Veteran sports journalist Mike Gibson has stepped down as the host of The Back Page on Fox Sports, ending a 16-year run in the chair. The series has wrapped for the Christmas break and will return in March with a new host and a new set at the channel’s gleaming new studio in Gore Hill. Among those names rumoured for the gig include former Channel Ten newsreader Bill Woods and former Channel Seven sports presenter Tony Squires. ”I’ve only ever missed one show and it was because of a crook back,” Gibson said as he signed off.
New name for Granada
The production company Granada Media Australia has been rebranded as ITV Studios Australia, a name change that brings it into line with its British parent company, the studio and network group ITV. The name change takes effect from January, 2013. ”This is an important step in continuing to grow our business and be even more closely aligned with our parent company,” the company’s managing director, Leonie Lowe, said. The first show to bear the company’s new logo will be the second season of the ABC’s Mad as Hell.
Mad Men on show
Foxtel is in talks with the American studio Lionsgate to secure the rights to the series Mad Men for the Showcase channel. The recent changes to Foxtel’s movie channels effectively left the series orphaned, as it had screened on the soon-to-be-defunct channel Movie Extra. Foxtel is expected to finalise the deal soon, allowing it to screen the sixth series in 2013.
Foxtel has commissioned a new observational documentary series, Outback Coroner, which will screen on the Crime & Investigation channel. The series will explore ”accidental and mysterious deaths in the most remote regions of Australia”. It will be filmed on location around Australia by the production company Screentime. It will screen in 2013.
Gong for Coren
CNN news presenter Anna Coren has won an Asian Television Award for best news presenter or anchor. Coren, best known in Australia as a former host of Today Tonight, won the award for her work on the CNN series World Report. Coren has been working at CNN for four years, during which she has covered the 2010 Manila bus hostage situation and the 2011 Japan tsunami, and most recently filed reports from Kabul, Afghanistan, in September. The winners of the awards were selected from 1327 entries representing 14 countries.
Kinnear grabs a Rake
Casting is under way for the US remake of Rake. The show’s top bill, the role of criminal defense lawyer Cleaver Greene, is already taken by actor-producer Greg Kinnear. Kinnear has been attached to the project throughout its development and will also serve as one of the executive producers of the series, along with Peter Tolan; the show’s Australian co-creator Peter Duncan; actor-producer Richard Roxburgh; and the show’s Australian producer Ian Collie. The pilot is expected to debut at next year’s May screenings in Los Angeles.
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