Cover: Heather Locklear (Melrose Place)
Molly’s Jacko doco
Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum and Richard Wilkins are set to co-host a one-hour special based around Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson The Full Story is being produced by Daryl Somers and features exclusive footage of Jackson sourced by Meldrum. “He has access to an extraordinary amount of information regarding Michael’s life and the controversy surrounding recent events,” Somers told TV Week. The show will look at sexual abuse allegations made against Jackson by a 13-year-old which have thrown his personal and professional life into chaos.
Alex’s new high
“I’m only young — I’ve just turned 20 — and I’m working my heart out on this,” Alex Dimitriades (pictured) told TV Week about the new series Heartbreak High where he leads a cast of teenagers of various multicultural backgrounds. The series is filmed at a former NSW government school which was closed in 1990. Despite some cosmetic changes being done to the building it still maintains much of its rough edges in providing a realistic portrayal of a school in a tough neighbourhood. The series is based on the movie The Heartbreak Kid, which marked Dimitriades’ acting debut, and features Doris Younane, Tony Martin (formerly Reverend Bob in E Street), Stephen O’Rourke, Nico Lathouris, Jan Adele (Trixie in Number 96) and Sarah Lambert (Police Rescue).
Nadine’s a class act
Nadine Garner, recently seen in SBS drama series Under The Skin and the Australian-UK co-production The Boys From The Bush, is working alongside Absolutely Fabulous co-star Joanna Lumley in the new British series Class Act. Garner is playing the part of a petty crim who gives Lumley’s character, socialite Kate Swift some “street cred” in hunting for her husband’s killer. Garner had no end of praise for her British co-star. “She was an inspiration to me personally and professionally,” she told TV Week. “She’s obviously had a very interesting career and life, and a career resurgence due to Ab Fab, and that’s very exciting for a woman of her age to be allowed a renaissance.”
- Simone Buchanan has returned to Hey Dad! for a guest role, three years after quitting the series, but struggles to find a familiar face on set. Julie McGregor, who plays ditzy secretary Betty Wilson, is the only remaining cast member from Buchanan’s six years with the series. “It was really good to be back — but I was nervous, and that really surprised me,” she told TV Week.
- Rumour doing the rounds is that Paradise Beach could be jumping ship from Nine to Ten where it may settle in to the 6.00pm timeslot, as a lead-in to Neighbours, and replacing Ten’s axed lifestyle series Level 23.
- Former All Together Now and Snowy star Rebecca Gibney is working on a pilot for a new series with the working title Halifax. The pilot is expected to be offered to the Nine Network.
- Bruce Roberts, who plays policeman Nick Parish in Home And Away, is quitting the series. He films his last scenes in April.
- Andrew Denton‘s long-awaited Seven Network series is set to go to air in the 10.30pm timeslot two nights a week. Meanwhile, Seven’s new series featuring comedian Jimeoin is to launch in the competitive 7.30pm Sunday timeslot. Joining Jimeoin in the show are Glenn Robbins, Brian Nankervis and actress Rachel Griffiths.
Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here
“Heartbreak High is the title of a new series spun off from last year’s successful movie, The Heartbreak Kid. It is packaged for the Ten Network by the movie’s executive producer, Ben Gannon, and Michael Jenkins, who directed the film. And the Ten Network obviously is hoping they will inspire a teen-led ratings revolution on Sunday nights. Heartbreak High replaces another glossy, youth-oriented import, Baywatch. With its slick camerawork and soundtrack by former Dragon member Todd Hunter, it is almost a bridge between the rock videos on Take 40 TV and Beverly Hills 90210. It represents probably the biggest risk taken in drama production by an Australian commercial network in recent years. And, for that reason alone, I hope it works.”
Program Highlights (Melbourne, February 26-March 4):
Saturday: The AFL Foster’s Cup presents two matches today — Sydney Swans versus Footscray (2.30pm, Seven), live from Wagga Wagga, and Carlton versus Hawthorn (8.30pm, Seven), live from Waverley Park, Melbourne.
Sunday: In the debut of Heartbreak High (6.30pm, Ten), Nick Poulos (Alex Dimitriades) prepares for his first day back at school, and new teacher Christina (Sarah Lambert) struggles to gain control of her class and win their respect. Sunday night movies are Pretty Woman (repeat, Seven) and Problem Child 2 (Ten).
Monday: A new series begins of long-running favourite Mr Squiggle And Friends (3.55pm, ABC). In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Shane (Dieter Brummer) discovers Nick (Bruce Roberts) intentionally failed him on his driving test. This week’s guests on The Talk Show (7.30pm, SBS) are Sigrid Thornton, Angry Anderson and Maggie Kirkpatrick. The final day’s coverage of the Winter Olympics from Lillehammer, Norway, includes the Closing Ceremony (8.30pm, Nine).
Tuesday: Today’s topic of discussion on lifestyle series Live It Up (3.30pm, Ten) is ‘Gay Parents’. In Blue Heelers (7.30pm, Seven), there is a fatal car accident in Mount Thomas and what 17-year-old Clare Brady was doing behind the wheel of a local farmer’s utility is anyone’s guess.
Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Ramsay Street is the target of a series of cruel hoaxes. Joy Hruby, Norman Kaye and Noni Hazlehurst star in Grandma’s Teeth, this week’s drama in the Under The Skin series (8pm, SBS).
Thursday: Opera singer Dame Joan Hammond is profiled in documentary series Australian Biography (7.30pm, SBS). In Beyond 2000 (7.30pm, Ten), Andrew Waterworth looks at a powerful software program that is able to detect patterns and connections that will help solve crimes on a large scale.
Friday: Cricketer Michael Whitney makes a guest appearance, as himself, in Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten). Nine crosses to Johannesburg for Day One of the First Test between South Africa and Australia (10.40pm).
Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 26 February 1994. Southdown Press