1996: October 5-11

tvweek_051096Cover: Emily Symons (Home And Away)

Alf’s life on the line
Home And Away‘s Alf Stewart’s (Ray Meagher) life hangs in the balance in episodes going to air this week. The recent earthquake that hit Summer Bay triggered a heart attack in Alf, leading to heart bypass surgery by cardiac specialist Dr James McClaren (Grant Dodwell). The rather smug Dr McClaren, pleased with the surgery, takes off for a round of golf, leaving resident GP Dr Kelly Watson (Katrina Hobbs) to monitor Alf’s post-operation recovery. But when Alf’s blood pressure plummets, the young Dr Watson is left to perform emergency surgery, which doesn’t go well. “(Dr Watson) had to go in and try and fix the (heart) valve and she nearly stuffed it up entirely,” Meagher told TV Week.

‘I saw someone die on the operating table’
nicholaseadie_0002Nicholas Eadie (pictured), who plays Dr Red Buchanan in the new Network Ten series Medivac, did not anticipate the emotional impact that researching the role entailed. Eadie spent 20 hours in the emergency department at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital to observe medical procedures and patient behaviour. “For people who arrive at the emergency ward, it’s often a case of needing immediate surgery, sometimes in life or death situations,” he told TV Week. “I saw someone die on the operating table — a motor accident victim. Seeing that sort of thing is very difficult to process in your head. I came away having incredible respect for people who work in that situation.”

eddiemcguire_0004Now it’s Gridiron Eddie…
The Nine Network‘s Eddie McGuire (pictured) has just added another role to his growing media profile. As well as hosting The Footy Show in Melbourne, presenting sport on Nightline and his regular radio commitments, McGuire is now hosting Nine’s weekly coverage of the American National Football League (NFL). McGuire has recently been involved in contract renewal negotiations with Nine but it is no secret that rival network Seven has tried to poach him. He is also amused at some of the media attention relating to his pay packet. “One paper called me, ‘The million dollar man’, while another journalist said I was making $1.6 million. There have been some wild and woolly figures published,” he told TV Week.


  • Mark Mitchell (The Comedy Company, Lift Off) and Jeremy Callaghan (Police Rescue, Water Rats) are to feature in a US telemovie, A Munster’s Scary Little Christmas, being produced in Sydney.
  • Oscar-winning designed Lizzy Gardiner is working on a documentary called The Dream Factory for ABC.
  • Film reviewer Peter Castaldi is to host a new movie review show, Mosaic, for pay-TV operator Optus Vision.
  • Production has begun on the Gold Coast on a new four-hour mini-series of the classic tale 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. The series, for America’s ABC network, will air on Nine in Australia and features local actors Bryan Brown, Kerry Armstrong and John Bach in supporting roles.

TV’s National Top 10 (Week Commencing 15 September 1996):
Source: AC Nielsen Australia Pty Ltd

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Blue Heelers Seven Tue 2180000
2 This Is Your Life Nine Thu 2058000
3 Who Dares Wins Seven Wed 1993000
4 Getaway Nine Thu 1932000
5 Better Homes And Gardens Seven Tue 1879000
6 The Great Outdoors Seven Tue 1872000
7 Burke’s Backyard Nine Fri 1825000
8 AFL: Second Preliminary Final Seven Sat 1820000
9 Friends Seven Mon 1818000
10 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1798000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, October 5-11):
Bathurst Top 10 (3pm, Seven) features the qualifying round for pole positions for Sunday’s Bathurst 1000. In Ocean Girl (5.30pm, Ten), the search for the synchronium seems to be about the only thing on Neri’s (Marzena Godecki) mind.

Sunday: The Bathurst 1000 (8am, Seven) presents ten hours of live coverage of the legendary motor race from Mount Panorama, Bathurst, hosted by Garry Wilkinson. Sunday night movies are The Three Musketeers (Seven), Buffalo Girls (Nine) and Mr Jones (Ten).

Monday: In Pacific Drive (11.15pm, Nine), Luke (Steve Harman) discovers he has a half sister who warns him that their father is a dangerous man.

Tuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Mal (Benjie McNair) is stunned to see Melissa (Aimee Robertson) in an expensive car with another man. In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), Adam (Damian Walshe-Howling) and Dash (Tasma Walton) damage the police station computer while playing an illegal game, while PJ (Martin Sacks) and Maggie (Lisa McCune) try to solve a puzzling series of break-ins.’

Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Debbie (Marnie Reece-Wilmore) realises the enormity of what she did to Danni’s (Eliza Szonert) clothing business.

Thursday: Getaway (7.30pm, Nine) features Rebecca Harris‘ visit to the Pajinka Wilderness Lodge at Cape York Peninsula, Jeff Watson‘s guided tour of Helsinki, and Lochie Daddo visiting the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. Jennifer Keyte hosts highlights of the Melbourne Festival (10.30pm, Nine), featuring interviews with Dudley Moore, Marianne Faithful, festival artistic director Leo Schofield and Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett.

Friday: In Police Rescue (8.30pm, ABC), a light plane and its crew have been missing for days. After a fall during the search, Angel (Steve Bastoni) finds the crew and spends the night with them. In Pacific Drive (11pm, Nine), Luke (Steve Harman) allows himself to be misled by his father, and tragedy strikes in Joel’s (Adrian Lee) nightclub.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 5 October 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.

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