A new year in television brings with it plenty of questions for viewers and executives alike.
Who survived the Summer Bay bombing? Has Australia still got talent? Why on earth did Colin Friels agree to be in that Schapelle telemovie? Wonder no more dear reader. Thanks to a time machine discovered in the long-abandoned offices of Beyond 2000, Daily Review is able to reveal the highs and lows of our small screens in 2014 …
January 14: Cricket commentator Ian Chappell gives Channel Nine an ultimatum. “If you want someone to call the game then pick me but if you want someone to cross promote your shows then get one of those fucking House Husbands.” Gyton Grantley makes his commentary box debut the following week.
February 17: A visiting HBO executive emails various Australian TV producers seeking to get in contact with the “hilarious political satirist” he saw on TV the night before. He is eventually informed that was a Sky News broadcast of parliamentary question time involving Clive Palmer.
March 13: Falling advertising revenues prompt a round of cost-cutting measures for Ten’s ailing breakfast program Wake Up. On the chopping block are EP Adam Boland’s fully automatic coffee machine, James Mathison’s dedicated eyelash stylist and the extra “r” in Natarsha Belling.
April 5: Border Security and Go Back to Where You Came From receive the same amount of votes for the Logie Award for best reality show. A count-back is needed and the award eventually goes to the show that most reveals Australia’s racist attitudes. Channel Seven is delighted with the win.
April 6: Millions of people click on the News.com.au headline “Aussie TV star photographed pantsless at Logies after party” only to find the celebrity in question is Humphrey B. Bear.
May 11: The United States version of Rake undergoes what Fox executives call a “subtle midseason tweak” in order to appeal to Middle America. The main character is changed from a larrikin lawyer to a sports writer who uses his knowledge of baseball to solve crimes with the help of a sassy black secretary.
May 24: Broadcast of this week’s episode of Q&A is delayed when squeals from Malcolm Turnbull fangirls interfere with the microphones. The program eventually goes ahead but several young ladies have to be revived when Malcolm pops the collar of his leather jacket.
June 16: After a liquid lunch at the Pan-Pacific TV Conference, Channel Seven executives strike a deal for the rights to the fourth season of Game of Thrones. This turns out to be an English dub of a Japanese game show where blindfolded contestants must identify mystery objects plucked from a toilet bowl.
July 1: The National Disability Insurance Scheme begins, giving thousands of Australians the opportunity to finally become engaged, productive members of society. Studio 10‘s audience figures halve within a week.
August 3: Emboldened by the popularity of The Voice judges will.i.am and Ricky Martin, Channel Nine announces it will be outsourcing all on-air talent to America. Jules Lund leads a protest march to the station’s Willoughby studios where Hamish hilariously immolates Andy.
August 27: ABC boss Mark Scott denies he is disappointed by the public’s lukewarm reaction to the revamped Spicks and Specks: “We are comfortable with the show’s new direction and the cast has this network’s full support.” Scott is later seen searching his iPhone for Adam Hills’ number.
September 20: Following the success of Channel Seven’s INXS mini-series, other networks commission similar programs. Channel Nine announces an AC/DC mini-series, Asher Keddie agrees to play Chrissy Amphlett for Ten and SBS starts work on Shaddap You Face: The Joe Dolce story.
October 14: An Age Green Guide survey finds 65% of readers only watch TV to know what to be offended about on Twitter the next day.
November 8: Ratings for the opening episode of Ten’s second series of Puberty Blues are down on the previous year but the season ends with a literal bang when Sue and Debbie are revealed to be the masterminds behind the Sydney Hilton bombing.
December 1: Panic besets ABC headquarters at Ultimo when Stephen Fry announces his retirement from television. “We’ve barely got enough episodes of QI to last the decade,” Mark Scott says.