Entertainment Fisk returns as swag of homegrown TV shows reignite our world of entertainment in 2022
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Fisk returns as swag of homegrown TV shows reignite our world of entertainment in 2022

Fisk TV
Kitty Flanagan returns to Gruber & Associates, and she promises the brown suit is back. Photo: ABC
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It was among the top-rating programs of the year on free-to-air television, and, quite rightly, hilarious comedy Fisk will return for a second season in 2022.

Writer, co-director and star Kitty Flanagan is busily holed up at home writing, and it’s just one of a swag of homegrown television and streaming series to fill our entertainment calendar throughout the year.

Across the networks, there will be cooking shows, documentary series, investigative mini-series, all our favourite comedy and panel shows we’ve come to rely on in the depths of winter, and a suite of reality TV shows for the voyeur in all of us.

When national broadcaster the ABC announced its list of local productions last month, fans rejoiced that the heartwarming series that is Fisk was back, including Kitty, sort of.

She was “delighted and relieved” and then “mild panic” set in, “realising we had to do it all over again,” Flanagan told The New Daily on Tuesday.

“It’s been so gratifying knowing that people liked it and related to it. We’ve had such great feedback from people of all ages, which made me so happy.”

The show centres around former high-end contracts solicitor, Helen Tudor-Fisk (Flanagan), who finds herself in the low-rent world of wills and probate when she takes a job at Gruber & Associates following a humiliating marriage breakdown and professional fall from grace.

It was a delightful cast of old and new friends, including Marty Sheargold and Julia Zemiro (who play Ray and Roz Gruber), and Aaron Chen as George.

“The biggest surprise was that solicitors also really liked it,” Flanagan revealed.

So what we can we look forward to? Same outfits but new storylines? Any new characters?

“Helen will be more settled in her job at Gruber & Associates and hoping to become a partner in the business,” Flanagan said.

“The brown suit is coming back, obviously, as is Roz’s signature cassowary hairstyle.

“And we’ll be seeing a bit more of Roz, Ray and George in season two, learning a bit more about all of them. A few new characters, but also bringing back some of our faves from season one.”

The ABC, celebrating its 90th year of broadcasting, says filming starts in the first half of next year and it will air later in 2022, with no fixed broadcast date as yet.

There’s something for everyone on free-to-air television in 2022. Photo: TND

Cooks, singers and comedians, to brides and footballers

Over the past eight weeks, networks Seven, Nine and Ten, SBS and the ABC have released details of old favourites, and new, returning to our screens over the coming 12 months.

Ten’s senior VP of content and programming, ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand, Daniel Monaghan, said on October 20 the network’s “flagship franchises are returning bigger and better than ever”.

I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!, Australian Survivor, MasterChef Australia, The Masked Singer Australia, The Project, Gogglebox Australia and Have You Been Paying Attention? continue to rule the under-50s demographic and dominate the national conversation.

“They’ll be complemented by premiere series like Hunted Australia, Would I Lie To You? Australia and First Dates Australia,” he said.

Lady Julia Morris (I’m A Celebrity) has given us the heads up for the January 3 first episode: “Expect loads of laughs, a few tears, some mind-blowing surprises and the most insane challenges ever seen on Australian TV.”

The ABC’s 40-minute Showcase presentation on November 25 was music to our ears, with the gentle, yet uplifting show Old People’s Home making a return, this time for teenagers (not four-year-olds), the Ferrones are back in a new series Back in Time for the Corner Shop and Miriam Margolyes is set to hit the road once again in Miriam Margolyes: Australia Unmasked.

Never before seen on Australian television, music and news stories combine in the highly original Stories from Oz.

In the teaser, we see the “retelling” of Schapelle Corby, Mary, Queen of Denmark, Steven Bradbury, and yes, even Pistol and Boo in an “all-singing, all-dancing series”.

While it’s Zemiro’s final Home Delivery, Hamish Macdonald and Dr Ann Jones star in a new show on Australia’s natural world called Southern Ocean Live and there’s a new anthology comedy series Summer Love.

Sports fans are in for a treat, with three engaging documentaries including A League of Her Own, Israel Folau and Harley and Katya.

And for the rest of us, we’ll always have Gruen, Mad as Hell, The Weekly and Hard Quiz to keep our focus on what’s really going on.

SBS is hosting its Upfronts event early in 2022, but an SBS spokesperson told TV Tonight: “Stay tuned for more details to come soon and in the meantime, look out for exciting upcoming commissions including Could You Survive on the Breadline?, A Girl’s Guide to Hunting, Fishing and Wild Cooking and more Eurovision: Australia Decides.

Recording your favourite programs on the commercial networks is always an option if the ads get to you. Photo: TND

Stylists, dancers and prancers, and those with talent

Over on Seven, My Kitchen Rules is returning with Manu Feildel as celebrity judge (we’re yet to know his co-judge and host), Australia’s Got Talent (after a false start in 2021 due to COVID-19), SAS Australia and Australian Idol (returning after 12 years in the wilderness).

One of the biggest hits of the year, The Voice, will return with host Sonia Kruger and superstar coaches Keith Urban, Rita Ora, Guy Sebastian and Jessica Mauboy, and Farmer Wants A Wife returns with Samantha Armytage joining the show in a guest role.

There’s our old favourites returning, including Home and Away – for an incredible 35th season – with 45 weeks of drama, Better Homes and Gardens for those who love a routine on a Friday night, and The Front Bar with Mick Molloy, Sam Pang and Andy Maher.

Thank you Mick Molloy, Sam Pang and Andy Maher for returning in 2022. Photo: Seven

The mega-hit that was House Rules will be reborn and reimagined in an innovative twist to the format.

Called Apartment Rules, it’s set in one of Australia’s biggest cities, and will take renovation to a whole new level.

And Claremont (in the style of Catching Milat) is a four-hour investigative mini series based around the disappearance of young women retracing the 25-year investigation by the police and one tenacious journalist.

Big Brother, Dancing With The Stars, The Chase Australia, Homicide: With Ron Iddles and Crime Investigation Australia hosted by Seven news anchor Matt Doran and Border Security: Australia’s Front Line just about cover the network’s homegrown content (and that doesn’t include its massive Winter Olympics, Winter Paralympics, Commonwealth Games, AFL and racing coverage throughout the year).

Nine says Married At First Sight is “Australia’s biggest guilty pleasure”, and who’s arguing.

Certified clinical sexologist Alessandra Rampolla and relationship experts John Aiken and Mel Schilling are back to try and make single people fall in love with strangers, and then marry them.

The Block, Celebrity Apprentice Australia, Beauty and the Geek, and for everyone fixated to the television at exactly 5.30pm weekdays, Australia’s longest-running quiz show, Millionaire Hot Seat, is back.

As is Eddie McGuire, happy to host the only program on Aussie TV offering $1 million “cash”, as he says.