Michael Idato

Michael Idato

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

Shameless shopping

Emmy Awards tighten rules for comedy, drama, miniseries categories

Michael Idato Television channels hoping to hedge their bets at the annual Emmy Awards will have their "category shopping" antics curtailed under new regulations announced by the Academy of Television Arts and...

House of Cards to headline Netflix debut

House of Cards stars Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey as Claire and Frank Underwood.

Michael Idato Kevin Spacey's House of Cards will headline the Netflix paid streaming service when it launches in Australia in March.

House of Hancock is Dynasty on steroids

Sam Neill as Lang Hancock and  Peta Sergant as Rose Hancock in <i>House of Hancock</i>.

Michael Idato It's hard to believe House of Hancock is an accurate account of events, even if many of its viewers think so.

The times for M and MA-rated content are a'changing if TV stations have their way

Free to air: Sex, nudity and swearing could be broadcast from 7.30pm under new proposals.

Michael Idato Commercial networks will be able to broadcast sex, nudity and swearing from 7.30pm under new guidelines that have been proposed by Australia's free-to-air television industry body.

Comments 90

Heigl picks up the brief in new series

Complicated dynamic: Katherine Heigl and Alfre Woodard in <i>State Of Affairs</i>.

Michael Idato New series gives insight into briefing the president.

Stan developing local dramas including TV spin-off to Wolf Creek

John Jarratt

Michael Idato A TV series set after the events of Wolf Creek 2 and a political drama based on High Court Justice Lionel Murphy are among the dramas under consideration by the streaming service Stan.

Hollywood calling

Is Home and Away's Steve Peacocke the new Chris Hemsworth?

Steve Peacocke won awards for his role as Drax in <i>Home and Away</i>.

Michael Idato Is this young Australian actor poised to follow in Chris Hemsworth's footsteps?

TV showdown

Sydney siege: 60 Minutes wins ratings ahead of Channel 7

Siege survivor Harriette Denny spoke to <i>60 Minutes</i>.

Michael Idato In the, at times, uncomfortable and very personal clash of two news specials seeking to capitalise on public interest in those held at gunpoint in the Lindt Cafe siege, you could persuasively argue...

Comments 59

40-week TV ratings war begins

Michael Idato The television calendar year – a 40-week unrelenting ratings war that starts in February – kicks off much the same way every year: hopelessly derivative, seemingly self-cannibalising and...

Sony hack

Sony hack: Amy Pascal steps down, gets four-year golden handshake

Amy Pascal, co-chairwoman of Sony, has resigned after Sony hack scandal.

Michael Idato Amy Pascal, the Sony Pictures boss who found herself at the centre of the media firestorm over emails leaked when the studio's computers were hacked, has stepped down.

Comments 1

Rebooting a classic

Poltergeist being remade as Fox and MGM unveil trailer

Sam Rockwell to star in <i>Poltergeist</i> remake.

Michael Idato More than three decades after the iconic line, 'They're here', a trailer has been unveiled for a remake.


Baz Luhrmann moves into TV with The Get Down for Netflix

TV move ... Luhrmann and Martin at the premiere of The Great Gatsby in 2013.

Michael Idato Australian film director Baz Luhrmann is moving into television. The 52-year-old director, whose film credits include Strictly Ballroom, Romeo+Juliet, Australia and The Great Gatsby, is producing a...

From Don Pasquale to The Sullivans: Australian acting great Norman Yemm dead, aged 81

Incredible career ... Norman Yemm played Australian rules for VFA club Port Melbourne, became one of the principal baritones for the Australian Opera Company and then became a household name on television series such as Homicide and The Sullivans.

Michael Idato Though Yemm's career cut an unlikely swathe through the worlds of opera, musical theatre and Australian Rules football, he will be best remembered for roles in several iconic TV series including...

Q&A: Producer Sarah Treem on award-winning drama The Affair

Michael Idato Creator and producer of The Affair, Sarah Treem, talks to Michael Idato.

How to Get Away with Murder: Viola Davis prefers moral ambiguity

Viola Davis enjoys the fact that her character takes her out of her comfort zone and was drawn to the role because of the quality of the material.

Michael Idato Crime series has a mystery at its heart - but not the one you might think.

Linney as Highsmith

Laura Linney to play Patricia Highsmith in Australian play Switzerland

Laura Linney will take on the role of Patricia Highsmith in Joanna Murray-Smith's <i>Switzerland</i>.

Michael Idato Laura Linney is set to star in the Australian play Switzerland at LA's prestigious Geffen Playhouse.

Standalone story

Oscar nominated Felicity Jones to lead Star Wars spin-off movie

Actress Felicity Jones to star in <i>Star Wars</i> spin-off film.

Michael Idato Oscar-nominated actress Felicity Jones has been named as one of the stars of a new standalone Star Wars movie.

Tricky scenes

Fifty Shades of Grey: Sex scenes make up one fifth of raunchy movie

Erotic scenes: The film <i>Fifty Shades of Grey</i> is based on the bestselling book.

Michael Idato It may startle even the most open-minded cinemagoer that the sex scenes account for roughly 20 minutes of the film's 100-minute running time.