Australian TV in 2014: Get ready for the Joe Dolce Story

A new year in television brings with it plenty of questions for viewers and executives alike.

Who survived the Summer Bay bombing? Has Australia still got talent? Why on earth did Colin Friels agree to be in that Schapelle telemovie? Wonder no more dear reader. Thanks to a time machine discovered in the long-abandoned offices of Beyond 2000Daily Review is able to reveal the highs and lows of our small screens in 2014 …

January 14: Cricket commentator Ian Chappell gives Channel Nine an ultimatum. “If you want someone to call the game then pick me but if you want someone to cross promote your shows then get one of those fucking House Husbands.” Gyton Grantley makes his commentary box debut the following week.

February 17: A visiting HBO executive emails various Australian TV producers seeking to get in contact with the “hilarious political satirist” he saw on TV the night before. He is eventually informed that was a Sky News broadcast of parliamentary question time involving Clive Palmer.

March 13: Falling advertising revenues prompt a round of cost-cutting measures for Ten’s ailing breakfast program Wake Up. On the chopping block are EP Adam Boland’s fully automatic coffee machine, James Mathison’s dedicated eyelash stylist and the extra “r” in Natarsha Belling

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Seven live versions of popular Australian TV shows

As television executives watch their audience and – more importantly – advertisers dwindle, they are increasingly looking for new revenue streams. A current winner is to stage live versions of popular television programs in the hope audiences will pay $99.95 plus booking and parking fees for something they could watch for free.

In the last 12 months alone Australia has hosted live versions of Grand Designs, Spicks and Specks  and QI, the later proving that even if you don’t own a TV, Stephen Fry is an inescapable presence. Continue reading

@HenryLawson: Classic Australian authors in 2012

It is a cliché now to speculate whether Shakespeare, were he alive today, would be working in Hollywood, churning out scripts for hits like The Full Montague and Shrew 2: Katharina Strikes Back.

Jane Austen would probably find a publisher if she included more bondage scenes while the BBC could keep Oscar Wilde on retainer just in case something happens to Stephen Fry.

But what of Australia’s cultural champions? Where would Banjo Paterson, Henry Lawson and Norman Lindsay find work if they were to stumble out of some Federation-era time machine? Continue reading