OUT BOX OF THE

The lat­est tele­vi­sion news from Kylie Miller and Dar­ren Devlyn

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Guide -

Col­lette a Spiel­berg hit

FRIENDS and fam­ily of Aussie ac­tor Yvonne Stra­hovski (left) will have to wait for her de­but on Aus­tralian tele­vi­sion in US drama se­ries Chuck. The off­beat action com­edy, about a com­puter geek (Zachary Levi) who in­ad­ver­tently down­loads top-se­cret gov­ern­ment files into his brain, was co-cre­ated by Josh Schwartz, the brains be­hind Gos­sip Girl and The O.C. Syd­ney-born Stra­hovski, who has ap­peared in Seven’s short-lived soap opera Head­land and Ten’s Black­Jack tele­movie Dead Mem­ory, co-stars as a CIA agent as­signed to man­age him. The pro­gram was sched­uled to pre­miere on Fox8 on Jan­uary 21 but has now been bumped to later this year. AUS­TRALIAN ac­tor Toni Col­lette (right) is at­tract­ing good re­views for her star­ring role as a wife and mother with as­so­cia­tive iden­tity dis­or­der in a drama se­ries from Steven Spiel­berg. The United States of Tara pre­mieres in the US on Sun­day night. Col­lette’s per­for­mance slips be­tween four per­son­al­i­ties, in­clud­ing T, a tarty, pot-smok­ing teenager; Buck, a gun-tot­ing Viet­nam vet; and Alice, a home­maker who thinks that bak­ing is the an­swer to all the world’s ills. ‘‘By turns ooz­ing sex­u­al­ity, vul­ner­a­bil­ity and con­fu­sion, Toni Col­lette gives Show­time’s lat­est half-hour its buoy­ant pulse,’’ Va­ri­ety says. The se­ries was cre­ated and writ­ten by Di­ablo Cody, who won an Os­car for the movie Juno, and deals with how the fam­ily copes with the var­i­ous per­son­al­i­ties. Col­lette says: ‘‘It’s about em­brac­ing all that’s dif­fer­ent. I grav­i­tate to things that you can’t fit in a box and I think this show is many things. It’s in­cred­i­bly funny, it’s dark, mov­ing, con­fronting, it’s ou­tra­geous.’’

Stra­hovski’s Chuck stop

Can­ni­bal show saluted

A DARK ABC drama­ti­sa­tion of the bar­baric events sur­round­ing an es­cape from Tas­ma­nia’s Sarah Is­land pe­nal colony has been short-listed for an award in the 6th An­nual Ir­ish Film and Tele­vi­sion Awards. The Last Con­fes­sion of Alexan­der Pearce, which screened in Ire­land last month, is up for a gong in the sin­gle drama/drama se­rial cat­e­gory of the awards, be­ing held in Dublin on Fe­bru­ary 14. It stars Ciaran McMe­namin as Alexan­der Pearce, who was hanged for eat­ing his fel­low es­capees af­ter they broke out of the bru­tal prison. It pre­mieres on ABC1 on Sun­day Jan­uary 25. And as Aus­tralia’s ver­sion ap­pears to have breathed its last with the scrap­ping of Chan­nel 10’s Christ­mas Panel last year, its Ir­ish coun­ter­part is thriv­ing— The Panel is up for Best En­ter­tain­ment pro­gram, its fourth nom­i­na­tion in the

cat­e­gory. THE Nine Net­work has picked up the rights to the con­tem­po­rary Bri­tish ‘‘reimag­in­ing’’ of Sur­vivors, a post-apoc­a­lyp­tic drama adapted from Terry Na­tion’s novel. Set in the present day, the se­ries fo­cuses on the af­ter­math of a dev­as­tat­ing virus that wipes out

Down by the river

FIRST he climbed moun­tains on ABC1. Now ac­tor and co­me­dian Griff Rhys Jones is set to ex­plore rivers in a five-part se­ries be­ing shot in the UK. River Jour­neys with Griff Rhys Jones takes view­ers on a trip to see how rivers— the lifeblood of many na­tions— have in­flu­enced and pow­ered hu­man lives.

Nine hopes virus will catch on

most of the world’s pop­u­la­tion. The se­ries, which was a hit for the BBC when it pre­miered in Novem­ber, stars Julie Gra­ham, Max Beesley, Nikki Amuka-Bird and Pater­son Joseph. Nine has not yet sched­uled it. Sur­vivors was first adapted for Bri­tish tele­vi­sion in the 1970s.

For lonely trav­ellers

MEL­BOURNE-BASED Lonely Planet Tele­vi­sion is pro­duc­ing a new travel se­ries to screen on the Na­tional Ge­o­graphic Chan­nel. Sean Cousins, whose cred­its in­clude the ABC’s Fam­ily Foot­steps, is pro­duc­ing the 13-part ob­ser­va­tional doc­u­men­tary se­ries Lonely Planet: Roads Less Trav­elled, which fol­lows Lonely Planet au­thors to re­mote des­ti­na­tions. Lonely Planet and Na­tional Ge­o­graphic also teamed on Six De­grees, fea­tur­ing Asha Gill and Toby Amies, which has since screened around the world.

New Cun­dall can re­ally talk

AS GAR­DEN­ING Aus­tralia en­ters its 20th year on ABC Tele­vi­sion, a new host is step­ping into the mud-caked boots va­cated last year by Peter Cun­dall, who has re­tired. Stephen Ryan (left) will make his de­but when the se­ries re­turns on Jan­uary 31 by in­tro­duc­ing view­ers to his own gar­den at Mt Mace­don. It’s a busy few weeks for the au­thor, broad­caster and hor­ti­cul­tur­ist, who flew to the US at the week­end for a two-week lec­ture tour talk­ing about gar­den­ing in south­east Aus­tralia.

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