Stars of ’79
TV Times has approached TV producers to nominate the actors and actresses who they believe will make a big impact in 1979. Don Battye, producer of The Restless Years, sees a big future for new recruits Jamie Gleeson and Lenore Smith: “The rapport between Jamie and Lenore was instant, it was as if they’d known each other for ages.” ABC producer Alan Burke believes that John Gregg, to appear in the new series The Oracle, will be the actor of the year in 1979: “He’s a wonderful actor and will be very dominant in our drama output this year.” Alan Coleman, producer for The Young Doctors, believes that newcomer Peter Lochran will be the show’s next heart-throb and predicts a big future for Linda Stoner, who has recently left The Young Doctors for a new role in Cop Shop. Eileen O’Shea, publicist for the Seven Network, said to look out for Bill Stalker, a New Zealand actor who will appear in the upcoming series Skyways, and a greater profile for Joanna Lockwood, one of the founding cast members of Cop Shop. A spokesman for Melbourne’s ATV0 is also predicting big things for English actor Barry Quin, one of the cast members of the new series Prisoner. ABC light entertainment producer Ric Birch has listed Ric Herbert and David Atkins, two of the stars of the upcoming TV Follies series, as potential big names of the future.
Warder, warder everywhere!
The studios of Melbourne channel ATV0 have been transformed into a prison, both inside and out. The transformation is part of the production for the 0-10 Network‘s long-awaited new drama Prisoner. Not only have 12 permanent sets – more than usual for a locally-produced series – been constructed within the ATV0 studios in Nunawading, but the exterior of the studio complex has also been adapted to serve as the exterior for the fictional Wentworth Detention Centre. Fake prison windows adorn the side of the brick building and a prison garden, complete with vegetable patch and BBQ area, have been set up on the lawns beside the building. Nearby is a large brick wall and security gate and, beside it, a daunting signboard that reads ‘Wentworth Detention Centre for Women’. Pre-production research for the series has been meticulous, including the assistance of real-life prisoners, prison wardens and government agencies. So impressed is the network that the show’s initial run of thirteen episodes has already been extended to 42. ATV0 public relations director George Wilson told TV Times: “It is a human interest drama which will not only follow the lives of prisoners and staff in the detention centre, but will delve into their lives outside. Prisoner will not use explicit sex or nudity to give shock or drama.” Produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation, Prisoner premieres this week on TEN10 Sydney and ATV0 Melbourne and later in other states.
C’mon Ossie C’mon!
Daryl Somers and Ossie Ostrich (pictured) have returned to the Nine Network after a year which saw them move to the 0-10 Network for the ill-fated The Daryl And Ossie Show. The pair have already made their on-screen return to Nine with Hey Hey It’s Saturday returning after its one-year hiatus. Bob Phillips, manager for Somers and Ernie Carroll (Ossie’s human alter-ego), has announced that their return to Nine will also include plans for a weekly big-budget pop music series later in the year, and possibly even a movie featuring the two.
Top stars set for telethon
GTV9‘s annual telethon for the Yooralla Society of Victoria is on this weekend has set a target to raise $1 million. As well as the all-day telethon, the appeal will also include a three-day carnival, near the GTV9 studios, for the children who collect for the appeal. Telethon manager John Hart has said that this year’s telethon will also feature personalities from all Melbourne radio stations that have been raising funds for the appeal over the last two weeks. And the telecast will feature a technological first – a computer-operated light display which will flash lights indicating phone room calls. Guest stars appearing on the telethon will include stars from Nine Network programs The Sullivans, The Don Lane Show, The Young Doctors, plus other local and overseas celebrities. The telethon will also be relayed through regional stations across Victoria.
ABC journalist Richard Carleton has found that Norman Gunston‘s fame has quite possibly spread to South Africa! While touring Africa over the past few months, Carleton found the “Gunston” brand of cigarette was very popular with the South Africans.
The Young Doctors‘ Chris Orchard says that his main motivation for migrating from England to Australia eight years ago as a 19-year-old was “Sun, surf and sex. Well, what else do you think about at 19?”
Actress Carol Burns will be rejoining her jazz ballet classes with some trepidation. She is wondering what will her classmates will think of her when they see her portrayal of a vicious lesbian in the new series Prisoner.
Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor
“Of all the commercial TV channels in Australia, I think Canberra’s CTC7, which calls itself “Super 7,” is the most impolite, rude and arrogant. Whenever a program runs late the station never tells its viewers about it, or apologises.” E. Behr, ACT.
“I am most concerned at the lack of interest by TV stations in the show-jumping potential in this country. A couple of weeks go the largest show-jumping event was held at Wentworth Park, Sydney – but what TV coverage did it receive? It was a news item, and TEN10 gave a one-hour program – and that was all. So how about TV stations waking up and giving the public a chance to watch this most exciting sport?” G. Beaton, NSW.
“We movie buffs applaud ABC for screening old movie classics but, as the viewing audience for them will probably be mainly over the age of 45, the starting time of 10.00pm is usually the time old movie buffs are about to go to bed.” C. Wilson, NSW.
What’s On (February 24-March 2):
GTV9‘s annual telethon for the Yooralla Society of Victoria starts on Saturday at 7.00am and continues through 5.00pm, before resuming at 8.30pm and closing at midnight. The phone number for donations is (03) 42-0221.
On Sunday night, HSV7 presents the premiere of the million dollar documentary series This Fabulous Century hosted by Peter Luck (pictured). The new series, including footage from Cinesound, Movietone and the National Film and Sound Archive to illustrate the history of Australia from Federation to the present day, debuts with a one-hour episode up against GTV9‘s new 60 Minutes.
Tuesday night marks the two-hour debut of the 0-10 Network‘s new drama Prisoner (pictured) with the series continuing on Wednesday. In the opening episode, Karen Travers (Peita Toppano) is sent to prison after refusing to give evidence when charged with the murder of her husband. Country girl Lynn Warner (Kerry Armstrong) is admitted to Wentworth for kidnapping and burying alive a young child, though she maintains her innocence. And inmate Franky Doyle (Carol Burns) tells prison warden Vera Bennett (Fiona Spence) that the inmates have given her a new nickname, “Vinegar Tits”.
On Wednesday night, HSV7 screens a delayed telecast of the 1979 Grammy Awards from Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium, hosted by John Denver.
The Australian Football Championship Night Series begins on HSV7 on Friday night, promising “the richest football competition Australia has ever seen. Total prize money will be approximately $370,000.”
Special guests appearing during the week on ATV0‘s Peter Couchman Tonight include Simon Townsend, John Waters, Alison Durbin, Stuart Wagstaff and Derryn Hinch.
Sunday night movies are Survive! (HSV7), Moonshine County Express (GTV9) and Camelot (ATV0).
Source: TV Times (Melbourne edition), 17 February 1979. ABC/ACP