This week, the last week of summer non ratings sees a number of ABC favourites return, incuding ABC1′s regular Monday night line up and series two of Adam Hills In Gordon Street Tonight.
Expedition Tiger, Sunday February 5, 6.05pm
New series. An expedition team comprising tiger experts, photographers, adventurers, a naturalist and a scientist, venture high into Bhutan in the Himalayas in search of big cats. They are searching for a secret tiger population which could save the magnificent creatures from extinction.
Grand Designs: Braintree. Sunday February 5, 7.30pm
Artists Freddie Robins and Ben Coode Adams are moving from one extreme to another as they leave their cramped two bedroom London flat to take on the conversion of a huge grade two listed timber-framed barn in the Essex countryside. But at seven times the size of an average three bedroom house, turning this 500-year-old building into any kind of home is a challenge.
Zen: Ratking. Sunday Febrary 5, 8.30pm.
Final. In the final episode, the Italian Ministry once again turn to their favourite detective Aurelio Zen when wealthy industrialist and political party funder Ruggerio Miletti is kidnapped. They want Zen to get Miletti back alive at any cost – financial or personal.
Australian Story, Monday Februay 6, 8.00pm
Back for its 16th season, Australian Story kicks off this year with a two part special on a notorious hit-and-run incident that left a cyclist dead and challenged the justice system. In 2003, prominent Adelaide lawyer Eugene McGee ran over and killed cyclist Ian Humphrey. He failed to stop after the collision and more than six hours passed before he turned himself in to police.
Four Corners, Mondays 8.30pm from February 6.
Four Corners is Australia’s premier television current affairs program. It has been part of the national story since August 1961, exposing scandals, triggering inquiries, firing debate, confronting taboos and interpreting fads, trends and sub cultures. Four Corners will repeat the following evening at approximately 11:30pm.
Media Watch, Mondays 9.15pm from February 6
Media Watch, presented by Jonathan Holmes, is Australia’s leading forum for media analysis and comment. The program turns the spotlight onto those who literally ‘make the news’: the reporters, editors, sub-editors, producers, camera operators, sound recordists and photographers who claim to deliver the world to our doorsteps, radios, computers and living rooms. We also keep an eye on those who try to manipulate the media: the PR consultants, spin-doctors, lobbyists and ‘news makers’ who set the agenda. The program is repeated the following evening at approximately 12:15am.
Q&A, Mondays 9.35pm from February 6
Hosted by one of the ABC’s most respected journalists, Tony Jones, Q&A puts punters, pollies and pundits together in the studio to thrash out the hot issues of the week. It’s about democracy in action – the audience gets to ask the questions. It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you’re from, everyone can have a go and take it up to our politicians and opinion makers. Q&A is live to air – it’s happening as viewers watch!
Foreign Corresponent, Tuesdays 8.00pm from February 7
Foreign Correspondent has been Australia’s leading international current affairs program since 1992. In 18 years reporters, producers, camera operators and sound recordists have travelled to more than 170 countries and produced more than 1,500 reports.
The program draws on the ABC’s extensive network of international correspondents and a Sydney-based reporting and production team. Foreign Correspondent is designed to exploit the strengths of television – striking images and multi-track audio, a strong focus on storytelling, exotic locations and emotional appeal. Foreign Correspondent reports on major international issues but it also travels to places where reporters and camera operators are less welcome – investigating stories that governments don’t want told.
Then The Wind Changed, Tuesday February 7, 8.30pm
On 7 February 2009, Australia suffered its worst natural disaster in recorded history. One hundred and seventy-three people died when a series of uncontrollable bush fires swept across the state of Victoria. The next day, the headlines pronounced the small rural hamlet of Strathewen, only 40 kilometres from Melbourne, ‘The Valley of Death’.
Gareth Malone’s Extraordinary School for Boys. Tuesday February 7, 9.30pm
Final. In the second part of this final episode Gareth and the boys reach the all important performance. It’s been a tricky ride for Gareth as he nears the end of his experiment, but the culmination of his hard work is evident as the boys take to the stage in front of 400 or so family and friends.
Artscape: The First Interview. Tuesday February 7, 10.05pm
In Paris, August 1886, the world’s first media interview occurred when the great photographer Nadar interviewed the famous scientist and sceptic Chevreul on his 100th birthday. The meeting was recorded by Nadar’s son Paul as photographer and a stenographer using shorthand.
