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  #1  
Old 12-26-2008, 10:59 AM
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Thumbs up Best and worst TV shows of 2008



Winner ... Packed to the Rafters was one of the few success stories of 2008 / Picture: Channel 7


THERE were a raft of new local TV programs in 2008, but while some swam, most sank.


Among them children's reality show My Kid's A Star, reality sitcom Monster House and dating show Taken Out lasted only a few weeks.

New game shows struggled to last the distance including The Power of 10, and the revamped Wheel Of Fortune.

On the upside, a couple of quality series bucked the trend and won over huge audiences including crime drama Underbelly and family drama Packed To The Rafters.

In August all viewer eyes were on the Beijing Olympics broadcast on the Seven Network.

But 2008 will be remembered as the year that reality franchise Big Brother finally hit the wall after eight years.
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  #2  
Old 12-26-2008, 11:00 AM
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Default Best TV shows of 2008

BEST:

UNDERBELLY, Nine Network:

The gangland crime drama premiered amid a storm of controversy and publicity in February but soon showed it had the goods to break ground in Australian storytelling.




The 13-part series, was a dramatisation of Victoria's infamous underworld wars, which raged from 1995 to 2004, leaving 27 people dead.

A Supreme Court ruling banned the program from being aired in Victoria amid concerns it could prejudice a ****** trial.

It also created controversy for its highly graphic portrayal of *** and violence. All this only added to the attraction.

Victorians didn't let the ban stop them and many went online to illegally download the program, or buy pirated copies.

Former Home and Away star Les Hill, who played Jason Moran, and Gynton Grantley, as Carl Williams, had appeared in TV roles before, but this series pushed them into the public eye like never before.

It received almost universal praise and acclaim from critics. A prequel will air next year.

PACKED TO THE RAFTERS, Seven Network

Starring some of Australia's most likeable actors such as Rebecca Gibney, Michael Caton and Erik Thompson, this family drama struck a chord with local audiences.

Just as Australians were turning away from cheap reality TV shows like Big Brother and cop dramas, Packed To The Rafters was touted as the series everyone could relate to.

Based around the average Aussie family, it followed a married couple, played by Gibney and Thompson, who were looking forward to enjoying time together as their final child left home.

But instead, they saw one of their sons and his wife move in and their daughter move back home, along with the father of Gibney's character, played by Caton. Their other son was just next door.

The series blended lighter comedic moments with more serious issues like unwanted pregnancy, abortion, drug abuse and death.

Its younger stars, Hugh Sheridan, Jessica Marais George Houvardas and Angus McLaren also shone.

The series debuted with more than two million viewers after the Olympics, and continued to bring in strong numbers until the end of the year.

It will return for a second series in 2009.

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE AUSTRALIA, Network Ten

After success with the original US version, Network Ten made the risky decision to try their hand at a local offering. It worked.

With host, singer Natalie Bassingthwaite, the program became one of the most popular of the first part of the year.

More than 3,000 hopefuls tried out and 10 males and 10 females were chosen for the competition.
In the end, the final came down to flamboyant Rhys Bobridge and funk dancer Jack Chambers - who was crowned the winner and pocketed $200,000 and tuition at one of Hollywood's top dance studios.

THE GRUEN TRANSFER, ABC

The original TV series, produced by respected talk show host Andrew Denton, won over viewers as it aimed to break down the mystery of how advertising works.

The panel-based show shook up the advertising as it divulged secrets of how companies sell commodities such as beer, banks and *********.

Hosted by comedian Wil Anderson, the 10-part series was named after the point when a consumer starts to lose awareness and be sucked in by things like lighting and music.

It featured regular industry panellists and guests discussing how to sell products.

Since debuting in late May, the show regularly won its timeslot, averaging about 1.2 million people each week.

It has been commissioned for a second series.

THE OLYMPICS, Seven Network

Some viewers may have branded Seven's coverage of the Beijing Games the worst Olympics coverage ever, but viewers still tuned in to watch historic moments such as Stephanie Rice collecting three Gold medals.

Thanks to the close time zone of China, Australians got to see most events live.

The opening ceremony was the most watched event on television for the year with close to three million Australians tuning in.

New programs like Yum Cha - a light-hearted take on the Games - were savaged by many fans, who called for the return of Roy and HG's The Dream.

FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS, Network Ten

Featuring the New Zealand comedy and music duo of Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, the show may have been put in a late night timeslot (after 10pm on Sundays) but immediately won a cult following.

Originally a BBC radio series, Flight of the Conchords followed the two New Zealander friends and their funny experiences on life, love and friendship, while they try to make it as a rock band.

