OUT BOX OF THE
Dancing off to Hollywood
NATALIE Bassingthwaighte (right) flexed her acting muscles in yet-to-be released Australian film Prey and now she’s ready to tackle Hollywood. The 33-year-old So You Think You Can Dance Australia host has spent the past two years trying to find time to get to Los Angeles, but has been busy fronting the Rogue Traders and focusing on her solo career. Signed to top Hollywood agency International Creative Management, Bassingthwaighte says when her commitments on SYTYCDA end in the middle of this year she will head to Hollywood to explore acting opportunities. ‘‘If I don’t do it now I’m not going to do it,’’ she says. ‘‘I want to do the family thing and have babies. I want to live that life as well. So going to Hollywood is one of the final things on my list to achieve.’’ As for her music career, the petite blonde says her days of spinning around in hotpants will soon end. ‘‘I definitely can’t be wearing hotpants forever . . . that is nearly over,’’ she says.
Cop turns lawbreaker
JANE Allsop (left), who played cop Jo Parrish in the longrunning Blue Heelers, is making a return to the world of police dramas. Allsop has filmed a role in Channel 7’s City Homicide, but word from the set is that this time Allsop plays a character on the wrong side of the law. It’s Allsop’s first TV role since her outstanding portrayal of Graham Kennedy’s sidekick Noeline Brown in the telemovie The King. Meanwhile, Sunday’s City Homicide features Brett Climo as Victor Carling, a successful lawyer who represents a murder suspect.
Farmer’s on fertile ground
A FEW city girls’ noses are likely to be put out of joint when it’s revealed one of their competitors on reality dating show Farmer Wants A Wife is an old flame of one of the eligible farmers. Wife-seeking farmer Paul, 36, of New South Wales, is surprised in the first episode when Bridie, 33, rolls up to meet him. ‘‘I haven’t seen Bridie for 10 years. She’s an old friend of mine,’’ Paul says. ‘‘She’s a beautiful person inside and out. I thought that back then and still think that now.’’ Looks as though this farmer has some tough decisions to make. Time will tell if the girls’ claws come out.
Undercover in the mafia
GANGS Of Oz, Channel 7’s docudrama series attempting to cash in on the success of Underbelly, is set to reveal its own take on the Australian mafia. The second episode of Gangs of Oz, titled The Aussie Mafia: Inside The Family, provides insight into the mob through a former undercover police officer who embedded himself in the dangerous world of drugs, sex and murder. His work revealed information that led to some of Australia’s biggest drug busts.
So you think you can outrage?
ANDREW Denton is on the lookout for undiscovered young talent. Denton’s production company, Zapruder’s Other Films, has begun its search for creative young people for the reality series Project NEXT. Producers are seeking ‘‘original thinkers with a view about what’s happening in the world’’. Denton says: ‘‘We’re looking for people keen to rattle some cages and receive mail beginning with the words, ‘Dear Sir or Madam, I have never been so outraged in all my life’. It’s not only on-air talent we’re after. This is a great opportunity for a new and talented team, across several disciplines, to build a TV and web program from the ground up.’’ The 10-episode Project NEXT will screen later this year on ABC1, ABC2, the web, mobile phones and online. Applicants should be aged 18-30. For more details visit projectnext.net.au Applications close March 16.
Fishing for viewers
CHANNEL 9 is pinning its hopes on the continued success of hit franchise CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Much, however, depends on viewer reaction to Laurence Fishburne (left) replacing William Petersen as leading man. The show returns on February 22, with Fishburne making his first appearance three episodes in. When Petersen’s final episode screened in the US, it attracted 24.25 million viewers.
Time to go troppo
THE world’s largest short-film festival, Tropfest, will be broadcast live on Foxtel’s Movie Extra channel. You can watch all 16 finalist films and see the winner announced on February 22. Adam Hills and Spicks and Specks colleague Alan Brough host the event.
Can’t tell a lie
GOOD news for Channel 10. New US drama Lie To Me scored excellent first-week figures in Australia, averaging 1.5 million viewers nationally. More importantly, the Tim Roth show is doing solid figures in the US. Last week, Lie to Me averaged about 13 million viewers, ensuring it will stay in production. Ten’s other new US drama, Life on Mars, isn’t doing as well in the US, with six million viewers. It averaged a healthy 1.2 million viewers for Ten in its debut here.