Justine’s back… but is Alex set to take off?
Justine Clarke and Alex Papps, former Home And Away couple Roo Stewart and Frank Morgan, are now both on the Nine Network. But while Papps is settled in at The Flying Doctors, Clarke has moved into TV’s newest suburb, Kingsmead, in the new series Family And Friends. Clarke admits that she had second thoughts about signing up with another series. “I did um and ah for a while. But I knew I was working with the same team who developed Home And Away, so I was confident and it was easier for me to make the decision,” she told TV Week. But the future of her former colleague is unknown as production has finished filming the sixth series of The Flying Doctors, and there is no word as to whether there will be a seventh. Nine has asked to reduce the show’s budget, but Crawford Productions doesn’t want to lower the standard of the show. “I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Papps told TV Week. “Ratings-wise it’s doing well. It’s just the cost. If it goes into series seven, I’ll definitely be there.”
Annie lands in Cooper’s Crossing
Now sporting a short-cropped haircut, former Neighbours star Annie Jones is forging ahead with her career. The TV Week Logie Award-winning actress has just completed work on the Crawford Productions’ mini-series Jackaroo and is now embarking on a new role as an opal miner’s daughter in The Flying Doctors. Her character’s arrival in the outback drama leads to a romance with Dr David Radcliffe (Brett Climo). For the former Neighbours star, Ramsay Street feels a million miles away: “It was such an intense time and all of a sudden it was gone. I was lucky I had something else (Jackaroo) to go to.”
Well, what a start!
The Nine Network’s new drama Family And Friends kicks off with a cliffhanger when two of the main characters are stuck in a well. Young lovers Jennifer Chandler (Roxane Wilson) and Robert Rossi (Renato Bartolomei) are caught in a Romeo And Juliet-style romance as it brings together two families with long-standing feuds. After a fight between the two lovers’ fathers, the pair are told to leave and not come back. In their bid to secretly elope, they meet at an old well which is covered but as they walk across it, the cover breaks. The new series also stars Sean Myers, Robert Forza, Simon Westaway, Anna-Maria Monticelli, Diane Craig, Anne Phelan and Dinah Shearing.
Nine’s long-running quiz show Sale Of The Century returns for its 10th year, starting the year with a masters’ challenge featuring world champions from the past three years over a two-week battle. Previous Sale contests, such as “the Ashes” and “the Commonwealth Games”, have been a hit with viewers and it is hoped this latest contest will be a new year ratings hit.
A cast shake-up in Network Ten’s E Street will see no less than five characters written out of the series. Lawyer Jennifer St James (Virginia Hey) will upset the pending nuptials between Daniel Windsor (Chris Orchard) and Dr Elly Fielding (Penny Cook), and will result in Jennifer departing with Daniel to Switzerland, taking three of his four children. His eldest daughter, Toni (Toni Pearen), will remain in Westside.
Actor Paul Keane was ready to resign from his long-running role as Des Clarke in Neighbours, but has instead opted to take a four-month break and is expected to return in April. Keane’s break from the show comes as cast morale is at an all-time low following the departure of several key cast members, but producers are confident that Des will return with some good storylines.
On The Grapevine…
The Vine was really knocked out by the astrologer who “predicted” that former Perfect Match hostess Kerrie Friend would be doing some travelling overseas this year. This amazing prediction hit the streets after Friend, who’d announced her intentions well in advance, had left Australia for Los Angeles.
John Laws says…
”There’s some good news in the comedy area with confirmation of a new 13-episode series of Acropolis Now on Seven. Making its debut last year, it provided one of the ‘sleeper’ hits, pulling in ratings in the low 20s in the major cities.”
Program Highlights (Melbourne):
Saturday: GTV9 presents the last day of competition and the Closing Ceremony from the Commonwealth Games, live from Auckland.
Sunday: ATV10 crosses to Manly, Sydney, for the Ironman Super Series. Competitors include Grant Kenny, Guy Leach and Trevor Hendy. HSV7 presents live coverage of the Davis Cup tennis, from Royal Kings Park, Perth, and GTV9 crosses to the SCG for Australia versus Pakistan in the Cricket Third Test. Sunday night movies are At Close Range (HSV7), Smokey And The Bandit (GTV9) and the first instalment of the re-run of mini-series Vietnam (ATV10), starring Nicholas Eadie, Barry Otto and Nicole Kidman.
Monday: GTV9’s morning chat show, In Melbourne Today, returns for a new year with hosts Ernie Sigley and Denise Drysdale.
Wednesday: The debut of GTV9’s new drama Family And Friends is up against E Street (ATV10). HSV7 presents the AFL pre-season competiton, the Fosters Cup, featuring Footscray versus Richmond.
Thursday: The second episode of Family And Friends is followed by The Flying Doctors’ return with a new series.
Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 3 February 1990. Southdown Press.