TV Tonight Awards: Best of 2018

Readers have spoken!

Shaun Micallef is (still) your Favourite Male TV Personality and Mad as Hell was the Best Australian Comedy in 2018.

Micallef is a perennial winner in this category with six previous titles (plus 1 tie) while two seasons of his ABC comedy, plus a reprisal for Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation, made for a successful 2018.

In his acceptance speech Micallef said, “TV Tonight readers have again shown impeccable taste and discernment by anointing me their King and holding aloft Mad as Hell as the golden child of Australian television; a lone beacon of hope shining across a sea of unmitigated garbage (particularly MKR which always beats us).

“Thank you TV Tonight for these two wonderful honours. You remain the number one go to site when I want to see what the ratings are for free. I think you could be a little harder on MKR though and also put our show in your Top Picks instead of Hard Quiz.”

Foxtel’s triumphant Wentworth won its 4th consecutive Best Australian Drama title, despite a serious challenge from ABC’s Mystery Road. 10 newcomer Playing for Keeps took out the Best New Australian Show category.

10 shows also featured prominently in voting with Have You Been Paying Attention? unchallenged in Light Entertainment plus wins by The Project, Studio 10, Australian Survivor, The Living Room, Ambulance Australia and personalities including Julia Morris as Favourite Female, and Sam Pang as Most Underrated Performer.

This year there was a tie in Morning television with ABC’s 10 year old News Breakfast locking with Studio 10 for the first time. Seven dominated the Sport category. Nine US import Survivor is unbeaten as Best International Reality Show.

There were 568 surveys returned this year, up on last year’s 433.

* denotes runaway winner

Best Australian Drama: Wentworth 
Mystery Road
Playing for Keeps
A Place to Call Home
Doctor Doctor
(2017: Wentworth)

Best Australian Comedy: Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell * 
Hannah Gadsby: Nanette
How to Stay Married
Orange is the New Brown
(2017: Rosehaven)

Best International Drama: Bodyguard
Killing Eve
The Handmaid’s Tale
The Good Doctor
(2017: The Good Doctor)

Best International Comedy: The Good Place *
The Big Bang Theory
Young Sheldon
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Will & Grace
(2017: The Big Bang Theory)

Best Light Entertainment: Have You Been Paying Attention? *
Hard Quiz
The Chase
The Weekly with Charlie Pickering
(2017: Have You Been Paying Attention?)

Best Morning TV Programme: Studio 10 / News Breakfast tie
The Morning Show
(2017: Studio 10)

Best Reality Show (Aussie): Australian Survivor *
MasterChef Australia
I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here
The Block
Married at First Sight
(2017: Australian Survivor)

Best Reality Show (International): Survivor *
RuPaul’s Drag Race
The Amazing Race
Britain’s Got Talent
The X Factor (UK)
(2017: Survivor)

Best Lifestyle: The Living Room *
Selling Houses Australia
Better Homes & Gardens
Love it or List it Australia
Gardening Australia
(2017: The Living Room)

Best Factual / Documentary / Observational: Ambulance Australia 
Australian Story
Four Corners
(2017: Gogglebox)

Best News / Current / Public Affairs: The Project 
Four Corners
ABC News
60 Minutes
(2017: Four Corners)

Best Talk Show: Studio 10
The Project
Interview with Andrew Denton
(2017: Q&A)

Best Kid’s Show: Play School *
Nowhere Boys
Giggle & Hoot
(2017: Play School)

Best Sports Show or Coverage: AFL Grand Final
The Front Bar
Australian Open
Bathurst 1000
Big Bash League
(2017: Big Bash League)

Best New Show (Australian): Playing for Keeps  *
Mystery Road
Ambulance Australia
Mr. Inbetween
Harrow / Hughesy, We Have a Problem
(2017: Australian Ninja Warrior)

Best New Show (International): Killing Eve
FBI / The Conners
(2017: The Good Doctor)

Favourite Male: Shaun Micallef 
Sam Pang
Tom Gleeson
Waleed Aly  / Dr. Chris Brown
(2017: Shaun Micallef)

Favourite Female: Julia Morris 
Carrie Bickmore
Celia Pacquola
Kitty Flanagan
Sarah Harris / Lisa Wilkinson
(2017: Celia Pacquola)

Most Underrated Performer: Sam Pang 
Sarah Harris
Tom Gleisner / Celia Pacquola / Jackie Woodburne / Eve Morey
(2017: Sam Pang)

International Show We Need to See: I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here UK
Big Brother
Dirty John
(2017: The Orville)

Tomorrow: Worst of 2018


  1. I discovered I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here UK on YouTube streamed same time as UK last year. Holly Willoughby was hilarious during challengers. Could see why there was also a push by some to get Julia Morris hosting when Ant was announced as not partnering Dec due to his circumstances.

