Happy New Year! We’re out enjoying the sun and waving goodbye to watching TV for the next few days… see you soon!

In the meantime, check out the following Top 10 TV Shows of 2007 lists: NZ Herald, Entertainment Weekly, San Francisco Chronicle and Newsday. Expect many more to appear as the New Year rolls in around the globe.

The common thread? Flight of the Conchords tends to make everyone’s list. 2008 will be an even bigger year for those Kiwi boys.

C4 has received its best Xmas present, The Daily Show returns from its writers strike hiatus Jan 8.

In brief, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart will return on Tuesday 8th Jan and will run as per usual Tuesday – Friday 10.00pm – 10:30pm. This will replace C4’s Summer Top 10@10 season.

It will also return to its repeat slot on Wednesday 9th January and run as per usual Tuesday – Saturday 12:30pm replacing Video Hits.

Thanks to South Pacific Pictures, we are able to bring you these special Christmas videos from the cast of Shortland Street. We asked them to tell you what they’re up to over summer, their favourite NZ TV show (past or present) and any messages for their fans. They’re pretty funny, so enjoy!

Faye and Fleur:

Peter:

Nisha:

Harry:

Will:

SKY 1 is getting a makeover, complete with a new name and a brand new on-air look. From 1st February Sky Digital Channel 5 will be relaunched as THE BOX.

New programmes include master illusionist Criss Angel: Mindfreak, hot new Australian drama, Dangerous, and a reality series with ‘The Crusty Demons’ called Dirt Demons. There’ll also be new season episodes of hit series including CSI, CSI: Miami, SVU, My Name is Earl, The Real Hustle, Hogan Knows Best, Battlestar Galactica and much more…

The Box

Over 20,000 votes were cast in this year’s Shortland Street Fan Awards with the vast majority before the big reveal of Joey Henderson as the serial killer. That hasn’t stopped him (and Johnny Barker, the actor who plays him) from scooping up four awards: favourite male character, favourite male actor, hottest male and favourite new character.

Fans on NZ’s TV community website Throng (throng.co.nz) and Shortland Street fansite StreetTalk (streettalk.co.nz) overwhelmingly praised this year’s season of the show, saying it was the best season yet and one which rivetted a nation. Many admitted they only began watching the show when receptionist Claire was found dead in a rubbish skip at the start of the serial killer storyline and are now completely hooked. More than one in five respondents gave the 15th season of the show a perfect 10/10.

“It will be hard to beat 2007. This has been Shortland Street’s BEST year yet.”

“They have really turned it around to something more people want to watch. “

“Rivetted the nation! I know people who hadn’t watched in years or never watched that did this year!”

“Wonderfully scripted as usual. Less predictable than in previous years. Casting is great. Absolutely proud to say I am an avid watcher.”

“I think the WHOLE year of episodes of Shortland Street this year have been very exciting! I only started watching Shorty Street PROPERLY again this year, and I hope more nerve-racking things happen! Shortland Street, IS the greatest drama in NZ.”

“The serial killer storyline has been really well done, and has renewed my interest in Shortland Street after about a decade of not bothering with it. The actual murders are rather sad and kind of gross, but the intellectual challenge of trying to figure out the killer’s identity is a lot of fun. Hopefully next year’s body count won’t be as high, but I hope there might be more storylines like this that really break the usual soap mould and take the show to new levels.”

A full list of winners (and runners up) are as follows:

Favourite male character:

Joey Henderson
(Kip Denton)

Favourite female character:

Tania Jefferies
(Libby Jefferies)

Favourite male actor:

Johnny Barker – Joey Henderson
(Adam Rickitt – Kieran Mitchell)

Favourite female actress:

Faye Smythe – Tania Jefferies
(Emily Robins – Claire Solomon)

Hottest male:

Johnny Barker – Joey Henderson
(Benjamin Mitchell – TK Samuels)

Hottest female:

Faye Smythe – Tania Jefferies
(Kimberley Crossman – Sophie McKay)

Favourite new character:

Joey Henderson
(Kip Denton)

Best rising star:

Kimberley Crossman – Sophie McKay
(Nisha Madhan – Shanti Kumari)

Favourite past character to return:

Rachel McKenna
(Tuesday Warner)

Best exit:

Claire Solomon
(Brenda Holloway)

Best dressed character:

Libby Jefferies
(Sophie McKay)

Worst dressed character:

Luke Durville
(Brenda Holloway)

Best hair:

Jay Copeland
(Tania Jefferies)

Worst hair:

Angus Phelps
(Baxter Cormack)

Character you’d most like to kill off:

Lara Wade
(Tess Adamson)

Favourite couple:

Scotty and Shanti
(Libby and Kieran)

Most boring couple:

Alice and Craig
(TK and Sarah)

Favourite storyline:

The serial killer mystery
(Maia and Mark’s baby)

Favourite moment:

Scarlett trying to run over Hunter
(Scotty’s fireworks for Shanti)

Saddest moment:

Claire’s death
(Jay’s death)

Funniest moment:

Hunter hiding in the nude
(Baby Jay peeing in Libby’s face)

Dodgiest moment:

Mark having sex with Meg in the toilets
(Hunter and Tess)

Most weird/random moment:

The psychic
(Nate kissing Hunter)

Most boring storyline:

Baxter’s faith healing
(Sophie’s blog)

Biggest letdown:

Not showing funerals for Claire and Jay
(Claire being killed off)

Favourite quote:

“Skank, toyboy, grand mother, motherf…” (Angus on Hunter and Tess)
(“How about dinner tonight?” “No, but I’m happy to meet for sex after 11pm” (Chris and Lara))

Rate the new hospital set:

84% said they like or love it.

