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High School Musical: Talking with "Summer Heights High" Creator/Writer/Star Chris Lilley

It's been with much enthusiasm that I've been following the career path of Australian comedian/writer Chris Lilley , the creator of the sensational mockumentary comedy series Summer Heights High , which originally aired in Australia last year, earlier this year on BBC Three, and launched Stateside last night on HBO . (I watched the eight-episode series shortly after it aired in Australia and have been gushing about it ever since.) I had the opportunity to speak with Lilley while he was in Los Angeles as part of his promotional tour of the US for Summer Heights High and was immediately struck by just how vastly different the real-life Lilley is from the three characters he portrays on Summer Heights High . Soft-spoken, articulate, and calm, Lilley couldn't be more at odds with the hyperactive Jonah Takalua, the bitchy Ja'mie, or the egocentric Mr. G. It's the Mr. G character in fact who has been with Lilley the longest; Lilley first created the failed actor/arroga

Summer Loving: Another Look at HBO's Wickedly Funny Comedy "Summer Heights High"

I don't often urge you to tune in to a particular series unless I feel it's in your best interests to do so, that your lives will be improved by watching a certain series or that it will open you up to new outlooks or perspectives. That time has rolled by again as HBO prepares to launch Australian comedy series Summer Heights High on Sunday evening. Back in March, when HBO announced that they had acquired the mockumentary series --created, written by, and starring the incomparable Chris Lilley ( We Could Be Heroes )--I jumped with joy as I had had the opportunity to watch the entire eight-episode run of Summer Heights High last year, shortly after it aired in Australia... and I urged each and every one of you to tune in when the series aired in the States. Cut to today, two mere days before HBO bows the very first episode of Summer Heights High . Trust me when I say that your lives will never be the same after watching Lilley tackle three disparate characters: bitchy privat

Channel Surfing: FOX to Remake "Absolutely Fabulous," Renewals for "Sons of Anarchy" and "Entourage," Three Set for "Washingtoniennes," and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. I hope you all watched the second episode of Chuck last night; we need to try to get those numbers up ASAP! Don't break open the Bolly just yet. FOX has ordered a script for an American remake of hit British series Absolutely Fabulous from executive producers Mitch Hurwitz ( Arrested Development ), Eric and Kim Tannenbaum, and writer/executive producer Christine Zander ( Saturday Night Live ). Project, from Sony Pictures TV, Tantamount, and BBC Worldwide America, is the latest attempt to remake Jennifer Saunder's AbFab . (Previous attempts have included a Roseanne Barr adaptation with Carrie Fisher, CBS' Cybill and High Society , both of which were thinly veiled attempts to cash in on AbFab .) This version will shift the action to Los Angeles, where two boozy over-the-hill BFFs attempt to stay hip while earning a disapproving eye from Edina's straitlaced teenaged daugher Saffron. I would have thought that, post- A

HBO Snags Aussie Comedy "Summer Heights High," Why You Need to Watch

Jonah might have something to say about it but, frankly, such language isn't appropriate for this column. I was pleasantly shocked and surprised to learn that HBO had acquired the hysterical eight-episode Australian comedy Summer Heights High. ( Originally, HBO intended to pair Summer Heights High with animated comedy The Life and Times of Tim in a late-night Friday comedy block in June , but the pay cabler will now launch Summer Heights High in November.) For those of you not in the know, Summer Heights High is an absolutely brilliant and gut-bursting Australian mockumentary created, written, and starring breakout comedic star Chris Lilly ( We Can Be Heroes ), which aired Down Under last fall and spawned a Top 10 dance hit single "Naughty Girl." (Seriously!) Astonishingly, Lilly plays three vastly different characters: spoiled rotten 16-year-old private school girl Ja'mie King on a student exchange program from exclusive Hilford Academy; 13-year-old troubled