Panic at Rock Island, a new Australian telemovie that began production in Sydney today includes two faces familiar to kiwi viewers: Grant Bowler (Outrageous Fortune, Lost, True Blood, Ugly Betty) and Anna Hutchison (Shortland Street, Go Girls, Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities).

Set on a spectacular island in Sydney Harbour, Panic At Rock Island tells the story of a hot summer’s day when a lineup of top acts play for music fans from around the world. It’s all idyllic until unimaginable disaster strikes when a deadly virus is discovered on the island. Its symptoms are shocking and it brings swift and painful death.

Panic at Rock Island will air in Australia later in the year.  No New Zealand air date is known at present.

Dustin Hoffman to star in new series

Dustin Hoffman is starring in a new series called Luck which has been picked up by HBO in the US. The horse-racing drama, which boasts a pilot episode directed by Michael Mann, begins shooting later this year in Los Angeles.

James May’s new show

Top Gear’s James May is launching a new BBC show which will look to test the manliness of his guests in order to teach men the skills and knowledge possessed by their male ancestors. The series, entitled James May’s Man Lab, will feature tasks such a s learning to diffuse a bomb and “woo a lady”.

Entourage casting

Illeana Douglas is set to appear on an upcoming episode of Entourage playing Ari Gold’s (Jeremy Piven) wife’s sister.  The actress has appeared on the likes of Ugly Betty, Law & Order: SVU and Six Feet Under.

Rocky star in Chuck

Rocky IV star Dolph Lundgren is reportedly set to make an appearance in the upcoming season of Chuck. The actor, who played The Siberian Express in the boxing flick, will guest star in the season 4 premiere as a villain.

House named greatest character

House star Dr Gregory House has been voted the greatest television character of the past decade by a poll on the TV Overmind website. Hugh Laurie’s character topped the list ahead of the likes of Lost villain Benjamin Linus (Michael Emerson) and The Wire’s Omar Little (Michael K. Williams).

Big name for Glee Super Bowl ep

Glee creator Ryan Murphy has revealed the show is looking to land a big artist for the episode which will run straight after the Super Bowl in the US. Murphy said that although they don’t want to rely on too many big name guests for the season, the Super Bowl episode will be a major one.

CSI: NY loses key cast member

CSI: NY will lose a series regular next season with news Melina Kanakaredes is exiting the crime procedural. The actress, who plays Stella Bonasera, will vacate the show in which she has starred in since 2004 with possible replacements being lined up for the seventh season.

Huge World Cup final audiences

A staggering 91% of TV audiences in Spain and The Netherlands watched their teams battle it out in the FIFA World Cup final yesterday morning in which Spain prevailed 1-0. Meanwhile, early estimates are suggesting the worldwide audience topped 700 million viewers.

Doctor Who for Taggart?

Producers of largely-forgotten police drama Taggart are chasing ex-Doctor Who star David Tennant for a role on the show. The Scottish crime series are desperate for the actor to appear despite turning him down six times prior to his success on Doctor Who.

Lost DVD details

Details have been revealed regarding the Lost final season DVD box-set which is due for release later this year. The DVD will feature the much-hyped bonus scene featuring Hurley (Jorge Garcia) and Ben (Michael Emerson) as part of around 30 hours of bonus material.

Gambon joins Doctor Who special

Celebrated British actor Sir Michael Gambon has signed on to appear in the Doctor Who Christmas special at the end of the year. Big name guest stars are no stranger to Doctor Who specials with the likes of Kylie Minogue and David Morrissey featuring in previous years.

Joan Cusack guests on Law & Order: SVU

Actress Joan Cusack will make a guest appearance on an upcoming episode of law & Order: SVU after signing on to play the mother of a girl who disappears. The Oscar-nominated actress will feature alongside former Lost actor Henry Ian Cusick.

The Pacific and Glee lead Emmy Awards nominations

The nominees for the 2010 Primetime Emmy Awards have been announced with Glee, Mad Men and The Pacific leading the nominations. The Pacific garnered a whopping 24 nomination with Glee pulling 19 and Mad Men close behind with 17. New sitcom Modern Family received 14 nods.

Brothers & Sisters future uncertain

The future of family drama series Brothers & Sisters is uncertain with rumours suggesting the show may not progress past a fifth season. Several factors are contributing to the speculation including the fact the fifth series order has been reduced and that several key cast members are not returning.

