“Good evening, and welcome to television,” says the announcer. In September 1956, advertising executive Bruce Gyngell said those legendary words on Australian television for the first time. Australian TV Shows have remained an important part of Australian culture for more than half a century.
From crime to comedy, Australia has always outperformed its peers in terms of television production, Also, the future looks even brighter with the addition of Australian programs on Netflix and Stan.
List of the Best Australian TV Shows
Underbelly, Australia’s true-crime equivalent to American crime dramas like The Sopranos, is that rarest of television beasts. Also, a prestige drama on a commercial network that wowed reviewers and audiences alike. So, between 2008 and 2013, Underbelly dominated the Australian TV landscape. Also, with six seasons and a number of spinoffs covering everything from Melbourne’s iconic gangland killings to the depravity of Sydney’s Kings Cross. Underbelly is arguably the best Australian television show ever made.
Release Date – February 13, 2008
Seasons – 6 (2008-2013)
Genre – Crime, Drama, History, Mystery
Wentworth, which is also about a new convict at the namesake women’s jail, shattered viewer records when it first aired on Foxtel and has since grown an even larger fan base overseas.
Release Date – May 1, 2013
Seasons – 9 (2013-present)
Genre – Crime, Drama
Kath & Kim
Kath and Kim are the Schrodinger’s Cat of TV comedies, simultaneously a cult classic and a revered cultural icon. It’s a comic slice of Australian suburban life. Also, it’s the kind of sitcom that could only be conceived in Australia. Also, with the most legendary mother-daughter pair in comedy history. Kath & Kim is one of the most hilarious Australian television shows you’ll ever witness.
Release Date – May 16, 2002
Seasons – 4 (2002-2007)
Genre – Comedy
Please Like Me
Please Like Me, a very personal story written by and starring comedian Josh Thomas. Also, manages to tackle difficult topics with grace and aplomb. Also, it recognized the force of pathos more than any other show on Australian television, and it was more humorous drama than dramatic comedy.
Release Date – February 28, 2013
Seasons – 4 (2013-2016)
Genre – Comedy, Drama, Romance
Secret Life of Us
When The Secret Life of Us premiered in 2001, it featured a who’s-who of young Australian performers and followed a group of 20-somethings who live in a St Kilda apartment complex. Also, it established the blueprint for the next 20 years of Australian young adult drama, based on a tried-and-true theatrical formula.
Release Date – July 16, 2001
Seasons – 4 (2001-2006)
Genre – Drama
Mighty Car Mods
Mighty Vehicle Mods is the YouTube channel for DIY car enthusiasts all around the world, and it’s one of Australia’s greatest web-based exports. It’s grown from a garage effort to a global smash, but it’s always kept a dose of Aussie comedy, hosted by MOOG and Marty.
Release Date – December 14, 2007 (original release)
Seasons – 9 (2008-present)
Genre – Documentary, Comedy, Cars
Seven people resurrect from the grave at the same time in a small village in Victoria, with no knowledge of who they are. Also, it’s the antipodean counterpart to HBO’s critically acclaimed ‘The Leftovers,’ with the same high production qualities.
Release Date – July 9, 2015
Seasons – 3 (2015-2019)
Genre – Drama, Sci-Fi
Tidelands were the first original Netflix Australian series, and it’s easy to see why based on the blurb alone. Also, it’s a part murder investigation, part otherworldly thriller.
Release Date – December 14, 2018
Seasons – 1 (2018)
Genre – Crime, Drama, Fantasy
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is based on Kerry Greenwood’s novels and follows the exploits. Also, misadventures of Phryne Fisher, a stylish female investigator. Also, with a rich period setting (Melbourne in the 1920s) and a lovable lead, it has become the envy of the Australian television business, airing in over 100 countries and with a Mandarin language translation expected in 2020.
Release Date -February 24, 2012
Seasons – 3 (2012, 2013, 2015)
Genre – Crime, Drama, Mystery
Two strangers find themselves on the run with only each other to rely on as their paths cross in the most dramatic of ways. It’s a simple structure, but owing to Rebecca Gibney and Geraldine Hakewill’s performances, it’s become must-see television.
Release Date – February 9, 2016
Seasons – 3 (2016-present)
Genre – Drama
Inadvertently, two brothers disclose a cyber-conspiracy that extends to the highest levels of government. Also, it’s thrilling stuff with a strong ensemble that includes David Wenham, Anthony LaPaglia, Lucy Lawless, Xena the Warrior Princess herself.
Release Date -September 21, 2014
Seasons -2 (2014-2016)
Genre – Drama, Thriller