tvweek_141095Cover: Jo Beth Taylor (Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show)

Midday show to be a late bloomer
Midday co-host Tracy Grimshaw has conceded that the revived daytime show’s pre-publicity did nothing to endear it to a mature audience. “In the lead-up to the launch of the show we allowed a concept that wasn’t right to get out,” she told TV Week. “Those 55-plus viewers were told we didn’t want them anymore. I kept seeing newspapers and magazines and reading we were going for a much younger audience, and it just wasn’t true. What we’d said was we wanted to broaden the audience, and the only way to broaden was to go younger, but we didn’t mean we wanted to lose those people who are 55 and over.” While overcoming the backlash from the older viewers, Grimshaw also believes that the natural rapport she shares with co-host David Reyne will also bring viewers in. “The ratings are getting better and I think we’ll go from strength to strength,” she said.

helenwellings_0002‘We’re all shell shocked!’
Helen Wellings (pictured) says the ABC‘s recent decision to axe the long-running consumer affairs program The Investigators has devastated the small team. “We’re all shell shocked,” she told TV Week. “People are just standing around wondering what they are going to do with their lives. Our ratings for six or seven years were the ABC’s highest. We have lost a bit of ground but we were still rating extraordinarily well.” Around 25 people will be left unemployed from The Investigators‘ axing, but Wellings is also concerned about the consumers who turn to the show for assistance. “We receive four or five hundred letters a week from people who say, ‘We have been everywhere, we can’t get help, so we’ve come to you’.” As well as The Investigators, ABC has put the axe to The Bottom Line and to the state-based editions of The 7.30 Report. From December Kerry O’Brien will host a national edition of The 7.30 Report.

Politician’s top cop!
The federal leader of the National Party, Tim Fischer has responded to TV Week‘s call to list his Top 10 programs of all time as part of the magazine’s national reader survey. His top ten has a definite British flavour, with I Claudius (#9), Yes Prime Minister (#6), Yes Minister (#5), Pie In The Sky (#4), The Onedin Line (#2) and Heartbeat (#1). The remaining titles to fill the top ten are Meet Your Member (#10), Sunday (#8), Countdown (#7) and ABC News (#3). Also responding to TV Week’s poll is actress Rebecca Gibney, who names her top 10 shows as (ranked from 10 to 1): Melrose Place, Charlie’s Angels, Edge Of Darkness, All In The Family, Hill Street Blues, Seinfeld, Fawlty Towers, Absolutely Fabulous, Wolves Of The Sea and Lost In Space.


  • davidstrattonThe Movie Show co-host David Stratton (pictured) is joining TV Week as its resident movie critic. His first reviews will appear next week.
  • The cast of the Nine Network‘s new series Water Rats is starting to take shape. Included so far are Colin Friels, Aaron Jeffrey, Peter Bensley, Brett Partridge, Sophie Heathcote, Scott Burgess and New Zealand actor Jay Laga’aia. Another six actors are to be cast with production due to commence later this month.
  • Network Ten is looking at a number of drama projects heading into 1996. The network has already been reported as considering a remake of classic series Prisoner, while other projects include a medical series from the producers of Fire, and a drama based around a female coroner-medical examiner. Another project, with a pilot script from Hal McElroy (producer of Blue Heelers), is based around four sisters who take over a hotel.
  • Production schedules for Neighbours had to be re-arranged following two cast members becoming ill. Bruce Samazan was in hospital having his tonsils out, while Caroline Gillmer had suffered food poisoning after returning from overseas.
  • Episodes of Echo Point, now screening in the late night 11.30pm timeslot since being axed, currently feature Edwina (Jessica Napier) falling pregnant to Zac (Martin Henderson) before opting for an abortion. Ten’s original plan, when Echo Point was still in an early evening timeslot, was to schedule the controversial episodes in the 7.30pm timeslot to get around the censors. Since the axe fell that has become a rather moot point.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 24 September): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 AFL Grand Final Seven Sat 2377000
2 This Is Your Life Nine Thu 2005000
3 Our House Nine Wed 1962000
4 Movie: Free Willy Nine Sun 1919000
5 Home Improvement Seven Sun 1905000
6 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1862000
7 Seven Nightly News Seven Sat 1851000
8 National Nine News Nine Sun 1844000
9 Money Nine Wed 1834000
10 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1827000
11 RPA Nine Thu 1815000
12 The World’s Greatest Commercials Seven Sun 1780000
13 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1724000
14 Getaway Nine Thu 1724000
15 National Nine News Nine M-F 1718000
16 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1695000
17 The Nanny Ten Wed 1693000
18 The X Files Ten Wed 1660000
19 Sale Of The Century Nine M-F 1643000
20 Gladiators Seven Sat 1643000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, October 14-20):
Saturday: Beyond 2000 (5.30pm, Ten) looks at a miracle mushroom that could help fight cancer; and a plane that can fly to the ends of the Earth.

Sunday:  Australia takes on Fiji in the Rugby League Centenary World Cup (1.30pm, Nine). The final game in the Grand Final series of the NBL Mitsubishi Challenge (2pm, Ten) features the Perth Wildcats versus the North Melbourne Giants. Sunday night movies are The Crying Game (repeat, Seven) and Patriot Games (repeat, Nine) up against the debut of two-part mini-series Murder In The Heartland (Ten).

Monday: In the series final of Frontline (8pm, ABC), when the network owner wants to be interviewed on Frontline, Mike (Rob Sitch) is thrown into an ethical spin.

Tuesday: In GP (8.30pm, ABC), one of William’s (Michael Craig) former patients returns to the surgery for treatment after being in prison for rape, but William finds it hard to sympathise. In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), a series of burglaries which have plagued Mount Thomas are eventually linked to the establishment of a commune nearby; and when Tom’s (John Wood) daughter is caught stealing from the pub, her membership with the group becomes known.

lindacropper_0001Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Helen (Anne Haddy) receives the best birthday present possible. In Bordertown (8.30pm, ABC), Bev (Linda Cropper, pictured) becomes acting administrator at Baringa which makes her even more attractive to Joe (Joe Petruzzi).

Thursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), the Ramsay Street men plan a trip to the bush for some male bonding. The one-hour special Behind The Frontline (8.30pm, ABC) takes a look behind-the-scenes into the production of current affairs satire Frontline.

Friday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Sally (Kate Ritchie) and Jack (Daniel Amalm) are caught kissing. This week’s celebrity gardener in Burke’s Backyard (7.30pm, Nine) is Australian of the Year, Arthur Boyd.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 14 October 1995. Southdown Press




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