Great TV romances don’t always have the same chemistry off-screen. Home And Away‘s Shane and Angel might be Australian TV’s hottest couple but the actors that play them, Dieter Brummer and Melissa George (pictured), are less than friends off screen. The pair rarely attend publicity together and only do photo shoots together as contractually obliged in Australia. In the UK, however, it’s a different story as they are able to call the shots and say “No” to any photo opportunities there. A Seven Network spokesperson defended the pair, saying, “they come in, do their work and leave. They don’t exactly socialise together, but they don’t have to — or would want to — after working together all day”. It seems that a similar scenario is also happening over on Ten‘s Echo Point, where Martin Henderson and Jessica Napier play young couple Zac and Edwina. A source from inside the production told TV Week, “they do any publicity they are asked to do, but off screen Martin and Jessica are poles apart. They didn’t hit it off from day one. Martin is keen for the Zac-Edwina romance storyline to end and for his character to be paired with someone else”.
A night to remember
It was a night of celebration as an all-star cast of performers paid tribute to Australia’s World War II veterans in the Australia Remembers concert, staged at Melbourne’s Palais Theatre and broadcast on ABC. The concert, celebrating 50 years since the end of the war, was the first production to come from Steve Vizard‘s Artist Services company since its exclusive contract with the Seven Network came to an end. Among the cast of performers were Slim Dusty, Maurie Fields, John Farnham, James Blundell, Marina Prior, Gina Jeffreys and Toni Pearen. The night also featured old diggers telling their stories, Prime Minister Paul Keating presenting a speech, and a message from Queen Elizabeth II.
Court changes stop ABC series
Unfortunate timing has meant that ABC‘s new mini-series Blue Murder, set in Sydney’s underworld of the 1980s, may never be shown in New South Wales. Two charges brought against one of the crime figures depicted in the series have resulted in any reference to him be deleted from the production. Production company Southern Star Entertainment has decided that this would essentially cut more than 40 per cent of the show’s content, making it too difficult to screen the program in New South Wales, but it can continue to be screened unedited elsewhere. But ABC is so sensitive to the issue that it is limiting the availability of pre-publicity material and previews, even outside of New South Wales. Each state outside of NSW will only get one preview tape which will only be shown at closed screenings in ABC offices. Blue Murder is set to screen in states outside of New South Wales later in September.
Quantum turns 10
ABC‘s science series Quantum clocks up 10 years but, as reporter Geoffrey Burchfield points out, “it is only the twinkling of an eye in geological terms!” Burchfield, who has been with the show for nine years, was one of only 10 people in the world to be chosen in 1993 to complete a 10-month Knight of Science Fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. “I think shows such as Quantum have made us more aware of the extraordinary changes,” he told TV Week. “I look back and I am staggered at the amount of territory we have covered and the ideas we have ranged over.” But despite the show’s recent series return featuring the heavy topic of nuclear testing, Burchfield hints that there will be some lighter topics coming up this year as well. “Science is fun, and we will be doing a lot of fun stories.” He wasn’t giving anything away but hinted that future stories may feature mad scientists, robots with consciences and learning to speak the language of animals!
- The Nine Network has secured a deal with US production company Lorimar that may see it grab a number of shows currently airing here on Seven. High on Nine’s list is Lois & Clark The New Adventures Of Superman, which has been a top-rater for Seven. Meanwhile, Seven is believed to be making moves to secure a new program deal of its own which could see it pinch The X Files from Ten.
- Network Ten has picked up Heartbreak High for its fourth season. Some changes to the show’s cast include former E Street star Diane Craig stepping in as Hartley High’s strict new principal. Also joining the series are American-born Deni Gordon and newcomers Rupert Reid and Tara Jakszewicz.
- Pay TV network Galaxy‘s documentary channel Quest is now to become Discovery Channel Australia, following a deal signed with the American Discovery Channel. This means that local documentaries produced for the channel in Australia will likely be shown across Discovery, which operates in 100 countries and across 80 million households worldwide.
TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 6 August):
|Lois & Clark
|National Nine News
|Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show
|National Nine News
|A Current Affair
|The World’s Greatest Commercials
|Sale Of The Century
|The Footy Show
|The Best/Worst Of Red Faces
|Seven Nightly News
|The X Files
Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here
“On-air promotions for Hope And Gloria, a recent addition to the Nine Network‘s Monday night schedule, bill it as “the hottest new comedy in the US”, or words to that effect. While the truth has never stood in the way of a good line for an on-air promo, this one is a touch ironic in light of the fact that Nine now does have rights to America’s hottest new show, but won’t screen it until next year. The series is called Friends and, on the most recent Nielsen figures I’ve seen, it has been number one in the US for six weeks running. (Hope And Gloria, for the record, was number 22.) Friends is about a group of 20-somethings, most of whom live in the same New York apartment building and hang out at a coffee joint called Central Perk. Apart from Courtney Cox, who was in Family Ties and is Michael Keaton‘s girlfriend, Friends does not boast any stars known in Australia.”
Program Highlights (Melbourne, August 26-September 1):
Saturday: In Beyond 2000 (5.30pm, Ten), the safest car in the world; a woman creates amazing artwork with a photocopier; and using lasers to treat sudden hearing loss. Gladiators (7.30pm, Seven) presents the final of its Ashes series, Australia versus UK. AFL Saturday (8.30pm, Seven) crosses live to Brisbane for Brisbane Bears versus Essendon.
Sunday: The Eastern Creek 12-Hour Race is broadcast live on SBS for the first time, with previous races from Mt Panorama on Network Ten. SBS’ coverage begins at 5.45am through to 7.30am, then returns for two hour slots at 10.30am and 4.30pm. In children’s drama Sky Trackers (8.30am, Seven), Nikki (Petra Yared) is making a video on the Search for Extra Terrestrials which Tony (Steven Jacobs) is researching. He begins to lose interest in science until a real signal appears. AFL Sunday (1pm, Seven) includes Sydney Swans versus Fremantle, live from Sydney, followed by West Coast Eagles versus Carlton, live from Perth. Maeve O’Meara hosts new current affairs program 7 Days (7pm, SBS). Sunday night movies are The Hand That Rocks The Cradle (repeat, Seven), Unforgiven (repeat, Nine) and Single White Female (repeat, Ten).
Monday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), as fire grips Summer Bay, Nelson (Laurence Breuls) is paralysed as he watches the car explode in flames with Jack (Daniel Amalm) caught inside. In Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten), Ross Greenwood has some alternative ideas for Christmas shopping, and Lyn Talbot travels to the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria and meets guitar master craftsman Richard Howell. In Frontline (8pm, ABC), Sam (Kevin J Wilson) is keen to boost ratings by building a playground for underprivileged children, but he doesn’t count on Mike (Rob Sitch) offering to help out.
Tuesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Fisher (Norman Coburn) is in deep shock over losing his house in the fire; and Sally (Kate Ritchie) blames Jack (Daniel Amalm) for Nelson’s (Laurence Breuls) injuries. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Sonia (Zoe Carides) lands an assault charge after defending herself from a sexually aggressive patient.
Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Luke (Bernard Curry) is over the moon about his job offer, but Ren (Raelee Hill) is in two minds about it. In Correlli (8.30pm, ABC), when Kevin Jones (Hugh Jackman) assaults Sam (Richard Piper), Louisa (Deborra-Lee Furness) has some hard choices to make. Sports Tonight (11pm, Ten), with Tim Webster (pictured), celebrates its second birthday.
Thursday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Shannon (Isla Fisher) finds a charred body in the bush. In Getaway (7.30pm, Nine), Rebecca Harris goes whale watching with Mimi Macpherson; Christina Morrissy goes on a tour of Istanbul; and Jeff Watson hires his own island off the coast of Tasmania.
Friday: Actor Ruth Cracknell narrates The Web (5.55pm, ABC), a new series of five-minute animations, with each episode dealing with a threatened animal living in varied habitats on different continents of the world. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Irene (Lynne McGranger) and Selina (Tempany Deckert) feel they are suspects when Sgt Hale (John Meillon Jnr) arrives with the news of Mud’s (Tom Richards) murder. Friday Night Football (8.30pm, Seven) crosses live to Brisbane for Brisbane Bears versus Melbourne. Sports Tonight (11.10pm, Ten) goes on location for the first time, coming live from the Thredbo Alpine Hotel.
Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 26 August 1995. Southdown Press