Winners of 2017

Sophie Monk, Deb Knight, The Dr. Blake Army & Queensland -who emerges victorious this year?

In the wash-up of the TV year, some faces are hoping for a better 2018.

But there are some who will be rightly popping the champers.

No doubt I am forgetting some worthy candidates but here’s an acknowledgment of many who can look back on a positive 12 months, in no particular order.

Sophie Monk
It was a casting leap of faith but The Bachelorette paid off in droves for both Monk and TEN. The nation fell in love with the former Bardot singer all over again, showing us she is completely at ease with being a loveable dag.

Tom Gleeson
In an extended second season Hard Quiz filled a much-needed slot for ABC and even ended up beating the commercials on more than one occasion. How to build a show from the ground up.

Working Dog
Best ever figures for Have You Been Paying Attention? and Utopia‘s top Timeshifted numbers for a locally-produced show. In between it all they have been quietly filming Russell Coight’s All Aussie Adventures for 2018.

Paul Anderson
TEN’s CEO provided a steady hand through unchartered waters, with a “business as usual” approach, emerging with employees united and ready to work for CBS.

Mitch Fifield
Many have tried but the Minister for Communications managed to forge a united industry front and pushed through on media reforms. Some compromises notwithstanding it was quite an achievement.

Hugh Marks
Financially it may not have been a strong year for Nine, but Marks is arguably giving his predecessor a run for his money, thanks to a bigger audience share and more consistent ratings. Transparency around staff standards has also been encouraging.

Tracey Spicer
Journalist and former broadcaster sent out a clarion call to those disaffected in the industry without rushing to naming and shaming. The Don Burke allegations, despite his denials, was comprehensive and convincing.

Magda Szubanski
While her acting role in Sisters may not have broken barriers Magda’s TV interviews gained wide attention as the public face of and the marriage equality vote. As Gogglebox said, “Everybody loves Magda.”

Celia Pacquola
From appearances on Have You Been Paying Attention? and Utopia, it’s hats off to Celia Pacquola (and Luke McGregor) with her own Rosehaven comedy, branded by the NY Times as “Affable and human, it’s the mirror-world version of terrible-twosome shows like You’re the Worst or Catastrophe.”

Wally Elnour
Just give the Best Newcomer award to Sunshine‘s young star now and be done with it. The fact it was his acting debut in the SBS drama only reiterates how impressive his performance was.

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen
Just when a reality franchise was beginning to tire, House Rules new designer judge pops with character and pointed comments. Contrast with the underwhelming theatre of Marco Pierre White in Hell’s Kitchen.

Julie Ward
Seasoned producer puts together a killer production in Australian Ninja Warrior, matched by bumper ratings which other networks are now desperately responding to.

Lisa Wilkinson
While the outcome may ultimately prove otherwise, having the guts to walk from Nine to TEN caught everybody unawares. Wilkinson at least showed she is not to be taken for granted.

Deb Knight
Lisa Wilkinson’s exit saw Weekend Today presenter step into the breach proving how capable and under-rated she is. More please.

The Doctor Blake Army
A social media campaign led by US-based fan Jan Bridges managed to keep axed-ABC show in the spotlight long enough for Seven to strategically give it a new lease of life. Win / win.

Tracy Grimshaw
Ok it was a dreadful year for ACA for reasons best avoided, but Tracy Grimshaw ended with an assured, unforgiving interview with Don Burke, who presumably thought he would get an easy ride. Not.

Sean Keenan
Go-to actor saw several projects hitting the screen at almost the same time: Newton’s Law, Hoges, Glitch, Wake in Fright & Australia Day. Even the ones with dodgy reviews were full of praise for this rising star. Beware over-exposure.

Rebel Wilson
There may be debate about whether a win was due, and indeed whether the compensation was reflective of the misdemeanours, but there is no mistaking Rebel took on the mags and won against the odds.

Chris Uhlmann
Laurie Oakes’ retirement became Uhlmann’s opportunity to reach for a prized political mantle. Did he count on co-hosting Today though?

The sunshine state has stepped up this year with productions (and pre-production) including The Family Law, Harrow, Tidelands, The Bureau of Magical Things, Safe Harbour, Grace Beside Me, The Mosque, Homecoming Queens, The Second –after claiming the State of Origin they went and nicked the Logies from Melbourne.

SBS on Demand
So many enticing titles on offer for free, often ahead of their broadcast, that this online platform has upstaged commercial broadcasters. It gets the prize for the show with the most buzz this year: The Handmaid’s Tale.

Julie Snook
The talk was all about Amber Sherlock’s #whitejacketgate tantrum but everybody else noticed just how cool Julie Snook was in endeavouring to respond to such bullying.

Leigh Sales
More grilling interviews with politicians, revelations about Don Burke, putting social media to useful purpose, and for putting her heart on her sleeve with Sir Paul McCartney is why 7:30‘s host gets a deserved nod.

International stars: Elisabeth Moss, Freddie Highmore, Ashley Judd, Anthony Rapp.

5 Responses

  1. Great list and agree totally with 99%. Big exception tho for SBS on demand, which I was so looking forward to (The Handmaids Tale and Sunshine) and quickly switched off. The unavoidable commercials (often the same irritating once) spoiled it for me. They seemed to run more ads on their online platform than on TV. So unfortunately I had to resort again to alternative ways to watch both Handmaids Tale and Sunshine, which were for me the best shows of 2017.

    1. You do realise that without those ‘unavoidable’ commercials you wouldn’t get outstanding tiles such as The Handmaids Tale at all don’t you??

      Some people won’t even be happy even getting free content without having a whinge….

  2. Kudos to recognising Ward. It’s easy to look at on-air talent and CEOs but it’s the showrunners who can often get overlooked. They’re the ones ultimately responsible for the content we enjoy.

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