TV Tonight Awards: Best of 2021

Readers choose ABC's The Newsreader & Fisk as Best Drama & Comedy of 2021.

Readers have voted Kitty Flanagan comedy Fisk and period drama The Newsreader as the best in their field in the TV Tonight Awards 2021.

The ABC shows won best local Comedy and Drama, respectively.

They also scored wins in 2 categories each.

Kitty Flanagan took out the Favourite Female Performer for the first time.

“It was such a dream come true to actually get to make my own show let alone do it with the best cast and crew in the history of ever,” said Flanagan. “I feel completely ‘hashtag blessed.’ To then have people watch it and like it, was the icing on the cake. So to then win accolades on top of all that from TVT – would have to be the cherry on top of that icing on the cake. Thanks so much to all the TVT viewers and voters as well as to my brilliantly funny cast, especially Julia, Marty & Aaron, who surrounded me in every ep and made me look good!”

The Newsreader also took out the Best New Australian show (with Fisk coming second).

Producers Michael Lucas and Joanna Werner said, “We’re so thrilled that The Newsreader has taken out these two awards. The show riffed on a lot of Australian broadcasting history, a topic of some expertise for many TV Tonight readers, so it’s especially thrilling to be acknowledged here. It was the highlight of our year to hear the feedback as we went out weekly on Sunday nights.

“Recreating 1986 during a 2020s pandemic was no small feat, so we are hugely indebted to the ABC, eOne, Screen Australia, Film Victoria, and most of all to our incredible cast and crew for all their talent and hard work. Thank you!”

Returning winners include Have You Been Paying Attention?, Australian Survivor, Gogglebox, The Project, The Living Room (all 10), Bluey, Q+A, News Breakfast (all ABC) and Seven’s The Front Bar.

Sam Pang has finally taken out the Favourite Male Performer after six successive wins by Shaun Micallef. New names this year include Sam Reid while Anna Torv -both from The Newsreader– makes a showing this year in Favourite Female results.

In the International category it’s worth noting Survivor (USA) now has a 10 year winning streak in the Reality category.

* denotes runaway winner.

Best Australian Drama: The Newsreader
Total Control
Home & Away
(2020: Wentworth)

Best Australian Comedy: Fisk *
Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell
(2020: Rosehaven)

Best International Drama: Succession
Squid Game
Mare of Easttown
Morning Wars
Line of Duty / It’s a Sin
(2020: The Crown)

Best International Comedy: Ted Lasso
Young Sheldon
What We Do in the Shadows / Curb Your Enthusiasm
(2020: Schitt’s Creek)

Best Light Entertainment: Have You Been Paying Attention? *
Hard Quiz
The Cheap Seats
Gogglebox / The Chase
(2020: Have You Been Paying Attention?)

Best Australian Reality: Australian Survivor*
MasterChef Australia
Lego Masters
The Voice
I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here
(2020: Australian Survivor)

Best International Reality: Survivor (US)
RuPaul’s Drag Race
The Circle
The Great British Bake Off
The Real Housewives
(2020: Survivor US)

Best Australian Lifestyle: The Living Room
Gardening Australia
Better Homes & Gardens
Love it or List It Australia
Selling Houses Australia
(2020: The Living Room )

Best Morning Show: News Breakfast
Studio 10
The Morning Show
(2020: News Breakfast)

Best Factual / Documentary / Observational: Gogglebox
Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds
Exposed: Ghost Train Fire
Love on the Spectrum
Ms Represented / The Dog House Australia
(2020: Gogglebox)

Best News / Current / Public Affairs: The Project
Four Corners
ABC News
Nine News
(2020: The Project)

Best Talk Show: Q+A
The Project
One Plus One
(2020: Q+A)

Kid’s Show: Bluey*
The Bureau of Magical Things
Play School
Dive Club
(2020: Bluey)

Best Sports Show or Coverage: The Front Bar
Bathurst 1000
Australian Open / NRL
(2020: The Front Bar)

Best New Australian Show: The Newsreader
The Cheap Seats
(2020: Stateless)

Best New International Show: Squid Game
Mare of Easttown
The White Lotus
(2020: The Queen’s Gambit)

Favourite Male: Sam Pang
Shaun Micallef
Tom Gleeson
Hamish Blake
Sam Reid
(2020: Shaun Micallef)

Favourite Female: Kitty Flanagan
Celia Pacquola
Anna Torv / Pamela Rabe
Deborah Mailman
(2020: Celia Pacquola)

Tomorrow: Worst of 2021
Wednesday: Story of the Year, Best Channels, Underrated Performer, International Show We Need to See Here

12 Responses

  1. Well done to Fisk for winning Best Comedy and Kitty winning Favourite Female . A great little comedy.

    Not surprised seeing Sam Pang winning Favourite Male, alongside Paying Attention winning Best Entertainment Program and his Front Bar winning Best Sports Program/Coverage. Very popular, and much deserving.

  2. Just getting into Fisk because they are showing repeats on the ABC and I’m really enjoying it. Great show and I hope they make a season 2. And well done to Sam Pang getting Best Male Personality. Very funny guy and well deserved.

    1. “Best Sports Show or Coverage” seems a very broad category. I wonder if The Front Bar belongs in Best Light Entertainment? Seems odd to have it compete against an Olympics or Bathurst 1000 coverage when they’re such different types of programs, albeit all under the same “sports show” umbrella.

      1. If it gathered enough votes in that category I would allow it. But people clearly see it as more of a sports show than a light entertainment. Some shows stray into two categories especially Gogglebox and The Project.

    2. good to see it’s now back on Iview too, it had disappeared before Xmas for some reason just when i thought i would catch up on eps, I was thinking maybe something to do with copyright & international sales? but now its back *shrug*, no complaints though.

  3. Take note that in its debut year, The Cheap Seats has been placed by votes into two categories. I suppose the style or the ambiance is what viewers are looking for in comedy and could be applicable over many genres and styles of comedy. It was also reported that the reason given for the premature ending of Thank God You’re Here was that they’d ran out of cast. Improv is a popular comedy genre and there’s an obvious target market for it.

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