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The Sydney Morning Herald

Sea Patrol to go out with a bang

Author: Michael Idato
Date: 25/10/2010
Words: 651
Source: SMH
          Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: The Guide
Page: 2
Sea Patrol will sail into its fifth season with a stellar list of guest stars. Signing up for Nine's navy drama are Ditch Davey (Blue Heelers), Diarmid Heidenreich (Underbelly), Pia Miranda (Looking for Alibrandi), Myles Pollard (McLeod's Daughters) and Nicholas Bell (The Games). A production tax rebate that is one of the show's major funding sources expires after 65 episodes, which means the fifth season, which takes it to 68 one-hour episodes, will be the last. The series has been sold to NBC Universal-owned channels in Britain, Australia, Russia, Poland and Greece, plus RAI in Italy. It will air on Nine next year.


The Comedy Channel will film the first episode of its new series The Statesmen of Comedy in Melbourne this week. The series is fronted by Trevor Marmalade and will feature a rotating group of guest comedians. The series is being produced for Foxtel by Eddie McGuire's company McGuire Media and will be executive produced by former Nine executive Cos Cardone.


Home and Away's love affair with legacy characters isn't stopping with the casting of Georgie Parker as grown-up bad girl Roo Stewart. Alex Papps, who played Frank Morgan, has joined the show's writing staff. Papps's episode airs this Wednesday and centres around Marilyn's (Emily Symons) tarot-card readings and dreams, plus a push to ban water bottles in the bay. Papps is not planning on abandoning acting entirely, however; he is starring in the Melbourne Theatre Company's Becky Shaw.


The independent production company Quail Television (Find My Family) has hired writer-producer Rick Kalowski (Comedy Inc, Double Take) as creative director, overseeing several new projects and expanding the company from its core stable of factual programs. Kalowski's first projects include a new drama and several comedies, as well as existing projects Send in the Dogs Australia for Nine and an as-yet-unannounced reality series for Seven.


The Britain-based cable channel Good Food has commissioned a new series featuring Australian restaurateur Bill Granger. Bill's Tasty Weekends is a 10-part, one-hour series that will follow Granger as he heads off "on a series of gastronomic weekend breaks". The series is being produced by the British production company Optomen, whose culinary credits include Ramsay's Best Restaurant, Heston's Feasts and Kitchen Nightmares USA.


The last leg of MasterChef Australia's national audition tour lands in Sydney this week, with producers summoning the lucky contenders from the thousands of applicants who have pinned their culinary hopes on a berth in the third instalment of Ten's ratings juggernaut. A Ten staffer says the application pool has been broad, including a social worker, a paediatrician, several machinists and even a fighter pilot. The new series launches next year.


Production begins next month on the History Channel's new Australian modern history series, Tony Robinson Digs Australia. The six-part, one-hour series follows Tony Robinson, best known for his portrayal of Baldrick in Blackadder, around Australia exploring "locations where deeds great and grotesque, heralded and hidden, took place". The series will be filmed in November and December by WTFN Entertainment and will air next year.

Corr heads into the Rafters

Actor Ryan Corr (pictured) will join the regular cast of Seven's drama Packed to the Rafters next year. Corr has guest starred this year as Coby Jennings, a rough-diamond cousin to the Rafter family. Corr has also been nominated for the IF Out of the Box Award for emerging TV talent. His credits include Blue Water High and Underbelly: The Golden Mile.

Weaving a tight circle

How small is the acting world? Ask actor Hugo Weaving (pictured), who has filmed a guest role in the first episode of Richard Roxburgh's new ABC drama, Rake. Weaving is also narrating I Spry, which will air after Rake, and is starring with Rake's lead actor Roxburgh in a Sydney stage production of Uncle Vanya.

Rake kicks off November 4.

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