The pair won a Grammy for best comedy album in 2007 and are up for another one next year.
Also shown in the US, it was nominated for four Emmys in 2008.

ABC political documentaries - THE PRIME MINISTER IS MISSING, and THE HOWARD YEARS.

The ABC invested in a range of insightful political dramas in 2008.

The Prime Minister is Missing recreated the months leading up to the disappearance of former prime minister Harold Holt in 1967.

The dramatisation was reconstructed from eyewitness accounts and looked at the ramifications. His family and friends were also interviewed.

A year after his 11 years as PM ended, a four-part documentary series The Howard Years examined each of former prime minister John Howard's terms.

Mr Howard relished the chance to talk about his time in power, giving more than 20 hours of his time for interviews and shed light on major issues including the leadership battle with former treasurer Peter Costello.

It was produced by Sue Spencer, who was also behind the acclaimed series Labor in Power.

ENOUGH ROPE - ABC

After five years, talk show host Andrew Denton proved he still had the goods.

His series premiered with an exclusive and revealing interview with disgraced AFL footballer Wayne Carey. Through the year he scored interviews with big names like Angelina Jolie and Clint Eastwood but also won over viewers with his interviews with everyday Australians.

Denton announced he'd run out of puff for the show, and it will not be back next year.
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Old 12-26-2008, 11:01 AM
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Thumbs down Worst TV shows of 2008

***** WORST *****

BIG BROTHER, Network Ten

After eight years, the controversial reality TV show finally bowed out. Producers tried everything they could to spice up the program in the hope of building its ratings.

They ditched host Gretel ****een for the likes of radio shock jocks Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O.
But viewer loyalty to ****een saw Sandilands and O savaged by fans.

Controversial housemates were put in the house, among them a midget, a UFO believer and an ex-cult member.

It didn't pay off and viewers tuned out. Network Ten announced it was the last series.

But despite its failures there is speculation the show could turn up in a different format on a different network in a few years.

TAKEN OUT, Network Ten

The premise of this dating show was simple. Get a bunch of women in a room with an eligible bachelor who talks about himself and the women decide if they want him or not.

The show proved to be no Perfect Match, and after a few weeks was struggling to reach 500,000 viewers in a prime-time 7pm slot.

It was bumped to an earlier 6pm timeslot, before disappearing from screens completely.

The shining light however was host James Kerley, who remained funny and charming despite the lacklustre show.

MY KID'S A STAR, Nine Network

The series featured children and their stage mums in a reality, talent-style show.

It premiered with just 878,000 viewers early in April and continued on a downward spiral. It was dumped after a few weeks.

MONSTER HOUSE, Nine Network

Touted as a reality sitcom, many viewers were left confused about what this program was about.
It was axed after just two weeks early in the year after attracting dismal audience numbers.

The show followed a bunch of comedic actors posing as a fictional family and playing pranks on the public.

Nine had high hopes for the show, which starred Rebel Wilson and Glenn Butcher.

POWER OF 10, Nine Network

The game show based on a US format was hosted by weatherman Steve Jacobs, but canned after two episodes.

It featured contestants guessing the correct percentages of answers to polls about a range of pop culture topics.

Among the questions were:
- What percentage of Australian men think they look good in Speedos?
- What percentage of Australians would leave their partner if they gained 30 kilos?
- What percentage of Australians said they have let a dog lick them on the mouth?

The show brought in little more than 500,000 viewers in its second episode.

US KATH AND KIM, Seven Network

The suburban girls from Fountain Lakes did not translate well when turned into Americans.

Starring Selma Blair, the US version was overseen by Australian creators Gina Riley and Jane Turner.

But Americans and Australians alike tuned out.

MILLION DOLLAR WHEEL OF FORTUNE, Nine Network

It was supposed to be the saviour of the 5.30pm timeslot, and to help provide a big lead in audience for the network's 6pm news.

The new version of the show, which ran for 25 years until 2006 on Seven, couldn't survive despite having a $1 million jackpot.

Former Home and Away star Tim Campbell and co-host Kelly Landry proved likeable, but the show was canned only a few weeks after its debut, struggling against the Seven Network's popular gameshow Deal Or No Deal.

AND POLARISING people:

HOLE IN THE THE WALL, Nine Network

If you like watching your B- and C-grade celebrities in super-tight, revealing, shiny spandex suits, then this was the show for you.

The series, based on a Japanese game show and hosted by Jules Lund, drew in solid audiences around and over the million mark.

It pitted team against team, including presenters, reality TV stars and sports stars, to see if they could fit through odd-shaped cut-outs in a wall moving towards them.

Many bagged it, but many loved it too.
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