OUT BOX OF THE
The latest television news from Kylie Miller and Darren Devlyn
British stars Down Under
MARRIED British actors Dougray Scott (right) and Claire Forlani, along with Aussies Richard Roxburgh and Rachael Blake, have landed the lead roles in a new drama from the producers of Underbelly. Filming has begun in Sydney on the four-hour mini-series False Witness, set against a backdrop of international tension and bickering intelligence agencies. Scott plays a British diplomat brought to Australia under the international witness protection program and Forlani plays his wife. The drama for UKTV was written by Ronan Glennane, Nell Greenwood and Peter Gawler for Screentime. Greg Haddrick is the producer and Peter Andrikidis is directing.
Love another way
WITH a second series of the Showtime drama Satisfaction poised to start filming, the pay-TV channel is now casting a second Melbourne drama series, this one from the creators of Love My Way. Love My Way star Claudia Karvan (above) will not appear in the new drama. She will be starring in Saved, a twohour drama for SBS, from director Tony Ayres. Karvan plays a married woman who falls passionately in love with a young Iranian refugee she saves from detention.
CHANNEL 7 has sold its hit observational doco series Border Security to the US, with the ABC network commissioning 11 episodes looking at its homeland security services. Border Security USA will be based on the Australian version, and takes in several agencies including the US Coast Guard, the Secret Services, Customs and the Border Patrol. Seven is expected to screen the US series after it airs there.
Hosts shift into Gear
AFTER an intensive national search, SBS has named its hosts for Top Gear Australia. Jumping behind the wheel are UK-based motoring commentator and former race driver Charlie Cox, cartoonist and motoring columnist Warren Brown and Melbourne driving instructor and race driver Steve Pizzati. The series goes into production soon. AUSSIE actor Matt Day (left), who has just finished shooting the Melbourne feature My Year Without Sex, pops up this month on the fifth season of Spooks, which is finally screening on the ABC. Day plays agent Neil Sternin, but, judging by the character’s early behaviour, he’s not going to last long. Day also has a guest role in Channel 9’s forthcoming drama Secret Diary of a Call Girl, starring Billie Piper. IT SEEMS their testing has paid off, with news that Melbourne production company Working Dog will go ahead with its latest idea, a six-part comedy series for the ABC. The Hollowmen is a political comedy/drama based on the workings of a think tank set up by the Prime Minister to advise on a long-term policy vision. Sound familiar? ABC director of television Kim Dalton says fans of Working Dog’s hit media-industry comedy Frontline will love The Hollowmen. Casting has started for the series, which will be filmed in Melbourne and Canberra.
Day’s Spooks debut
Dog hard at work
Robin bobbin’ up in SVU
ROBIN Williams’ return to the small screen will be a long way from his comedic television debut as the loveable alien Mork in the 1970s. The Oscar-winning actor guest stars in tomorrow’s episode of Law & Order: SVU. SVU executive producer Neal Baer says one of the show’s stars, Richard Belzer, pulled a few strings to get Williams to play the role in the 200th episode. Williams appears as an audio engineer who has a problem with authority and manipulates people to do his dirty work.
ER winding up
THE final series of iconic medical drama ER is in production, with executive producer David Zabel hoping to nail an impressive list of guest stars. Noah Wyle (left) has said he’ll reprise his role as Dr Carter for four episodes, but we’re still waiting to hear whether Julianna Margulies and George Clooney will return. THE ABC has announced a new concept for ABC Kids Television. In Escape from Scorpion Island, 16 British and Australian kids aged between 11 and 14 are marooned on an exotic island and compete in teams to be the first to conquer the island and learn how to escape from it. After a call for contestants a fortnight ago, there have been more than 21,000 web views and more than 10,000 entryform downloads.The first series of Escape from Scorpion Island was filmed in Brazil and was produced by UK-based media group RDF for the BBC. The next two series will be filmed back to back in Australia. Escape from Scorpion Island is an RDF Media/Freehand production for BBC and ABC-TV.
Kids scramble to be marooned