September 16, 2010

Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban Updates 09/16/10

While we're waiting for any Rabbit Hole distribution news, we'll get back to the regular updates for the blog


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Rabbit Hole press conference is up! You can also watch other TIFF press conferences HERE



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Wednesday saw a raft of deals close for U.S. distrib rights to films playing at the Toronto Film Fest. A number of other titles are in heavy play, including Nicole Kidman-Aaron Eckhart drama "Rabbit Hole."


Rabbit Hole's Kidman, Eckhart create life after loss

Rabbit Hole's' Kidman, Eckhart create a life after a loss
Los Angeles Times

There's a kind of morning-after intimacy between Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart on the morning after Monday night's Toronto film festival premiere of "Rabbit Hole." As the actors talk about the raw and ragged emotional terrain they must inhabit as a long-married couple dealing with the death of their young son, there are shared looks, secret laughs, a sense that the day will be more bearable because the other is close at hand.

Eckhart in a dark suit and tie, white shirt setting off what's left of a summer tan, lazes in his chair. Next to him, Kidman, a study in tailored shades of blues that manage to capture the complexity of those inky, indigo eyes, sits ramrod straight. It's exactly as you might picture "Rabbit Hole's" Becca and Howie and the different ways in which they grieve, blame, fight and struggle to carry on with life after such a horrific loss: Eckhart's warring internal factions evident in his tightly coiled languor, Kidman's carefully constructed presence, not a hair or a thought out of place.

"The piece is so strong, the writing just takes you there, the emotion, you don't have to work for it," said Kidman. "It's not that it's easy, it's not, but with something that isn't written well, you're struggling to find that raw, emotional place, whereas when it's written well, it's almost like a great piece of music. It speaks to you immediately."

It first spoke to Kidman in 2006. She remembers being in a Nashville coffee shop - she lives in the city with her country music star husband, Keith Urban - getting her New York fix reading the paper when she came across a review of David Lindsay-Abaire's Broadway play. She called her producing partner Per Saari, who flew from Australia to New York to see it, pronounced it great and sent her a copy of the play.

"I read it that night, and I was just floored, it just touched me in such a deep way," she said. "It was before it had won the Pulitzer, before the Tonys. I hadn't had Sunday Rose yet," her now 2-year-old daughter. "But there was something very palpable there, a voice that spoke to me that made me want to tell the story."

"Rabbit Hole" would become the first production for Kidman's Blossom Films with Lindsay-Abaire doing the adaptation for the screen, and with what might at first glance seem an unconventional pick of John Cameron Mitchell ("Hedwig and the Angry Inch") as director. On Broadway, the play won its lead, Cynthia Nixon, a Tony, and the film, which channels Kidman's talent at its visceral best, could earn her similar accolades - that is, if a distributor picks it up (at press time, the film had no buyers).

But then Kidman is a high-wire act, always pulled to play the most fearsome of characters, not always to good end, with 2006's "Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus" a disappointment, and 2007's "Margot at the Wedding" not fully realized. The 2009 musical "Nine" and the sweeping epic "Australia" in 2008 also fell short in their own way. Which makes "Rabbit Hole," with such finely attenuated performances by Kidman and Eckhart, so satisfying, a reminder of the extraordinary work she is capable of at her best.

Eckhart - single, never married, no children - was her first and only choice to play the husband.

"I begged," she laughed.

"I did get a very nice call," he allowed.

"My reason for doing this was Nicole. There was no other reason. I don't think I'd even read the script or the play, I just felt if you get a call from Nicole, no matter what. ... How many people get that in a career?" he said. "Nicole had been someone I wanted to work with for a while, someone I knew would be challenging."

The film opens eight months after Becca and Howie's 4-year-old has died in one of those tragedies where no one and everyone is to blame: the gate that wasn't latched, the dog that ran into the street, the teenager behind the wheel who swerved to miss the dog only to hit the running child he didn't see. It requires that the characters somehow embody all that history from the outset.

"I remember us, in the house where we shot the film - it was empty. John and Aaron and I, we're sitting on the floor, and we were just slowly putting together the bits and pieces of their life before," Kidman said.

"When we were working in the kitchen together, I really felt this," added Eckhart. "You were sitting down, and I was standing up ... I felt like it was a couple sitting there talking. We're talking about our son who has died. We have the belief that it has happened."

