1994 Screen Test – SMH (27/12/93)

The Guide; Reviews
27 December 1993
Sydney Morning HeraldĀ 

AS THE TV credits roll on 1993, The Guide has looked into its crystal ball to see what the networks will be offering in 1994.

As well as the return of favourite programs, and the usual moves between networks of personalities and presenters, there will be the regular round of blockbuster movies and the screening of major sporting highlights.


New TV shows will feature personalities such as comic Andrew Denton, actors Ernie Dingo and Gary Sweet, actress Ruth Cracknell and singer Kate Ceberano.


In sport, on Nine there will be the Winter Olympics and the Australian cricket tour of South Africa; the World Cup Soccer on SBS and the Commonwealth Games from Canada are on Ten.


SBS continues movie madness with matinees at 12.30 pm daily, replaying some of the great films that have already been seen.

Apart from that, a flick around the dial to see what’s on offer starts with the ABC.



Heartland: A new series starring Ernie Dingo, set in the small coastal town of Brooklyn Waters. It deals with the mysterious death of a local Aboriginal girl and her unfortunate boyfriend charged with her murder. There’s a love story thrown in and a battle to restructure an Aboriginal community.


Kate Ceberano and Friends: A six-part series in which the singer interviews top musicians and vocalists. Margaret Urlich, Deborah Conway, Jane Kennedy, Mary Coustas, Angie Hart, Jon Stevens and Debbie Byrne will perform.


The Damnation of Harvey McHugh: A comedy/drama about the misadventures of a working class youth and his struggles with public service bureaucracy. From the Employment Relief Branch of the public service the eponymous hero encounters the colourful and different aspects of government and society.


Three Men and a Baby Grand: A comedy series adapted from the stage show of the same name, featuring Jonathan Biggins , Drew Forsythe and Phil Scott.


Great Crimes and Trials of the Twentieth Century: Narrated by George Negus, the series examines crimes such as the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, the Manson family murders, the Yorkshire Ripper and the Jonestown mass suicide.


It’s Ruth Cracknell: A one-off profile looking at the work of the theatrical legend who has been making people laugh and cry since the 1950s.


The Making of Police Rescue: Looks at the making of the multi-award-winning series of the same name. Along with interviews with the main cast members(Gary Sweet, Sonia Todd, Steve Bastoni, Steve Bisley, Tammy McIntosh, and Jeremy Callaghan), the producers and stunt people, it gives insight into what’s involved in dramatic rescue scenes.


Gallowglass: British psychological thriller about obsessive love, starring Arkie Whiteley, daughter of the late painter Brett Whiteley, as a famous model. She has an affair with the boss of a Parisian perfume empire.


Calling The Shots: A BBC drama set in the cut-throat world of television, with a deadly twist, focusing on media manipulation. Stars Lynn Redgrave.


IT: A program exploring information technology and humanising it.


Living in the 90s: A serious lifestyle show.


The Bottom Line: Weekly finance show, with Maxine McKew and Max Walsh, delving into money, business and the economy.




Battlers: Stars Gary Sweet and Jacqueline McKenzie in a four-hour mini-series based on the Kylie Tennant novel about an itinerant worker who travels the road during the depression, meeting odd bods and having adventures.


Andrew Denton’s new show: Seven is not releasing details on what is believed to be Denton’s planned two-hour comedy show.


Blue Heelers: A country policeman’s lot. In what seems a mix between Wandin Valley and Coopers Crossing, the boys and girls of Mount Thomas judge what’s right and wrong, confront good and evil, apprehend wrongdoers and fight country conservatism.


I Witness Video: Hosted by Jennifer Keyte, the show potentially gives the stage to 600,000 video cameras in Australia (making us the highest per capita operators in the world). An Australian adaptation of the American program using news footage from amateurs.


Man O Man: An entertainment show using a swimming pool, with male contestants and female audiences, relying on the off-the-wall antics of contestants vying for titles and prizes.




