Mercado & Manning: The best of TV in 2017

‘You can’t keep up and you shouldn’t feel guilty about that’

Big Little Lies

At the start of the annual Mediaweek podcast that tries to list the best TV programs of the year, Mediaweek’s James Manning and Andrew Mercado both admitted there is simply not enough time to even sample all of the series that are flooding the market every year on TV networks and streaming services.

Mercado referred to a recent comment in the US that said we have been operating in a peak TV glut for several years and the quantity of programs continues to grow.

“You can’t keep up and you shouldn’t feel guilty about that,” said Mercado. “By no means is my list or James’s list comprehensive because there is too much great TV now.”

James Manning and Andrew Mercado

Biggest stories of the year

Mercado: “For me the biggest events of the year were CBS taking Network Ten away from the Murdochs and then Lisa Wilkinson‘s shock defection from Today to TEN. They were both huge stories that nobody saw coming.”

Manning also mentioned the continuing changing habits of TV audiences who want to watch TV on their own terms, streaming programs from SVOD platforms of FTA streaming services at a time that suits the viewer.

Highlights of Andrew Mercado’s list

Not a great year for Australian drama – exception was Friday On My Mind and two Foxtel dramas.


A Place To Call Home

Real Housewives of Melbourne

Hopelessly Devoted To You (for the great trailer promoting the Olivia Newton-John miniseries)

War On Waste

True Stories with Hamish and Andy

Little Big Shots & Australian Ninja Warrior

Big Little Lies

The Crown

Feud: Bette Davis and Joan Crawford

The Handmaid’s Tale

Twin Peaks

Will & Grace

Curb Your Enthusiasm

The Mick

Highlights of James Manning’s list

Hoges – the segment featuring Sean Keenan as the young Paul Hogan

Joan Didion: The Centre Will Not Hold (Netflix doco)

The Grand Tour – very mixed first season with some very good and some very bad. The first episode of season two was much stronger than much of season one.

Seven Types Of Ambiguity

Top Of The Lake: China Girl

Vikings – despite loads of very hard-to-watch violence

The Affair


Broadchurch season three

Billions season two – better than season one

SMILF – must-see comedy on Stan

Doctor Foster season 2 – as compelling as season one

The Crown season two

The Handmaid’s Tale


Big Little Lies

Game Of Thrones

Stranger Things 2

Gogglebox Australia

Love It Or List It


The Deuce

House of Cards season five

The Durrells

MasterChef Australia

Listen to the Mediaweek Best of 2017 TV podcast here.

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