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The Sydney Morning Herald

Hawkie back in the spotlight

Date: 08/03/2010
Words: 715
Source: SMH
          Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: The Guide
Page: 3
Former prime minister Bob Hawke and his partner Blanche d'Alpuget were spotted by an eagle-eyed local as they arrived at the Ten Network building in Pyrmont last week. Ten's official channels declined to elaborate but sources say the pair were attending a private screening of the new telemovie Hawke, which dramatises Hawke's political career. It stars Richard Roxburgh as Bob, Asher Keddie as Blanche, Rachael Blake as Hazel Hawke and Felix Williamson as Paul Keating. No air date has been set.


Today's Oscar-fest kicks off with red-carpet coverage of the 82nd annual Academy Awards from 10am on cable channel Movie Extra, followed by the ceremony on Channel Nine and Movie Extra from noon. Nine's team includes hosts Karl Stefanovic, Lisa Wilkinson and Richard Wilkins; Movie Extra's US coverage comes from reporter George Pennacchio, presenters Marc Brown and Michelle Tuzee and fashion designer Randolph Duke. Nine will air an edited replay from 9.30pm.


The highly anticipated miniseries The Pacific hits US TV screens on March 14 and will air in Australia not long after. The 10-part sequel to HBO's epic Band of Brothers has been produced by HBO, Dreamworks and the Seven Network and was filmed on location in Australia, including Queensland, the You Yangs in Victoria and Melbourne. The miniseries stars Joseph Mazzello, Jon Seda and James Badge Dale, plus a slew of Australian actors including Gary Sweet, Damon Herriman and Claire van der Boom.


Australia seems an unlikely place for a Doctor Who spin-off but the Ten Network and Australian production company Stewart & Wall Entertainment have produced the newest chapter of the Doctor Who franchise on the streets of suburban Brisbane. The series K-9 updates the look of the Doctor's iconic robot dog and is set in "near-future" London. It stars Philippa Coulthard and features the voice of John Leeson, who voiced K-9 in Doctor Who and the 1981 spin-off K-9 and Company. It launches on Ten in April.


The fourth season of Australia's Got Talent began filming in Sydney on the weekend, featuring new judges Kyle Sandilands and Brian McFadden alongside regular Dannii Minogue. The series will film shows in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane in the next three weeks before returning to base in Melbourne. Sandilands and McFadden replaced judges Red Symons and Tom Burlinson. The format is based on Britain's Got Talent, best known for launching the careers of singers Paul Potts and Susan Boyle.


Comedy duo and 2Day FM drivetime hosts Hamish Blake and Andy Lee have signed with Channel Ten to make an unspecified number of specials this year. The pair has a long history with Ten. In addition to guest spots on Rove, Joker Poker and Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?, they created and starred in the 2006 spoof current affairs show Real Stories and made three successful specials - Hamish and Andy: Re-Gifted (2008), Hamish & Andy's American Caravan of Courage (2009) and Another Very Early Christmas Special (2009).


The pay TV industry's annual Astra conference will have its eyes firmly fixed on the future when editor-in-chief Evan Hansen takes to the stage on March 18. The event, which will be held at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, will also feature the chief executive of digital ad agency Amnesia, Iain McDonald. The pair will explore "the implications of [digital] change for business, consumers and government".

Homecoming for Josephine

Josephine Mitchell (pictured) is joining the cast of the Seven Network series Home and Away as Jill, the "troubled mother" of local favourite Romeo (Luke Mitchell). She is best known to TV audiences as nurse Jo Loveday in the long-running drama A Country Practice. This is her second stint on Home and Away; in 1990 she played Jane Holland, the girlfriend of teacher Grant Mitchell (Craig McLachlan). Her first episodes air mid-year.

Matt cracks the US

Australian actor Matt Passmore (pictured) has booked a berth on the small screen in the US. The A&E channel has commissioned 13 episodes of Sugarloaf, in which Passmore plays a Chicago cop who escapes a scandal by moving to a small Florida town. The series will also star Kiele Sanchez (Lost) and Carlos Gomez (Shark). A pilot was filmed last year; the series will be filmed in Miami.

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