2013 will be the year that makes or breaks at least one Network. Expectations have risen on both the ABC and Nine; Seven are needing to either continue to assert dominance or make the battle a street brawl; SBS are likely to continue to surprise and disappoint; and Ten need to sort their shit out. We’ll also wave a fond goodbye to analog television this year meaning the ratings game and expectation will continue to change and evolve as no longer can the digital multi-channels be seen as lesser siblings of the ‘main’ channel. Then there’s always the expectation that this year will be the year that TV becomes redundant and everyone’s focus will be switched to other delivery methodologies.
What’s listed below isn’t all of what’s coming in 2013, either.
All the networks have offered their shiny I’ve gazed into my crystal LCD and offer these as my predictions for the year ahead. Again not every show will be a critical or runaway ratings success. This list is entirely subjective and based entirely on my spidey sense – my default position of gentle optimism. Looking over this list, screw upgrading the PVR… it’s time to get a second one…
Paper Giants: Magazine Wars – Rob Carlton reprises the role that he owned in the first series, and is joined by Mandy McIlhenny and Rachel Griffiths to further develop the reigh of Packer. This time it was his poaching of heir apparent Nene King from under the nose of Dulcie Boling to set up a competitive women’s magazine. Sure to be a cracker.
Serangoon Road – Don Hany to star in a “fast-paced detective series” that has all the hallmarks of another amazing drama series from Aunty.
Cliffy – The shots of Kevin Harrington as Cliff Young that have already surfaced look bang on. He’s a solid actor to boot (heh heh heh) and so seeing the man shuffle from Sydney to Melbourne will likely be a telemovie treat.
Upper Middle Bogan – Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope offer the best culture-clash comedy since ever, with a writing team and cast ready to bring the house down.
The Agony Of Life – We learned so much from our Aunties and Uncles in 2012 and they return with more life guidance than we could ever have wanted or asked for. Not that we were asking. In fact, it’s probably best you ignore the advice and simply enjoy the ride.
The Check Out – Julian Morrow and Craig Reucassel from The Chaser as consumer advocates. Retailers and shonky plumbers beware.
It’s A Date – A new comedy series from Peter Helliar sure to prod and poke in all the right funny bone places.
Good Game/Good Game SP – Continuing as the best gaming show on Australian TV, Bajo, Hex, Goose and Darren will continue to entertain and inform across the growing culture of all things gaming.
Rake S03 – Cleaver finished up in prison and in a bit of a pickle, but it’ll take more than than to hold this bad boy down. Also being developed in the US as a remake (hold your breath) Rake continues to be some of the smartest and funniest drama going around.
Louis Theroux documentaries – The thinking woman’s bit on the side. He’s foppish and agreeable and entirely subtle in his insight and portrayal of all his subjects.
Gruen Anything – The ABC’s marquee brand continues (allegedly with Russel Howcroft who takes up a full-time role with Channel 10 this year) and no matter what iterations in which it appears it’s still marvellous & intelligent TV. Not for the stupid of mind or of opinion.
Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell S02 – Yes please.
Better Man – The story of Van Nguyen, the 25 year old Vietnamese Australian who was executed in Singapore in 2005 for drug trafficking. David Wenham, Bryan Brown, Claudia Karvan and Remy Hii to star in what will be a strong four-part drama series.
Once Upon A Time In Punchbowl – A continuation of the insightful and challenging series that this time focuses on the inner-Sydney suburb of Punchbowl. A brilliant franchise that continues to peel back the cultural and socio-economic layers to help us all understand how the suburbs came to be what they are today.
Cronulla Riots – the Day that Shocked a Nation – Billed as an online/cross-media event, our nation’s most recent day of shame will be chronicled for all to see. Running in conjunction with Once Upon A Time In Punchbowl.
Dirty Business: How Mining Made Australia – An early mark for SBS running through January, it continues the First Australians and Immigration Nation series by delving into that which we’ve dug up and sold for years.
Housos S02 – Pauly and the gang are back for the most irreverent and hilarious self-proclaimed “bogan comedy” going around. Not for the easily offended.
My Kitchen Rules S04 – A show where the cast is everything and the drama is at its best when the claws are out, this season somehow has managed to find a whole group of new people willing to subject themselves to each other’s cooking and pretend to play nice about it. CAN. NOT. WAIT.
