday Afternoon, and the planned American election special by Elle McFeast (Libbi Gorr) has also been dumped. The proposed new sitcom Mother Goose, to star Garry McDonald and Ruth Cracknell, has been dropped, and ABC has also announced cuts to commissioning documentaries. These are just the cuts that have so far been made public, as insiders indicate that the axe is also to fall on more Australian programming in favour of cheaper imports. One program that has been so far saved from the chop is Frontline, which will go into production soon for its third series.

lisamccunejackfinstererHere’s Johnny!
With Blue Heelers detective PJ on leave from town for a month (while, in real life, actor Martin Sacks is overseas on a promotional tour for the show), a new ladies’ man is set to move in. Johnny Kowalski (Jack Finsterer) feels all his Christmases have come at once with two females — Dash (Tasma Walton) and Maggie (Lisa McCune) at the station. “Johnny’s a very good detective,” Finsterer told TV Week. “But as soon as a woman walks in the door, he’s completely distracted. He thinks that everyone’s attracted to him, and he assumes every woman is able to be conquered.” But Maggie Doyle is not one to fall for his charms and makes this very clear when Johnny’s advances become more overt. The more naive Dash is taken in by Johnny’s smooth approach, until she realises what he’s about.

belindaemmettBelinda’s making beautiful music
New Home And Away star Belinda Emmett (pictured) has released a CD and plans to release a single during summer — but the actress distances herself from other actors who have released pop songs. “It (the CD) is very acoustic, because we really wanted to avoid old pre-packaged pop,” she told TV Week. “And also, it’s really not my style at all. I guess the only way to really describe my style is that it’s borderline between Sheryl Crowe and Alanis Morissette. Maybe I’m not quite that calibre yet, but that’s what I’m aiming for.”

Nathan masters his act
Australia is about to get its first indigenous sitcom. The Masters originated as a three-minute skit on SBS current affairs program ICAM (Indigenous Current Affairs Magazine), featuring Nathan Ramsay as a Lycra-clad bike courier. “To go ahead and do a half-hour series will be great,” NIDA-trained Ramsay told TV Week. “Hopefully it will bring relations with black and white Australia a little closer, showing black families as normal and nothing to be scared of. We’ve had Wogs Out Of Work and other cultural things such as that, but we haven’t had anything from an Aboriginal point of view.”


  • Actress Carmen Duncan has been negotiating with Foxtel to be a US correspondent for its nightly entertainment news program. Australian-born Duncan, who starred for several years in the US soap Another World, has in the meantime also been filing reports for Nine‘s Midday, including interviews with Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Diane Keaton for their new film, The First Wives Club.
  • Rhys Muldoon and Robyn Cruze are the latest cast signings for Network Ten‘s new drama Big Sky, joining Gary Sweet, Ally Fowler and Martin Henderson.
  • adamwillitsAdam Willits (pictured), one of the original cast members of Home And Away when it started in 1988, is leaving the series for a second time. He had previously left the show in 1990 but returned five years later. Given that two major characters (played by Dieter Brummer and Dennis Coard) were killed off from the series this year, producers are not planning to have Willits’ character Steven meet a similar demise.

TV’s National Top 10 (Week Commencing 11 August 1996):
Source: AC Nielsen Australia Pty Ltd

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 The Nanny Ten Sun 2169000
2 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 2133000
3 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 2007000
4 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 2004000
5 The X Files Ten Wed 1929000
6 Movie: Rising Sun Seven Sun 1908000
7 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1887000
8 This Is Your Life Nine Thu 1877000
9 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1849000
10 Getaway Nine Thu 1844000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, August 31-September 6):
Beyond 2000 (2.30pm, Ten) reports on a robot that is painting masterpieces and mapping the currents to save fish on the Great Barrier Reef. Saturday Night Football (7.30pm, Seven), features Sydney versus West Coast Eagles, live from Sydney.

