Cover: Lisa McCune (Blue Heelers)
Frontline’s US scoop
The ABC‘s hit current affairs satire Frontline has been sold to the US. Cable channel Comedy Central has bought the first series of Frontline for screening from September. Jane Kennedy, who plays Brooke Vandenberg in the show, recently spent two weeks in the US and met with Comedy Central executives. “It’s a very credible station. They are owned by HBO, which is the biggest cable network in the US,” she told TV Week. “It (the deal) will hopefully open the doors for more Australian comedy on American TV.”
Gladiators come out fighting!
TV Week gets a preview of the Seven Network‘s new big-budget game show, Gladiators. The new show, being produced in the arena of the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, features fourteen muscle-bound athletes using their brawn and brains to prevent the four weekly contestants from reaching their point-scoring goals. Hosting the show are Aaron Pedersen and Kimberley Joseph, with former tennis champ John Alexander as the referee. Joseph says the Gladiators are not to be underestimated in terms of intellect. “You have the stereotype in your mind, that they’re all just meatheads, and they’re not at all. Well, especially not ours,” she told TV Week.
Peter and his loincloth show
Law Of The Land star Peter O’Brien has been signed on for the UK stage production of Joseph And His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. “I’m doing 10 performances while the current lead has a break,” he told TV Week. “I was heading back to the UK anyway to do the medical series Cardiac Arrest, so it fits in perfectly.”
- The Seven Network has decided to pull the plug on Electric Blanket, the late night talk-panel show that had been piloted with David Reyne as host. The show was intended to debut later this month.
- Derryn Hinch‘s next forum special, to discuss the topic of cosmetic surgery, is due to be taped next month. Nine has defended the poor performance of Hinch’s first special, Battle Of The Sexes, claiming they put it together too quickly. The cosmetic surgery special has already been in planning for most of this month.
- Diane Craig, last seen on TV in E Street, has signed on for a guest role in Home And Away.
- The Nine Network has put its new sitcom project Us And Them on hold. The network has asked the show’s producers, Telltale Films (makers of All Together Now and The Bob Morrison Show), for more scripts before it decides to give the show the green light.
TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 2 April):
|2||Lois & Clark||Seven||Mon||1865000|
|4||Hey Hey It’s Saturday||Nine||Sat||1741000|
|6||A Current Affair||Nine||M-F||1714000|
|8||National Nine News||Nine||M-F||1701000|
|10||National Nine News||Nine||Sat||1650000|
|12||Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show||Nine||Tue||1614000|
|14||National Nine News||Nine||Sun||1602000|
|15||Home And Away||Seven||M-F||1581000|
|16||Seven Nightly News||Seven||Sun||1575000|
|17||World’s Greatest Commercials||Seven||Sun||1575000|
|19||Million Dollar Babies (Part Two)||Nine||Thu||1524000|
|20||Wildlife With Olivia Newton-John||Nine||Thu||1523000|
Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here:
“I have been involved, in one way or another, with the TV Week Logie Awards for a long time now (okay, okay, maybe too long), and one of the arguments trotted out every year concerns our practice of inviting international stars to be our special guests. Why, it is often asked, do we need them? The term “cultural cringe” frequently gets a run. The short answer, of course, is that we don’t need them. Maybe that was the case in the early days of the Logie Awards as a televised event, or even before. As far back as 1960, names such as Hugh O’Brian, who then would have been playing the title role in the US western Wyatt Earp, presented Logie Awards on Graham Kennedy‘s IMT. British comedian Jimmy Edwards was the “special” guest in 1961, when a half-hour of the Logies was televised by the ABC. The point is, I suppose, that international guests are part of a Logies tradition that we value a great deal. Your reaction — from TV ratings as well as letters and phone calls — indicates that it is a tradition you enjoy, so why should we even contemplate scrapping it?”
Program Highlights (Melbourne, April 22-28):
Saturday: Saturday NBL (2pm, Ten) includes Melbourne Tigers versus Illawarra Hawks, from Flinders Park, Melbourne. Beyond 2000 (5.30pm, Ten) reports on a silent piano which brings music to the ears for frustrated beginners. The special Doug Mulray’s Celebrity Slide Night (7.30pm, Seven) includes guest appearances by Charlie Sheen, Teri Hatcher, comedian Steven Wright and stuntman Superdave Osborne. AFL Saturday includes Round 4 highlights (6pm, Seven) and live coverage of Sydney Swans versus Fitzroy (8.30pm, Seven) from the SCG.
Sunday: AFL Sunday includes Brisbane Bears versus Carlton (1pm, Seven), live from Brisbane, followed by Adelaide Crows versus West Coast Eagles (4pm, Seven), live from Adelaide. Sunday basketball includes Sydney Kings versus South East Melbourne Tigers (2pm, Ten), from the Sydney Entertainment Centre. Sunday night movies are Sister Act (Seven) and Blade Runner: The Director’s Cut (Nine) — while Ten bucks the Sunday night movie trend with the two-hour series return of Melrose Place before it resumes in its regular Tuesday night slot. The FIFA World Youth Championship Quarter Finals (12am, SBS) are live from Qatar.
Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Sam (Richard Grieve) gives Annalise (Kimberley Davies) an expensive coming home present. In Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten), Jim Brown visits New South Wales and presents a special ANZAC Day story. Funky Squad (8pm, ABC), the new comedy series from the D Generation, makes its debut — starring Tim Ferguson, Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner and Jane Kennedy (pictured).
Tuesday: ANZAC Day is commemorated with live coverage of the ANZAC Day March (9.05am, ABC). Special programs during the day include Waltzing Matilda: The Song That Shaped A Nation (12pm, Seven) and Sandakan — The Untold Story (12.30pm, Nine). In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Angel (Melissa George) has doubts about fighting for custody of Dylan (Corey Glaister). AFL Tuesday (7.30pm, Seven) presents highlights of the ANZAC Day clash between Collingwood and Essendon at the MCG. In Fire (9.30pm, Seven), Morgan (Georgie Parker) discovers the identity of the pyromaniac — he knows she knows and tries to kill her in a fire. The FIFA World Youth Championship Semi-Final (12am, SBS) is live from Qatar.
Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Malcolm (Benjamin McNair) and Danni (Eliza Szonert) relish their new found physical relationship. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Curtis (Shane Ammann) steals Ailsa’s (Judy Nunn) credit card to buy booze. Ben Mendelsohn, Radha Mitchell, Amanda Douge, Livinia Nixon, Mark Hennessy and Robert Hughes join Rebecca Gibney in the latest Halifax fp telemovie, My Lovely Girl (8.30pm, Nine).
Thursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), recovering from a huge night on the town, Lucy (Melissa Bell) is cared for by Mark (Bruce Samazan). Miranda Otto guest stars in the series return of Police Rescue (8.30pm, ABC).
Friday: Noni Hazlehurst and Andrew Daddo host the 37th annual TV Week Logie Awards (8.30pm, Seven), live from the Melbourne Concert Hall — featuring international guest stars Dean Cain (Lois & Clark The New Adventures Of Superman), Mark Curry and Holly Robinson (Hangin’ With Mr Cooper) and Big Bird (Sesame Street). Nominated for the Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality On Australian TV are Melissa George, Ray Martin, Daryl Somers and Gary Sweet. The FIFA World Youth Championship Final (12.15am, SBS) is live from Qatar.
Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 22 April 1995. Southdown Press