OUT BOX OF THE
The latest television news from Kylie Miller and Darren Devlyn
COULD Ten’s new series Guerrilla Gardeners be the first major casualty of the new ratings season? Ten says not and for now, at least, is standing by the series, which drew a dismal 687,000 viewers nationally when it was launched at 8pm last Wednesday. The launch wasn’t helped by the slump in ratings for The Biggest Loser, which attracted 848,000 viewers between 7pm and 8pm. Ten hopes word of mouth and the publicity generated last week by the outraged response of a Sydney council when the guerrilla gardeners set to work in Sutherland Shire will help bolster its audience. The series follows a team of gardeners around the country as they make over— without the permission of owners or local councils— public eyesores. The network has commissioned 24 episodes of the series, most of which are complete.
O’Brien’s law caught
HE IS carving up Australian TV screens as Sydney crime boss George Freeman in Underbelly, but Peter O’Brien (left) steps to the other side of the law as an emancipist lawyer in the ABC’s historical docudrama Rogue Nation. The two-part series is set in Australia’s early years and looks at the rogues and rascals who helped establish the nation. Geoff Morrell and John Wood co-star in the two-parter, which premieres on March 15. O’Brien’s episode screens on March 22.
Guerrillas in the missed
Penguins on parade
THE tiny stars of Phillip Island will feature in an international natural history series. Filming has begun on Penguin Island, a six-part documentary series centred on Victoria’s famous colony of small penguins. ABC Television says the series will combine the strengths of drama and documentary as viewers follow the lives of three penguin couples, and the rangers and researchers who work with them. Though penguins are said to mate for life, relationships can be fraught, affairs are common and danger lurks around every corner. Camera crews will be on the island for several months capturing the action for the series, which will also screen in France and on BBC1. Sally Ingleton is producing. DESPITE the controversy and criticism generated by the first series of Aussie Ladette to Lady and a dramatic drop in ratings last week, Channel 9 is going ahead with a second season and is looking for new ladettes. The casting call seeks party animals and domestic disasters who believe they can outdo the ladettes in series one with their foul mouths and drinking habits. Filming begins on the new series in early April. Visit
Top US chef on a mission
NEW York chef and food author Anthony Bourdain (left) travelled through Victoria last month sampling local foods and filming a Victorian episode for his travel food series No Reservations. Now in its fifth season, the series screens on the Travel Channel in the US and centres on Bourdain’s belief that what people eat reveals much about their culture.
Hunt for more ladettes
www.ninemsn.com.au/ladette for details. Ladette shed a whopping 500,000 viewers in 24 hours last week to 841,000 viewers when it was shifted from Monday night to Tuesday night, having lost its Underbelly lead-in. THE double-length RocKwiz episode filmed two weeks ago at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl will screen on SBS on March 7. RocKwiz Salutes the Bowl pays tribute to the bowl’s 50-year history and includes 13 performances by artists such as Paul Kelly (left), Dave Faulkner, Lisa Miller and the Delltones.
Nun’s tragic story
Kwiz’s super Bowl
MELBOURNE filmmakers Sally Ingleton and Mark Gould flew to India this week to host a special screening of their SBS documentary Murder in the Snow for the Tibetan government-in-exile and for the young Tibetan students who appear in the film. The film tells the story of the murder by Chinese border guards of a 17-year-old Tibetan nun as she tried to cross the border to visit the Dalai Lama, and the climbers who witnessed the shooting. The filmmakers have set up the Kelso Namtso Fund, named after the murdered nun, to raise money for the education of the Tibetan students. Support groups around the world have been holding fundraising screenings. Visit www.tibetmurderin thesnow.com for details.