Rate the new hospital uniforms:

72% said they like or love them.

Rate the serial killer mystery:

The average rating was 7.6/10, with 22% giving the storyline a perfect score.

Rate the 2007 season overall:

The average rating was 8.1/10, with 22% giving the show a perfect score.

Top 5 wishes for the 2008 season:

More Joey
Craig and Sarah to get together
Kip and Alice to get together
Joey and Tania to get together
Kieran and Libby to get back together

Other comments included:

“I used to hate watching Shorty, so did many of my friends until TK’s counsins came on. They make it real and funny with all the troubles they get into and that’s what teenagers like to watch and of course the hip hop, rap or watever which they should do more of. These boys do silly things but its not bad, we want more of it. We just can’t wait to see what happens in the new year and hopefully they’ll be all good and ready for that music school we know we are and looking forward to some real entertainment from these two. Kia Ora to Tane and Wiremu and to everyone on Shorty and Merry Xmas can’t wait for next year.”

“I thought the part where Tess left Hunter crying was one of the saddest things I had seen and doubt there would have been a dry eye in NZ amongst shorty fans watching!”

“Brenda’s death was the most shocking scene ever on Shortland Street – actually seeing her murdered, and the terror in her eyes. Some wonderful acting from Katherine McRae.”

“Liked the way all the old memories were fitted in around the 15th Anniversary of the show.”

“I stopped watching SS for quite some time, and happened to switch on around the time Claire was murdered. I have been hooked all year and am so glad for Sunday Omnibus if i have missed an episode (or want to see it again). Well done on a well written year that has kept even oldies like me talking about it at work!”

“This whodunit / mystery gets every viewer on the edge of their seats. It even includes some of the saddest, most moving scenes this year, like Jay’s emotional last scene at the IV. Well-done writers! Let’s just hope that the ending of this storyline would be as good as it has been so far. It was a big leap from last year and let’s all hope that Shortland Street 2008 will be just as good as 2007!”

For further information on this survey, email admin@throng.co.nz or call Regan on (021) 2999 364.

Dancing With The Stars is returning soon and TVNZ has confirmed the first four stars who will take to the floor next year.

Boxer Monty Betham, actor Miriama Smith, radio and TV presenter Martin Devlin and performer Tina Cross will team up with professional dancers for the 2008 series.

The final four celebrities will be confirmed early in the new year.

Dancing With The Stars continues to capture the imagination of the nation, with its audience share (All People +5) growing each year since it started in 2005. An average of 51.3 per cent of the available audience watched each episode of the 2007 series, up from 46.4 per cent in 2006, and 43.5 per cent in 2005. This year, 56.4 per cent of the available audience watched the series final, up from 52.7 per cent in 2006, and 54.9 per cent in 2005. Dancing With The Stars has now raised more than $1million for New Zealand charities.

Last night’s season final of Shortland Street gained a 44.3% audience share and 16.2% of the country tuned in to find out the identity of the serial killer. That translates to approximately 625,000 Kiwis watching the soap.

We flew back into New Zealand this morning, after our trip around the world (more on the state of TV overseas, the writer’s strike, TV set tours and TV show filmings later) and have discovered just how much the country is hyped up about tonight’s episode of Shortland Street! I hear my mum and brother – who never watch the show – will be tuning in, how it was the hot topic at a friend’s 21st on the weekend, how everyone has a theory.

From less popular suspects such as CEO Chris Warner, Yvonne, Gerald or Tania, to widely suspected Joey or Callum: it seems everyone in NZ now has their theory on the soap’s serial killer.

Fans over at Street Talk have been freeze-framing their TV to hunt for clues (such as on Brenda’s evidence). Whoever is revealed tonight as the killer will be talked about for weeks to come.

Well done to everyone at Shortland Street for such a fantastic 2007!

We have heard that game show Wheel of Fortune will be making a comeback here in New Zealand. With the writer’s strike continuing in the US, approximately 30-40 game shows have just been given the approval there to help fill the schedules.

What do you think of the return of game shows?

Would you like the chance to win up to $30k? Well here’s your chance to prove you know the words to all your favourite songs.

The rules of the game are simple: You don’t have to sing it well you just have to sing it right.

Applications closing date has now been extended to: 30 November 2007

FINAL AUDITION DATE: Saturday, 1 December 2007 – The Auckland Performing Arts Centre (TAPAC) Western Springs Auckland 1pm-5pm

If you are over the age of 20 (as of 1st December 2007), energetic, competitive and outgoing then you could have the chance to win 1000’s of dollars. Recordings will take place in Auckland and you must be in driving distance of Auckland city to audition for the show. A driver’s licence or passport will be required on the day for identification purposes.