The ABC's Dimensions series will break in a couple of weeks and take a rest
over summer. But when the 6.30pm weeknight line-up resumes in 2002, the Monday
show, Media Dimensions, won't be back. While further changes to Dimensions might
still be announced, the one that seems safe is Tuesday night's Health
Dimensions. Word is also that there will be a new media program on the ABC early
next year, and there are no gold stars for guessing what that might be: stand
by for the return of Media Watch.
Wood laid bare
Gordon Chater made the role his own many years ago, but now Blue Heelers star
John Wood is taking to the stage to strut his stuff. Literally. He'll take
leave of Heelers' cop Tom Croydon to star in a production of Steven J. Spears'
one-man show, The Elocution of Benjamin Franklin, at the Sydney Opera House in
January. The play famously features a nude scene in its opening act.
A team reunion
While Ten was cheering the ratings for Young Talent Time Tells All - the
special reached number six in the national top 20 - some former members of the
Young Talent Time team were holding a celebration of their own. In a reunion
initiated by Dannii Minogue, who flew in from London to organise the event, 15
YTT members, along with Johnny Young and several others associated with show,
hugged and reminisced at the Gin Palace on Sunday night. Among those snapping
photos, swapping recollections and making speeches at what was quite an
emotional occasion were Tina Arena (who flew in from Paris), John Bowles, who
presented the special, and Karen Knowles. Young took took the opportunity to say
the thank yous he never got the chance to say publicly, as there wasn't a YTT
farewell show. And, given Ten's success with the special, stay tuned: there just
might be a sequel.
Shock for Stan
TV beast and radio loudmouth Stan Zemanek will play himself in the first
episode of the second series of TV1's Shock Jock. In the radio-station comedy,
Zemanek is wooed by the station's flirtatious new owner, Ruth Sharp (Fiona
Todd). The new series is expected on air in the first half of 2002.
Signs of Life
Shooting has started at the Global studios in Nunawading on the pilot for a
new legal series, Life. Written by Roger Simpson and produced by Simpson Le
Mesurier, Life stars Vince Colosimo (Lantana), Nicholas Bell (Stingers, The
Games), Damian Walshe-Howling (The Secret Life of Us, Blue Heelers), Nadia
Townsend, Blair Venn and Susan Lyons. Life is one of several pilots commissioned
by Ten's drama chief, Sue Masters, and if it works well, could develop into a
series. David Cameron is directing and the telemovie is due on air in mid-2002.
Good cop, bad cop
It wasn't all bad hats and Holdens screaming 'round the suburban streets. A
new 104-minute video produced by ScreenSound Australia, the National Screen and
Sound Archive, showcases Australian police dramas, from 1964's long-running
Homicide to 2000's short-lived Above the Law. Narrated by former TV cop Terry
McDermott and covering commercial television productions from 1956 to 2000,
Cops, Spies & Private Eyes takes in the crime genre in all its forms, from Bud
Tingwell as American detective Al Munch, to James Bond-style spy Hunter
(``played by ruggedly handsome Tony Ward"), to Gary Sweet as Cody and Rebecca
Gibney as Halifax. The PG-rated video will be launched on November13. For
further information, try the website: www.screensound.gov.au
Coming up next
The host of a coming SBS Television series called The Trailer, Sandy George,
jokes that life is lived at such a fast pace these days that soon we'll just
watch the trailers and skip the movie. The four-part series takes an irreverent
look at the Australian cinema trailer's progression from time-filler to slick
marketing tool. The series will be in production over the next few weeks and on
air next year.
Fun times in Fiji
Keep your eyes on the blade of James Freemantle's oar. That's the hot tip for
the Postcards Fiji special, which airs on Channel Nine on November 17 at
7.30pm. James and the show's host, Geoff Cox, look at the island nation's
culture, which finds nudity offensive. Of course, James has found the one spot -
a sandbank off Treasure Island - where nude sunbathing is allowed. The sandbank
is also a place where beach weddings take place. James paddles out in a kayak
to investigate. Meanwhile, Coxy, Nikki McCarthy and Livinia Nixon live it up at
the archipelago's most exclusive resorts.
Russell Crowe will present an hour-long special, musicMaximus!, for the pay
TV channel musicMax. Set to premiere on December 2, the show will see the
Oscar-winning actor talking about music and his band, 30Odd Foot of Grunt.
There is a growing core of wannabe stars auditioning for serial reality
shows. Ben Taylor from series one of The Mole was spotted auditioning for Nine's
latest fantasy-reality program Chains of Love. The show offers a new way to
find love - chain yourself to four strangers - and also attracted many of the
hopefuls who auditioned for Big Brother and Single Girls. It seems some people
are determined to get more than their 15 minutes of fame.
Twenty-six singles and four couples will film the Australian series of
Temptation Island in Fiji this month. Seven has not yet chosen a host for the
series, which will air next year.
The former Doogie Howser MD is taking a trip to Stuckeyville. Neil Patrick
Harris, who played the young genius and title character in the early '90s comedy
drama, and who also starred in Starship Troopers and the short-lived sitcom
Stark Raving Mad, will make an appearance in Ed as a romantic rival for the
bowling-alley based lawyer.
And another thing ...
Getaway crew get together
It's a big wide world and, over 10 years, the Getaway team has seen a lot of
it: elephant orphanages in Sri Lanka, art deco hotels in Marrakesh, trains
through the Rockies, swimming with whale sharks, roller-coaster rides and
rodeos. To mark the show's 10th anniversary, tonight's special (Channel Nine at
7.30pm) reunites four former reporters - Rebecca Harris, Jeff Watson, Lochie
Daddo and Tina Dalton - with the current crew of Catriona Rowntree, Ben Dark,
Sorrel Wilby, David Reyne and Brendon Julian. Each recalls a favorite story. The
sight of a terrified Ben Dark being forced to fling himself from the highest
bungee jump in the Southern Hemisphere is almost enough to make a viewer believe
that it just might not be the best job on TV. And if you can't remember the
story about the zorb, here's where you find out what it is, how to use it and
why it made Lochie Daddo sick.