tvweek_291094Cover: Jonathan Taylor Thomas (Home Improvement), Mark Curry (Hangin’ With Mr Cooper)

Byrne hot for Real Life
Rumours around the television industry indicate that former 60 Minutes reporter and Sydney radio 2BL presenter Jennifer Byrne is set to return to TV as host of Seven‘s Real Life, replacing Stan Grant. Adding fuel to the speculation is the fact that Byrne’s partner, Andrew Denton, is currently employed by the Seven Network.

Catriona’s a Wonder worker!
As well as juggling her radio work with Triple J and hosting the Saturday morning cartoon show, What’s Up Doc?, Catriona Rowntree has further added to her schedule by being promoted to host Nine‘s Wonder World. “It’s a bit full-on,” she told TV Week. “But while it’s there you have to go for it! It all keeps me very busy, but the main thing is I really love everything that I’m doing.” Rowntree started with Wonder World as a researcher in 1992 but was later promoted to the role of reporter. She takes over hosting the show from Pascall Fox. With Rowntree now hosting Wonder World, there will be two new faces brought into the show — Sonia Kruger (Strictly Ballroom) and cameraman-turned-reporter Dave Kelly.

amandadougeThe women from Snowy River
Amanda Douge, Joelene Crnogorac and Sheryl Monks (pictured) all say their roles in Banjo Patterson’s The Man From Snowy River makes them glad they don’t live in the 19th century. Monks, formerly in Prisoner, The Flying Doctors and Acropolis Now, says she doesn’t know how the women of the time coped with the thin, tight clothing in cold weather. “We were all wearing stripy thermal underwear. We looked like little Michelin women!,” she told TV Week. In portraying an era where women were meant to stay at home while the men worked, Crnogorac is pleased that her character, Danielle McGregor, gets to be adventurous. “Dani is a tomboy,” she said. “She gets to do a lot of things the other girls don’t.” Douge’s character, Victoria Blackwood, is expected to marry a gentleman and spend her life homemaking and having children. “She’s the Scarlett O’Hara of the Australian high country,” Douge said. “She’s young, she’s wealthy, and she’s reasonable looking, so the world’s at her feet.”


  • Home And Away is set to wind up 1994 with a shock separation of foster parents Pippa and Michael Ross — though the actors that play them, husband and wife Dennis Coard and Debra Lawrance (pictured), are blissfully happy and are soon to celebrate their third wedding anniversary.
  • Comedian Jane Turner, recently seen in the special Big Girl’s Blouse, has just finished a short film, Lucinda 31, where  she plays Violet, a powerful young lawyer.
  • Network Ten‘s Healthy Wealthy And Wise has just been renewed for its fourth season. The program has been the network’s quiet achiever, recently ranking among its most popular programs. “We try to give a lot of useful information and be very user-friendly,” producer Gavan Disney said. “Through doing that we’ve built up a solid and very loyal audience.”
  • Abi Tucker is tipped to exit Network Ten series Heartbreak High to pursue a musical career. She follows an exodus from the series that has also included Alex Dimitriades, Sarah Lambert, Tony Martin and Nico Lathouros.
  • At the Mipcom television market in France, Seven‘s Blue Heelers has become the subject of a bidding war between British networks BBC and ITV.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 9 October): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Movie: Patriot Games Nine Sun 2186000
2 Just Kidding Nine Tue 2169000
3 Money Nine Wed 2002000
4 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1917000
5 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1857000
6 Lois & Clark The New Adventures Of Superman Seven Mon 1843000
7 A Current Affair Nine M-Th 1817000
8 Getaway Nine Thu 1771000
9 Our House Nine Wed 1769000
10 National Nine News Nine Sun 1759000
11 Home Improvement Seven Sun 1680000
12 A Current Affair: Challenge Special Nine Fri 1639000
13 National Nine News Nine M-F 1586000
14 The Man From Snowy River Nine Sun 1571000
15 Home Improvement Seven Wed 1541000
16 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1531000
17 Sale Of The Century Nine M-Th 1518000
18 Hangin’ With Mr Cooper Seven Thu 1467000
19 National Nine News Nine Sat 1462000
20 Healthy Wealthy And Wise Ten Mon 1457000

