Dec 11 2014

1994: December 10-16

tvweek_101294Cover: Heather Locklear (Melrose Place)

Drama behind bars
Deborra-Lee Furness has won the lead role in ABC‘s upcoming drama series Correlli. The character of Louisa Correlli is a young mother who is a clinical psychologist at Blackstream Prison, where her task is to help inmates deal with their problems in the hope that they will lead more productive lives when they are released. Furness’ previous TV credits include Stark, Singapore Sling, Halifax fp and GP. She will also be seen in the upcoming Seven Network series Fire.

derrynhinch_0003Let’s call it a day!
For the normally unflappable Derryn Hinch it was an emotional day as Nine‘s Midday came to an end. Hinch, who offered his resignation rather than see Midday axed, says that Nine has erred in dropping the show in the belief that it was no longer relevant to a Nineties audience. The last show served as a 90-minute celebration, including Anthony Warlow singing You Are My Sunshine, which featured a cast of Midday favourites including Jeanne Little, Paul Vautin and Simon O’Donnell and guest stars Engelbert Humperdinck and Lucky Grills. Hinch’s predecessor Ray Martin also came back to bid the show farewell. Hinch managed to hold it together until about twenty seconds before the curtain came down. “Those last seconds weren’t too good,” he said. “I think the music got to me.” The end of Midday also spelled the end of an era for the show’s legendary composer Geoff Harvey. “It really is absolutely appalling,” he said. “It’s like losing an arm or something.” Midday began as The Mike Walsh Show on the 0-10 Network in 1973. It made the transition to Nine in 1977 and was succeeded by Midday in 1985 when Ray Martin took over as host.

eddiemcguire_0003Flagging support
Some of the biggest names in Australia showbusiness have been appointed as ambassadors for the Australian Republican Movement (ARM)… or have they? Since ARM announced its 39 celebrity ambassadors in October a number of the names listed have distanced themselves from the movement. Kate Ceberano, one of the 39 names, denies having any involvement with it. “When I was approached to lend support to the Australian Republican Movement, I requested to be given briefing material about the whole subject,” she told TV Week. “I did not agree to be an ambassador at that stage, nor since.” ARM chief Mark Ryan said Ceberano’s situation is a case of miscommunication. “We were dealing with one of her representatives, and believed we had got the nod from them,” he said. “Someone must have got their wires crossed.” Other prominent names who have been appointed ambassadors but appear reluctant to speak up for the cause include Mary Coustas, Jane Kennedy, Max Gillies and GP actor Michael Craig. More open in their support for a republic are former Neighbours star Brenda Webb (“If we become a republic, it recognises not only Aboriginal people, but also all the other cultures in Australia”) and the Nine Network‘s Eddie McGuire (pictured) (“Having just come back from England myself, I’ve seen how even they are questioning the role of the monarchy in their own day-to-day life. I understand the sentiment involved in Australia, but there comes a time when you have to throw out your favourite pair of jeans”). Actor Gary Sweet also spoke in favour of a republic: “People say this is a snub to Britain and the royal family. It’s not. It’s a way of thanking them for bringing us along. Now we feel it’s time to cut the apron strings and venture into the outside world.”

