Cover: Michelle Pfeiffer
After a year away from television Jana Wendt has made a return as host of a 60 Minutes debate. “After 10 months on holiday it’s good to be back,” she told TV Week. “Even studying, it was still a holiday.” The debate, titled The Media: A Question Of Trust, was the final edition of 60 Minutes for the year. As well as contributing to 60 Minutes in Australia, Wendt will also be presenting reports for the US show of the same name.
A hill to climb for Nicholas
Actor Nicholas Eadie is keen for the drama pilot Over The Hill to be picked up by the Seven Network, securing him a television role after two years in the theatre. The pilot, which starred Eadie and Georgie Parker as a yuppie couple who quit the city to buy a country pub, has reportedly been well received by Seven executives.”It was a really nice script and a great cast,” he told TV Week. “We did it in two weeks and had a great time. I would certainly love to get back into television because I haven’t done that much recently.”
Ray fronts new-look Logies
After nine years as host of Midday, Ray Martin (pictured) has a challenging year coming up as the new host of A Current Affair. The two-time Gold Logie winner has also been announced as host of the 36th annual TV Week Logie Awards, to be telecast on the Nine Network. The 1994 Logies presentation will also be held on a Sunday night — a change from the traditional Friday night awards ceremony.
- The arrival of the Starke family this week is set to lead to a revamped Neighbours in the new year. Caroline Gillmer, who played Helen Smart in Prisoner, is reprising her earlier guest role of Cheryl Starke. She will be joined by Eliza Szonert and former My Two Wives star Brett Blewitt as her children Danni and Brett. Also joining the Neighbours cast is performing arts graduate Peta Brady in the role of Cody Willis, previously played by Amelia Frid.
- More than 700 VIPs attended the official opening of SBS‘ new TV and radio complex in Artarmon, Sydney. Prime Minister Paul Keating (pictured with Margaret Pomeranz) was there to declare the new building open.
- The Nine Network is stepping up in its bid to secure the services of actor Gary Sweet, now offering him a starring role alongside Sigrid Thornton in a series of spin-off telemovies from The Feds. Seven and ABC are said to be maintaining their offer of three telemovies for Seven and a fourth series of Police Rescue for ABC.
- The Seven Network is continuing to pursue plans for a Sunday current affairs program. The project, titled Seven Days, has had two pilots produced already with host Neil Mercer and a third is in the pipeline. The third pilot is said to be markedly different to the first two, with a focus on individual stories rather than having a host upfront.
- Actors Andrew McFarlane (The Sullivans, The Flying Doctors) and John Orcsik (Number 96, Cop Shop) are the latest guest stars for Nine‘s Paradise Beach.
- Actor Peter O’Brien (pictured) is back in Australia after spending most of the last year in the UK. The former Neighbours and The Flying Doctors star will play the part of solicitor Andy Cochrane in the upcoming second series of Law Of The Land.
- Popular US sitcom Seinfeld has been quietly dumped from Nine‘s late-night schedule after a low-key run. Fans of the show can look forward to the show soon re-appearing in prime time. On Ten.
Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here
“For about four years now, various people around the business have been left wondering when — or if — the Seven Network was ever going to screen a series called The Boys From The Bush. The original series was made in Melbourne by the Australian company Entertainment Media and Britain’s Cinema Verity Productions. Filming started in April 1990 with a cast including Chris Haywood, Nadine Garner (pictured) and Pat Thomson. If I’m not mistaken, Boys From The Bush was screened in Britain the following year and became a minor sensation, prompting at least one follow-up series. Yet it has never graced Australian screens. Now, however, Seven can obviously feel summer coming on and is preparing for the annual television drought that accompanies it. Boys From The Bush has fallen into the timeslot usually occupied by Full Frontal. And why it should have been gathering dust at Seven for such a long time continues to elude me.”
Program Highlights (Melbourne, November 27-December 3)
Saturday: Hey Hey It’s Saturday (6.30pm, Nine) signs off for the year with a three-hour special episode. International recording artists Jeremy Jordan, Kim Wilde and Terence Trent D’Arby lead the list of performers at the Australian Music Awards (6.30pm, Ten) at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast. The Awards this year launch a new category, Most Popular Indigenous Act.
Sunday: Ken Sutcliffe hosts the two-hour special, Sports Sunday 10th Anniversary (6.30pm, Nine). Sketch comedy series Fast Forward returns for a series of re-runs (7.30pm, Seven). Sunday night movies are Year Of The Dragon (Seven), Arthur 2: On The Rocks (Nine) and Cocoon (Ten).
Monday: Jo Beth Taylor is this week’s guest co-host on Sale Of The Century (7pm, Nine).
Tuesday: Paradise Beach takes up its new weekly one-hour timeslot (7.30pm, Nine). Model Elle Macpherson hosts the Nescafe Big Break (8.30pm, Ten), awards presented in recognition of talent, ambition and determination by young Australians striving to achieve their goals.
Wednesday: To commemorate World AIDS Day, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner? (8.30pm, ABC) is a special featuring 10 HIV-positive people to share the problems that the disease has forced them to face. Wendy Matthews In Concert (9.30pm, Ten) features vocalist Wendy Matthews in concert with a full orchestra on the steps of the Sydney Opera House in front of an audience of 40,000.
Thursday: The long-running technology series Beyond 2000 makes its debut on Network Ten (7.30pm). In the series debut of Boys From The Bush (8.30pm, Seven), when Leslie (Mark Haddigan) arrives in Australia from England, his cousin Reg (Tim Healy)is arrested for being in possession of a stuffed platypus believed to filled with packets of crushed rhino horn — an illegal, highly priced aphrodisiac. Boys From The Bush co-star Nadine Garner is also a guest star in the series return of Cluedo (9.30pm, Nine).
Friday: After four years on the Seven Network and two years on Ten the Hinch program makes its 1500th and final appearance (7pm, Ten).
Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 27 November 1993. Southdown Press.