Misfits actors leaving

Two Misfits actors have confirmed they will not be returning to the series for its fourth season. Iwan Rheon and Antonia Thomas, who play Simon and Alisha respectively, have both announced their departure from the UK drama.

HBO cancels quality shows

HBO has cancelled How To Make It In America, Hung and Bored to Death after poor ratings for all three this year.

Jones not coming back to X Factor USA

X Factor USA presenter Steve Jones is believed to be on the way out next season, after receiving a mixed reaction from viewers in the role this year.

Producers attempt to save Cougar Town

The producers of Cougar Town are going to great lengths to save their series, which was left off the ABC mid-season schedule. Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel are planning a tour across the US where they will promote the series in an attempt to get some hype back.

Broadcasting Standards Authority chairman Peter Radich says the drive to score better ratings is behind NZ broadcasters’ push for more liberal rules regarding what can be shown on television.

Radish told the commerce select committee yesterday that broadcasters wanted to screen material that would attract larger audiences and boundaries are being pushed because of that.

The BSA has been criticised in recent times for its conservative take on NZ television, particularly in two recent cases regarding Hung on One and Home and Away on TV3.

 TVNZ won its appeal over a sex scene in Hung but the Home and Away decision was upheld on appeal.

The BSA argues that they are trying to reflect community standards when responding to complaints about content in TV.

“The community standards that we have are different, the community standards of suburban Auckland are different to the community standards of suburban Blenheim,” Radich said.

Source: Stuff

TVNZ and MediaWorks will unite this week in an attempt to fight the tightening of controls for sexual content on television in NZ.

On Wednesday the broadcasters will appeal the decisions made by the Broadcasting Standards Authority over scenes in TV2’s Hung and TV3’s Home and Away.

Complaints were upheld last year by the BSA regarding the scenes that featured sexual material.

The decision to uphold the complaint against a mildly sexual scene (two characters kissing on a dining table) in Home and Away is important to all broadcasters considering the early timeslot of the show. 

If it remains upheld, the complaint could set a trend for further complaints against popular early primetime shows such as Shortland Street, Two and a Half Men and Family Guy.

Source: Herald

TVNZ has continued its roll-on from a successful Qantas Film and Television Awards ceremony last weekend by picking up a swag of awards for its promotional work.

The state broadcaster was recognised at the Promax/BDA ANZ awards which celebrate the best that that broadcasting world has to offer in terms of promo work.

At the Australia/NZ awards held in Sydney last weekend, TVNZ claimed two golds for its Hung billboard in the ‘Best Poster/Outdoor ad’ category and for the Shortland Street hammock promo in the ‘Best Drama Category’.

Silvers were won for This Is Not My Life in the ‘Best Drama Campaign’ and for Supernanny in the ‘Something For Nothing’ category.

Three bronzes were awarded to TVNZ for MasterChef NZ in ‘Best Leisure and Lifestyle Promo’, as well as Leigh Hart’s Mysterious Planet and Get More of What You Love.

Source: StopPress

BBC fails to stop Stig book

The BBC has failed in its bid to stop the publication and sale of an autobiography by HarperCollins which will officially unmask The Stig from Top Gear. The broadcaster’s lawyers could not prevent racing driver Ben Collins’ autobiography from going ahead which, among other things, will tell the tale of the man behind the mask since 2003.

Grammer considering Frasier return

Kelsey Grammer is reportedly considering a revival of his character Frasier Crane in a new show which would focus on the kids of the characters from the original series. Grammer tweeted that he feels a Frasier reunion is overdue and that a new spin on the show might be a good idea.

Morgan confirms CNN talks

Piers Morgan is close to sealing a deal to take up the CNN night-time slot left by vacating talk show host Larry King. Morgan has confirmed that he is “near the end of negotiations” and has labelled the chance to present a news show on CNN as “one of the holy grails of television”.

Star Trek actor to guest on Big Bang

Former Star Trek actor George Takei will make an appearance on The Big Bang Theory in the comedy’s next season. Takei will play one side of Wolowitz’s conscience as he tries to make decision regarding a girl.

Hung renewed for third season

Comedy series Hung has been renewed from a third season by its American network HBO.

9:40pm Monday, March 8 on TV One

When husband and wife writing team, Dmitry Lipkin and Colette Burnson, were thinking of ideas for a new show, they wanted to create a masculine series that didn’t resort to violence – the result was the TV ONE series Hung (tonight at 9.40pm).