  2. carolemorrissey

    I always go blank on some categories & couldn’t remember some shows that were on earlier in the year. Got a bit confused with a few categories & think I may have voted some shows in the wrong one. Talk show confused me, we don’t really have any. I think of Ellen or Oprah for them. Think I voted Hughsey we have a problem for I think this year I will hang on to the TV Week that lists all the shows for the Logies.

  3. Congratulations Shaun Micallef and Mad As Hell. Well deserved!!!
    Combined with the rest of the results this just proves that TV Tonight readers have a much better grasp of what constitutes good TV rather than readers of TV Weak or even what the ratings show.
    Maybe David should organise his own event we could all attend to announce the results? 😉 I’m happy to bring a plate 🙂

    • Realising that this is a bit tonge-in-cheek, but sometimes we forget what an exclusive bunch we are on TV Tonight. Unfortunately, we do have to face the fact that, despite its faults, the ratings system is a far more rigorous scientific study of popular shows. This survey is lots of fun, but we are not at all representative of the real Australia. Many viewers out there count the TV as the only screen in their house, let alone voting on an online forum.

      • You are correct. The awards have only ever sought to reflect reader choices not represent the entire nation. That said they often tap into new trends and names that crop up later in the Logies etc.

  4. As much as I like Shaun Micallef I think Sam Pang should have won favourite male as well. Happy to see HYBPA? as best light entertainment show. It’s by far one of the best shows Australia has ever made. Tom Gleisner should have won something HYBPA? is almost unwatchable when he isn’t hosting I always skip those episodes.

  5. My list of TV networks rankings:
    Network 7
    Network Ten
    Nine Network.

    That order is explaining which channel we watch the most and which one we watch the least. Take Foxtel into account and that would go right at the top as most often watched, even though we do not have the sports pack. Something for the FTA TV networks to think about. Worst garbage as Shaun Micallef stated is definitely MKR because it is all about hyped up and made up drama and little real cooking. We won’t be watching that any more 🙁
    Thanks for giving us the chance to air our views here David 🙂

  6. Big Bang Theory and Will and Grace are just shells of their former glory. Young Sheldon is hilarious and shows you don’t need a laugh track to tell you when to laugh.

  7. Obviously , people meters count the people actually watching, that is not gage whether the program is enjoyed enough, to be remembered for the most popular annual vote.

  8. looking forward to the worst of 2018… I think we all know what/who will be mentioned the most.

    Channel 10 keeps on delivering the content even when the show goes tits up like the bachelor not picking one of the ladies. looking forward to what 2019 brings for the channel

  9. 20 questions, 5 of which relate to international. That leaves 15 questions on local content. 10 of those resulted in a network TEN win. Now if we extrapolate that to ratings, Ten would be the number 1 network but in reality it’s number 4. Please explain.

    • This tends to happen each year, the awards are voted by readers not scientifically surveyed like OzTAM. Because there is no nominee list offered, there is also a tendency to favour recent titles. I would also note 10 has been prominent in Logie noms and this year Mediaweek reader awards too.

      • It also goes to show how people with negative comments tend to make comments more than people who have positive ones, The Project cops a lot of flack (and TEN in general) yet the votes show differently. Either that or the negative comments just stick out more, there is one exception to that though The Front Bar, number 2 to the AFL Grand Final and it has got constant praise on here and also wins in the ratings, now all it needs is a Logie (if there’s a category for it this year).

        Of course The Living Room often gets praise here and does well ratings wise and at the Logies, interesting that two fairly simple laid back not in your face shows get that, to which really even Gogglebox is.

  10. 10 would have to be very happy with those results. Unfortunately for 10, the results of the survey are not reflected in the ratings, apart from HYBPA.

    • Different demographics. People who choose to participate in the TV Tonight poll are generally people that care about what they watch, enough that they visit the site often. The rest of the population are happy enough with the reality overdose that commercial networks feed them.

  11. Ten certainly gets a lot of love from your readers. Both for their personalities and their shows. Shoes they have a solid base to grow off hopefully.

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