As it is in life, there is a great deal of humor in the film, yet it had to be so carefully played against the tragedy. It is rooted in the humanity of everyone in the ensemble, those ironic moments that catch you by surprise, especially in the hands of Dianne Wiest as Becca's mother, who manages nearly always to say the wrong thing for all the right reasons.

"If it's truthful, then the rest follows," said Kidman. "It has a sense of authenticity, because it is life, in our darkest times the most incredibly strange and funny things happen."

The most difficult scene for Kidman? For Eckhart?

"It was the same one," Eckhart offered. "I was a jerk," which sends them both into spasms of laughter, as if to brush away the perilous angst of that moment.

"It was a big one, when we both discuss the actual death and blame ourselves," said Kidman. "But I just love you in that, that's just so ... you were so real."

"There's such a buildup on those scenes, an anticipation," Eckhart added. "You're coming at them with different energies, that feeling of I have to accomplish this, when really you don't have to accomplish anything. I did learn something that day because I said, why don't you just calm down and try the scene, which worked, at least for me."

Still, the piece and its roil of emotions haunted both of them throughout the 28-day shoot.

As Eckhart put it: "You just take a slice out of your life and say for this time I'm going to foster these feelings."

"Whether it's reading a novel, seeing it as a play, seeing it as a film, there is a power to these kind of stories," said Kidman. "Most of us will experience devastating loss at some stage in our lives, and I think the way in which a couple goes through the most terrifying loss and somehow they keep putting one foot in front of another, that just brings me to my knees.

"I dreamt a lot through this production," she said quietly. "I didn't sleep that well. It really affected me on a subconscious level. I just wanted to do this justice."


Death, Marriage, & John Cameron Mitchell: Eckhart and Kidman Sustain “Rabbit Hole”

by Eric Kohn (September 15, 2010)

The outlandish inventiveness of John Cameron Mitchell’s previous films are barely discernible in “Rabbit Hole,” a relatively tame but nonetheless admirable drama sustained by convincing performances and steady direction. Compared to “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and “Shortbus,” the aims of “Rabbit Hole” are relatively minor. The story of a married couple coping with the death of their child, “Rabbit Hole” works just well enough to never fall apart.

Adapted from David Lindsay-Abaire’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, the movie follows Becca and Howie Corbett (Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart), whose toddler died several months earlier in a traffic accident. Stuck in a cycle of ineffective group therapy and the specter of grief hanging over their joint domestic life, they constantly struggle to pick up the pieces. While Howie encourages their therapy attendance and suggests they have a new child, Becca lurks in the shadow of their loss. “I didn’t know there was a cut-off date,” she snaps when Howie urges her to move on.

Building on her uncomfortable presence in “Margot at the Wedding,” Kidman continues her success with making difficult characters into figures of sympathy. She’s both snarky and morbidly pessimistic, absorbing the bad vibes in her life rather than trying to cope with them. She balks at the sincere attempts by her mother (Dianne Weist, in a small but equally fine-tuned role) to draw parallels with her own son’s death from a drug overdose. Becca’s individualistic stance makes her a hot-wire presence, and the character most likely to crack. At a group therapy session, she lashes out to comic effect when a fellow bereaved parent rationalizes his child’s death by explaining that “God needed another angel.” Rolling her eyes, she shoots back, “Then why didn’t he just make one?”

Eckhart operates on a level of comparative understatement: Howie always intends to become the voice of reason while masking his sadness. When his relentless optimism eventually turns sour, Eckhart makes the man’s dwindling stamina lurk on the brink of a breakdown. Together, the actors’ uncertain chemistry ekes tension out of the possibility that their marriage could fall apart at any moment. The plot establishes a series of problematic situations, but Mitchell never takes the twists to the next level of dramatic conflict. It’s a solidly underwhelming experience.

Adhering to realism when a melodramatic route would offer the easy solution, “Rabbit Hole” feels persistently credible even when things get complicated. Becca secretly finds solace in meetings with the disillusioned teen (Miles Teller) whose actions behind the wheel led to her son’s death. Howie, meanwhile, finds himself drawn into an ambiguous relationship with a fellow group therapy member (Sandra Oh). Comprising the bulk of the story, these scenes allow the tightly assembled cast to act circles around each other and little else.

