tvweek_080696Cover: Nicky Buckley (Sale Of The Century), Sam Newman (The Footy Show, Melbourne)

Damian’s alcohol abuse warning
This week’s episode of Blue Heelers sees Constable Adam Cooper (Damian Walshe-Howling) deeply distressed by the alcohol-related death of a teenage boy. “A group of young people, bored with living in a country town, get stuck into the alcohol one night,” Walshe-Howling told TV Week. “In a drunken dare, one of them falls from a high place, and died.” Adam is devastated by the death, and his inability to cope with it himself leads him to question whether he is cut out to be a policeman. “Adam has seen death before, but this one triggers off something in him. He goes through shock, denial and anger, and he doesn’t realise that in trying to hide his feelings, he’s actually becoming quite aggressive towards other people. He’s stressed out, and doesn’t know what to do. He learns through this episode that it’s okay to express emotions in whatever way they come out.”

marycoustasBig hair woman!
Effie (Mary Coustas) is returning to TV in a one-hour “docu-comedy” being produced for Network Ten. The project, produced by filmmaker and ABC presenter Don Parham, features Effie (pictured far right) travelling around Papua New Guinea during its 20th anniversary of independence celebrations. It is a shift away from Parham’s usual projects that have covered heavy topics such as domestic violence, divorce and homelessness. “All the documentaries I’ve done have been personally inspired, but this one is just a project that fell out of the sky and hit me in the head,” Parham told TV Week. “When I got the idea of Effie something sort of clicked in my mind. I had the impression that she had a kind of intelligence about her that would work in a really interesting way.” Parham faxed Coustas a 10-page outline of his idea. “Mary said to me later that the idea was so totally off the wall and ridiculous, and something that she would never dream of doing that she just had to do it.” The title of the program, Pig Bilong Big Hair Woman, came from the locals dubbing Effie “Big Hair Woman” and giving her a pig as a present in return for hairdressing tips. The special is due to air on Ten later in the year.

colinfriels_0001Frank’s final fling?
Water Rats character Sgt Frank Holloway (Colin Friels, pictured) is getting his life back together after the death of his brother, and is involved in a blossoming romance with colleague Sen-Constable Caroline Cox (Mary Regan). But things take a dramatic turn when Sgt Holloway is shot in the line of duty after stumbling into an armed hold-up. The shooting scene makes up only a few seconds of airtime, but the co-ordination and filming takes an entire morning, requiring Friels to replay the action over and over again, falling on to asphalt as a stunt car speeds away just metres from his head. “I’ve never had a problem doing the physical stunts,” Friels told TV Week. “In fact, that’s an easy part for me. And there’s always a stuntman on hand to do the hard ones.”

Hollywood heads Down Under
It was a big night for Aussie celebrities as they mingled with Hollywood stars at the opening of Australia’s first Planet Hollywood restaurant in Sydney. Among the overseas guests were Jean-Claude Van Damme, Cindy Crawford, Charlie Sheen, Danny Glover, Jackie Chan, Bill Paxton and Anna Paquin — joining Planet Hollywood key partners Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone. Local stars at the event included Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Julian McMahon, Georgie Parker, Barry Crocker, Melissa Tkautz, Steve Bastoni, Melissa George, Derryn Hinch, Dieter Brummer, Barry Otto and Home And Away stars including Nic Testoni, Isla Fisher and Tempany Deckert. The Sydney restaurant is the 32nd in the Planet Hollywood franchise worldwide.


  • simonwestaway_0003Viewers will have a chance to former Janus star Simon Westaway (pictured) in a role far removed from the gun-toting cop days, with a guest appearance in this week’s GP, where he plays the part of a lieutenant-colonel struggling with a changing army and deteriorating relations with his wife (played by Kim Lewis). “It’s an army story, but there’s no guns, no violence, which is to GP‘s credit,” Westaway told TV Week. “I think that is the appeal of GP. It tells unique stories and goes down new roads.”
  • Sam Newman, co-host of Nine‘s The Footy Show in Melbourne, is also kept busy with other media commitments including a weekly segment on Today, appearances on the Brisbane-based The Footy Show, live crosses to National Nine News bulletins in Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane, and as a panellist on the Sunday edition of The Footy Show in Melbourne. Newman has also revealed that he was made an offer, indirectly, by the Seven Network to swap networks. Even though Seven has the rights to AFL coverage, Newman wasn’t to be persuaded. “Sadly, some of the people at Seven wouldn’t know if the bandwagon carrying them to some sort of success, otherwise known as the AFL football machine, actually ran over them.”

