tvweek_220990 Cover: Tom Cruise

On the brink of madness!
In a chilling coincidence, actor Terry Serio was discussing with TV Week his latest role as a would-be mass murderer in GP just hours after five people were shot dead at a block of flats near TV Week’s Sydney offices. “It doesn’t take much to push a person over the edge,” Serio told TV Week. In GP, Serio plays the role of Jesse Watts, a man whose business has collapsed in the recession and is driving taxis just to make ends meet. His moods get progressively worse. He has a gun and has thoughts of using it.   He blames his problems on his wife (played by Saskia Post) who turns to Dr Robert Sharp (John McTernan) for help.

Emergency call to Matron
A Country Practice creator and producer James Davern has been having secret talks with former cast member Joan Sydney to try and lure her back into the series. The talks were sparked by news that cast member Mary Regan, who replaced Sydney as the hospital matron, is planning to leave the series. But a spokesperson for the Seven Network said that talks had taken place but Sydney has decided not to come back to the show. “She wants to stick to theatre and film roles,” the spokesperson said. Sydney’s most recent role was in the Melbourne Theatre Company production of This Old Man Comes Rolling Home, co-starring with Alex Papps, Roger Oakley, Anne Phelan and Beverly Phillips.

celebritywheeloffortune What a night… if only I could remember!
It should have been a day that he would never forget, but for Wheel Of Fortune host John Burgess it became a day he can hardly remember. Just days before heading to Adelaide to tape the first four Celebrity Wheel Of Fortune shows, Burgess injured an ankle playing tennis, leading to an infection which, if left untreated, could have led to septicaemia. Defying doctor’s orders, Burgess (pictured, with contestants Lorrae Desmond, David Hookes and Jeanne Little with hostess Adriana Xenides) flew from Perth to Adelaide to attend the taping but was so “spaced out” on medication that he barely remembers anything that happened while taping those four shows. “So how I got there, I don’t know and how i did those television shows, I don’t know. It must have been pure adrenalin. I don’t remember a thing about the first show and very little about the second,” he told TV Week. At least the pain of the injury was eased slightly by the news that Celebrity Wheel Of Fortune and its Saturday night partner, Celebrity Family Feud, have debuted to hit ratings, winning the battle against Hey Hey It’s Saturday in Sydney and Brisbane, and coming a close second in Melbourne. But Celebrity Family Feud host Rob Brough is staying cautious. “Hey Hey has been around a long time and we have only been a success for one night. We can’t be compared to them yet,” he told TV Week.

estreet_0002 Two new characters have moved into Network Ten’s E Street.  Zac Spencer (Daniel Knight) and his sister Nikki (Melissa Tkautz) are dumped by their mother and left in the care of George and Martha Sullivan (Les Dayman and Cecily Polson) and are a couple of kids you’d never want to encounter. “Nikki is everything I don’t want to be,” says Tkautz. “She smokes and she’s really the sort of girl most parents would be horrified to have their daughters associating with.”

Actor Marcus Graham is in line for a role in the new mini-series Tracks Of Glory, being produced by Perth-based Barron Films, which follows the story of black American world champion cyclist Major Taylor who comes to Australia at the turn of the century to revive national interest in the sport.

lochiedaddo Another Daddo is about to make his mark on television. Lochie Daddo, 20, (pictured) has been hosting ABC’s Countdown Revolution for the past few weeks, following the abrupt departure of hosts Mark Little and Tania Lacy, and is tipped to win the job permanently.

John Laws says…
”The decision-makers at the ABC are becoming a little difficult to follow these days.  There seems to be a kind of uninspired confusion within the corridors of power about what exactly is going to happen to certain high-profile programs. Or maybe it’s cleverly planned confusion. For instance, is children’s educational TV really going to be axed, as suggested some weeks ago… or was that shock announcement a piece of sly politicking aimed solely at loosening the Federal Government’s purse strings? Were we really to believe that the ABC’s weekend news bulletins would be nationalised, as suggested in one announcement? Yes we were – but then we weren’t, because the “decision” was merely broadcast to gauge the reaction and the idea was hastily dumped when the anger of viewers in regional centres became apparent.”

Program Highlights (September 22-28):
Saturday:  HSV7
crosses to White City, Sydney for the semi-finals of the Davis Cup tennis between Australia and Argentina.

Sunday:  ATV10 crosses to Sydney Football Stadium for the State Bank Big Game – Winfield Cup Grand Final. After Ten Evening News with Mal Walden, Ted Egan presents ATV10’s new documentary series, This Land Australia, with the first episode featuring the grape-growers and wine-makers of Hahndorf and the Barossa Valley in South Australia.  Sunday night movies are Cocktail (HSV7), Short Circuit II (GTV9) and Avenging Force (ATV10).

Monday: Football’s “night of nights” as HSV7 presents live coverage of the Brownlow Medal count from Southern Cross Hotel in Melbourne, hosted by Bruce McAvaney.

Tuesday:  In Beyond 2000 (HSV7), Maxine Gray tries out a new device that acts as a second set of lungs, making scuba obsolete.

Wednesday: Former Matlock Police and The Sullivans star Paul Cronin guest stars in Nine’s The Flying Doctors.

Thursday:  Annie Jones guest stars in ABC’s new drama series, Embassy. In Skirts (HSV7), Tina’s (Antoinette Byron) involvement with a heroic, handicapped man dissolves into disaster.

Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  22 September 1990.  Southdown Press.

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