Cover: Glenn Ridge, Nicky Buckley (Sale Of The Century)
Michael out with a splash!
Home And Away‘s Michael Ross (Dennis Coard) is set to meet a watery end in 1996. Also in the new year are plans for Ailsa (Judy Nunn) to become a mum again. And Haydn Ross (Andrew Hill) will be returning to Summer Bay and having a steamy affair with Marilyn (Emily Symons).
Out of the Woods
Blue Heelers star John Wood admits he’s a workaholic. With production of the series finished for its second year, Woods is working on a new script for the show, rehearsing for a musical-comedy and taking his first overseas trip to promote Blue Heelers in the UK . Wood will be playing the Narrator in the Stephen Sondheim production Into The Woods, due to open at Melbourne’s Royal Botanical Gardens in January. “The role of Narrator is much bigger than I imagined,” he said. “There’s more singing than I envisaged, and the Narrator actually gets involved in the action.” Into The Woods also stars Gina Riley (Fast Forward, Big Girl’s Blouse), Richard Piper (Wedlocked) and Matthew Newton.
Lisa McCune heads for Gilligan’s Island
Blue Heelers star Lisa McCune is giving her no-nonsense policewoman image a shake up as she takes on the part of Mary-Anne in Footy Castaways, a stage parody of the classic series Gilligan’s Island. Also starring in the show is Full Frontal‘s Julia Morris as Ginger, AFL star Ang Christou as Gilligan, former Collingwood player Peter Daicos as the Professor, Geelong’s John Barnes as the Skipper, Seven Network sports presenter Tim Watson as Thurston Howell III, Essendon’s Mark Harvey as Mrs Howell and Eric Bana as the narrator. “I am Ginger… totally self-centred,” Morris told TV Week. “Ginger was a sex machine. She was always trying to get a bit of loving from Gilligan.” Footy Castaways is playing at Melbourne’s Last Laugh theatre restaurant.
- Wheel Of Fortune host John Burgess (pictured with co-host Adriana Xenides) has ditched his trademark moustache in the name of charity, at the Seven Network‘s recent teddy bear’s picnic to raise funds for Sydney’s new children’s hospital at Westmead.
- The Seven Network is to pilot a local version of the hit UK variety-game show Talking Telephone Numbers. In the show studio contestants take part in games, but viewers are able to participate by phoning in.
- Tracey Curro has signed a new contract with 60 Minutes, ending speculation that she would be leaving the show.
- Sky News, the new pay TV channel being launched by Nine, Seven and Britain’s BSkyB, is to be based at new studios in the Sydney suburb of Frenchs Forest. Earlier plans to base the channel at Nine’s Sydney studio fell through after Seven wasn’t keen on the idea.
- Some big names are believed to be signed up for guest appearances in Seven‘s Fire when it returns in 1996. Garry McDonald and Barry Otto are among those rumoured to be appearing.
TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 12 November):
|2||This Is Your Life||Nine||Thu||1939000|
|5||A Current Affair||Nine||M-F||1712000|
|7||National Nine News||Nine||Sun||1626000|
|8||Seven’s Salute To Comedy||Seven||Mon||1603000|
|9||The Great Outdoors||Seven||Tue||1601000|
|10||National Nine News||Nine||M-F||1592000|
|11||National Nine News||Nine||Sat||1587000|
|14||Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show||Nine||Tue||1547000|
|16||Sale Of The Century||Nine||M-F||1537000|
|17||Better Homes And Gardens||Seven||Tue||1530000|
|18||Mad About You||Ten||Tue||1487000|
|20||The X Files||Ten||Wed||1471000|
Caron James: The View From Here
“Commercials used to be those annoying sales pitches that kept interrupting the program, or coming on just at the wrong moment during a cricket Test. Now, commercials ARE the program — well, one high-rating program, anyway — in the form of The World’s Greatest Commercials (Sunday nights on the Seven Network). It’s bizarre that a show made up of what most of us normally hate about TV is watched by more than a million people in Australia a week. Personally, I find it difficult to sit through a show that features commercials. One special every year or so of The World’s Greatest Commercials might be okay. But every week?”
Program Highlights (Melbourne, December 2-8):
Saturday: The Third Test: Australia versus Pakistan (10.50pm, Nine) continues from the Sydney Cricket Ground, and again on Sunday and Monday. Hey Hey It’s Saturday (6.30pm, Nine) presents its final show for the year, and Gladiators (6.30pm, Seven) reaches its Grand Final.
Sunday: Andrew Daddo travels through Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia for the series debut of Lonely Planet (6.30pm, Seven). Sunday night movies are Cocktail (repeat, Seven), Other Women’s Children (Nine) and Romper Stomper (Ten).
Monday: Replacing Neighbours for the summer season is re-runs of MASH (6.30pm, Ten); while replacing Home And Away is repeats of The Great Outdoors (7pm, Seven); and Paul Holmes hosts a new dating show, Simply Irresistible (7pm, Nine), replacing Sale Of The Century. Late night program Sports Tonight extends to an early evening edition (7pm, Ten) for the summer. Amanda Keller and Michael Whitney host The National Sex Appeal Test (7.30pm, Seven) — posing the question, What Is Sex Appeal? Appearing on the show are Doug Mulray, Home And Away stars Debra Lawrance and Dennis Coard, Wendy Harmer, Peter Moon, Lyndel Jacob and Peter Harrison. Anne Fulwood (pictured), recently moved across from the Ten Network, presents the new late night edition of Seven Nightly News (10.30pm, Seven).
Tuesday: Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven) goes into repeat mode for the summer. Some less than memorable US shows are beginning to appear for the non-ratings period: Viper (7.30pm, Nine), Madman Of The People (8pm, Ten), University Hospital (8.30pm, Ten) and The Wanderer (11.05pm, Seven), starring Australian Bryan Brown.
Wednesday: Lifestyle programs Our House (7.30pm, Nine) and Money (8pm, Nine) finish up for the year. Actress Sandy Gore narrates the wildlife documentary From The Snow To The Sea (8pm, ABC), part of the Wild Australia series. In the series final of Bordertown (8.30pm, ABC), Baringa is set to close; and on the eve of his wedding to Louise (Christine Tremarco), Nino (Mitchell Butel) disappears.
Thursday: Getaway (7.30pm, Nine) presents its final show for the year, with reporters Jeff Watson, Tina Dalton, Lochie Daddo, Rebecca Harris and Christina Morrissy presenting the show’s best stories from 1995.
Friday: The AFL National Draft (10.30am, Seven) is broadcast live from the Carlton Radisson Hotel, Melbourne, hosted by Sandy Roberts. New quiz show A Question Of Sport (7.30pm, Ten) is hosted by Matthew White and features team captains Merv Hughes (pictured) and David Campese.
Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 2 December 1995. Southdown Press