I won’t be back!
The producers of Hey Dad! are about to face a crisis with the departure of one the show’s key cast members. Simone Buchanan, who plays Debbie Kelly in the Seven Network series, is openly telling friends that she is definitely leaving the popular comedy. However, show producer Gary Reilly has told TV Week that he is confident that she will stay. “I have all the confidence in the world,” he says. “We’re still talking, and, to be honest, it’s not time yet for serious negotiations.”
New ‘super-show’ to take on Hey Hey
The Seven Network is set to combine its two most popular game shows into a ‘super-show’ to take on Nine’s top-rating Hey Hey It’s Saturday. Seven plans to launch celebrity versions of both Family Feud and Wheel Of Fortune and screen them back-to-back up against Hey Hey It’s Saturday. “It’s a very exciting project, something very different,” Grundy Entertainment’s Paul Waterhouse told TV Week. “It’s basically the same shows, but with slight changes to the formats to allow for celebrity involvement. It will be more dramatic and more exciting.” The decision to go ahead with the celebrity spin-offs came after the recent ratings success of Sale Of The Century’s week-long celebrity challenge.
Fast Forward’s lady of many faces reveals it’s time to… EJECT!
Fast Forward’s Marg Downey has admitted that she is pondering a new challenge after two years with the popular sketch comedy show. “I think Fast Forward will go on but it needs fresh faces to do it,” she told TV Week. Downey is hopeful for a drama or perhaps another comedy role. “Something that was half straight and half comedy would be ideal,” she says. And despite her well-known celebrity impersonations, including Jana Wendt (pictured) and the unnamed “SBS lady”, have earned plenty of applause, Downey admits that some of her impersonations have not been her best work. “The Golden Girls is one example. I felt my voice (as Bea Arthur’s character, Dorothy) was ridiculously low. And I didn’t think I did Jennifer Keyte very well.” However, Downey recently took the brave step of introducing herself to the real Jana Wendt. “At the Logies Jana told me she sits at home with her husband (producer Brendan Ward) to analyse how well I’ve done her,” she says.
Actress Paula Duncan (pictured, with husband John Orcsik) has been thumbing through the archives of TV Week to piece together a historical portraits of TV soaps and their stars, past and present. The former Number 96, Cop Shop and Richmond Hill star is organising a TV celebrity dance party to be held at the The Dome in Sydney’s Showgrounds in October. Some of the stars who are set to appear on the night include Bobby Limb, Lorrae Desmond, Abigail, Bartholomew John, Joanna Lockwood, Maggie Kirkpatrick, Stefan Dennis, Craig McLachlan, Julie McGregor and Wendy Strehlow.
Network Ten is about to launch its new comedy series Let The Blood Run Free, starring Jean Kittson and Peter Rowsthorn (pictured). The new series, described by Rowsthorn as “a human cartoon”, is set in the fictional St Christopher’s Hospital and also stars Lynda Gibson as Matron Dorothy Conniving-Bitch. Let The Blood Run Free is a production of Media Arts, the producers of The Comedy Company, and was originally set to appear on the Nine Network until executives decided the show, featuring plenty of blood and slapstick violence, was too “off the wall” and it consequently got sold to Ten.
Wheel Of Fortune hostess Adriana Xenides has told TV Week that with her upcoming role in Nine’s Golden Fiddles she is determined to prove that she is more than a glamour girl. “I know it’s very hard for people to think of me as anything other than a TV hostess because I’ve been doing it for so long,” she told TV Week. “It doesn’t worry me if people think of me as an airhead because I know I’m not.”
Naomi Watts (pictured), the girl who chose a lamb roast dinner over a date with Tom Cruise in a TV commercial, is joining the cast of Hey Dad! as the girlfriend of Simon Kelly (Chris Mayer).
John Laws says…
”Its critics say a news segment is totally out of place in a show (Tonight Live) which often relies for its laughs on the ridicule of world affairs, political figures and, occasionally, even tragedy. What saves the segment is Jennifer Keyte’s professional ability to maintain credibility in the face of the evening’s fun and games. She has, to her credit, never allowed herself to become a “fall guy” – or should it be fall person? – for Steve Vizard’s sarcastic wit.”
Program Highlights (August 11-17):
Saturday: HSV7 crosses live to Carrara, Brisbane, for the AFL game between Brisbane Bears and Geelong. Sandy Roberts heads the coverage, joined by Ian Robertson, Don Scott and Bill McDonald.
Sunday: ATV10’s daytime line-up features regular crosses throughout the day to the station’s annual Deafness Appeal Telethon, hosted by TTFM breakfast presenters Geoff Cox and Gavin Wood (pictured). The telethon is accepting donations until 11.00pm. ABC presents national coverage of the Sun-Herald City To Surf run in Sydney. Sunday night movies are Brothers-In-Law (HSV7), Fever (GTV9) and Sharky’s Machine (ATV10).
Monday: HSV7’s Monday night movie is the 1986 drama Just Us, starring Kim Gyngell, Gina Riley, Scott Burgess and Catherine McClements, focusing on the unusual love between a newspaper journalist and a hardened criminal in prison. ATV10 begins a re-run of mini-series Tanamera – Lion Of Singapore, starring Gary Sweet, Anne Louise Lambert, Ed Devereaux and Khym Lam.
Tuesday: In A Country Practice (HSV7), Shirley’s (Lorrae Desmond) concerns about a growth on her face are confirmed and Terence (Shane Porteous) recommends surgery.
Wednesday: ABC presents a one-hour special, Ten Days Of Glory, documenting the return of 60 World War I veterans and widows to Gallipoli earlier this year to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign.
Thursday: HSV7’s new police drama Skirts has struggled to find an audience in its Sunday night timeslot so it is now moved to Thursdays, following Fast Forward.
Friday: HSV7 presents live AFL between Sydney Swans and Brisbane Bears at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.
11 August 1990. Southdown Press.