Cover: Shannon Doherty (Beverly Hills 90210)

Riding high on the ratings!
When Jo Bailey replaced Alyce Platt on Sale Of The Century and Lisa Patrick replaced Jacki MacDonald on Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show, the critics suggested that both programs would falter in the ratings.  But the shows have not only maintained their ratings but have been on the increase — with a recent edition of Sale Of The Century scoring the show’s highest rating in five years.  “One of the things that is really pleasing for us is that a younger audience is watching Sale now,” Bailey told TV Week.  “There is still an incredible amount of interest in the show.”  Former model Lisa Patrick admitted that it was a big task to fill Jacki MacDonald’s shoes on Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show but felt she was up to it.  “I took this on because I thought the show was perfect for me,” she said.  “Following Jacki presented a challenge, that’s for sure, but I love a bit of a challenge and felt I’d be able to pull through with a bit of luck.”

Steve to call it a night?
Rumours around the industry suggest that Tonight Live host Steve Vizard (pictured) is looking to vacate the host’s chair in the new year.  As well as commitments to his production company, which produces Fast Forward, Tonight Live and Bligh, Vizard and his wife Sarah are expecting their third child and he is keen to step away from the late night hosting role.  And while ratings for Bligh have not been fantastic, a second series looks likely to be commissioned.

Emotional rescue
As ABC‘s popular drama Police Rescue is about to return for a second series, actor Gary Sweet has denied reports that the series’ grueling production schedule has taken a toll on his marriage, with his wife Jill and children Frank and Sophie now joining him in Sydney where the series is produced.  “It’s easier now we are all together,” he told TV Week.  “I seemed to be working up here all the time, even though I lived in Melbourne, so I thought we may as well all move up to Sydney.”  Sweet says that the second series will see a more mature outlook from his character Mickey McClintock.  “Mickey was a slightly angry sort of character and I think that anger has been tempered.  Now he’s able to deal with things in a rational sense,” he said.  Negotiations are already in progress between ABC, Southern Star Xanadu and BBC for a third series of Police Rescue.


  • Sydney-based advertising executive Siimon Reynolds is heading for Melbourne to tape Back After The Break, a TV special for the Seven Network on the history of advertising.
  • Following Rebecca Gibney‘s announcement that she is leaving All Together Now, another cast member is on the way out.  Garry Who has quit the series and  has already taped his final episode.
  • After only six months on air Seven‘s current affairs show Real Life is yapping at the heels of market leader A Current Affair in the ratings.  The program scored a ratings win during Seven’s coverage of the Olympic Games, but reporter Edwina Gatenby acknowledges that it’s going to be a long time before it can truly knock ACA, hosted by Gold Logie winner Jana Wednt, off its ratings perch.  “ACA has been there forever and a day and Jana has been there for five years,” Gatenby told TV Week.  “Jana is the queen of Australian television, so it’s a hard one to crack.”

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here
“You wouldn’t want to be hanging on for dear life by your fingernails waiting for the Police Rescue squad.  Unlike their real-life counterparts, this lot is not all that swift off the mark.  The first series, you might recall, started way back in February last year… and that was almost two years after the original pilot was shown.  Maybe the production company Southern Star Xanadu and its co-production partners ABC and BBC don’t want us to have too much of a good time… and, believe me, the second series of Police Rescue is a good thing.  Whatever, with the industry at its lowest ebb in my memory, a series of this quality is most welcome, even if it has been a long wait.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, August 30-September 5):
Sunday:  Nine presents a special prime-time edition of What’s Cooking, hosted by Gabriel Gate and Colette Mann, from Mount Buller in Victoria.  Sunday night movies are Men At Work (Seven), Postcards From The Edge (Nine) and Edward Scissorhands (Ten).

Monday:  In Neighbours (Ten), Cathy (Elspeth Ballantyne, pictured) finds out the real reason why Benito (George Spartels) doesn’t want to have a baby.  In Healthy Wealthy And Wise (Ten), Jacki MacDonald visits the Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park and talks with Steve Irwin who looks after the crocodiles and snakes.  Ten presents a delayed telecast of The 44th Emmy Awards from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.  Nine commences live overnight coverage of the US Open tennis from Flushing Meadow, New York.

Tuesday:  In All Together Now (Nine), Wayne (Garry Who) is arrested for photographing women through bedroom windows while on a spying job for Bobby (Jon English).   In Sylvania Waters (ABC), Michael is planning a big party for his 16th birthday.  He sends out the invitations, then tells his mother and Laurie that someone should be at the door to screen potential gatecrashers.  This produces a major fight and the party is cancelled.

Wednesday:  In Hey Dad (Seven), Martin (Robert Hughes) discovers that he could be related to Ned Kelly.  ABC presents a one-hour special Lost In Space, examining the history of ideas of home and family in Australia and our historic attraction to suburban life.

Thursday:  In the series return of Police Rescue (ABC), a horrific train crash makes Mickey (Gary Sweet, pictured) think about his relationship with his father.  Sydney radio personality Doug Mulray hosts the special Australia’s Naughtiest Home Video Show (Nine), featuring some of the risque tapes that are too naughty to screen in Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show.

Friday:  The final installment of ABC documentary series Blue Wilderness.  Ken Sutcliffe hosts Nine’s coverage of the World Figure Skating Championships from Oakland, California.  Ten has delayed late-night coverage of the NBL Mitsubishi Challenge basketball from Adelaide’s Clipsal Powerhouse.

Saturday:  Nine has live coverage of the First Minor Semi-Final of the Winfield Cup rugby league, with commentators Ray Warren, Peter Sterling and Paul Vautin.  ABC presents seven hours of coverage of Stompem Ground ’92, the Kimberley Aboriginal Music And Cultural Festival, from Broome, Western Australia, hosted by Ernie Dingo and simulcast on Triple J.  The broadcast, presenting highlights of the two-day festival, includes performances by Yothu Yindi, Tiddas, Warumpi Band, Fitzroy Express, Kev Carmody and the musical Bran Nue Dae.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 29 August 1992.  Southdown Press.

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