• First Review: Foxtel in 2007

    As the leader in Pay TV (or as they prefer it to be called, ‘subscription TV’) Foxtel had itself a nice little year. Little in terms of its ratings, but mighty in its impact on the diminishing Free to Air audience. Foxtel traditionally doesn’t release many numbers because it argues that having multiple channels and […]

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  • First Review: SBS in 2007

    SBS may have had another year of anti-Bush documentaries and global-warming lessons, but let’s face it, their year was dominated by one issue: Mary Kostakidis quitting the broadcaster after 21 years. To have an ambassador in such a public spat was an unforgivable state of affairs, overshadowing all achievements for the network. It began, ominously, […]

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  • First Review: Super Comet

    Where the hell is Bruce Willis when we need him? He’s needed to save us from the Super Comet, both the meteor, and very arguably the docudrama too. Docudramas are always tricky beasts. Trying to combine both factual info with re-enactments is no fun, and this hypothetical made by Discovery Channel isn’t exactly top of […]

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  • First Review: TEN in 2007

    TEN’s year was something of a disappointment, but like all good PR spinners, they managed to focus on the good stuff: The 2007 AFL Grand Final, Thank God You’re Here a revived Rove, it’s best 18-49 figure, a win in daytimes overall and another win in 16-39. What it tactfully left out was that it […]

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  • First Review: Nine in 2007

    The question that seemed to summarise the year for Nine was “Who Killed Channel Nine?” The book by Gerald Stone pointed fingers everywhere and as the network continued a painful rebirth from the Packer era, it eventually looked to his godson, David Gyngell, to lead it forth. But first it endured plenty of vultures around […]

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  • First Review: Seven in 2007

    However you look at it, 2007 was Seven’s heaven. After nearly 30 years of second fiddle to Nine, Seven was finally, convincingly, The One. Winning 38 of 40 Ratings Weeks has given it the status of Australia’s leading network. It is a Pepsi vs Coke-style win that will resonate in the viewers’ minds for the […]

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  • First Review: Jam and Jerusalem

    Generally speaking, a new series from Jennifer Saunders is cause for celebration. How we have loved Absolutely Fabulous, French and Saunders and even her early work on Girls on Top. Jam and Jersualem, which also features Dawn French and Joanna Lumley, therefore comes with much currency. But it is poles apart from her trademark comedy […]

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  • First Review: The ABC in 2007

    For the last six days of 2007 TV Tonight presents a series of articles on each of the major networks. Here’s how they fared, for better and worse. When The Chaser team raided the offices of Seven’s Today Tonight it was a metaphor for the march the national broadcaster has made on commercial ratings in […]

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  • First Review: Wind in the Willows

    Non-fans of Matt Lucas stop reading right now. In the famed role of Toad from Toad Hall, Lucas’ performance positively swamps this treatment of the classic story by Kenneth Grahame. But as a bald-headed, rotund amphibian there is nary an actor of note more suitable. He chews up the scenery as Toad, to the point […]

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  • First Review: Satisfaction

    It’s no secret that nearly all of the best TV drama these days happens on Pay-TV. Whether it’s HBO (The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Oz, Sex and the City), Showtime (Dexter, Weeds, Californication) or Foxtel’s Love My Way in Australia. But while our best is hidden on top tier packaging, it seems you can only […]

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  • First Review: High School Musical 2

    The opening song of the original High School Musical was snuck under the radar via a karaoke scene. It was as if the producers wanted to gently ease the teenage audience into an unfamilar genre. Now the show is a big, fat hit High School Musical 2 is bursting with confidence. I’ll admit I hated […]

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  • First Review: Cane, Journeyman, Psych

    Three new US dramas are about to be unveiled by Network TEN. The first of these, Cane, premieres tonight. Jimmy Smits is the head of a sprawling Cuban-American family in the deep south of Florida. Dubbed as “an Hispanic Dallas” his clan run a rum and sugar business. It all sounds like a coffee-coloured version […]

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