Sunday: AFL Sunday includes Fremantle Dockers versus Fitzroy (2pm, Seven), live from Perth, followed by highlights of Richmond versus North Melbourne (5pm, Seven) at the MCG. Daryl Braithwaite hosts the special Dreams Can Come True (6.30pm, Ten), a show that grants wishes to everyday people facing ill-health or financial hardship. The show features appearances by Paul Hogan and Mal Meninga. Sunday night movies are Father Hood (Seven), Tombstone (Ten) and the debut of mini-series The Thorn Birds: The Missing Years (Nine).

Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Shona (Bryony Price) makes her feelings towards Mal (Benjie McNair) quite clear. Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten) presents a special episode from Mount Buller, highlighting some of the activities available not just during snow season but in summer as well. Sandy Roberts hosts the live telecast of AFL Team Of The Century (8.30pm, Seven), highlighting the league’s champion players from past and present.

Tuesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Travis (Nic Testoni) gets his biopsy results. In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), when Tom (John Wood) learns that his daughter may not be returning to Mount Thomas, he decides to enrol his grandson in a local creche. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Vesna (Lenka Kripac) makes a spur-of-the-moment decision to move out of the surgery and into a share house.

juliamorris_0005Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Hannah (Rebecca Ritters) and Phil (Ian Rawlings) are thrilled to hear that Helen (Anne Haddy) has come out of her coma. Full Frontal star Julia Morris (pictured) returns with a new series, More Great Aussie Bloopers (8pm, Seven). In Pacific Drive (11.15pm, Nine), an accident while spear fishing puts Trey’s (Lloyd Morris) life in danger.

Thursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Steve (Alex Dimitriades) puts off his quest to win Danni (Eliza Szonert). Observational series RPA (9pm, Nine) returns for a new season.

Friday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Toadie (Ryan Moloney) has found an electronics catalogue which leads to bargain hunting; and Number 22 is up for auction. Emergency 000 (8pm, Seven) features a 12-year-old girl, injured at a surf event, air-lifted; and follows a busy day on the road with paramedic Steve Mulligan.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 31 August 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/10/1996-august-31-september-6.html

Oct 16 2016

1996: August 24-30

tvweek_240896Melissa waves goodbye
Since taping her last Home And Away scenes in July, Melissa George (pictured) has been busy with new ventures and has invested her three years’ salary from the show wisely. The 20-year-old has already built up an investment portfolio, including properties in New South Wales and Queensland, antiques and a growing corporate profile. She has just returned from the UK where she has discussed plans for a department store to sell her nightwear range, An Angel At My Table, and is currently working on a lifestyle video, tentatively titled Mind, Body And Soul, for the teenage market. “I’ve diversified my talents, because I’m not going to depend on one thing,” she told TV Week. “I want several options to work on, so that if something doesn’t work out, I can turn my attention to another project.”

Emma fights back
Emma Harrison is back on the set of Neighbours after a four-week break, amid rumours and speculation that she had been sacked. “There were things written about me that were untrue and I’d like to just get on with my job and put all that behind me,” she told TV Week. She denies rumours that she has been unpopular with the other cast members. “I get along with everyone in the cast. Both the cast and crew and great to work with.” Harrison has also expressed regret at some of the cast changes taking place around her, in particular Caroline Gillmer leaving the show. “I’m going to miss Caroline a lot She’s a wonderful person and the most gorgeous actress.”

diarmidheidenreichDiarmid puts his best foot forward
Diarmid Heidenreich (pictured), best known as Dougie the delivery boy in the Pizza Hut commercials, is back on TV after surviving a horrific car crash and the media storm that followed. “The past couple of months haven’t been the most enjoyable, but I’ve moved on. You learn from your mistakes,” he told TV Week. “I was driving a car, I had an accident. I hurt myself, I hurt my girlfriend, I got fined — but I don’t understand why everyone was talking about it. The coverage made me laugh. I think I got more coverage than Ivan Milat and he murdered people! You just have to laugh it off.” Heidenreich, who last year starred in Ten‘s ill-fated Echo Point, is now hosting Nine‘s new children’s game show, Challenger, and is back in the pizza commercials — the latest of which co-stars Melrose Place star Andrew Shue.

darylsomersjobethtaylorJo Beth gets the gig!
When Jo Beth Taylor joined Hey Hey It’s Saturday at the start of the year, the cynics suggested she would be little more than a “Nineties barrel girl”. However, Taylor has proved the critics wrong and impressed Hey Hey It’s Saturday host Daryl Somers (pictured with Taylor) so much that he has appointed her as guest host of the show while he is overseas planning some US specials for later in the year. “When Daryl called me to ask if I’d like to host the show, I asked if he thought I was capable of doing a good job,” she told TV Week. “He said, ‘Yes’, and that was that.”