Where movies with delusions of grandeur would aim for a sappy climax, “Rabbit Hole” hugs the ground. Mitchell only turns up the volume for a confrontational screaming match between the couple, the kind of angry throwdown that can prove a challenge for any two actors. Fortunately, they handle it with incredible dexterity, ably avoiding the danger of sounding shrill. To his credit, Mitchell works his way around the pratfalls of extreme sentimentalism. The sobbing is kept to a minimum, with nobody delivering a tell-all monologue in the concluding scenes. Despite his Broadway pedigree, Mitchell nimbly dodges a stagey approach. The cumulative impact “Rabbit Hole” is merely surface-deep, but the movie still inhabits fertile ground.


Aaron Eckhart tackles grieving father role, but what he really wants to do is direct

Aaron Eckhart, like so many actors, doesn't generally watch his own movies.

"You have your own experience making the movie and that's the memory I like," Eckhart says. "It's such a pure experience, whereas after the movie it goes through so many hands and interpretations that it's often not the movie that I experienced making."

He stars with Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole where he plays a husband struggling with the death of their 4-year-old son. In their grief, Kidman's character and his react in strikingly different ways. They must cope with what this means for their marriage, as well as their personal stability.

Eckhart knows Rabbit Hole, directed by John Cameron Mitchell, is a tough movie to watch, given its tragic subject matter.

"It's everybody's worst fear," Eckhart says. "That's what David Lindsay-Abaire, the screenwriter, said. At Juilliard, his teacher would say: "Write what scares you the most." When his child was four years old, he remembered what she said and he wrote this script."

" The goal is to make a movie where you can lay it all out there and see what happens,' he says. "But it's not always easy to watch. I don't know who the audience is going to be, but there's so much emotion to explore in this."

Rabbit Hole is his third movie this year. He also shot Rum Diaries, with Johnny Depp, a Hunter S. Thompson tale, and Battle Los Angeles, a big popcorn action movie.

But the versatile actor hopes to direct his own films soon.

"I'm thinking about the film I want to do, to challenge myself," he said "It's when you get lazy and you think you have all the answers, then everybody suffers. As a writer, as an actor, we recognize laziness, we recognize initiative and ingenuity and imagination. It's rare, it's maybe 5 percent, 3 percent. It's that small."

Though he's played such cynical and flawed characters as Harvey Dent/Two Face in The Dark Knight the lobbyist in Thank You for Smoking or the taunting misogynist in In the Company of Men, the 44-year-old actor finds himself increasingly drawn to material with clear-cut heroes.

"I feel that as I grow older, there's always room for the core-valued hero," Eckhart said. "Not the superhero, but the man, the real man who finds himself in a situation where he has to challenge himself, to use his skills, his smarts, his wits, not lasers or guns but his instincts, trusting himself and those around him as a means of survival."

But he's also pragmatic. "It has to be mainstream and entertaining. I feel like I want to make family movies in the sense that the entire family can see the movie and not be offended by the material but also not feel like they went to see a family movie. "

Eckhart has arrived at this decision over time.

"Everybody has their thing that they want to push out of themselves and that's what seems to want to be pushed out of me right now," he says. "I think it will find an audience. I feel there's such a need for inspiration now. As much as I like, as an actor, to try and tackle those harder, darker roles, there are other things that I want to do. I'd like to tackle them in different ways and be more inspiring than I think movies are right now. It comes from a value-based place, a belief system. Some say it's faith-based. I'm not talking about that. I'm not trying to cure anything … I just think you need to be true to what you believe. If you do that, you can't go wrong."

It takes only a few seconds for Eckhart to name his idea of the quintessential example of the kind of movie he's talking about: Rocky.

"Rocky is about a guy who's just trying to follow his dream, make it and fall in love," says Eckhart. "He's a fighter, that's what he does. But he's also a survivor. I don't think there's any movie that's more inspiring. Why would you make a movie that wasn't like that?" - Claudia Puig


Toronto Film Festival Day Six: Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman and Oscar buzz

Less surreal, but just as moving is Nicole Kidman’s work in John Cameron Mitchell’s “Rabbit Hole.” An adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Lindsay-Abaire, it’s the wrenching story of a couple trying to cope – or, rather, trying to avoid coping – with the death of their four-year-old son.

