Cover: Nicole Kidman

Here comes the bride…
Many soaps have given their ratings a boost by holding a wedding.  The Nine Network’s new series Chances is starting with one!  The adults-only drama kicks off with a wedding between David Young (Rodney Bell) and Rebecca Taylor (Natalie McCurry).  “Chances has great possibilities,” Bell told TV Week.  “It’s aimed at a more mature audience and packs a good punch!”  Bell is no newcomer to television, having started in showbiz at the age of four and later appearing in TV soaps The Restless Years and The Young Doctors.  McCurry, 24, began modelling at 14 and later appeared in TV and film roles before coming fifth in the Miss World contest, winning the Miss Oceania title.  Chances, which debuts this week on Nine, also stars John Sheerin, Brenda Addie, Jeremy Sims, Cathy Godbold, Rhys Muldoon, Simon Grey, Tim Robertson, Deborah Kennedy, Marcia Deane-Johns, Anne Grigg and Leverne McDonnell.

Andrew graduates to Wandin Valley
graduate Andrew Blackman has joined the cast of A Country Practice as Wandin Valley’s new doctor, Dr Harry Morrison.  “I am very excited and looking forward to working with one of the most experienced casts in TV today.  As yet I know little about the character, except that he comes from the Queensland bush.  However, being a country boy myself from Queensland, I don’t feel that Harry is too far away from myself,” Blackman told TV Week.  He will make his on screen debut in April.

lucindasmith Mighty minis
Voting continues for the 1991 TV Week Logie Awards.  Which mini-series or telemovies of 1990 will viewers vote for Most Popular Mini-Series?  ABC presented the popular Come In Spinner, starring Kerry Armstrong, Lisa Harrow and Rebecca Gibney, and The Paper Man, starring John Bach, Peta Toppano and Rebecca Gilling.  Network Ten’s Shadows Of The Heart, starring Marcus Graham, Jason Donovan, Colleen Hewett and Robyn Nevin, was a ratings winner.  Nine presented the action-filled Ring Of Scorpio and bawdy The Private War Of Lucinda Smith (starring Linda Cropper and Nigel Havers, pictured).  Seven produced the controversial Jackaroo, starring former Neighbours star Annie Jones, telling the story of a relationship between a part-Aboriginal man and a spoilt white girl from the city.  Seven also produced All The Rivers Run II, starring John Waters and Nikki Coghill.

Newlywed Aussie actor Peter O’Brien has had to leave his bride, actress Jo Riding, in the UK as he has returned home to discuss future work projects.  The pair met when they were starring in the stage production of The Wizard Of Oz.  O’Brien is set to appear in a new Australian-US film production, The Diamond Triad, while Riding is currently on stage in Around The World In Eighty Days.

Lawrie Masterson’s Sound Off
”For someone who used to have such a high profile, Don Lane’s comeback to television last year was low key to the point of being almost unheralded.  The man who once was undisputed king of prime-time variety (remember prime-time variety?) turned up without fanfare on the ABC, hosting replays of American football in a late-night slot which could hardly be called prime.”

Program Highlights (January 26-February 1):
  Australia Day is commemorated with golf (The Vines Classic) on ABC, tennis (Ford Australian Open) on Seven, and cricket (Fourth Test) on Nine.  Although Nine had earlier crossed to Admiralty House for the presentation of Australia Day Honours and an address by Prime Minister Bob Hawke.  After ABC News, the national broadcaster presented the Governor-General’s Australia Day Message followed by The Very Best Of Aunty Jack, the mockumentary Barbakiueria and the 1940 Australian movie classic Dad Rudd MP.  Seven presents live coverage of the Australasian Country Music Awards.

Sunday:  The Women’s Doubles Final and Men’s Singles Final mark the final day of the Ford Australian Open on Seven.  Sunday night movies are Barracuda (Seven), Murphy’s Romance (Nine) and Attack Force Z (Ten).  ABC presents the Bolshoi Ballet as its Sunday Stereo Special, followed by highlights of the annual Montsalvat Jazz Festival held in Melbourne.

Monday:  Don Lane presents ABC’s live coverage of the 25th NFL Superbowl, played in Tampa, Florida.

nataliemccurry Tuesday:  The premiere of Nine’s new adults-only drama Chances (starring Natalie McCurry, pictured), telling the story of an ordinary suburban family whose lives are changed when they win a lottery.  ABC’s Lateline with Kerry O’Brien returns for 1991, followed by a repeat screening of the NFL Superbowl from the previous day.

Friday:  Seven crosses to Perth for live coverage of the Davis Cup, Australia versus Belgium.  Also in Perth is the cricket Fifth Test which begins today on Nine.  Nine’s late-night MTV, hosted by Richard Wilkins, returns for 1991.

Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 26 January 1991. Southdown Press.

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