  • While the stars of Home And Away celebrated the show’s 2000th episode at a lavish harbourside party, a more low-key celebration was being held at Seven‘s Studio A (where Home And Away is taped) for past and present cast and crew and invited media.
  • Beyond 2000 reporter Dr Caroline West has just increased her TV workload by also filing reports for Ten‘s new lifestyle show, Sex/Life. As well as her TV commitments she is also recording country music albums and working one day a week at her Sydney medical practice.
  • Caroline Gillmer admits to having mixed feelings about finishing up on Neighbours after two years. “There’s the great adventure I’m embarking on to an unpredictable future, which makes me very excited,” she told TV Week. “But I’ve come from such a secure environment that there’s also a sense of loss, both for the continued work and the family feeling that’s developed from Neighbours.” Gillmer decided to leave the show as it was forcing her to turn down lucrative offers to work elsewhere in Australia and overseas. She is about to start work on a new Australian film and has accepted an upcoming role with the Melbourne Theatre Company. She has also been awarded a green card, which enables her to work in the US.

TV’s National Top 10 (Week Commencing 4 August 1996):
Source: AC Nielsen Australia Pty Ltd

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 2290000
2 The Nanny Ten Sun 2029000
3 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 2022000
4 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 2013000
5 Olympic Games (Evening) Seven Sun 1954000
6 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1873000
7 Seven Nightly News Seven Sun 1867000
8 Getaway Nine Thu 1802000
9 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1796000
10 Friends Seven Mon 1782000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, August 24-30):
In children’s series Ocean Girl (5.30pm, Ten), Neri (Marzena Godecki), Jason (David Hoflin) and Brett (Jeffrey Walker) bring Kal (Jeremy Angerson) out of suspended animation to experience Earth for the first time. Saturday Night Football (8.30pm, Seven) features Brisbane versus Fremantle, live from Brisbane.

Sunday: AFL Sunday includes West Coast Eagles versus Melbourne (2pm, Seven), live from Perth, and Adelaide Crows versus Collingwood (5.30pm, Seven), live from Adelaide. Sunday night movies are The Vanishing (Seven), The Real McCoy (Nine) and Splitting Heirs (Ten).

Monday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Joanne’s (Kimberley Joseph) hatred of Angel (Melissa George) can’t be hidden. Daryl Somers hosts the special Hey Hey It’s The Comedians No.2 (7.30pm, Nine), featuring some of the best comedians to have appeared on Hey Hey It’s Saturday over the years — including Elliot Goblet, Lucky Grills, Marty Fields, Rita Rudner, Anthony Morgan, Bobcat Goldthwaite, Lano & Woodley, Hale & Pace and the Scared Weird Little Guys. Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten) celebrates its 200th episode.

melissageorgejuliangarnerTuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), the relationship between Luke (Bernard Curry) and Danni (Eliza Szonert) is continuing to sour with the influence of Steve George (Alex Dimitriades). In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Angel (Melissa George, pictured) is finally swayed by Simon’s (Julian Garner, pictured) patience and charm. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Yasmin (Leah Vandenberg) is pleased with herself when she diagnoses a difficult case.

Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Debbie (Marnie Reece-Wilmore) decides it is time that Phil (Ian Rawlings) has more romance in his life. In Pacific Drive (11.30pm, Nine), Zoe (Libby Tanner) reels from being stood up by Dior (Clodagh Crowe), and Brett’s (Erik Thomson) worries about Tim (Darrin Klimek) increase.

Thursday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Steven (Adam Willits) and Selina’s (Louise Crawford) secret is out. The special If You Have A Heart (9pm, Nine) looks at the work of Sydney’s St Vincent’s Heart Transplant Unit and follows two patients waiting for heart donors.