Yeah, I know – not exactly a natural movie choice for “let’s-get-a-sitter” night. (Which is probably why, as of writing, it's still looking for a U.S. distributor.)

But if you can steel yourself for the melancholic material, this is actually a beautiful, compassionate film about relationships, and the difficulties that even two loving, committed partners can have in trying to keep going after a devastating loss.

And while it’s full of good actors – the dependable Aaron Eckhart, a great Dianne Wiest – it’s Kidman who pushes the drama forward, as she brings all of her usual on-screen strengths (a chilly surface, a steely focus) to bear on a portrait of a woman who seems to feel nothing. Because she simply doesn’t dare.


Cody Alan has finally posted Keith's interview from last week!

Click HEREto listen.


Peter Frampton, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban to auction flood-damaged instruments for charity

Flood-damaged musical instruments belonging to world-famous musicians will be auctioned off next month to raise money for other artists hurt by May’s flood.

Nashville musicians George Gruhn, Joe Glaser and Bruce Bouton founded NashH20 to support relief efforts. They’ve received damaged instruments from Peter Frampton, Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Vince Gill and others — all of which will head to an online auction starting Oct. 12.

NashH20 will have a launch party the same day at Hard Rock Cafe, which will include appearances by some of the artists who made the donations, as well as a VIP reception, news conference and silent auction.

The online auction will be hosted at It will raise money for the MusiCares Nashville Flood Relief Fund and the Nashville Musicians Association Flood Relief Fund, both of which benefit musicians and those in the industry, and Middle Tennessee fire and rescue departments.

More from a Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. news release:

NASH2O was organized shortly after the devastating May floodwaters receded by three longtime Music City mainstays: George Gruhn, widely-recognized as the leading authority on vintage stringed instruments; Joe Glaser, renowned luthier and fine instrument repairman and steel guitarist/producer Bruce Bouton, a fixture on high-profile recordings and tours for decades. Their goal was to collect flood-damaged instruments from top artists, which could then be sold as presentation/collector pieces. The group secured underwriting support from Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, a major insurer of many of the affected artists and exclusive insurance sponsor of NASH2O.
As Gruhn explains, the instruments themselves are unlike what is usually available to fans and followers:
“It’s fairly common to see instruments, signed by artists, for sale in charity efforts or given as contest prizes. But those are almost always pieces donated by a manufacturer for that purpose. They’re handed to the artist, he signs them, and that’s really the only connection he has with them. The NASH2O pieces are the artists’ personal instruments. Peter Frampton’s Les Paul is, well, Peter Frampton’s Les Paul. Brad Paisley’s Tele-style guitar is Brad’s guitar. You hear that guitar on the records. You saw it in his hands in concert. These are very personal, cherished tools of the trade, and buyers can own a piece of that history, that pedigree.”
The online auction and NASH2O communities use Moontoast’s Social Commerce Platform.
Sweepstakes items of new instruments and/or premiums have also been donated by Taylor Guitars, THD Amplifiers, Paul Reed Smith Guitars, Gibson Guitars, Martin Guitars and Yamaha Instruments.


Country music brings out big guns for peak sales season

By Brian Mansfield, Special for USA TODAY
A bumper crop of country music is coming this fall.

More than a dozen of the genre's top acts — including Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley and Toby Keith — have albums out between now and Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, for instance, sees the release of You Get What You Give from the Zac Brown Band, a nominee for the Country Music Association's entertainer of the year award, and Enjoy Yourself from Billy Currington, who has had three consecutive chart-topping singles.

RELEASE DATES: See what albums are due when

Others with new titles on the way: Jason Aldean, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts and Sugarland.

"Country is in a good space right now," says Mike Dungan, president/CEO of Capitol Records Nashville, which has fall music from Keith Urban and Darius Rucker.

More than a third of music sales take place in the last two months of the year, Dungan says. "When you get a little confidence in your ability to compete, you decide that Christmas is the best time to release a record."


