Allen Leech in a scene from the TV series Downton Abbey. Supplied by Channel 7.
Allen Leech in a scene from the TV series Downton Abbey. Supplied by Channel 7.

Find out what's on the box in 2014

IF YOU'RE hoping for a year with less reality TV on the airwaves, then I'm sorry to disappoint you.

All three major broadcasters have reality shows slated for this year, with Seven and Nine's juggernauts My Kitchen Rules and The Voice set to do battle.

Ten is reviving So You Think You Can Dance and The Block and Biggest Loser will be vying for viewers in their family-friendly timeslots.

This year is set to be a rebirth for Channel 10, if you believe what the bosses are saying. Last year was all about rebuilding and restructure for Ten, which saw the appointment of new CEO Hamish McLennan and a concerted effort to secure the rights to more sporting events like Big Bash cricket and next month's Sochi Winter Olympics.

The ABC punched above its weight in 2013, taking a record share of the ratings thanks to hit original shows like Gruen Planet and viewer favourites QI and New Tricks. ABC1 had a higher audience share than Ten, coming third behind Seven and Nine when channels were ranked on an individual basis.

Aunty's 2014 slate is jam-packed with Aussie dramas and musical quiz show Spicks and Specks makes its anticipated return.

While Seven is steering clear of another risk like Celebrity Splash, it's Nine taking a leap of faith with Married At First Sight.

The local version of the much-talked-about Danish original will see strangers, who have been matched by relationship experts, meet for the first time when they exchange vows at the altar.

Who on Earth would volunteer for that? We'll soon find out.

Channel 7

  • My Kitchen Rules - Everyone's favourite houseguests Pete and Manu return in Seven's hit cooking show. New teams include a cheese-loving country couple, two surfing dads and a guy Andrew who likes to say "awesome" a lot.
  • A Place To Call Home - This home-grown period drama, which was the top Aussie drama series last year, has been renewed for a second season.
  • Never Tear Us Apart - Rising talent Luke Arnold plays Michael Hutchence in Seven's telemovie about the rise and fall of Aussie pub band turned global sensation INXS. The movie also stars Hugh Sheridan, Damon Herriman and Andy Ryan as his band mates and X Factor winner Samantha Jade as Kylie Minogue.
  • Downton Abbey - The hit British drama returns for a fourth season, and will see Lady Mary still struggling to recover from her husband Matthew's death. Meanwhile, Tom Branson is trying to find his feet as the manager of the estate.
  • Revenge - This American soap following the sordid lives of The Hamptons' rich and powerful returns for a third season, after the season two cliff hanger which saw Emily reveal her true identity to Jack.
  • Bringing Sexy Back - Samantha Armytage hosts this new makeover show aiming to help ordinary Aussies get out of their style slumps and lead happier and healthier lives.
  • House Rules - Seven is sticking by its home renovation show, a spin-off of the popular MKR format, despite its less than impressive debut last year. Joh Griggs will return as host.
  • The Killing Field - Packed to the Rafters star Rebecca Gibney leads the cast in this Aussie crime thriller about a detective sent to a small town to investigate the murder of a teenage girl.
  • The Amazing Race Australia - After a year's hiatus, a new crop of intrepid Aussie travellers will set out on a round-the-world race to compete for a large cash prize.

Channel 9

  • The Voice - Nine's hit reality singing competition returns for a third season, with new judges Kylie Minogue and will.i.am joining Ricky Martin and Joel Madden. Delta Goodrem and Madden will be coaches on the new Voice Kids spin-off.
  • The Block: Fans vs Favourites -Last year's winners Alisa and Lysandra and 2012 favourites Brad and Dale face off against four teams of Block-crazy fans. There is sure to be a big twist as there are six teams and only four luxury apartments to be built.
  • Schapelle - New talent Krew Boylan stars as convicted Aussie drug smuggler Schapelle Corby in this telemovie based on Corby's arrest, trial and conviction from 2004 to 2005.
  • Fat Tony & Co - Robert Mammone reprises his Underbelly role as Tony Mokbel in this new mini-series, following Mokbel's rise in Melbourne's underworld to the police manhunt that ended with him being arrested in Greece.
  • Love Child - Former Packed to the Rafters beauty Jessica Marais stars as a midwife in this mini-series set in 1969 Kings Cross. Mandy McElhinney and Jonathan LaPaglia also star in the drama following the trials of unwed mothers sent to Stanton House.
  • When Love Comes to Town - Natalie Gruzlewski will host this new regional dating show which will see single women from the cities heading to small towns in search of eligible bachelors.
  • Hamish & Andy's South America Gap Year - Logie winners Hamish Blake and Andy Lee set off on their latest adventure, this time in the wilds of South America where they are sure to get up to plenty of mischief.
  • Gina - This two-part mini-series tells the story of the world's richest woman, Gina Rinehart, and the battles over the future of the Hancock/Rinehart dynasty.
  • Married At First Sight - This local version of the original Danish show uses relationship experts to match up eight Aussie singles who will meet each other for the first time at the altar. Cameras will follow their wedding, honeymoon and first meetings with the in-laws.

