tvweek_170994Cover: Lisa McCune (Blue Heelers)

Tristan tugged in a new direction
Tristan Bancks, who has just left Home And Away, and former co-star Dieter Brummer have become business partners in a new television production company. Bancks, who played Peter “Tug” O’Neale, has recently been in the United Kingdom to discuss ideas for a new show while also making television appearances and signing to play Aladdin in an upcoming panto. “I’ve talked to agents over there about doing some theatre work and teeing up some long-term stuff,” he told TV Week. “I’m interested in production, but mainly from the viewpoint that I can’t stay in the vibe of the industry when I’m not working as an actor.”

jaasonsimmons‘No-one can stand me!’
Tasmanian actor Jaason Simmons (pictured) has moved on from the ill-fated Paradise Beach and joined the cast of the hit American series Baywatch. Simmons plays the part of lifeguard Logan Fowler who joins the squad as part of a lifeguard exchange program with Australia. “Basically I’m there to cause conflict,” he told TV Week. “I’m an unconventional lifeguard and people I work with may not like me, but I do my job well so that’s why I’m staying. In fact, now that I think about it, no-one can stand me!” Simmons had first made the move to Los Angeles three years ago, collecting garbage in order to pay for acting classes and managed to score a minor part in Beverly Hills 90210 that ended up on the cutting room floor. He returned to Australia where he picked up the role of Harry Tate in Paradise Beach and also a role in the short film Page 73. He was working on Page 73 when he was told he had the Baywatch part. “I was a bit concerned after seeing this show and wondering what everyone would be like,” he said. “People think that ‘beautiful people’ can be hard to get along with, but everyone welcomed me with open arms… it is like a family.” Simmons’ appearances in Baywatch are due to begin airing in Australia later in the year.

Family law
Husband and wife actors Denis Moore and Val Levkowicz often end up working together — but it’s always by coincidence. This time the pair are working beside each other in ABC‘s Janus, with Moore as County Court Judge Grossman and Levkowicz as his associate, Rose Lipski. Yet they auditioned for the roles separately. “When I went to audition for Janus, Denis read opposite me — not the same role he ended up getting,” Levkowicz told TV Week. Moore added, “She got her part, and then I was asked to audition for the role of Grossman.” The pair have also worked together as married couple Ross and Bev Roberts in the sitcom Newlyweds. “No-one on the Newlyweds set even knew we were married in real life until a few weeks after we started,” Moore said.


  • Attitude reporter David Hannam (pictured) thought he had become a fully-fledged celebrity when he was asked for an autograph by a crowd of schoolchildren in Adelaide. His ego bubble was soon burst when he realised that the excited crowd thought he was AFL footballer Ben Hart to whom Hannam bears a striking resemblance.
  • Alex Dimitriades, the leading star of Ten‘s Heartbreak High, will be making his last appearance in the series at the end of the year. With co-star Sarah Lambert also leaving it means the movie premise that inspired the series — the teacher and the lovestruck pupil — will no longer be in the show.
  • Kym Wilson, Simone Buchanan and Marcus Graham are tipped to star in the upcoming Melbourne production of the play Desire. The show’s Sydney season starred Dee Smart (ex-Home And Away) and Chris Mayer (ex-Hey Dad).
  • This week marks the debut of Banjo Patterson’s Man From Snowy River. The 13-part series cost $11 million to produce — reported to be the most expensive drama produced in Australia to date.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing August 28):

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 World’s Greatest TV Commercials Seven Wed 2218000
2 Home Improvement Seven Wed 1957000
3 Australia’s Funniest Home Videos Nine Tue 1841000
4 Hey Hey By Request Nine Tue 1795000
5 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1794000
6 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1785000
7= National Nine News Nine Sun 1778000
7= Our House Nine Wed 1778000
9 Hangin’ With Mr Cooper Seven Thu 1726000
10 Getaway Nine Thu 1671000
11 National Nine News Nine M-F 1643000
12 Looking Good Nine Wed 1607000
13 Hey Hey It’s Saturday Nine Sat 1597000
14= National Nine News Nine Sat 1581000
14= Sale Of The Century Nine M-F 1581000
16 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1565000
17 SeaQuest DSV Ten Sun 1518000
18 Eyewitness News Ten Sun 1488000
19 Seven Nightly News Seven Sat 1481000
20 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1471000

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here

“It suddenly dawned on me just the other day (these things can take a while) that I have now seen 15 hours of the British series Between The Lines. I have been hanging around this page — and this business — for one or two days now and, in that time, I don’t recall a one-hour series completely hooking me as this one has. Obviously I’m not the only one, either. In this office, where we are lucky enough to get access to tapes in advance of episodes going to air on the Seven Network, we have a dedicated band eager to follow the latest pursuits of the show’s anti-hero, the internal investigations copper Tony Clark, played by Neil Pearson. There’s a less-than-orderly queue formed each week… after, of course, I’ve pulled ranked and had first look.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, September 17-23):
Saturday: The Women’s National Basketball League Grand Final is live from Melbourne (5pm, ABC). In A Country Practice (5.30pm, Ten), Jess (Jane Hall) befriends a little girl with a dream to become a vet, while Maggie (Joan Sydney) discovers the art of making plaster moulds and Ian (Paul Gleeson) makes the perfect model.

Sunday: The Preliminary Final of the Winfield Cup Rugby League is broadcast live (2.50pm, Nine) with highlights later in the day (6pm, ABC). Our World With Glenn Ridge (6.30pm, Nine) presents a documentary on the Great Ocean Road, presented by Melbourne newsreader Brian Naylor. Sunday night movies are The Addams Family (repeat, Seven), White Hunter, Black Heart (Nine) and Shining Through (Ten).

Monday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Jack’s (Daniel Amalm) luck with his string of girlfriends finally runs out.

Tuesday: In Blue Heelers (7.30pm, Seven), a farmer’s niece returns to Mount Thomas to help her family retain their property which they could lose due to an ancient law. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Kate Morrison (Deborra-lee Furness) consults William (Michael Craig) seeking a double mastectomy as a preventative measure against breast cancer. In Law Of The Land (9.30pm, Nine), Clive (Richard Moir) questions Ray (Mike Bishop) about lying the night he was at the hotel.

Wednesday: In Wedlocked (8pm, Seven), Lex (Richard Piper) gets romantically involved with a member of the Salvation Army.

raymartinolivianewtonjohnThursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Debbie (Marnie Reece-Wilmore) has become more withdrawn and believes she can’t face Julie’s (Julie Mullins) funeral. Australian Biography (7.30pm, SBS) focuses on author Nancy Cato, whose most famous works include All The Rivers Run. Ray Martin Presents (8.30pm, Nine) features an interview with Olivia Newton-John (pictured with Ray Martin) who reveals the highs and lows in her personal and professional life, including her recent battle with breast cancer. Alyce Platt guest stars in legal drama Janus (8.30pm, ABC).

andrewclarke_0002Friday: Drama series Banjo Patterson’s Man From Snowy River (8.30pm, Nine) debuts with a two-hour episode, starring Andrew Clarke (pictured), Wendy Hughes, Guy Pearce, Victoria Tennant, John Stanton and Brett Climo.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 17 September 1994. Southdown Press




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