Lost star lands Weeds role

Former Lost actor Eric Lange has landed a role on the upcoming season of Weeds. Lange, who played Stuart Radzinsky on Lost, has signed on for a recurring role where he is expected to play Nancy’s (Mary-Louise Parker) old classmate Ellis. Lange joins fellow guests Richard Dreyfuss and Alanis Morissette on the Weeds’ cast next season.

CSI regular re-signs

CSI regular Marg Helgenberger has signed on for another season on the crime drama in the character of Catherine. Several other key cast members are still in contractual negotiations over returning.

Snoop heading to Corrie?

In quite possibly the oddest piece of TV news in a long while, rapper Snoop Dogg has admitted he is a big fan of Coronation Street and would love to make an appearance. It turns out Snoop has asked his people to enquire as to the possibility of a guest appearance for the rapper on the English soap.


Beavis and Butthead returning?

Beavis and Butthead may be returning to the screen soon in the future with news the show’s creator Mike Judge is working on a 30-episode run of the cartoon. The series is said to still hold its “original ghetto-tech aesthetic” but feature modern music vids in order to provide better fodder for mocking.

Jaws star cast in Weeds

Richard Dreyfuss, star of 1970’s blockbuster Jaws, will guest star on Weeds in the upcoming sixth season. Weeds producers have announced the veteran actor will feature in at least four episodes of the drama series.

Skeet Ulrich joins Law & Order spin-off

Actor Skeet Ulrich has been cast in the upcoming legal spin-off Law & Order: Los Angeles as an ex-marine character called Rex Winters. Ulrich previously guest starred on fellow spin-off CSI: NY in a three-episode arc.

Seacrest developing dance series 

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest is working in tandem with E! in developing a new dance show for the entertainment network. Few details are known at this stage but the show will revolve around choreographers and dancers in Los Angeles and will feature Lady Gaga’s choreographer Laurie Ann Gibson.

Valderrama signs Fox deal

Former That 70s Show actor Wilmer Valderrama has signed an exclusive deal with 20th Century Fox which will see the actor star and executive produce at least one show for the studio.

Neighbours actress lands US role

A former Neighbours actress has landed a role in new American sitcom Outsourced. Pippa Black, who played Elle Robinson on the Aussie soap, will join the show as a character who has been recast.

Baldwin to depart 30 Rock next year

30 Rock actor Alec Baldwin has said he will leave the comedy series when his contract expires next year. The actor announced he will move on in order to live a “normal life” outside of acting.

Lost actor joins Law & Order

Former Lost actor Henry Ian Cusick will make an appearance on crime procedural Law & Order: SVU, with the actor signing on for a multi-episode arc. Cusick, who played Desmond Hume on Lost, will feature in at least two episodes.

9:30pm Saturday, May 29 on TV2

Six years after Oceanic Flight 815 crash-landed on a mysterious island somewhere in the Pacific, the epic feature-length finale of Lost: The Final Season is now upon us – screening just days after the US broadcast.

With the Man In Black stepping up his campaign to slaughter the remaining ‘candidates’, the dark threat he poses to the island residents and the world has never been greater.

The Man in Black has made his evil intentions clear, with the brutal slaying of three series regulars in episode 14 – Sayid (Naveen Andrews), Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) and Sun (Yunjin Kim) were all killed when a bomb he had planted exploded.

Asked why the characters died, co-creator Damon Lindelof tells Entertainment Weekly, “Because now you know this show is willing and capable of killing anyone”.

Fellow co-creator Carlton Cuse adds: “There is no ambiguity. The [Man In Black] is evil and he has to be stopped. When we watched the death scenes ourselves, it was brutal. [But] the story always comes first.”

The duo explain it was important to kill certain key characters to establish that ‘Fake’ Locke is truly evil.

“In many ways, the season was structured as a scam on behalf of the Man In Black,” Lindelof said. “Once we revealed that Locke was the Monster, we knew the audience would immediately mistrust him, and we would have to spend at least a dozen episodes of Locke trying to convince the audience that he did not have malevolent intention, that all he wanted to do was get off the Island.

“But everything he was doing was leading up to one moment, which was [trying to] get the candidates in one fell swoop. He knew if he just killed one of them, everyone would know what he was up to.”

What’s certain for the island now is that the long-fated war has arrived – and no character is safe, as the series draws to its hugely anticipated and nail-biting conclusion.

