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The Age


Date: 08/11/2001
Words: 1157
          Publication: The Age
Section: Green Guide
Page: 6
Changing Dimensions

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:

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.

Crowe call

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.

Serial contestants

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.

More Temptations

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.

Doogie returns

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.

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