Briefly…

  • The plug might have been pulled on ABC‘s late night Live And Sweaty, but Libbi Gorr (aka Elle McFeast) points out that she and producer Mark FitzGerald will be working a new project in the new year. “We are going to be developing a totally different show. We are making sure the project will also leave us the space to do more documentaries, given the fantastic success of Sex, Guys And Videotape.”
  • The Seven Network is developing a new 6.30pm current affairs show to replace the axed Real Life. Melbourne news reporter Ian Hyslop is moving to Sydney to work on the new show, and Naomi Robson, currently hosting the fill-in program Summer Diary, may also be involved. Real Life host Stan Grant has been ruled out for hosting the new show but will remain at the network.
  • Artist Services, Steve Vizard and Andrew Knight‘s production company, has finalised its portfolio for the Seven Network for the year ahead. Full Frontal, Jimeoin and Big Girl’s Blouse will all be back. Vizard has also confirmed that Seven is talking to Richard Stubbs about a possible new 10.30pm show.
  • Graeme ‘Shirley’ Strachan has quit Nine‘s Our House following failed negotiations with Nine over financial matters. Strachan is now a co-host of the breakfast show on Brisbane radio station Triple M.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 20 November): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Just Kidding Nine Tue 2086000
2 Movie: The Last Of The Mohicans Seven Sun 1979000
3 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1840000
4 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1792000
5 National Nine News Nine Sun 1718000
6 Getaway Nine Thu 1714000
7 Midday: End Of An Era Nine Fri 1620000
8 National Nine News Nine Sat 1608000
9 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1588000
10= Home Improvement Seven Wed 1568000
10= Money Nine Wed 1568000
12 Movie: Turner And Hooch Seven Wed 1564000
13 National Nine News Nine M-F 1521000
14 Lois & Clark The New Adventures Of Superman Seven Tue 1506000
15 Our House Nine Wed 1498000
16 Sale Of The Century Nine M-Th 1493000
17 Married With Children Nine Tue 1479000
18 Baywatch Ten Sun 1476000
19 Naughty Commercial Collections Ten Tue 1474000
20 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1471000

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here

Over The Hill is a character-based romantic comedy. So begins material released by the Seven Network to promote its summer series, and therein lies the problem — the characters. The pivotal couple, Don and Sandy Spencer (Nicholas Eadie and Georgie Parker), are meant to start out as yuppie Nineties types, successful in careers and wise in the ways of the big city, yet they soon show themselves to be infuriatingly inept. Eventually domiciled in rural Cedar Creek despite themselves, the Spencers then go from inept to very inept. Don has a daughter, Melissa (Belinda Cotterill), from a previous marriage. From the look of him — and this is strictly complimentary — he must have been 12 when she was born. Melissa’s command goes right across the lexicon from “This really sucks” to “This really sucks, y’know”. The regulars at the Cedar Creek pub are written as suspiciously inbred, a sort of disturbing cross-between Dad, Dave and Deliverance.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, December 10-16):
Saturday: The Benson And Hedges World Series Cricket (10.20am, Nine) is live from Adelaide Oval. Tim Webster hosts the Young Achiever Awards (5.30pm, Ten).

Sunday: To commemorate UNICEF Children’s Day Of Broadcasting, ABC devotes four hours (from 12pm) to children’s programs from various nations. Sunday night movies are Stakeout (repeat, Seven) and Batteries Not Included (repeat, Ten) up against the debut of mini-series Heaven And Hell: North And South 3 (Nine). Sunday Stereo Special (8.30pm, ABC) features the Opera Australia production of Handel’s Julius Caesar. Religious current affairs series Compass (10.20pm, ABC) begins a six-part series, Inside The Vatican.

Monday: 7.30 National (ABC) begins as the summer replacement for The 7.30 Report, hosted by Ellen Fanning. In Over The Hill (7.30pm, Seven), Don and Sandy (Nicholas Eadie and Georgie Parker) are excited when they learn they are to accommodate six Japanese directors from a large travel company.

Tuesday: The Benson And Hedges World Series Cricket (2.20pm, Nine) gets limited coverage in Melbourne due to it being hosted at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

ellemcfeast_0003Wednesday: The Live And Sweaty team (including Elle McFeast, aka Libbi Gorr, pictured) present their own Christmas special, A Very Sweaty Christmas (8.30pm, ABC). Performer Gordon Chater (The Mavis Bramston Show) discusses his life and career in A Life (9.30pm, ABC).

Thursday: The Benson And Hedges World Series Cricket (2.20pm-6pm and 7pm-10pm, Nine) is live from the Sydney Cricket Ground. Donna Mieklejohn presents the last edition of Backchat (9.20pm, ABC) for the year.

Friday: News program Eleven AM (11am, Seven) presents its last show for the year.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 10 December 1994. Southdown Press

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