Exciting mix to lure viewers
From singing kids and bikie wars to crime thrillers and fat celebrities, there’s lots to look forward to this year, write Colin Vickery and Siobhan Duck
Ten, Ten SC: For those of us who grew up in the 1970s and ’80s, YTT was a weekly staple. But as resurrected Hey Hey It’s Saturday and It’s a Knockout have shown, nostalgia will only carry a show so far. YTT’S success depends on the kids and if the promos are anything to go by, it looks like Ten’s got the mix right. Randling: ABC1: Two years after Andrew Denton quit his Enough Rope interview show to concentrate on producing TV shows, he’s back to host mysterious new game show Randling, described as ‘‘a fierce and funny half hour’’ that is ‘‘whitewater rafting for the brain’’. We don’t know what that means, but we’re intrigued. Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms: Ten, Ten SC: When we first heard about Bikie Wars, from the producers of Underbelly we were less than thrilled. Then we saw stars Callan Mulvey and Damian WalsheHowling in action and we were riveted. Add crack actors Susie Porter, Todd Lasance, Anthony Hayes and Jeremy Lindsay Taylor to the mix and this recounting of the 1984 Milperra Massacre may be better than Underbelly. The Voice: Nine, NBN: Channel 9, late to jump on the music talent bandwagon, promises something different from The Voice. Judges/ coaches Delta Goodrem, Seal, Keith Urban and Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden pick contestants at blind auditions, meaning they have to concentrate on talent rather than image. The US version of The Voice, which featured Christine Aguilera and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, was a hit. The Aussie version may be too. Beaconsfield: Nine, NBN: Telemovie Beaconsfield won’t be the happiest viewing, but it may be the most compelling. Shane Jacobson and Lachy Hulme play Tasmanian miners Todd Russell and Brant Webb, who were trapped underground for 14 days. Beaconsfield highlights the pair’s mental and physical ordeal as well as the extraordinary rescue operation. Word is Beaconsfield is stunning.
Rob Mills and Andrew Denton Jack Irish: ABC1: Getting award-winning actor Guy Pearce to work in Australia is cause for celebration. Pearce, fresh from The King’s Speech and Mildred Pearce, plays private investigator Jack Irish in two telemovies, Bad Debts and Black Tide, based on bestselling crime books by Peter Temple. Screenwriters include the gifted Andrew Knight ( Rake, Seachange), the cast features Shane Jacobson and Diana Glenn (See report page 35). Pictures of You; Sports Fever!: Seven, Prime7: Working Dog, the team behind The Castle and Thank God You’re Here, has been quiet but that’s about to change. Rob Sitch, Jane Kennedy et al released a film Any Questions for Ben? as well as two TV shows for Channel 7. Pictures of You, hosted by Brian Nankervis, looks at the formative years of famous Australians. Sports Fever!, hosted by
Santo Cilauro, is a sports panel show. Breakfast: Ten, Ten SC: Morning TV gets a whole lot more interesting with Channel 10 set to go head to head with Today and Sunrise for advertorial dollars. Ten is still to reveal which lady is to join Andrew Rochford, but a host of stars are said to have auditioned for the plum role. Sonia Kruger takes over Kerri-anne Kennerley’s gig on Channel 9 and there are ongoing reports of changes at Sunrise. Underground: The Julian Assange Story: Ten, Ten SC: Oscar-nominated film The Social Network tells the story of Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg’s humble beginnings; Channel 10’s new drama lifts the lid on the Wikileaks’ founder’s early days as an 18-year-old hacker. Is he a martyr for free speech or a dangerous loose cannon? Either way it should make fascinating viewing. Big Brother: Nine, NBN: It was the show we loved to hate. Let’s hope Channel 9 goes back to basics with its rebooted BB. They’re off to a good start with Sonia Kruger as host. Shaun Micallef is Mad as Hell: ABC1: Riding high from the popularity of Talkin’ ’Bout Your Generation, Micallef returns to his roots with a comedy news program in 2012. Part Good News Week, part Newstopia Micallef examines headlines of the week from his absurdist perspective. Excess Baggage: Nine, NBN: Weightloss shows and celebrity reality series are ratings winners so it’s surprising it took this long for a network to combine the two. Kate Ceberano hosts this reality series that pairs overweight celebrities such as Britney Spears’ ex Kevin Federline, Christine Anu and Dipper and everyday people in physical challenges to get them fit.
Young Talent Time: Shaun Micallef