Lindelof promises that fans won’t be left hanging on for more answers, as he tells Wired magazine:

“This is our best version of the story of Lost, and it’s the definitive one. The worst thing we could ever do is not end it, or go with some ending like a snow globe or a cut to black. That was genius on The Sopranos but The Sopranos isn’t a mystery show. For us, we owe our best version of a resolution here.”

If you have missed an episode, full episodes of Lost: The Final Season will be available free online 12 hours after the show has aired on TV2. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘ondemand’ button.

That’s it.  Lost is over.  Who’s disappointed? Not I!

We’re in Hawaii at the moment and arrived in time to enjoy watching the finale in place where the show has been filmed for the last six years.

For those six years, those of us who have enjoyed and endured a show that has had so much depth were given resolution.  For those who were just wanting to know the secrets of the island, they were left wanting.

The writers of Lost have taken us all on a fantastic journey.  One of intrigue that has kept plenty of us coming back week after week.  Ultimately, we’ve enjoyed it.  The suspense.  The questions.  The characters.  But as it is in life, no one turns up with a big book 5 minutes before your personal curtain call with a list of answers to all the mysteries of your own existence.  There are plenty of things in life that just happen without ever getting an answer.  However, as is the case with Lost, if you care to spend the time investigating, there are answers out there.

Hawaii is a magical place and it’s constantly amazing seeing locations that are supposed to be Los Angeles, Sydney or Korea.

Visiting the location for the “Others village” was funny.  It’s a YMCA camp right next to the road and is nowhere near the middle of a jungle as one would assume.

This last photo is from outside the church where the last few scenes were shown.

And of course, the bamboo grove where the opening and closing scenes were shot.

I think the following comment from James Traxler sums up nicely the finale:

I’m of two minds about it. On the one hand, while the show didn’t provide a full and complete resolution to the Island’s mythology, it certainly provided a full and complete resolution to the characters. Therefore, one’s reaction will come down to whether they felt that the characters was the core of the show, or the mythology was. Up until now I’d be inclined to call myself a mythology man, but the elegance and harrowing symmetry of the ending resonated far more profoundly than I would have expected. To the extent that this was a show about people – real people – that story has been told.

As far as the mythology goes, it is certainly fair to say that the show pulled us in by hinting at answers to its central mysteries, and that failing to deliver on them represents a fairly large cop-out. Someone can be perfectly legitimately pissed over this breach of the compact between viewer and story-teller. On the other hand, however, speculating about the mythology of Lost is precisely what Lost is about. Resolving every issue neatly could itself be its own betrayal.

As it is, the finale met most, if not all, of my expectations. I enjoyed it, and more significantly, I was moved. I’m grateful to the show for hours and hours of powerful, thought-provoking drama. There hasn’t been another show like Lost, and there never will be.

If you’re still not convinced, may I suggest watching this:

And for those who really want to get into it, Lostpedia.

And in case you’re unsure which questions remained unanswered:

Ok how to begin…..

First you give away the finalists for American Idol in the Advert Break just before it was announced in the Top 3 show. Shocking.. Really shocking. You should know better.

Next you make a big deal about Lost being shown this coming weekend.. Heck you are a week late.. This is the 21st Century.. Do you really have any idea how hard it is to avoid spoilers? A week for a show that is this big globally is a long time.

Coming back to Idol.. Great we are getting the final a couple of hours behind the US.. Fail on two levels.

One…. You cut the end of the final performance. Why? I’d be happy with the overrun for once to hear the winner finish their track..

Two…. Too late in the game. I tried really hard to avoid spoilers but I knew the who the winner was before I left the office. Then driving home it was being discussed on the radio. Last I got home and caught up with some news from the website of a UK paper and guess what was on the home page.. Yes the winner. It has got to the point were either I turn off my phone, avoid social media, the internet, radio, and other TV until I watch the show… OR…. You show it at the same time as the US. Guess what, hot off the satellite isn’t enough, we need it LIVE.

I personally favor the live option..

Greenlight for Skins movie

Teen series Skins is heading to the big screen with news today the producers of the English series will begin shooting a movie in September. The intention is to bring back cast members from the first four seasons as well as introduce new characters into the mix. The script is being written by an original Skins writer and will be directed by another series regular.

Keaton, Page in new pilot

Dianne Keaton has signed on to star in a new comedy pilot for HBO which centres on a famous entertainment blogger. She is reportedly set to be joined by Juno lead Ellen Page who will play Keaton’s journalistic protégé in the pilot, entitled Tilda. The project is loosely based on real life blogger Nikki Finke of the website Deadline Hollywood.