Friday: In the 2000th episode of Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Angel (Melissa George) and her family bid farewell to Summer Bay. Seven Nightly News presenter David Johnston hosts the special A Tribute To Port Arthur (8.30pm, Seven), presents a journey to the notorious penal settlement of Port Arthur, filmed prior to the tragic events that took place there earlier in the year. Friday Night Football (9.30pm, Seven) features highlights of Essendon versus Footscray from the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 24 August 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.


Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/10/1996-august-24-30.html

Oct 15 2016

1996: August 17-23

tvweek_170896Cover: Heather Locklear (Melrose Place)

Tears for fears
The tears that you see from Tasma Walton‘s character Constable Dash McKinley in this week’s episode of Blue Heelers are real. It’s an emotional storyline in which Dash has to face up to her fears of getting behind the wheel again after seeing her best friend die in a car accident. “I didn’t find the scenes hard to do,” she told TV Week. “I like delving into that darker stuff. The situation for Dash was so traumatic and real, it was quite easy to lose myself in that and have the emotional response that Dash would have had.”

carolinegillmer_0002Caroline crashes out of Neighbours
Neighbours star Caroline Gillmer (pictured) is set to make a dramatic exit from the series in scenes to go to air next month. Her character Cheryl Stark is out on a walk with daughter Lolly (Jiordan Anna Tolli), until Lolly gets distracted by chasing a dog on the road. Cheryl runs after her daughter and straight into the path of an oncoming car. “The incident is a real tragedy,” Gillmer tells TV Week. “There’s a variety of reactions from Cheryl’s family and friends that are all very sad. But the greatest pain is felt by Marlene Kratz (Moya O’Sullivan), Cheryl’s mother.” In a tragic twist, the accident occurs just as Cheryl’s estranged husband Lou (Tom Oliver) is making his way back to Erinsborough after deciding to give their marriage a second chance.

grantbowler_0002Playing doctors and nurses
Network Ten is hoping that its new medical drama Medivac will be a highlight of its upcoming drama slate. The series is set in the emergency ward of Bethlehem West Hospital and features a field of casualties while the hospital staff have dramas of their own. Medivac stars Grant Bowler (Blue Heelers), Nicholas Eadie, Rena Owen, Lisa Forrest, Genevieve Picot, Anthony Grundy and Caroline Kennison. Bowler says there are differences between his former Blue Heelers character Wayne Patterson and his new role of Dr Archibald (Arch) Craven. “This character is more free, fun-loving, and a lot more intelligent,” Bowler tells TV Week. “You know Wayne, God bless him, wasn’t the greatest of human beings. That wasn’t a conscious decision on my part, because I think there are a great many intelligent police officers in the world, but Wayne wasn’t bright and this guy is… which is nice.”


  • Full Frontal star Julia Morris is quitting her breakfast FM radio gig in Melbourne. The 5am starts combined with her other media commitments, including interstate work, were proving too hard to juggle.
  • Teenager Andrew Bibby is the latest addition to the cast of Neighbours. Producers are still looking for a 16-year-old female to join the show.
  • With floods, earthquakes and fires threatening Summer Bay in recent times, it’s probably no wonder that the producers of Home And Away have been asked to cut back on spending.
  • Paul Mercurio, best known from the hit movie Strictly Ballroom, has signed on for his first ongoing role in the new Network Ten series Medivac. Mercurio plays the part of plumber Roy Fields, husband to Macy Fields (played by New Zealand actress Rena Owens).

TV’s National Top 10 (Week Commencing 28 July 1996):
Source: AC Nielsen Australia Pty Ltd

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Seven Nightly News Seven Sun 2420000
2 Olympic Games (Evening) Seven Sun 2400000
3 Olympic Games (Evening) Seven M-F 1985000
4 Seven Nightly News Seven Sat 1958000
5 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1913000
6 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1823000
7 Olympic Games (Day) Seven Sun 1802000
8 The Nanny Ten Sun 1798000
9 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1728000
10 Our House Nine Wed 1711000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, August 17-23):
In Ocean Girl (5.30pm, Ten), Jason (David Hoflin) and Brett (Jeffrey Walker) borrow a pump to clear the water from the spaceship. When it is gone the children discover a hidden chamber. Saturday Night Football (8.30pm, Seven) features Adelaide Crows versus North Melbourne, live from Football Park, Adelaide.

