Year of highs and lows
TV 2012 was a mixed bag, writes
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.