TV.com's pick of the best TV shows on Aussie screens this week.
Premiere. Is this the next Lost or just another FlashForward in the pan? It's certainly a lot of fun at any rate. We can't give away too many details on this one except to say it doesn't suffer from overdoing it with too many characters and the action is well-balanced while generating sympathy for central characters. And just wait for the WTF? moment.
Airs: 8:30pm Monday on Seven
Australia's Next Top Model
Final. For the first time, AusNTM has a three-way contest, between Amanda, Kelsey and Sophie. Also for the first time, the viewing audience will choose the winner and not the show's outspoken judges. This airs live from Luna Park in Sydney.
Airs: 7:35pm Tuesday on FOX8
Top Gear Australia
New series. Two seasons on SBS and now Nine has a bash at a localised version of the show we all love from the UK. Steve Pizzati is the sole surviving host, joined by Shane Jacobson and Top Gear Australia magazine editor Ewen Page. In the first week we're off to the UK to meet Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May in an auto-battle for "The Ashes".
Airs: 7:30pm Tuesday on Nine
New series. We are on the beach in Nicaragua for the 21st season of the reality TV granddaddy and this time it's "old vs. young". Two tribes are divided into those over 40 and those under 30 -- and the challenges have been levelled out for fairness. There's also a new twist: the Medallion of Power. Nine plays two episodes to bring us up to speed with the US.
Airs: 9pm Tuesday on Nine
A Quiet Word with Bill Bailey
Tony Martin is seen on our screens all too rarely. In this fireside chat he talks to Black Books' Bill Bailey. The joy here is in watching two good friends talk about what they know best: performing and comedy. If you're missing Enough Rope with Andrew Denton, Tony Martin brings wit and insight to this enlightening exchange.
Airs: 10:05pm Tuesday on ABC1
Airs: 7:30pm Wednesday on TEN
The Big C
Premiere. How good is Laura Linney in this? She brings all her strengths and nuances to the role of Cathy, a flawed mother who is adjusting to a diagnosis of cancer. It focuses her outlook on life and makes her re-evaluate her values. Separated hubby Paul (Oliver Platt) doesn't stand much of a chance at getting back with her, the grumpy old woman across the road is about to get a sermon and son Adam gets a bit of his own when his pranks go too far. Followed by new Weeds.
Airs: 9:30pm Wednesday on GEM
The Amazing Race
New series. It's season 17 for the world's most fun passenger rally. The teams this season include a team of home shopping hosts, newly dating couples, an internet entertainer, Ivy League a cappella singers and a birth mother/daughter team who were recently reunited after the mother gave her newborn daughter up for adoption over 20 years ago. There's also an extra challenge joining Detours and Fast Forward.
Airs: 8:30pm Thursday on Seven
Premiere. Here's the prequel to Battlestar Galactica set 58 years before "the fall". Rooted on Earth this has something of a teenage element as bold teens dabble with a virtual device called the holoband that immerses them in nightclubs full of sex, drugs and violence. But it will ultimately lead to tragedy for two families, the Graystones and the Adamas. There's also a nice noir feel to this with some of the characters resembling gumshoe detectives from the 1940s. Follows Warehouse 13.
Airs: 9:30pm Thursday on 7mate
2010 NRL Grand Final
Live. After two attempts at an AFL finale, now it's the turn of the NRL. The pre-show entertainment (which begins at 4:30pm) is always a better show than its southern counterpart, even if it's also a tad more overt. Playing at twilight will also net Nine a much bigger ratings share than the AFL delivers to Seven. It's the Roosters vs. The Dragons at ANZ Stadium... Also available in 3D on channel 40.
Airs: 5pm Sunday on Nine and GEM
Stephen Fry Live at the Sydney Opera House
Special. A lengthy but enjoyable oration from the mellifluous Mr Fry standing alone on stage without a script and without any stand-up gags. Fry simply speaks from his heart, and that enigmatic mind, about everything from culture, to history, food, media, celebrity and Twitter. It's capped off with a Q & A hosted by Jennifer Byrne. A real treat.
Airs: 8:30pm Sunday on ABC1
2010 Commonwealth Games
Live. Presuming it is still on track, the Games will begin at midnight AEDT with the Opening Ceremony from Delhi. For once viewers on the West Coast will enjoy much better broadcast times (9pm Opening) than those on the East Coast. This will be preceded by a special program by the team from 7pm Project at 11pm.
Airs: Midnight Sunday on TEN