After the Easter non-ratings period, it all begins. All the shows that networks have been teasing us with promos for kick off. But now they’re here – you best be prepared. There’s a dearth of reality TV coming (if you’re into that sort of thing); there’s some amazing new drama; and then there’s the pinnacle televised awards event in the Australian TV landscape. There’s lots coming – these shows listed are but the higher profile ones – so settle in, people. What are you gonna be watching? (Me? Pretty much all of it.)

The Voice

What: The latest reality singing format “smash hit” from the US transmuted to an Australian format. The hook is the first round blind auditions, where the judges sit in chairs with their backs to the performers and choose them based on their voice/signing alone.
Who: Hosted by Darren McMullan; Judges/Mentors Delta Goodrem, Seal, Joel Madden, Keith Urban.
When: 6:30pm Sunday 15 April
Where: Channel 9
Why: Likely to be a high point in Ch9’s 2012 schedule – Lord knows they need a couple – it sits nicely against Ch7’s AGT which was a blockbuster in 2011. Let the battle begin.

The Logies

What: The 54th Annual TV Week Logie awards gives Australian TV stars to frock up, schmooze and navel gaze while patting each other on the back. And people win things.
Who: No anchor hosts named yet; Presenters include Shaun Micallef, Adam Hills, Julia Morris, Hamish Blake, Andy Lee, Dave Hughes, Mick Molloy; Performers include One Direction, Seal, Flo Rida, Delta Goodrem, Tony Bennett.
When: 7:30pm Sunday 15 April
Where: Channel 9
Why: Because everyone needs a chance to smile and say how pleased they were just to be nominated.

Dancing With The Stars

What: Season 12 of the ballroom dancing hit that’s starting to run low on ‘star’ power.
Who: Hosts Dan MacPherson & Mel B; Judges Todd McKenney, Helen Richey, Joshua Horner; Contestants Kerri-Anne Kennerly, Zoe Cramond, Caine Ekstein, Brendan Fevola, Brian Mannix, Erin McNaught, Shannon Noll, Johnny Ruffo, Danielle Spencer, Jessica Watson, Vogue Williams.
When: 6:30pm Sunday April 15
Where: Channel 7
Why: It was always coming, but launching it on Logies night against Ch9’s big new shows is a great f*ck you from one network to the other. Add in Kerri-Anne as the anchor star (and predicted runaway winner) to the series as a pick up from being kicked to the curb by Nine at the end of 2011 and the irony is as delicious as the ratings will be the following morning.

The Block

What: Season 5 and the second running in a 4 to 5 night a week 7pm stripped format, The Block pitches 4 couples against each other as they renovate a house to sell at auction at the end of the series.
Who: Hosts Scott Cam & Shelly Craft; Contestants TBA.
When: 7pm Monday 16 April
Where: Channel 9
Why: It was Ch9’s reality saviour in 2011 and the network is depending on it to right it’s 7pm reality ship that was scuttled by Excess Baggage. Based in Melbourne for the second season in a row there’ll be lots of eyes watching after the final auction in 2011 was a fizzer.

Celebrity Apprentice

What: The second season of the localised format of the Donald Trump-fronted American vehicle and it’s changed from a stripped format to one/two nights a week.
Who: Boss Mark Bouris; Advisers Dane Bouris, Deborah Hutton; Contestants David Hasseloff, Jason Akermanis, Ben Dark, Charlotte Dawson, Ian “Dicko” Dickson, Lauryn Eagle, Marion Grasby, Nathan Joliffe, Patti Newton, Fiona O’Loughlin, Vince Sorrenti, Tania Zaetta.
When: 8pm Wednesday 18 April
Where: Channel 9
Why: It went too well in 2011 to ignore it in 2012 and the inclusion of the Hoff is a promotions bonanza, though with all the action having happened weeks ago now will the interest have been maintained? Akermanis looks to be the new series’ Deni Hines, Dicko is a known pot-stirrer, Zaetta will do anything to get her noggin on screen, and Dawson is the truth-bomb Queen… so we won’t be short on drama.

Australia’s Got Talent

What: Season 6 of this all-encompassing talent show (not just singers, but dancers, comedians, magicians, etc) returns with a renewed vigour after the 2011 season brought us winner Jack Vidgen and other discoveries like Consantino and Timomatic.
Who: Host Grant Denyer; Judges Dannii Minogue, Brian McFadden, Kyle Sandilands.
When: 7:30pm Mon 16 April
Where: Channel 7
Why: They know it’ll win – it’s riding the Vidgen factor hard.


