Cover: Sharyn Hodgson, Julian McMahon (Home And Away)
The Ten Network’s long-awaited return of The Comedy Company is about to hit screens as the ratings underdog up against Nine’s 60 Minutes. “I don’t think it will be that hard to make up lost ground on 60 Minutes,” producer Ian McFadyen told TV Week. The revamped comedy hour promises not to be “more of the same” according to McFadyen. A number of new cast members have been added to the show – including Geoff Paine (Neighbours), Tracy Harvey (The Gillies Report), Melanie Salomon (E Street) and stage performers Alix Longman and Bernadette Robinson alongside familiar names Maryanne Fahey, Peter Rowsthorn, Russell Gilbert and Mark Mitchell. Meanwhile, Mitchell’s own comedy series, Larger Than Life, is to be replaced by a new series called The Big Time, featuring Mitchell and wife Di and sons Rhys and Lewis.
New doors open for ‘Ding Dong’
The Nine Network’s Hey Hey It’s Saturday celebrates its 20th anniversary next year but there is speculation that former co-host Jacki MacDonald, and not Denise Drysdale (pictured), will be there for the milestone. “I heard a rumour that Jacki is coming back,” Drysdale told TV Week. “If they asked me back, I’d be there, but that’s not up to me. It’s in the laps of the gods.” Meanwhile, Drysdale has hired Glenn Wheatley as her manager. Wheatley has signed a two-year deal with Ronson Australia for Drysdale to promote its products in store appearances and television commercials. She is also keen to pursue a dream role in a TV sitcom. “I have a concept and I’m working with a scriptwriter now,” she says. “We’ve written only bits and pieces so far but I’d like to see a pilot by the end of the year.” Meanwhile, Drysdale has spoken out about the reported rift between her and Hey Hey It’s Saturday host Daryl Somers. “Yes, it hurt and I think it’s detrimental to the show. Even if it’s true, the viewing audience don’t want to know if there’s a problem. I won’t speak out about it. What can I say? People make up their own minds. I am loud. Jacki wasn’t a loud person, so I think it was hard for everyone else. I been lucky to be here a year. I was lucky Jacki wanted to have a baby. I would still have had In Melbourne Today (with Ernie Sigley) but I wouldn’t have had all these doors that have opened now.”
Jennifer Keyte’s a working girl!
The Seven Network’s Melbourne-based newsreader Jennifer Keyte (pictured) has admitted that reading the channel’s main 6.00pm news bulletin and appearing on the late-night show Tonight Live With Steve Vizard has taken its toll on her personal life. “My only social time is on weekends,” she told TV Week. “It’s the only opportunity I have to catch up with my friends. By the time I get home after Tonight Live, take the make-up off and have a cup of Milo, I hit the sack very easily.” But Keyte is not complaining about the long hours that both TV roles are demanding. “I’m very happy with the way things are going. When I started on Tonight Live, I made sure everyone was aware of my priority – the 6.00pm news. With any news, credibility must be maintained and if that didn’t happen I’d have to reassess my involvement with the show. But I think the two shows enhance each other.”
Actress Sarah Chadwick has made a sudden decision to leave the popular ABC drama GP. “GP is my first big role since leaving NIDA,” she told TV Week. “Consequently I’ve had little chance to do anything else. I just feel that now, after a year, it’s time to move on.” Chadwick’s character, Dr Catherine Mitchell, will be written out of the show but does leave the door open for her to return. Meanwhile, Cameron Daddo has signed up for a brief ongoing role in the show.
Home And Away star Nana Coburn (the daughter of co-star Norman Coburn) has taped her last scenes for the show and is about to head off to Fiji to begin filming on a new international project, the sequel to the hit movie The Blue Lagoon.
Two of Australia’s best known actors, Neighbours’ Anne Charleston and The Flying Doctors’ Andrew McFarlane, are among the stars to appear on stage in the Victorian Arts Centre’s production of Love Letters. Also starring in the production are Terry Norris and wife Julia Blake, Lewis Fiander and Peta Toppano.
John Laws says…
”Well, advertising has arrived on SBS, thanks to the World Cup. And, no, the earth didn’t move. The nation’s morals were not placed in peril. Television standards were not lowered. Of course not. SBS’ initial foray into “corporate advertising” was very nicely done. Nothing over the top and nothing that interfered with the station’s excellent coverage of the international soccerfest.”
Program Highlights (July 7-13):
Sunday: The final stages of the World Cup starting at 3.30am with the playoff for third and fourth place, live on SBS and ABC regionals. HSV7’s Sunday afternoon AFL features Sydney Swans versus Carlton, and ATV10 crosses to Sydney for rugby league with the State Bank Big Game. Gary Sweet, Bruno Lawrence and Penne Hackforth-Jones star in Boy Soldiers, the second in the More Winners series of children’s dramas on ABC. Sunday night movies are Under Siege (HSV7), Vibes (GTV9) and Back To The Future (ATV10).
Monday: The final of the World Cup is telecast from 3.30am on SBS and ABC regionals, with SBS repeating the match at 7.00pm. At 2.30pm, ATV10 starts a re-run of its popular 1980s drama Carson’s Law, set in Melbourne in the 1920s and starring Lorraine Bayly. That night, ATV10 begins a re-run of the four-part mini-series, The Dirtwater Dynasty, starring Hugo Weaving.
Tuesday: In A Country Practice (HSV7), Terence (Shane Porteous) operates on Lucy (Georgie Parker) and confirms her worst fears. In GP (ABC), Dr Catherine Mitchell (Sarah Chadwick) faces the tragedy of losing her baby.
Thursday: A bushfire breaks out in The Flying Doctors (GTV9), and Coopers Crossing is threatened. Dr Ratcliffe (Brett Climo) and Dr Standish (Robert Grubb) find themselves battling the fire.
Friday: Dennis Cometti, Sandy Roberts and Ross Glendinning head HSV7’s coverage of AFL, West Coast Eagles versus St Kilda, live from Subiaco.
Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.
7 July 1990. Southdown Press.