Banjo Paterson’s The Man From Snowy River: Having knocked back another series of Snowy, Nine is counting on the original to entertain viewers. Andrew Clarke, Victoria Tennant, John Stanton, Wendy Hughes, Guy Pearce, Brett Climo and others promise a strong show.


The Bob Morrison Show: Look Who’s Talking Now on a small screen. The Bob Morrison in question is the dog of Steve and Lizzie Morrison, babyboomers with two children. If Bob the dog has to supply the wisdom, one can only guess at the intelligence level of the family.


Love Rules: We’ve had shows telling us about homes, money and sex, now Love Rules will sort out relationships. Using actors to dramatise various situations, there will be advice and information about how to behave in a relationship.


Just Kidding: Surely they’re kidding with this candid camera formula. Let’s point a hidden camera on people, play a practical joke on them and laugh at the results.


Terror Australis: Let’s sell this one to the Poms and scare them so much they will stay at home. It is about Australia’s dangerous animals and plants including snakes, jellyfish and sharks. Tina Dalton, from Getaway, hosts this search for redbacks on the toilet seat and pythons in the chicken coop.


Human Nature: To be hosted by Olivia Newton-John, who popped up ever so briefly in Paradise Beach, this series travels the world to examine the bond that humans have with animals and nature.


Frasier: Dr Frasier Crane who graced the bar on Cheers has moved to Seattle, sans wife and son, has his own radio talk-back show and lives with his Dad.


Good Advice: Actress Shelley Long is Suzie, author and marriage counsellor, who keeps everyone else’s marriage together, while hers falls apart.


Scarlett: TV mini-series based on Alexandra Ripley’s sequel to Gone With The Wind.




Alan Jones Live: Radio 2UE’s breakfast host tries his hand at talkback TV at 7 pm, replacing Derryn Hinch. Can Jones out-Hinch Hinch?


Heartbreak High: The star of the film of almost the same name, Alex Dimitriades, will appear in this spin-off with Sarah Lambert. Fingers crossed it’s nothing like Class of ’74, 20 years on.


Level 23: Hang onto your hats, it’s another lifestyle program. Young things present all that is hip and cool about news, fashion, entertainment, sport and trends.


NYPD Blue: From the man who brought us Hill St Blues and LA Law, Steven Bochco, this new police drama has a great pedigree.


Grace Under Fire: From the makers of Roseanne, this is a sitcom about Grace, a single mother of three children who has a tough job, has just escaped a lousy marriage and tries to make ends meet. It’s in the US Top 10 and being hailed as the new Roseanne.


Seaquest DSV: From Steven Spielberg, this futuristic underwater adventure stars Roy Scheider and Stephanie Beecham. DSV stands for Deep Sea Vessel, on which Captain Bridger and his team fight evil, and have a new adventure every week.




Imagine: New half-hour weekly arts show which will go behind the scenes to ask creative people where their inspiration comes from, showing performance pieces from the fringe and probing the minds behind today’s culture.


Under The Skin: Twelve one-hour multicultural dramas, each showing what it is like to live in Australia, under the big names of Norman Kaye, Noni Hazelhurst, Alwyn Kurts, Nadine Garner, Barry Otto, Tina Burstall and Annette Shun Wah (in her acting debut).


The Talk Show: World News presenter Mary Kostakidis presents this program featuring celebrities from all spheres of popular culture and politics. A replacement for Face the Press, the style will vary with the guest, from straight interviews to studio forums.


Doctors To Be: Fly-on-the-wall documentary about British interns. Two thousand applied to be doctors at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School in West London in 1984. Over eight years, 10 have been filmed through exams, 80-hour weeks, lack of sleep and graduation.


Front Up: Journalist Andrew L. Urban provides the pathway to fame for this handful of people who are followed about by a camera, filmed in their everyday ordinariness. One for the sticky beaks.


Treasure Islands: Thirteen episodes from the makers of Pirates takes us to exotic locations to discover buried treasure.


Harry Enfield’s Guide to Opera: Harry is the creation of comedian Paul Whitehouse who uses him to show at close range what opera is all about. The six-part series covers plots, voice, stars, Italy and England’s North Opera Company.

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