Sunday: AFL Sunday features West Coast Eagles versus Carlton (2pm, Seven), live from Perth, followed by highlights of Collingwood versus Essendon (5pm, Seven) from the Melbourne Cricket Ground. National Nine News reporter Jo Hall presents the special Zoos: The Bigger Picture (6.30pm, Nine), looking at Melbourne’s three zoo attractions and their development over the decades. Sunday night movies are Silver (Nine) and Scent Of A Woman (Ten) up against the debut of mini-series Tom Clancy’s Op Centre (Seven).

Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), after witnessing Jude’s (Margie Bainbridge) threats, Mal (Benjie McNair) wants to know more about Darren’s (Todd MacDonald) dealings with the loan sharks. Four Corners (8.30pm, ABC) presents a special edition to celebrate its 35th anniversary.

tasmawaltonTuesday: The 7.30 Report (7.30pm, ABC) presents a special 90-minute edition for the Federal Treasurer Peter Costello‘s announcement of the 1996 Budget, including analysis by Kerry O’Brien and commentary by Barrie Cassidy. In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), Nick (William McInnes) is surprised by Dash’s (Tasma Walton, pictured) unprofessional behaviour at the scene of a fatal accident, until he learns that both the victims were her friends.

Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Billy (Jesse Spencer) and Melissa (Aimee Robertson) start to panic when they realise they have slept through the night and may not get home in time for her parents.

Thursday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Simon (Julian Garner) prepares to leave Summer Bay. Getaway (7.30pm, Nine) features reports on blackwater rafting through caves and underground springs on New Zealand’s North Island, and the Lewin Caves in the Cape Naturaliste National Park in Western Australia.

Friday: Lisa Treloar hosts the new wedding game show I Do I Do (7.30pm, Ten), where three couples compete for the opportunity for the show to host their wedding. Each couple has their families and friends in the audience, dressed in formal clothes, in the hope they will be attending the major prize — a televised wedding.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 17 August 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.


Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/10/1996-august-17-23.html

Oct 09 2016

1996: August 10-16

tvweek_100896Kieren’s the king of Summer Bay
Before heading off to Atlanta to win gold at the Olympic Games, Kieren Perkins paid a visit to the set of Home And Away. “It was fantastic to meet a great Australian champion,” Home And Away cast member Kristy Wright (pictured with Perkins and co-star Nic Testoni) told TV Week. Perkins was joined on set by fellow Australian sports stars Andrew Vlahov, Grant Kenny, Lisa Curry-Kenny, Trevor Hendy and Sharon Oates to promote the Uncle Tobys Talent Towards 2000 campaign. The campaign offers students the chance to win a place at a school camp where they will be coached by top athletes including Perkins and Sam Riley. The camp also features an emphasis on performing arts, so Home And Away stars will also be giving talks on acting. Meanwhile, Kenny and Hendy recently guest starred in the series.

soniatoddSonia’s just along for the ride
Former Police Rescue star Sonia Todd (pictured) had to rapidly acquire some new skills for her next role as Karla in ABC‘s new series Simone De Beauvoir’s Babies. Karla rides a Harley-Davidson, and Todd did not wish to fake the bike-riding scenes. “I learnt to ride and got my bike licence two days before we started rehearsals,” she told TV Week. The four-part mini-series also stars Anne Looby, Laverne McDonnell and Sally Cooper and is about four women in their 30s who meet up at a school reunion and make a pact to have babies, whether they are in a relationship or not.

lisatreloarMarried blitz!
Lisa Treloar (pictured) hosts Network Ten‘s new game show I Do I Do, where hopeful couples compete to win the major prize — a wedding on television in a starlit chapel. “It is far from tacky,” she tells TV Week. “The couples are there because they want to have a good time and do something different. A lot of them couldn’t afford the expense of a wedding. We help them realise a dream. We give them fabulous gowns, they get a wedding cake and we give them a fantastic honeymoon.” Thirteen couples are set to tie the knot over the course of the series. While this is Treloar’s first hosting role, she is not an entire newcomer to television. She was a reporter for Nine‘s Just Kidding and has also appeared in dramas Police Rescue and Rafferty’s Rules.

