Monthly Archives: February 2011

Shows on Australian TV: SBS

Note: In most cases, “Renewal” refers to a show being granted another season in 2012, or later in the year, depending on the show.


An eighth season is currently airing with a ninth to air in 2012.

Who do You Think You Are? AU

A fourth season has been commissioned.

Who do You Think You Are? UK

An eighth season will appear on screens in 2011.

Santo, Sam and Ed’s Cup Fever

This is an interesting one, in that it will not return next year, nor the year after, but it was so popular back in 2010 that if all three hosts were available in 2014, it would easily slip back into the schedule.

Letters and Numbers

Though only six people in Australia watch it regularly (give or take…), SBS seems to have come across a nice little week-nightly show with three friendly-enough personalities.

It’s kind of like the poorer- much poorer- and more tactful cousin of ABC’s Spicks and Specks.

It’s only a matter of time before a commercial network snags Lily Serna too- she’s a real find- and would (literally) have an IQ at least 50 points higher than most of her commercial counterparts… the problem is, there probably isn’t a job mentally stimulating enough to offer her.

David Astle is not bad, too.


Signs are promising for it to return for a ninth season.


The Late Session

The Ricky Gervais Show

East West 101

Ratings have never been stellar for this show starring Don Hany, but neither have any other show’s ratings. It always picks up awards as well as critical acclaim, but there wouldn’t be much of an outcry if it was not given a fourth season.

Mad Men

Despite being a critical darling, this show is in grave danger of being cancelled after various licensing issues surrounding it. If you don’t believe me, check this out.


An eighth and final season is still to come in the States.

French Food Safari


Shows on Australian TV: Ten

Note: In most cases, “Renewal” refers to a show being granted another season in 2012, or later in the year, depending on the show.

The 7PM Project

Once a basket-case in terms of ratings, format and style, it would now be difficult to picture a Ten schedule without “7pm”. It doesn’t exactly set the world on fire every night, but at least it has a natural rhythm and to have a live program on TV every night that isn’t a straight news broadcast is a real novelty that we shouldn’t take for granted.

The Biggest Loser

You’d have to think the Biggest Loser has at least one more season left in it. Especially given Ten’s ability to constantly reinvent it. It isn’t performing terribly and fills a decent amount of Ten’s schedule.

However, Ten would be wise to give it a “rest” after 2012, just like it did with So You Think You Can Dance and Australian Idol.

But at the end of the day, the decision will be made based on ratings. And here are its ratings starting from Week 5 of TBL.

Sunday: 1,076,000 (FIRST in timeslot)

Bondi Rescue

Bondi Vet

Ten pretty much lurves Chris Brown, as demonstrated by his constant appearances on The 7pm Project. They will find a spot for him in the schedule, no matter what.

The Circle

Undercover Boss Australia

Huey’s Kitchen

Ready Steady Cook

Good News Week

The Fifth Quarter

Before the Game

One Week at a Time


Junior MasterChef Australia

It would seem a shoo-in for a third season in 2012, however, Ten would be wary of exhausting a more limited brand than MasterChef, given the whole show operates around a central gimmick: “Wow, those kids can actually COOK.”

In addition, if there is indeed another iteration of Masterchef waiting in the wings (possibly a Masterchef: The Professionals series, such as the one which aired in the UK), you would imagine it would be logical to swap the old for the new to avoid it becoming… stale.

Talkin’ Bout Your Generation

The only uncertainty surrounding this show being renewed for 2012 arises due to Shaun Micallef’s potential piloting of a new show. If this show were to be picked up by Network Ten, it would be hard to envisage 26 episodes of “Your Gen” as well as another 10 episode Micallef show (hypothetically), unless:

The Your Gen quota was lowered to one 13 episode run, or, Micallef were to be replaced as host of the show (unlikely, because he IS the show).

6PM with George Negus

Everyone knows about George’s ratings woes, and on any other network it probably would’ve got the boot by now. It would also be nervous with new interim boss Lachlan Murdoch in charge.

However, it has garnered no shortage of positive remarks in recent times, and Ten would be desperately hoping this translates into at least mediocre ratings soon.


