Year of highs and lows

TV 2012 was a mixed bag, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

HERE was re­newed con­fi­dence in lo­cally made TV prod­ucts, fast­track­ing was a buzz­word and so­cial me­dia emerged as a se­ri­ous net­work tool in 2012.

Put sim­ply, it was a good year to be an ac­tor, writer or di­rec­tor on Aus­tralian tele­vi­sion. How­ever, it was not such a good year to be an ex­ec­u­tive for Net­work Ten or the Nine Net­work, or a TV host.

The sweet smell of success wafted from Nine’s head of­fice when The Voice be­came a rat­ings jug­ger­naut in April.

Ren­o­vat­ing re­al­ity show The Block also churned out huge num­bers and in Au­gust, Nine’s cov­er­age of the Lon­don Olympics was the high­est-reach­ing in Games his­tory with 13.573 mil­lion view­ers.

Yet two months later it started to turn sour, when a few bil­lion dol­lars of debt threat­ened Nine’s vi­a­bil­ity.

Net­work head-hon­cho David Gyn­gell bro­kered a deal in Oc­to­ber that kept the sta­tion afloat and ready to launch a 2013 of­fen­sive on the top-rat­ing Seven Net­work.

In the same month Nine was staved off re­ceiver­ship, long-stand­ing Get­away hosts Catriona Rown­tree and Jules Lund and 60 Min­utes re­porter Liam Bartlett all left.

Seven won the rat­ings na­tion­ally again on the back of its sta­ble of solid per­form­ers such as X Fac­tor, Downton Abbey and Re­venge.

But what made Seven’s year more ap­petis­ing was the kick­start it got from My Kitchen Rules.

The third se­ries was a viewer’s ban­quet, reg­u­larly pulling more than 1.5 mil­lion view­ers an episode while more than two mil­lion tuned in to the fi­nal.

How­ever there were some lam­en­ta­ble shows at Seven in­clud­ing the painful-towatch Aus­tralia’s Got Tal­ent.

Ten pro­vided some of the best and def­i­nitely the worst pro­grams.

To be kind, their ’70s-based minis­eries Pu­berty Blues was crit­i­cally ac­claimed and sent the Twit­ter­sphere into rem­i­nis­cent over­drive. Bikie Wars: Brothers In Arms and Un­der­ground: The Ju­lian As­sange Story were qual­ity pro­duc­tions.

How­ever, Ten’s at­tempt to cre­ate main­stream shows out of for­mats best suited to the niche pay-TV mar­ket failed.

The most for­get­table shows were Be­ing Lara Bin­gle, Ev­ery­body Dance Now, I Will Sur­vive and The Shire. Left: Kerri-Anne Ken­ner­ley bat­tled breast can­cer af­ter her run on

Ten’s de­ci­sion to fast-track US pro­grams to pro­tect its rat­ings also didn’t have the de­sired ef­fect with Home­land and Mer­lin fail­ing to make an im­pact.

The ABC pro­duced some fine minis­eries and tele­movies in­clud­ing Jack Ir­ish, Red­fern Now and Miss Fisher’s Mur­der Mys­ter­ies.

SBS showed it had some­thing to of­fer with its re­al­ity show Go Back To Where You Came From win­ning top prize at the pres­ti­gious Rose d’Or awards in Switzer­land.

Fans ral­lied in sup­port for former queen of day­time tele­vi­sion Kerri-Anne Ken­ner­ley and le­gend Bert New­ton.

KAK re­vealed dur­ing her time on Danc­ing With The Stars that she was bat­tling breast can­cer while New­ton un­der­went quadru­ple by­pass surgery in Novem­ber.

win­ner Karise Eden and men­tor Seal.

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