1991: October 12-18

tvweek_121091 Cover (Top Right): Richard Huggett, Rachel Blakeley (Neighbours); (Bottom Right): Nicolle Dickson, Ryan Clarke, Ross Newton (Home And Away); (Near Right): ‘Ferret’ (Alan Pentland), Alyce Platt (Fast Forward).

The Great Jason and (the other) Kylie Show!
It doesn’t happen often, but television network rivalry is to be put aside for a special to screen on the Nine Network later this year to commemorate 35 years of television.  The three-hour production is set to feature a cast of famous faces – including Jason Donovan, Kylie Mole (Maryanne Fahey), Mike Willesee, Bert Newton, Olivia Newton-John, Jana Wendt, Ron Casey, Max Walker and Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum – each presenting a segment on a different genre.  Graham Kennedy and Ray Martin are also to appear in the program.  “It’s the first time that it’s a celebration of all TV,” producer David Lyle told TV Week.  “For the first time, Ten, Nine, Seven, ABC, SBS, all the production companies except one, and the overseas distribution companies are involved.  The amount of material is mind-boggling.  That’s part of the problem.  Three hours isn’t enough.  We’re steering clear of the well-worn clips to get something new.”

nataliemccurry ‘I’m sorry to lose good actors, but…’
Brendon Lunney
, the executive producer of the Nine Network series Chances, has defended moves to trim the show’s cast numbers down from 17 to six as the network trims the show’s output to one hour a week.  “It was a painful decision to change the focus of a show midstream,” he told TV Week.  “I’m sorry to lose good actors, but bringing the show down to an hour is a difficult and very painful process.  It’s all part of making Chances stronger and focussing more on individuals.”  The series is also set to continue to feature its trademark nude scenes, although one of the show’s stars, Natalie McCurry (pictured), is leaving the show after refusing to sign a frontal nudity clause.

janawendt_1988 Stone set to take on Jana… or 60 Minutes?
Details are slowly emerging of the new Gerald Stone project being developed for the Seven Network.  The former 60 Minutes executive producer is reported to be developing a new current affairs program – but speculation continues as to whether the show will tackle A Current Affair (with Jana Wendt, pictured), or whether it will adopt a weekly one-hour format similar to that of 60 Minutes.  Seven does have a dilemma in that a nightly half-hour format would likely dump the long-running Hinch program which has been recently out-rating Neighbours and Sale Of The Century in its timeslot.  In the meantime, Four Corners reporter Neil Mercer is set to join the new program, and ABC newsreader Edwina Gatenby has also been recruited.

colncarpenter The new series of ten episodes of Col’n Carpenter (Ten) sees Col’n (Kim Gyngell) without his two housemates – Linda (Kaarin Fairfax) and Michael (Stig Wemyss) – and living on his own.  “He’s quite different now and that was important to follow through.  The next obvious step was for Col’n to start surviving on his own,” Gyngell told TV Week.  The series return also sees Col’n re-united with his long-lost brother Peter – although he’s now a shapely female, Peta!  “The transsexual storyline was mooted 18 months ago, but it was knocked on the head because it worried management,” Gyngell said.  “Now, because the show has survived so long, the network has started to trust us a bit more.”

It’s an unusual match-up in Fast Forward, with moccasin-clad skinhead Ferret (Alan Pentland) dumping girlfriend Michelle (Magda Szubanski) when he wins a weekend away with Alyce Platt at Hamilton Island.  But a bust-up emerges when Michelle arrives at the island.  “It’s something I’ll be able to tell the grandchildren.  I was head-butted by Alyce Platt,” Szubanski told TV Week.

today The Nine Network’s Today is moving out of the studio for a week as the team embark on a train tour around New South Wales.  Hosts Steve Liebmann and Elizabeth Hayes will start in Broken Hill and will stop off at towns including Dubbo, Orange, Cootamundra, Goulburn and Bombo.  “Bombo is a quaint little station on the coast, south of Wollongong,” producer Steve Wood said.  “I thought it would be a nice place to end the week.”

Chances star Cathy Godbold has just taped her final scenes with the series but has walked straight into a guest role in Home And Away.  She will play Meg Bowman, a young girl dying of leukaemia.  The role of Meg’s mother, originally to be played by Rowena Wallace, will now be played by Debbie Byrne.

John Laws says…
”The sign of a good TV interviewer, especially one who handles politics, is that he or she maintains a high professional standard, not just in one or two interviews but in many interviews over the years.  Only a handful of such interviewers have emerged in television in the past decade or so.  It takes a bit of character to stay the course and keep intact your integrity as well as the fire in the belly.  The 7.30 Report’s Paul Lyneham is one interviewer and political commentator who can lay claim to both.  Lyneham is not one of ABC’s high-profile personalities.  You don’t see him popping up in the women’s magazines or showing Don Burke his backyard and you never read stories about him threatening to quit or being tempted with massive commercial TV offers.  No, he is a dependable character who seems quite at home at the ABC, doing his job in a thoroughly professional manner.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, October 12-18):
Saturday:  Nine
crosses to the Gabba, Brisbane, for FAI Cup cricket between Queensland and Victoria.  Ten presents live coverage of the Australian Drivers’ Championship from Eastern Creek Raceway – and ABC presents highlights of Rugby World Cup games, including the match between Australia and Western Samoa.  Actor Nick Giannopoulos, pop star Collette and guitarist Tommy Emmanuel are contestants on Celebrity Wheel Of Fortune (Seven).

Sunday:  Nine presents FAI Cup matches live from the Gabba, Brisbane, and from Adelaide.  Sunday night movies are She’s Out Of Control (Seven), The Fabulous Baker Boys (Nine) and The Delinquents (Ten).  Seven then crosses live to London for the match between West Coast Eagles and Hawthorn in the Fosters International Cup.

Monday:  There are shocks in A Country Practice (Seven) when the body of Laurie Brown (Bob Newman) is found in the National Park.  Sgt Frank Gilroy (Brian Wenzel) suspects unemployed Colin Scott (Shane Connor) of murder.  Dennis Miller guest stars in Col’n Carpenter (Ten).

Tuesday:  In Chances (Nine), Connie (Deborah Kennedy) meets a 16-year-old Italian who is infatuated with her and he persuades the entire family to move to Italy with him.  In Beyond 2000 (Seven), Dr John D’Arcy reports on the enviro-friendly potato cup, which is totally bio-degradable, extremely cost effective and tastes great.

Wednesday:  ABC presents Geoffrey Robertson’s Trials Of Oz, a 90-minute dramatisation of the controversial 1971 obscenity trial surrounding the publication of the satirical Oz magazine – starring Peter O’Brien with Hugh Grant, Nigel Hawthorne, Simon Callow and Leslie Phillips.

Friday:  In Neighbours (Ten), thieves in Ramsay Street cause trouble for Brad (Scott Michaelson).

Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  12 October 1991.  Southdown Press

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