Cover: Gillian Anderson (The X Files), Dieter Brummer (Shark Bay)

Summer Bay shake-up!
An earthquake is set to tear apart Summer Bay as Home And Away hits its 2000th episode. Alf (Ray Meagher) collapses from heart failure as his store is crumbling around him in the midst of the quake, and there is panic at the school as roofs turn to rubble and windows are smashed. Angel (Melissa George) is home with the kids as ceiling beams come crashing down.

tonybarberadrianaxenidesIt’s Tony’s turn at the Wheel!
John Burgess is considering legal action over the Seven Network‘s decision to suddenly axe him as host of Wheel Of Fortune after 12 years. In shifting the show’s production from Adelaide to Sydney, Seven has appointed Tony Barber as the new host, joining long-serving co-host Adriana Xenides. Barber (pictured with Xenides), best known as host of Great Temptation, Sale Of The Century, Family Feud and Jeopardy, made contact with Burgess to assure him that he hadn’t chased the role. “I hadn’t stalked his job,” Barber told TV Week. “The network made its own initiatives. If it hadn’t been me it would have been the latest young disc jockey or whoever, so I just wanted to let him know that.” Xenides, who has been with Wheel Of Fortune since its debut in 1981, is looking to the future with a positive outlook. “Tony’s a pro, he’s certainly a breath of fresh air,” she told TV Week. “But that does not take away from the professionalism and what I learnt from my previous co-hosts in John Burgess and Ernie Sigley. I love them both dearly and I am still great mates with the two previous men in my life.”

claudiakarvan_0002Under siege
Claudia Karvan (pictured) makes a guest appearance in the dramatic 300th episode of GP. Karvan plays the part of an emotionally disturbed mother who holds a hospital casualty ward under siege. “When I got offered the role, my first reaction was to ring the GP office and ask, ‘Do you think I can do this, because I’m not sure if I can’,” she told TV Week. “I threw myself in head first and really, really enjoyed it. It was such a strong character, such an unusual character for someone like me to do.” The episode had Karvan reunited with actor Steve Bisley, with whom she appeared in the film The Big Steal. “Steve is very clever and so focused. I admire his strength,” she said.


  • Beyond International is boasting a $22 million production and co-production slate for the 1996-97 financial year. The company is producing a new drama, Good Guys Bad Guys, for Nine; a reality series, Emergency 000, for Seven; and Medivac, a drama series for Ten. Beyond is also developing a wedding game show, I Do, I Do, for Ten as well as a lifestyle-infotainment show.
  • The Wayne Manifesto, a new 26-part children’s series, is now in production in Brisbane for ABC. It is the first children’s series from Artist Services (Steve Vizard and Andrew Knight).
  • Deborah Hutton has signed a 12-month contract with the Nine Network that will see her appearing on shows including Getaway and Money.
  • brucemcavaney_0001The Seven Network is set to deliver more than 300 hours of Olympic Games coverage over 17 days from Atlanta, Georgia. Bruce McAvaney (pictured), one of the hosts of Seven’s coverage, predicts that Australia will bring home 40 medals from Atlanta. “We won 27 in Barcelona and I honestly feel we can come home from Atlanta with between 10 and 16 gold,” he told TV Week.
  • Nine‘s Midday has a week of guest hosts, starting on Monday with Doug Mulray then followed later in the week by Frankie J Holden (host of Nine’s new In Melbourne Tonight), Mike Munro and Sam Newman (The Footy Show, Melbourne).

TV’s National Top 10 (Week Commencing 30 June 1996):
Source: AC Nielsen Australia Pty Ltd

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 2329000
2 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 2298000
3 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 2244000
4 Home Improvement Seven Sun 2161000
5 ER Nine Thu 2154000
6 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 2007000
7 Our House Nine Wed 1972000
8 The Nanny Ten Sun 1964000
9 Gulliver’s Travels (Part One) Nine Sun 1920000
10 National Nine News Nine Sun 1914000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, July 20-26):
The Games Of The XXVI Olympiad begin from Atlanta, Georgia, with the Opening Ceremony (10am live, 7.30pm replay, Seven) and Day One of competition (11pm, Seven).

Sunday: Olympic Games coverage continues through the morning (Seven). AFL Sunday features Sydney Swans versus Adelaide Crows (1pm, Seven), live from Adelaide, before two hours of Olympic Games highlights (4pm, Seven). Day Two of Olympic Games competition (7.30pm, Seven) continues overnight. Sunday night movies are Fugitive From Justice: Underground Father (Nine) and Platoon (repeat, Ten).

Monday: Olympic Games continues with live coverage (Seven) all morning through to 2pm, then Day Three live coverage commences in the evening (7.30pm, Seven). Olympic Games coverage follows a similar pattern for the remainder of the week. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Shannon (Isla Fisher) and Alex (Nick Freedman) still feel something for each other. In Water Rats (7.30pm, Nine), it seems Holloway (Colin Friels) will be forced to give up trying to find out what really happened the night his brother was forced over The Gap. In Pacific Drive (11pm, Nine), Rick (Andre Eikmeier) starts his sex addiction treatment.

melissajafferstevebisleyTuesday: Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show (7.30pm, Nine) returns with a one-hour special, hosted by Jo Beth Taylor. Claudia Karvan guest stars in the 300th episode of GP (8.30pm, ABC), playing the part of a mother who holds Maureen Henry (Melissa Jaffer and Steve Bisley, pictured) hostage after her child dies from an asthma attack.

Wednesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Chloe (Kristy Wright) will have to live with her father’s actions for the rest of her life. Margaret Throsby hosts The Young Performers Of The Year Awards (8.30pm, ABC).

Thursday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), a vicious dog is on the attack through Summer Bay, and an earthquake hits town. In Getaway (7.30pm, Nine), Jeff Watson travels to the Blue Mountains, Catriona Rowntree visits Orpheus Island, off Townsville, and Lochie Daddo takes on a challenging 4WD tour along a rugged stock route in the Northern Territory. Mike Munro returns with a new series of This Is Your Life (8.30pm, Nine). Drama series Mercury (8.30pm, ABC) presents its final episode.

Friday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Mal (Benjie McNair) receives bad news when Sam (Richard Grieve) wants to sell the business. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Angel (Melissa George) and her children are trapped in a crumbling house following the earthquake.

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


2 thoughts on “1996: July 20-26

    1. He only lasted until the end of the year. He was replaced later by Rob Elliott and the show went back to the traditional format after tinkering with it when they put Tony Barber on.

      Wheel Of Fortune continued until mid-2006.

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