Goodbye E Street
Alyssa-Jane Cook (pictured) says that now is the best time to leave E Street after the string of tragedies that have struck her character, Lisa Bennett. “After everything the character has been through she definitely needs a break, so she heads to Queensland to contemplate life,” Cook told TV Week. “But I think I’ve been there three years and I just think it is time to have a look around and see what else is happening, and to look at my life and decide which way I want to go next.” Although Cook describes her character’s departure from the series as “scary, thrilling, hot and cold”, she is not ruling out a return at a later date. “If Lisa Bennett comes back, let’s hope she smiles a lot more,” she said.
Coopers Crossing crisis!
Despite the show going into an extended “production break” two months ago, the Nine Network has given the go-ahead for thirteen more episodes of The Flying Doctors – but six of the show’s cast will not be returning. Robert Grubb, who plays Dr Geoffrey Standish, is unavailable to do the new episodes, while co-stars Lenore Smith, David Reyne, Nikki Coghill, Paul Kelman and Chris Stollery have reportedly been axed. Producers have confirmed that Sophie Lee and showbiz favourites Maurie Fields and Val Jellay (pictured) will be staying. With the current backlog of episodes set to resume broadcast in February, production on the new series is due to start in March and the new episodes should screen by the end of the year.
Ian’s the prime suspect
Cluedo, a new game show based on the popular board game, is set to begin production for the Nine Network next month. The hour-long show will be hosted by Ian McFadyen (The Comedy Company) and will have a regular cast who will play various roles in a murder mystery. At the end of the episode, members of the studio audience – each equipped with computer-linked electronic selectors – will be asked to nominate who the murderer is, how he or she did the crime, and where. The first to guess all criteria correctly wins the prize. Cluedo is being produced by Crawfords Australia and will debut on Nine later in the year.
TV Week has opened voting for the 34th annual TV Week Logie Awards, to be held at the Radisson President Hotel, Melbourne, in March and telecast via the Seven Network. As well as the Gold and Silver Logie categories – for most popular personality and most popular actor/actress respectively – TV Week readers will be asked to vote for their favourite drama series, mini-series or telemovie, light entertainment/comedy program, public affairs program, lifestyle program, sports coverage, music video and children’s program. Other categories open to the public vote are Most Popular Actor and Actress in a Telemovie or Mini-series, Most Popular New Talent as well as state-based awards for Most Popular Personality and Most Popular Program.
Former Young Talent Time cast member Debbie Hancock (pictured with YTT host Johnny Young back in the ‘70s) made a recent return to television as a contestant on Network Ten’s Blind Date, and since returning from the trip to Italy that she won with her date Mike Neat, the couple have announced their engagement. “I never expected to find a man on Blind Date,” she told TV Week. “Having had failed relationships, this is fairytale stuff.”
Network Ten drama Neighbours makes an early season return for 1992 – with Glen Donnelly (Richard Huggett) taken to hospital in a coma following a fall from a building site in the 1991 season cliff-hanger. Glen wakes to learn he is paralysed from the waist down. The storyline will lead to Huggett’s exit from the series, making his last appearance on screen in February. “I am glad I left with something dramatic rather than just wandering out,” he told TV Week.
John Laws says…
”Does the title of Gerald Stone’s new current affairs show on the Seven Network (Real Life) imply that until now we have been experiencing something less than actual reality? But let’s not be unkind to Gerald. It’s quite a task to promote a new current affairs program these days – and promote it in such a way that the viewing public ends up believing it’s going to be something completely different. But where will Real Life fit into the scheme of things, and just how different will it be? If you look closely at the advance trumpeting you could be excused for thinking that, well, isn’t it all just a teeny-weeny bit A Current Affair-ish?
Program Highlights (Melbourne/Regional Victoria, January 4-10):
Saturday: Seven (and regional affiliate Prime) has more tennis with the semi-finals of the Australian Women’s Hardcourt Championships, live from Brisbane, in the afternoon, and the Australian Men’s Hardcourt Championships, live from Adelaide, in the evening. Nine (and regional VIC TV) crosses to Sydney for Test Cricket – the Third Test between Australia and India.
Sunday: Seven/Prime cover the final of the Australian Women’s Hardcourt Championships in the afternoon, and the final of the Men’s competition in the evening. Nine/VIC TV has more Test Cricket from the SCG. After Seven Nightly News, Seven/Prime debuts children’s drama Clowning Around – the story of a boy who fulfils his dreams against all odds – starring Noni Hazlehurst, Ernie Dingo, Rebecca Smart and Clayton Williamson. Sunday night movies are Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (Nine/VIC TV) and Baywatch: The Trophy (Ten and regional Southern Cross Network).
Monday: Aussie soaps Home And Away (Seven/Prime) and Neighbours (Ten/SCN) return for 1992 – now both screening against each other in the 7.00pm timeslot.
Tuesday: The summer of tennis continues on Seven/Prime with the NSW Open, live from White City, Sydney. In Neighbours (Ten/SCN), Madge (Anne Charleston, pictured) learns that she is to receive a $250,000 payment from her late husband Harold’s (Ian Smith) life insurance policy.
Wednesday: Marcia Hines, Simon Gallaher and Tina Arena are among 25 performers at the Australian AIDS Benefit Concert, screening on ABC, introduced by Ita Buttrose and hosted by Jean Kittson (The Big Gig).
Thursday: Nine presents limited live coverage in Melbourne of the Benson And Hedges World Series Cricket, due to the match being held at the MCG, with only two hours in the afternoon and a highlights package from 11.30pm. Regional network VIC TV presents live coverage of the full day’s play.
Friday: In Blackout (ABC), Aboriginal singer and songwriter Archie Roach talks about his life and his forced removal from his family for assimilation into white society.
Source: TV Week (Victoria Country edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 4 January 1992. Southdown Press