Celebrity Artists and Musicians Take the American Cancer Society's Campaign for More Birthdays to the Next Level

ATLANTA, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Cancer Society, the official sponsor of birthdays, today announced details of a unique new campaign that marks the next phase of the Society's movement for More Birthdays. Over the past several months, dozens of the biggest names in music and art have come together, inspired by the efforts of the American Cancer Society, its supporters and everyone affected by cancer, to generously donate their talent and artwork to help amplify the voice of the More Birthdays movement. To date, artists such as Keith Urban, Justin Bieber, Jack Johnson, Colbie Caillat, Eric Carle, Maroon 5, Masha D'Yans and more have joined the More Birthdays movement, and others continue to join every day.

Musicians joining the campaign each perform their own special rendition of "Happy Birthday," one of the most well-known songs in the world, while each visual artist creates or donates artwork inspired by specific facts about how the American Cancer Society has contributed to progress against cancer. The musician and artist contributions have been turned into traditional advertising elements such as television, magazine and online ads, as well as birthday merchandise housed in a new art and music gallery on There the public can help celebrate More Birthdays by sending custom e-cards or buying gift wrap, posters, limited-edition prints and more – all created from the exclusive art and music donated to the campaign. Each donation made or item purchased will help the American Cancer Society raise money and save more lives to create a world with less cancer and More Birthdays.

"I love the spirit of the American Cancer Society's More Birthdays campaign because it celebrates life," said three-time Grammy Award winner Keith Urban. "The marking of time, especially when spent with family and friends on that special day, helps to remind us of the little things that are most important to all of our lives."

"I think it's really important to support More Birthdays because the Society is helping out so much to save lives," said multiple platinum singing sensation Justin Bieber. "Hopefully, me singing Happy Birthday to people through this effort will make them smile."

"Thanks in part to the progress we've made, today we are celebrating 350 birthdays each and every day that would have been otherwise lost to cancer," said John R. Seffrin, PhD, chief executive officer, American Cancer Society. "Now we are working relentlessly toward a world where we can celebrate tens of thousands More Birthdays every day, and we need every tool at our disposal. We hope the support of these wonderful artists and musicians will capture the public's attention and inspire them to help us make more progress and move us closer to a world where cancer never steals another year of anyone's life."

The campaign is the creative work of the Society's partner advertising and public relations agencies, led by The Martin Agency with strategic support from Brodeur Partners and Vanguard Entertainment Media Marketing Group.

The American Cancer Society invites everyone to visit and join these entertainers, artists and the thousands of supporters who have already joined the movement to create a world with less cancer and More Birthdays.

To see Keith Urban's More Birthdays page click HERE.


From Hazel on CMT's Hot Dish

Good-Hearted Keith Urban Is for the Hall
Keith Urban's second All for the Hall benefit concert for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is coming up on Oct. 5 at the Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville. His guests will include Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Alison Krauss, Miranda Lambert, John Mayer, Martina McBride, Charley Pride and Billy Currington. A good-hearted man who loves country music, Keith is a killer entertainer, killer guitar man, killer singer and killer songwriter.


Lucy Punch, the actress who took over Nicole's role in You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger talks about her gratitude and a funny first meeting with the director.

Lucy Punch Breaks the First Rule of Making a Woody Allen Movie: ‘You Don’t Touch Woody’

Nicole Kidman, if you're reading this, Lucy Punch has a message for you: "I've never met her, but if I do, I’ll fall at her feet and say, 'Thank you so much!' because she, in a weird way, changed my life," the up-and-coming actress told us last night, following a screening of Woody Allen's new You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger at the Lambs Club at the Chatwal Hotel. In the movie, Punch plays a sex worker turned gold digger, a role Kidman was set to play until she had to back out owing to a scheduling conflict. "[The role is] completely against type," said Punch. "I’ve never played a super-sexual part before." But how to play a woman of easy virtue wasn't the only thing she learned on set.

"When I first met Woody, I was in full costume and I went up to him and was very excited to meet him and gave him this huge hug,” she told us. "And he went completely silent and totally stiff. And I was like, 'What have I done? I’m going to get fired.' And everyone’s like, 'You don’t touch Woody.' I was less demonstrative for the rest of the shoot."

Luckily, though, she had no problems being amorous with Anthony Hopkins, with whom she has kissing scenes in the film: "It was great," says Punch. "I don’t know how old he is — I think he’s in his 70s — but I think he’s a very attractive man."


