OUT BOX OF THE
Dicko’s soap bubble
IAN Dickson (right), who is revelling in his judging role on the new season of Australian Idol, is about to find out if he can act. Dickson has been in negotiations with the producers of Neighbours for a guest appearance on the iconic Aussie soap.
Woodwards fit The Bill
LOOK out for a special episode of long-running ABC drama The Bill on September 20. It features acting heavyweight Edward Woodward, his son Tim and grandson Sam. It’s the first time the Woodward boys have worked together.
Moon and the stars
YOU know TV is a tough industry when you miss out on a role playing yourself in a TV comedy that you co-created and co-wrote. That’s almost the situation facing longtime Melbourne comedy writer Brendan Luno in a new eight-part sitcom Whatever Happened to That Guy?, which starts filming in Melbourne this month. Starring and co-written by comedian Peter Moon, the series centres on a fictionalised version of Moon’s life as an ex-B-grade celebrity, says Luno, who has worked with Moon since the pair teamed up on Fast Forward. Luno was shortlisted for the role of Bruno, Moon’s long-time writing partner, but director Ted Emery cast Scottish actor Paul Ireland instead. But all is not lost, with Luno hoping his nine-year-old son Joshua will still land a role. ‘‘I will just have to live my pathetic showbiz dreams through my son,’’ he jokes. The series is being co-produced by Moon’s company and Ruby Entertainment’s Steve Luby for the Comedy Channel.
Worth a laugh
HIGH-profile comedians including Dave Hughes, Rove McManus, Adam Richard and Corinne Grant have thrown their weight behind a benefit to raise money for Channel 31’s new comic variety show Studio A. The Spectacular Comedy Fundraiser will be held at Richmond’s Corner Hotel on September 17, featuring a strong line-up of stars, many of whom launched their careers on Channel 31 series such as The Loft. Studio A series producer Ged Wood, who also worked on The Loft, says organisers hope to raise a few thousands dollars to help finance the new series, which is being produced by RMITV and premieres on October 9. Tickets are available through the pub.
Partner in life
IT’S been a busy year for actor Rodger Corser with leading roles in Underbelly and the new Channel 10 drama Rush, along with the Emmynominated multimedia campaign promoting the latest season of Lost. But of his many co-stars one stands out as a favourite— his wife, Renae Berry, who plays his on-screen ex-girlfriend in a forthcoming episode of Rush. It’s only a small scene but hopefully she’ll be able to come back in the future, Corser says. Berry also appears in the first episode of Nine’s new drama series, The Strip.
Showing off Aussie talent
DISTRIBUTION company Southern Star International has high hopes for its drama slate at the forthcoming international TV market, MIPCOM, where it will sell new Aussie dramas Packed to the Rafters, Rush and City Homicide, along with a raft of factual programming. The chief executive of Southern Star International, Cathy Payne, says Australian drama is again selling well overseas after a lull of several years. ‘‘Australian drama really works well when they can play it daytime,’’ Payne says. ‘‘It’s got to have flexibility. McLeod’s Daughters works because you know exactly what you’re getting and Water Rats still sells.’’ Packed to the Rafters sold to New Zealand sight-unseen as a broad-based family drama to replace McLeod’s Daughters, which winds up this year.
Every dog has its day
WRITING has begun on a second series of Wilfred for SBS, but the manipulative canine creation of Adam Zwar and Jason Gann may also be headed overseas. The creators have been approached by producers who are interested in the format for the German market, centred on a petulant pooch named Wolfgang.
Cooking up a treat
THE humble little cookbook that became a bestseller for enterprising home cooks Kim McCosker and Rachael Bermingham, 4 Ingredients, launches in its small-screen format next week on the Lifestyle Channel. The book and series follow the premise that you can make easy, affordable and healthy meals using four or fewer ingredients. It premieres on September 11 at 7.30pm.