Till death do us part
Dramatic scenes in the upcoming series final of Water Rats. As the wedding of Goldie Goldstein (Catherine McClements) and John “Knocker” Harrison (Peter Mochie) approaches, the groom-to-be goes on a killing spree of witnesses to the murder of Kevin Holloway (Jeremy Callaghan), of which Knocker is a suspect. Goldie’s loyalty to her fiance is tested and the episode concludes with a gun fight between Goldie, Knocker and Frank Holloway (Colin Friels). Water Rats, a ratings hit for Nine, will return in the new year.


  • kateraison_0001Pacific Drive star Kate Raison (pictured) has decided to leave the show. The actress is currently commuting between her partner in Melbourne and the show’s production on the Gold Coast. She will tape her last scenes in two months’ time, and her character Georgina Ellis is set to make a dramatic exit. Meanwhile, Pacific Drive is about to clock up its 100th episode and will celebrate the milestone with the wedding of Amber (Christine Stephen-Daly) and Trey (Lloyd Morris).
  • Former E Street and Neighbours star Bruce Samazan has signed up for a six-week guest role in Home And Away. He will play the part of Brad, a councillor who helps Chloe (Kristy Wright) through her recent trauma.
  • damianwalshehowling_0002Blue Heelers star Damian Walshe-Howling (pictured) has had to shave his head for a storyline — but it was for a good cause. “It’s to publicise Crop-A-Cop, in which cops have their heads shaved to raise money for child cancer research,” Walshe-Howling told TV Week. “On a lighter note, it’s also an opportunity for me to have a change of hairstyle, which you’re normally not allowed to do in series TV because of continuity.”

TV’s National Top 10 (Week Commencing 21 July 1996):
Source: AC Nielsen Australia Pty Ltd

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Seven Nightly News Seven Sat 2877000
2 Seven Nightly News Seven Sun 2542000
3 Olympic Games (Evening) Seven Sat 2385000
4 Olympic Games (Evening) Seven Sun 2149000
5 Olympic Games (Evening) Seven M-F 2051000
6 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1989000
7 Olympic Games (Day) Seven Sat 1896000
8 The Nanny (Rpt) Ten Sun 1887000
9 The Nanny Ten Sun 1841000
10 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1785000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, August 10-16):
Gladiators (7.30pm, Seven) reaches its mid-year Grand Final.

Sunday: AFL Sunday includes Sydney Swans versus Richmond (2pm, Seven), live from Sydney, followed by highlights of Melbourne versus Brisbane (5pm, Seven). Rob Gell and Tracey Dale present the special Has The Weather Gone Mad? (6.30pm, Nine), providing an insight into Melbourne’s unpredictable weather and what the future has in store for Victoria. Sunday night movies are Rising Sun (Seven), Patriot Games (repeat, Nine) and Raising Cain (Ten).

Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Karl and Susan (Alan Fletcher and Jackie Woodburne) are shocked when Gary Collins (John Powell) pays them a nasty visit. In Water Rats (7.30pm, Nine), Harrison (Peter Mochrie), Brady (Richard Healy) and Holloway (Colin Friels) are on the hunt for witnesses to the murder of Kevin Holloway (Jeremy Callaghan). The special Forty Years Of Sport (8.30pm, Seven) takes a look at some of the greatest funniest and memorable moments in 40 years of sport on Australian television. In Pacific Drive (11.15pm, Nine), Trey (Lloyd Morris) receives another threatening letter.

Tuesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Haydn (Andrew Hill) is determined to split up Fisher (Norman Coburn) and Marilyn (Emily Symons). In Better Homes And Gardens (7.30pm, Seven), guest Alyssa-Jane Cook shows how she turned her wooden house in a stylish home. In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), Tom (John Wood) suspects an itinerant worker is responsible for a series of bashings.

Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Seven), the frantic search for Louise (Jiordan Anna Tolli) continues, as Toadie (Ryan Moloney) and Billy (Jesse Spencer) start realising the trouble they may be in.

carolinegillmeralexdimitriadesThursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), smooth-talking real estate agent Steve George (Alex Dimitriades, pictured), assigned to the sale of Cheryl Stark’s (Caroline Gillmer) house, takes a liking to Cheryl’s daughter Danni (Eliza Szonert). Getaway (7.30pm, Nine) presents a special episode, Holidays In The Sun, with reports on Hawaii, the Great Barrier Reef and Koh Samui,

Friday: Rex Hunt Fishing Adventures In Tasmania (8.30pm, Seven) provides a history lesson on Tasmania and Hunt takes a tour of Australia’s largest exporter of Atlantic salmon. Friday Night Football (9.30pm, Seven) features Melbourne versus Fremantle in a delayed telecast from the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 10 August 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/10/1996-august-10-16.html

Oct 09 2016

1996: August 3-9

tvweek_030896Simon proposes to Angel
In the aftermath of the recent Summer Bay earthquake, Home And Away‘s Angel (Melissa George, pictured) receives a proposal from wealthy businessman Simon Broadhurst (Julian Garner) — but it was second time lucky for Simon. His first proposal was met with some indignation from Angel — feeling that he was buying her love at a time when her home had just been destroyed. His second proposal, at the surf club kiosk, was better received once he convinced Angel he really does love her and her children. But will she accept? Not only that, but Julian is also set to be tempted by the return of Joanna (Kimberley Joseph), who fancies herself as a potential Mrs Broadhurst.

tottiegoldsmith_0002How’s your Sex Life?
The Ten Network is reviving the Sex show formerly produced by the Nine Network. With the new title of Sex/Life, the new show will be hosted by Tottie Goldsmith (last seen on screen in Seven‘s Fire and soon to appear in Foxtel‘s Shark Bay) but will take a somewhat different approach to the former Nine program. “I’m a lot older than Sophie Lee (the previous host) was,” Goldsmith (pictured) told TV Week. “What Tim (Clucas, the show’s executive producer) was going for was not a titillating person to host it. He wanted a bit more maturity and a bit more integrity in the show, I think.”

Alison’s Starr turn
Alison Whyte, best known for playing Emma in Frontline, has begun work on her new role as Stella Starr in Nine‘s new Good Guys Bad Guys. “The role of Stella is such a good one,” she told TV Week. “She is a very frank individual. The producers, Simpson Le Mesurier (Halifax fp), have such a great track record, and that’s a major attraction, too.” Good Guys Bad Guys is centred around the role of Elvis Maninnis (Marcus Graham), a former cop from a criminal family who has connections on both sides of the law. Despite his intentions to distance himself from his past, it has a habit of catching up with him. Meanwhile, Whyte is expected to return to the role of hard-working current affairs producer Emma in Frontline, which is due for a third series in 1997.

jackimacdonald_0005It’s a Mac attack!
Jacki MacDonald (pictured), best known for her years on Hey Hey It’s Saturday but last seen on Derryn Hinch‘s Midday, is returning to TV to host Foxtel‘s new travel channel, Fox Travel. As well as introducing the various shows to appear on the channel, the 14-time TV Week Logie Award winner will be hosting her own one-hour program, Jacki MacDonald’s Destinations.


  • Ally Fowler, last seen in Nine‘s Law Of The Land, is likely to be Gary Sweet‘s leading lady in the new Network Ten series Big Sky. “She has all but signed on the dotted line,” according to an inside source. Production on Big Sky is due to commence in late August with the series to debut on air early in 1997.
  • Fast Forward stars Steve Vizard and Peter Moon are making a return to our screens. The pair will be appearing in a series of sketches on Full Frontal. “I’m back because I like to put funny wigs on,” Vizard told TV Week. “Come to think of it I do that at home, anyway!”
  • Former Dallas star Linda Gray, on a recent visit to Australia, has filmed a segment for an upcoming edition of This Is Your Life. But it has not been revealed which upcoming This Is Your Life subject receives her tribute.
  • The two-hour telemovie which serves as the debut episode of Nine‘s Good Guys Bad Guys is to feature Nadine Garner, Sophie Lee and former The Box and Sons And Daughters star Belinda Giblin.
  • It’s been a long wait, but Friends is finally making its Australian debut. The hit US sitcom has taken two years to get to Australian screens, largely due to a battle between the Seven and Nine networks for rights to the show. The series about a group of six New York singles debuts this week on Seven, screening on both Monday and Thursday nights.