It probably belongs somewhere in the middle of “Low” and “50/50”, but chances of renewal for a fifth season in 2012 at this stage seem shaky. It was lucky to be granted a fourth- to air in 2011- as it drew mediocre ratings for much of its third season. Plot-lines also seem tired.

The fact that Ten was willing to burn off the extra episodes of season three in the TV off-season just demonstrates how little value it is to the network anymore- apart from helping to fill their Australian content quota.

It has only been given a 13 episode run in season four, and you’d have to think, if it didn’t achieve any sort of increase ratings-wise, and Inside Out is renewed for a second season, there will be no need- or value- for Rush in the 2012 schedule.

Don’t Stop Believing


Can of Worms

Hamish and Andy announce TV show on Nine

Hamish Blake and Andy Lee have announced that they have joined Channel Nine and will produce a new show to air later in 2011.

This afternoon on the Hamish and Andy show on the Today Network, Blake and Lee made the announcement, ending weeks of speculation.

On the 25th of February, Hamish Blake tweeted “Two big announcements on this arvo’s show! Three, if you include the “goooooood afternoon” bit. H”, adding further anticipation.

Up until today, it had been unclear as to what type of show they would produce: would it be variety, sketch, chat or more along the lines of their “specials” such as the Caravan of Courage specials.

And certainly today was indeed a “crazy day of announcements” for the pair.

The first announcement was the shaving of Hamish’s mullet.

But, the second, was to do with TV. “Channel Nine have agreed to screen our adventures,” Andy said.

“We’ve scammed them- that’s the good news.”

They have admitted that they don’t know what it is yet, though.

Also, responding to “the amount” in the papers- because “if it’s in the papers it must be true”.

They also said that the $17 million salary was “way off”.

It has been said that they will earn $17 million a year for their show, however, it should be factored in that this will cover production costs too.

Renewals and Cancellations: Week of 21st February

In this week’s Renewals and Cancellations:


American Dad (FOX) has been renewed for a SEVENTH SEASON.

This rounds out the triumvirate of Seth MacFarlane created shows that have been renewed for another season.

The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret (IFC) has been renewed for a SECOND SEASON.

The comedy stars Arrested Development’s David Cross, but as yet has not been screened in Australia.

Hell’s Kitchen (FOX)  has been renewed for two more seasons, bringing it into its NINTH and TENTH SEASONS.

While Gordon Ramsay’s lustre has dulled somewhat in Australia, he seems to be going from strength to strength over in the US.

The Oscars will continue to appear on ABC through until 2020.


Glory Daze has been cancelled after only one season.

Ben Elton Live From Planet Earth Axed

It was fun while it lasted.

Well, no it wasn’t.

And Australia has spoken; Live From Planet Earth was crap. TV Tonight has reported this afternoon that LFPE has been axed after 3 episodes.

It lasted longer that Let Loose Live, at least.

Channel Nine really had no choice, too. It had become a laughing stock, with it garnering almost universally negative comments on Twitter: hardly a good look for the new “Home of Comedy”. Also, its latest rating of 189,000 didn’t help all that much either.

Unfortunately for Elton, it pretty much shuts the door on any future opportunities with the Nine network.

With the ratings slump for Hey Hey it’s Saturday in 2010, and now the terrible reviews for LFPE, one would almost say these types of comedy variety shows with dated humour will not be attempted readily.




Ben Elton Live From Planet Earth Episode 3 Review: Here we go again, again.

No laughs for the first sketch with Julia Gillard. None.

That’s how this week’s BELFPE kicked off. Here we go again, people.

Some more topical crap. And what else would he joke about- Ricky Nixon. I’m afraid in the age of twitter, most of these jokes had already been said.

“Sales are dropping like Warnie’s trousers”. Another week, another potshot at Elton’s critics. And this week, it’s the newspapers who are obsessed with ratings.

Ooh, a new character; “Toughy Nightly”. Unfortunately, one that wasn’t that funny, and was merely meant to highlight Paul McCarthy’s Julia (now in its second appearance in the same show).

However, it is quite good. In terms of impression at least.

And for someone who doesn’t listen to- or care for- his critics, he has seemingly increased the role of Elaine Front exponentially from week 1.

She almost had more time on screen than the host before the first break. And, unfortunately, her sheen is starting to wear off.

