Michael Idato

Michael Idato

Michael Idato is a Senior Writer based in Los Angeles for The Sydney Morning Herald.

Television history

Iconic space suit and egg up from Robin Williams' series Mork & Mindy up for auction

Michael Idato It won't get you into space. It won't even get you into orbit. But it will give you a rare slice of television history.

Television takedown

Satirist John Oliver blasts Miss America 'scholarship' claims

John Oliver

Michael Idato TV satirist John Oliver has slammed the "Miss America" beauty pageant for falling short on its scholarship claims.

Robin Williams's grieving daughter Zelda thanks fans for their 'truly helpful' letters

Michael Idato Zelda Williams, the daughter of the late comedian Robin Williams, has sent a note of thanks in response to the letters sent to her in the wake of her father's death

Aussie TV

Television outshines film as TV nominees soak up the spotlight for 14th annual SPA Awards


Michael Idato TV hits Rake, Time Our Lives and Wentworth lead the nominations charge.

Bombshell return

The Good Wife returns for season six with a 'horrifying' twist

The Good Wife gets greater: Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick.

Michael Idato The good news is: no one died. The even better news: there's a second unexpected bombshell awaiting fans.

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Move over Sharknado, here comes Lavalantula - giant lava-spewing tarantulas

Promotional still from the film <i>Lavalantula</i>.

Michael Idato The latest entry in the annals of exploitation brings volcanoes and spiders together.

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Iconic musical

The Lion King makes history as the biggest stage show of all time

<i>The Lion King</i>:

Michael Idato The Lion King's $US6.2 billion in global takings eclipses not only stage productions but also highest grossing film, Avatar, at $US2.8 billion.

Series return

Downton Abbey's season 5 makes a less than stellar debut in the UK

Richard E. Grant is one of the high profile guest stars on <i>Downton Abbey</i> season 5.

Michael Idato The British series had its second lowest rating season premiere in its five year history.

Back from the dead

Charlie Sheen wants to return to Two and a Half Men, despite having been killed off

Charlie Sheen

Michael Idato The original star, who exited the series in spectacular fashion three years ago, wants to be part of the show's final episode.

Superhero stars

Supergirl set to soar as US goes comic-book mad

Superman is cousin to Supergirl, who is set to get her own TV series.

Michael Idato One of the most iconic female superheroes of all time, Supergirl, is set to soar in her own television series.

Farewell to a star

Elaine Lee, the 'charming, funny and delightfully sexy' Number 96 star, has died aged 75

Elaine Lee, pictured left, with David Sale and Sheila Kennelly.

Michael Idato Elaine Lee, the 1970s-era sex symbol and star of the iconic soap Number 96, has died, aged 75.

Hollywood competition

California launches bid to claw back 'runaway' film production from Australia and elsewhere

A trail runs beside the iconic Hollywood sign in Hollywood, California on January 18, 2012 in California, where police found a human hand near where a pair of dog walkers found a gruesome severed head, on a hiking trail leading up to the iconic Hollywood sign, a spokesman said. The hand was found after police sealed off the area overnight following the discovery of the head, reported to be that of a male in his 40s, on a trail in the Hollywood hills.. AFP PHOTO / Frederic J. BROWN

Michael Idato The state of California has declared war on rival states and countries which have used tax incentives to lure Hollywood's production away from its global capital.

Homegrown talent

Greg Coote, Anthony LaPaglia, Margot Robbie among Australians honoured in Hollywood

Michael Idato Australian producer Greg Coote will get a posthumous honour at the Australian in Film Awards in Hollywood, along with Anthony LaPaglia, Margot Robbie and others.

The ultimate game show

Reality TV titans to join forces on new 'genius game show' 500 Questions

Survivor's Mark Burnett says the new series will have

Michael Idato What happens when you combine the creativity of Survivor's Mark Burnett and American Idol's Mike Darnell for a 'huge game show event'?

Charlie Hunnam talks about letting go of Sons of Anarchy and Jax Teller

The boss: Charlie Hunnam as Jax Teller in Sons Of Anarchy.

Michael Idato Charlie Hunnam admits he's had one of the greatest experiences of his life playing the bikie boss Jax Teller. Michael Idato asked how he'll feel to say good bye to the character.

Danger 5

SBS delays comedy series Danger 5 because of concerns over sensitive content

Danger 5

Michael Idato The second season of the cult comedy series is on pause, due to a connection with the "recent ISIS actions" in which two journalists were beheaded in Iraq.

Look at moi

Kath & Kim on Hulu in the US after remake failed

US opportunity: Renamed The Original Kath & Kim, the classic Australian comedy is streaming on Hulu in the US.

Michael Idato The slightly offbeat suburban spirit of the show didn't make the jump with the US remake. Now the first four seasons of the iconic comedy show are available there online.


The Simpsons crossover episode starring ... The Simpsons

Sketchy: The original incarnation of <em>The Simpsons</em> was very different from the modern version.

Michael Idato It will be remembered as the year of the TV crossover: Futurama on The Simpsons, The Simpsons on Family Guy.