“We were like, no guns, no mob, I’m tired of that. What about a basketball coach? Just this ordinary guy, his wife has left him and he’s feeling very depressed and broke. What if nothing was going for him except he’s got a big dick? Then we laughed and Dmitry said ‘we could call it Hung’, says Burnson.

Set in the recession-plagued suburbs of Detroit, Hung revolves around a last-ditch attempt by school teacher, Ray Drecker (Thomas Jane) to generate extra cash to counter the financial drains caused by his divorce, the needs of his teenaged twins, a lapsed fire-insurance policy, and a stubborn inability to take control of a life that seemed so promising two decades ago.

Hung deals with mature themes, but its focus is less on sex than on survival, as Ray is forced to come up with a novel, if not socially acceptable way to keep hope alive during difficult economic times. Despite the slightly rude title, the couple were surprised to find they didn’t run into problems when getting the series off the ground.

They say the series is more about the ‘guy’ than about sex. Lipkin is an immigrant from Russia, and Burnson is from West Virginia, so the pair tend to have a different way of thinking, says Lipkin. “We both approach things as outsiders. Our last show, The Riches, was about outsiders, so we thought: what’s it like to be that guy who’s the core of where he was born, who was a hero at school and then, 20 years down the road, the world has shifted and he’s found himself marginalised, thinking what happened?”

Burnson adds: “It was really in thinking about the guy. He’s like, ‘OK, God was kind to me in one area, but then there’s the whole rest of my life’. In America, high school is almost a mythological thing. You’re together all the time, the sport and the clubs, and who you are in high school – often that identity sticks with you for a really long time.”

Sensing the housing bubble wasn’t going to last, the writers knew a recession theme could work well for the show.

“We’ve always been interested in people’s economic class and how that relates to who they are,’ says Lipkin. “We’ve always wanted to write about this guy who was edged out of the middle class. He’s this dollar-coffee guy in the $3.50 latte world.”

They also knew Thomas Jane was the man for the role, which might have caused some actors anxiety given the character’s biggest asset. Lipkin says Jane is able to convey Ray without being too arrogant or too prudish. Burnson says Jane is very laid back: “The role is so different from who he is and we get guys saying how much they think Ray is like them. But if you see Thomas with his bare feet and his shirt and his cigar…”

On tonight’s episode, it would appear Ray has feelings for Jemma. Tanya meets a hipster in a bar, who sets out to help her get through her writer’s block and reveal her poetry abilities. Meanwhile, Ray runs into Jessica, who invites him to dinner with Ronnie and the twins. Ray finds himself in a potential quid pro quo situation with Yael (Alanna Ubach), the wife of his despised neighbour Howard (Loren Lester).

Missed an episode of Hung – full episodes are available online. Go to and click the ‘ondemand’ button.

9:35pm Monday, January 25 on TV One

Things are tough for Ray Drecker (Thomas Jane, The Punisher) these days. A former high-school sports legend turned middle-aged high school basketball coach, he’s a divorced dad in dire straits, struggling to make ends meet and regain control of his life. Because desperate times call for desperate measures, the well-endowed Ray decides to exploit his best asset in a last-ditch attempt to change his fortunes, in TV ONE’s new series Hung, starting tonight at 9.35pm.

Years ago, as a student at Detroit’s West Lakefield High School, Drecker was athletic, popular and destined for success. Today, as a West Lakefield teacher and coach of the varsity basketball team (which is on an unprecedented losing streak), he’s underpaid, uninsured and embittered that his wife of 20 years (Anne Heche, Men In Trees) left him for her dermatologist, Ronnie Haxon (Eddie Jemison, Ocean’s Thirteen).

After fire damages to the rundown lakeside home he inherited from his parents, Ray’s fortunes reach an ultimate low when his twin children Darby (Sianoa Smit-McPhee, As The Bell Rings) and Damon (Charlie Saxton, The Lovely Bones), who had been living with him, move in with their mum and her smug husband.

Lonely, run down and at wit’s end, Ray attends a self-help class, where the mantra is to identify a personal ‘winning tool’ to market for financial success. After a not-so-fulfilling encounter with fellow attendee Tanya Skagle (Jane Adams, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind), a would-be poet, Ray has a ‘eureka’ moment. With the help of Tanya, the well-endowed Ray sets out to exploit his greatest asset in hopes of changing his fortunes.

Created by Dmitry Lipkin (The Riches) and Colette Burson, the show uses dark humour to tell the story of a man fighting to survive personal setbacks that have been compounded by a troubled economy.

Missed an episode of Hung – full episodes are available online. Go to and click the ‘ondemand’ button.