Dustin Hoffman stars in Medici: Masters of Florence.
Dustin Hoffman stars in Medici: Masters of Florence. SBS

What's on the small screen this week

AS THE weather starts to cool down, television viewing starts to heat up, particularly on Nine.

The network's offerings begin with tonight's broadcast of the 59th TV Week Logie Awards, before Monday's debut of the latest season of The Voice Australia and the first first of two-part biopic House of Bond.

Read about why actor Sam Neill had no qualms starring in House of Bond after the fallout from House of Hancock.

Here are this week's highlights of the small screen and why you should watch them:

Sunday, April 23: TV Week Logie Awards, Nine from 7pm

 

Gold Logie winner Waleed Aly after the 2016 Logie Awards.
Gold Logie winner Waleed Aly after the 2016 Logie Awards. AAP/JOE CASTRO

The Australian television industry's night of nights will be broadcast live from Melbourne's Crown Casino.

You can watch the stars arrive on the red carpet from 4pm on a livestream at 9Now.com.au, or wait until 7pm to watch the highlights on Nine before the ceremony starts at 7.30pm.

Why you should watch: Whether you tune in to check out the fashion hits and misses, want to cheer on your favourite nominee or are keen for comedian Dave Hughes' opening gags, there's normally something to keep you entertained on a slow Sunday night. This year the ceremony will pay tribute to late television pioneer Reg Grundy who died last May, and satirist John Clarke who died earlier this month.

Monday, April 24: The Voice Australia, Nine, 7.30pm

 

 The Voice coaches for 2017, from left, Delta Goodrem, Seal, Kelly Rowlands and Boy George.
The Voice coaches for 2017, from left, Delta Goodrem, Seal, Kelly Rowlands and Boy George.

The Voice judging panel has had a revamp - former judge Seal rejoins last season's Delta Goodrem and two new stars, Kelly Rowland and Boy George, have joined the panel.

British singer-songwriter Seal, who won the first two seasons of the singing competition show with Karise Eden and Harrison Craig is determined to find a singer who will take not just Australia by storm, but will go on to be a global success. The Voice will be followed by the first of two-part feature drama House of Bond, also on Nine.

Why you should watch: The Voice and other talent shows like it are not just about the singing, but the stories that have brought each competitor to the stage, and that in itself is worth watching.

Tuesday, April 25: Bondi Rescue, Ten, 7.30pm

 

Bondi Rescue's lifeguards face one of the largest and most serious rescues in 70 years on the beach in this week's episode.
Bondi Rescue's lifeguards face one of the largest and most serious rescues in 70 years on the beach in this week's episode. BRAD MALYON

What starts off as a normal day for the lifeguards ends in tragedy when Jethro spots a group of five swimmers struggling in the notorious section of the beach known as backpackers' rip.

Singlets, one of the strongest lifeguards in the service with close to a decade of experience, is the first to paddle out and finds an unconscious woman in the water.

"I remember coming over the last wave and what I saw next absolutely shocked me to the core. I just thought to myself, 'I am going to have to draw on every little bit of skill, every little bit of training to get this woman in because there's no other option'," Singlets said of the discovery.

Why you should watch: This episode highlights the crucial role lifesavers play on our beaches, and is also an example of the sometimes devastating power of the ocean.

Wednesday, April 26: Anh's Brush with Fame, ABC, 8pm

 

Anh Do paints The Wiggles star Anthony Field on Anh's Brush With Fame.
Anh Do paints The Wiggles star Anthony Field on Anh's Brush With Fame. ABC

After last week's emotional episode featuring domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty, one of The Wiggles founding members, Anthony Fields takes his turn to sit for a painting. While the former Blue Wiggle might be best known for his role as the ever-smiling children's entertainer, Fields opens up about his battle with depression.

Why you should watch: The big reveal of the final painting is always a touching moment, but I think the highlight of this episode is hearing a man being so open about his emotions, happy and sad.

Thursday, April 27: Medici: Masters of Florence, SBS, 8.35pm

This political family drama will give audiences an insight into medieval Italy as it tells the story of the Medici dynasty and how they found extreme wealth, which sat at the core of their power and influence.

Dustin Hoffman stars as the family patriarch Giovanni de' Medici and Richard Madden (Robb Stark in Game of Thrones) plays his son, Cosimo de' Medici.

The story follows Cosimo who is on a mission to find out who is responsible for his father's untimely death and will stop at nothing to uncover the truth.

The series was shot on location in picturesque Florence, Italy and showcases stunning Tuscan countryside alongside iconic Venice.

Why you should watch: This series was a hit in Italy and its first episode broke the country's ratings record when more than 7.6 million viewers tuned in. The Italian scenery is stunning, and if you're a fan of period costume and learning about history while being entertained, this is for you.

Friday, April 27: River, ABC, 8.30pm

 

Nicola Walker as Jackie Stevenson, Stellan Skarsgård as John River and Georgina Rich as Rosa Fallows in a scene from television show, River.
Nicola Walker as Jackie Stevenson, Stellan Skarsgård as John River and Georgina Rich as Rosa Fallows in a scene from television show, River.

SIX-PART British crime drama River, starring Stellan Skarsgard premieres on the ABC this week.

Skarsgard (The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo) stars as John River, a respected Swedish-born police officer haunted by the murder victims whose secrets he must uncover.

He is also a man whose vulnerabilities and eccentricities are brought to the fore as he grieves the loss of his dearest friend and colleague, DS Jackie Stevenson (Nicola Walker).

The stages of his grief mark River's growing bonds with those he has excluded from his heart and mind, and when a murder suspect jumps to his death whilst being pursued by River, he comes under increasing pressure both from the press and within the police force as calls for his dismissal grow.

Why you should watch: The BBC production received high praise from critics when it aired in the UK and Sweden's Stellen Skarsgard brings a bit of a Nordic noir feel to the series.

Saturday, April 28: All Star Family Feud Masterchef Special, Ten, 7.30pm

 

Julie Goodwin, Grant Denyer and Gary Mehigan.
Julie Goodwin, Grant Denyer and Gary Mehigan. Supplied

THE MasterChef Australia judges take on past contestants in All Star Family Feud, hosted by Grant Denyer.

Playing for Melbourne's Sacred Heart Mission, team captain Gary Mehigan will be hoping to lead his fellow judges Matt Preston and George Calombaris plus MasterChef Australia mentor Shannon Bennett to victory.

MasterChef Australia alumni and winner of the first season of the show, Julie Goodwin will captain fellow past contestants Brent Owens, Emma Dean and Dani Venn.

The contestants will be playing for The Cure MND Foundation.

Why you should watch: If you're a MasterChef fan, this Family Feud episode will get you in the mood for the next season of the show. Besides, who doesn't love Julie Goodwin and raising money for charity?


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