Australia

Production house Kennedy Miller’s breach of contract suit against the Nine Network and former web honcho Sam Chisholm, brought late last year following Nine’s apparent cancellation of an exclusive drama supply contract, has been held over to March 1. At a Feb. 15 hearing, lawfirm Allen Allen & Hemsley was brought in as a third defendant, as one of its partners allegedly made representations to KM that Chisholm, now BSkyB m.d., had the authority to bind Nine to the agreement. However, it appears Nine’s case will argue Chisholm lacked that authority. Confusion arose as Nine also uses AAH, so one of the parties will have to get separate legal representation.

In what’s believed to be a first for Oz tv, Perth-based producer Paul Barron has presold his latest mini to two separate Oz networks, Seven and the Aussie Broadcasting Corp. Seven gets firstrun rights and the ABC certain repeat rights, while the production will use ABC facilities. Mini, Barron’s biggest project to date, started shooting Feb. 18, toplining Clayton Williamson, Noni Hazlehurst, Annie Byron and French thesp Jean-Michel Dagory. George Whaley is helming. It’s presold to the BBC for the U.K. and PBS for the U.S. Telso is handling sales elsewhere.

“Twin Peaks'” debut Feb. 18 proved beneficial to the embattled Ten Network. Opening two-hour episode scored top ratings for its slot in all major capital cities, including a 43 in Perth and high 30s in Melbourne and Brisbane. Sydney also was won, with a peak of 33. Similar results were garnered from the subsequent night (skein moved to weekly broadcast Feb. 23). Other winning debut came from new local drama “Police Rescue,” which won its slot in Sydney and Brisbane. Southern Star Xanadu skein airs on the BBC soon.

Also at Southern Star Xanadu, Linda Cropper, Gary Sweet and lily Chen signed up to appear with Bob Peck in miniseries “Sign Of The Snake.” Co-production with Zenith began shooting Feb. 18.

Matthew Modine and Jennifer Grey will headline “Wind,” the Zoetrope/Filmlink feature being shot in Perth. Aussie Jack Thompson also will feature.

Film Finances’s Aussie operation will act as completion guarantor for the Aussie Film Finance Corp.’s 1991 film fund, which comprises five films with combined budgets of $A20 million. Company also bonded last year’s fund.

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