And calling one of the part-Aboriginal actresses a “mongrel” due to her mixed heritage. Hmm, lucky not many people will be watching, Ben.

The two schoolgirls have now appeared in 3 out of 3 episodes. Elton seems sure that they are winners. They ain’t.

And I didn’t even realise that the cook was called NIGELLA (Sauce). I mean, that- I think- lies at the heart of the problem of the show. It’s just all so utterly spelled out for the viewer.

And the confusing thing is for viewers, is that they are not sure whether it’s Ben Elton not being funny enough, or treating the viewers like complete morons.

Elton even joked about the “double entendres” during the Nigella sketch. She referred to her husband liking (chicken) “breast”. And guess what? It could’ve simultaneously meant her breasts! All the while, Nigella flaunted her breasts… In case you didn’t get it.

And I’m sorry, Girl Flat was just the same as the last two weeks. (That means it was awful). So, really, no point discussing it. Awful.

The Elaine-Brynne interview had potential, but didn’t all those jokes surface around the time of the Brownlow over a year and a half ago?

Ah, well. It was bearable.

New characters cropped up: country Australian stereotype, parents who feel like taxi drivers… Next!

Then there was a swipe at the very deserving target of Lisa Mitchell of Australian Idol fame. One that consisted of the three singers asking for “throat” lollies… Repeatedly.

Deary, deary me.

So, after 3 weeks, I have figured out two possible causes of the problem. Has Elton’s style of humour really become this obvious, one-dimensional and juvenile? Or does he think that that’s all that Australian audiences are capable of understanding?

What do you think it is?

FX Renewal and Cancellation Wrap


The League: Here’s why it hasn’t been picked up Working against it: No big names in the cast, about the NFL, and many player-based jokes will go completely of Australian viewers’ heads. Working for it: Youth appeal, fantasy football leagues are extremely popular in Australia.
Would make a great fit on 7mate.

Louie: Critically acclaimed for it’s unique style and fluid episodic structure- currently filming it’s SECOND SEASON. Yet the first season has aired in the US and will air in Australia on Foxtel in 2011.
It would be a great fit on Ten, with Ten typically choosing portrait pieces such as House, Becker, Lie to Me, Monk, Merlin, Offspring and previously Dexter and Californication.

Lights Out: Currently in its FIRST SEASON, and also receiving high praise for its raw drama.
Working against it: No big stars, slow-burning.
Working for it: Would capitalise on the popularity of The Fighter with Mark Wahlberg.
Would do well on Nine and its showcase of gritty Australian drama in Underbelly.

Terriers: Though it has been cancelled after its FIRST SEASON, by all accounts it was a superb show. Would still be worth a run.

Archer: Currently in its SECOND SEASON, this animated spy comedy would slot right in to Eleven’s Animation Fixation programming block of The Simpsons, Futurama, King of the Hill, the Cleveland Show and Bob’s Burgers

Justified: Another acclaimed show which has finished its FIRST SEASON with its SECOND SEASON still to come.
Not as flashy as a Burn Notice so it wouldn’t fit on Ten, so it would be most appreciated on SBS with Mad Men.

Luckily, Australian viewers have been treated to some FX shows such as;

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: In Australia, Seven has aired four seasons and is currently up to its FIFTH SEASON (episode twelve) on 7mate. However, in the US it is up to its SIXTH SEASON with a SEVENTH SEASON in the works.

And Sons of Anarchy: Will air soon on Eleven. This is creating considerable excitement, with it now finished its THIRD SEASON in the US, with its FOURTH SEASON to air in 2011. Eleven will certainly get a good run out of SOA, with there being a whopping 39 unaired episodes in total.
(SEASON 3 to air on Showcase in 2011)

Rescue Me: SEASON 6 to air on W in 2011.

US Shows in Australia


We all know that the networks wouldn’t survive without the myriad US TV shows currently airing on TV. For many years, procedurals such as the CSI series and the Law and Order series have propped up Channels Nine and Ten respectively and filled programming holes after sudden axinsgs. The Desperate Housewives/Greys Anatomy duo has also been a reliable ratings puller for Channel Seven.

However, then there are other shows that come and go, partly because they have been axed in the US, but sometimes because they have been removed from Australian schedules do to insufficient ratings.