Channel 10

  • So You Think You Think You Can Dance Australia - Ten is reviving this dance talent show which it originally aired from 2008 to 2010. International star Paula Abdul is one of the judges and The Project's Carrie Bickmore hosts.
  • The Biggest Loser: Challenge Australia - Trainers Shannan Ponton, Commando Steve and Michelle Bridges attempt to shrink the waistlines of one of the country's fattest towns. Residents will also compete for a spot in the Biggest Loser House.
  • The Bachelor - After the ratings and social media success of last year's debut season, in which Tim Robards and Anna Heinrich found love, Ten is renewing its reality dating show. Which Aussie bachelor will sign up this year?
  • Secrets & Lies - Broadcasters in the US have already snapped up the rights to this Brisbane-filmed Aussie drama about a young boy's murder and the police investigations into his neighbours and family members that follow.
  • Party Tricks - Offspring's Asher Keddie and Rodger Corser star in this new six-part drama series filmed in Melbourne. Keddie and Corser play state political rivals who have a romantic history.
  • Puberty Blues - Ten's acclaimed '70s coming-of-age drama returns for a third season and stars Ashleigh Cummings, Brenna Harding, Dan Wylie, Susie Porter and Claudia Karvan.
  • MasterChef Australia - The sixth series of Ten's reality cooking show will be its second year based in Melbourne and feature the return of judges George Calombaris, Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston.
  • 24 Live Another Day - The long-awaited follow-up to the popular 24 drama series picks up four years after the original left off, with Jack Bauer now living in London and being hunted by a CIA agent.
  • Lost With The Boys - Ten is launching its first online-only TV series on its digital tenplay platform. It features a collection of short stories by real-life girls.

ABC

  • Spicks and Specks - Just three years after retiring its long-running music quiz show, Aunty is bringing it back with new host Josh Earl and team captains Adam Richard and Ella Hooper.
  • Jonah from Tonga - Character actor and comedian Chris Lilley's popular Summer Heights High character Jonah Takalua is getting his own show. The series catches up with the teen, who is attempting to adjust to island life after moving back to his native Tonga.
  • The Code - This new Aussie political thriller stretching from the Outback to the cool corridors of Canberra stars Dan Wylie, Lucy Lawless and Ashley Zuckerman.
  • The Moodys - Australia's dysfunctional family expands from its Christmas celebrations into an entire year of holidays and family events. The rights to this original comedy series have been sold in the US, with the creators working on the show's American pilot.
  • ANZAC Girls - An ensemble cast of talented young Aussie actresses including Anna McGahan and Georgia Flood star in this war-time drama about Australia and New Zealand's military nurses.
  • Parer's War - Offspring's Matthew Le Nevez stars in this war-time drama about Second World War cameraman Damien Parer, who put his life on the line to film jungle warfare in New Guinea.
  • Rake - Richard Roxburgh returns for a third season of this acclaimed drama, which sees Cleaver Greene languishing in prison surrounded by enemies, friends and former colleagues.
  • Old School - Bryan Brown and Sam Neill star in this comedy drama about a retired cop and a retired criminal who team up to solve crimes for cash.
  • The Broken Shore - Don Hany stars in the ABC's TV adaptation of Peter Temple's acclaimed novel. The thriller follows a homicide detective transferred to a small Victorian coastal town.

Foxtel

  • Game of Thrones - The highly anticipated fourth series of this fantasy drama will see the remaining members of the now decimated Stark clan recovering from their betrayal and the on-going battles for control of the realm. And did I mention winter is coming?
  • Devil's Playground - Don Hany, Simon Burke and Toni Collette star in this Aussie thriller about the Australian Catholic Church in the 1980s.
  • Orange is the New Black - This critically acclaimed US drama series, set in a women's prison, has been renewed for a second season. Aussie Yael Stone stars alongside Taylor Schilling and Laura Prepon.
  • The Face Australia - Naomi Campbell brings her hit modelling competition to Australia, teaming up with Cheyenne Tozzi and Nicole Trunfio to coach three teams of aspiring models all vying for a lucrative contract.
  • The Real Housewives of Melbourne - The Real Housewives franchise finally makes its way Down Under with cameras following the real-life exploits of socialites Andrea Moss, Janet Roach, Jackie Gillies, Chyka Keebaugh and Lydia Schiavello.
  • Wentworth - Showcase's gritty drama, set in a women's prison, returns for a second season. This modern retelling of the cult TV series Prisoners examines Bea's first years behind bars.
  • Rake - Greg Kinnear stars in the US remake of the ABC's smart drama. Cleaver Greene has been renamed Keegan Deane, but his life is still a must-watch train wreck.
  • Young Doctor's Notebook - Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe and Mad Men's Jon Hamm player younger and older versions of the same character in this four-part black comedy.
  • The Normal Heart - Film stars Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo in this adaptation of Larry Kramer's renowned play about the onset of HIV/AIDs in the 1980s.


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