Gone, not forgotten … The Hour.
The American adaptation of the hit ABC drama Rake is turning into an Australian all-star extravaganza. Two Australian actors have secured lead roles in the series. Bojana Novakovic, whose credits include the films Blackrock and Edge of Darkness, will join Miranda Otto on the pilot. The series stars Greg Kinnear as Keegan Joye, a flamboyant criminal barrister. Otto will play Maddie, Joye's former wife. Novakovic will play Mikki, a prostitute who has been involved with Joye for several years. The American adaptation is being developed by the show's creator, Peter Duncan, and American producer Peter Tolan for Sony Television. The pilot has been commissioned by the American Fox network. It will be produced next month and screened to buyers in May. If a series launches, it would be launched in the US later this year.
Ritchie's home from away
Sally Fletcher is heading back to the bay. Channel Seven has confirmed actor Kate Ritchie, who played Home and Away's definitive girl next door Sally for two decades, will return to the soap. Ritchie will film a storyline for the show's 25th anniversary. The episodes will be filmed in the next few weeks and air over several months later this year. ''There will be a wonderful sense of familiarity stepping back into Sally's shoes for a while,'' Ritchie said. Ritchie left the show in of 2007.
Aussie, queen of Scots
Move over Vanessa Redgrave. Australian actor Adelaide Kane, best known for her role in Neighbours, has been cast as Mary, queen of Scots, in a new American historical drama, Reign. The pilot has been commissioned by the network The CW and Kane will play Mary as a teenage ''warrior queen''. The series is pitched at The CW's young audience and will most likely emphasise Mary's circle of friends. Think 90210 with tabards.
Viewing Hour is over
The BBC has called time on its edgy period media drama The Hour. The series was set behind the scenes of a new current affairs show at the BBC in the 1950s. Two seasons were produced, but the BBC decided not to proceed with a third because of soft audience numbers. The series was critically acclaimed and much honoured - it snagged nominations for Golden Globes, Emmys and BAFTA Awards. The cast included Dominic West, Romola Garai, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Anna Chancellor and Peter Capaldi.
Life's a beach
Foxtel has signed landscape architect Brendan Moar to its new series, Coast Australia. The series, a local adaptation of the iconic British series Coast, is being produced by Great Southern Television for the History Channel. The show's UK host, historian Neil Oliver, will take up hosting duties here, but the series will feature five expert co-hosts: Moar, environmentalist Tim Flannery, marine scientist Dr Emma Johnston, anthropologist Dr Xanthe Mallet and journalist Miriam Corowa. Foxtel has commissioned eight one-hour episodes, to focus on Australia's coastline. Each episode will investigate the archeaology, geology and marine life of a different strip of coast. The series will debut in the second half of 2013