Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: The Guide
Filming began last week on the ABC's 22-part series Crownies, which follows the work and private lives of lawyers at the office of the Department of Public Prosecution. The series is produced by Screentime's Karl Zwicky (The Killing of Caroline Byrne) and the cast includes Todd Lasance (Cloudstreet, Home and Away), Hamish Michael (Spirited, City Homicide), Marta Dusseldorp (Blackjack, Hell Has Harbour Views) and Jerome Ehlers (Packed to the Rafters). Directors include Tony Tilse, Chris Noonan and Cherie Nowlan. Crownies is the ABC's first long-form drama since MDA ended in 2005 and will air later this year.WATCH THE DOLLARS DROPChannel Nine has commissioned Southern Star Entertainment to make10 local episodes of the British game show format The Money Drop, to be renamed the The Million Dollar Drop. The game sees contestants receive prize money at the start of the show and to keep it, they must place it on the trapdoor displaying the correct answer. If the money is placed on the wrong trapdoor, it's lost. The game show will air on Nine late this year.KATE, JEN PACK SUITCASESSinger Kate Ceberano and former Miss Universe and Seven personality Jennifer Hawkins have joined Nine's long-running travel show Getaway. The pair join regular presenters Catriona Rowntree, Natalie Gruzlewski, Kelly Landry, Jules Lund, Dermott Brereton and Jason Dundas, although Rowntree will be off for much of the season as she is about to give birth to her second child. Ceberano's first segment will appearnext month.STEP INTO SANDALSAustralian actor Liam McIntyre (The Pacific) has been picked to replace Andy Whitfield as the star of the US series Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Whitfield was diagnosed with a non-Hodgkin lymphoma while series two was being written and is unable to continue in the role. The series is shot in New Zealand and also stars Lucy Lawless and John Hannah.FUTURE LOOKS GREYAustralian actress Rachael Taylor (Transformers), whose acrimonious split with boyfriend Matthew Newton created headlines last year, made her first appearance as a doctor on Grey's Anatomy in the US this month. The episode will air here on Seven about Easter time.WOMEN'S SECOND ASSAULTThe ABC has bought the second season of the British period drama Land Girls, which follows four girls who join the Women's Land Army during World War II. The ABC already owns series one, which aired in Britain in 2009. No airdate has been set for the two seasons, which together comprise 10 episodes.NO GLEE FROM GUNNERActress Anne Hathaway is the latest star to secure herself a guest spot on Glee after approaching creator Ryan Murphy at last week's Golden Globe awards. But not everyone is a fan of the show. When former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash was asked in a recent interview whether he could foresee a Guns N' Roses-themed episode of Glee, he replied, "I draw the line at Glee. Glee is worse than Grease and Grease is bad enough ... I look at Grease now and think, between High School Musical and Glee, Grease was a brilliant work of art."Into the flamin' DesertSeven's long-running soap Home and Away returns this week for a 23rd year, with Cornelia Frances reprising the role of MoragBellingham, which she has played on and off since 1988. Her return continues the trend of reintroducing legacy characters to the show, with Emily Symons returning as Marilyn Chambers last year and Georgie Parker playing an adult version of the character Roo. One face viewers won't see so much of this year is that of original cast member Ray Meagher (pictured), who has taken time off from the show to appear in the West End production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.Courting the globeThe ABC drama Rake, produced by Essential Media and starring Richard Roxburgh (pictured) as dissolute barrister Cleaver Greene, has been sold to France, Canada, Denmark, Asia and eastern Europe. Meanwhile, a second series is in development for the ABC and is expected to air early next year.
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