Big year ahead for TV
Some of the highlights of the 2013 television year.PT6M59S http://www.dailylife.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2c8e8 620 349 January 4, 2013
TELEVISION is the broadest of churches, a characteristic that is both its greatest strength and its greatest weakness. The best and worst ideas often make it onto our screens, empowering the armchair critic that lurks inside all of us.
It's fair to say 2012 was a great year: rock-solid dramas such as Howzat!; the very best talent show in The Voice; sharp, engaging overseas dramas such as Revenge and Downton Abbey; and strong, new Australian dramas such as House Husbands.
Crime drama ... Red Widow takes on the mafia.
If anything, the 2013 program slate promises much more. A tantalising glimpse into the future reveals Paper Giants and Howzat! sequels; the high-stakes MasterChef: The Professionals; and intriguing new dramas in Serangoon Road and Wonderland.
They say adversity makes strange bedfellows. From The Real Housewives to the Reef Doctors, television cannot be far behind.
Here are some of the highlights of the 2013 television year.
Bradshaw's beginning ... return to the '80s with The Carrie Diaries.
The Agony Guide to Life (ABC)
Adam Zwar's brilliant Agony Uncles and Agony Aunts return with more advice for life.
Clean-up crew ... Shaun Micallef and Kat Stewart star in Mr & Mrs Murder. Photo: Rodger Cummins
American Idol (Ten)
The new season of the long-running US talent franchise, fast-tracked from the US.
New York City sleuth ... Johnny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes in Elementary.
The DC Comics hero Green Arrow is given a Smallville-style treatment for TV.
Period drama ... Benedict Cumerbatch on Parade's End.
Australia's Got Talent (Nine)
Nine repackages Seven's talent franchise by dialling up the star wattage.
Mini-series based on the book by Peter FitzSimons', described as ''the greatest story in Australia's history''.
The Carrie Diaries (FOX8)
Sex and the City meets Gossip Girl, as we return to high school with a teenaged Carrie Bradshaw.
Celebrity Splash (Seven)
Diving with the Stars, anyone? Stars take to the high board in an attempt to become skilled divers.
Chicago Fire (Fox8)
Australian actor Jesse Spencer stars as a heroic fireman working for the Chicago Fire Department.
Telemovie starring Kevin Harrington as legendary Australian ultra-marathon runner Cliff Young.
Dirty Business: How Mining Made Australia (SBS)
A 150-year-long story of ''heroes and villains, greed and glory [and] power and politics.''
The Dr Blake Mysteries (ABC)
Craig McLachlan plays Dr Lucien Blake, a dashing country medico in Ballarat in 1959.
US retooling of the Sherlock Holmes novels starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu.
The Great Australian Bake- Off (Nine)
MasterChef with crust: 10 home-baking enthusiasts face a series of gruelling challenges.
House Rules (Seven)
Home-renovation series based on Seven's ''Rules'' (My Restaurant Rules, My Kitchen Rules) format.
Northern Exposure-esque drama about an American Mob boss who is sent into hiding in Norway.
MasterChef: The Professionals (Ten)
MasterChef spinoff that ups the ante by replacing the amateur cooks with professional chefs.
The Mole: Culture Clash (Seven)
Contestants participate in challenges that are mysteriously thwarted by a mole among them.
Mr & Mrs Murder (Ten)
Shaun Micallef and Kat Stewart play a husband and wife cleaning team who moonlight as sleuths.
Mr Selfridge (Seven)
Jeremy Piven stars as Harry Selfridge, the retail magnate who founded the iconic Selfridges store.
Mrs Biggs (Seven)
The story of Charmian Biggs, the wife of the Great Train Robber, Ronnie Biggs.
Never Tear Us Apart: The Untold Story of INXS (Seven)
Seven's answer to Howzat!: a four-hour mini-series about the life of the Australian band INXS.
Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl (SBS)
A new Once Upon a Time documentary, this one tapping the Cronulla riots and the Lebanese Australian community.
Outback Coroner (Crime & Investigation)
Observational documentary series from Screentime about regional Australia's mobile coroner.
Parade's End (Nine)
Downton Abbey-style period drama based on the series of novels of the same name by Ford Madox Ford.
A Place to Call Home (Seven)
Downton Down Under? Marta Dusseldorp and Noni Hazlehurst on an Australian country estate in the 1950s.
Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch Story (Nine)
The makers of Howzat! tackle the battle between Sir Frank Packer and Rupert Murdoch in the '60s and '70s.
Recipe to Riches (Ten)
Cooking series in which amateur chefs bat up dishes that are then put on supermarket shelves the following day.
Red Widow (Seven)
After the death of her husband, a woman must deal with the world of organised crime in order to keep her family safe.
Reef Doctors (Ten)
Lisa McCune and a team of doctors tackle snake venom and tropical diseases in north Queensland.
Ripper Street (Ten)
A period procedural, set in London's Whitechapel in the aftermath of the Jack the Ripper murders.
River Cottage Australia (LifeStyle)
The hit British series about sustainable farming is replicated in Australia.
Telemovie about convicted drug trafficker Schapelle Corby based on the book Sins of the Father by Eamonn Duff.
Serangoon Road (ABC)
A fast-paced detective drama set during 1960s Singapore, co-produced with HBO Asia, and starring Don Hany.
Shock of the Now (Ten)
Panel show tackling the digital world hosted by comedian Tom Ballard and produced by Andrew Denton's Zapruder's Other Films.
Spicks and Specks 2.0 (ABC)
The ABC dusts off the format it abandoned a year ago, hoping to resuscitate its Wednesday schedule.
The Taste (Nine)
A professional-level cooking competition series fronted by celebrity chefs Nigella Lawson and Anthony Bourdain.
Top of the Lake (UKTV)
Described as a ''powerful and haunting mystery'', starring Elisabeth Moss, David Wenham and Holly Hunter.
The Train: The Granville Disaster (History)
A documentary on the Granville train disaster narrated by iconic TV newsreader Brian Henderson.
Untitled Chris Lilley Project (ABC)
Angry Boys may have met with a mixed reception in some quarters, but Chris Lilley's comedy pedigree will ensure his new project for the ABC project will meet an audience with great enthusiasm and high expectations.
Upper Middle Bogan (ABC)
Comedy from Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope (The Librarians) about two families living at ''opposite ends of the freeway''.
Whitlam: The Power and the Passion (ABC)
A two-part ABC documentary on the political rise and fall of the former Australian prime minister, Gough Whitlam.
FremantleMedia-produced romantic comedy-drama designed to complement Offspring.