tvweek_240891 ‘Don’t call us the new Jason and Kylie!’
E Street’s Melissa Tkautz and Bruce Samazan (pictured) are set to become TV’s hottest couple, with their characters Nicky and Max deciding to turn their friendship into a closer relationship.  But with Tkautz already moving into a music career – with the top-selling single Read My Lips – and Samazan’s recording ambitions, the two stars are keen to distance themselves from comparisons to that one-time Neighbours supercouple, Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue. 

Future shock!
The Nine Network’s move to cut Chances down from two hours a week to one has seen the show embark on a new dramatic twist – jumping the storyline ahead a year in time.  The move forward will see the Taylor family believe that Alex (Jeremy Sims) has died after a plane he boarded crashes with no known survivors.  However, a man bearing a striking resemblance to Alex is found to be working hard as an honest farmhand and in a steady relationship with a hairdresser (played by Annie Jones), the sort of qualities that Alex is hardly known for.  The happy couple are unaware of the resemblance that the farmhand has to the devious advertising executive and the trouble it will eventually cause.  The format change to Chances also sees two cast members written out, with Anne Grigg and Leverne McDonnell exiting the series, following the recent departures of Kimberley Davenport and Yvonne Lawley.

lisahensley Wild goose chase leads Lisa to the golden egg
The image of a nun wielding a rake while she chases a goose through the convent grounds is one that Brides Of Christ star Lisa Hensley holds dear.  It stood out as she read the script and dreamed of the role that would change her life.  As the faithful Sister Paul, Hensley could picture herself chasing that goose.  “I’d go to bed every night and visualise me in that scene,” she told TV Week.  “I wanted the role so badly.”  The role of Sister Paul sees Hensley reunited with Josephine Byrnes, a former colleague from the mini-series Shadows Of The Heart.  “I never thought in my wildest dreams that Josephine and I would work together again,” she said.  For Hensley, the Brides Of Christ role is a reward after taking the stand not to accept any of the ‘nice’ soapie roles offered to her after working on the Nine Network series All The Way.  “While the offers were flattering, I was scared I wouldn’t get to fulfil my dream of doing theatre and exploring different roles.  So I said no to the offers and disappeared for a while,” she said.  “It was a very hard decision and I don’t know if I could make it again.”

colncarpenter Briefly…
Despite disappointing ratings, Network Ten has renewed sitcom Col’n Carpenter for a fourth series.  The series will now continue on Monday nights after a disappointing run on Sundays.  “The new timeslot has been a big part of the decision to go on,” creator Kim Gyngell (pictured, as Col’n) told TV Week.  “We’ve just had to grin and bear the Sunday timeslot.  Monday is much better.  We all feel like we have a new lease on life now.”  Along with Gyngell as title character Colin, cast members Stig Wemyss and Anne Phelan will continue in the new series, but Kaarin Fairfax is unable to continue her role of Linda as she is expecting a baby in October.  The show is also seeking a new producer to replace Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell, who has had to leave for other commitments.

jossmcwilliam Actor Joss McWilliam (pictured), best remembered for his role as an iron-man in the movie Coolangatta Gold, is taking on his first ongoing TV role as a park ranger in the upcoming series The New Adventures Of Skippy.  “If I had the choice I’d rather work in film – it’s a great medium.  But the exposure from television is wider.  An ongoing role in Skippy could be my big chance,” he told TV WeekThe New Adventures Of Skippy is expected to debut on the Nine Network next year and has already been pre-sold to a number of countries.

Bruce McAvaney will be heading Seven’s coverage of the third World Athletic Championships from Tokyo.  “For pure excellence in sport, I rate the championships second only to the Olympics,” he told TV Week.  “These titles also give me the chance to work on my technique for next year’s Olympics because I haven’t called an international meet since 1989.”  Seven’s coverage will consist of daily highlights packages presented after Tonight Live, and live coverage of the women’s and men’s marathons.

Lawrie Masterson’s Sound Off
”I think there must be a recovery taking place in the television industry, because, just lately, it seems some of the networks have resumed their old habit of plying the rest of the media with food and booze, given the barest hint of an excuse.  As my mate Kenny pointed out last week when we were leaving a bash thrown by Network Ten to celebrate 1500 episodes of Neighbours, things have been so bad for so long that now there is a generation of young journos to whom the traditional Interstate Junket is a whole new experience.  The evening previous to the Neighbours bash, there was a very posh party on for the brilliant mini-series Brides Of Christ.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, August 24-30):
Saturday:  Greg Matthews, Marty Coffey
and Syd Heylen are contestants on this week’s Celebrity Wheel Of Fortune (Seven).

Sunday:  Seven crosses to Tokyo this morning for live coverage of the Women’s Marathon in the World Athletic Championships.  Sunday night movies are Casualties Of War (Nine) and Colors (Ten) up against the debut of two-part mini-series To Be The Best (Seven).

Monday:  Four Corners (ABC) presents a special edition to commemorate its 30th anniversary, introduced by reporter Chris Masters.  In Col’n Carpenter (Ten), close to death, Colin (Kim Gyngell) is rushed to hospital.  Ten then presents a delayed telecast of the 43rd Emmy Awards from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, Los Angeles.

jeremysimsanniejones Tuesday:  Former Neighbours and Jackaroo star Annie Jones (pictured, with Jeremy Sims) makes her debut in Chances (Nine), while former The Young Doctors star Eric Oldfield guest stars.  Beyond 2000 (Seven) reports on new technology from Britain that offers a better way to fight fires on board aircraft.  All Together Now (Nine) is preparing for the 16th birthday of twins Thomas  (Steven Jacobs) and Anna (Jane Hall).

Wednesday: In Neighbours (Ten), Jim (Alan Dale) learns some startling news about Helen’s (Anne Haddy) new husband – and in E Street (Ten), Sheridan (Kate Raison) is playing games with Wheels (Marcus Graham), but who’s really fooling who?

Thursday:  In The Flying Doctors (Nine), a patient’s life is jeopardised when Guy (David Reyne) discovers golden staph in the operating theatre.  ABC screens the series final of Embassy, and Seven presents a repeat of the sketch comedy special from The D-Generation.

Friday:  ABC’s Backchat host Tim Bowden is a guest on Burke’s Backyard (Nine).  Documentary series A Big Country (ABC) focuses on two different cultures and how each contribute to the changing face of Australia.

Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  24 August 1991.  Southdown Press

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