Tag Archives: Rebecca Gibney

Channel 7 in 2015. New and Returning Shows Announced.

Rebecca Gibney and Peter O'Brien return for Winter in 2015
Rebecca Gibney and Peter O’Brien return for Winter in 2015

A mix of new dramas both locally and overseas made, a reality show juggernaut spin-off and documentaries are all coming our way in 2015 as channel 7 announces it’s line-up for the new ratings season.

Sadly though, it seems with some of the imported US content, Australian viewers will be quite some episodes and by the looks of it, even over half a season behind American audiences.  No fast-tracking programs here.

So just what programs did channel 7 reveal?

How to get Away With Murder: This new US drama is easily one of the best to come out of the new US season.  Oscar winner Viola Davis stars as a high profile defense lawyer slash college law professor who finds herself caught up in a murder investigation along with some of her students.  Comes from Shonda Rhimes – she of Greys Anatomy and Scandal.

State of Affairs: Starting November 17th in the US, this Katherine Heigl vehicle has a mix of Madam Secretary and Homeland and see’s Heigl as a CIA agent working closely with the US President.

Aquarius: 1960’s based homicide drama see’s David Duchovny working with an undercover detective trying to solve a missing persons case that leads them to Charles Manson.

Winter: Spin-off series from this years “The Killing Field” telemovie with Rebecca Gibney and Peter O’Brien back in the pursuit of a killer.

Restaurant Revolution: Another spin-off from the My Kitchen Rules juggernaut taking ‘inspiration’ from My Returant Rules, which will see contestants attempt to run their very own restaurant.

800 Words: New Aussie drama starring Packed to the Rafters favorite Erik Thomson who plays a a widowed father, who moves overseas with his two teenagers, then takes on the job of writing a weekly newspaper column.

House Rules: The home renovation show is back for 2015 and just like The Block, is offering up two seasons in the new year.

Catching Milat: Underbelly-stylized drama around the Ivan Milat murders.

What Really Happens in Thailand: First it was Bali, now it’s Thailand – or a heightened version of what actually happens.  This series is focused more on the emergency rooms, cosmetic surgeons and party hot spots.

Programs returning for 2015 include The X Factor, My Kitchen Rules, Winners & Losers, Border Security, The Force and Better Homes & Gardens while The Big Adventure, Bringing Sexy Back and The Amazing Race were not on announced as returning for the network in 2015.

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Reviewed: The Killing Field

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Rebecca Gibney and Peter O’Brien Inspect a Murder Scene on Channel 7’s The Killing Field. Source: Provided

When a 15 year old girl goes missing in a small country town resulting in the discovery of the work of a serial killer who do you call?  Jane Halifax of course!  Well actually, it’s Detective Eve Sergeant, but they’re both played by Rebecca Gibney and they both have the same kind of job.

Showing that the local police force in the fictional town of Mingara are a bunch of complete dimwits, Detective Inspector Lachlan McKenzie (Peter O’Brien) lures his old partner (professionally and romantically) Eve Winter to help him find the missing 15 year old Becky who disappeared after leaving a party and determine whether the case is linked to the five bodies recently found in a mass grave.

They are joined by Detective Senior Constable Bridget Anderson played by the impressive Chloé Boreham and Detective Senior Constable Dan Wild played by an underused Liam McIntyre and the four in their designer black suits stride into Mingara and immediately make an impact with the beer soaked and unpleasant residents of the small country town.

Without sugar coating it, the main issue with The Killing Field is that it feels like an over-extended weekly crime episodic show.   It’s like we’ve just been thrown into a special movie length one-off where we have already established a relationship with Eve Winter and understand why she’s removed herself from field work, why she has to be lured back and know and care about her past relationship with Lachlan McKenzie.  It’s this lack of lead character development that can feel somewhat jarring when it’s suddenly thrust at us the first time we meet Winter and McKenzie.

Of course, Gibney, cropped hair and business suits, plays as well as she can as the damaged Eve Winter.  There’s a clinical and detached air about her that feels like an homage to DCI Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren, Prime Suspect) but sadly, Eve Winter, instead of presenting as a powerhouse authoritative figure instead comes off as slightly smug and self-righteous when interacting with potential suspects and Peter O’Brien…well, he’s there, but he’s given as much screen time as the supporting players and his Lachlan McKenzie only seems to be there to distract Eve with inappropriately timed flirtations.

But not all is lost.  As a standard, run-of-the-mill police procedural, The Killing Field should offer enough to keep eyes on the screen until the shocking end. A small country town, a missing girl, a mass grave, mob mentality and a complete set of shady characters – enough to keep you guessing who the killer is until the reveal…it’s got the foundations just not the fortification.

Having watched enough Hannibal-Criminal Minds-CSI-SVU etc etc, The Killing Field aims high but falls short of the standard set by previous outings in the genre, but that said, I enjoyed what was offered to me and happily watched right to the end – even if some aspects of the characters and story lines were frustrating (a suspect is literally paraded around town in-front of local bogans resulting in a rather confronting situation) and it was good to watch Gibney finally shake off the warm and happy shackles of Julie Rafter.

And, there is talk that this movie will be used as a jumping off point for a new series (under a new title as The Killing Field refers to this particular case), which should fit this premise much better and allow for better character development and back story.

The Killing Field airs Sunday night, 8:40pm on Channel 7.

TV News Roundup: Body of Proof, Homeland and More.

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Rebecca Gibney is Moving on From Rafters

Check out the bits and pieces of interesting news from the world of television below in my TV Roundup!

