Michael Idato

Michael Idato

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

End in sight for long-running television drama Downton Abbey

Michael Idato For all great stories and great characters the time comes to say goodbye.

Spoiler alert

Terminator: Genisys new trailer reveals major plot twists


Michael Idato The new trailer for the reboot of the Terminator series has stunned fans by revealing a couple of major plot points and at least one major twist.

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Bizarre game show

Wild Things headlines Cannes TV market: Reality TV has finally gone to the dogs

Bizarre: game show Wild Things, where contestants dress up as animals.

Michael Idato It should come as no surprise that the world of TV "formats" has finally gone to the dogs.


Game of Thrones season 5 leak topples HBO's house of cards, exposes weakness of drip-feed TV

Weakening Foxtel's position: <i>Game of Thrones</i> season 5 leak upsets the balance of power.

Michael Idato This is a lesson in the risks of exerting too much control in a market which is now too large and too hungry to be drip fed on a weekly basis.

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Staggering result

Furious 7 clocks $US800 million at box office, racing towards $US1 billion line

Paul Walker

Michael Idato The latest instalment in the Fast and Furious franchise has passed the $US800 million mark after just its second weekend on release..

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Networking: news from the TV and film industries

Marta Dusseldorp and Brett Climo in <i>A Place to Call Home</i>.

Michael Idato The controversial HBO documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief has set a ratings record in the US.

Thunderbirds Are Go: Lord of the Rings' Richard Taylor relaunches original 1960s TV series

Rebooted: <i>Thunderbirds Are Go!</i>

Michael Idato The high-action, generation-defining TV series is back, with no strings attached.

Game of Thrones: Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister breathes life into a ruthless monarch

Michael Idato Playing Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones has been transformational for actress Lena Headey.

Silicon Valley actor Thomas Middleditch: tech comedy in sync with the real world

Like: Thomas Middleditch and Josh Brener in HBO's <i>Silicon Valley</i>.

Michael Idato Your latest TV version of the Northern California tech community is up to date.


Nicole Kidman's Grace of Monaco denied cinema release

No cinema release: Prince Ranier (Tim Roth) and Grace, Princess of Monaco (Nicole Kidman), in a scene from <i>Grace of Monaco</i>

Michael Idato Grace of Monaco, the much-discussed biopic starring Nicole Kidman as Hollywood actress turned European princess Grace Kelly, has met the cruellest of Hollywood fates.


Rose Byrne, Vince Vaughn to judge Heath Ledger scholarship for rising talent

Rose Byrne

Michael Idato Australian actors Rose Byrne and Ben Mendelsohn, the director Gregor Jordan and the American actor, writer and producer Vince Vaughn have been named as judges for the annual Heath Ledger Scholarship.

Networking: ABC's iView ahead of the streaming pack

Will that be all? <i>Downton Abbey</i>'s Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) and Mr Carson (Jim Carter).

Michael Idato Despite the launch of a slew of competitive streaming services in the form of Netflix, Stan and Presto, the ABC's free iView service remains the strongest player in the streaming space.

Netflix to revive Full House, but has the Hollywood reboot gone too far?

A new series of <i>Full House</i> is being made by Netflix.

Michael Idato By commissioning a new series of 1990s sitcom Full House, Netflix is lowering the high standards that set it apart.

Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin releases chapter from highly-anticipated The Winds of Winter

 Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark in <i>Game of Thrones</i>.

Michael Idato A early-released chapter from the upcoming The Winds of Winter is told from the perspective of Sansa Stark.

Religious celebrity

Pioneering US TV evangelist and Hour of Power host Robert Schuller dies, aged 88

The Rev. Robert Schuller  in 1997.

Michael Idato The Reverend Robert Schuller, who hosted the television church service Hour of Power for four decades, has died. He was 88.

House of Cards returns for fourth series

 Kevin Spacey as politician Frank Underwood in House of Cards

Michael Idato Few things in television are as certain as a fourth season of House of Cards.

April Fool's Day

April Fool's Day joke: Katie Couric appears to take fatal fall on The Late Late Show

<i>Late Late Show</i> host James Corden's delight over Katie Couric stunt.

Michael Idato For a moment - just a moment - newly installed US talk show host James Corden believed that the iconic television journalist Katie Couric had died on his watch.

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Mad Men farewell

Mad Men's creator Matt Weiner bids farewell

Adios <i>Mad Men</i>: The series has lasted seven seasons.

Michael Idato It's time for the stylish '60s admen to hang up their suits. Showrunner Matt Weiner reflects on the lauded success of Mad Men.

TV awards

Daytime Emmys 2015 to include online soaps and streaming services

<i>The Bold and the Beautiful</i> is up for outstanding drama series in the 2015 Daytime Emmys.

Michael Idato America's four decade old award for daytime soaps, game shows, talk shows and cooking programs - the Daytime Emmy - is pushing into the digital age.

Going Clear fascination

HBO's Scientology documentary Going Clear turns into ratings magnet

During <i>Eyes Wide Shut</i>, the Church of Scientology mounted campaign to separate the Hollywood stars, according to documentary.

Michael Idato The controversial Church of Scientology has proven to be a ratings-magnet for the US channel HBO, with its documentary, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, setting a ratings record.