Cover: Heather Locklear (Melrose Place)
Nine’s drive for new soap saga
The Nine Network‘s new drama series Pacific Drive is set to begin production on the Gold Coast in two weeks. The new five-day-a-week soap, commissioned for an initial run of 260 episodes, is expected to debut in a late afternoon timeslot this summer. Nine’s head of drama Kris Noble says that Pacific Drive will learn the lessons from the network’s axed Paradise Beach. “What we’re trying to do here is a fun adult melodrama,” he told TV Week. “We’re making it in the tradition of all good soap operas, like back in early days of Peyton Place, Dynasty and naturally, Melrose Place.” The cast of Pacific Drive includes Simone Buchanan, Joss McWilliam, Kate Raison, Melissa Tkautz, Adrian Lee and Danielle Spencer.
Martin heads Home?
The axe has finally fallen on Ten‘s ailing soap opera Echo Point. The series has failed to gain ratings after three months, two different timeslots and some high profile guest stars. The remaining episodes will now go to air in a late night timeslot following Sports Tonight. Meanwhile, rumour has it that series star Martin Henderson was approached by Home And Away producers just hours after the axe fell on Echo Point. Insiders say that Henderson will be groomed to take over from resident heart-throb Dieter Brummer, who is expected to leave the show at the end of the year.
Felice’s De Niro drama
Former Neighbours star Felice Arena was paid a compliment from an unusual admirer while starring as American hippie Wolf (pictured) in the London stage production of Hair. “The producers knocked on my dressing room door one night and said, ‘Felice, we’ve got a visitor for you’. I opened the door and it was Robert De Niro,” Arena told TV Week. “He just said, ‘You’re doing a really good job’ and shook my hand. I was dumbfounded.” After two years in London, Arena has returned to Australia with hopes to turn a book he’s written in a film. He also does not rule out a return to Neighbours. “I’d love to do a soap again. I had a lot of fun doing Neighbours.”
- Full Frontal‘s Julia Morris is set for a high profile when Seven launches its new line-up for next year. Network bosses are very impressed by her performances.
- The Seven Network is close to finalising the cast for its second series of drama series Fire. Georgie Parker, Peter Phelps and Max Phipps won’t be taking part. So far confirmed for the series return are Deborra-Lee Furness, Tayler Kane, Liddy Clark and Andy Anderson.
- Sydney radio DJ Paul Holmes is rumoured to be hosting a new dating show for the Nine Network. The show has the working title of Simply Irresistible.
- Former Home And Away cast member Tina Thomsen is to make a series of guest appearances in the series, reprising her role of Finlay Roberts. She will begin taping her first guest appearance in November.
TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 27 August):
|1||The Roswell Incident||Nine||Mon||1988000|
|3||National Nine News||Nine||Sat||1921000|
|6||Seven Nightly News||Seven||Sun||1881000|
|7||A Current Affair||Nine||M-F||1865000|
|8||The X Files||Ten||Wed||1853000|
|11||Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show||Nine||Tue||1778000|
|12||The Footy Show||Nine||Thu||1776000|
|13||The World’s Greatest Commercials||Seven||Sun||1773000|
|14||National Nine News||Nine||M-F||1767000|
|16||Sale Of The Century||Nine||M-F||1736000|
|17||National Nine News||Nine||Sun||1733000|
|18||Lois & Clark||Seven||Mon||1702000|
|19||World’s Weirdest TV||Nine||Tue||1696000|
Program Highlights (Melbourne, September 16-22):
Saturday: The First Qualifying Final of the Australian Rugby League (2.30pm, Nine) is live from the Sydney Football Stadium. Beyond 2000 (5.30pm, Ten) looks at the world’s first academic study to find out what happens to the brain when the body dies.
Sunday: More football finals — the VFA Preliminary Final (2pm, ABC), Qualifying Final No.2 for the Australian Rugby League (2.30pm, Nine) and semi-final highlights of AFL (5pm, Seven). Brian Naylor’s Australia (6.30pm, Nine) features Old Mates And New Horizons. Sunday night movies are Circles Of Deceit — Sleeping Dogs (Seven), Oliver Stone’s Heaven And Earth (Nine) and Kindergarten Cop (repeat, Ten).
Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Stonie (Anthony Engelman) has a lot to answer for after kissing Annalise (Kimberley Davies) at the nightclub. As the footy finals get into full swing, Sale Of The Century (7pm, Nine) begins its Battle of the Footy Codes. In Frontline (8pm, ABC), Mike (Rob Sitch) is concerned that he is not being taken seriously as a journalist.
Tuesday: In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), Maggie (Lisa McCune) tries to convince Wayne (Grant Bowler) to prove his innocence from sexual harassment charges. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), a science teacher’s career and health suffers when he can’t control his students.
Wednesday: In Correlli (8.30pm, ABC), an inmate’s failure to get early parole has a shattering effect on Blackstream prison.
Thursday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Alf (Ray Meagher) considers building a motel near the caravan park. In Getaway (7.30pm, Nine), Jeff Watson checks out a bird’s eye view of the Kuranda rainforest; Christina Morrissy discovers a restaurant on the banks of the Yarra River, then visits Berry Springs in the Northern Territory; and Tina Dalton finds a special attraction on Heron Island.
Friday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Karl (Alan Fletcher) is furious to discover that Libby (Kym Valentine) is still using the internet. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Alf (Ray Meagher) and Michael (Dennis Coard) feud over the motel development; while Dodge (Kelly Dingwall) steals the school computer.
Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 16 September 1995. Southdown Press