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NOW FOR ... FUNKY SQUAD

Author: RACHEL BROWNE
Date: 13/11/1994
Words: 966
          Publication: The Sun Herald
Section: News and Features
Page: 143
RELIEF is on its way for Frontline fans suffering withdrawal while the series is off air ... kind of.

The team from Frontline - including Jane Kennedy, Tom Gleisner and Santo Cilauro - is working on a new, seven-part comedy series called Funky Squad.

Funky Squad is a celebration of the cop shows of the 70s, featuring the hotted up Chargers, groovy clothes, hairstyles and music so peculiar to the genre. Like Mod Squad meets Chopper Squad crossed with Starsky And Hutch and a pinch of Hawaii Five-0, Funky Squad will faithfully recreate all those low-budget, high-drama car chases and shoot-outs.

Funky Squad goes into production in late December/early January and will be on air on the ABC early next year.

SWEATY CHRISTMAS

THE crew from Live And Sweaty is finalising the talent list for its last show of the year, A Very Sweaty Christmas. Series producer Mark FitzGerald could confirm that the Baby Animals will appear on the special to air on the ABC on December 14. "But we are yet to receive a reply from the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, but we do have someone who thinks he's God coming on the show," Mark said crypticly. "We are also desperately searching for a virgin." Live And Sweaty regulars, Elle McFeast, Karen Tighe and Mark Warren will join in the Yuletide fun.

DRIBS AND DRABS

INFORMATION about the Channel 7/Woman's Day People's Choice Awards continues to leak out in dribs and drabs. Singer Kate Ceberano and Blue Heelers stars John Wood and Lisa McCune are now presenting awards as is game show host Larry Emdur who, it is rumoured, will appear as a barrel girl.

Meanwhile the casts from Melrose Place and Home Improvement - both nominated for for Favourite Overseas TV Show - have recorded their acceptance speeches in Los Angeles, in case they win.

Other nominees for the same award are Roseanne and Seinfeld, but the casts of both shows have yet to record their speeches. Roseanne co-operated last year so producers are still holding their breath with only two more weeks until the ceremony.

BREAK FOR CROWE

RUSSELL Crowe took time out of his successful film career to present the Nescafe Big Break for Channel 10. The Nescafe Big Break is a scheme which offers $20,000 grants to young people who are big on talent but low on funds with which to realise their ambitions.

Crowe, who has been busy realising ambitions of his own with film roles opposite Sharon Stone and Bridget Fonda in the US, will hand out the gongs on the show which airs on November 30.

Other presenters of the Nescafe Big Break include Heartbreak High's latest recruit Ernie Dingo and singer Toni Pearen. and Neighbours stars Dan Falzon, Kimberley Davies and Richard Grieve.

NO DEALS YET

RUMOURS claiming the well-connected clothes horse Jennifer Flavin had signed to Channel 9's lifestyle program Getaway as guest reporter proved to be unfounded last week.

Industry sources said the model who dates Jamie Packer, son of Nine proprietor Kerry, would definitely appear on the travel show next year. But Getaway's executive producer David Lyle was cagey, saying: "I can't confirm or deny that. Who knows what will happen with Getaway next year? As far as(Flavin) is concerned, no deals have been made and no contracts have been signed."

BAD BREAK

HOME And Away's newest cast member Nicola Quilter has thrown production schedules into disarray due to an unfortunate accident. Quilter, who made her first appearance as Summer Bay's school counsellor Donna Bishop last Tuesday, fractured a bone in her foot on Wednesday morning.

The actress was securing her wall-mounted bed (she lives in one of those trendy shoe box-sized studio apartments) when it fell on her foot and she's been hobbling on crutches ever since.

This was pretty lousy timing as last week's scripts called for Quilter's character to spend most of her time on her feet. Maybe she misheard somebody telling her to break a leg.

CODY CONFIDENCE

DESPITE the average ratings drawn by the first Cody telemovie, Channel 7 has commissioned another three.

Cody: A Family Affair ran third in its time slot when it aired last month but Seven clearly has confidence in its star, Gary Sweet.

Seven already has two more completed Cody telemovies in the can and the three new films will go into production in May.

A WILLESEE AFFAIR

LIKE father, like son. National Nine News reporter Mike Willesee Jnr will follow in his father's footsteps when he joins A Current Affair later this month. Willesee Snr's company Trans Media created ACA and sold it to Nine in 1988. Willesee Snr returned to the program last year as co-host with Mike Munro, a move which resulted in a ratings dive for the show. The two Mikes were replaced by Ray Martin this year.

NAUGHTY ADS

THE commercial blitz continues. We've seen The World's Greatest Commercials on Channel 7 and The World's Best Commercials on Channel 9, now it's time for Channel 10's effort, Naughty Commercial Collections, which airs on November 22. Presented by Jasper Carrot, Naughty Commercial Collections will, according to Ten, feature some of the "most outrageous, naughtiest commercials from around the world."

Given the amazing popularity of these shows - with Nine's special winning 454,000 viewers and Seven's series drawing an average of 500,000 each week -Airwaves is beginning to wonder where it will all end.

 
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