Cover: Tim Allen, Patricia Richardson (Home Improvement)
Helen investigates the cost of success
Helen Wellings has come a long way since making her TV debut in The Mike Walsh Show in 1974. “I came into this industry very gradually from being an interviewee. I could go back to my desk in the public service and see television for what it was and is — a medium of communication rather than a medium of adulation.” She was approached by Nine Network producer Gerald Stone to join the original 60 Minutes team in the late 1970s but she felt too strongly about consumer affairs to consider a broader career in journalism — though the idea of travelling was appealing! For ten years she has hosted ABC‘s consumer affairs program The Investigators but admits that her TV success has impacted her health. “I still have an enormously strong work ethic and sometimes that rides into my personal life and I have to sit up and ask who I am,” she told TV Week. “My career has also infringed on my health. I found at the end of last year I’d thrown myself into it too much.”
Mark Mitchell (pictured) has responded to some of the fierce criticisms being levelled at him since taking over as co-host of ABC‘s TVTV. “The fact I am doing TVTV has generated some of the most vitriolic reaction I have ever known in my career,” he told TV Week. “I think I made the sin of transgression. I moved outside my preferred position in terms of the way people like to classify me. The critics become secure and confident in the way they like to classify performers. The success of the comedy has tended to eclipse anything that went before or comes after. I knew that would be a problem — maybe that is the case with TVTV now.” Mitchell has also been criticised for his recent hosting of Seven‘s Fawlty Towers screenings. “Don’t ever believe that someone on TV does not take the criticism seriously. We take it to heart and very personally. It does matter and it does hurt,” he said. “I love doing TVTV because it is all about an industry I love, television. I am amazed when I read that the show is a ‘wretched flop’. I have been in some wretched flops, so I know what it feels like. It doesn’t feel like it this time.” Aside from TVTV, Mitchell has also completed 78 episodes of an upcoming series of children’s show Lift Off and will soon be seen in ABC telemovie Fallout as New Zealand Prime Minister David Lange.
Aussie on the beach
Another Australian actor has scored a role in the US series Baywatch. Sydney model Rebecca Cross, whose acting credits include Hey Dad! and the film Exchange Lifeguards, is featured in five episodes of Baywatch as a love interest for Mitch Buchannon (David Hasselhoff). She joins fellow Aussie actor Jaason Simmons in the series.
- Blue Heelers star Lisa McCune (pictured) has braved her first on-screen kiss, with guest star Richard Huggett (pictured). “I managed to get through this with sweaty palms. On the morning of shooting I cleaned my teeth twice! For me it’s nice to play this side of Maggie. She’s a lonely girl in Mount Thomas, so it’s good to see her getting close to somebody.”
- Former Getaway presenter David Reyne and ex-Crowded House drummer Paul Hester have hosted a pilot for a new music show for the Seven Network. Titled Walkabout, it is aimed at mature music fans.
- Former E Street star Brooke ‘Mikey’ Anderson has knocked back a small role in the Hollywood film Act Of Honour to return to Australia to star in a new Nine Network series, Glad Rags. The $2.8 million 13-part series features Anderson as Lizzie, a teenager with an overactive imagination. She hopes to return to the US next year in time for the busy TV pilot season. Glad Rags has already been sold to the BBC.
Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here
“HG and Roy have not let us down. They have balls — soccer balls, tennis and table tennis balls, Aussie Rules, rugby league and cricket balls, basketballs and even the orb known as the lawn bowl. And if you watch their program, Boys And Balls (ABC, Sunday), you’ll see balls from every possible angle and, at times, in startling close-up. You also will hear a remarkable array of high-profile male sporting types talking about their balls and how much they enjoy playing with them. (Oh, come on! Get your mind above the navel and give it a run out there in the packed stadium, please. This is nothing to do with smut, for goodness’ sake! This is serious, bloke stuff and there’s absolutely no room for sniggering behind your hand.)”
TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 4 September):
|1||Very Best Of The World’s Worst Drivers||Nine||Tue||2161000|
|3||Movie: Back To The Future Part III||Ten||Sun||1917000|
|4||Australia’s Best For The Bush Concert||Nine||Wed||1898000|
|7||Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show||Nine||Tue||1871000|
|8||A Current Affair||Nine||M-F||1846000|
|11||Seven Nightly News||Seven||Sun||1691000|
|12||Sale Of The Century||Nine||M-F||1664000|
|13||National Nine News||Nine||M-F||1632000|
|15||Married With Children||Nine||Tue||1573000|
|17||Hey Hey It’s Saturday||Nine||Sat||1540000|
|19||National Nine News||Nine||Sat||1534000|
|20||Seven Nightly News||Seven||M-F||1530000|
Program Highlights (Melbourne, September 24-30):
Saturday: The special The History Of Bathurst (12pm, Seven) traces the 25 year history of Bathurst, with race highlights and previously unseen footage from 1969 to 1993. In A Country Practice (5.30pm, Ten), Jess (Jane Hall) helps a young boy save his pet rabbit.
Sunday: Ray Warren, Peter Sterling and Paul Vautin head Nine’s live coverage of the NSW Rugby League Grand Final (1pm). Sandy Roberts hosts That Was The Season That Was (1pm, Seven), a look back at the AFL season in the lead-up to the grand final. The VFA Grand Final is broadcast live (2pm, ABC). Banjo Patterson’s Man From Snowy River (6.30pm, Nine) settles into its new weekly timeslot following last Friday’s two-hour premiere. Sunday night movies are Father Of The Bride (repeat, Seven), Unforgiven (Nine) and ET The Extra Terrestrial (repeat, Ten).
Monday: Sale Of The Century (7pm, Nine) begins the Battle Of The TV Shows — over the course of the week contestants include Eddie McGuire and Trevor Marmalade of The Footy Show (AFL), Elle McFeast (Libbi Gorr) and Mark Warren of Live And Sweaty, and Denise Roberts and Michael Craig from GP. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Alf (Ray Meagher) witnesses a moment of passion between Curtis (Shane Ammann) and Shannon (Isla Fisher). Bruce McAvaney hosts the 1994 Brownlow Medal Count (8.30pm, Seven), live from the Radisson President Hotel in Melbourne.
Tuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Cheryl (Caroline Gilmer) believes her choice of Victoria (Mary-Rose Cuskelly) for a nanny was a good one until Serendipity (Raelee Hill) catches her neglecting Louise (Tessa Taylor). In Blue Heelers (7.30pm, Seven), two missing girls cause suspicion to be placed in an unfair direction when the Blue Heelers are looking for suspects.
Wednesday: In Heartbreak High (7.30pm, Ten), the arrival of new teacher Sam Robinson (Kym Wilson) provokes a strong reaction, especially from Rivers (Scott Major, pictured). In Wedlocked (8pm, Seven), Susie (Dina Panozzo) challenges Chris (Brandon Burke) to attend a weekend encounter session for sensitive males.
Thursday: Beyond 2000 (7.30pm, Ten) looks at how top secret military surveillance systems are helping keep track of whales; and reports on a new era in animation — turning actors into cartoon stars. In Janus (8.30pm, ABC), a youth is charged with attempted murder when he tries to run a policeman down. Eddie McGuire and Sam Newman host a special two-hour Grand Final edition of The Footy Show (8.30pm, Nine), featuring Jason Dunstall, Doug Hawkins, Craig Kelly, Wayne Carey, Billy Brownless and Paul Roos.
Friday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Selina (Tempany Deckert) is shocked by Irene’s (Lynne McGranger) decision to send her to deportment school. The eve of the AFL Grand Final features concert special The Grand Final Countdown (7.30pm, Seven) from the Victorian Arts Centre, hosted by Gary Sweet and featuring Andrew Denton, Tim Watson, Drew Morphett, Ron Barassi, Bob Davis, Robert Dipierdomenico, Tony Shaw, Leigh Matthews, Daddy Cool, Tina Arena, Rex Hunt, Nick Giannopoulos, Dr Feelgood, Colette Mann and The Dodgy Brothers. The traditional Grand Final Football Marathon (10.30pm, Seven) features an all-night parade of highlights and special moments from past seasons.
Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 24 September 1994. Southdown Press