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The Sydney Morning Herald


Author: Michael Idato
Date: 18/06/2001
Words: 296
          Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: The Guide
Page: 3
Watch your back

Nine's new consumer-affairs program, Watchdog, may be using a camera-rigged house to monitor the work of tradesmen, according to a TV industry source.

The Guide has been told such a house exists and has been rigged, Big Brother-style, with the intention of monitoring work by tradesman about whom the show had received complaints.

Nine would not confirm the house existed, nor whether it was part of the Watchdog program, but a spokesman did cryptically tell The Guide: "We do have a program called Watchdog and we have been using hidden camera in some of the stories."

The series, to be fronted by Melbourne barrister David Galbally, QC, is expected to premiere later this year.

McFeast sold to US

Gorr Hill Productions, the production partnership of comedian Lisbeth Gorr (aka Elle McFeast) and former ABC chief David Hill, has sold three McFeast TV specials to the US cable network Oxygen. The channel, which markets itself to women, has bought The Queen & I, Love & Marriage and Sex Cells. The last of these has yet to screen in this country, although Ten holds the rights.

Cable rolls out big guns

The most profitable television franchise in the world, Friends, makes its long overdue cable premiere in Australia on July 3. The cable channel Oh! will also premiere The Drew Carey Show in July and E.R. in August.

All three programs are distributed internationally by Warner Bros. While a proposed Warner Channel never materialised, an existing output deal between Optus and Warner Bros siphoned the programs from an open-market auction.

Oh! already screens The Sopranos, Suddenly Susan, Veronica's Closet and Jesse.

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