What to Watch: April 19 - 25

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TV.com's pick of the best TV shows on Aussie screens this week.

MasterChef Australia
New series. Television's biggest juggernaut is back with Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris stepping up as dual host/judges, joined by the fabulous Matt Preston's theatrical personality. This year there are no audition episodes -- we have already arrived at the top 50. But there are only 24 places available. Monday night in a mass cook-off event five will be chop chopped already, with more culled throughout the week. Australia, your dinner is ready.

Airs: 7:30pm weeknights and Sunday on TEN

The Ultimate School Musical
Premiere. Think of this as Junior Idol and you wouldn't be too far wrong. Students at a Melbourne high school are given the chance to learn singing, dancing and acting skills as they prepare for a public performance of the stage musical, Fame , at the Regent Theatre. Putting them through their paces are host Ruby Rose, vocal coach Anthony Callea, director Eddie Perfect and choreographer Kelly Aykers. Our school days were never like this.

Airs: 7:30pm Tuesday on FOX8

Hey Hey It's Saturday
The nation continues to be divided into those who adored the variety show's return and those who prefer to remember it in its glory days. There's no denying the show has managed to recapture many of the elements that made it so unique: Red Faces, Plucka Duck, Ossie and Dickie Knee. But at two hours on a weeknight it's a big ask to overlook some of the competition, so we look forward to Daryl wheeling out some big surprises to keep the show fresh. International stars, anyone?

Airs: 7:30pm Wednesday on Nine

The Pacific
If you weren't completely shell-shocked by last week's explosive premiere, then tune in tonight for the episode that sees the marines taking a little R & R in Melbourne. Greeted by thousands of adoring locals, the Americans admit it was like landing in heaven. More interestingly it adds a domestic and romantic plot, including local actors Claire Van Der Boom and Zoe Carides, and actual locations used at Flinders St Station, the MCG and Carlton.

Airs: 8:30pm Wednesday on Seven

So You Think You Can Dance Australia
Final. We are down to Jessie, Phillipe, Ivy and Robbie for the year's title winner as Australia's favourite dancer. Expect to see all the former contestants back, some spectacular routines and a screaming horde of frenzied fans. The winner lands $200,000 and the chance to choose from three industry contracts. The bigger question is whether it will defeat some of the big competition and how TEN will revamp it for 2011.

Airs: 8:30pm Wednesday on TEN

Lowdown
Premiere. Adam Zwar (Wilfred) stars as an under-achieving entertainment reporter for a tabloid newspaper. He's under the hammer to land some scoops for his editor (Kim Gyngell) for a newspaper that is sinking fast against new media. The humour is subversive rather than laugh out loud, the comment on the industry is idiosyncratic without going in as hard as Frontline did. Craig McLachlan has a cameo as a snorting star.

Airs: 9pm Wednesday on ABC1

Kokoda
Premiere. Never mind what the Americans were up to, this documentary looks at Australia's fight to stop the Japanese in WWII as they marched upon Papua New Guinea. A mix of actual footage, interviews with veterans, historians and dramatic re-enactments, this is a solid capsule of how Australia fought a formidable foe. Significantly, it also includes the Japanese point of view. This is the first of two episodes, narrated by William McInnes.

Airs: 8:30pm Thursday on ABC1

Merlin
New series. Hurrah, our favourite royal adventure is back with Colin Morgan, Bradley James and Richard Wilson. The perfect family entertainment, the second season kicks off when a new manservant tries to oust Merlin from his role alongside Arthur. Watch for gargoyles brought to life, treasures in the tomb, and a lifetime promise made to the Dragon.

Airs: 6:30pm Sunday on TEN

Underbelly
Australia drove the first episode to huge ratings, and reviews for the third series have been mostly positive. This week Kim Hollingsworth organises a strip show for a "police charity". A small-time bouncer has an audacious plan to become King of the Cross and Trevor Haiken's alcoholism takes a toll on his marriage and ability to manage police corruption.

Airs: 8:30pm Sunday on Nine

Burn Up
When a team of geologists is murdered in the sands of Saudi Arabia you know there is a much bigger plot afoot. In this two-part UK-Canadian thriller, an oil company struggles to juggle climate change, foreign policy and the profit margin. With a mix of sinister conspiracies, a hint of action and some twists, it boasts an impressive cast: Rupert Penry-Jones (Spooks, Whitechapel), Bradley Whitford (The West Wing), Neve Campbell (Party Of Five) and Marc Warren (Hustle).

Airs: 8:30pm Sunday on ABC1

A Very Short War
Premiere. The History Channel always marks ANZAC Day with an original documentary. This year it looks at the short life of Jack Clifford "Cliff" Carpenter, a daredevil young Australian aviator of the 1930's who, along with his crew, was the first of the Allied servicemen to lose their lives in the defence of Norway during World War II. Co-directed and narrated by Cliff's nephew, Bill Young, and produced by 2008 Tropfest winner Karl Conti.

Airs: 8:30pm Sunday on History.

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