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here

biggirlsblouse“As a rule, I prefer to preview rather than review in this column, but occasionally something catches me on the hop and I feel it shouldn’t pass without mention. Such was the case with the Seven Network comedy special Big Girl’s Blouse, which screened recently. It didn’t catch me napping, exactly. It was more a case of someone at Channel 7 making a relatively sudden decision to throw the show into the network’s October schedule, rather than November, as had been originally planned. Because, if you missed it, the opportunity for something of a television treat has been allowed to go begging. Big Girl’s Blouse was a reminder of what we have been missing. Few Australian comedy specials have been so notable for their consistency, their memorable moments and their generous lashings of fresh material from established performers. Despite ratings that were more respectable than rapturous, the word is that Magda (Szubanski), Gina (Riley) and Jane (Turner) and the Seven Network have pencilled in the first few months of 1995 as the time to concentrate on a limited-run series. More power to them!”

claudiablackProgram Highlights (Melbourne, October 29-November 4):
Saturday: The Spring Racing Carnival kicks off with Derby Day (10.30am, Ten), live from Flemington Racecourse, hosted by Tim Webster and Peter Donegan. The Mercantile Mutual Cup (9am, Nine) features Tasmania versus Victoria. In A Country Practice (5.30pm, Ten), the excitement of a fishing competition is dampened when Claire (Claudia Black, pictured) has a car accident, and Danny (Vince Colosimo) discovers a bullet hole in the windscreen.

Sunday: TVTV presents a one-hour special, Countdown — 20 Years Ago Today (6pm, ABC), taking a look back at the popular music show that ran between 1974 and 1987. National Soccer League Match Of The Day (7.30pm, SBS) features Sydney Unified versus Adelaide City, hosted by Les Murray. In Banjo Patterson’s Man From Snowy River (6.30pm, Nine), Frank (Rodney Bell) steals a bag of gold from Luke (Josh Lucas), only to have it taken from him by gentleman bushranger, Harry Roebuck (Andy Anderson). Sunday night movies are Sniper (Seven), Crocodile Dundee II (Nine) and Driving Me Crazy (repeat, Ten).

Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Cody (Peta Brady) is embarrassed about the events at the Year 12 party. In Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten), Jim Brown meets Father Joe Giacobbe, who is responsible for running camps for disadvantaged school school, and on the eve of the Melbourne Cup, Ross Greenwood looks at horse racing as a form of investment.

williammcinnesjonbennettTuesday: The Spring Racing Carnival continues as Tim Webster and Peter Donegan host live coverage of the Melbourne Cup (10am, Ten), live from Flemington Racecourse, with commentators Garry Willets and Dan Mielicki. In Blue Heelers (7.30pm, Seven), Nick (William McInnes, pictured) takes a drunk Mark Davies (Jon Bennett, pictured) home instead of locking him up after an altercation in the pub — however, the next day Mark is found dead and everyone points at Nick. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), there are tensions in the Browning household with Tessa’s (Marilynne Paspaley) mother. In Law Of The Land (9.30pm, Nine), Merringanee has its own War Of The Roses with the eccentric couple Gordon and Lily O’Reilly (Ross Thompson and Jan Friedl)

Wednesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Shane (Dieter Brummer), Angel (Melissa George) and Damian (Matt Doran) are successful at creating chaos for ‘muck up’ day. In Heartbreak High (7.30pm, Ten), Yola (Doris Younane) discovers a picture of a woman and child in Joe’s (Don Halbert) wallet and demands an explanation.

Thursday: Ten returns to Flemington Racecourse for six hours of racing and fashions at Oaks Day (11am). In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Mark (Bruce Samazan) shocks everyone when he declares he is being baptised. Beyond 2000 (7.30pm, Ten) looks at designer feedstock to help farmers and the environment. In Janus (8.30pm, ABC), the trial of Steve Hennessey (Leon Teague) and Darren Mack (Nique Needles) begins in the County Court.

Friday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), after a stage kiss, Brett (Brett Blewitt) realises that Libby (Kym Valentine) is not the woman for him. In The Great Outdoors (7.30pm, Seven), guest reporter Gina Jeffries relives some childhood memories when she visits her home town of Toowoomba.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 29 October 1994. Southdown Press




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