SUMMER is the season when the TV networks seem to think no one is watching, and anything they show us is not going to affect their ratings anyway.
So this is the time when they try out new programs in the hope of unearthing a gem or just pad out the schedule with the stuff that would not normally make a mark during the ratings period.
So what's in store for us this summer?
The ABC will be wooing us with a remake of the popular Minder series, focusing on the relationship between Arthur Daley's nephew Archie and his minder Jamie.
Already started is a revival of Upstairs Downstairs, portraying life in a London townhouse in 1936.
And in a two-part series starting in January, Richard E Grant will look at the controversial history of African safaris and their effect on the bush.
One that could be a find for the ABC is Zen, based on the novels by Michael Dibdin and featuring Italian detective Aurelio Zen.
And, of course, there will be the festive outings from series such as Doctor Who, the Jonathan Ross Show, Outnumbered, My Family and The One Ronnie.
Starting on SBS early in January will be From Sydney To Tokyo By Any Means, in which Charley Boorman travels north up the Pacific Rim by any transport available, meeting locals along the way.
Also starting in January will be reality show 24 Hours in A&E, with 70 cameras filming round the clock for 28 days in one of Britain's busiest accident and emergency departments at King's College Hospital.
Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta will look at how the Vietnamese community found its place in multicultural Australia.
Starting in February will be action comedy series Danger 5, set in a bizarre, 1960s-inspired fantasy Second World War, complete with tropical bars, dancing women, cocktails, cigarettes and talking animals.
It follows a team of five international spies on a mission to kill Hitler.
At Channel Ten they will be relying on a mixture of the tried and true and some new programs.
Shows such as Merlin will continue with new episodes and Terra Nova, also with new episodes, will continue to run.
They will also have their revisit of game show It's a Knockout, and The Project will continue.
The broadcaster will also rerun series one and two of Offspring.
Channel Nine also looks like there will be no risks this summer.
Getaway Summer Series will run on Thursdays, and there will be new episodes of US sitcoms The Middle and Mike and Molly on Tuesdays.
The new series of Survivor: South Pacific will continue, and there will be new episodes of CSI NY.
The network will also have the cricket showing all summer.
Sport will also feature heavily on Seven, with the Brisbane International tennis tournament at the start of January and then the Australian Open live.
There will also be a new series of Off the Eaten Track, hosted by Brisbane-based chef Alastair MacLeod and featuring farmers and produce from all over Queensland on Saturdays.
New US comedy Happy Endings continues and there will be new episodes of No Leave No Life, hosted by Rosso.
So viewers can either get outdoors and do their thing this summer, or try to find the hidden gems in the season's offerings.
HOT SUMMER TV
- Upstairs Downstairs and Zen (ABC)
- Danger 5, 24 Hours in A&E and Once Upon and Time in Cabramatta (SBS)
- It's a Knockout (Ten)
- Off the Eaten Track (Seven)
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