Home And Away heartbreak
Summer Bay newlyweds Shane (Dieter Brummer) and Angel (Melissa George) are about to be dealt a blow with the news that son Dylan (four-year-old Corey Glaister) has leukaemia. The shock news comes after the couple had fought hard to gain custody of Dylan from his natural father, Paul (Ramsay Everingham), after their wedding, and following Angel and Dylan being held hostage by a vicious stalker. “After the stalking, (Dylan’s) very tired and can’t stop sleeping,” George told TV Week. “Angel is with Marilyn (Emily Symons) and looking at Dylan playing with toys… she’s very intuitive, very in touch with herself. When she looks at Dylan she has a shiver like someone walked over her grave and she suspects something is wrong. When Angel takes him to the doctor and gets the test results back, she is absolutely freaked out by it.” The role is a challenging one for young Glaister, but his on-screen parents have worked hard to make him feel at ease. “He understands so well. He knows exactly what this is all about,” George said. “He knows he has to be sick, but he also knows that even though he’s playing a leukaemia victim, he can survive.”
… but, wait, there’s Moore!
TV Week has a one-on-one with Frontline host Mike Moore (Rob Sitch) where he responds to his critics and provides an insight into his role as host of the current affairs show. Here is just some of that interview:
TVW: How do you respond to claims that you’re a puppet who arrives at work at 4pm, goes into make-up, reads an autocue, then goes home again?
MM: I respond the only way I know how… by doing a good job — arriving at 10 minutes to four, getting better made-up, reading the autocue to the best of my ability and then going home… I just double my efforts.
TVW: What are your views on Media Watch host Stuart Littlemore?
MM: I think he’s cocky, arrogant and smug. That’s a view, mind you, not an opinion. I’m not allowed to have opinions.
TVW: Are endeavours being made to alter the show’s image? Will that master of mirth, the Friday Funnyman (Frontline‘s version of A Current Affair‘s John Clarke), be making a contribution this year?
MM: I’m not sure what the image is, but I’m pretty sure it needs changing. We want it to be more popular, so that will probably involve getting a panel of blokes talking about football. As for Elliot Rhodes (Friday Funnyman), we’re thinking of trying something new this year. Comedy.
TVW: Ray Martin seems to have almost exclusive access to big names in the entertainment business. Can you break his hold on such talent? Do you have your own Good Blokes and Top Sorts concept? And given the opportunity for a chat with Hugh Grant, what would you ask him?
MM: I’ve been away, so I’m not sure what all this Hugh Grant business is about. I’d certainly ask him if he has any money… from what I’ve heard he had to sleep in his car when he was in LA recently. As for doing Good Blokes type specials, I’d be very keen. Some people have unfairly suggested that Ray’s Batman Forever special was nothing more than an ad for a film, but to me it was completely different. Ads run for 30 seconds, Ray’s special ran an hour.
TVW: You appeared on Burke’s Backyard last year (pictured) and seemed uncomfortable when Don (Burke) sought your views on certain international political events. What did you learn from that experience? Will you accept an invitation to compete in the Sale Of The Century celebrity challenge?
MM: Don and I are good friends, always will be. Obviously, I was a little hazy that day, but I was on antibiotics. I’d love to go on the celebrity challenge, I’d make a complete monkey out of them all. Our network’s not keen though… for reasons I don’t understand.
TVW: Do you have any words for encouragement for former Real Life host Stan Grant?
MM: Stan who?
The telemovie takeover!
Mini-series, which once reigned supreme in the TV ratings war, today have been largely replaced by the concept of the telemovie series. Following the lead of overseas titles such as Columbo, Prime Suspect and A Touch Of Frost, Australian networks have firmly embraced the concept. The Nine Network has been putting out The Feds, Halifax fp and Singapore Sling telemovies, and has also produced a one-off World War II drama, The Last Bullet, starring Robert Taylor (pictured) and Jason Donovan. The Seven Network has had the Cody series of telemovies featuring Gary Sweet, and ABC is soon to launch a series of 50-minute films about men under the umbrella title of Naked. Taylor, who also stars in The Feds, says the emergence of the telemovie format is more about economics. “Telemovies are very popular with the networks and the finance people,” he told TV Week. “I don’t think the vote’s in yet on whether they are really popular with the public. The first one or two of anything are going to rate all right, but who knows whether it can be sustained?” ABC commissioning editor Sue Smith said that telemovies will be an ongoing focus in future dramas for the national broadcaster, but will tackle different themes to their commercial counterparts. “When we do telemovies, it will be in the area targeting political or social contexts, simply because that’s our role as a public broadcaster,” she said. But Nine Network program manager Len Downs says the mini-series isn’t dead yet. “The mini-series still works,” he told TV Week. “We’ve got stuff in the pipeline that will be two-by-two mini-series for next year. But this year we’re looking mainly at telemovies such as Halifax fp.”
Hugh graduates to Correlli
When Hugh Jackman was offered a continuing role in Neighbours, he wondered, looking at some of the series’ successful discoveries, whether he was doing the right thing in turning it down. Instead, he went to the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). “I was scared that if I went on to Neighbours without proper training, I would never get back to it,” he told TV Week. “I wanted to feel confident about my acting. I know now I made the right decision.” Since graduating from WAAPA, Jackman has scored the male lead in the ABC series Correlli, playing the part of prisoner Kevin Jones. “He’s a schemer, and he’s very smart, a kind of enigmatic character,” Jackman said. “He tries to manipulate the system by pretending he has psychological problems, so he doesn’t get sent to maximum security. Through that he meets Louisa Correlli (Deborra-Lee Furness). There’s an instant recognition between them that they’re on a similar mind level, and they challenge each other all the time.”
