tvweek_241294I love a sunburnt Christmas…
Some of TV’s popular stars recently took to Sydney’s northern beaches to share some of their plans for the upcoming festive season. Aaron Pedersen, from ABC‘s Blackout, says Christmas for him is a time of solitude: “I remember a few Christmas parties at my foster parents’ place, where everyone got drunk, and started arguing. So I think it’s best to do my own thing. I basically like to go where people aren’t. I get up early in the morning and find a place that is isolated and just spend some time there.” Getaway‘s Lochie Daddo will be working over the Christmas period, starring with Jo Beth Taylor in the pantomime Cinderella, but looks forward to Christmas Day with family, including catching up with brother Cameron who has returned from the US with wife Alison. Just Kidding‘s Sofie Formica has memories of Christmases on Gold Coast beaches as a child, but this year will be catching up with family ahead of her wedding in late December. Talk To The Animals reporter Kelly Pummeroy is heading to the family farm in Horsham in country Victoria: “Because I’m travelling a lot, the break gives me time to settle down for a while. The important thing is I know I’m going to be with the family.”

What’s the story, Sofie?
Just Kidding co-host Sofie Formica has said nothing about her television future — but her appearance at a Sydney press conference, complete with US TV camera crew, for visiting star Pamela Anderson has pretty much spilled the beans on her next TV venture. She has compiled a report on the Baywatch star, in Australia to host the recent Australian Music Awards, for American TV program Extra. Formica, who has recently had an extended holiday in the US, will be filing reports for Extra from Australia until she returns to the States following her wedding to fiance Scott Wilkie.

Tiffany’s at home with TVTV
Tiffany Lamb has now settled into her new home in a new city, Melbourne, and is looking forward to another year of ABC‘s TVTV — but co-host Mark Mitchell‘s future with the show is yet to be clarified. “Based on my relationship with the ABC and the conversations we’re having, TVTV does have a good life in 1995 and I’ll be there,” she told TV Week. “I’m not sure what Mark will be doing or what angle TVTV is going to take next year.”


  • Last week, TV Week reported that former Money reporter Alison Peters (pictured) could be soon popping up as a Melbourne reporter for Burke’s Backyard. Now it appears Peters has also been talking to the producers of Seven‘s Talk To The Animals, which is rumoured to be losing reporter Pamela Graham. In the meantime, Elle Macpherson‘s sister Mimi has recently filmed a story from Queensland for Burke’s Backyard.
  • The Nine Network has given the green light to an ongoing series spin-off from the recent special, Weddings. Rachel Hunter hosted the special but is not expected to host the planned weekly series.
  • Former A Country Practice star Grant Dodwell is returning to TV with a guest role in Heartbreak High. He plays the part of Jerry Shapiro, a sleazy businessman engaged to the mother of Lucy Weston (Alexandra Brunning), but who also has eyes for Lucy.
  • Andrew McFarlane and Sarah Chadwick are joining the cast of Nine‘s upcoming 26-part children’s series Spellbinder. The new show, being filmed on location in Poland and Australia, also stars Heather Mitchell and Polish actress Gosia Piotrowska.
  • Tina Bursill, William Zappa, Philip Todd and Tom Weaver have been filming a pilot for a new series. The pilot is based on Wally Bignell, a failed, jailed entrepreneur who is trying to rebuild his empire from behind bars.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 4 December): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 A Current Affair Special Nine Mon 1858000
2 A Current Affair Nine Tu-F 1635000
3 National Nine News Nine M-F 1608000
4 Seven Nightly News Seven Sun 1582000
5 Over The Hill Seven Mon 1354000
6 Blossom Seven Thu 1332000
7 MacGyver Seven W/F 1294000
8 Movie: Kung Fu The Legend Continues Nine Mon 1263000
9 Movie: Over The Top Seven Fri 1257000
10 The Mummies Seven Thu 1233000
11 Murphy Brown Nine Mon 1222000
12 Full Frontal Seven Thu 1194000
13 National Nine News Nine Sun 1185000
14= Cricket: One-Day. Aust v England Nine Tue 1166000
14= Seven Nightly News Seven M-F 1166000
16 Baywatch Ten Sun 1107000
17 The John Larroquette Show Nine Mon 1090000
18 Seinfeld Ten Tue 1084000
19 Mad About You Ten Tue 1074000
20 Movie: Radio Flyer Ten Sun 1073000

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here:

“Television — and especially television being produced in this country — is at great risk of being submerged under a total bland-out unless something is done to change the current trend. The simple fact is that so-called “infotainment” has taken over to such a degree that a blur has been created across the networks. Everyone is rushing so headlong into producing cheap programs on finance, health, weddings and holidays that what used to make television occasionally entertaining has been trampled or, worse still, just forgotten.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, December 24-30):
Saturday (Christmas Eve): The Second Test, Australia v England, begins play (3.40pm, Nine) but due to being played in Melbourne receives limited live coverage in Melbourne. Ray Martin hosts the annual Carols By Candlelight (9pm, Nine), live from the Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne, featuring Marina Prior, Tina Arena, Debra Byrne, Rhonda Burchmore and John Williamson. 

Sunday (Christmas Day): ABC’s Christmas Day is highlighted by Midnight Mass from St Peter’s Basilica, Rome (9.55am). Christmas morning specials include John Martin/BankSA Christmas Pageant from Adelaide (9am, Seven) and Here’s Humphrey’s Christmas (9am, Nine). Carols By Candlelight (12pm, Nine) has a repeat screening, and Christmas movies include A Very Brady Christmas (3.15pm, Ten) and A Christmas Story (4pm, Nine). The Queen’s Christmas Message is broadcast on SBS (7pm), ABC (7.20pm), Seven (10.45pm) and Nine (11.10pm).

Monday: Gordon Bray and Rob Mundle host live coverage of the start of the Kodak Gold 50th Anniversary Sydney To Hobart Yacht Race (12pm, Ten). The Second Test (3.40pm, Nine) resumes at the MCG and continues through to Thursday.

Tuesday: The NSL Match Of The Day (7.30pm, SBS) features live coverage of Adelaide City v Melbourne Knights from Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide.

Wednesday: Rewind 94 (7.30pm, Ten) looks back at the people and events that have made news during the year. Jo Beth Taylor and Larry Emdur host the World Vision Appeal (9.30pm, Nine), including appearances by Jenny Morris, Guy Pearce, the cast from Cats, Debra Byrne, Grace Knight, Sigrid Thornton, Ita Buttrose, Glenn Ridge, Doug Parkinson, Normie Rowe, Rob Guest, Rowena Wallace and Tommy Emmanuel. The two-and-a-half telethon includes live crosses to Jack Jones and Rebecca Gibney in Africa, and INXS performing in New York.

Thursday: The Best Of Beyond 2000 (7.30pm, Ten) includes reports on futuristic big game fishing, the ultimate in interactive computer games and the latest in helicopter transport.

Friday: Mid-dawn movies include the 1935 classic The Little Colonel (4.20am, Ten), starring Shirley Temple.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 24 December 1993. Southdown Press




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