Cover: Nicky Buckley (Sale Of The Century)
How Sale sank the soaps!
It was meant to be the battle of the soaps — Seven‘s Home And Away versus Ten‘s new Echo Point — but the winner of the 7.00pm timeslot has been Sale Of The Century! Ten’s new effort has debuted to ratings that have failed to match the Roseanne reruns it had replaced, giving both Home And Away and Sale Of The Century a ratings boost. Questions are raised at Ten’s strategy of putting Echo Point up against the veteran Home And Away. “Please don’t ask me to explain the working of Channel Ten,” Des Monaghan, Seven’s director of production, told TV Week. “What they do is a complete mystery to me.” A spokesperson for Seven publicity said: “If you are going to put a new soap against an established soap, you want to be different. You don’t put up a pale copy. Echo Point is just a pale imitation of Home And Away.” But a spokesperson for Network Ten has defended its new series: “We program Network Ten for Network Ten, and Echo Point is right for our schedule. We are up against very tough opposition. But we have great faith in the show. It has excellent production values and strong drama qualities.” Industry sources have remarked that Echo Point‘s dismal launch almost mirrors that of another Network Ten disaster, Arcade, fifteen years earlier. Even dud Nine Network soaps Family And Friends and Paradise Beach got off to a better start. Paradise Beach got a stay of execution due to overseas sales, but Echo Point has yet to be sold anywhere. Producers Southern Star Xanadu are hoping to sell the show to foreign markets at the upcoming marketing festival in Cannes. Meanwhile, Seven has also denied it deliberately tried to bury Echo Point by having former Home And Away cast members return in the same week that Ten’s new show launched. “The stories are done months before,” Monaghan said. “We were just very pleased that Channel Ten decided to launch their show that week.”
Fire on the backburner
Production on a second series of the Seven Network‘s popular drama Fire has been postponed until November in the hope producers can secure Georgie Parker to reprise her role as Morgan Cartwright. “Nothing has been signed, but Georgie is indicating she’d rather pursue theatre work than film another series of Fire,” a Seven spokesperson told TV Week. “But, despite that, negotiations are continuing and they are confident they’ll get Georgie.” It does appear, however, that fellow co-star Peter Phelps will not be returning. “His return isn’t looking good,” the spokesperson said. Meanwhile, the series will be adding a second female character to join the team of firefighters and will also be adding two new male cast members to replace Aaron Jeffery, whose character was killed off, and Shane Feeney-Connor, whose character was revealed as the arsonist in the first series. Because of the delay in production the second series may not appear on screen until April next year.
Sal to the rescue
Heartbreak High‘s Salvatore Coco (pictured) is joining the cast of ABC‘s Police Rescue for its upcoming fifth and final series. Coco will play Joseph Cardillo, described as “young, bright, energetic, optimistic, confident and charming”. It is actually Coco’s second appearance in the ABC drama. He had a guest role opposite Home And Away star Laura Vasquez in an earlier episode.
- Seventies pop star John Paul Young failed to convince the studio audience of Seven‘s Funniest People that he was the real deal. He appears on the show’s upcoming lookalike special, pictured (centre) with co-host Andrew Daddo with judge Julia Morris from Full Frontal.
- Trouble on the set of the new Midday, already? Apparently new co-hosts Tracy Grimshaw and David Reyne didn’t quite get on during their first meeting and publicity shoot. It was described by a Nine source as “a slight clash of egos”, but all are confident any issues will be sorted by the time the show debuts next month.
- Home And Away star Lynne McGranger is about to get proposed to in the series, and to have her first… and second… screen kiss! Her first kiss comes when her character, Irene Roberts, is proposed to by Mick O’Reilly (Peter Whitford). But the romance may not go to plan when Irene then has a kiss with her ex-husband, Mud (Tom Richards).
TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 4 June):
|1||Lois & Clark||Seven||Mon||2287000|
|2||National Nine News||Nine||Sun||2082000|
|5||Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show||Nine||Tue||1866000|
|8||National Nine News||Nine||M-F||1835000|
|10||Best Of World’s Greatest Commercials||Seven||Sun||1793000|
|13||Seven Nightly News||Seven||Sat||1764000|
|14||A Current Affair||Nine||M-F||1764000|
|15||The X Files||Ten||Wed||1760000|
|16||National Nine News||Nine||Sat||1758000|
|17||Sale Of The Century||Nine||M-F||1745000|
|19||Home And Away||Seven||M-F||1699000|
|20||Seven Nightly News||Seven||Sun||1691000|
Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here:
“At 7 o’clock weeknights, Echo Point (cast including Tom Long and Rebecca Murphy, pictured) has made the most disastrous start in the ratings that I can remember for any Australian soap… and there have been a few clangers. It must have been devastating for Network Ten and the makers of the series, Southern Star Xanadu, to have seen their opening week slide from worst possible scenario downwards. The programming of Echo Point remains a puzzle. That’s all I can say on that matter, really. It made no sense at the time, and I haven’t heard any explanation of it which has since made sense, either.”
Program Highlights (Melbourne, June 24-30):
Saturday: Beyond 2000 (5.30pm, Ten) features the latest way to insulate the home against aircraft noise and how teenagers learn safer driving with a 3D simulator. Gladiators (7.30pm, Seven) is up to its First Quarter Final. The Final of the Rugby World Cup (10pm, Ten) is live from Johannesburg.
Sunday: AFL Sunday (1pm, Seven) includes Brisbane versus North Melbourne, live from Brisbane, followed by West Coast Eagles versus Sydney, live from Perth. Sunday night movies are Kill Me Again (Seven), Enchanted April (Nine) and Hook (repeat, Ten).
Monday: In Echo Point (7pm, Ten), Edwina (Jessica Napier) feels outdone in her own house and plans a little revenge. Wimbledon, the world’s biggest tennis tournament, begins two weeks of competition (10.40pm, Nine).
Tuesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), there are mixed reactions to Irene and O’Reilly’s (Lynne McGranger and Peter Whitford, pictured) engagement. Ray Martin Presents (8.30pm, Nine) interviews Batman Forever stars Jim Carrey, Tommy Lee Jones, Nicole Kidman and Val Kilmer. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Martin (Damian Rice) agrees to perform euthanasia for a dear friend suffering the final stages of the HIV virus.
Wednesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Shane (Dieter Brummer) and Angel (Melissa George) are shocked to find that their house is up for sale.
Thursday: In motoring show Behind The Wheel (7.30pm, Ten), Mark Mitchell and Rebekah Elmaloglou open their garage doors, and Dick Johnson test drives monster trucks. In Your Money And Your Life (8pm, Ten), David Koch looks at combining assets, pre-nuptial agreements and the financial results of divorce. Rachel Griffiths guest stars in Police Rescue (8.30pm, ABC).
Friday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Marlene (Moya O’Sullivan) helps Danni (Eliza Szonert) and Mal (Benjie McNair) celebrate Mal’s birthday in style. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Chloe’s (Kristy Wright) father warns Jack (Daniel Amalm) to stay away from his daughter. Friday Night Football (9.30pm, Seven) is a delayed telecast of Collingwood versus Adelaide from the MCG.
Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 24 June 1995. Southdown Press