Stan Grant.

Stan Grant.

Shocking crimes revisited in new series

Sky News international editor Stan Grant will front a new six-part documentary series for Foxtel, Crimes that Shook Australia. The series will be produced for Foxtel by Title Role Productions and air on the Crime & Investigation network. Title Role's credits include the British version of the format, Crimes That Shook Britain. Stories documented in the program will include the Port Arthur tragedy and the disappearance of schoolgirl Ebony Simpson. Grant describes the project as ''a dark alternative history of our times. It doesn't just tell the stories of the crimes that have horrified us, but goes beyond that to probe why. To try to make sense of what is often beyond our understanding. It won't just relive these shocking events, it will ask us to re-evaluate the world we live in.'' Crimes that Shook Australia will air in April.

Judy Davis bows out of new 24 series

Judy Davis.

Judy Davis.

Australian actress Judy Davis has quit the reboot of the US action series, 24. Davis was scheduled to start work on the series in London this week, but has bowed out of the project at the eleventh hour. The role will now be recast. According to the US entertainment industry trade news website Deadline, ''personal family matters'' are behind the decision. 20th Century Fox has dusted off the franchise, which aired between 2001 and 2010, and will relaunch the series in May.

WTFN to work with China's Tianjin TV

Australian production company WTFN has signed a co-production deal with the Chinese broadcaster Tianjin TV. The deal will see the two groups collaborate on ''a range of projects''. According to WTFN, the first of those projects will be a pilot that they hope to take to April's biannual television market in Cannes, MIPTV. WTFN's Daryl Talbot said Tianjin TV would be a ''fantastic partner for us as we continue to focus on the production and distribution of programs to the international market''. WTFN's credits include The Living Room, Stalking Julia and Bondi Vet.

Ryan Fitzgerald.

Ryan Fitzgerald. Photo: Tamara Dean

International deals for Prisoner franchise

Fremantle Media has confirmed the second of two international remakes for its hit reboot of Prisoner, Wentworth. The Netherlands is producing a local version of Wentworth, which will be titled Celblok H, a nod to the original series, which screened in the UK and Europe in the 1980s as Prisoner: Cell Block H. It follows a German version, which will be titled Block B.

AFL show secures Ryan Fitzgerald

Isabelle Cornish.

Isabelle Cornish. Photo: Nick Leary

Foxtel has signed radio personality Ryan Fitzgerald as the host of its AFL competition series, The Recruit. Fitzgerald's day job is one of half of Nova's radio partnership Fitzy & Wippa. The 10-part reality television series will search and train an AFL recruit who will win a guaranteed spot on an AFL club's list. The series will also feature five-time All Australian, triple premiership player and Brownlow medallist Michael Voss as coach, and former Hawthorn champion and Fox Footy commentator Ben Dixon as assistant coach.

US breakthrough for Isabelle Cornish

Puberty Blues star Isabelle Cornish has secured a role in a highly anticipated new US drama, Sea of Fire. The 19-year-old actor's credits also include Dance Academy and Home and Away.Sea of Fire is based on a Dutch drama, Vuurzee, about three girls whose double lives tear their families apart and leave a small town sheriff investigating a murder. The series will star British actor Jack Davenport as Sheriff Marty Kesowich. Cornish will play his daughter, Merel.

TV tweets

It's almost crazy to think that before twitter, all of this nonsense stayed in people's heads.
Bill Murray (actor, deep thinker) @BillMurray

whoops. I just used a #qanda hashtag on grindr.
Adam Richard (Spicks and Specks team leader, social media expert) @adamrichard

So the Schapelle movie lead-ballooned for 9 last night. Not surprised. The media might be obsessed with her, but the public ain't.
Mike Carlton (broadcaster, over it) @MikeCarlton01

ahhhhhh Downton Abbey ... like a dream come true
Kirstie Alley (actor, anglophile) @kirstiealley