Some are also criminally left out of the schedule all together; critically acclaimed shows that aren’t even given a go based on programmers’ presumptions that they are too obscure or quirky to work on Australian TV.

But with this new era of multi-channeling, there are not really many excuses for yanking a show off air, and even less for not giving a show a chance.

Here is a list of recent shows, and if they have or haven’t been picked up by a FTA network in Australia, as well as how many seasons there have been.

Brothers and Sisters – Seven (US 5th season, AU 5th season)
Castle – Seven (US 3rd season, AU 3rd season)
Cougar Town – Seven (US 2nd season – hiatus -, AU 2nd season)
Desperate Housewives – Seven (US 7th season, AU 7th season)
Grey’s Anatomy – Seven (US 7th season, AU 7th season)
Happy Town – CANCELLED
Lost – ENDED
Private Practice (US 4th Season *renewed for a 5th*, AU 4th Season)
Scoundrels – CANCELLED
Secret Life American Teenager – UNAIRED (US 3rd Season  *renewed for a 4th*)
V – GO! (US 2nd Season, AU 2nd Season)
Better With You – Nine (US 1st Season, AU 1st season)
Body Of Proof – (US 1st season *unaired*, AU )
Detroit 1-8-7 – UNAIRED (US 1st season)
Happy Endings – UNAIRED (US 1st season)
Mr. Sunshine – UNAIRED (US 1st season)
My Generation – CANCELLED
No Ordinary Family – Coming to Seven (US 1st season)
Off The Map – UNAIRED (US 1st season)
The Whole Truth – CANCELLED
Pretty Little Liars – GO! (US 1st season *renewed for a 2nd*, AU 1st season)
Make It Or Break It – UNAIRED (US 2nd season)

Adam Hills In Gordon Street Tonight S01E02 Recap

The gang at AHIGST notch up another win...

It just keeps getting better and better doesn’t it?

Tonight we saw Tim Minchin with his “Jesus clock”. Possibly the highlight of his interview was when he grabbed a kid’s phone and feigned reading a text message “”.

He also performed a cover of Crowded House’s “Better Be Home Soon”.

Gaddsbyism of the night: In response to Megan Gale’s Chakra rocks: “That’s really lovely Adam, you can throw them into the garden with the rest of ’em” (Gestures towards garden filled with garden-variety rocks).

Megan “Don’t mention Andy” Gale also made an appearance. She is always quite good talk-show guest material… however, she believes in rocks having powers and that. Judgement free zone here, though.

Hey, I wonder what brand of eyeliner Tim Minchin wears...

There were also some nice little pieces involving Dave O’Neill and taxidermists. Over at Channel Nine, an actress saying she is Beyonce is singing about her “Bootylicious booty”.

If I had one criticism of the show, it was that the boyzillian was a bit too breakfast radio for Hills’ standard. Not that it was low brow, it’s just been done before, and before that- think 40 Year Old Virgin.

Rake was also entertaining. Yes I know that’s not his name.

Best moment: Adam’s stapler story. Simply brilliant. Just ‘Tube it.

Well, it’s time to break out the scores. If last week was an 8/10, this week was a firm 8.5/10.

The New New Inventors

ABC1 favourite the New Inventors has undergone somewhat of a transformation, to very little fanfare.

But then again, why would it? This season, it has seemingly diminished the role of longtime host James O’Loughlin quite significantly.

In the past he has copped criticism for his overly daggy Dad-jokes during his interplay with the Inventor flaunting their contraption.

He then threw over to three experts at a panel, who commented on the invention and also asked questions.

However, this season, it seems producers have decided to limit his role to merely introducing the experts and the inventors. And of course throwing to the preprepared pieces on inventions past and present.

This also comes with an increased presence and responsibility for the three experts. They now talk to the inventor straight after his or her invention is introduced. They ask him or her to demonstrate the invention.

Basically, they’ve realised that viewers aren’t tuning in for Jimmy’s jokes… it ain’t a comedy show, after all. And even if O’Loughlin wanted it to be- it didn’t cut it as that either.

And I’m all for it; James is a perfectly affable host, but I think that it is a wise, and long overdue move to cut out the fat from a show about “Inventors”, after all. I’d rather the actual experts ask all the questions.

But the Inventors has always been a great little show, but now it’s even better (!)