TV.com's pick of the best TV shows on Aussie screens this week.
New series. Paul Abbott's critically acclaimed, offbeat drama about the dysfunctional Gallagher family is back. Expect more sex, violence and mayhem as it unleashes more stories with reckless, vibrant comedy in Britain's working class suburbs. Today is Frank's (David Threlfall) 50th birthday, which also happens to be the 11th birthday for young Liam (Joseph Furnace) -- poor kid! Meanwhile, Karen (Rebecca Atkinson) worries about the paternity of her unborn baby. Followed by La La Land.
Airs: 10pm Monday on SBS ONE
Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation
This week Mark Trevorrow, Clare Bowditch and Josh Lawson join the team captains (with plenty of jokes about the two Joshes). Time to test how well you know your six degrees of separation. The Endgame challenge sees live farm animals getting manhandled by some very nervous celebrities.
Airs: 7:30pm Tuesday on TEN
New series. One of TV's most dynamic shows makes a welcome return this week, and with all the cachet and confidence it carries, this will surely be a bigger season than the first. With Nationals due to be held in New York, the group begin to recruit new members, but Principal Figgins (Iqbal Theba) is also cutting their budget. TEN is fast tracking these episodes, screening just hours after they debut in the US.
Airs: 7:30pm Wednesday on TEN
New series. When this reality series arrived in 2003 it became a "water cooler" show, attracting bumper ratings and plenty of media buzz. Back then we loved the renovations and especially the bickering that went on behind closed doors. It was like a mini-soap. Now the show returns with four couples, a shell of apartments in the Sydney suburb of Vaucluse and new host Scott Cam. Everything that made the show work has been replicated, but with the shift in tone for reality TV is that enough of a makeover? The Block will be followed by the brand new series The Boss is Coming to Dinner.
Airs: 7:30pm Wednesday on Nine
Border Security: Australia's Frontline
New series. Australia's most popular factual series returns for a three-way time-slot battle, as Grant Bowler once again narrates airport adventures that keep viewers aghast at the nerve and stupidity of some. This week, officers stop an elderly lady and make a disturbing discovery about the odd spring in her step, a man with a serious skin rash has officers concerned, and immigration suspect a Latvian man is here to destroy a building. One day they will have to film a series that counteracts this paranoia and embraces multiculturalism on our shores.
Airs: 7:30pm Wednesday on Seven
Spicks & Specks
It's Australiana week, as the teams try to work out which songs are being played by gum leaf player Wayne Thorpe. Joining Alan Brough is Gabriella Cilmi doing Olivia Newton-John and "AC/DC"-inspired Dave O'Neil, while Myf is joined by "Purple Wiggle" Troy Cassar-Daley and Nick Cave look-alike Frank Woodley. Watch out for new game "The -->Boys and Girls--> Line Up", in which teams tackle three quirky facts about opera singer Antoinette Halloran, Leonardo's Bride singer Abby Dobson, rock singer and actress Wendy Stapleton, conductor Benjamin Northey, Uncanny X-Men Brian Mannix, and Kram from Spiderbait.
Airs: 8:30pm Wednesday on ABC1
The New Inventors
Final. It's the one-hour grand final as host and ringmaster James O'Loghlin takes us through the five finalists that will win the title of "Invention of the Year", snaring a suite of prizes worth thousands of dollars. Fans should also check out Wednesday's behind-the-scenes episode as the judges debate the finalists against six criteria: originality, need, design, safety, manufacture and pricing, and market.
Airs: 8:30pm Thursday on ABC1
The Footy Show
Nine's annual grand final AFL show at Rod Laver Arena is always a mix of showbiz meets sport, with performers including the never shy and never retiring John Farnham plus The Potbelleez and Birds of Tokyo. But it's the Player Revue that the audience is really here for, a gloriously over-the-top performance with big guys trying to sing and dance. Or maybe they will just take it as another excuse to get up in drag...
Airs: 8:30pm Thursday in Melbourne, Adelaide & Perth; 11:15pm in Sydney & Brisbane on Nine
AFL Grand Final
Live. Never mind the showbiz, it's the game that counts. Collingwood meets St Kilda for that one day in September. Magpies president Eddie McGuire will be all over this one, but famous St Kilda fan Molly Meldrum may beg to differ. The game is available in 3D on Channel 40 and will air in high definition on the new channel 7mate, which launches as part of the event.
Airs: 12:15pm Saturday in Melbourne, Sydney & Brisbane; 11:45am in Adelaide; 10:15am in Perth on Seven and 7mate
The Xtra Factor
Live. Can't get enough of The X Factor? Natalie Garonzi and a panel of experts dissect the performances that have just taken to the stage. Who's hot, who's not and who should be going home? This companion show was added to the package by Simon Cowell, after the UK version was proven pretty popular. This is certainly raw TV, but a good use of Seven's digital channel.
Airs: 9:45pm Sunday on 7TWO