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Small screen scene stealers set for 2017

AAP logoAAP 6/01/2017 Danielle McGrane

Boy George may have asked, "Do you really want to hurt me?" but he's only bringing joy with him when he comes Down Under this year.

The Culture Club frontman will be making his The Voice debut on Australian TV, having already served his time as a judge on the British version of the show.

His presence isn't the only delight awaiting viewers of Australian TV, with new dramas, returning reality TV favourites and lots of original local programming to come.

Here's a rundown of just some of the small screen selections landing in our laps this year.

Top picks:

There's nothing like a good drama to keep you gripped, so the ABC will deliver with Newton's Law, a new show starring Claudia Karvan as a solicitor who returns to her former life as a barrister after her suburban practice is destroyed by a client.

The ABC will also be gifting us with the on screen adaptation of Elliot Perlman's novel Seven Types of Ambiguity, starring Hugo Weaving and Alex Dimitriades. The psychological story starts when a seven-year-old is snatched from school to be found hours later, which sparks the start of this relationship drama.

But perhaps the most anticipated drama will be Seven's Blue Murder: Killer Cop which will bring Richard Roxburgh back to the role of disgraced detective Roger Rogerson, a part he first played in 1995 in the first Blue Murder TV mini-series.

On the lighter side of drama there's the return of Nine's House Husbands with Delta Goodrem and Hugh Sheridan added to the cast for the fifth season.

Conversation starters:

SBS has become the home of shows that get the nation talking. After last year's First Contact sparked nationwide debates regarding the challenges indigenous people face, the station will follow up with several offerings designed to poke at Australia's social conscience.

In Sunshine, the focus centres on a South Sudanese refugee basketball player in Melbourne who is accused of assault. Then Safe Harbour follows the drama as a bunch of Australians come across a boat of asylum seekers while out sailing and Struggle Street, the controversial SBS series, will also be returning for a second season.

Reality TV:

The truth is, this is a genre that's not going anywhere. In fact I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here will kick it all off later this month. In its third season, the show will follow a bunch of mystery celebrities left to fend for themselves (aside from the all-pervading Network Ten film crew) in the South African jungle.

Also on Ten, dating juggernauts The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are slated for a rosy return while perhaps the station's most exciting reality show will focus on a new version of Gogglebox: Common Sense.

In a joint venture with Foxtel, Ten will take the Gogglebox format into the workplace, filming people discussing general news and current affairs while at work.

Nine will be hoping to keep the somewhat flagging TV talent show concept alive with its injection of fresh coaching talent on The Voice. Boy George is slated for a spot in a red chair as is returning coach Seal, who hasn't been on the Australian show since 2013. Seal will be slotting back into the panel alongside Delta Goodrem who is keeping her big red chair for the sixth year in a row.

TV biopics:

Much like reality TV, the ongoing dramatisation of the lives of some of Australia's stars isn't showing signs of stopping.

In something of a hat-trick, following her House Husbands and The Voice roles, Delta Goodrem is once again making an appearance on TV screens. In fact, it could be quite the year for Delta with a role as Olivia Newton-John in Seven's mini-series on her life providing the cherry on the top for the singer/actress.

The Seven Network, which started this recent biopic craze with INXS: Never Tear Us Apart in 2014, have two more set to air this year: Hoges will star Josh Lawson as Crocodile Dundee star Paul Hogan and Shane Warne's life is also set for the small screen biopic treatment.

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