The two men discussed photography, colour theory, Moliere and Pasteur, the scientific method, the crazy ideas of balloonists, and – of course – how to live for 100 years. It was a lively and interesting conversation between two legends of the 19th century: one born before the French revolution; the other destined to see the marvels of the aeroplane and the movies.
The photographs and the original words were published in Le Journal illustré (Paris) on September 5, 1886. As a series of unposed portraits it is remarkable; as a photographic and stenographic record of an interesting and sophisticated conversation from 1886 it is unique.
Now, with the technology of the 21st century The First Interview comes to life as if a talking movie was filmed in the 19th century. Part two shows just how the impossible was achieved.
Absolutely Fabulous 20th Anniversary Sepcials. Wednesday February 8, 8.00pm
Twenty years ago the world was introduced to Edina, Patsy, Saffron, Bubble and Mother. It has never been quite the same again. As outrageous, scandalous, raucous and fashion-addicted as always, the ladies are back on screen reprising their award-winning roles in three specials – and they’re going to be fabulous, darling.
Adam Hills In Gordon St Tonight, Wednesday February 8, 8.30pm
World class stand up comedian Adam Hills returns to Gordon Street in 2012 with his unique take on the traditional tonight show; monologue, interviews and top musical acts plus the added excitement of spontaneous and unpredictable interactions with his 150 extra guests – the audience.
Outland, Wednesday February 8, 9.30pm
New Series. Outland is a six-part comedy series about a gay science fiction fan club and the lives, loves and never-ending dramas of its five members.
There’s Max (Toby Truslove), insecure and looking for love; the sexually-adventurous, muffin-baking Andy (Paul Ireland); Rae (Christine Anu), the moral centre and unofficial head of the group; the high-camp, high-maintenance Fab (Adam Richard); and the wealthy but socially-inept Toby (Ben Gerrard). It’s an odd, and often precarious combination of personalities.
Family Confidential, Thursday February 9, 8.00pm
Australia’s blockbuster novelist, Bryce Courtenay, plundered his own incredible life story to create his internationally bestselling books and films. But when he put the story of his son’s tragic death into print, it scarred the family forever. Today, as Bryce Courtenay struggles to complete his next book, his family reveals the difficult and complex truths behind the larger-than-life fiction.
The Straits: Yawor My Lovely, Thursday February 9, 8.30pm
Episode 3. The Straits is a story of a family as much as it is a tale of crime. The Montebellos’ family business is transporting drugs into Australia and guns and exotic wildlife out – using ties of blood and loyalty in the Torres Strait Islands.
Dragons’ Den. Thursday February 9, 9.30pm
New Series. Can you persuade rich tycoons to part with their own cash and fund your dream business idea? Dragons’ Den has made launching new businesses a big hit with TV viewers around the world.
Entrepreneurs pitch bold new ideas and inventions to five hard-nosed multimillionaires, the Dragons. They must convince one or more of the Dragons to invest a specific amount of their own money – or they fail.
If the Dragons are impressed by a pitch, they negotiate aggressively to own the biggest possible share in the venture in exchange for their cash.
The show is confrontational and compelling – especially when the Dragons turn the heat on each other as they compete to be the sole investor in a truly promising venture.
Episode 1: February 9 at 9.30pm
Millionaire investor James Caan joins Deborah Meaden, Duncan Bannatyne, Theo Paphitis and Peter Jones in the line up. They have the power to make or break the business dreams of entrepreneurs, all in need of cash backing to get their businesses off the ground.
Opportunities facing the fearsome Dragons tonight include a while-u-wait gold plating service, a Cornish music festival for uni students, dried fruit and meat snacks, a celebrity look-a-like business for parties and many more.
Find out whose investment dreams come true and whose get ripped to shreds as Dragons’ Den returns.
Minder: Better The Devil You Know. Saturday February 11, 6.10pm
The British comedy-drama about London’s criminal underworld – made famous in the 70s for putting the slang word ‘Minder’ into Australian and UK conversation – returns to the small screen.
This revamped series follows the escapades of Archie Daley (played by Shane Richie), a socially ambitious but highly unscrupulous importer-exporter, wholesaler, used-car salesman, and anything else from which there is money to be made.
Accused: Liam’s Story. Saturday February 11, 8.30pm
Episode 2. In this story, Andy Serkis stars as Liam a cab driver who becomes smitten with a customer travelling to the airport. In desperate need of money to buy a gift for his daughter, he breaks into the woman’s empty flat to steal her valuables, and is delighted when she contacts him after learning she has been burgled. However, his infatuation deepens, and the uncontrollable impulses spurring him on result in tragedy.