TV’s National Top 10 (Week Commencing 14 July 1996):
Source: AC Nielsen Australia Pty Ltd

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony Seven Sat 3079000
2 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 2364000
3 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 2310000
4 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 2244000
5 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 2208000
6 ER Nine Thu 2169000
7 The Nanny (repeat) Ten Sun 2079000
8 Seven Nightly News Seven Sat 2067000
9 The Nanny Ten Sun 2057000
10 Our House Nine Wed 2020000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, August 3-9):

The Games Of The XXVI Olympiad: Olympic Games coverage continues over the weekend for the last two days of competition, including the Men’s Marathon (9pm Sunday, Seven). The Closing Ceremony (11am Monday, Seven) includes the handing over of the Olympic flag to representatives of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Committee. The Closing Ceremony is repeated in prime time (8.30pm Monday, Seven).

Saturday: John Higginson and Rebecca Gibney are among the actors voicing the new animated series The Silver Brumby (3.30pm, Ten). In the series return of Ocean Girl (5.30pm, Ten), the Bates family holiday is cut short when the fish breeding grounds are destroyed.

Sunday: AFL Sunday (2pm, Seven) features Sydney Swans versus Melbourne, live from Sydney, followed by West Coast Eagles versus Essendon (4pm, Seven), live from Perth. In Sun On The Stubble (6pm, ABC), Dad (Christian Kohlund) finally buys a car, but the advanced technology of the Model T remains a mystery to him. In the series final of Banjo Paterson’s The Man From Snowy River (6.30pm, Nine), the ruthless husband of Emily’s (Sheryl Munks) schoolfriend holds Patersons Ridge to ransom. Sunday night movies are Ghost (repeat, Nine) and Wide Sargasso Sea (Ten).

Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Libby (Kym Valentine) and Darren (Todd MacDonald) trip to the beach has been more than successful. In Water Rats (7.30pm, Nine), Harrison (Peter Mochrie) is called to negotiate with a potential suicide on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Tuesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), the memory of Shane still comes between Angel (Melissa George) and Simon (Julian Garner). In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Henry (Steve Bisley) is drawn into a dispute between two brothers and their small business operation. In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), Maggie’s (Lisa McCune) deepening relationship with her university tutor causes sparks with PJ (Martin Sacks) as they investigate the death of a young ballet dancer.

johnjarratt_0001Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Karl (Alan Fletcher) is tired of Darren’s (Todd MacDonald) involvement with Libby (Kym Valentine). Better Homes And Gardens co-host John Jarratt (pictured) hosts the new series, Australia’s Strangest Home Improvements (8pm, Seven). The documentary Nobody’s Children 7 Years On (8.30pm, ABC) features David Goldie tracking down the street kids he spoke to seven years ago and finds out what has happened in their lives since then.

Thursday: In Getaway (7.30pm, Nine), Lochie Daddo looks at the luxurious penthouse apartments where the rich and famous stay on Queensland’s Gold Coast, and later he stays in a pyramid in the Grampians National Park in Victoria; while Rebecca Harris embarks on a 1600km, four-day mountain bike ride from Kalgoorlie to Uluru. Tottie Goldsmith hosts the new series Sex/Life (8.30pm, Ten).

peterluck_0001Friday: Peter Luck (pictured) hosts the new series Where Are They Now? (7.30pm, Seven), checking in on some former famous and infamous faces — including catching up with Don Adams of Get Smart fame. The new series Emergency 000 (8pm, Seven) goes behind the scenes with emergency services personnel. Friday Night Football (8.30pm, Seven) features Fremantle versus Collingwood, live from Perth.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 3 August 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2016/10/1996-august-3-9.html

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