What to watch
SHANNON MOLLOY grabs his crystal ball to predict what will be hot on the box this year
GET set for a massive year of TV, with new shows to get hooked on and old favourites to return to. Here’s our look at the hotly anticipated programs, the stars who’ll dominate and the trends that will change the way you view content in 2016.
NEW SHOWS YOU’LL LOVE
The Secret Daughter on Seven, starring Jessica Mauboy in a role written just for her, is about a promising young singer in a country pub whose chance encounter with a big-city hotelier changes her life. Expect the magic she brought to hit film The Sapphires. Secret City on Foxtel, with an all-star cast including Jacki Weaver, Anna Torv and Mekhi Phifer, delves into the murky world of Australian politics, espionage, secrets and devious characters. It’s based on the best-selling novels by Press Gallery stalwarts Chris
Uhlmann and Steve Lewis.
Hanson: The Years That
Shook The Nation on SBS is a fly-on-the-wall doco about firebrand politician Pauline Hanson and promises unrivalled access to one of public life’s most notorious figures. If the teaser trailer is anything to go by, it’ll be a fascinating train wreck.
Barracuda on ABC, starring Rachel Griffiths, centres on a teenager and gifted swimmer in his pursuit for Olympic glory. Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Christos Tsiolkas.
800Words is back after delighting about two million viewers a week with its first instalment, telling the tale of a widowed father-of-two played by Erik Thomson.
Rake on ABC sees the return of perennial hot mess criminal barrister Cleaver Greene, played by Richard Roxburgh.
Married at First Sight on Nine was a hit and this year a whole stack of strangers will once again meet for the first time at the altar.
Offspring on Ten sees the return of Nina Proudman and her quirky family and friends, after a hiatus and plenty of lobbying from fans.
And of course, reality will continue to dominate. Returning favourites include My Kitchen Rules on Seven, Master Chef Australia, The Bachelor
and The Bachelorette on Ten, and The Hotplate and The Block on Nine.
COULD GO EITHER WAY
Australia’ s Got Talent is being revived by Nine, with Sophie Monk, Eddie Perfect, Kelly Osbourne and Ian “Dicko” Dickson judging a whole host of variety acts. Will anyone care?
Kiss Bang Love on Seven is a clear attempt to jump on the dating show bandwagon, but the premise – a bunch of strangers pashing each other to see if they click – is flimsy at best.
A stack of popular series from abroad are back, including Game of Thrones fast-tracked to Foxtel, The Blacklist on Seven and The Big Bang Theory on Nine.
TRENDS Channels Seven and Nine, have vowed to end the cannibalism we’ve seen for years – putting the same types of shows against each other. The strategy has mostly failed, alienating viewers and causing “reality fatigue”. Look forward to more variety in scheduling.
Viewers love a telemovie about an iconic Australian. Expect some rippers including Seven’s look at music guru Molly Meldrum with
Molly, Nine’s portrayal of business figure Alan Bond with House of Bond and Ten’s telling of the life of racing identity Peter Brock in Brock.
TV show revivals will continue with the reboot of The X-Files on Ten early in 2016, while streaming service Netflix has Fuller House.
Live streaming will go more mainstream, with Seven making its main channel plus 7TWO and 7mate available on any connected device. Nine is following suit, also streaming its main and digital channels.
Marta Dusseldorp could just be the hardest working actor in Australia. In addition to starring in Foxtel’s hit series A Place To Call Home, this year you’ll also see her in legal drama
Janet King and six-part thriller Jack Irish.
Matthew Le Nevez will front Foxtel’s big budget supernatural-themed series The Kettering Incident as well as Brock.
Jessica Marais returns to the popular Nine series Love Child and will also front a brand new drama on Ten, The Wrong Girl.
Home-grown stars: Clockwise from top, SecretCity’s Dan Wyllie, Anna Torv and Alex Dimitriades; the real Molly Meldrum with Samuel Johnson; APlaceToCallHome’s Marta Dusseldorp; and left, Richard Roxburgh in Rake.