Set to scorch!
E Street stars Kate Raison and Marcus Graham (both pictured, far right) were due to leave the series with this week’s series final – but a “scorchingly romantic” storyline devised for their characters was enough to convince both actors to re-sign. “The storyline is so fantastic I couldn’t refuse it,” Graham told TV Week. “The difference between E Street and other Australian serials is that it takes risks. It is imaginative. There is no other show doing it. If Forrest (Redlich, the show’s producer) wasn’t doing it, nobody would be. Even the network doesn’t want him to do it.” The storyline, which will see both actors stay with the show for another six months, comes as E Street’s crazed serial killer Steven Richardson (Vince Martin) sets Sheridan Sturgess (Raison) in his sights and Wheels (Graham) comes to her rescue.
‘It’s all over’
It appears that Nine’s The Flying Doctors is about to fly off into the TV sunset. The official line from the network is that the show is going into an extended break until the end of 1992 and that producers Crawfords are putting the shows sets into storage. “As far as the cast and crew are concerned, it’s all over… and we have to let people know about it,” cast member David Reyne told TV Week. Reyne says he was contemplating leaving the show, anyway, and is keen to develop some new projects for television. “I think television is in the doldrums and the networks have to employ new blood,” he said. “If you look at Nine, nearly everyone on after 6pm has been around for years… where’s the new blood?” And not restricting himself to drama, Reyne says he could see himself hosting an information program or even a music show. “I’d love to grab music television and give it a good shake,” he said.
New laughs from an old team
Lex Marinos and Max Gillies (both pictured) are set to team up for a new ABC comedy series, with Gillies as the star and Marinos the co-director. The planned half-hour episodes will introduce Gillies fans to a new range of characters and will feature some of Australia’s top comedic talent in short plays scripted by leading writers. The pair are not unfamiliar colleagues – they worked together in the Seventies as Chico and Groucho Marx at Melbourne’s Pram Factory. “It’s nice to get back together after 17 years of meeting in foyers,” Marinos told TV Week.
The biography of underworld figure Mark “Chopper” Read has claimed that in the late ‘70s he was asked by a notorious robber – now deceased – to take part in a plan to “kidnap” actress Lynda Stoner (pictured), then starring in drama series Cop Shop. “He had photos taken of her and even knew where she did her shopping; he really was quite nutty over her,” according to Read. “(He) was always falling in love with TV stars and making outrageous fairytale plans to kidnap them.” But even Read, with his past criminal background, knocked back the elaborate scheme, instead insisting “we’ll all get 100 years’ jail for this! Send the bloody woman some flowers instead!”.
ABC’s yet-to-be-screened police drama Phoenix has already been given the green light for a second series. Production is due to begin in June and expected to go to air in 1993. The show’s first series of thirteen episodes, starring Paul Sonkkila, Sean Scully, Simon Westaway, Andy Anderson and Nell Feeney, is expected to go to air early in 1992.
This week’s Christmas episode of Col’n Carpenter (Ten) departs from the usual traditional sitcom formula to acknowledge that for some people it can be a sad time. In the episode, Col’n (Kim Gyngell) faces the prospect of being alone at Christmas. In a dream sequence, he clings to the hope his family (featuring Dale Stevens, Monica Maughan and Ray Baldwin, pictured) will arrive – but this appears unlikely. “This is a very emotional issue,” Gyngell told TV Week. “Obviously, Col’n’s big wish is to have his family around him for the occasion.”
John Laws says…
”When you present a current affairs program three nights a week for most of the year, relying mostly on satellite interviews on one selected issue each night, you have to be good to survive. Kerry O’Brien’s Lateline carries a format like this – a simple, direct way of dealing with pertinent issues for sure, but still a TV mixture that in the wrong hands could prove a disaster. O’Brien, though, is a seasoned political hand and a fine interviewer with a relaxed TV presence and there’s never really been any doubt that he was going to make this program work – and work well. So, can a program like Lateline go to a fourth night of the week and maintain the quality? I see no reason why not.”
Program Highlights (Melbourne, December 7-13):
Saturday: Nine presents the year’s final Saturday edition of Wide World Of Sports. ABC presents the grand final of That’s Dancin’, and Seven’s World Around Us presents a Malcolm Douglas special, Return To The Top, featuring his return to central Arnhem Land 17 years after his first visit.
Sunday: SBS debuts a new ten-part series, Our Stories, from the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association. Sunday night movies are Casanova (Seven), Weekend War (Nine) and classic James Bond with You Only Live Twice (Ten). ABC’s Sunday Stereo Special screens the Australian Ballet’s production of Romeo And Juliet.
Monday: In Neighbours (Ten), Glen (Richard Huggett, pictured) makes a sudden marriage proposal to Gaby (Rachel Blakely). Seven Nightly News launches a late-night edition as a summer replacement for Tonight Live With Steve Vizard.
Tuesday: Nine crosses to Hobart for the Benson And Hedges World Series Cricket match between Australia and India. During lunch, Nine switches to ten-pin bowling with the Goldpin Coca-Cola Classic.
Wednesday: SBS debuts a three-part documentary series, Nostalgia, with each episode focusing on a prominent Australian and their country of origin. In E Street (Ten), Mary (Joan Sydney) makes a decision that will affect the rest of her life.
Thursday: In the series final of E Street (Ten), Wheels (Marcus Graham) and Sheridan (Kate Raison) contemplate the next step in their relationship, while Alice’s (Marianne Howard) labour isn’t what she expected.
Friday: Good Morning Australia (Ten), Neighbours (Ten) and The World Tonight With Clive Robertson (Nine) present their final editions for 1991. Nine Network daytime show What’s Cooking (featuring Gabriel Gate and Colette Mann, pictured) moves into prime-time for the summer season.
Source: TV Week (Victoria edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 7 December 1991. Southdown Press.