TV’s National Top 10 (Week Commencing 19 May 1996):
Source: AC Nielsen Australia Pty Ltd

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 State Of Origin: NSW v QLD Nine Mon 2357000
2 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 2285000
3 Movie: Cliffhanger Ten Sun 2237000
4 ER Nine Thu 2198000
5 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 2093000
6 Our House Nine Wed 2012000
7 The Nanny Ten Sun 1997000
8 National Nine News Nine Sun 1954000
9 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1945000
10 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 1930000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, June 8-14):
Saturday: In Sweat (5.30pm, Ten), Tom (Martin Henderson) performs brilliantly when he stands in for an injured member of the Aussie swim team. The NBL Mitsubishi Challenge (8.30pm, Ten) features the Melbourne Tigers versus South East Melbourne Magic, from Flinders Park in Melbourne. The Euro ’96 football championship begins with live coverage of the opening ceremony from Wembley Stadium (10.30pm, SBS), followed by the first match, England versus Switzerland (12am, SBS).

Sunday: AFL Sunday includes Fremantle versus Hawthorn (2pm, Seven), live from Perth, followed by an early edition of Seven Nightly News (5pm, Seven) before crossing live to Adelaide for Adelaide Crows versus West Coast Eagles (5.30pm, Seven). In Banjo Paterson’s Man From Snowy River (6.30pm, Nine), Montana (Gabrielle Fitzpatrick) is arrested for murder and an extradition order is issued. Nightly coverage of Euro ’96 begins with a one-hour highlights program (7pm, SBS) and live match coverage (11pm, SBS). Sunday night movies are Born Yesterday (Seven), Falling Down (repeat, Nine) and Night Of The Twisters (Ten).

Monday: The Queen’s Birthday public holiday includes live coverage of the Brisbane Cup (3.40pm, Nine) from Eagle Farm racecourse. In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Libby (Kym Valentine) cops flack for her article in the newspaper. Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten) features Lyn Talbot‘s report on the range of CD-Roms currently available. In Pacific Drive (11pm, Nine), Amber (Christine Stephen-Daly) masquerades as Sonia’s ghost to send Aunty Georgina (Kate Raison) around the twist.

damianwalshehowling_0001Tuesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Simon (Julian Garner) returns and is obviously in love with Angel (Melissa George). In Better Homes And Gardens (7.30pm, Seven), John Jarratt builds a free-standing mirror, and Belinda Jeffery creates a chocolate cake… with potato. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Henry (Steve Bisley) learns through watching his old army buddy succumb to stress that leaving the service was the best decision he ever made. In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), Adam (Damian Walshe-Howling, pictured) struggles to cope after he and Nick (William McInnes) discover the body of a teenager who died as the result of a drunken dare.

Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Libby (Kym Valentine) is excited at the prospect of running an article in the Erinsborough News about Cheryl’s (Caroline Gillmer) kidnapping. The two-hour comedy special Comic Relief (8.30pm, Nine) features some of Australia’s best comic and celebrity talent as they raise funds for Community Aid Abroad. Included in the program are Elle McFeast (Libbi Gorr), Gerry Connolly, Tim Ferguson, Magda Szubanski, Peter Moon, Trevor Marmalade, Russell Gilbert, Glenn Robbins, Jane Hall, Mary Coustas and Shane Bourne. In Pacific Drive (11.15pm, Nine), Amber (Christine Stephen-Daly) and Trey (Lloyd Morris) are briefly united, while Laura’s (Simone Buchanan) fear of flood deepens.

victorialongley_0001Thursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Lou (Tom Oliver) receives a parcel sent by a mystery caller. Getaway (7.30pm, Nine) features Rebecca Harris‘ tour of the Sydney 2000 Olympic site. In Mercury (8.30pm, ABC), Bill Wyatt (Geoffrey Rush) and Georgi Singer (Victoria Longley, pictured) are on opposite sides when industrial trouble affects the Sunday Mercury.

Friday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Jesse (Ben Unwin) runs from the police, and Alex (Nick Freedman) is rushed to hospital.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 8 June 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.




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