What: Season 3 returns to answer the questions the cliff-hanger S02 ending left us all with; plus drama “IT” girls Asher Keddie & Kat Stewart!
Who: Cast includes Asher Keddie, John Waters, Deborah Mailman, Eddie Perfect, Kat Stewart, Clare Bowditch, Linda Cropper.
When: 8:30pm Wednesday 18 April
Where: Channel 10
Why: Because the people demanded it!


What: The latest series from the creator of Heroes and Crossing Jordan, Touch was the script that convinced star Kiefer Sutherland to go back into TV acting post-24.
Who: Cast includes Sutherland, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Danny Glover, David Mazouz.
When: 8:30pm Sunday 22 April
Where: Channel 10
Why: Homeland is done, House isn’t gonna cut it, and Touch looks very, VERY good.

Shows still pending scheduling announcements


What: Season 4 of the cooking show juggernaut that threw out the rulebook, re-wrote it and is now consulting it again to ensure it does better than last year. A new production company should give it a fresh look.
Who: Hosts Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris, Matt Preston, Matt Moran; Assorted other chefs and foodies as guest judges/challengers.
When: Likely late April (circa 29/04); multiple times a week
Where: Channel 10
Why: This is Shine Australia’s first go at it after buying the international rights to the format, and they want to do it bigger and better than before. Back to what made it a hit. Expect big things.

Downton Abbey

What: Season 2 of the blockbuster period drama that’s been waiting in the wings too long. Already aired in the UK, and DVD been available since January.
Who: From the brain of Julian Fellowes; Cast includes Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Joanne Froggatt, Jim Carter, Laura Carmichael.
When: Likely start mid-April – 8:30pm Sunday (circa 22/04)
Where: Channel 7
Why: It’s divine.


What: A mini-series written around the events of the fateful maiden voyage of the Titanic.
Who: Another series from Julian Fellowes – thus the tag “Drownton Abbey”.
When: Gotta be soon. Gotta be, given the anniversary.
Where: Channel 7
Why: I dunno. The boat sinks – we all know that. But period drama is big, Big, BIG! business.

Winners and Losers

What: Season 2 of Packed to the Rafters for the kids, made by the people who make Rafters proper.
Who: Cast includes Melissa Bergland, Virginia Gay, Blair McDonough, Zoe Tuckwell-Smith, Melanie Vallejo, Tom Wren, Denise Scott, Francis Greenslade.
When: As soon as the current season of Packed to the Rafters finishes – which is soon.
Where: Channel 7
Why: It started good, but got too caught up in itself. Maybe this season they can dig their way out?


What: A dramatic re-enactment of the events surrounding the mine cave in and subsequent rescue of Todd Russell & Brant Webb.
Who: Cast includes Shane Jacobsen, Michaela Banas, Lachy Hulme, Karl Stefanovic.
When: It’s a one off, so any 8:30pm Sunday soon (likely week after the Logies – 22/04)
Where: Channel 9
Why: It’s a cracking cast; a good Aussie story; and Ch9 do these telemovie events pretty damn well.

Tricky Business

What: The promos are doing it no favours, as are the claims it’s a carbon-copy of Rafters, but Tricky Business is so much more than that. Not that anyone knows yet.
Who: Cast includes Shane Bourne, Gigi Edgley, Lincoln Lewis, Kip Gamblin, Debra Bryne.
When: Any day now – they’ve been plugging it for months
Where: Channel 9
Why: Ch9 needs a drama like Rafters to keep the people watching – the writing it supposed to be top notch, as are the cast. The proof will be in the pudding.

Once Upon A Time

What: A “fairy tale drama” series where all the characters live double lives in this realm and additionally in the fantasy world where Snow White faces up to the evil Queen.
Who: Cast includes Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, Josh Dallas, Eion Bailey, Jared S. Gilmore, Raphael Sbarge, Robert Carlyle.
When: You tell me. The network are saying nothing.
Where: Channel 7
Why: Likely to be the next Revenge for the network. At this point Ch7 could turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse and make us buy it and we would.

Bikie Wars: Brothers In Arms

What: A six-part mini-series that retells the story of the war between motorcycle gangs the Comancheros and Bandidos that culminated in a fight known as the ‘Milperra Massacre’.
Who: Cast includes Callan Mulvey, Matthew Nable, Susie Porter, Anthony Hayes, Todd Lasance, Luke Ford, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor, Damian Walshe-Howling, Nathaniel Dean, Luke Hemsworth.
When: Whenever they can get the best leverage out of it. Given everything else, Ch10 may hold out until June.
Where: Channel 10
Why: It’s a local Sons of Anarchy/Underbelly mash-up, with a superb cast.