Ramsay Street revamp!
Neighbours returns to screens this week for its 11th year, and it does so with a fresh look, including new opening titles, in a bid to boost its image. “The great thing about Neighbours is that it’s constantly responding to change,” cast member Richard Grieve (pictured) told TV Week. “Just as Neighbours introduces new characters from time to time, it must change its look when necessary.” Co-star Emma Harrison (pictured) adds, “The new credits are fun and colourful and happy. They give the show a fresh look.”

melissatkautzandreeikmeierMelissa turns up the heat
Viewers will be seeing a somewhat more revealing Melissa Tkautz when she makes her return to TV in the new Nine Network drama Pacific Drive. Bedroom scenes between Tkautz’s character Bethany and her on-screen boyfriend Rick, played by Andre Eikmeier (pictured with Tkautz), are set to leave little to the imagination. “With Bethany and Rick, their whole relationship is based on sex,” Tkautz told TV Week. “The only time they talk is when they’re in the bedroom!”

lisahensley_0002Lisa lays down the law
Law Of The Land star Lisa Hensley (pictured) is taking an overseas trek, including India and Vietnam, after a hectic year which has included films Dating The Enemy and My Entire Life. “After an amazing work year, I decided I had to get away and go somewhere that wasn’t ‘western’,” she told TV Week. “It will be the biggest adventure or nightmare of my life.” Hensley is also pleased that the Nine Network has shifted Law Of The Land to the earlier 7.30pm timeslot (from 9.30pm). “I think it’s one of the few decent programs on air at the moment. I really believe that some of our great work appears in this series. There is a great episode where my character (Kate) finds out what happened to her mother. It’s been a bit of a mystery and when Kate learns the truth she becomes highly emotional.”

TV Turns 40: Supersoap Power!

“It was the cliffhanger of the century. In 1995, it spawned a Simpsons send-up. It was, of course, the question on every soapie fan’s mind in 1980: Who Shot JR? It was the major storyline in Dallas, the super soap of the Eighties. Just as Number 96 changed the face of Australian soaps nearly a decade before, Dallas revolutionised the worldwide soap scene. Since Peyton Place in the mid-Sixties, the American soap world had been dominated by daytime series, such as Days Of Our Lives, Search For Tomorrow and General Hospital. But Dallas, which started (in the US) on 2 April 1978, became a prime-time blockbuster, running for 13 years and leading to a spin-off series (Knots Landing) and a host of imitators (Dynasty, Falcon Crest and Flamingo Road).”


  • The Seven Network has launched a new early-morning news program, Sunrise. Presenting the 6.00am news bulletin is Peter Ford with former regional television newsreader Christine Bath.
  • Former Sportsworld reporter Kim Sporton has returned to the Seven Network after a three year break from television. “I’d been a journalist for 12 years with no time off,” she told TV Week. She will be returning to Sportsworld as well as being part of the Seven team covering the Australian Open tennis. “Working at the tennis is the most hectic time because it’s so intense and there’s so much adrenalin.”
  • Marcia Hines and her daughter Deni are rumoured to have been approached by Optus Vision for its new music channel. Also rumoured to have been in discussion with Optus Vision is Nine‘s Richard Wilkins, the former host of MTV.
  • jonbennettActor Jon Bennett (pictured) is set to drop more than just his image of the suntanned Speedo-clad bad boy of Paradise Beach — by appearing nude in the Melbourne production of Lady Chatterley’s Lover. “I was not proud of the Speedo thing, but I have no problem with the nudity or sex in this production,” he told TV WeekLady Chatterley’s Lover is to be performed at Melbourne’s Royal Botanical Gardens.

TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 31 December): 

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 National Nine News Nine M-F 1757000
2 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1668000
3 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 1505000
4 National Nine News Nine Sat 1490000
5 The X Files Ten Wed 1418000
6 National Nine News Nine Sun 1402000
7 Mr Bean ABC Thu 1375000
8 Full Frontal Seven Thu 1342000
9 The Great Outdoors Seven M-F 1328000
10 Cricket: Australia v West Indies (night) Nine Mon 1326000
11 Ellen Seven Mon 1321000
12 Seven Nightly News Seven M-F 1300000
13 Cricket: Australia v West Indies (day) Nine Mon 1293000
14 The Simpsons Ten Wed 1281000
15 Grace Under Fire Seven Thu 1277000
16 MacGyver Seven Tu-W 1271000
17 Heartbeat ABC Sat 1236000
18 The Bill ABC Tu,Sa 1195000
19 Step By Step Nine Sat 1172000
20 Mysteries Of The Ancient World Seven Mon 1170000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, January 20-26):
Saturday: Daily coverage of the Australian Open (11am, Seven) continues all week from the National Tennis Centre, Melbourne. The Second Final of World Series Cricket (2.20pm, Nine) is live from the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Sunday: Sunday night movies are The Russia House (repeat, Seven), Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach (repeat, Nine) and DeepStar Six (repeat, Ten).

Monday: In the series return of Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Sam (Richard Grieve) is still reeling from the shock discovery of Annalise’s (Kimberley Davies) affair with Stonie (Anthony Engelman). In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), while Selina (Tempany Deckert) agrees to sleep with Saul (David Ritchie), Irene (Lynne McGranger) finds out that Saul is sterile; and Curtis (Shane Ammann) thinks Chloe (Kristy Wright) is stealing to buy drugs.

Tuesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Selina (Tempany Deckert) escapes from the commune.

Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Sam (Richard Grieve) discovers that Annalise’s (Kimberley Davies) affair with Stonie (Anthony Engelman) is common knowledge in Ramsay Street.

rachelfriend_0001Thursday: The Third Test: Australia versus Sri Lanka (11.20am, Nine) begins from the Adelaide Oval.  In the series return of Wild Life With Olivia Newton-John (7.30pm, Nine), Michael Beatty travels to Churchill, Canada, to look at the beluga whales which throng the river mouth every year; and Rachel Friend (pictured) joins a group as they capture and collar 20 female elk from a herd. Nell Schofield presents The Australian Collection (8.30pm, ABC), a series of short films.

Friday (Australia Day): The Third Test (11.20am, Nine) continues from Adelaide. Governor General Bill Hayden delivers the Governor General’s Australia Day Address (6.50pm, ABC). Tim Ferguson hosts the Australia Day Concert (8.30pm, Nine) from Sydney’s Domain, including performances by Christine Anu, Diesel, Past To Present, Kulcha and DIG.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 20 January 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.




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