In March and April 1987, Lee Majors came to Australia to film the TV pilot, 'The Hawkesbury'. Shot on location in Sydney, Australia, 'The Hawkesbury' centered around an American horse breeder who traveled to rural Australia to reunite with his estranged wife and 2 children and also hoped to secure the rights to a champion stallion. NBC made known, "Lee wants to do the whole series here (in Australia)." 

Lee Majors first came to Australia in 1975 to attend the TV Week Logie Awards. He had said his own son was "fascinated by Australia like all Americans." The backers of 'The Hawkesbury', the Weintraub Entertainment Group arrived before Lee landed to "scout locations in New South Wales and look for actors to play his screen wife and children." 

After filming 'The Hawkesbury' had completed, Lee expressed confidence the network would give the go ahead to make a weekly series. Lee looked forward to coming back to Australia in July 1987 and stay for 9 months (until March 1988) to shoot the TV series. However NBC decided not to pick up the series 'The Hawkesbury' after it flopped during test market screenings in June 1987. 

Hoyts Productions spokesperson Helen Pankhurst told the press at the time, "Things are still uncertain. What they do in the States is test marketing – and unfortunately 'The Hawkesbury' didn’t exactly rate superbly. We have to wait for the ratings after the screening. It happened with his last project ('The Fall Guy' which ended in 1986) – it did badly in test marketing but when it went to air it smashed the ratings." 

In 1981, Lee starred in the human-type drama, 'The Fall Guy'. Of the series, producer Glen Larson recalled, "...The only people who thought the show would be a hit were the few who had seen the pilot before it went on air. And everyone who saw it said, 'I had no idea Lee Majors had had that humor and charm.'" Lee maintained, "You stick with the kind of thing you do best, then once you’re established, you can gamble on the meatier roles."

Glen also mentioned, "I really wanted to do a show about a modern day bounty hunter because our peculiar (bail) bonding system makes them a free agent. It wasn't an easy show to sell. But if you can work it in with a stuntman, then it becomes the last of the free spirits, wild and woolly, a modern day Western." Lou Shaw added, "(In 1983) I tried to put some content into 'Fall Guy' so I did a show on paraplegics. I insisted on a paraplegic (Jim Knaub) for the part, and it worked beautifully. It turned out to be our highest-rated show ('Wheels') of the season, and it stunned everyone. Why shouldn’t people with handicaps and disabilities mainstream into society? Why take a person with 2 good legs and have him play a paraplegic?"  

'The Hawkesbury' pilot went on air in March 1988, renamed 'Danger Down Under'. Rebecca Gilling told 'TV Eye' in 1995, "Since I was 3 months pregnant at the time I did not intend to continue into a later series, so I asked that my character be killed off! Lee Majors was very much more than just an actor on this project. As co-producer he had come to Australia to hopefully continue his career as the leading man in yet another television action series. However, the script did not seem to lead anywhere and no series eventuated. The only 'danger' in the title seemed to be my departure from the plot after being hit by a truck! … (Lee) had a fair degree of say in everything we did but ultimately the project was unsuccessful."

Rebecca Gilling rose to TV stardom in the popular TV mini-series, 'Return To Eden'. She recounted, "It was certainly the biggest role I've ever done; critically it was not the best, but it made my name more than any other thing. It was great fun to do, the mini-series particularly with photography by Dean Semler and directed by an American, Karen Arthur. It came out looking wonderful, even though the script, by Michael Laurence, was a bit far-fetched. But it worked - it was our 'Dynasty' with the Australian laconic element, which saved it from taking itself too seriously. 

"I tried to make my character as normal as possible, a typical country girl despite the glitz of her surroundings. It has never ceased to amaze me how popular the series became internationally. I've received literally thousands of letters, from Eastern Europe to Asia. The only acting award I've ever won was 'Actress Of The Year' in Yugoslavia for 'Eden'. Unfortunately I was unable to attend to accept it personally. I guess it proves the power of television to make anything seem possible.

"Despite it's popularity, 'Return To Eden' didn't make it into a 2nd series. It was extremely expensive for channel Ten to continue and I guess this decided its fate. In my case I did the first series out of loyalty to Hal McElroy following our success with the mini-series. If I hadn't been involved in the series it might not have gone ahead, as my character was central to the continuation of the plot. I certainly enjoyed doing a series shot entirely on film. When the series was not renewed it left our fans up in the air over everyone's fate. However we actually shot a series alternative ending which tied up all the loose ends. Unfortunately it was not shown in Australia, but at least it was available for international distribution."

In 1986, Linda Evans starred in the 4-hour TV mini-series, 'The Last Frontier'. The first 2 hours of 'The Last Frontier' attracted 36 share. The second 2 hours attracted 39 share. The success of 'The Last Frontier' inspired the 1988 comedy-romance-adventure TV movie, 'Outback Bound' starring Donna Mills. Approximately 25% of viewers watching TV between 9:00p.m and 11:00p.m on the Tuesday of October 11 were watching 'Outback Bound'. In all, about 14 million households were counted watching the movie. Even in Australia, 'Outback Bound' which was shown in April 1989 attracted big audience (some 24 rating points). "It's kind of a cross between 'Crocodile Dundee' and 'Romancing The Stone,'" Donna enthused.

Back in October 1988, Donna Mills spoke to reporter Alan Markfield, "Coming to Australia was the dream of a lifetime but it was nothing like what I expected. I guess I’m just a city girl, and Broken Hill is not a real big city. In Beverly Hills, I have a motor home bigger than my entire hotel room in Broken Hill! The weather was just awful. There had been an unseasonal amount of rain, so we had wet, green bush, where we wanted dry, barren land.

"And it was so cold. I mean, it’s always warm in Beverly Hills. I just can’t take the cold. At times it was brutal. In one scene, which was supposed to take place in blazing hot weather, it got down to 3 degrees. I was supposed to be in short sleeves! No way! Thank goodness I brought it (the $35,000 fur). This role was definitely not meant to be glamorous but I can’t complain because that’s one of the reasons I was so eager to do this show.

"There were times when we filmed in the mine that I’m actually covered with dirt and grime. My hair was a mess, tangled and covered with filth, my hands bloodied from swinging a pick – no, this wasn’t particularly glamorous film to do. I really think I’ve done some good work and I think people will see me in a way they’re not used to seeing. I also enjoyed working with some fine actors … The crew was great and I made a lot of friends. Australia is a great place and all that I hoped it would be. But the main thing in terms of my career is that I believe I’ll show people in 'Outback Bound' that I can do a lot more than play Abby of 'Knots Landing.'"

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