Rhoda wrong about rights role!
When actor and journalist Rhoda Roberts (former host of SBS‘ recently-axed Vox Populi) was offered a guest role in Blue Heelers, she wasn’t keen to accept. The role was that of an Aboriginal Affairs advisory officer. “I wasn’t going to do it,” she told TV Week. “I thought, ‘Here we go, another stereotypical Aboriginal role’. Then when I read the script, I thought, ‘Oh no — this is okay’.” Roberts plays Michaela Drew, who is called in when the Blue Heelers are investigating the disappearance of Aboriginal artefacts from the home of Colonel Thomas (Bob Hornery). “Michaela is the new breed of Aboriginal, who has been to university, has done well and who has a conscience about her Aboriginality,” Roberts said. “I liked the role because she’s not a flag-waving radical. There’s nothing wrong with being like that, but on screen it tends to paint a stereotype.”
- No sooner had Nicole Kidman‘s sister Antonia start a new job on the production of Mulray, that suddenly it came to an abrupt end, as host Doug Mulray walked out after the first episode of the returning series. But she has since picked up a new job at Nine, as researcher on the new This Is Your Life, to be hosted by Mike Munro.
- The Nine Network will be hoping that Derryn Hinch‘s upcoming special on diets will fare better in the ratings than his previous program on rape.
- Following the successful Vision For A Better World telethon for World Vision last year, hosted by Larry Emdur and Jo Beth Taylor, it has been confirmed that there will be another telethon this year. Taylor is also hoping to visit Africa again for another World Vision special.
TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 9 July):
|1||National Nine News||Nine||Sun||2262000|
|2||Movie: The Mighty Ducks||Seven||Mon||2149000|
|4||National Nine News||Nine||M-F||1954000|
|5||Lois & Clark||Seven||Mon||1920000|
|6||A Current Affair||Nine||M-F||1896000|
|10||Sale Of The Century||Nine||M-F||1822000|
|12||The X Files||Ten||Wed||1814000|
|13||The Footy Show||Nine||Thu||1804000|
|16||Seven Nightly News||Seven||Sat||1732000|
|17||Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show||Nine||Tue||1724000|
|18||National Nine News||Nine||Sat||1706000|
Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here
“There are people cynical enough (no, no, no… not me!) to suggest that those who run television stations should have consulted psychologists — and, in some cases, psychiatrists — long ago. Why it has taken quite so long remains a mystery… but now it has happened we’re in danger of being swamped with them. Psychologists, that is. The Nine Network has Jane Halifax (Rebecca Gibney). The ABC recently introduced Louisa Correlli (Deborra-Lee Furness), a clinical psychologist who works with the inmates at Blackstream Prison, doing overtime to prevent herself becoming romantically involved with one of them. For a really different psychologist, however, it took the British to come up with a Dr Fitzgerald. Fitz, as he has become known, is the central character in Cracker, a series which has had a difficult national profile in this country because of its fragmented programming by the Seven Network. Cracker has been running for some time in certain areas of Australia, but appeared only recently in others. Unfortunately, it is a situation the network cannot avoid because of the AFL commitments which are so vital to its overall results, especially in Melbourne.”
Program Highlights (Melbourne, July 29-August 4):
Saturday: The second game of the Bledisloe Cup (2pm, Seven), Australia versus New Zealand, is live from Sydney. Beyond 2000 (5.30pm, Ten) reports on technology that enables criminals to be tracked down by analysing the sound of their voice.
Sunday: AFL Sunday (1pm, Seven) includes West Coast Eagles versus Collingwood, live from Perth, then after an early edition of Seven Nightly News (5pm, Seven), it’s over to Adelaide for Adelaide Crows versus Brisbane (5.30pm, Seven). In Heartbreak High (5.30pm, Ten), River’s (Scott Major) father Norm (Russell Kiefel) escapes from custody. Sunday night movies are National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1 (repeat, Seven), Timebomb (Nine) and Aliens: The Special Edition (repeat, Ten).
Monday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Mud (Tom Richards) is becoming a real problem for Selina (Tempany Deckert). Hey Hey By Request No 3 (7.30pm, Nine) uncovers more memorable moments from the Hey Hey It’s Saturday archives as requested by viewers. In Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten), reporter Jim Brown travels through the outback and traces the last steps of explorers Burke and Wills.
Tuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Lou (Tom Oliver) devises a great new advertising campaign for Chez Chez. Rowena Wallace and former Home And Away star Nicolle Dickson (pictured) guest star in GP (8.30pm, ABC).
Wednesday: In Correlli (8.30pm, ABC), Louisa (Deborra-Lee Furness) becomes intrigued by Kevin Jones (Hugh Jackman), suspecting there’s more to him than the brain-damaged victim he presents.
Thursday: In Echo Point (6pm, Ten), Edwina’s (Jessica Napier) party goes ahead despite her friend’s cautionary words. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Chloe (Kristy Wright) is mysteriously absent from school.
Friday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Angel (Melissa George) is terrified when she feels there’s someone in the house. AFL Today (9.30pm, Seven) includes delayed coverage of Richmond versus Hawthorn played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 29 July 1995. Southdown Press