Mar 06 2011

1991: February 23-March 1

tvweek_230291 ‘I felt like I was being treated like a piece of meat’
Actress Tammy MacIntosh (pictured) has had a falling out with the producers of Nine’s soap opera Chances after tensions over a steamy scene.  When taping with co-star Jeremy Sims, she exaggerated the seduction scene during the first take.  Then, when it came to doing a second take, MacIntosh refused to go as far with the seduction.  Producers instead decided to go with the first take which is what went to air.  When she heard of the decision to use the first take, MacIntosh stormed off the set.  “She said she felt like she was being treated like a piece of meat,” a source told TV Week.  Neither MacIntosh nor producer Lynn Bayonas have commented on the incident.

High noon for Rachel!
In a shock decision, former Neighbours star Rachel Friend has walked away from a lucrative acting career and instead decided to take up journalism.  “Journalism has always been a much stronger ambition for me,” she told TV Week.  “When I was at school journalism was something I always wanted to do.  But there was this acting bug I wanted to scratch too.”  The 19-year-old TV Week Logie winner and wife of former co-star Craig McLachlan has joined Nine’s Midday With Ray Martin as a reporter.  “Basically I’ve been given a free rein to do whatever or speak to whomever I choose, within reason,” she says.  “But I don’t want to stick to just showbusiness.”

shaneporteousjoymiller Doctors in love!
There is romance in store for two of A Country Practice’s resident doctors.  Dr Cris Kouros (Michael Muntz) has finally acknowledged his feelings for the Wandin Valley hospital’s director of nursing, Ann Brennan (Mary Regan) – though their relationship is far from smooth sailing as Dr Kouros is under pressure from his family to leave Wandin Valley.  Meanwhile, mild-mannered Dr Terence Elliott (Shane Porteous) falls for feisty occupational therapist Linda Shelley (Joy Miller), and their relationship presents the most awkward scenario when the pair go skinny-dipping (pictured) and then realise a feral goat has taken their clothes, leaving them just with a picnic blanket for modesty as they make their way back into town.

celebritywheelfamilyfeud Briefly…
Despite rumours suggesting that they wouldn’t return, Seven’s celebrity versions of Wheel Of Fortune and Family Feud will be back for 1991, and will again be challenging Nine’s Hey Hey It’s Saturday.  Family Feud host Rob Brough (pictured, near right, with Wheel Of Fortune’s John Burgess and Adriana Xenides) has told TV Week that Celebrity Family Feud will be revamped on its return.  “Instead of families we’ll be having ‘theme teams’ battling it out.  There will be an Aussie Rules, Rugby show and we’ve planned a show with Penthouse Pets versus iron men!” he said.

Production has started on a four-hour mini-series for ABC based around the Chinese student riots in Tiananmen Square in 1989.  China stars Bob Peck, Linda Cropper, Gary Sweet and Lily Chen.

michaelcaton Actor Michael Caton (pictured) has spoken to TV Week about his new role as Vietnam veteran Bill Anderson in the new series Chances.  Anderson is the best friend and neighbour of Dan Taylor (John Sheerin) and both also share a special bond – Anderson heroically saved Taylor’s life in Vietnam.  “I did a lot of research on Vietnam for another project and was lucky enough to attend the 25th anniversary in Sydney,” Caton told TV Week.  “It was pretty powerful, emotional stuff.  I met a veteran who’d become an alcoholic, lost his marriage, his life had fallen to pieces – a bit like my character!  One side of Bill is comical – the other is tragic.  He’s a bit of a slob – a refugee from the Seventies who’s never quite stepped into the Nineties.”

John Laws says…
”It depends on personal taste whether you consider Nine’s new soapie series Chances is entertainment or desperatainment.  Desperatainment, of course, being the sort of program you screen when you are desperate to quickly achieve high ratings.  Given Nine’s previous lack of success with homegrown drama series, perhaps it’s no surprise that Chances, with its reliance on sex scenes to keep viewers glued to the action, comes perilously close to being placed in the desperate bracket.”

Program Highlights (February 23-March 1):
Saturday:  Ten
debuts a new Saturday afternoon highlights package of Rugby League matches, hosted by Stephen QuartermainCelebrity Wheel Of Fortune and Celebrity Family Feud return to Saturday nights on Seven up against Hey Hey It’s Saturday (Nine) and Star Search (Ten).  Mel Gibson, Daryl Braithwaite and the Black Sorrows are this week’s guests on Hey Hey It’s Saturday.

Sunday:  Sunday night movies are Trading Places (Nine) and The Man From Snowy River II (Ten) – though only into the second week of ratings for the year, both movies are repeats.  Seven presents the premiere of two-part mini-series Earthquake: The Big One.

Tuesday:  In Beyond 2000 (Seven), Bryan Smith investigates a new alternative to fibreglass made from banana trees.  Carmel Travers looks at the environmental impact of rabbits on Australia, and Simon Reeve reports on the effects of pregnancy on dream patterns.

Wednesday:  Seven crosses to AFL Park, Waverley, for the Foster’s Cup 2nd Quarter Final, hosted by Bruce McAvaneyABC presents the Sports Award Of The Year, hosted by Karen Tighe with Gordon Bray, Peter Gee and Tracey Holmes, followed by the debut of Couchman Across Australia with journalist Peter Couchman.

Thursday:  Aboriginal nurse Sally Connolly (Jedda Cole) is the victim of racist attacks in The Flying Doctors, while former Bellbird and Prisoner star Elspeth Ballantyne makes a guest appearance in the Nine Network drama.

Friday:  Late on Friday night (early Saturday morning) Nine crosses to Jamaica for Australia versus West Indies in the First Test.

Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.   23 February 1991. Southdown Press.

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