We look at what Seven, Nine and TEN has in store for 2010.
Seven's thumping, epic World War II miniseries from HBO is its succession to Band of Brothers. Produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, filmed in Australia, this 10-part series is bound to look spectacular on your big screen TV. Cancel everything and get ready to be awe-inspired.
Packed to the Rafters
Can't you just hear Dave Rafter complaining about a lack of sleep already? The arrival of Ruby Louise will surely unsettle the busy abode of Rafters family no end. And how will it impact on Julie? Could the writers dare encroach upon such issues as post-natal depression? Meanwhile there are other plots set to tantalise us, as Nathan faces life without Sammy, and Ben and Mel face newly-wed life.
We can't wait to see how this diabolical series finally brings to a close the mysteries of the Island and the fate for the survivors of Oceanic 815. Producers are revealing nothing of the final season, but promise many former castaways will return -- and they promise a new narrative device. Airing on 7TWO.
Move over Border Security. This look at the work of the Australian Federal Police has been two years in the making, and unlike most Australian-produced factuals, is filmed on the ground in foreign destinations. Produced by Andrew Denton's Zapruder's Other Films, early glimpses look fast, furious and formidable.
Clarkson, Hammond and May are just about bulletproof, meaning we would watch them anywhere. With extra commercials it will take some getting used to. But the new season promises more dastardly stunts and eye-catching cinematography. So the real question is what Nine will do with Top Gear Australia.
Underbelly: The Golden Mile
This is now a giant in the media. We know exactly what we're getting: scandal, violence, sex, corruption, great performances, ripping yarns -- and it's all true (well, most of it). Hopefully this year it will return to the qualities that made the first season so magnificent: more drama, less tits. But it's set in Kings Cross, so that's a big ask.
A remake of the 80's -- and sometimes campy -- sci-fi, this small screen "Independence Day" has been a big winner in the US, even if it is broad in its style. Watch for Morena Baccarin as Anna, the manipulative high commander of the Visitors.
Hey Hey it's Saturday
It was great fun reuniting with old chums, but can they do it for a rumoured 20 episodes -- and without regulars like Molly Meldrum, Ossie and Jacki MacDonald? We all want variety back on the box, but nobody wants to see a show outstay its welcome. Hey Hey will have to move to version 2.0 to survive this many outings, which may just leave us wishing we had another reunion.
After 2009's triumphant debut will success go to their heads? Not bloody likely. The producers know we loved this for championing the little guy and dissecting great storytelling from a seemingly mundane chore. Since all of Australia fell in love with this, expect better chefs, bigger personalities and more aggressive kitchen warfare. And then get ready for Junior MasterChef Australia.
If you loved Arrested Development or The Office here's one for you. This brilliantly funny mockumentary showcases three American families, each dysfunctional in their own way. One is a nuclear family, another features Ed O'Neill as a father who has remarried a Latino wife and then there is the gay couple who have adopted a Vietnamese baby. A subtle, wicked, single-camera, no-laugh track comedy that turns America inside out.
The Good Wife
Julianna Margulies stars as a woman whose cheating attorney husband (Chris Noth) is imprisoned for corruption, so she returns to her former occupation in litigation. Margulies has dazzled critics with her performance, and is already up for The Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards. A working mum with plenty of firepower.
Continue to 2010: The big guns, part II