Renewed: USA network Showtime have renewed thriller Homeland (airing Monday nights on Channel 10) for a fourth season! It’s no surprise with the show creating some of the biggest character and story line talk this year (I’m talking about you Dana Brody) but will be interesting to see who comes back if the rumors that Damien Lewis has been attached to a new show are true or not.  Showtime also gave it’s newest drama Masters Of Sex (airing on SBS) an early second season pick-up.

I’m Back!: Jane Hall is coming back to Neighbors!  It may only be in a short guest stint and won’t be seen until next year, but we can only imagine why her character Rebecca is returning to Ramsay Street!  You’ll remember, she tried to kill her husband Paul Robinson when we saw her last! 

Actress Nadia Dajani confirmed with TVNOW this afternoon that she will be back for the second season of FOX8’s The Carrie Diaries as Tom Bradshaw’s girlfriend Deb and will be appearing in three episodes.

Also possibly back – Body Of Proof starring Dana Delaney.  The ABC network in America cancelled the medical/police drama earlier this year but may already be regretting it’s decision.  New shows Betrayal (which is god awful) and Once Upon a Time – two shows filling the old time-slot, have been rating extremely poorly (making up about half the audience Body Of Proof used to bring to the network).  There’s still no official word, or who will actually make the return.

New Aussie Drama: Channel 7 announced it’s 2014 line-up announcing that TV favorite Rebecca Gibney will be making her return to series television after the end of Packed to the Rafters.  In a show which feels very similar to that of UK drama The Fall and starring Gillian Anderson, Gibney will be seen in The Killing Field as the head of a special police task force sent to a small country town to investigate a shocking crime. The team must delve into the closed lives of a seemingly quaint hamlet in order to find and outwit a killer.

Channel 7 also announced it has picked up one of my favorite new comedies – The Goldberg’s set for airing next year!

Ratings Hit: It was a massive night for the ABC last night with The Gruen Planet nabbing over one million viewers while Ja’mie: Private School Girl grabbed 925k viewers.  Overall, last night showed lower than normal viewing numbers with only three shows hitting that all important one million viewer mark.

On the opposite scale, in America, Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D continues to drop in ratings with the latest episode hitting an all time low of 8.6 million viewers.

On Hold: NBC have put comedy Parks and Recreation on hiatus.  The show will still air four remaining episodes (in two lots of back-to-back runnings) in November and then returning in Jan 2014.  Season six will also see regulars Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe both depart the show.  Word has it, the hiatus was put in place to try and help bolster ratings for sinking comedy Sean Saves the World.

Spin-Off Mixed Results: ABC Family drama Pretty Little Liars’ annual Halloween episode once again drew remarkable ratings and topped as the number one viewed program in key demographics.  The episode also made way for the new spin-off Ravenswood which drew mixed reviews from fans.  While it rated well, fans took to social media giving mixed opinions of the new show.

Winners and Losers pulls a Packed to the Rafters

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The cast of Winners and Losers

I’m just going to put it out there….I really don’t (and never really have) watch many Australian made tv shows.  Blue Heelers?  I remember a whole lot of fuss and bother over Maggie Doyle and that guy Martin Sacks played.  Offspring?  I think I’m the only one who didn’t know who Patrick was and why the country stopped to honor his death.  I did give Packed to the Rafters a shot, but that was only because I was in love with Rebecca Gibney.  Don’t get me wrong though, I do watch some things we make….

Along with Wentworth, Please Like Me and anything involving Chris Lilley, Winners and Losers sits happily in my ‘really want to watch’ pile.  That age old story of four friends reuniting at their high school reunion only to find out they’ve won 2 million each in the lottery had me hooked from episode one.

Ratings wise, the show is doing well.  After a shaky season three opener (Why?!  Did people not remember the cliffhanger of season two?  MATT. BLOWS. UP.) the ratings have begun to top the 1 million viewer mark and usually wins it’s time-slot.  So that said, why is channel 7 splitting the season in half, stopping after 13 episodes instead of the usual 20+ season run?  Next week will see a double night mid-season finale before the show returns next year.

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  Winners and Losers script producer Dan Bennett tweeted me informing me that yes, the show will be back and that next week’s mid-season finale will be a life changing cliffhanger.

Though I’m wondering if Channel 7 have forgotten what happened when they did this to Packed to the Rafters during season 5?  Remember?  People invested themselves into 10 episodes of the show before it was pulled off the air until the following year, then, when Channel 7 so graciously brought it back, people stopped watching and ratings dropped considerably.

I’m hoping (and secretly knowing) that Winners and Losers should be strong enough to withstand a         mid-season pause.  The season so far has been strong with the show moving away from “We’re rich!”         story-lines and focusing more on family/relationships and and the addition of new characters has given the show a much needed boost with Matt (Blair McDonough) and Tiffany Turner (Michala Banas) exiting.

Next weeks double hitter begins Tuesday at 8:45pm on Channel 7.

Packed to the Rafters Says Goodbye.

ImageChannel 7’s popular drama Packed to the Rafters is saying goodbye in a double episode airing July 2nd that will leave long-time fans reaching for the tissues.

The two part finale will see original cast members return for the special finale inlcuding Huigh Sherridan, Jessica Marais, Jessica McNamee and Ryan Corr who will all appear alongside current cast members.

According to 7, the montage look back at previous seasons and high impact scenes will most likely be the cause of a flood of tears from viewers.

7 has also indicated that after at least a years break, the network plans to continue the Rafter’s story in the form of telemovies or another series.