Revenge S02 – High soap opera drama at its most enveloping and camp… but try to turn away (bet you can’t!).
Downton Abbey S03 – Life at the Abbey just keeps getting more interesting, and now there’s a wedding afoot the house is buzzing, while Mr Banks is still in gaol. Stunning period drama that improves season on season.
A Place To Call Home – A big new sweeping drama franchise made by Ch7 that’s essentially a cross between Downton Abbey & The Sullivans set in semi-rural Australia circa 1950. Noni Hazelhurst to shine as the matriarch who rules with an iron fist and razor sharp tongue.
Power Games: The Packer/Murdoch Story – A prequel of sorts to the original Paper Giants, pitching Sir Frank & Kerry against the Murdoch clan as the battle for media supremacy boiled in the 60’s and 70’s.
The Block All-Stars & a whole other season of The Block – Hard work for the contestants (& the crew); a bunch of fun for all of us. The All-Stars have already been put through the wringer, and the new cast of The Block proper look to have a challenge of multi-story proportions.
Underbelly Squizzy – What should be a bounce back season for the franchise after a dull year in 2012, this time the focus is on Squizzy Taylor (who we met briefly at the start of Underbelly Razor). Smart, sassy, sexy Aussie drama.
Schappelle – The story of Australia’s most infamous accidental drug trafficker brought to life by one of the best production houses in the country.
Parade’s End – Benedict Cumberbatch, Rebecca Hall & Adelaide Clemens star in an epic story of love, lust & betrayal. More nostalgic drama guaranteed to own its timeslot.
The Voice Australia S02 – Can the runaway success of 2012 maintain the momentum into the new year? Can Ricky Martin replace Keith Urban as a judge/mentor? Will Ch9 throw money at this year’s program to ensure the production values lift even higher? Expect lots of noise and lots of big ratings results from The Voice Australia.
The Following – A washed up FBI agent is called in to solve crimes set in motion by a serial killer that continue even after his capture. A thrilling new drama from the US starring Kevin Bacon.
Hamish & Andy’s “Do What We Want To Do” – Just expect Hamish & Andy to get to go wherever they want and do whatever they want to do (the contract negotiation will have been that simple).
House Husbands S02 – It’s going to be the best Australian drama series of 2013.
Batavia – Peter Fitzsimons’s book of the shipwrecking of the Batavia & the shocking events that followed brought to life.
Mr and Mrs Murder – Shaun Micallef & Kat Stewart as industrial cleaners and amateur sleuths. YES PLEASE.
Secrets and Lies: The Track – A psychological thriller written and filmed in Brisbane about a man who finds the body of a boy and immediately becomes suspect number one. A sharp and intelligent drama series (and about time too).
Elementary – A modernised tale of Sherlock Holmes which sees Holmes banished to Manhattan by his wealthy father after a stint in rehab, only to be babysat by (a female!) Dr Watson. Johnny Lee Miller & Lucy Lui in the lead roles.
Puberty Blues S02 – The series continues as the girls and their families continue to grow up with Australia through the 70’s. Attitudes continue to change and relationships will never be the same again. An interesting move to continue the series into new territory after S01 wrapped up the contents of the book of the same name.
Can Of Worms S03 – The promise of live shows will put host Chrissie Swan, co-host Dan Ilic and the guests under the best kind of pressure, and it’s sure to continue to offer funny and engaging conversations.
Modern Family S05 – It’s just plain laugh out loud funny.
Homeland S03 – Brody has become public enemy number one after it looked like he and Carrie were about to have the happiest of endings. Now Saul’s in charge of the CIA and he knows the truth, but how all this get turned around. Brilliantly executed drama.
Breaking Bad S05 part two/finale – This year, it all ends. Walt’s secret has been discovered (not that he knows), and there’s still the matter of his ego running unchecked. Expect big things from what has been some of the most incredible drama over the last 6 years.
The Newsroom S02 – Aspirational and emotional, Sorkin’s new drama will continue to surprise and engage and we’re all the better for it.
Game Of Thrones S03 – Winter is coming, and it looks like it’ll be a bitch.
My blog, my opinion. I’m likely wrong anyway. These predictions are made (in most cases) sight unseen/only having seen a promo/read the premise from a press release. What do YOU think will be a hit in 2013?