The Pacific goes to war against Hey Hey

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Seven is rolling out the big guns, literally, against Nine's variety juggernaut.

It's television war this month as Channel Seven aims The Pacific fair and square at Hey Hey it's Saturday.

The spectacular miniseries will premiere at 8:30pm Wednesday April 14, the same night that Nine returns its nostalgic variety show to a regular time slot of 7:30pm.

Seven will be counting on viewers changing channels after an hour of Daryl Somers and co. Nine will need a big teaser for its second hour to stop that from happening. Meanwhile TEN's So You Think You Can Dance Australia will be in the final stages of its 2010 title -- the grand final is due just a week later, and it may get smothered in the rush.


Watch the trailer for The Pacific.

Seven launched its miniseries this week in Melbourne at the Railway Hotel which was one of several authentic sites used for the shoot. When the series was filming in 2007-08, it also shot at the MCG and Flinders Street railway station, plus Central Studios at the Docklands and the You Yang district near Geelong.

Media and celebrities partied the night away to the sounds of a brass band playing "In the Mood" and other classic tunes, while marines, sailors and girls in vintage costumes set the scene outside.

Around 80 per cent of the production was filmed in Victoria, and also in Port Douglas, Queensland, which doubled as the islands of Guadalcanal, New Britain and Peleliu. So lavish are some of the scenes that more than 90 sets were built and 62,000 tonnes of earth were excavated to build the Iwo Jima and Okinawa battlefields. Seven is hoping the sheer scale of The Pacific will set it apart from other television dramas.

Australians in the series include Claire Van Der Boom, Gary Sweet, Zoe Carides and Leon Ford, but other faces can be spotted in cameos, especially in the third episode which is set in Melbourne when the US Marines took a little 'R & R.'

The ten-part series is produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, both of whom produced the award-winning Band of Brothers. It will be must see TV for fans of a good war story.

The Pacific premieres 8:30pm Wednesday April 14 on Seven.

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