E Street character Sheridan Sturgess (Kate Raison, pictured lower right with co-star Marcus Graham) has been through a fair bit lately. She’s been hunted by a serial killer, menaced by him, locked up in prison and then becomes an escapee. Now she’s having a baby! The latest development is yet another twist in the saga involving Sheridan, Wheels (Graham) and “Mr Bad” (Vince Martin). “It isn’t, by any means, a planned pregnancy,” Raison told TV Week. “And it’s a very difficult thing for both the characters to come to terms with. Neither of them expected to become a mother or a father.” The pregnancy storyline marks the beginning of Raison’s planned departure from E Street. “I’m leaving, but there are a few more twists and turns to go yet,” she said.
Bligh: The mutiny continues!
The Seven Network’s popular sketch comedy series Fast Forward will be back this year but will be produced in a reduced capacity – two eight-episode blocks – as much of the cast will be focused on production of a new sitcom. Bligh is set in 1807 and features Michael Veitch (pictured) as the beleaguered Governor of New South Wales, William Bligh. Also starring in the series are Fast Forward regulars Magda Szubanski, Peter Moon, Marg Downey and Gina Riley as well as actor William McInnes and comedian Jimeoin. And while the series is essentially a period comedy, it also satirises current-day issues. The 13-part series is now in production but will not air until later in the year.
One of the masters
Award-winning Four Corners journalist Chris Masters (pictured) says there is nothing particularly glamorous about his line of work. “It’s a particularly demoralising type of work,” he told TV Week. “It’s not just the enormous amount of work. When you think about proving the Queensland Police Force as corrupt, that’s something the Federal Police or the National Crime Authority couldn’t do. It’s not fun work. It’s not fun being reminded that your fellow man is a crook, or that you’re sticking your head down the corruption sewer all the time. It gives you a rather bleak view of mankind.” Masters has also documented the facts behind some of his TV scoops in a new book, Inside Story.
Jeff Phillips (pictured), Seventies pop star and former host of talent quest Star Search, is making a shock return to television with a guest appearance in Nine’s steamy soap Chances. “The Chances episode has some steamy scenes and it will attract a bit of interest… I’m sure I’ll get more attention than if I were doing a role on Neighbours or Home And Away!”
Neighbours star Lorraine Bayly is set to return to the stage, starting rehearsals soon for the Australian premiere of the play Dear Liar. Bayly will be starring alongside Lewis Fiander. “I think Lewis is one of the finest actors this country has produced,” she told TV Week. Although she only joined Neighbours late last year she will be making her final appearances on screen in May.
Home And Away co-stars Debra Lawrance and Dennis Coard not only play husband and wife in the series, but are now married in real life following a hush-hush wedding in Sydney recently. Although the pair engaged last year, their wedding was a surprise to everyone in the show. “The first thing anyone knew about it was when they turned up on set on the Monday wearing wedding rings,” a Seven Network spokesperson said.
Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here
”’Did you see that debacle last night?’ a colleague asked, a hint of alarm in his voice as he bustled past my desk on some matutinal errand. At that delicate stage of the morning, I had not even begun the task of kicking the dew off what remains of my mental processes. Bear in mind that this was the morning after [a] South Africa had destroyed Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground; [b] the West Coast Eagles had almost recovered from a 50-point deficit against Geelong in an AFL pre-season competition match; [c] King Paul of Canberra had favoured us with his economic blueprint for our future well-being; and [d] the Channel Ten Eyewitness News had gone to air at five o’clock yet again. Later in the day my worst fears were confirmed – he was part of a majority and had been talking about the cricket and, to a lesser extent, the football. King Paul’s decree didn’t create much of a ripple on the apathy meter, and the Channel Ten news… well, it had done about as well as Oprah Winfrey, shown mid-afternoon. The greater percentage of people are busy at work then, too.”
Program Highlights (Melbourne, March 15-21):
Sunday: Nine crosses to Adelaide for all-day coverage of the Benson And Hedges World Cup cricket match between India and South Africa. After the news, Nine presents a Burke’s Backyard special, Densey And Jim’s Close-Up On Wildlife, with Densey Clyne and Jim Frazier presenting a close-up view on Australian wildlife – this week observing the mating ritual of the rifle bird. Sunday night movies are Overboard (Seven) The Untouchables (Nine) and Fletch Lives (Ten). After the movie, Seven presents a one-hour special to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Film Victoria, hosted by Jennifer Keyte and movie host Ivan Hutchinson.
Monday: In Mother And Son (ABC), a baby in the house is the last thing Arthur (Garry McDonald) expected when he arrives home from work. He comes to the conclusion that the baby is the result of one of brother Robert’s (Henri Szeps) dalliances, leaving Robert guilt-ridden.
Tuesday: Col’n Carpenter star Kim Gyngell guest stars in the series return of All Together Now (Nine). In GP (ABC), Robert (John McTernan) has come to terms with his spinal tumour and enters hospital to have the operation. In Beyond 2000 (Seven), reporter Tracey Curro (pictured) investigates the meaning of a cashless society.
Wednesday: Andrew Denton presents a premiere special, The Money Or The Gun: The Brain (ABC), where he embarks on the ultimate travel documentary. His destination? The human brain… and madness!
Thursday: Seven presents a repeat of special Graham Kennedy’s World Of Comedy – while Nine has a one-hour special, Sex, hosted by Sophie Lee (pictured). The documentary looks at the issues of safe sex and the use of condoms, sex education, AIDS, homosexuality and pornography.
Friday: ABC’s documentary series A Big Country reports on Roger Crosby, a truckie who has a fascination with the skies. He asks himself all all the questions about the universe and comes up with some interesting answers. In Neighbours (Ten), the police discover evidence which incriminates Pam (Sue Jones) into Garth’s (Roy Baldwin) death. Later in the evening, Ten has a delayed telecast of the K Mart Australian Classic basketball, while ABC launches a new series of Andrew Denton: Live And Sweaty (pictured).
Saturday: Nine crosses to Auckland, New Zealand, for the First-Semi Final of the Benson And Hedges World Cup cricket. Seven’s coverage of the 1992 AFL season kicks off with highlights of the day’s matches followed by live coverage from the Gold Coast of the match between Brisbane and Carlton. Ten has live coverage of the playoff for the first and second positions in the K Mart Classic basketball.
Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 14 March 1992. Southdown Press.