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Television ian 11/26/2013

TV or not TV, that is the question. I seem to ask this question of the television networks every year – why can’t just one of the free-to-air networks keep producing quality television in the so-called non-rating period? This is the week where television goes out with a bang – literally for Home and Away – and other shows like Dancing with the Geeks have their ‘grand finales’.

The top-rating shows go into recess for the festive season and usually re-runs or semi-failed shows are churned out to try and keep viewers – occasionally they trial a gem that is quirky enough to be of interest but usually they are so bland that even the other half doesn’t complain when I want to watch the cricket.

And over the next couple of months we will be inundated with promos for the 2014 blockbusters – they can fast-track shows from the US but local ratings winners seem rather slow-tracked – they have already been busy shooting the next series of My Kitchen Rules. My money is on the risotto being a disappointment for both Manu and Pete.

This is also the time that network executives and agents to the stars do battle over paypackets and it looks like the Nine Network is lashing out for The Voice Australia 2014. Keith Urban is not being recalled and Seal isn’t being re-signed. Replacing Seal is lower case high-flier, will.i.am and Kylie Minogue will be spinning in the chair previously occupied by Delta Goodrem. Ricky Martin is back, as is Joel Madden and host Darren McMullen (own up, did you know that was his name?).

Darren is also hosting a new show on Nine called The Voice Kids, a version of the show for young singers aged 8 to 14. Joel Madden will be judging on both shows and this is where the lovely Delta will be appearing as well. There's a good chance I will be washing my hair that night. Or someone else's.

Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves though – coming soon to a TV near you – Alan Alda will star as Hawkeye Pierce in M*A*S*H and you will be enthralled as Modern Family’s Mitchell and Cameron adopt a lovely little Vietnamese girl called Lily.