OUT BOX OF THE
The latest television news from Kylie Miller and Darren Devlyn
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.