Cover: Teri Hatcher (Lois & Clark The New Adventures Of Superman)
Bobby’s back from the dead!
Former Home And Away star Nicolle Dickson is set to return to the series even though her character, Bobby, was killed off two years ago. Producers are planning to bring Bobby back in a series of dream and flashback sequences. “Ailsa (Judy Nunn), Bobby’s unofficial guardian and former partner in the Summer Bay diner, has a mental breakdown and has flashbacks and dreams about Bobby,” TV Week heard from an insider. “Nicolle is returning to film Ailsa’s ‘visions’.” Dickson’s return, plus the return of Emily Symons to the show, are part of an effort to boost its ratings. The show’s creator, John Holmes, has been brought back to work on improving the soap’s profile in the competitive 7.00pm timeslot.
Let’s give Jimeoin a big hand
Five years after coming to Australia, Irish-born comedian Jimeoin has become an Australian citizen. “I wonder how my life will change as a result of this?,” he said. “I hope my accent doesn’t change. The reason I did this is because a few of my friends did it… none of us know why! People are always saying to me that Ireland must be a terrible place. But they do laugh so much over there. They have a very black sense of humour.” Jimeoin’s comedy show, Jimeoin, returns this week on the Seven Network.
Paul rides into Beyond 2000
Network Ten technology series Beyond 2000 is returning for the new year with some changes. While the show has normally looked only at the innovations of the future, it will now have a new focus on how new technology is infiltrating everyday life. Dancer-actor Paul Mercurio is featured in the returning episode to demonstrate how modern technology now impacts on his life — from his new high-speed motorbike to the gizmos and gadgets he uses to keep organised. “The point of this technology to me is that anyone can use it, and you don’t have to be a computer scientist to understand parts of your computer or motor engine to understand the workings of your motorcycle. I’m looking forward to going digital (on his mobile phone), because I do a lot of travel and I like the idea that I can link up with other people via modem. I’m not at the forefront of technology — I’m just using it.” Reporter Dr Caroline West has defended the changes being made and denies suggestions that the long-running show is becoming infotainment. “It’s exciting to go through a change… I think that every program has to evolve with the times,” she told TV Week. “You constantly have to listen to what viewers want to watch, become innovative and push the boundaries with the presentation format.” The revamped show could also mean less overseas trips as the new focus draws more on technology in Australia. “The international hops are quite a hard slog, 23 or 24 stories at a time, so I think that all of us are looking forward to spending more time at home and doing more Australian stories,” she said.
Memories of Mavis
The Seven Network is screening a special to pay tribute to the legendary comedy series The Mavis Bramston Show, 30 years after its debut. Carol Raye (pictured) devised the concept and, although she wasn’t originally intended to appear on screen, became part of the ensemble cast. “In London, the TV sensation was That Was The Week That Was, a news-oriented satirical program with David Frost, and I proposed something similar,” Raye told TV Week. “I can still hear the reaction from the head of the network, Jimmy Oswin, who said, ‘Oh, Carol, you’re far too BBC!’. He also said that Australians weren’t ready to laugh at themselves. I told him not to be so silly. I badgered and badgered and finally got the go-ahead for pilot on a small budget of £1200.” The show became a huge hit across the country, but the title role of Mavis Bramston was not a real person. The character was a send-up of the tradition of bringing foreign stars to appear in Australian shows. Mavis was originally played by Noeline Brown and later by Maggie Dence. “Maggie never appeared in any of our sketches, but she became a star, touring around and opening petrol stations (the show was sponsored by petrol company Ampol). She felt like the Queen!,” Raye said.
- Full-frontal nudity is to feature in the debut episode of Seven‘s drama series Fire. Tayler Kane will bare all as his character, Lou “Grievous” Fazio, seeks to intimidate (or impress?) his new female colleague, Morgan Cartwright (Georgie Parker). “Some viewers will probably find the nudity a touch confronting,” Kane told TV Week. “But it’s part of what Fire is. It’s a brave series and the producers are taking chances. On its own, the fact that I appear nude is not a big deal.”
- Southern Star Xanadu (producers of Police Rescue) are set to produce a new prime-time soap for Network Ten. The series, with the working title Back Home, is hoped to be a rival to Home And Away with a setting around the Pittwater region in Sydney. Ten is proposing a mid-year launch for the new show.
- Actress Doris Younane has decided to quit the Network Ten series Heartbreak High. “I thought it was time for me to move on and I was being offered other things,” she told TV Week. “Then came the offer of Medea, which I just couldn’t say no to because it may not come up for another 10 years.” Younane will play the title role of Medea in a production at the State Theatre in Adelaide.
- Sale Of The Century‘s ‘That’s Entertainment’ challenge this week features celebrity contestants including Aaron Pedersen, Guy Pearce and NZ singer Margaret Urlich.
TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 22 January):
|1||National Nine News||Nine||Sun||1725000|
|2||A Current Affair||Nine||M-F||1614000|
|3||National Nine News||Nine||M-F||1557000|
|4||National Nine News||Nine||Sat||1545000|
|7||The Great Outdoors||Seven||Tue||1484000|
|8||Better Homes And Gardens||Seven||Tue||1429000|
|9||Movie: Passed Away||Seven||Sun||1422000|
|11||Mad About You||Ten||Tue||1388000|
|12||Seven Nightly News||Seven||Sat||1350000|
|13||Making A Million||Nine||Sun||1286000|
|16||The X Files||Ten||Wed||1242000|
|17||Seven Nightly News||Seven||M-F||1234000|
|18||Movie: Ghostbusters II||Nine||Sun||1208000|
|19||Seven Nightly News||Seven||Sun||1192000|
Caron James: The View From Here:
“Fire is the best Australian drama series ever made, so the promos say. The hype from Seven Network executives in the lead-up to the screening of its new big-budget series has been frightening. And, like anything whose reputation precedes it, Fire has a lot to live up to. When something is labelled the “best ever” before its arrival, it’s almost bound to disappoint. While Fire has some excellent special effects, superb music and a well-chosen cast, it’s far from perfect. The first hour, in fact, is unnecessarily slow. Most of it is spent introducing the characters, instead of getting on with the story. There is a big build-up to a non-event (a false alarm made by some drunken louts), and almost no build-up to the main event, a fire in which several people died.”
Program Highlights (Melbourne, February 11-17):
Saturday: Sport includes cricket with the Mercantile Mutual Cup (10.15am, Nine), South Australia versus Victoria, live from Adelaide Oval. There is golf with the Australian Skins (3pm, Seven) from Laguna Quays, and the Ford Open Championship (3pm, ABC) continues from Adelaide. In the series final of Over The Hill (7.30pm, Seven), the stress of running the pub is finally too much for Sandy and Don (Georgie Parker and Nicholas Eadie, pictured). They end up having an argument and Sandy leaves for the city.
Sunday: Rural affairs program Landline (12pm, ABC) returns with host Catherine Phillips. The Mercantile Mutual Cup (11am, Nine) moves to the Gabba, Brisbane, while golf continues with the Australian Skins (3pm, Seven) and the Ford Open Championship (2pm, ABC). The National Soccer League Match Of The Day (7.30pm, SBS) features Morwell versus Adelaide City. Current affairs programs 60 Minutes (7.30pm, Nine) and The Times (10.55pm, Seven) return for 1995. Sunday night movies are The Distinguished Gentleman (Seven), Falling Down (Nine) and Housesitter (Ten).
Monday: Wheel Of Fortune (5.30pm, Seven) features the $100,000 Champion Challenge. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Shannon (Isla Fisher) wrestles with the aftermath of her public humiliation. In the series return of Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten), Jim Brown visits Haddon Rig, a historic sheep station in central NSW, and Tonia Todman demonstrates the ancient skills and creative patterns of tie-dying. Four Corners (8.30pm, ABC) returns for 1995.
Tuesday: The long-awaited drama series Fire (8.30pm, Seven) makes its debut with a two-hour episode and bumps Blue Heelers out for the week. In the debut episode, after completing an arduous training course, Morgan Cartwright (Georgie Parker) becomes the first female firefighter in Brisbane. George Negus‘ Foreign Correspondent (9.30pm, ABC) returns for the new year.
Wednesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Fisher’s (Norman Coburn) upcoming 50th birthday forms the basis for Jack’s (Daniel Amalm) plan of revenge. Our House (7.30pm, Nine) and Money (8pm, Nine) return for the year. Fast Forward’s Funniest Send-Ups (8pm, Seven) features a collection of skits from the long-running comedy show.
Thursday: The Australian Masters golf (12pm, Seven) begins four days of competition from Huntingdale Golf Club, Melbourne. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), wedding plans turn sour as tragedy strikes Shane (Dieter Brummer) and Angel (Melissa George). Andrew L Urban tackles ordinary Australians with off-the-cuff interviews in Front Up (8pm, SBS). Seven’s new comedy line-up features a new series of Jimeoin (8.30pm) and Big Girl’s Blouse (9pm) and the return of Denton (9.30pm). In Janus (8.30pm, ABC), an inexperienced barrister in a minor drug case jeopardises the murder charge against Mal Hennessey (Brett Swain).
Friday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Hannah (Rebecca Ritters) is highly embarrassed when Philip (Ian Rawlings) insists on wearing his sauna suit. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Summer Bay is shocked by the news of Angel’s (Melissa George) tragic accident. The one-hour special The Mavis Bramston 30th Anniversary (7.30pm, Seven) pays tribute to the comedy sensation of the 1960s, hosted by Amanda Keller and featuring Mavis originals Carol Raye and Barry Creyton with guest stars Garry McDonald, Andrew Denton, Noeline Brown and the cast of Big Girl’s Blouse.
Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 11 February 1995. Southdown Press