Lost actors series?

A pair of Lost actors are thinking of developing their own series according to Access Hollywood. Michael Emerson and Terry O’Quinn who played Ben and Locke, are currently working through some ideas which they have already pitched to a producer. There has been no word as to what kind of show they are exploring.

Law & Order setback

Any recent optimism around the possibility of Law & Order being saved from cancellation has been dealt a serious blow with American network TNT, who were reported as interested in taking over the rights to the show, saying they have no plans to broadcast new episodes. So it looks as if the show will not receive a record-breaking 21st season after all.

Housewives star in MTV pilot

Desperate Housewives actor Beau Mirchoff has been cast in a new MTV series pilot called That Girl. Mirchoff, who plays Danny Bolen on Housewives, will take the role of a high school heartthrob in the teen series.

Idol advertisement

The winner of American Idol’s finale this week will be featured in a Disney advertisement on TV signing When You Wish Upon A Star. The ad will be promoting the American Idol Experience at the Disney World Resort in Florida.

Mad Men promotion

Young actress Kiernan Shipka has been given a regular role on hit series Mad Men. The 10-year-old who plays Sally Draper the daughter of Don and Betty, has been promoted to a major role in the upcoming fourth season of the series.

Futurama comeback

The revival of Futurama is almost complete with the sixth season of the cartoon set to screen later this year. It has been seven years since the show last produced new episodes and executive producer David X Cohen has said the series has been saved by its “fans’ enthusiasm”. He has also said that the for the upcoming season the “quality of borderline material is a little higher.”

New season for The IT Crowd

English comedy series The IT Crowd has been granted a fifth season. The BAFTA-winning series, which is written by Graham Linehan (Father Ted, Black Books), is yet to start its fourth season in the UK but due to its popularity a fifth has been commissioned which will feature a new team of writers.

Celebrity Rehab for reality star

Reality star Tila Tequila will join the next season of Celebrity Rehab to try and kick her addiction to prescription sleeping med Ambien. Tequila, who starred on two seasons of A Shot at Love, has said she hopes she doesn’t become another Lindsay Lohan and will try to turn her self destructive ways around on the reality show.

Underbelly sued

The makers of crime series Underbelly are being sued by a woman who claims that some incidents involving the character based on her never happened. Former NSW policewoman Wendy Hatfield is filing the lawsuit against TCN Channel Nine Ltd for defamation after a previous legal attempt failed to allow her to access to the footage before it screened.

Xzibit joins Extreme Makeover

The Extreme Makeover: Home Edition bus is about to get a whole lot more crowded with news that rapper Xzibit and ex-Bachelorette Jillian Harris are climbing aboard to offer their design services to the show. The pair have previously made guest appearances on the show, but will take up permanent roles next season.

Janet Jackson on Americal Idol?

The American Idol finale already has a bundle of major international talent set to perform on the Thursday night show but the rumour-mill is suggesting Janet Jackson is a possibility to appear. If so she would join Christina Aguilera, Carrie Underwood, Kris Allen and Enrique Iglesias on the three-hour finale.

Smallville team join Charlie’s Angels

The team behind recently cancelled Smallville are jumping behind the new television version of Charlie’s Angels. Executive producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar will take over scripting duties of the Drew Barrymore produced reboot series which is expected to be a fresh take on the Farah Fawcett classic.

Paula Abdul returning to TV

Ex American Idol judge Paula Abdul will return to television on a new talent competition called Got To Dance. Abdul will take up a producer, creative partner, mentor, judge and coach role on the series which will look to find the next big dance talent in a similar fashion to the plethora of existing televised reality competitions already on our screens.

NZ in nightmare TV scenario

New Zealand and North Korea have been named as the “nightmare” pairing for a football World Cup final in terms of television audience. In the unlikely event that the two teams would meet in the final, the worldwide television audience would be worst of all that matchups in the competitions according to research conducted by the tournament’s broadcasters. England versus Brazil would be the most popular audience-wise.

Lost technical hitch

A technical hitch left thousands of UK Lost fans fuming when the screen blacked out during Sky1’s live simulcast of the finale episode. Screening at 5am in order to coincide with the West Coast of the US, the UK channel suffered an unknown technical issue which caused a disruption to the picture. The network has apologised and will re-screen the episode several times during the week.