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The Sydney Morning Herald

Search begins for fresh geeks

Author: Michael Idato
Date: 16/11/2009
Words: 708
Source: SMH
          Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: The Guide
Page: 2
Seven has begun casting the net ahead of a potential second series of its reality series Beauty and the Geek. There is no official word on a second series but sources tell the Guide the network's programming department was happy with the result of the first. No surprise there  it launched to an audience just over the million mark but built in subsequent weeks to an average weekly audience of about 1.2 million. The series is hosted by Home and Away star Bernard Curry.

CAREERS GET A NUDGE

Underbelly has already demonstrated its knack for rediscovering Australian TV talent, most notably former Home and Away poster boys Les Hill and Daniel Amalm. The third instalment of Nine's true-crime drama franchise has already signed Dieter Brummer (Home and Away) and Diarmid Heidenreich ("Dougie the Pizza Boy") but the Guide's eagle eye on set spotted another former pin-up: Chris Truswell, best known as Hey Dad's Nudge. Truswell is playing the role of Detective Senior Constable Bobby Flood.

LEAVE IT TO ERNIE

Seven has commissioned a new lifestyle and travel series to launch over summer. The show, No Leave, No Life, will be produced by Endemol Southern Star and hosted by Ernie Dingo. In a tale writ large from our times, it will follow people who have accrued blocks of holiday leave and have been asked by their employer to take time off. The gimmick? While the series packs its subject off on holiday with Dingo, a comedian  Colin Lane (Lano & Woodley), Corrine Grant (Glass House), Paul McCarthy (Double Take) and others  will cover for them at work.

JAY HITS SUMMER BAY

Former Water Rats star Jay Laga'aia is joining Home and Away, donning a clerical collar to play Summer Bay's new pastor, Reverend Elijah Johnson. Laga'aia has already started filming on the top-rating soap and will make his first on-air appearance in January. According to Seven, he quickly finds romance with the previously unlucky-in-love Leah (Ada Nicodemou). In addition to his gig on Play School, Laga'aia is known to film audiences as Captain Typho in the Star Wars franchise.

CROSSOVER CLEAN SWEEP

Nine will screen a three-part crossover storyline in CSI, CSI:Miami and CSI:NY this week. The story features all three investigative teams working on the one case, with CSI star Laurence Fishburne making guest appearances in episodes of CSI: Miami and CSI: NY as Dr Raymond Langston before resolving the case in an episode of CSI. In the US, all three episodes were part of a major programming stunt for the US network CBS during the November "sweeps" (the month-long period when ratings are used to set ad rates) but Nine will screen all three in a single "event" on Thursday, November 19.

SOUNDLY DEFEATED

TV's sole entrant in the ARIA best soundtrack category has lost out to the critically acclaimed film Balibo. The score for the ABC drama East of Everything was nominated against those of the films Son of a Lion, Samson & Delilah, Beautiful Kate and Balibo. The winner of the award, along with other fine arts categories, is announced ahead of the main ARIA broadcast, to air on November 26 on Nine. The telecast of the 23rd annual ARIA Awards will be hosted by Gyton Grantley and Kate Ritchie.

Ferguson hits new mark

Seven's freshly recruited newsreader Mark Ferguson (pictured) starts work on-air on Saturday, November 28. Ferguson jettisoned himself from a long career at Nine after a brief  but not brief enough  posting to the doomed news magazine show This Afternoon. Ferguson replaces Chris Bath as Seven's weekend newsreader, leaving her free to replace outgoing weekday newsreader Ian Ross. Ross's final newscast will air on November 27.

Charity rules

Onscreen rivalries will be put aside for a day later this month as teams from television and radio compete in the fifth annual Harvey Norman Charity Media Challenge. The annual AFL "friendly" is held to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation. It will feature teams from Ten, Nine, Seven, SBS, the ABC, Fox Sports and radio groups DMG, ARN and Austereo with celebrity team captains including Dr Chris Brown (pictured), Laurie Daley, Bill Woods, Hazem El Masri, Karl Stefanovic and Tom Williams. Last year's game was won by Seven. It will be held on Sunday, November 29, at the SCG.

 
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