We found this quite amusing. Click HERE to watch a home decorating challenge solved by Operation Nicole And Keith!


And finally, as you have probably have already heard Oprah is visiting Australia with her audience. Many news stories are reporting that Nicole, along with her other fellow Aussie actors, will be making appearances on the show.


And we cannot wait till she does come to Australia ...........
OPRAH Winfrey says she's ready to shop 'til she drops in "trendy Melbourne" when she takes her talk show on an Australian tour later this year.
Winfrey sent the 300 audience members sitting in her Chicago studio into a frenzy overnight when the TV talk show queen announced she was flying them to Australia for an eight-day adventure.

The fans, who Winfrey described as her most loyal and dedicated viewers, screamed at the news.

They hugged. They cried. They jumped up and down in ecstasy.

"We're going to Australia, we're going to Australia!'' Winfrey told the audience.

"You and you and you are going to Australia. We're going to Australia. Yay!''

Winfrey uses the premiere episode of each new season to shower gifts, including cars, on a handpicked audience of ultimate fans, but in this season's premiere, her 25th and last, she tricked them into believing they were going to either New York, Philadelphia or Los Angeles, before revealing they were flying Down Under.

"I wanted to kick off my 25th season in a big way and I've heard Australia is the ultimate adventure,'' Winfrey said.

To help break the news, Winfrey recruited longtime Qantas ambassador, Hollywood star and pilot John Travolta.

"John Travolta is actually a real Qantas Airlines pilot who's flown there many times, and we have been secretly plotting, planning this trip of a lifetime for almost a year with everyone at Tourism Australia, and they are ready to roll out the red carpet for all 300 of us,'' Winfrey said.

The eight-day, seven-night trip, called Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure, will take place in December as 300 fans travel via Qantas to Sydney.

During her Australian visit, Winfrey will film several episodes of her talkshow, including at the Sydney Opera House on December 14, when the iconic building will be transformed into the Sydney "Oprah'' House.

Thousands of Winfrey's Australian fans will be invited to sit in the audience.

"We'll sail Sydney Harbour, some will sample shiraz in Aussie wine country and others will shop 'til they drop in trendy Melbourne,'' Winfrey told the delirious audience.

"We'll get up close with kangaroos and koalas, kick back on some of the world's most beautiful beaches, and experience one of the seven wonders of the world - the Great Barrier Reef.

"Then we'll all meet at the spectacular Sydney Opera House, where thousands of our Aussie ultimate viewers will join us for an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime Oprah Show experience.''

The Sydney show - the first to be filmed outside the US - will feature an audience brought over from the US and a possible swag of Aussie guests including Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Cate Blanchett, Cathy Freeman and Baz Luhrmann.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has even been touted as a guest, as has sailor Jessica Watson, astronaut Andy Thomas and writers Thomas Keneally, Peter Carey and Tim Winton.

Among other ideas presented to Oprah for the show include a visit to Bondi Beach with Mr Jackman and a tour of the Sydney Theatre Company with Cate Blanchett, as well as visits to Byron Bay, Tamworth and the Blue Mountains for stories.

Back in Chicago, the 300 audience members were also presented with another gift, a Motorola smartphone that Winfrey said was "water resistant, so if you drop it at the Great Barrier Reef, no worries''.

The visit will be a huge boost for Australian tourism, with Winfrey's show syndicated to 215 TV stations across the US and 145 countries around the world.

"For many people around the world, Australia is a dream destination,'' Andrew McEvoy, managing director of Tourism Australia, said.

"Today we turned that dream into a reality for some of Oprah's ultimate viewers. We are excited to show them and Oprah's global audience why there really is nothing like Australia.''

Federal Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson said the program's weekly following of 40 million American viewers meant the trip would put Australia's beauty on the world stage.

"Oprah is a global household name and her star power has the potential to lift Australia's profile as a premier tourist destination,'' he said in a statement.

Tourism Australia chairman Geoff Dixon said Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure theme was perfect for selling the country's tourism experiences to the rest of the world.

"We know Australia is a dream destination for millions of people,'' he said.

"The partnership with The Oprah Winfrey Show is a real opportunity to show how they can make their dream a reality.''

Episodes of the show will air in the US in early 2011 and then roll out to other countries.


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